Excerpt from Pastor Charles’ Upcoming Book about His Life & Ministry of 50 Years. The Title of the Book will be “You Don’t Have To Make This Stuff Up!”
Enthusiasm: Who has it? Do you, have it? Do you want it? Who gives us Enthusiasm?
People ask, how can I have enthusiasm? Where can I get enthusiasm? The answer is quite simple. God is the source of enthusiasm. In fact, the English word enthusiasm comes from two Greek words. En Theos, meaning “In God.”
In God, that is the secret. Paul says in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us , who can be against us?” In City of Philippians, we find Paul in prison, yet his enthusiasm did not disappear? Later in the Book of Philippians he would teach us more about enthusiasm than the other twelve letters that he would write. Listen to what he says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens or empowers me.” (Philippians 4:13)
What does that mean? It means that whatever the circumstance in life that you encounter you can meet it with enthusiasm. Let me illustrate this to you. Mother Teresa, as young nun, saved up three pennies. She proclaimed to the priest that she would take the three pennies and build an orphanage. He told her that she would not be able to do anything with just three pennies. She told the priest, “Three pennies and God can do anything.” What a picture of enthusiasm.
In my own life, I have felt that enthusiasm. At 26 years of age, I had been called to my first pastorate. I had been a Minister of Youth in a West Texas City, and now finally I had my opportunity to pastor. The church was in Corpus Christi, Texas. The church voted me in on Sunday night, and we had to be back in West Texas on Tuesday night. We spent all day Monday trying to find a house to rent, that was in a nice section of the city, and one that would not cost any more than 325.00 a month. At 4:00 p.m. we had not found one house to rent. Our three-year-old daughter was tired, my wife frustrated. I made one more stop at a real estate office. I walked in and asked for the manager. A very nice & enthusiastic woman said I am Sarah Graham; I am the manager. “I said, Sarah, I am the new pastor of the Forrest Park Baptist Church, and I need a house in this area for 325.00. a month to rent. God owns all the houses in Corpus Christi, and I want you to find the house that He wants for me.” She told me that she would do her best to find us a house. On the following Saturday, she called and said, Pastor, I found you a three-bedroom house for $325.00. She said this house is a real dollhouse.” It was a real doll house and we lived in that house for 3 years. When Sarah called me that day about the house she said, “I can go ahead and pay your first and last month rent and the deposit and will have your utilities turned on.” She then said you can pay me back when you move in.” Sarah did not know me, but she appreciated my enthusiasm.
P.S. This past week, I checked on Sarah, and she is now 83 and is still selling Real Estate in Corpus Christ and active in a Bible Study. CEH