PREFACE: Here is a brand new intro for this series – the series I wanted to do….and then chickened out on!
I know that it has been the transparent sharing of my life experiences with the campers and staff during the After Breakfast Bible Studies, and at other times, that has proven most helpful and encouraging at DL. But it is one thing to share what is coming with the campers and staff I see every day, people I know and who know me, than it is proving to be to share with some people who know me by reputation only, if at all.
But, here goes…a spiritual autobiography – what God has done for me and through me – and for and through the ministries with which I have been involved.
Sally Jo, and more recently son Dirk, have been with me through most of what I share – and they have encouraged me to share my experiences with you.
I trust that you will be encouraged….and challenged.
This intro is one page – future Monday Morning Devotionals will be a bit shorter.
I have sought to live in Partnership with God since junior high school – when I first heard these words of Dwight L Moody: The world has yet to see what God can do though a man fully yielded to God. By God’s grace, I will be that man.” My chosen verse then, and now, is Proverbs 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.”
Weekly I will to share, autobiographically, my experiences as God’s child seeking to live In Partnership With Him. I have wanted to do this for many years, but have not done so because of my concern that my story could result in a focus upon me vs. upon the God who has worked in and through me. My experiences are personal…and if you write about your experiences as God’s servant, your experiences will be mostly different from mine…but just as real to you. We are each unique to Almighty God.
Here are some of my memorable experiences – chosen out of my 68 years – 24,020 days -3,736 weeks – 816 months. What I share are not daily, weekly or even monthly experiences. I had nothing to do with most of my early experiences – they illustrate what God did for me. I hesitate to say that I know God. No question: God knows me…all about me! I desire to know God…and I feel I know a little of Him, and of the wonder that He has chosen me as His child and that He desires me To Live In Partnership With Himself.
- Looking back, I thank God for a family I did not choose, camp experiences that I did not plan, and people who came along at just the right time to help a struggling little boy become Director of Deerfoot Lodge.
- As I grew up I wanted to know that God was real. I prayed that God would touch me…shake my bed…or do something to demonstrate his reality. Nothing!!!!! My ideas of “why not”.
- As a pastor at Christ Church of Oak Brook, I prayed for a girl, 7 years in a wheel chair, to be healed….and she was! Psychological or physical healing, I do not know. When she walked down the aisle towards me, her pastor, for her own wedding….I just about had a melt down!
- God shocked me when I was back in grad school – flat broke – Sally Jo and I had told no one. And John Kinsey knocked on our front door, handed me a check for $1000 and said “it’s a gift, not taxable” – then walked away. I hardly knew the man. He did this 3 times, as needed.
- God has spoken to me twice in dreams – and once made his presence very real to me
- I continuing struggle to have a regular time alone with the Lord for Bible study and prayer.
- God stopped the rain for camp construction where I was the new Director in direct response to 24 hours of prayer by college students
- When the camp had no money, I watched God provide $57,000 through a man I had never met.
- Asked to resign (fired) after seven years – the relocated a summer camp had become a year around ministry
- I know my pride cost Deerfoot Lodge $35,000 one year…money DL did not have!
- I have experienced many un-answered prayers…frustrating – feeling sometimes like God is on vacation
- At times my heart has been overflowing with praise to God – true worship has been the result
So here we go…it has been a wild ride, this being God’s servant. Most of the time I will use real names, and if not, the name will be in italics.
This book is about God and me, his weak but willing servant. I desperately want these devotionals to focus your attention on God – to both encourage you and challenge you – as God’s unique creation, His chosen servant.
Determine to obey God! Chuck Gieser
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:8-10