I know there are a lot of women ministers who have had to fight and wrestle with the male of the species in the pulpit in order to gain the place that was rightfully designated to them by God. I never really thought about it before being asked to pen this chapter, but I have been living a particularly, peculiarly blessed existence. You see, as a female minister, I don’t have any war-stories of men blocking my way in ministry. Conversely, men have continuously helped me.
From the very beginning the Lord has used men to clear the path for me and make my way a raised highway. I was led to the Lord by a man – well, a man-boy, actually. At the tender age of 14 my then-beau, David Murrow, had murals of mountain ranges and elk hand-painted on his bedroom wall, played the bass guitar and was wild for Jesus. He led me to Him with little ado, and promptly left me for his next girl-friend. It’s funny now, but it was heart wrenching to a 14-year old girl. Regardless, I had given my life to Jesus, seemingly accidentally, just to appease the desires of my boyfriend. Yet, even when I proceeded to backslide for many years, the damage was done, the verdict was rendered – I belonged to Him.
This was great planning on the Lord’s part, because during this period when I resided on the slippery slope, the devil could have killed me any number of times, and probably would have had it not been for the Lord. Had I not already given my soul to Jesus, I could have easily been on the other end of the extreme.
I spoke to this man on the phone over twenty years later by some chuckle on God’s heart. This came about because my sister, Janis, had known him, too, when we were all just teenagers. She was friends with David on social media, and somehow he got my phone number. Surprised initially at the call, I didn’t realize how grateful I was to him until I talked to him. Many times in public I had already done so, but I personally thanked him for leading me to Jesus. Interestingly, he didn’t remember doing this at all, which is a lesson to the rest of us: we have no idea how much we can impact lives for the Kingdom of God and not even remember it.
From there, around age 28, when I came back to the Lord after walking out my testimony, I was baptized by a male – my pastor at Meadows Fellowship in Las Vegas, NV. I didn’t know anything at all about Jesus, and if I knew anything I had forgotten it during the long slide backwards. I only knew that I wanted to be baptized, because I knew that I should be. Later, in my thirties, I went to a four-square church in Denver, Colorado – again, headed by a male. This pastor really made an impression on me, because he dared to speak to the congregation with boldness. He said that he and his wife had gone out to their anniversary dinner, and they – gasp – had a glass of WINE! He taught me that it’s okay to be honest with people, and to be oneself. This is one of the hallmarks of my ministry style today, one unique quality that sets me apart.
Years later, a teaching I heard by another male in yet another church taught me about giving generously, even sacrificially. This is yet another branding of the ministry that God has me stewarding today. We believe in the tithe and the offering and we give in abundance. You see, God gives seed to the sower, so I figure I’d better sow in order to get more seed! In fact, I think we all should.
One of the first most-important and spiritually shaping ministry moves that the Lord made in my life came at the hand of another male leader. I was asked by this gentleman, Halley, to serve as an usher at the church I attended. This doesn’t sound very spiritual, in fact, probably sounds “less than”… but it was during this time frame that I learned an incredible amount about the spirit realm. I learned that ushers at a church are the gate-keepers, not just the chair-stackers and the water-bottle-picker-uppers.
The most surprising spiritual lesson from the head usher was one of being “sat down”! One Sunday I arrived at church, on time as always, only to be told that I would not be ushering that day. I was instructed to sit down and not do anything. This was so hard for me! But I was told that I had to be obedient to authority, no matter what. I did sit down through that service, difficult as it was, and learned that oh-so-important lesson of obedience at the hand of this man with the gift of wisdom.
Another experientially-obtained, extremely useful gift I received from this man was being taught not to become offended when another takes offense – especially at me! Oh my gosh! What a lesson that was. There is not time nor space to elaborate on this lesson here. However, let it be known – when another person gets offended at you, don’t get offended back because they are offended!
During the latter part of this learning time frame, my pastor, Shawn O’Hearn, actually “sent” me into the healing ministry. A small ministry had opened up near me with a focus on healing. Another of the female ushers and I made plans to go to this ministry to learn about healing. However, I didn’t want to just GO to this ministry … I wanted to be SENT! I had learned enough by then to know that there is a difference, and I wanted to be sent by leadership. Since my heart was to stay in obedience, I went to my pastor and asked him to send me to this ministry. Busy person that he was, he waved his hand at me, nonchalantly, almost pooh-poohing me, and said, “Yeah, Edie. Go ahead.”
That was NOT what I had in mind! I wanted him to SEND me to this ministry. When I said those words to Pastor Shawn, that I wanted him to actually SEND me, he graciously stood up, faced his hands out toward me and decreed and declared some things over me. He effectively sent me into the healing ministry! He made a grandiose display of it, not flippantly, but I really don’t think that either one of us realized the spiritual ramifications of this request of a spiritually immature believer. But God knew! I was definitely SENT into the healing ministry that day…first to this small ministry, and then to healing ministry giant Joan Hunter Ministries!
But, perhaps one of the most important human males that has impacted this ministry is not even a native of our land, yet, he is a brother in the Kingdom – my Canadian friend, Darren Canning. Having met him and ministered to him initially as only a host-home, over a number of seasons we became very good friends. When he started to show up on the Elijah List, I was very impressed, since I had been reading it for what felt like forever. After that he started up his own prophetic blog and asked me to contribute some of my writings to it. Of course, I was honored and I did. After a period of time, I asked him to share some of my work with the leader of the Elijah List, Steve Shultz, and although he was a bit reluctant to ask outright, he assured me that my writing would be seen by the powers that be.
He could not have been more right! The leadership at the Elijah List saw some of my prophetic words that God had given me on Darren’s blog and liked them. Even though they didn’t choose to pick up the first couple of posts that I made on this prophetic blog, they were very encouraging, and told him to tell me to keep it up. I did, and the rest is history. I have been contributing to the Elijah List for many years now, as well as multiple other prophetic newsletters, including Spirit Fuel and others that I don’t even know the names of in other nations. However, any time I go to search for my name online, another new prophetic blog or newsletter has linked and re-posted a prophetic word. I say this with the utmost humility, and I am totally awed by what God has done and is still doing. It is what He is YET to do that has me most excited!
Incidentally, appearing on the Elijah List once was a life-goal for me! It was a dream, not even a “bucket-list” item. I must say, with total humility, that appearing on it as a regular contributor is, without a doubt, one of life’s most fulfilling Easter eggs: those things that God hides FOR us, rather than FROM us! These secrets and surprises are tucked into seemingly random corners and found intentionally “coincidentally”. This is how we know it is God!
Without a doubt the most important human male to impact this ministry assignment in the earth realm is my husband, Darryl. Darryl funded the very first, original ministry event out of our own personal funds. Even though I worked countless hours of overtime to pay for what I knew the expense would be, at the end of the day, at the end of the year, the ministry was still in the red, and my husband paid the difference out of his own pocket. He never complained that I was gone on the road ministering more than I was home; No, Darryl counted it all joy, and blessed God for the opportunity to bless Him!
It is for those reasons and more that I would like to honor him, the man that the Lord put in my life to make it possible for Him to use me to the extent that He has and continues to do. Darryl is the reason that I have been able, and am still able, to do what the Lord has called me to do: to minister prophetically to those that need encouragement and wisdom in a dark world; to enable them to know that God not only hears them, but knows that they need to hear from Him, too.
And He is, unequivocably, THE Most Important Male to help me in ministry. Thank you, Jesus!