Clarity comes from choosing God’s will
May 14, 2014, was a day that I received some terrible personal news. I do not need to go into details, but in the year since my world turned upside down, God has been faithful throughout.
Here is what I wrote in my journal the next day.
“Tonight I turned into the parking lot of the wrong restaurant. As I was turning around Mary saw a rainbow in the eastern sky and wanted to stop and pray. When we finished praying I looked in my rear view mirror to back up a little and there was a shiny new Cadillac. I took this as a reminder from the Lord that His promise is about looking forward and that I need to put the things of this world in my rear view mirror. The rainbow from God was fuzzy, but the car in rear view mirror was clear and sharp. Initially, the things we need to leave behind are clearer than the things we need to take hold of. But after we take hold of the promises of God, they become clear and as we turn away from the things of this world, they become fuzzy.”
Concerning the things of God becoming clearer, it has been seven months since I joined OJPM as executive chaplain and I am beginning to see that one of the major responsibilities I have here is to manage the finances. OJPM has been blessed with increased ministry opportunities and increased financial support. However, the increased ministry opportunities have outstripped the increased financial support.
The clarity that God has given me for the second half of 2015 is to pull back the expenses and to redouble the efforts in telling the OJPM story. This includes a new budget and a special guest for our annual appreciation banquet.
The new budget is for July through December 2015. It has already been approved by the board of directors and is based upon the donations that we received for the same time period of 2014. This will serve as a reset that will bring our expenses in line with our expected donations. Once our finances have been balanced we can then move forward in ministry at the same pace as our donations grow.
The special guest for our annual appreciation banquet is Senator James Lankford. Senator Lankford is a strong believer in OJPM and was excited to accept Joe Williams’ invitation. Because of his challenging schedule, Senator Lankford will make his presentation via video. I have heard wonderful testimonies from past banquets and I trust this one will be an even greater time of honoring our volunteers, donors and of course our Lord.
The banquet will be a special time of telling the OJPM story and giving all our friends an opportunity to join in this ministry we love so much. The banquet will be Friday, September 18, at First Baptist Church, Moore. Mark this date and I will get you details as they develop and how you can RSVP.
I trust you see clearly that OJPM is a worthy ministry to receive your donations. Here are six things that I see that should garner your trust:
1. OJPM partners with churches in fulfilling the Great Commission
2. OJPM transforms the lives of inmates and volunteers
3. OJPM staff have a heart to minister to “the least of these”
4. OJPM has a clear vision of one-to-one inmate ministry
5. OJPM has financial integrity with multiple checks and balances in our record keeping
6. OJPM has leadership you respect
I have found clarity with God’s will in my life by making choices at each turn to follow His direction. Let me ask you to help OJPM find clarity with this new budget by praying to the Lord about how He wants you to support our ministry during the next six months. Also, with the usual summer slow down of donations, these next few months could be positively impacted by your prayer and support.
Gaining more clarity each day,