Do you have doubts? Do you have questions you’ve always wanted to ask but didn’t trust you would receive an answer that made sense? Your questions have merit.
As your personal pastor, it will be Fr. Jabriel’s task to keep you lifted in prayer and discern the call of the Spirit on your life. To that end, it is his commitment to help you realize and understand how to grow in faith and live out that faith.
Guide Me Through the Wilderness is Fr. Jabriel’s personal pastoring service, and consists of the following:
…Do you understand what you are reading?
In Acts 8:26-40, we find the story of the Ethiopian eunuch. As a Jew, this Ethiopian had just left Jerusalem where he paid tribute at the Temple on behalf of the Ethiopian people. Returning to his homeland, he was reading from the Book of Isaiah.
St. Philip encounters him and overhears him diligently reading the Scripture. He asks the Ethiopian: “Do you understand what you are reading?” And, the Ethiopian responds: “How can I, unless someone guides me?”
We all have a destination in mind. When we lay down at our last, we hope we have arrived there. But how many people do you know (or know of) who ended up off course? How many remained lost/trapped in the wilderness?
The journey from where we are now to where we want to be goes through the wilderness. And along the way there are lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) trying to snatch you off the road. Moreover, there are mirages and illusions that distract you…compelling you to leave the road and linger with those shinny things.
Like the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8, all of us need guidance along our journey. Are you in a state of transition and find yourself wondering where God is, in the midst of your situation? Have you recently experienced something (i.e. death, divorce, loss of employment, other tragedy) that causes you to doubt God or become angry at God? Do you struggle with thoughts that pull you towards things which you are trying to leave behind?
Personal Pastoring could help you find the answers.
We all need spiritual advice, and such guidance helps us along our journey of faithful living. Fr. Jabriel, himself, is under the care of his spiritual father. He has seminary training in pastoral care and counseling, and different contemplative methods of listening and prayer.
More importantly, he studies the wisdom of those ancient Christian mystics who mastered spiritual warfare. Fr. Jabriel would be honored to serve as your guide along your journey through life’s wilderness.
I was in neutral and just coasting. Father Jabriel starts throwing things out there…It challenged me and made me go deeper. I found parts of my spiritual life that were essentially stagnant. It's a wonder it didn't stink. Maybe it did and maybe I just wasn't aware that I stunk. I wanted to refresh and be refreshed and so I started to go deeper. He has challenged me. And in challenging me I'm back to studying. I'm doing more Bible study. I'm reading old books that I had cast aside. Ones that I had given away, I'm buying again. Has it increased my faith? Yes. It has decreased anxiety, anger, frustration, and confusion and brought things into perspective, brought things into focus. The thing that it's brought into perspective and focus is Jesus. I am a more joyful person now that I'm on the journey to the promised land.
I truly appreciate how you challenge me to reflect on my Christian values when I am struggling with decisions that I need to make. You remind me of what I already know, but often forget or choose to ignore because it requires me to take a difficult path. Your guidance helps me to act in integrity consistently and you have truly helped me to insert God into my life in a more intentional and meaningful way. You also have really helped me to grapple with the Word and its application to my relationships with others and you help translate the Word to the struggles we encounter on a daily basis. You are especially wonderful at using the Word to challenge the status quo and all the big "isms" of the day that impact how we get along in the world. I think the most significant gift you bring to your divine work is that you help people to be their absolute best and to do God's will through challenge and support. That is no easy task.
Working with Jabriel Ballentine has helped me achieve true balance in my life. With the demands of having your own business, it was hard for me to find time to incorporate spiritual practice in my life. Jabriel taught how to make time for it and better yet, how to apply it to my day to day lifestyle. His help and guidance has been an invaluable piece to my success, and I want others to experience the same accomplishments by picking up his book and reading it thoroughly page by page.
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