For many years, as most of you know, I devoted myself to seminary and studying the Scriptures virtually full time. Those days were some of the most rewarding of my entire career. I developed several friendships that have withstood the test of time. You have read about my friend Paul Reed many times – he was my closest seminary friend the entire time we went to school together. Years of theology, Hebrew and Greek were all classes that we took together and he was the classmate that became a study partner each evening and would spend hours on the phone going over our homework.
I kept thinking that when I finished school I would be asked to pastor a church and my days in the corporate world would be over. I did quite a bit of ministry work in the field of career transition and that topic was the basis of my dissertation when I earned my Doctor of Ministry degree. Several dear friends of mine assisted with the ministry and I eventually became consumed with the idea of writing a book about career transition.
In fact, another friend of mine, Jonathan Byrd, who passed away several years ago, encouraged me to write a series of books about all kinds of transitions. He correctly stated that I usually intersect the lives of people when they are going through some sort of life change – single to married, employed to unemployed, etc. I thought that eventually I would start on that series. I’ve never written a book and quite frankly, I thought it would be a rather daunting task. So… I decided that I needed to work up to a book. That’s how this blog, Transitions by the Book, got started. Jonathan’s idea but put to use by writing a series of posts that would hopefully speak into the lives of others. And now, tonight I’m writing post number 743 – and although I have written almost 750,000 words, STILL NO BOOK!
But another classmate of mine was a young man who had a great future ahead of him. He had completed his undergraduate work and entered seminary about the same time Paul and I did. I took several theology, Greek and Hebrew classes with him. Ryan was a Canadian who studied in the US and then, several years into seminary, accepted a pastorate back in Canada. He ended up in Nova Scotia and took over a small church with a committed congregation. Here I was, an older guy who couldn’t find a church, and then there is Ryan, who was sought after as a pastor. Go figure! I couldn’t have been happier for my young friend – a wonderful man of the Lord who has dedicated himself to furthering the kingdom here on earth.
Well, to cut to the chase, Ryan started writing a daily devotional, similar to mine, but he concentrated more on exegetical study of the Scriptures – in other words, he liked writing verse by verse commentary on books of the Bible. And then, rather suddenly, he stopped writing and I didn’t hear from him until several days ago. He announced that he had compiled his daily writings into a commentary, starting with the book of 1 Samuel – and today the book went on sale on Amazon and in Canada – I couldn’t believe it! And Ryan King appropriately named his series, “King’s Commentaries.” So if you have some compelling interest in reading about 1 Samuel, Ryan has done all the heavy lifting for you. I already downloaded my copy this evening on my Kindle.
Although I would have liked to have a verse from 1 Samuel for this evening, I thought a verse from the New Testament, in the King James Version, was more appropriate. We are told in 2 Tim 2:15, “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” That’s exactly what Ryan did. He studied and used that education to teach others. My encouragement this evening is that each of us has special gifts and talents that can be used for the kingdom. My prayer is that we all will listen to the leadings of the Holy Spirit and act on those holy impulses. Who knows? Maybe someday I will even compile book from these devotions as well! Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…