MY SPIRITUAL JOURNEY (1)
Over thirteen years ago we moved into a Retirement Village in a rural area in our home state, we have never doubted for a moment that we moved in the will of God and at the right time, I still had a number of years of travelling itinerary ministry ahead of me, but we began to slow down. I am now almost 81 years old and Margaret is almost 82 years old, and we are now very aware of the aging process, and conscious that there are not too many years ahead for us. So, I have been meditating much on my spiritual journey over 70 years of knowing the Lord. I can say with King David in Psalm 37:25 KJV I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
Some of what I will write has been recorded before, but it is worth recording again. I am the product of alcoholic parents (who never married), it was not a happy childhood. Early in 1951 I discovered The Salvation Army Sunday school about 2 miles from my home, and I began walking there regularly to attend. Early in October when I arrived for Sunday School my teacher told me, that the previous week all my class members had made a “decision” for Christ (I had not attended that Sunday) and would I like to make a “decision” too. At the end of class i went forward and knelt at the altar, not really knowing what I was doing, but very aware I was a sinner and desperately needed forgiveness, I asked the Lord to forgive me and come into my life, and this he did nearly 71 years ago.
It was about a year later our family moved to another area, and I was in a wilderness for a while, but eventually found the nearest Salvation Army corps again, which I attended for a number of years, Sadly, there was little to no Biblical Discipleship during all those years, but the Holy Spirit continued to work in my life. Annually the S.A. have what they call Youth Councils, with the main reason to get young people to become Officers (Ministers) During one of these Youth Councils I clearly received my call to Ministry, I also met some some young people from the countryside, and decided to move to their city for work and become involved with them and the S.A. corps. 2 spinster ladies began attending the Services, and became friendly. They gave me a little book entitled “The Baptism in the Holy Spirit” written by a William Booth-Clibborn who was a grandson of the Founder of the S.A. I read his testimony of how he received the Baptism of the Spirit and spoke in unknown tongues as the 120 did on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:4 KJV And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
This teaching made me hungry for more of God in my life, I was still not living a victorious Christian life but so wanted to be holy. Some months later by my bedside I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues.
In February 1962 I commenced studies at the S.A. College to become an officer, during the 2nd year students spend some months serving in a S.A. corps and sadly, during this time I become quite sick, and had to withdraw from my studies and training.
I had heard about a Pentecostal church in Melbourne so began attending there and in 1964 became a student at the Assemblies of God Bible College, on graduation became a Youth Pastor, married Margaret, and spent about 20 years in Pastoral Ministry in Victoria and N.S.W.
We saw our churches grow quite dramatically and we had much success in ministry. During this time the Charismatic Movement developed which we happily participated in, and was also greatly impacted by the teaching and ministry of Pastor Kevin Conner.
Each new position in ministry we moved into the Lord clearly prepared us for the move, and in 1986 again that stirring came and we were invited to join the Faculty of my Alma Mater Commonwealth Bible College, where we served for 11 years. Then came two years of serving in Singapore the a further 6 years at Hillsong Leadership College in Sydney.
As a result of as clear prophetic word we resigned from Hillsong College, and began itinerating all around South East Asia this I continued to do even after we moved into our Retirement Village.
I had lived the dream, as far as ministry is concerned, the Lord blessed me so much and yet there has come so much more revelation and blessing in these last few years since we have slowed down and had much time to spend in the Lord’s presence and in His Word.
The following post/s will say more about this.