Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, and let us reason together …”

In this passage from Isaiah the Lord is stating a reasonable and non-negotiable truth. Walk in a way that honors me and you will do well and enjoy many blessings. If you don’t you won’t. Our nation and culture today can learn from this straight forward simple declaration. Nothing in this regard has changed over the years.

~ Tony

WELCOME TO LEHIGH MINISTRIES

ABOUT US – WHO WE ARE AND WHO WE ARE NOT

It has been the advice of many to never start a ministry without a minister. But I have a bad habit of ignoring good advice. My qualifications are nothing so elegant. Never attended Dallas Baptist University or Dallas Theological Seminary. Never had the time, or as mentioned earlier, the native ability to go back to college. Wouldn’t even try.

So what are my qualifications to start Lehigh Ministries? Can only tell you that I love the Lord with every part of my being and prayerfully know without a doubt that this is what He has called me to do in retirement. I graduated from Lehigh University back in the Mesozoic (a little bit of geologic humor, a very little bit) with a degree in Environmental Science (concentration in geology) then received a Master’s also from Lehigh (no other college would let me in the door) in essentially Geochemistry, a mining concentration where I studied the solid solution series between two members of the Spinel Group at the New Jersey Zinc Company’s Sterling Hill Mine in northern New Jersey. Sounds like fun? Landed a job with Sun Oil Company (SUNOCO) and bounced around every few years making things very difficult for my family while working mostly in the offshore Gulf of Mexico. Eventually got tossed out due to the Kerr McGee merger and ended up working for a small company in Dallas that was contemplating doing something rather unique and most likely not very profitable. But since I was working contract in Houston and liking the north south parade less and less each week and missing my family it sounded like it was worth a try. This “try” turned out to be horizontal drilling and fracing (it was originally spelled without a k for obvious reasons) in a gas shale, the first one, the Barnett Shale west of Dallas. I guess that worked out reasonably well and was somewhat economic. If anyone gets the time they can look at the Forbes February 2016 issue. 7 Years 7 Deals $7 Billion. What you see is the Lord’s fingerprints all over the cover.

Full disclosure: for a while we were the second largest company in the Barnett eventually selling to our good friends at Devon, the firm that bought Mitchell Energy, the company that started play.

I had a pretty thick business card at Chief Oil & Gas, but my most important contribution to the company was simply that I led a bible study. Led not taught. There is a difference. So, if you are wondering if Lehigh Ministries has any shred of formal education, a pertinent degree or as Spurgeon would say experimentally, the answer is no. If I get any credit for participating with my wonderful sisters in Christ who attended our Chief Bible Study over ten years, the answer is yes. Of note, I didn’t exclude my brothers, they just weren’t usually the “members” or even “regular attenders”.

But very recently due to life circumstances I have taken my walk to the next level. Excuse me. I misspoke. The Lord has very effectively used various life circumstances, complete with bumps, tripping and bruises, to take me to the next level. At this point, as I have prayed, more than once, I desire to sprint to the finish line for Him, however long He leaves me here. There are only two kinds of people in this world, those taking a right turn at eternity’s door and those taking a left. Once we accept Christ, are regenerated, remade, born-again, we are adopted into God’s family and our home then becomes the right side of eternity. At that point the only reason we are left here in these “circumstances” is to somehow persuade, or more often attract, people to Christ so they too will avoid the left turn. Pretty simple. All Christians are in full-time ministry. I am only taking it a step further being retired and a bit more focused and available as compared to the years when I was working.

So what can I offer you that the many talented and gifted people out there on the web or at your church or the authors that write excellent books cannot? Honestly, very little. All of us should pray continuously that the Lord will use us in ways that are unique to us, that we use those gifts that He has given to us. So you guys are in for some unique perspectives and stories and honestly I cannot say with certainty how unique they will be.

Over the next few years I plan to write, preferably talk and give presentations, on various subjects. They will include stories that some would say are quite unusual but I believe of course they are of the Lord and worth telling or I would simply not. Also, I learned a lot from the ladies at Chief’s Bible Study and I will attempt to pass some of those jewels to you. We often cried together and laughed together, two very important elements to be practiced often in our daily walk. I will also be spending some time trying to convince you that no matter where you work you can, quite easily, put together a Bible Study and that also is a critical path item for any economic endeavor. To grab that thought and throw out a bottom line comment today, please consider taking a few verses from Joshua Chapter 1 when you put together a business plan. The Lord tells us exactly how to be prosperous and successful. And in this regard I will attempt to put together some perspectives on the subject of integrating business and faith. For me it was easy. Trevor would call me the Company Minister occasionally. So, yes, I could get away with quoting scripture at management meetings and slipping some verses into PowerPoint Presentations but there are many other ways to live out our lives essentially the same on Sunday and Monday. Too many of us have been conned into packing away our faith and essentially hiding it most of our lives. That is a lie, sourced in the dark side, and needs to be rethought, better – prayed about, with significant intensity. More later.

Also, we will spend some time working with various pregnancy resource centers to explore the best ways to increase the use of 3D and 4D ultrasounds. I realize this isn’t a new idea and there are many ministries and individuals that have been active in this area for decades. We only seek to come along side of and do what we can to influence the Abortion Debate for Christ.

What I can leave you with is simply a request to come visit us every once in a while. See if a story, topic or perspective catches your eye. As mentioned, I plan to spend time in prayer simply pursuing only what the Lord leads me to do and to address topics that most people have little knowledge or experience.

And as always, please consider sending me an email. I am open for a debate and rebuttals but request constructive criticism and ideas as to which subjects may be lurking in the gaps. What keeps you up at night? There are spaces in the Church’s efforts, issues that cause disagreement or at least confusion. These need to be addressed with a sincere heart because the Lord desires us to work together and effectively and fearlessly participate in the spiritual battle each day. We cannot accomplish this if wasting time and emotional energy distracted by issues that ultimately do not matter. We have a very short time here to participate in the battle. Let’s make every day count.

Tony Carvalho