Frank Sinatra did it ‘his way’. A lot of others have done it their own way and it worked fine. I like that. I admire someone who goes at the world full blast and makes a success of it. There’s definitely something to be said for those who do it like that. But I”m in a vocation where doing it ‘my way’ just won’t work.
I grew up a cowboy; not a wannabe cowboy, a real one. That’s really all I ever wanted to be. But along about 1986 my life took a very unexpected turn. I’d began attending church in my little hometown of Allison, Texas somewhere around 1985 and it wasn’t long after that I felt like I needed to be involved more than just showing up on Sundays. So I did. My first spot was to teach the teenage Sunday School class in the First Baptist Church. There I was, 32 years old, and having not grown up in church trying to teach a dozen or more teenagers who all grew up in church and for the most part from good, committed Christian families. All of them knew a lot more Bible than I did. But it was an incredible place for me to grow. Not once did I show up for that class without studying and preparing. Heck, I knew I had to or I’d be ‘busted’! I grew a lot in those couple of years and nearly all of those teenagers are some amazing, productive kingdom adults today. I’d like to think I had just a little to do with it. That feels good.
The Lord really started dealing with me about ministry. I gave my testimony a time or two at different places and it seemed like the Lord really blessed it. I remember well the day that I ‘knew’ I was called. I went to town from the ranch and talked to my Pastor, Ronnie Chadwick. I told him I felt like the Lord was calling me to ‘preach’. That was the only terminology I had at the time. I remember his advice clearly, “Forget it, Andy”. I said, “What do you mean, forget it?” He said, “Because if you can forget it, it ain’t God!” Great advice! And I couldn’t forget it.
So, here I am today, thirty years later with a great church full of amazing people. The challenges have never stopped, facing some big ones even today. But the Lord is faithful. I mean, really faithful! To bless a guy like me who knew absolutely nothing about the kingdom of God. I say it often….and it’s true; I’m just living proof that the Lord can use anybody!
I hope when I’m done somebody will notice that I didn’t do it ‘my way’! It’d be nice to be remembered as somebody who did it, “HIS Way”!!
PS-I’m still a Cowboy!