Tuesday, July 17

Camp Meeting

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The Potomac District is hosting Family Camp this week at Potomac Park Camp and Retreat Center. Our choir, Voices of Inspiration, accepted an invitation to minister in the service Monday night and the praise team led worship. We have participated at this event for the past seven years. It was a great evening and God's anointing was all over the choir! The presence of the Lord was powerful in that tabernacle as the evangelist challenged the congregation with a grass roots sermon. It was a fantastic good ole' fashion camp meeting! It certainly brought back many incredible memories from my teen years at that place.

Following the altar service Bobby and I had an opportunity to visit briefly with many people we haven't seen for years. A dear friend from a former church we served 15 years ago was especially excited to talk with us. She embraced both of us with kisses and repeated hugs. It was so good to see her again. She had a zillion questions about Brooke and Brandon and our grand babies. Of course Brooke and Brandon were attending elementary and middle school when we left that church to accept a senior pastorate position in another state. She was stunned when we told her that Brandon was married, an evangelist and is preparing to move in a few weeks to Springfield, Missouri since Casey recently accepted a staff position at Evangel University. Of course she was equally shocked to learn that Brooke is married and has two children. I know Bobby and I don't look old enough to be grandparents!! :-) OK, maybe we do look just a little bit like we could be in that role!

When the service began she couldn't believe her eyes when she realized that Bobby Shank was on the platform directing the choir! And she was absolutely stunned when someone told her that his wife was leading the praise team. She was convinced there was no way the shy and quiet Debbie Shank she once knew could possibly be in that role!! She looked at me following the service and said, "My goodness, what has happened to you? It was awesome. You certainly have changed!"

Have you ever been in that place in your life where you felt God couldn't possibly use you for ministry? Have you ever questioned God as to whether or not you were truly in His will? Have you ever permitted the enemy to discourage and intimidate you? Have you ever felt like nothing is happening in your life and ministry to fulfill your dream? YES, YES and YES, I have been there numerous times.

For many years I have had a dream regarding my ministry. Many times I attempted to push it out of my thoughts because the enemy would repeatedly try to discourage me. But I finally decided to put legs on my prayers and dreams. God tells us in His Word that He gives us the desires of our heart. My dreams have escalated over the years and I know they are truly from the Lord. There have been a few setbacks but I am going to keep plowing forward toward the goal God has given me. He is beginning to open doors and things are starting to develop. The statement from our dear friend forced me to take a serious inventory of my life. I believe it was a direct word from God purposely meant to encourage me at this season of my life.

Yes I have changed significantly and am doing many things I never thought were a possibility. God is preparing me for a work He has specifically designed for Debbie Shank. God's plan requires patience, time and perseverance and sometimes we are even required to take baby steps in preparation for what God has for us. I am encouraged that people who know me recognize the changes that are transpiring in this body. That denotes progress and identifies God's fingerprints all over my life and ministry. I praise Him for continually refining me. He is truly awesome and does sincerely care about every minuscule detail of our lives. Without Him I am truly nothing but with Him I can be anything He wants me to be.

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