Sept. 14, 2010
For Immediate Release
By Caleb Harris, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky.— “It’s called blurred vision. Sometimes Christians need a ‘second touch’ so we can see God’s purpose for our lives.”
The Rev. Gerald J. Joiner, a 1975 graduate of Campbellsville University, spoke to CU’s students, faculty, staff and coaches Sept. 8 about his life’s journey.
The Rev. Gerald Joiner returned to his
alma mater to speak at chapel.
(Campbellsville University Photo by
Joan C. McKinney)
Joiner, pastor of Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., discussed the need for Christians to ask God for their true purposes in life, and also ask him to give them their “second touch.”
He talked about the book of Mark, and how it is composed of many small stories that make a big story; which makes an overall point pertaining to his message.
Joiner quoted from Mark 8:22-25, where Jesus encounters a blind man. The Bible says, “And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.”
Joiner emphasized the man who had been touched by Jesus Christ, and still suffered from blurred vision. It was not until Jesus laid his hands on the man a second time that his vision was clear and truly restored.
“Only through suffering does one come to know God, and experience the kingdom of God,” Joiner said.
“We do not believe in morals and ethics anymore,” Joiner said. “We want things the way that we want them, how we want them and when we want them.
"We also do not believe in denying ourselves for the better of others. Sexual promiscuity is normal in our culture, as it is routinely shown in movies, books and television shows. It is these reasons that our world is currently suffering from blurred vision.”
Joiner, a former Campbellsville University basketball player, admitted that it was always his dream to play professional basketball. His goal was to be a rich and famous basketball player. These dreams were soon deflated once he graduated from Campbellsville. He played on a summer league team with the New Orleans Jazz of the National Basketball Association but was cut from the team shortly after the conclusion of summer league.
After being cut, Joiner found a comfortable place coaching boy’s basketball and teaching at a high school in his hometown of Louisville. He thought if he could not play basketball himself at least he was still close to the game. This too ended abruptly; the school took a budget cut and Joiner was laid off.
Joiner was then hired by the M&M/Mars candy company as the national sales personnel and organizational manager. It was at the famous candy company that he achieved his dream of making a quarter of a million dollars a year, but it was also at this high point in his life where things began to feel uncomfortable.
“I had a vacuum shaped heart, and it was empty,” Joiner said. “I began to realize that God had been molding me to speak not about candy, but about his son Jesus Christ.”
He said he had been thinking more about himself than God. Joiner had always told himself, “I do not want to be a poor, broken down preacher,” and this was the reason why he did not allow God to guide his life. After becoming distraught about the M&M/ Mars candy company relocating him and his family to another state for the tenth time, Joiner felt it was time to ask God for guidance. It was through his prayers and talks with God that he came to the realization that he should be thinking about what is in it for God instead of what is in it for Gerald.
Joiner said, “God spoke to me and said, ‘I am the same God that sent you to Campbellsville, who helped you eat when you were hungry, who gave you the talents that you have, so why are you depending on you and not me?’”
Joiner decided to quit his job and began taking classes to become an ordained minister.
Today, Joiner is the pastor of his own church in Louisville, Zion Missionary Baptist Church. “Although I am not making the amount of money that I once did, I am the happiest that I have ever been,” Joiner said.
All chapels are open to the public free of charge and are televised live on WLCU (Comcast cable channel 10) and are streamed live on the Internet. Go to www.campbellsville.edu, click on the media tab, select WLCU-TV and follow the prompts to live video streaming.
For information, call the Office of Campus Ministries at 270-789-5227.
Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with over 3,000 students offering 45 undergraduate programs, 16 master’s degrees and five postgraduate areas. The website for complete information is Campbellsville.edu.
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Posted on Tue, September 14, 2010
by Joan McKinney