I spent the summer of 1979 at King’s Arrow Ranch in Lumberton, Mississippi. Ostensibly it was a summer camp for kids. But those who ran the camp had a dual motivation. They took college kids from around the country… taught them how to study the Bible… encouraging them in evangelism while they were counselors for the summer. I was one of 40 other students from Louisiana, California, Florida, Mississippi, and a few other states.
It was there that Dave Simmons (Former NFL Linebacker and Campus Crusade staff) taught me and all the other college kids how to walk closer with God. It was there that I encountered God as I never had before. It was there that I had a burning bush experience.
That summer was tough for me. I had just had knee surgery and my college football career was in doubt. Southern Mississippi had signed a QB named Reggie Collier who was a much better athlete than I was and I knew I’d rarely if ever see much playing time. I had decided to quit football… move back home… transfer to another school… start from square one in life… and I was scared.
But the big issue for me was the number of my fellow counselors and mentors who kept telling me I should be a preacher. They encouraged me to consider that God might be calling me into full time ministry. I guess it was because they got something out of what I taught from Scripture when it was my turn to present a Bible Study every so often.
I blew them off. The idea of being a pastor nauseated me because I had experienced things as a preacher’s kid that I didn’t want to go through or put my family through. But God reminded me that wasn’t my decision to make. I couldn’t blow God off so easily.
Eventually the only thing that dominated my mind from that summer on was being obedient to God’s call into the ministry. King’s Arrow Ranch is where I had an encounter with God. Even though I didn’t see Him… or actually hear His voice… or feel a literal earthquake, I might as well have because I felt His hand powerfully upon me. The only rational and logical choice I had was to be obedient to His call.
Since then I attended seminary… have served several churches as pastor… and have walked through a lot of valleys and fire as a result of being in the ministry. There have been many times I thought about quitting. But there was one thing that kept me from leaving… I knew as sure as my salvation is secure… that GOD called me. My life was not my own to do with what I want, but to follow the Lord wherever He led.
It was my burning bush experience with God at King’s Arrow Ranch in Lumberton, Mississippi that has given me assurance, hope, strength, and perseverance. It is an even I will never forget and one I remember with tremendous thankfulness to God.
Where was your burning bush experience?
Have you ever encountered God in a powerful manner?
If you haven’t… turn aside and look. The bush may have been burning and you haven’t taken the time to notice it…