Only nine days remain in our 40 Day Experience of GOD.
I have a recommendation: pray for GOD to fill you, FAST daily from 4:00 to 5:00 and schedule time each day to read any of the thirty-one chapters of Proverbs. That's what Sheila and I will be doing as we maximize the remaining days of our experience. Today I'm pondering Wisdom's voice in Proverbs 29.
"Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better." — Harry S. Truman
As Day 32 began, I found myself on the sidewalk leading to the Lovely Lane Chapel at Georgia's United Methodist Conference Center. Nobody was strolling through the scene so I stopped and grabbed a quick picture before heading into my next session.
This building is not the first of its kind. The original Lovely Lane Chapel was built in Baltimore in 1774. Ten years later it became a place of historic significance.
Here's why ...
John Wesley had been sending English pastors to work with American colonists since the 1760's but the Revolution sent most of them packing. Almost all those preachers returned to England when the war broke out, but not Francis Asbury. He stayed with the colonists and earned the respect of the preachers under Wesley's authority.
The Revolution created an understandable rift between the Methodist converts in America and England's Anglican priests. Wesley begrudgingly considered sending Thomas Coke to America to superintend Asbury in his work there. After the Bishop of London rejected Wesley's request for him to send a bishop to oversee the American church's work, Wesley sent Coke across the Atlantic with orders to ordain Asbury to superintend the colonial Methodists.
Asbury didn't go for it.
He recognized his ordination would mean much more to the colonists if his authority was granted by their election, so he sent messengers to invite his preachers to conference in the Lovely Lane Chapel. As a consequence, Asbury's rise to ecclesiastical power was meteoric. He was ordained as a deacon on Christmas Day, ordained an elder the next day and (with the unanimous support of the pastors inside the Lovely Lane Chapel) Thomas Coke laid hands on Asbury to ordain him as bishop the day after that.
The leadership strategy for American Methodism was established then and there, at the Christmas Conference of 1784.
Their declared purpose was: “to reform the continent and to spread scriptural holiness through these lands.” Those three days at Lovely Lane Chapel changed our country and the ordination of Francis Asbury positioned Methodism to change the world. Coke later said of Asbury, "In the presence of Mr. Asbury I feel myself a child. He is, in my estimation, the most apostolic man I ever saw, except Mr. Wesley."
Proverbs 29:2 - When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.