There are moments in your life when you know that you are experiencing God’s “smile” in special ways. Last night was one of those moments for me and I thought I would write about it so that others might experience His smile in a similar way one day as well.
The event that I was a part of last night was the Ordination Service for my friend Dee Hammond. Dee has been working for Chestnut Presbyterian Church in North Georgia for almost 15 years and finally completed his Masters of Divinity as well as all the required exams to be an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church of America. I had the privilege of giving Dee his “pastoral charge” last night during the service.
I met Dee in the fall of 1996. I had just started my work with Campus Outreach at West Georgia College (now University). I desired to start a Bible study with the men of the Chi Phi fraternity. I thought a great first step was to discuss this potential opportunity with the president of the fraternity, who happened to be Dee. So I invited Dee to breakfast. During our first breakfast together I learned that Dee himself was interested in learning more about God and His Word, but didn’t have his own Bible.
A few weeks later I gave Dee a blue NIV Bible. Inside the front cover I wrote a note to him that in essence said, “I hope that this Bible will become the foundation that your life is built upon. It is the ‘bread of life.’” The date in that Bible was November 19, 1996. Dee came to know Christ one month later on December 30, 1996 – this he wrote himself on the inside of the Bible. I shared this with the congregation and with Dee last night as part of his charge. I also gave him a new Bible with a new inscription in it – this charge:
- Pray with Humility and Power
- Preach with Humility and Power
- Live with Humility and Power
- Disciple with Humility and Power
After the service was over, I began to mingle and interact with many people in the church. At first a mother came up to me and said, “Thank you for taking Dee to breakfast, he led my son to Christ a few years ago.” Then a college student said, “Thanks for going to breakfast with Dee, he has been discipling me for the last 3 years.” Then another, “Thanks for giving Dee that Bible, God has used him powerfully in my life.” This happened at least 5 other times last night. One young man even said that God was leading him to be a missionary in South Africa because of the influence that Dee had on his life. I spoke with people in the congregation from Latino backgrounds, African American backgrounds, new/young in the faith and seasoned saints who all had been directly impacted through the life and ministry of Dee Hammond. I was overwhelmed at what God was doing in Dee’s life.
The words “thank you for the breakfast” are almost too simple. Could it be this easy? If the Lord is in it, then YES! My encouragement to myself and to others that labor to see the souls of men and women saved and strengthened in the Lord is to always eat a good breakfast, you just never know where it might lead!