I had this dream a few weeks ago. On the dream we were in some kind of camp, retreat or something. I got out of bed and this white American preacher, who seemed to be accompanied by his wife, starts a full blown Bible Study.
We gathered around some round chairs, similar to the bar chairs. He immediately and very enthusiastically asked for us to open our Bibles in Leviticus 5:1. I made the comment that I just woke up 3 minutes ago.
I am the first to get to Leviticus 5:1; but I had problems reading it. The preacher, his wife and the small group that also included my wife, some of my children and my brother Carlos, laughed about me having problems reading. I laughed also and said “I better read this thing with my cell phone so I can see.
As we all laughed the preacher walked us outside. It look like a camping area or retreat area. The weather was nice and it was sunny. I am getting ready to read Leviticus 5:1 and I woke up.
When I woke up I immediately grab my phone to read Leviticus 5:1 with great anticipation:
“Now if a person sins after he hears a public adjuration to testify when he is a witness, whether he has seen or otherwise known, if he does not tell it, then he will bear his guilt.” (NASB)
So, essentially, if you are an eye witness or you know of a crime, sin, violation of any law, etc. and you decide not to testify of that sin, violation of any law, etc. that you know about, that you know is wrong… then you become guilty of what you are trying to cover up.
When we look at the apostles, they dealt a great deal with sin. I am sure they have many people accusing the apostles of judging and thinking they were holier than anybody, but that did not stop them from continuing to address sin, preach the gospel, teach sound doctrine and confront false doctrine. At the end, it cost them their lives. There is indeed a price to pay when we speak God’s truth. I wonder what would be the price I have to pay.
It is so easy to keep our mouth close, to stop preaching and teaching, to turn our heads and go on by our business. However, we as Christians are called to be witnesses and as witnesses we have an obligation to testify of what we see according to Leviticus 5:1. When we don’t we become accomplice. So what are you?
Missing the Glory Days
For months I have felt that nobody cares what I have to say… NOBODY! I got out of Facebook and Twitter. I still have a YouTube channel that I am not using lately. This blog has become the place where I sincerely write what I feel, but always with a Word centered focus.
I know our gifts and callings are irrevocable; Romans tells us that. However, I wonder, where did my ministry go? I used to have my own congregation, I used to minister in prison to the Hispanics and to the general population, I used to often have invitations to preach. Now, nobody cares. I still hear God, I still feel his Word burning in my heart with messages, Bible Studied, etc. But for the most part, they end up in this blog.
After so much sin and disappointment in my life I feel that I disqualify myself. My purpose have been severely affected. I know I will obey God if He calls me to do anything. For now I have witnessed failures after failures in everything I do, from published books, to the starting of any ministry, local churches and yes, even in ministering to my own family.
This is a very dark place to be; I am now 52 and not one door has open! The reality is that I have been one to actually speak up according to Leviticus 5:1; but my price have been a total rejection of my ministry everywhere, starting in my years in Alaska. Yes I preached here and there in Alaska, but not even close to the way it used to be; not even close!
The glory and top of my life as a minister goes back to the summer of 2005, 15 years ago!!!! when I was called to pastor a church in Winton North Carolina and, shortly after, the Lord gave me a powerful prison ministry.
It was very common for me to preach 4 times a day. I will start my day with a morning service to the Hispanics in prison (8:00 am), then I will preach, by invitation, in whatever church (10:30 am), then I will minister in my own church at 3 PM and lastly, I will finished my Sunday’s going back to minister to the general population at prison at 7 PM. Those were, without a doubt, my glory days. I felt so happy, I had great joy in my heart doing what I felt I was born to do.
What price did I paid for that dedication? Well, I lost my first wife to cancer only six months after accepting my call to pastor that church in Winton, North Carolina. I kept ministering with the same schedule, but it did not last that long. I quit ministry and embraced a lifestyle of sin.
Through the years, after that, there have been moments when I feel that I am coming back; but like an old boxer who attempts to come back into the ring, I have witness failure after failure in my life as a minister.
So what am I to do? I am here, ready to preach in and out of season. I am not forcing any doors or loose sleep over it. I will continue to work and make a living and let God use me there. This blog will continue to tell my story; the good, the bad and the ugly and, if God needs me for anything else He knows where to find me!
For now, on this hot day in Arizona, I look forward to playing a round of golf, to walk the golf course at Arizona Traditions and keep lowering my handicap!