calling

One time at a women’s retreat, I was asked to tell my call story. I told this woman the whole, convoluted story—about serving as a missionary in Japan, about being restless in my work and volunteering for leadership roles in my church, about discovering old journals where I had written about my desire to study theology, about my memory of sitting in church as a teenager and hearing the pastor give the sermon and saying, “If I was a man, that is what I would want to do.” I told her that it had taken me a long time, but I finally realized that God was calling me to be a pastor. She was not impressed.
January 11, 2015

Shortly after my most recent move, my long-time boyfriend and I ended our relationship. The next week, I was scheduled to preach.  I'm part of a multi-pastor church, and my colleagues graciously offered to step in and preach in my place. But I was stubborn. I decided that I wanted—no, needed—to preach.
May 13, 2014

I was sitting in a seminary classroom, taking part in an internship program, and the professor was waxing eloquently about calling. It was all good. She was quoting Frederick Buechner and Howard Thurman, and describing vocation as our deepest joy and what makes us come alive.
April 22, 2014

I am intrigued by the emphasis on call in 1 Samuel 16. Because I am a theological educator, I am even more fascinated by the role each of us can play in nurturing someone’s sense of call. Saul and David are the key “called” protagonists in the story. But it is Samuel who carries, clarifies, and extends God’s call.
March 24, 2014

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