Psalm 37:23 - "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way."
On this night, New Years Eve, seven years ago, God called me out of an 18 year boxing career and into a life of "occupational" ministry. During these last seven years I have spoken at hundreds of different venues, including churches, Christian events, public schools, colleges, youth detention centers, prisons, boxing gyms, mma gyms and more. I have been an evangelist, a pastor, a Bible teacher and a church planter. I have lived in seven different homes in three different states and have served on the staff of 4 different churches, while having two new daughters.
These seven years have been an incredible journey and I am thankful for each step of the way. Although much of this journey was very enjoyable and a blessing, much of the time seemed as though we were wandering around in the wilderness. Hindsight shows a different story, however. As I look back I see the faithfulness of God, lovingly guiding our family and ministry, growing us, preparing us and bringing us into this incredible new season of life.
We now live in a small town that I first visited at 16 years old with Amy Elder, my wife of over 12 years. For the first time ever, we feel truly settled and at home. I believe God has brought us into a type of "promised land", where we will be for many years to come. It seems as though our years of pilgrimage are now complete and we can enter into a new season of life, serving the Lord and enjoying the blessings of being in His sovereign, fore-ordained, predestined will.
Why is this so significant to me on this day (after exactly seven years of ministry)? Because seven is the number symbolic of completion. Our pilgrimage is now complete....and eight is the number symbolic of new beginnings. With our "wanderings" now complete, we have entered into a new beginning, now entering into our 8th year of ministry. Call me crazy, but I love to see the confirmation of God, lighting the way and assuring me of my place in His perfect will. Quite simply, there's no better place to be than the will of God.
Proverbs 16:9 - "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."