ESR Dean Jay Marshall delivered the following message during Earlham School of Religion Worship on April 29, 2015:
Many years back as I was sorting out what committed faithfulness looked like and what a call to ministry might involve, a group of charismatic Quakers were making their way around North Carolina, including the meeting where I was raised. Some good came from the affiliation, but theology, in part around the theme of blessing, ultimately caused me to seek elsewhere.
During an evening prayer session where one of the leaders was teaching about God’s love and abundance, she talked at length about how God wanted to bless us all. We had to be willing to stand on his Word and claim those blessings. Just that week, the devil had tempted her to unfaithfulness. In her recent prayers she had prayed for the new car she needed. Not just any car, but a Mercedes. (‘Cause nobody appreciates a sick ride like Jesus!) Maybe she had overdosed on Janis Joplin! That week she had seen a Mercedes that could have been hers and she was about to claim it as her own when she remembered --- she had wished for a red Mercedes, and this one was blue. Clearly this was a test of her trust in God to bless her with what she had requested.