Tag Archives: military ministry

Detour Ahead

This is the fifth and (probably) final “God Leads” devotional I’m posting, based on my experiences as a young Christian serving in the military.


The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. (Proverbs 16:9, NASB)

A wallet in the middle of the street caught my eye.
I came to Bellevue, Nebraska for a two-week training course. Bored on my off-time, I looked for a nearby mall. I didn’t find any good stores, but I found the wallet two blocks from my hotel.
“Maybe there’s money in it,” I thought. “No, that’s wrong. I can return it to the person and witness to them.”
I opened the wallet to search for identification. The top card said, “Pastor, Assemblies of God,” the denomination of my church back home.
“So much for witnessing,” I chuckled.
I reached Pastor Petey. He took me out to dinner to thank me. He also picked me up for church on Sunday since I didn’t have a car. The service was great.
Nine years later, I came back to Nebraska for another course I did not want to attend. Unsure if I’d be there six weeks or six months, I remembered the church from when I found the pastor’s wallet, and visited again. I got connected with the young adult ministry and played keys for their services. From my first visit, I saw their genuine interest and love for me. I returned home six weeks later.
Two years passed. During yet another undesired training course, I returned to the church. The senior pastor remembered most of my life story and family details, which blew my mind. The young adult service plugged me right back in, a home away from home.
When my family finally moved to Nebraska two years ago, we talked about churches.
“Don’t worry, honey,” I said. “I know a place we can go.”

Application: God uses unexpected, unwanted turns of life to take us to the best destinations.

Answered Before I Asked

This is the fourth “God Leads” devotional I’m posting, based on my experiences as a young Christian man serving in the military.


Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24, NIV)

I smoked in the church parking lot during their Christmas party. I expected criticism. But a lady stepped outside and chatted with me instead.
“What kind of church is this?”
I grew up attending weekly services and knew how Christians behaved. But I walked away once I joined the military. Sunday morning was for sleeping in.
I tried the base Chapel a couple times during my training. In Texas, I made some friends at a small evening service. A military spouse opened her home for Airmen to hang out.
Also, the pianist was hot.
But once I got to Japan, I stopped attending church again.
God didn’t stop pursuing me.
I got a call from a missionary inviting me to the Christmas party. I said, “Why are you calling me?”
“You were in Texas, right?” she said. “Your friend’s neighbor lived here and knew me back then. Your friend talked to her and she suggested I call you.”
Small world.
My life fell apart when I moved to Japan, so I agreed to go. The people welcomed me like family.
“I like this church,” I told the missionary.
“I don’t go there, but I know a girl who does. She lives in the dorm next to yours.”
That night, I met Jami, my ride to church. She became my best Christian friend. God worked on my heart, and I surrendered to Him. The more I pursued God, the more Jami fell in love with me. And I fell in love with her.
Also, she was hot.
When I was not seeking Him, God drew me back to Himself and connected me with the woman of my dreams. Before I asked, He prepared an answer.

Application: God knows and plans for what we need before we ask.