“A third time the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, “I’m here. You called me?” Then Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So Eli said to Samuel, “Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord. Your servant is
listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down where he’d been. Then the Lord came and stood there, calling just as before, “Samuel, Samuel!”
Samuel said, “Speak. Your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:8-10 CEB
If you are listening, and recognizing that God is calling you, it becomes a powerful hold on you life. Now that doesn’t mean when you hear God calling you will become a pastor. That just happened to be the case for me. God had called me at a very early age, and then just kept on calling. At first I was unsure who was calling and later, like Moses, I ran from the calling as fast and as far as I could. But, as fate would have it, a strong call from God finally ends in surrender. Or should I say begins in surrender.
So here I am. I had retired in 2016, for 30 months when God called again and I spent 10 months that turned into 22 months as interim pastor at St. Johns UMC in Kingman Arizona. I was ready to retire again but God had other plans for me. I got the call from Nancy Cushman our West District Superintendent. And here I am. Once again I can feel Gods call on my life and all I can say is, Yes! Here I am, Lord.
I look forward to our journey together and pray that God’s call is strong in each of your lives. And when you might feel that you are not quite feeling it; know that God’s Spirit is with you. That also means that I am with you, the leadership of Chino Valley UMC is with you, and the whole congregation is with you. Can I get an Amen. All of us together are the hands and feet and eyes and heart of Christ. Are you ready for an incredible journey? I know I am. Let’s go!!
Grace and Peace In Christ
Pastor Bob Gilfert