Monday, October 24, 2016

Amazing Bethany Part II

     A year or so ago I wrote an article titled "Amazing Bethany".  I want to follow up.  This place, this property, this people called Bethany Holiness Church never cease to amaze me.  There are not a lot of us.  Maybe 300 if we were really all in one place at one time.  But it seems to me that the impact is always much greater.  There are so many things getting done here.  So much being accomplished here and so many being touched from here.

     I am the kind of guy that is always trying to put things into perspective.  I like to see the "whole picture".  And here is just a glimpse.  In a matter of just a few short days.  Our Pastor, Darrell Toliver, our Assistant Pastor, James Burgess and some other ministers have preached some of the most incredible sermons from theses premises.  Understand what makes them so incredible is not necessarily their intellectual level, their charisma, their rhythm and rhyme or their persuasive power to control and cause people to see it their way.  Rather it was the spirit behind the men and messages that was so great.  Humble, Godly, praying men with clean hands, right spirits and intentions to present a pure gospel.  One where the sweet Holy Ghost of Heaven would be allowed to use them and do his marvelous works in the hearts of men, women and children.

     Many of these sermons were broadcast literally around the world by the sound booth staff, live as they were being preached and archived for future listening.  Broadcast to regular followers and those whom the Lord might lead to "randomly" intersect with.  All the while this is happening there are wives, children, co-laboreres and faithful followers listening, gleaning, absorbing and praying in the wings.

     During the same days there are about 60 students from pre-K to 12th grade that are attending full time accredited Christian Schooling on the premises.  Board members, principal, teachers, teachers aides, cooks, etc all doing their part to further the education of another generation in a way much more fitting to a once great and Godly nation than what the federal government is currently providing.

     While this is happening we are in a complete remodel of our primary sanctuary with new carpet, paint, pews, fixtures, pulpit, sound booth, entry, classes and offices all being redone.  Men are coming in through out the day and staying up to all hours of the night doing their part and donating their expertise.  The saints are meeting in a very nice make shift sanctuary set up in our gymnasium and the school is having to alter it's daily routine to conform to not being able to use the gym or the full kitchen facilities.

     As this all goes on there are special guests being brought in to teach and preach Chapel services during the day to further the well rounded Christian education of our youth.  This is all compounded by the fact that some awesome young men and women of our faith spend hundreds of man hours putting on a Fall Harvest Party Fundraiser to generate money for our school, Bethany Christian Academy.  Many of the people that were involved in the Harvest Party are doing double time or even triple time at the school and at full time jobs and other outside affiliated ministries.

     While all of this continued our church raised almost 4,000.00 this weekend for our Pastor to take on a trip with him to Panama this week.  He is the President of an international mission organization that is sponsoring a large Pastors meeting in Panama right now.  While most in the home church were having church in our evening service last night, several were with my family and I in Tulsa where I was preaching for Full Gospel World Mission Church.  We had many representatives from churches all around the United States in the form of Bible College student from Ozark Bible Institute.  They were traveling with Servant's Heart Outreach and stopped to be in service with us.

     Some of the ladies that were in that service were from Bethany, visiting Full Gospel and work at our HMA affiliate women's and babies home Martha's Heart.  Others that were in the service attend church regularly at Landmark Tabernacle in Sand Springs, OK, have direct ties with Bethany and work full time at The Saving Place where they help generate income for MANY MANY outreach ministry projects and support me and my family to do our ministries.

     There are ladies going into jail services and making contact with women that have horrible life struggles and these ladies are advised by myself about how to help the women.  We provide food, counseling, shelter, jobs, prayer, etc for people getting out of jail, struggling with addictions and much much more.  Much of which is financed by the regular weekly and monthly donations from families all around the country including a large number of the families from Bethany Holiness Church.

     There is a weekly county jail service put on by our Pastors brother, David Toliver that is also the county chaplain.  Many different men from the home church have attended these services regularly or at least from time to time when they can.  They also take a group at intervals into a state correction facility to present the gospel there.

     During this exact same time frame we have been raising money to fix up some churches, vans, buses and outreach buildings across the country.  We are attempting to distribute outreach, discipleship, church growth, addiction and biblical marriage material all around the United States.  We have partnered with some people to help us reproduce these materials in Spanish so that we can begin to distribute them into South America.  We are moving a Sister from Virginia to Sapulpa, OK during all of this.  She is going to help in multiple outreach programs and attend church at Bethany.  We had a minister move to Sapulpa this week from Texas to begin the process of integrating back into the "Body Bethany".  We are daily on the phone and the computer with young pastors, currently from 17 states, working with them on their doctrine, outreach, discipleship, fellowship and church growth.

     ARE YOU GETTING THE PICTURE?!?!  We have missionaries, evangelist, preachers, teachers, organizers, helpers, financiers, workers, followers, parents, leaders, business owners, prayer warriors and educators all hailing from Bethany.  Some work here full time, some come and go from here, some base out of other places but purpose to stop and spend what time they can here.  It is a testament to the leadership, the leadership styles, the history and especially the diligence to being like Christ that the men and women that worship here belong to!!!

     I have been asked at least 100 times in the last decade.  What makes Bethany like that?  Why is it working like that?  Tell us the key, etc?  First of all.  I have only been here for 10 years or so and I am only one small part of it all.  So for me to answer for Bethany as a whole would be ridiculous.  But this much I know.  People at Bethany tend to think before they speak, more than a lot of places that I know.  In the leadership for sure.  There seem to be less chips on shoulders, more big picture thinkers and more time and room to let things go before having to make a big deal out of them.  Bethany people tend to be "benefit of the doubt" people.  Less cultic and more cultural.  Less "my way or the highway" and more inclusive.  They are the kind of people that would often be described as easier going, sweet spirited, kind, helping, "real".  Bethany has not traditionally been a safe sanctuary for people that want to tell tales, gossip, crank it down and make people toe the line.  It is a place of refuge.  A place to learn, to better, to grow to pull up.

     Bethany, as always, I muse...YOU AMAZE ME!!!

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Full Circle

This is my Father. Donald Ray Sloggett. I left him when I was 10 and didn't come back home until I was almost 15. Even then I was in and out of the house for several years. My Dad was always there for me and helped take care of my family all the way up until I left to evangelize full time when I was about 32 years old. 
Last year, my Dad went through some very rough times and ended up at rock bottom. After working very hard all of his life and amassing a good living and nest egg, he ended up basically homeless. He had his dog and some clothes and was living in his car, talking about going to a homeless shelter. My Dad has done more for more people than almost any person I have ever met and here he was with nothing and he had all but given up. 
Through the help of all of the saints and sponsors of HMA, we were able to help him in an amazing way. We took him in and took him to church and helped sort out his difficulties. One of the HMA ministry partners provided the platform that we were able to re-launch my Dad's life from. At 77 years old, he is starting over. 
My Dad came to Bethany and listened to the preaching of Pastor Darrel Toliver and myself and prayed and sought the Lord and his counsel. He would come to my office and ask advice and debate what to do or not do. We were able to re-work his finances and he was able to work through his thoughts and feelings. He was able to keep his dog and his car, both of which he was sure that he had to give up. 
Many of the saints would encourage him and give to him and it touched him very deeply. My Dad had lost his home, his business, his income, nearly his emotional stability and nearly his sanity. But today things are different. 
He left Oklahoma to go back to Idaho where he is from. He is re-opening his business, moving into an apartment and has all his ducks back in a row. The whole process took 8 months. THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!!! I weep as I type this post. I am sooooo incredibly blessed to get to help addicts, give hope to the hopeless, see God fix the broken and bless the undeserving, etc. etc. But to be able to do what we do...for my own FATHER is more than this mortal heart can hardly stand. 
I know some of you don't get it. You don't understand what we are doing or why we are doing it or how it works or how it can be done through goof balls like us. But this thing called HMA is a network of preachers, teachers, counsellors, businessmen, Pastors, Saints, prayer warrior and workers, that are finding new ways everyday to reach the Least, the Last and the Lost. 
There are not enough hours in the day for me to tell you all of the stories of those that are receiving help through your efforts in supporting us and working with us, but this one was too special to go untold. 
Special, special thanks to The Dustin Toliver family, Pastor Darrell Toliver and the wonderful saints at Bethany Holiness Church, The Hugh Heneger family, The Mathew Castleberry

 family and my precious, loving wife and children for making this possible. Also a very special thank you to the regular financial donors of HMA. God bless each and every one of you.
This is the real Church, this is true Christianity, this is Biblical Holiness.
Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett

Always Ready to Serve!

2nd TIMOTHY 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
I woke up this morning shortly before 4am in a motel room in Oklahoma City. Drove my truck 7 miles to the airport and flew to North Carolina, switched planes and flew to Lexington, Kentucky. Rented a car, drove to my motel in Richmond, changed clothes and drove to a meeting in London. 
By the time the meeting was almost over it was around 9pm and I was feeling my long hard day. Pastor Michael Wilson then said to me, "Would you like to preach in Laurel County Jail?" I said, "I would LOVE to. When?" "In about 20 minutes", he said. 
I was in a rental car, no Bible, no notes, no preparation, study or prayer time. No intention of preaching today, but there I was about 15 minutes later. Walking down the halls of the jail. 
It just so happened that I was able to borrow a guitar on the way into the jail and I had been pondering a thought in my mind all day about a scripture. We went in with some amazing brothers in the Lord and they brought us 40 broken, sin stained men that were somebody's sons, husbands and daddys. 
A brother sang and some others testified. The Lord moved mightily! I sang a song and preached for about 25 or 30 minutes and gave an altar call. About 20 men came foward and knelt on the concrete floor to submit to the Master! 
Men cried, prayed and confessed. It was beautiful. Before I left the jail I was allowed a private meeting with a young man that I had never we met but have been praying for, for years. His family members are close personal friends of mine. Pray for him, God knows. 
Pray for the Brothers that do this blessed work on a regular basis and say a prayer for the men that were touched during the service tonight. 
It's almost 1:30am, I am in another motel room and I wouldn't trade my life for anything. I live a charmed life...
In service of the Master,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


     Ok, this miracle has got so many twists and turns to it, I will try to do it justice. We at HMA have an affiliate that we support that is a Pregnancy Support Center. It is an alternative center to abortion. The main center has an ultra sound machine that is very important in helping convince expecting mothers not to abort. There is another clinic that doesn't have one. (actually several). This ministry is in North Carolina. 

     My wife and I went from our home in Oklahoma to preach and be a part of a Camp Meeting in Ohio. While we were there on Thursday morning, I mentioned the need of another ultra sound machine. Friday morning we went back to the church to speak again and someone was there that wanted to give us an ultra sound machine. There is a lady that was raised Catholic and had 2 abortions before she was 19. At nineteen she got saved. Since then she has been a staunch pro-life supporter. Her husband is a doctor and when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, they went down to help with the clean up. Some how through their dealings with people that they helped or met while doing that, they ended up with an ultra sound machine. They have had it for several years. 

     This women woke up Friday morning, (the morning after I expressed the need) she just so happened to be about 20 miles away from where I was at and I was about 700 mile from my home and office and about 500 miles from the clinic where we need the ultra sound machine to be. When she awoke she said that she had an sense of immediate urgency about getting that machine to someone who could use it. She got up and called Candice Keller, a local lady that runs a pro life organization in the greater Dayton, OH area. Candace Keller happened to be attending the church services that I was preaching in that week. She told Candace that she wanted to give the machine to her and Sister candace immediately gave it to me. The machine is only about 8 years old (very new for an ultra sound machine). It is in excellent condition and some church members of another HMA affiliate church, near the Pregnancy Support Clinic where the machine needs to go, have already volunteered to drive from North Carolina to Ohio and transport the machine back to where we need it to go.

      These machines run from about 15,000.00 to over 200,000.00. We looked at one of these several weeks ago very similar to this one and it was 28,000.00 used. Here is a picture of the actual machine that is being donated. God bless everyone involved.  PRAISE BE TO JESUS!!! Loving the LEAST, the LAST the LOST and the UNBORN!!!!!!!!!! By the way, this is one of multiple miracles that took place in the same 24 hour period. I will get to the others as my schedule allows. Please be in prayer and support for HMA and all our friends. God bless u!

Monday, October 17, 2016

My Cup Runneth Over!!!

Last night was one of the most exciting nights that I have experienced in a long, long time. We had a fundraiser in Down Town Tulsa. It was held just blocks away from where HMA's original outreach to the homeless was started. It brought back many fond memories and caused me to reminisce and wonder where many of the souls that we have worked with are today.
The event was a fundraiser for an HMA affiliate, Martha's Heart Women and Children's home. It was a uniquely classy and deep evening. I do not have any final totals but I have been involved with many such happenings and I am certain that the fundraising went very well. It was extra precious to me because several members of my family were involved in putting it on, several members of my home church were involved also, as well as some of my staff and even a few of our converts. 
To watch some of our young men and women shine and excel in doing the very hands on work of Christ gave me incredible joy. The evening was intended all along to be a concert/benefit/fundraiser but I don't think any one of us realized, going in, that it was going to be the benefit/fundraiser/a whole lot of church up in here event that it turned out to be. We listened and enjoyed. We watched and were awestruck. We gave and were blessed. We wept and praised and prayed and shouted and........mmmmmmmmmm!!! You just had to be there!
But even as wonderful as all of that was, it was just the tip of the iceberg of what God was REALLY doing. I have heard people preach, teach and talk my whole life about how they are not prejudice against whites or not prejudice against blacks. Or how we as pentecostals should be able to come together with Baptists to do the work of God or how, etc. etc. But the longer that I live on this earth, the more I see that things are going in the opposite direction.

When I have preached at churches that have whites in them, they are 99.9% white. When I have preached in churches that have blacks in them, then are 99.9% black. When I have preached at churches that have hispanics in them, they are mostly all hispanic. If I listen to Pentecostals preach, they inevitably get around to preaching against Catholics. When I listen to Baptists preach, they will almost always get around to preaching against Charismatics. 
Ohhhhhhhhhhhh but last night brothers and sisters!!! The Lord used the needs of some broken young women and some family-less small babies and HE made a statement! We had a bunch of people pulling together, giving for a Godly cause, coming together for Christ, praising God, worshipping OUR King, praying with each other, loving each other and finding common ground in Christ Jesus. 
We had a fundraiser-turned church service at a PRESBYTIRIAN church with some FREE HOLINESS singers and some PENTECOSTAL singers and some CHARISMATIC worshipers and a BAPTIST choir and I don't know what all. It didn't seem to bother anybody that there were blacks, whites, hispanics, Guatemalans and who knows who all that were all there pulling for less rapes, less abortions, less corruption of society, better social programs and MORE JESUS! 
I always hear preachers say that this is "how it should be" but they never seem to get around to being able to DO IT. And if someone else DOES IT, there must be something wrong with it. Well, I for one, am here to tell you that there was everything right with what happened last night. My wife saw it, my children saw it, my friends saw it, my ministry team saw it and I believe with all my heart that God designed it, foreordained it and smiled upon it. May God get the glory and may we all learn form it.

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Divorce and Re-Marriage

Divorce and Re-Marriage

     I have avoided this particular topic many times when I probably should not have.  It is not that I have never approached it or dealt with it.  Merely that I have only done so in isolated instances.  For this I apologize.  The issue of divorce and re-marriage is one of the most troubling and dividing issues of the modern church.  Never the less it must be addressed. 

     First of all I must admit that this article has as much to do with what I don’t know and don’t understand as it does with what I do know and do understand.  It has to do with what the Bible plainly says and what it does not plainly say.  Almost every material outside of scripture that I have ever gotten my hands on about this topic, reads as if what it says is the final authority.  That is absurd.  God is the final authority.  Also, if whatever you say about it, including what you say about what the Bible says about it, isn’t fully seasoned with all scripture and the lack there of, then it is merely your opinion.  Much like what this will probably end up being of mine. 

     I do not give my opinion just to give it.  I give it in hopes of helping the hundreds of people that have asked about this subject with some clarity.  I will take plenty of heat from both sides of the topic and it matters little to me.  Truth and clarity is all that I am after.  I would much prefer to tell it the best way, the easiest way or the simplest way, but if I am going to tell it, I must tell it the most accurate way. 

     It may shock and surprise some the way in which I approach these topics.  I do not quote scriptures very much to attempt to “prove my point”.  Mainly because all of the scriptures on these topics are known and they are still twisted and misrepresented and partly because some folks will only read the ones that I print and never follow up with context and lazily accept what ever I say anyway. 

     To begin with I must start here.  God is pro marriage and He is anti divorce.  If you can read the Bible and find God to ever be against marriage or for divorce I probably can’t help you no matter what I say.  I believe this soooooo much that I make this statement on a regular basis.  Even if it is not the will God for you to marry that person, as soon as you do marry them, it becomes the will of God.  In other words,  God knows that is not the right person for you and He knows how miserable you will be in that marriage but if you defy Him and marry them anyway, you are not allowed to ever divorce them and say that it was never the will of God for you to be married in the first place.  Who ever you marry is who God expects you to be true to.  Don’t leave Him out of the marriage and then bring Him into the divorce.  God is into people staying the course.  He does not support quitting. 

     Let me take care of a little more house cleaning here.  Most of the people that wanted to know what my take on this subject was, don’t know me from Adam and asked for it on facebook.  This throws up a huge red flag to me.  Now it is possible that you are very sincere, are stuck in a cult and trying to get out, etc, etc.  But mostly it is people that don’t go to church, don’t have a Pastor, don’t read their Bible and aren’t trying very hard to serve God and are looking for REAL DOCTRINE ON FACEBOOK that might ease their conscience about a mess they have gotten themselves into.  Or perhaps you have followed the basic teachings of your church up to a certain point but ended up in a bad situation and you do not like or accept your leadership’s answers on this subject so you are looking for someone CREDIBLE to dispute them with.  If this is your approach, this will not turn out very good for you. 

     The whole reason that I write this as a blog is because I have studied out and decided what each form of electronic communication is good for and Godly for (See my sermon titled “Facebook, Twitter, Texting and Paul’s Letters to the Romans) and I have pre-determined that facebook is a horrible source and use for doctrine.  Another problem with random searches for doctrine outside of genuine study, bible reading, prayer and sitting under sound ministers is that people end up redefining their search.  Instead of trying to figure out what God wants of me and doing it regardless of what I want or think.  After all HE IS GOD.  We end up seeking after “what is it exactly that I can get away with” and still be a professing Christian.  Which is a disaster waiting to happen. 

     The premise of my answer is this.  Much of our doctrine hinges on when we, as ministers, can or cannot say “I don’t know”.  There is so much about ministry and Godly living that the new testament didn’t SAY exactly.  But over time we have eventually tried to fill in all the blanks.  That very well may be the biggest mistake the church ever made.  If the Bible is so precise, and it is, then the things that it didn’t say are probably just as important as the things that it did say.  In other words, God very well might have left certain things out so that ministries would stay less cultic and not be able to completely lord over every personal aspect of life thus leaving out the day to day need for each individual to communicate directly with God for answers to the most important questions.  (LIGHT BULB!!) 

     When the minister believes that he MUST have an answer for EVERYTHING, he will “come up” with answers.  Right or wrong, he will have them.  This eventually, usually over decades, sometimes faster, becomes less Christ-like and more cultish.  People get weaker, shallower, pray less, study less etc.  Because the bottom line is, whatever the leader says, that is our gospel.  No matter how good, Godly or accurate the minister is, it makes for a very weak, lethargic church.  I truly believe in some cases this is why God didn’t leave everything so cut and dry.  He left it where if you were in this terrible of a predicament that you would go through divorce, that you would consider having two living spouses, that you would have to seek God in a sincere, aggressive way to get His real answers for you because you obviously needed that much more of a relationship.  This isn’t picking a church to go to or deciding to split your tithe up or not.  These are eternity affecting decisions for multiple lives weighed in the balance. 

     I know that there are a hundred different people that will want to argue with me from a thousand different angles but here goes.  If I read every single thing that the Bible has to say about marriage, divorce, betrothal, putting away, adultery, fornication and everything in between….this is what I find.  Using NOTHING but scripture only, I can safely and confidently say, If you get divorced and stay single for the rest of your life and serve God with all of your heart, mind and strength, I PROMISE you, you can go to heaven.  If you get divorced and re-marry and serve God with all of your heart, mind and strength, I CANNOT PROMISE you that you can go to heaven.  I cannot promise you that you CAN’T go to heaven either.  There just isn’t enough there.  Or in some cases there is too much there.  In other words if you leave out a verse or two I can guarantee you one way or the other but when you include ALL of the verses I cannot promise that you can and I cannot promise that you can’t.  The only time I can promise is if you abstain form another marriage.  I have heard a thousand preachers give reasons why you can and I have heard a hundred preachers give reasons why you can’t.  I disagree with both sides.  But I will tell you this much, if I was the one doing the counseling I would plead for the safest possible solution,  This isn’t dominos that we are playing here.  This is for all and eternity.  Sometimes it really does come down to if you want to be happy or you want to make God happy.  If you are more concerned about your life now or your eternal life.

     The next question is, what if I am already in a second or third marriage?  Then it gets even more complicated.  My answer.  I DON”T KNOW.  If I did, I would tell you.  This much I know, I believe with all of my heart that if ANYBODY turns to God and prays and begs and cries and pleads with Him for help, guidance, direction, answers, HE WILL GIVE THEM.  If you are sincere God will commune with you.  You may reject Him but He will be real to you.  God is never wrong and He always does the best for His children. 

     Now I am sure what is going to happen here.  I will be given all kinds of scenarios of personal circumstance and he did this or she did that and I am innocent or it was at this age, or that long ago or he lied or…………All of your personal circumstance, and believe me I have been through it all with our clients, do not change what I do know and what I do not know about scripture.  Some people will quote 1 or 2 verses at me and make some big bold definitive righteous statement but then I can bring up another verse or 2 that will appear to contradict theirs and make a big radical religious statements back at them.  It will not change anything. 

     If you want to refute me, refute this.  The Bible is absolutely definite beyond the shadow of a doubt that A) God is pro marriage B) God is anti divorce C)  If you are divorced it is scripturally safer to not remarry D)There is some definite obscurity on if there is any way shape or form that one can have 2 living spouses and be as deep in God as they need to be.  My only other point was, if you are already in this predicament, pray, pray, pray and seek God.  It will amaze you how many people will fall out with this kind of logic. 

     As for what the church should be doing.  Preaching, teaching, counseling and putting forth sound examples of Holy Matrimony in practice.  Teaching and counseling very strongly against divorce.  Loving and helping and working with the divorced to do everything possible to help them grow in grace and find their place in the kingdom.  And encouraging the remarried to come to church, seek the Lord, raise their children in the house of God and search for answers inside the practices and principles of God’s Holy Church.  I know one more thing after reading the Bible cover to cover on many occasions.  It makes no sense to me that the church be established in it’s doctrine to shun, resist or belittle any particular person or persons.  If you think they are wrong, why in the world wouldn’t you want them to be in church?  The one place that they can get right. 

     If you have specific doctrines of what they can do and how far you believe you can let them go, fine, make it black and white and clear with all the love and right spirit that you can muster and then help them go forward into all of Christ that they can get.  I do not understand this idea that more preaching, more teaching, more praying isn’t what they need.  It’s what everybody needs. 

     Let me say this as well.  If you are in second marriage and you attend a church where they teach against it.  (This is where most of the people that have asked this question are coming from.)  If the preacher has a right spirit and is sane in his doctrine, you should be backing the preacher more than anyone else in the congregation when he is teaching against divorce and remarriage.  Especially if you have children or grandchildren in the church.  You of all people know first hand how terrible and horrific of a life altering event that a divorce can be.  How it breaks you and demoralized you and how it seems to affect everyone around you.  You of all people should want to be sure that your children and the youth of your home church never have to go through the horrors that you went through and one way that can help that is for them to be warned against it and shown how God is against it.

     It would be so much more peaceful to just tell you what I want to or what is comfortable or how I wish it was but I am constrained to tell you what I know to be the truth and what will help everyone the most, in the long run. 

     The truth is, your peace, strength, joy and satisfaction is not in another relationship.  It is in the one you can have with Christ Jesus.  You can get another mate and still be miserable.  But if you have the fullness of Christ, no matter what happens, you will still have joy!

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett


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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Do Your Part!!

     These are my new friends Scott and Cindy Combs.  I met them at Camp Meeting in Ohio last week.  I want to tell a bit of their story and how it applies to ministry.  I say down to eat lunch in the fellowship hall of Abundant Life Tabernacle this last Thursday afternoon and this beautiful couple was seated at the table across from me.  We had just been let out of morning service and Camp Meeting was off to a wonderful start.  Sister Cindy began to talk to me and eventually Brother Scott chimed in.  She said, "We have wanted to meet you for several years now."  This of course surprised me because I had never seen them before and someone had told me earlier that they had only gotten saved and started going to church about 9 months ago.

     Turns out that the story goes like this.  They were horribly addicted to drugs for a very long time.  They had gotten hooked on heroine lately and it finished destroying what little they had left in life.  They ended up homeless.  They are one of the extremely rare couples that I have ever seen that stayed together through such a grueling battle with this type of sinful and destructive life.  To their benefit they had family attending church and requesting prayer for them regularly.  The saints took them on their hearts and earnestly prayed.

     At one point, here sister had attended a service that I preached in and then was in contact with Scott and Cindy shortly there after.  Cindy's sister told them about the message that I had preached or certain points of it at least.  Scott said that those words about that message have stuck with him ever since.  (Remember, he didn't hear me, he heard his sister-in-law talk about the things that God gave me to say).  Years later, after many prayers and invitations, they came to church.  I'm sure that the Pastor and his wife, the family members that were saved and the other saints put forth much effort to be sure that the Comb's felt loved, wanted, encouraged and were taught and preached to.  When the perfect work of conviction was done, they prayed and were gloriously saved and delivered.

     Then I came back around 9 months later and sat down to lunch near them and they said, "We have wanted to meet you for several years now."  Some of you have already let your minds wander and are not prepared for what I am about to say.  I am NOT saying that they got saved because of me or my preaching or through my ministry or ANYTHING EVEN REMOTELY like that.  Actually I am saying something near the opposite.  I am saying DO YOUR PART!!!  Even when your part has nothing to do with any MAIN part.  If it is done in Godly sincerity, it will be fruitful!!!  

     These people didn't HEAR me preach, they heard other great men preach.  They didn't see my nice suit and matching tie that I wore when I preached that sermon.  They didn't know how tall I was, how short I was, how ugly I was or how good looking I was.  They didn't hear my whit and humor, if I had any, they didn't catch the jump in pitch, tone or volume when I made a specific point.  They just heard someone talk about some of the things that God had me say.  After that seed was planted in their hearts, others came along and did much much more than I did.  These are their converts not mine.  But I DID MY PART!  And it wasn't the kind of part that we are used to thinking of.

     My point is this.  Don't worry so much about looking just right, sounding just right, being in all the right places at all the right times.  Just listen and respond to God.  He will take your little part and other people's parts and somebody else's big part, etc. etc.  And He will accomplish HIS will!  Let me make one more little side point while I am right here.  Is this the kind of thing that happens in your Camp Meetings?  God bless everyone.

Your humble servant,
Rev. D. Todd Sloggett