What Brought Me to CLI? – Ministry Courses
All glory and praise to the King of kings, the great I AM. My name is Lee, and the lady beside me in the photo is my beautiful wife, Diana. We live in Canada, southwestern Ontario, and it’s been a journey indeed. We recently moved away from Toronto. However, prior a Brother introduced me to the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here). It’s been an encouragement and blessing to take the ministry courses during this season.
YHWH is doing something in my heart and walk, which is so specific that I don’t know the fullness and vision yet. Learning to walk one step at a time and trusting in the Lord keeps me taking the ministry courses. Working out my salvation with fear and trembling is no joke. My soul can not comprehend the riches and vastness of the LORD, but I strive for more.
The sense of a high calling seems to scream urgency of late. His Spirit testifies to this during daily communion. He has put a fire in my belly for lost souls and a passion for His Word. I feel the importance of being able to share the Word with others. To me, the gospel message should be simple and easy to share. I feel the importance of having sound doctrine rooted in the Word, to be equipped with an answer for all men at all times. The ministry courses at CLI are strengthening me in this area.
The Holy Ghost runs this show now. May it be His will and not mine. My beloved Brothers and Sisters, I pray for discernment and His guidance during these perilous times. The spiritual war is becoming ever more present. Oh, how we need our Abba, Father GOD, in every way!
The Revelation: From the Mire to the House of the Lord
I didn’t always talk like this. As my kids say, “real talk,” and my real talk is that I don’t deserve to be on this side. I went from the kingdom of darkness to the Kingdom of Light. My life may be a common one: filled with brokenness, pain, suffering, and seeking happiness and true meaning. I didn’t have Biblical knowledge or a religious background growing up.
To put it plainly, I’ve had no real identity or clue for 35 years. The lack of Biblical knowledge or relationship with Jesus put me on the wrong path. Primarily, I was suffering from self-worth issues from youth. This led me to multiple broken relationships, poor decisions, a failed marriage, suicidal thoughts, addictions, and consistent pitfalls. Through it all, my feeble attempts at fixing my life only led to greater darkness, but, and this is a big BUT, the LORD was gracious and merciful towards me.
Looking back, Jesus’/Yeshua’s hand was on me, all along. My first supernatural experience was from crying out to an unknown god in 2008. Out of my despair, I cried to the Creator of my soul. I cried for help and direction. Upon that cry, a peace which I’ve never felt prior surrounded me. It was there momentarily and then gone. Something had taken place, I wasn’t quite sure what, but something happened. Perhaps best described as a blanket of comfort consuming me at a critical point in my life.
Someone Heard My Cry and Cared, But Who?
This single event didn’t stop my life from turning upside-down. I proceeded to lose my first wife along with our two sons to divorce. Additionally, I lost my job and home due to these and other circumstances. This all took place in a matter of a few brief months. With no control, I was broken and beaten down. The weight of my despair sent me spiraling into a cycle of self-pity, depression, and frustration. I gravitated to instant gratification in my attempt to deal with everything, which consisted of but wasn’t limited to: women, alcohol, drugs, the gym, partying, tattoos, motorcycles, video games, etc. Basically, I ran to anything that could numb my pain.
Despite the way I was handling things, people kept coming into my path, sharing seeds of Christ’s mercies in their lives. At times, they had my ear, but it only fell on the stony and weedy ground to be consumed. During this season, I was all over the place, trying to sort out my life direction. I was nicknamed “nomad” in the pursuit of direction. I did try various churches along the way, but the lure of the world had me in its grip. Since I didn’t understand the church or its message, my rebellion burned stronger. So, I occasionally looked to other religions and sources. Eventually, I got mixed up in the occult, new age practices, and philosophies, increasing my lust towards the world and my flesh.
My Journey Continued
As time went on, things in my life started coming back together, at least from an outside perspective. I had a home, a car, a steady income, women and their attention, friends, time with my boys and family. However, I was still empty inside. I knew how to distract myself, but was that all my life had to offer? Inside, I knew there was more. I just hadn’t found it. Unknowingly, I was being led by the ruler of this world, and my soul was indeed in darkness.
By 2011, my understanding of Christianity was one of head knowledge and religious standing. I was becoming content to survive for myself and my boys. The inner struggle continued its battle for truth, but I suppressed it. Struggling with the same old afflictions, the partying and previous lifestyle choices eventually grew old and unsatisfying. I focused on a career I disliked and adopted a mentality of getting by at whatever cost. My heart continued to harden.
Marriage to a Prayer Warrior
Come 2013, I met and did the unthinkable by deciding to marry again. I married Diana in late 2013 and was blessed with the addition of her daughter. We blended our young families. Diana was a believer in Christ, and I claimed to be the same for the sake of our marriage. Surely, I knew about this Jesus from my church-attending days but zero relationship with Him.
Unknown to me, she was patiently praying for my soul as our marriage grew. She supported me in my walk, but she also knew I was on the wrong path. I understood basic “Churchianity,” so I aligned with her and supported her requests to attend church as a family. Begrudgingly, I went to these services with her. I played the part and was even baptized at a Baptist church in 2014, with no real fruit to follow from water baptism. It was apparent that I was still in darkness. My heart confirmed so.
However, the Holy Ghost was working all along. Skip to 2017, where God sent a man to pierce my hardened heart. For I didn’t go looking but was now finally faced with a choice:
Did I want to know God? Was I willing to find out?
Challenged to Get in God’s Word
This man, surgically through the Holy Ghost, exposed my condition and state of spiritual darkness. I was challenged to dig into the Holy Bible to find out for myself what it said. Seeing this man’s walk, the salt and light, gave me the courage and motivation to seek for myself. As I started to read the Bible, it proved to be a challenge. It seemed everything in my world wanted to keep me from reading and studying it. I endured and fought through with encouragement and prayers from my wife and others, and by God’s grace, I made it through His Word. This took at least 8 months from reading and listening to the Word constantly. In doing so, the Word absolutely changed everything.
I now had a choice to make.
That choice transformed my heart and life’s trajectory. The Bible was a mirror that my soul desperately needed to see itself in. All the trials, tribulations, doubts, fears, and pain couldn’t keep me from His mercy and power anymore. In 2018, after having the truth exposed through His Word, I gave my life to the LORD Christ Jesus/ Yeshua. That same feeling of peace and love from 2008 came again and still does as I grow in His Spirit and truth.
It took me 10 years from that first crying out of a broken and contrite spirit to finally come home. I recognized my sin finally. With that knowledge planted in my heart, I fell at the feet of Christ upon the cross and transferred my trust and hope to Him. There was an exchange in my soul, and I finally understood. Praise Him! Many of my addictions and chains from my past have fallen off as His Word and precious blood continuously wash me.
May my life now magnify God through the Son and Holy Ghost. Christ is the LORD of my heart and is putting all things back together for His name’s sake, little by little, day by day. Yeshua gave me true knowledge by revealing Himself to me through His Word, His Spirit, and through others. Faith through Christ is the single most precious gift I’ve ever received. Once I got into His Word, everything changed!
For we have all fallen short of YHWH’s law and glory. But Christ paid it. Praise Him for the finished work on the cross! Now all the weary and broken souls can come to Him for healing and rest. What a magnificent message! This is my heart to be led by Him into the field to find others that need His saving grace. The battle for souls becomes more real as I walk with Him. We are either enlisted, or we are not. Despite the struggles and hardships of life, He cares for us.
This is where the Christian Leaders Institute and my studies there are helping me. Currently, with an injured back and time off, I’ve been able to hone my knowledge with topics that aid with day-to-day ministering. I enjoy the practical applications I’ve been taught, such as the 7 connections. The third connection, specifically, the family, is a current focus for my wife and me. We have benefited from its teachings and lectures. With our blended family, rearing 3 teenagers, the struggles are fierce and large, but our LORD is bigger. We put our faith in Him. With YHWH, all things are possible!
CLI Goals: More Ministry Courses
I have my sights fixed on achieving the basic evangelism award with more ministry courses. I plan on using it practically to bolster my learning to effectively minister to others—one step at a time with Him leading. So Lord willing, once I complete that award, I will seek Him for further direction on whether I take more ministry courses.
31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
John 8:31, 32 KJV
Believing is only the start. Let us labor while it’s still day, dear Brothers and Sisters. Unite in Christ Yeshua and Him alone, Jehovah-Nissi!