Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Call

I've spent the better part of my life working on the Christian faith. Asking questions about it, struggling with it, wrestling with the God of our faith. I have wanted more than anything else to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I have been privileged to do so.

When I was just 18 years old, I was sure of God's call on my life. Even if I wasn't called to preach, I wouldn't have been able to get away from the claim of the church on my life. From my birth, mother, who was separated from my father when I was a year old, my grandmother and grandfather took me to church. You could say, well, there wasn't much else to do then. But, as I remember it no one else in my grandmother's family went to church.

Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night we were there. We were there, not because we thought we had to go, but because my family could not imagine life that was not shaped by the church.

Now, all this doesn't mean that our little church was perfect. It most certainly was not perfect. It was a mill church and there were times when I remember shouting matches and fierce disagreements. But, through it all, in spite of some of it, I met Jesus Christ. I was drawn into this fellowship.

No matter whether I was a preacher or not, I would have not been able to construct my life without the church. At eighteen, I was sure I was called to preach. I can't explain it really. It was a feeling, a notion, an idea, but it was more than that. It was a compulsion to preach.

I knew that the stories of the Bible were mine, and that I would spend my life working for and with Christian faith. My favorite verse when I was struggling with God's call was from Jeremiah chapter 20. Jeremiah says: "If I say I will not mention him (God) or speak anymore in his name there is, as it were, a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with keeping it in and I cannot."

I still feel the same compulsion to preach. What a privilege to be able to stand in the pulpit at Bethel Church and offer God's word. God help me to do it faithfully.

See you in Church!
Dave Nichols

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Welcome

Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.
Blessings!
Dave

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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