Living “Our Dream”
Well, there are so many things to talk about so we’ll just focus on one aspect of God’s impact on my life. When some men in North America have their “mid-life crisis”, I was working extra hard. Not so much for the money, but because I was living the dream. Our dream. My wife and I always dreamed of farming together. So we bought out her parents’ dairy farm. We started with four cows, 9 acres, and a small barn. We built it up to 40 purebred Jersey cows with a new barn and 200 acres. It was going very, very well.
We were very busy with our church as well. My wife was leading as the Sunday School Superintendent. I was an Elder and taught Sunday School, supported the church’s music ministry, and played in the Country Gospel Band. We had a happy family of five children who were all growing tall and strong.
Also, the engineering career I started out with never went away. My experience and abilities were still put to good use in the engineering field. I had my own engineering consulting firm. Also, I was busy designing lots of interesting machinery and being granted quite a number of patents for my work. The work was very interesting and the money was good.
Changes: Slow Down!
What could go wrong? Well, trying to get too much done in a day was a normal mode of operation for me. One day, while going too fast on a tractor, I injured my back. Badly. Could barely walk as a matter of fact. I thought it would get better with time, but it only got worse. Thankful for the good medical care, I eventually ended up in a wheelchair. We had to make a lot of changes including selling the cows and the farm. My wife got a job.
I struggled to figure out a new way to live, move, and work. While everyone was really helpful, it was still a struggle to adapt to doing everything differently. Of course, I was no longer the “big man” who could do whatever needed to be done! And in that process, it became clear to me that I needed to be more humble. Not only should I accept help, but I also needed to, as the old gospel song says, “put my hand in the hand of the Man who stilled the water.” I needed to trust in God to provide for us and give direction to my life.
Time for God and Inspirational Reading
So, I spent a lot more time reading. While reading my Bible much more, for the first time in my life, I started making notes and lists and really studying to understand. I began getting more of an education in the Bible.
It also seemed there was finally time to read other inspirational books, the very best of which was “Joni” by Joni Eareckson Tada. This very inspirational lady was paralyzed in a diving accident when she was only 17 years old. She described her accident as well as all the medical challenges she faced. However, most importantly, she detailed her spiritual journey as God drew her closer to Him and how He was able to use her for His work – even though she was in a wheelchair.
Getting an Education in the Bible at CLI
That changed everything for me. It gave me the courage to keep moving forward as well as study and work so that God could use even me to encourage other Christians as well as reach out with the gospel to those people who do not believe. It has meant that I have “scooched” up the stairs onto a stage or platform dragging my wheelchair so that we could play and sing some gospel songs for a crowd. Or I have delivered a message encouraging people to open their hearts to Jesus and have confidence in His Word.
It has also encouraged me to run many an archery booth at local Fall Fairs to raise money for The Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM). It is a Christian organization that provides free wheelchairs to people around the world who cannot afford one. Fairgoers enjoy shooting some arrows and love to hear about what the FWM is doing.
Now, since getting an “education” in the Bible has always been somewhat ad hoc, my enrollment in the Christian Leaders Institute is hopefully a way for me to take a more disciplined approach to understand the Bible. Then, my knowledge can increase and I can be more useful to my Lord and Saviour in speaking to both Christians and non-believers as He gives me the opportunity.
Steps to Sign Up At Christian Leaders Institute
Step 1 – Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2.
After you register, you will automatically be enrolled in the “getting started” course. You will locate the course at your “home” button when logged in. Scroll down to find the Christian Leaders Getting Started Course Part 1 &2 Link. Click the link and open the course.
Step 2 – Complete Part 1 of this course, and then you are allowed to enroll in mini-courses or regular courses.
The Christian Leaders Getting Started Class Part 1 shows you how to enroll in courses and mini-courses. Part 2 of the course connects your calling into ministry with programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute. Part 2 will offer some ministry training and introduce you to the other programs offered through Christian Leaders Institute.