I have been challenged recently by a personal reflection that I originally shared on Twitter, a place where I secretly think is a place where folk are unlikely to read my comments, allowing me space to ponder and voice thoughts from the mind and heart. And since I don’t have a worldly reputation to maintain, or a product to sell, or a service to offer – I can freely express my faith without fear of condemnation.

“I’m also coming to the conclusion about wholehearted service to seek ye first the Kingdom of God. The LORD God needs more servants to serve.”

I soon concluded with an expanded thought on Facebook, due to the 140-character limitation.

“I’m coming to the conclusion about wholehearted service to seek ye first the Kingdom of God. The LORD God needs more servants to serve. I think it’s time to step out of the boat… even during a storm in the mind. What is there to lose when God is on our side and His love and presence surrounds us?”

All I can say is that it was a reflection that suddenly came to mind, and it’s always my desire to blog only when I feel led by the Holy Spirit to write and share. Whether people actually read the blog is anyone’s guess, but I do believe that God touches folk with words of encouragement.

Even though I chatted with the LORD as a kid and believed in His existence at an early age, and accepted that Jesus came to die for our sins,  and that He rose again from the dead – my faith wasn’t serious until a crisis in life during my year at university, when I was a student in Dundee. Fast forward time and I can confidently say that I’ve been a born-again Christian for 7 years now, after reassuring my faith in the LORD and giving Him my selfish desires, hopes and dreams. For the duration of the past seven years, I feel as if the LORD has taken me on a faith-based journey, where He wants me to be confident in Him (not myself), not just for my eternal salvation, but in everyday life. The thing is… I’ve never expected to graduate from seminary school, never mind study a divinity course on Theology and Pastoral Studies. And yet, I find myself continuing my pursuit in growing with the LORD. Everyday, I feel drawn to people with a heart of compassion, and a desire to share with folk in God’s love… the very same love that He overflows to me and you!

I’ve resisted a path of self-identity since my mum labelled me as ‘average’. I took offense inside, because I thought I would be extraordinary, and not just ordinary. I wanted to prove differently that I was something special, whether that would be in education, appearance or ambition. Growing up half Scottish and half Chinese was difficult in my childhood, but it simply creates a chapter in my past life, known as a life testimony. Now that I’ve matured over the years, I realise that I’m actually blessed being ‘average’, and that I didn’t need to think different or be someone else. I was that special child of God, whom He created me in my mother’s womb, and He sees me special just the way I was. I didn’t have to prove myself any different. In God’s eyes, I am more than extraordinary – I am a miracle.

As for my mum, well, she focused on the ‘average’ blessings in that I have an average height, average weight, average mind, average upbringing – I was average in the respect that I was healthy and normal. I live with parents who love me dearly, and are not divorced, and they wholeheartedly love each other. Deep down, my parents recognise that I was born a 60-year old guy, as I was perhaps too mature for my age in that I thought different to other kids when I was younger. I never mixed with the wrong crowds. I didn’t need to be reminded to not do something that was bad. They respected and trusted that I knew what was right and wrong. In fact, it’s only that I’ve matured in my relationship with the LORD that I recognise the latter as a gift of spiritual discernment – something I still find hard to describe at times. I can’t help but discern – spiritually. I have been prayed for by friends, and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ of this gifting, and they sense it is a great gifting, but also a gift that can hinder my faith in the LORD at times.

The hindrance comes as I know what lies ahead with Christian ministry, and despite the expected headaches, spiritual attacks and the whole spiritual warfare of serving the Kingdom of God in the context of full-time Christian ministry, it is something that attracts me. For me, the focus and desire is to lead people to Christ and for the Holy Spirit to do the wonderful works of the Holy Trinity – that is, for people to recognise that they need a Saviour in this broken world. I sense this urgency to help people find their faith in the LORD. I realise that I don’t need to bash my bible, and I avoid preaching down to people. Instead, I let my witnessing light shine out. Of course, the light can appear foggy at times, because of my sinful nature, but I believe that God can use our unique characteristics and giftings to reach out to people, and we shouldn’t live in fear for doing so. One prime example is in the workplace.

As for my inevitable future – everyday I grow excited for the new term to commence with the Cornhill Training Course in Glasgow. But I also know that I don’t need to wait until then to serve the LORD in ministry. So far, I am involved in the teenage bible study and I’ve seen the LORD work in amazing ways during the weeks that I’m either leading or helping. I’ve recently joined a cell groups, as we journey together in yet another bible study – Christianity Explored. I’ve always wanted to do the course, ever since I was introduced to the short course, when I casually visited St George’s Tron Church in Glasgow last autumn. Another area of Christian ministry that I am particularly keen to be involved is the Healing Rooms ministry. I’ve only used them once myself, through an evangelical event called the Light and Life event in Glasgow, to which my mysterious viral infection disappeared – after it affected my body for about 9 whole months.

There is however, one other area of Christian ministry that I’m due to assist with our associate minister of East Mains Baptist Church, and that is to help and serve in The Marriage Course by the good people from Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB). I find it ironic for a single guy to be serving in such ministry for the second time now. I know the LORD has a sense of humour in that respect, but it also reflects back to what I felt led to share from the very beginning of this journal entry. I made a deal with the LORD during seminary that He would provide a suitable companion – a woman of God – to serve together in the Kingdom of God. I think ultimately, God wants me to step out of the boat first and respond as Samuel did in the Old Testament, when God called him and Samuel responded, “Here I am LORD,” 1 Samuel 3:5-10.

~Richard