Joel at the St. Andrews Cathedral Ruins.
As I look back on my life, I am sometimes amazed at all the places the Lord has allowed me to live, the people I have met, the experiences I have had that have shaped my life.
It all started when I made a quiet commitment to him. I was by myself in a very small, cheap hotel room. The Lord had put on my heart Philippians 3: 8-9:
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,
The Lord seemed to ask me, “Are you willing to give your life to me completely? Without holding back? To serve me? To do whatever you need to in order to get to know me?”
I wanted to be His, I wanted to serve Him with all my heart. I said, “Yes, if you will help me.”
And as I look back, many seasons, many passages have been more difficult and stretching than I could have ever imagined. But I also see that He has blessed me, stretched me, given me opportunities, helped me, deepened me through walking with Him day by day.
And this year in Oxford was another part of that journey—who ever gets to spend a year in Oxford. And yet, He led me here, by Clay initiating and finding an apartment for us to live in, by opening the doors for me to be able to support Sarah through the year of her scholarship at Oxford for her Masters of Theology, so that she could be more prepared to write the books that have been on her heart; that I would get to have a year with Lilian, my first grandchild and care for her during Sarah’s classes; that I could live with Joy and continue in bestfriending and mentoring together. That I could be stretched, grow, learn, meet dear friends and fall in love with Jesus even more.
I don’t take this year for granted and pray I will be an even better steward of all that He has allowed me to learn, know, think and grow in.
But today, Sarah, Joel, Joy and Joel and I share some of what we who are all a part of each others’ story, about what we love and what we have learned here in this God ordained place. I hope you enjoy.
And a bonus is that Joel just finished composing a brand new album that is quite wonderful. I hope you will consider purchasing this and enjoying it for yourself and with your family. (Thanks for your support of his music—it is how He is funding his way through His PHD.
To find out more about Joel, visit his website, www.joelclarkson.com, where you can purchase and download his album when it releases on July 1st, find links to his social media, and sign up for his newsletter.