My name is Larry, and I am getting ministry training and ordination at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible classes, Click Here). “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
My Early Years
As a young child, my family was very involved in the church. Both of my parents taught Sunday school. During the week, my father had an occasional prayer breakfast with other men. My mother stayed at home. She was a babysitter, and other young kids filled our house. My mom would go over her Sunday School lessons with the kids. They loved the stories. It was a great way to present the gospel to them and for her to practice the lessons.
However, things changed in my teenage years. My parents put their faith to the side and began spending time in the bar – alcohol and partying replaced the Bible stories. However, they never denied their faith. They stop practicing it. It was this change in lifestyle that was detrimental to their marriage and our family. Eventually, it led to divorce – ending a 26-year marriage.
My Spiritual Journey
In the meantime, I had graduated high school and joined the Army. The on-again, off-again faith plagued me for several years. I always felt secure in my faith but lived in grace as I pursued worldly passions. I knew I was not living right. There were times I came back, putting the drinking and related lifestyle on hold to pursue my walk with God. Then, I would find myself weak and give in to the world around me. However, the Lord never gave up on me. As I continued to seek him and his will for my life, he revealed himself to me. The times I strayed became fewer, the joy I received from the world began to diminish. I wanted nothing to do with it.
In 1992, I met Rene. She had a real heart for the Lord. She and I were kind of in the same place with the world. I loved her from the moment I saw her. Her desire to know more about the Lord resonated with me. We began to spend more and more time in God’s Word. When we met, I was training to be a Green Beret, which consumed a lot of my time. Rene had just completed four years of service with the Air Force. She came back to North Carolina for my graduation but then returned home and began school in Nebraska. I was heartbroken. I thought she would stay, and we would be married.
Rene and I had only known each other for six months. Four of those months, I was gone, training. Then, two weeks after she started school, she decided to come back to North Carolina. Two weeks after that, we married. It was a small ceremony outside in the rose garden of Fayetteville Technical College. We are approaching 30 years of marriage, have raised two wonderful boys, and now enjoy our grandchildren.
A Stable, Christian Home
My life experience convinced me that I wanted a stable, Christian home for our family. I knew I could not do it alone. It had to be her desire as well. God has blessed us. It has not always been easy, nor has it always been pretty, but we have provided that stable constant example of faith for our family. God willing, we will continue to do so.
I like to say that we grew up in the church with our kids. When they were in children’s church, we were involved with the ministry – spending time in the nursery and teaching. When they were in middle school and junior high, we taught those classes. The same with high school and young adults. Now that we are “empty nesters,” we sought out other ministry opportunities. One of which was starting the Asher Family Foundation working to support marriage and families. Our goal is to partner with churches and other ministries to support them as God leads.
Ministry Training and Ordination at CLI
The training I am receiving from the Christian Leaders Institute (CLI) is helping me to define my ministry further and prepare me for that calling. So far, I have completed the licensed wedding officiant course. Now I am nearing completion of the Deacon Ministry Ordination. The process of ministry training and ordination has been more beneficial than I imagined. We have examined our calling, discussed being tested, learned basic Christian doctrine, and much more. CLI is quality education, a worthwhile endeavor, and a true work of the Lord!