My name is not James Bond however awesome that would be, but I am a Bond in one unique and special way. I am a bond servant, a man called by God to serve Him faithfully, without ceasing, and never questioning His authority over my life. My name is James Forbis and I am a sinner saved by grace through faith in the LORD Jesus Christ, by the love of the Father, and the ever present conviction of the Holy Spirit.
The reason I started this blog is simple: I want people to know Christ the way I know Him. I want people to love the Father the way I love Him. I want people to rely on the Holy Spirit the way I rely on Him. I am a man called by God to serve Him as a minister of the true, unyielding, and undeniable Gospel of Jesus Christ. How I do this is by listening to what the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart and soul through everyday situations, conversations, and connections with other Godly men and women.
This fall I will be entering a new season of life as a church planting "apprentice" if you will on staff with Cross Church Springdale. I will also be going to the Cross Church School of Ministry pursuing a missiological track in church planting, collegiate ministry, and pastoral studies. I will be learning under the amazing leadership of Dr. Ronnie Floyd(check out his blog at http://www.ronniefloyd.com ) and the biblical based teachings of Dr. Jeff Crawford(check out his blog at http://jeffcraw4d.wordpress.com/ ). These men have been called by God to fill the gap that churches and seminaries tend to leave in a called man or woman's theological education. You can learn all about the Cross Church School of Ministry here at http://crosschurch.com/ccsm/ and all about Cross Church and our family of churches in Northwest Arkansas at http://crosschurch.com
First off I'd like to share with you my testimony and how God called me into His ministry to teach, protect, shepherd, guide, and minister to His Church, His People, His Bride.
I was seven years old when I acknowledged my need for a savior. I knew I was missing something in my life, and I thought I had already believed in Christ, but growing up in a church and a Godly family doesn't save you. At least at that time I thought it did, but my Dad and my Sunday school teacher Dr. Norman corrected me and showed me in the Bible what truly saves you from your sins. His name is Jesus Christ and until you tell Him that you need Him and that you are sorry for your sins and that you cannot live without Him, you'll never be safe from temptation, Hell, or even the wrath of God. I'll tell you what I was scared out of my mind. I didn't want to face Gods wrath as a seven year old kid, and still do not want to face His wrath as a twenty-two year old man. As I sat there and listened to my Dads testimony and then to Dr. Normans testimony though I saw light, I saw truth, I saw joy, and as a child I wanted that so bad. I accepted Christ that night, on March 16, 1998, and was baptized that fall on November 16, 1998(the same day my baby sister was dedicated to the church, kind of cool), and I've never looked back since. I've never regretted giving my life to Christ and to following Him. I've also never made a more important decision in my life, although making the decision to become an Arkansas Razorback was pretty special, but nothing compares to making the decision to follow Christ committedly, faithfully, and unyielding. Fast forward a few years later and it's the fall of 2003 and I'm a thirteen year old, prepubescent, voice is a crackin', Mr. Know It All, squirt. I was at a Disciple Now youth weekend retreat with my youth group from First Baptist Church of Longview, Texas at Pine Cove Christian Camps in Tyler, Texas, and it was there that I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me for the first time in my life as audibly as someone calling out your name. It was clear, concise, and perfect. I had no idea the ramifications it would have on my life or what He wanted, but I listened the whole weekend and the night of the altar call I went forward and told my discipleship group leader, Mr. John Black, that God was calling me to something to do something. I had no idea what it was I was trying to convey to Mr. John, but I knew it must have been important because we prayed for a long time, a long long time. Finally we went to my youth pastor, David Adams, and I told him exactly what I told Mr. John and what I was feeling and what I thought God was saying to me. I told him that I felt led to go, to be sent out, to serve, and I was scared. I had no clue what David would say, but I was relieved when he looked at me and started weeping because I knew it must only be good news. David told me that I was being called into the ministry and that he was not surprised at all by God choosing me. I was floored instantly I began praying with David and Mr. John and we were hugging by the end of the night and praising God for His faithfulness, His awesome power, and just His ability to answer prayer. Now I'm twenty-two(twenty-three in July) and I'm writing this blog telling you that I still have the same fervor, passion, desire, and drive to serve God as I had when I was thirteen. I'm a college grad from the UofA(WOO PIG SOOIE!!), a Cross Church church planting "apprentice" and student of the Word, and I love every bit of it. God has limitless plans for my life and I'm so jacked to be able to serve Him till my last breath. My favorite quote from any movie is from Kingdom of Heaven and it's first uttered by Liam Neeson. His character if you are unfamiliar with the movie is that of a crusader, a baron of the Holy Land, a knight, and with his final breath he knights his long lost son using this oath "Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright, that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong; that is your oath.". I believe that this mandate if you will is applicable to all called men and women of God. We must be brave, we must speak the Truth, and we must be without fear in the face of temptation and the Devil, because we must set the example and follow the one Christ laid out for us over a millenia ago.
I leave you with this question to ask yourself. Am I serving God to my fullest potential, is God calling me, is God choosing me to lead His Church, His People, His Bride, and if He is what am I doing right now that's not that?
All scripture is taken from the English Standard Version (ESV) published by Crossway