"I knew I had some things to say [as a 19 year old young man] but the old enemy was there, fear! (oh, how the devil uses this to stop Christians in their tracks!) This was what had been holding me back and keeping me in bondage. Many time at home during testimony meetings, I wanted to say something but it was as if I were frozen in my seat! Was this relentless foe going to keep me down again? I was really fighting a battle! I came to realize that day [long ago] that God had been 'pulling' me as it were toward the ministry but I had been resisting because of fear. Could this be conquered? Right then [at a prayer meeting] I told the Lord that if I could get up and say something without being afraid, I'd know He wanted me to preach. I got up and said what was on my heart without a bit of nervousness. I have always believed it was right then that God made known to me His will for my life, the ministry!
Grandpa's life and ministry has been a challenge to me personally for some time now. He has walked through many trials and still remained faithful to the God's calling on His life.
Grandpa has always been a gifted poet. Here is a poem he entitled "The Call" which focuses on God's call to the ministry. I trust it will be as much a blessing to you as it is to me.
On that day so long ago.
God's will for me I did hear
As this He made me to know.
Of what He would have me to do
With this redeemed life of mine;
To be heard true
Sounding forth His Word divine.
Talent had I none.
Nor able was I then,
To get the least thing done
Or speak a word to men.
How was God to use
Such a helpless one as I?
This question did I muse.
As I awaited His reply.
"My strength is yours to claim,
Through weakness it yours can be.
Seek not glory for self nor fame
And upon you my power you will see"
(II Cor. 12:9, Jer. 45:5)
These are the words I heard
So many years ago,
And I've sought to preach His Word
As onward through life I go.
Written by C. Richard Phelps Sr. grandfather of 4 preachers and father of 1 preacher