Pastor's Blog

Sand Mountain Sermonette 8

John 6:40

Sand Mountain Sermonette 8

Mercer and Merton

Dr. Jerry Mercer and Thomas Merton have both played instrumental parts in my Christian development. Having completed my undergraduate degree from Jacksonville State University in Alabama in 1979, I found myself attending Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky six years later. While there, God placed me under the instruction of Dr. Jerry Mercer for one of my preaching classes. I loved Dr. Mercer and I was enjoying seminary, but while there, I was battling an old spiritual battle with doubt that I had been struggling with for a long time; one that affecting my seminary stay resulting in my considering leaving seminary about midway; the time I was in Dr. Mercer’s class.

I had told Dr. Mercer about my struggle with God’s present and eternal love for me as one having been born again by the blood of Christ; a struggle that was even calling me to question if I should continue my seminary degree, so Dr. Mercer invited me to his office. Once I arrived, he shared with me a prayer of a Twentieth Century Christian writer turned Monk of the Trappist Order, who sought out the spiritual disciplines of silence and solitude, by the name of Thomas Merton. This is the prayer that kept me in seminary, gave me the assurance I needed and transformed my spiritual life at the time I needed it most: “Lord, I may not be in your will today, but the desire to be in your will pleases you.” Praise God!

Jesus said, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40.
Pastor Louie