Friday, April 9, 2010

Tracing Spiritual Formation

I did something today that turned out to be a great blessing! I spent the past couple of days in Greenville, PA, visiting with my dad @ the nursing home. As I left to return home to Indiana, I took a different route to the interstate. The route I took led me past the church where I was saved and where I received my call to ministry. Even though the church fell on some bad times many years ago and the buildings are now occupied by a different ministry, I felt compelled to stop. I wanted to stick my head into the place where the foundations of my spiritual development were laid.

The current pastor of the church, Pastor Jim and his wife, Pastor Jan, graciously allowed me to look around. Memories flooded my mind and my heart. Then Pastor Jim invited me to his office (my old senior high Sunday School classroom!). As we shared together, I was able to help fill in the blanks on a few years of the church's history - the "boom years" of the church. But more important, he shared with me how the vision given to him for this church in 1993 was identical to the one given to my pastor, Rev. Clemens Farver, way back in the late 1960's! We rejoiced in the fact that while the "players" have changed, the mission hasn't!

Those of you who know me know that I am not a sentimental person. But as I got up to leave, I shook Pastor Jim's hand, and I prayed. I wept as I asked God to "do it again," just as he had during those days long ago. God is blessing the ministry there in a new and fresh way, but in many ways, it felt like it did those many years ago.

I have never put much stock in places. That's been a mistake! Today I realized why God told the Israelites to pile up stones, or name cities certain names, or why certain stands of trees where so important. They were spiritual markers as well as reminders of what God had done. Today, I visited one of those markers in my life. It was a rewarding visit, and one that I will make again and again. Let me challenge you to go back to a spiritual high water mark place in your life. Allow God to speak to your heart afresh.

Thank you, Pastor Jim, for allowing me the privilege of spending time with you and for your faithfulness to God's unchanging call and plan!


  1. Dave, I remember that church. Very cool! I still can't believe that they allowed us (me) to preach one weekend we went up to Maysville.
    You were home-grown and they loved you, but they didn't know me from Adam. Amazing group of people.
    It is good to remember and be able to go back and revisit things/places/people of the past who have made an impact on our lives. It reminds us how good has been to us, as well as HOW GOOD HE IS TO US NOW!!

  2. "Those of you who know me know I'm not a sentimental person..." I know you fairly well and you are extremely sentimental. Don't hide it. I'm glad when you share these secrets with us.

  3. I, too, grew up in the church at Maysville and accepted Christ in one of Inez's Sunday School classes. By the way, Pastor Farver is still alive and is 100 years old today!

  4. Joyce, I don't know how I missed your post from several months ago! When were you at Maysville?