Introduction by Milfred Minatrea
Jamie Work is one of my pastor heroes. Serving Candies Creek Baptist Church outside Cleveland, Tennessee, Jamie has led his congregation in passionate pursuit of authentic discipleship that is expressed in mission engagement. The Candies Creek facility is adorned with flags from various countries and states where the congregation is ministering.
Every week Jamie writes A Word of Hope for members of the church. I asked to be placed on the email list while I was with Candies Creek in a disciple-making emphasis. It is one email that I take time to read, because Jamie has a heart for God and a love for people that clearly comes across in his writing. The following is a recent Word of Hope from Jamie. Enjoy!
"As the deer pants for the water brooks so my soul pants for Thee, O God." (Psalm 42:1)
Each year, one day before the annual NFL Super Bowl, a ministry called Athletes in Action, in partnership with Campus Crusade for Christ, sponsors a prayer breakfast for fans, players and team personnel who desire to attend. This year more than 1,100 people were present at the Super Bowl prayer breakfast and heard Michael Vick's first-ever public declaration of his faith, as he stood beside former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy.
It seems Coach Dungy has been mentoring Michael Vick since before Vick was released from prison last year after being convicted of bank-rolling a dog fighting ring. Not only did Michael Vick speak publicly for the first time as an adult about his teenage conversion to Christianity, and his subsequent slide away from the faith as his football success emerged, but he also shared for the first time about Coach Dungy's role in his restoration to faith in God.
Michael Vick told the audience, "I was so self-centered, I forgot about the Lord... when I got to prison, I realized I couldn't do it anymore. The one thing I could rely on was my faith in God. I feel that I'm in the back seat now and God is in the front... God has taken it over."
It sounds like Michael is discovering what the Psalmist has been telling us for centuries when the Psalmist cried out that his soul thirsted and longed for God more than for any thing else.