Let’s Try This Again . . .

When we first formed the “Arming the Saints Ministries,” Denise and I were figuring that we’d actually be ministering. And, in fact, we have been. It just hasn’t appeared that way, though, and so I thought I’d at least explain why.

Those of you who know us know that we try to follow God wherever He takes us, and we try to do whatever He tells us to do without question. But that doesn’t always lead to the kinds of lives that we would have predicted for ourselves. For example, until God wanted me to go back to live with my dad when he was so sick, I never would have predicted that I would become a 24-hour-a-day home health care worker. But that’s what I became, and I soon realized that my ministry was right there, taking care of my dad. So until all of that happened, and until Denise got a new job not too long ago, I think we both just figured that we’d gradually work on our ATS ministry until that was what we would be doing full time. We predicted a certain life together, but it turns out that God had other plans.

In fact, what God wanted me to do after taking care of my dad was to help re-design our country’s system of criminal justice to be more fair and more loving (if you can call a thing like a criminal justice system “loving”) for all people. For the last two years, that’s all I’ve done, but I could never have done it without God also guiding Denise into a job that would pay for all of my free work. If you’ve read her book, you know that Denise and I don’t believe in coincidences, and so we believe that everything has worked out exactly the way God planned it. We still consider ourselves blessed; we’ve never really wanted or needed much, and God has allowed us to continue a ministry through our work.

Still, there’s so much going on with us and our walk that it would be a shame not to at least write about it here. Unfortunately, Denise simply doesn’t have the time; she’s doing what she probably does best – spending her entire day (and well into the night) helping people through their world problems with a supernatural perspective. A lot of folks call it a “workplace ministry,” and that’s exactly what it is. There’s no pulpit and no pews, but she demonstrates God’s love by showing how that love can play out in the world each day. But that’s no excuse for me. I have time. In fact, I’m going to start making time because I honestly just feel a lot better if I spend a portion of every day talking about God.

So, anyway, I’ll be the one writing this blog for a while, but Denise will always be right here with me. We pretty much think exactly the same way on just about everything, anyway, and so you might not even notice too much of a difference.

And since I was talking about trying to predict our lives, let’s start with something about prediction that I saw the other day in a magazine. The editors of the magazine asked a variety of historians, legal scholars, and authors, “What is the greatest upset in history?” The answers were all over the map, and included sporting events, battles, and other historical happenings. But the one that got my attention was from a legal type (like me), who said that Christianity was the biggest upset because nobody “would have predicted that today the faith of billions would bear [Jesus’s] name.” Of course, we know that’s wrong. God knew it, and in fact Jesus even told his disciples, just as the scriptures foretold, that the story of Christ, and repentance, and forgiveness of sins would be preached to all nations. When Jesus told them this, the Bible says that he “opened their minds” so that they could understand the scriptures. The phrase “opened their minds,” according to John MacArthur in his Bible commentary, “seems to convey a supernatural opening of their minds to receive the truths He unfolded.” But really, these truths were foretold as prophesy in the OT, and so pretty much everyone back then had some ability to predict that when the Messiah came, his following would ultimately span the earth.

So even when things seem like they don’t go as predicted, when you follow God you should take solace in the fact that they are likely going exactly as predicted by Him. God has us all in His hands, there’s nothing to fear, and if you decide to follow Him, you’ll end up doing a ministry somewhere, somehow. He has it all figured out, and it’s all part of that amazing plan that He has for your life. There are no coincidences, and there really aren’t any upsets. There’s only the truth as unfolded by Jesus.

I’m Denise’s husband, Timothy Crane, and I’m going to do my best to talk about our walk with God more often because I think that’s what God wants me to do. I hope you will, too.

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