In primary school, I really began to like writing because of the grades that I started to receive, but as I launched into my High School career I really started seeing the value of being a good communicator. I recall taking a Composition class in High School and really loving the challenge of drawing understanding from the books and material that were being presented to us and then turning my innermost a loose and turning those thoughts into a body of work that let my educator know that I “Got it!”
The process of writing with proper English was something that my Mom demanded. When my Sisters and I would ask her how to spell a word, she would point to the bookshelf where the encyclopedias and dictionaries were and tell us to sound it out and go look it up. If we really needed help finding a word, she would help us sound out the word well enough to locate the word in the dictionary, but she made us work for it. This was principally because she wanted us to be independent thinkers in school and the educational process (long-term).
L.A. County Sheriff’s Department
The training that I received from home and in Primary and High School began to pay dividends once I entered the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. In my first week-end of the Academy I was directed to write three research papers when I was by default placed on point as the Cadet Class Leader. I remember one of the research papers was entitled “Why It Is Important to Keep the Gun Hand Free.” Because, as I said, I was the Cadet Class Leader for that first week, I made quite a few miss-steps (seen and unseen) and paid for it in research papers. The research papers were all 5 full College configured paper. Because the Department was still not in the automated era yet we still hand wrote all reports.
As I recall when I got home that Friday evening and told my wife about the circumstances of the week, she was challenged by the situation also, but vowed to support me through it. We had just purchased a word processor computer (antique by today’s standards) but adequate to help us get through that challenging moment. So, I set up a work station in our apartment bedroom and hunkered down for the week-end. I wrote, wrote and rewrote after applying the basics of the outlining process and theme management. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. I suppose that enduring that endeavor proved to the staff that I really wanted to win and those research papers where the Segway into my becoming the Academy Honor Cadet. Needless-to-say that in that first week-end of writing, I had thoughts of quitting, but my faith kicked in and reminded me that something worth having is worth fighting for.
Answering the Calling to Preach the Gospel of Jesus the Christ
The calling on my life became obvious to me once I began to examine scripture for myself as an adult parent. The funny thing is that when I was a young lad my Grandpa use to tell me (from time to time), “boy you are going to be a preacher one day!” At the time that notion didn’t even register on the Richter Scale of my innermost motivations. However, the calling grew louder and louder in my soul.
I remember studying over Samuels’ life and hearing how the Lord called him (audibly) on several occasions, to the point that he was troubled in his spirit. He went to the man of God (Eli) to get a response, but Samuel was finally told to say the next time he heard his name called, “Speak Lord for thy servant hears!” As I studied that story, I recognized the value of hearing what the Lord was saying (in the present). I learned that to stand behind the sacred desk and to proclaim God’s uncompromised Word was to “study to show thyself approved, a workman that needs not be ashamed, but rightly able to divide, or sum up the truth.” This calling made me study hard and write feverishly. I started to compile notebooks like crazy to the point of overwhelming saturation. This is the mark of a preacher; the love of God’s Word and the love of His people.
Inspired by The Holy Spirit
Once I recognized the calling of Almighty God on my life, I began to line my life up with the Holy Scriptures to see if “there was a word from the Lord?” Over and over again in the preparation of a message for Sunday Morning, the Holy Spirit would always somehow draw out a word from this flesh that was pertinent for today. I am not the sharpest cutting edge in the shed, but I am able to rightly divide or sum up the word of truth. I don’t think that you ever master the art of preaching, but “the gifts and the callings of God are without repentance.” Once you receive the inspiration to share in the word you learn how to have fun with it.