Shortly before my 60th birthday, I thought I was exactly where I should be. It was 1994. I had pastored a church in Fullerton, California, since 1971. I knew every street in that city! Our church was out of debt and thriving; the weather was beautiful. Life was good!
So when two men from Dallas Theological Seminary called and asked me to become the next president, I couldn’t say NO fast enough. One of the men’s reply pierced my heart, “Would you be willing to pray about it?”
You know what happened: God took charge and I became president. Eventually, Insight for Living Ministries relocated too. But for seven years, Cynthia and I commuted between Fullerton and Dallas, living for a while in a tiny apartment. I struggled with feelings of displacement. I missed my family and my former flock. Finally, I prayed, “Lord, I cannot do this on my own!”
Patiently, God reframed my vision, revealing He hadn’t led me to the seminary to be a theological academic. They had plenty! They needed a shepherd. Steadily, I came to love my new calling. People said, “You were made for this!” Later, God showed me how being president at that fine seminary helped prepare me to plant a church.
Eventually, we all need to reframe. That’s true whether you’re a pastor uprooting his life...a believer with inescapable pain...a parent with an autistic child...a quadriplegic, divorcée, senior citizen, or recent college grad. No matter who you are, reframing is HARD.
My daughter Colleen knows that too well! Through countless struggles—including parenting a child with special needs—I’ve seen her find a “new normal” again and again. Today, she leads our Reframing Ministries, helping people find hope, help, and humour through daily struggles, disability, and grief. If you’re wondering where God is or feeling stuck where you are, we’re here for you.
Candidly, we at Insight for Living Ministries feel stuck right now. Each year, the cost of ministry goes up...but donations rarely do. Radio costs in particular have increased substantially in the last 10 years! Today, our need has become URGENT.
This prompts me to ask you two questions:
1. Would you pray about how the Lord wants to use YOU to help us meet this financial challenge?
2. However He leads, will you obey?
If you’ve given faithfully, pray earnestly about increasing your generosity. If you’ve never given, NOW is the time to start! I cannot overemphasize: YOU are essential to our continuing to be here for you and countless others.
Obeying God is rarely easy. Reframing is always hard. Let’s do both together.
Walking alongside you,
Charles R. Swindol