Archive for March, 2009

Answer It

March 30, 2009

I was reading today in my quiet time and the Lord really spoke to me so I wanted to share it with you.

Numbers 14:9
“Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!”

As I was reading this, I thought to myself “How many times are we afraid of the people instead of the Lord and what He has told us to do.” We are afraid of:

  • what they will say
  • what they won’t say
  • what they will do
  • what they won’t do

We get so caught up with the things that we can see that we forget what God has SAID. We miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime because of our fear of man instead of the fear of the Lord. I want to encourage you today to not look at the obstacles of life but the promises of God. Here were the Israelites going to check out the land that God had given them but they forgot that and gave into their fears.

What has God promised you? Let’s pursue His promises instead of being led by our fears. Today when our fears coming knocking on the door of our life let’s let our FAITH IN HIS PROMISES ANSWER IT.


Courage for Dreaming

March 24, 2009

As I was driving around Ft. Lauderdale today I had this continuous thought of “What the heck are you doing T.J., are you crazy?” It was an hour of those thoughts that are totally derived out of the fear of the unknown. You know that thing that is the opposite of faith. But then I remembered this quote:

“Don’t fear the unknown, fear not living up to your known potential, talents and gifts. It takes courage to live up to your dreams.”

So many times we fear the unknown instead of fearing not living up to the gifts, talents, abilities and purpose that God has for our lives. We get so hung up on not knowing exactly how it is going to work so we stand around doing nothing, just like the children of Israel when Goliath would come out and challenge them. God had already equipped them and given them the victory but they were to afraid of facing the unknown in battle with Goliath, so they stood around and did nothing. They wasted their time, talent and opportunity to fulfill their potential.

What fear has got you paralyzed at this time, holding you back from moving into the dreams that God has given you? I desire to see each and every one of us not be caged in by the fear of the unknown but for each of us to walk in the freedom to live out our God given gifts, talents and potential. For you and I this is going to take courage. Lets be a courageous people.

By Faith

March 22, 2009

Do you ever have one of those weeks where it just seems like every time you turn around God is doing something amazingly new and different. This week has been one of those weeks for me. It seems like every other person I have talked with is thinking about moving to Ft. Lauderdale to help be a part of the team to plant Coastal Community Church.

I keep saying to myself, “I know that I think that I am crazy for going to plant a church, but people:

  • moving their families
  • selling their houses
  • quitting jobs
  • finding new jobs
  • giving up comfort and security
  • leaving surrounding family
  • leaving a great church in Bayside Community Church

all these things just blow my mind and I say that they are ‘really crazy’.”

It just blows my mind that when people hear the voice of God in their lives that they are so willing to just follow. It is really how we should all be, but it takes FAITH. The disciples are a great example of this, when Christ called them to come and follow him, they dropped their nets, pulled in the boat to shore and left their father. Wow, what faith that took! What act of obedience or step of faith is God asking you to take today? Are you willing to walk away from everything to follow God?

I am so thankful for these men, women and families that are challenging my faith to step out with theirs. Let’s do GREATER THINGS for God by being a people who live by faith.

A Broken Heart

March 20, 2009

I have been thinking a lot about what Coastal Community Church is all about this morning. I don’t know if you are like me but when I am thinking about something that is all that I can do, think and talk about. Well in the midst of thinking about the church I was reminded of this quote

“A dangerous church will be less about a breakthrough idea and more about a broken heart.”

It got me thinking that while strategies, great series, cool music and even good preaching are great but if we don’t have a broken heart for those who have yet to hear the life-giving message of Jesus Christ then we will never be that dangerous church that God intends for us to be. I know that more than anything I want the heartbeat of Coastal to be the lost and hurting around us that are searching for the hope of the world, which is Jesus. We have to be a place that is willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that the people in our community have multiple opportunities to hear the message of Christ to find the hope, grace, mercy, peace, restoration, relationship and life they are looking for.

So my question for each one of us is “What does your heart break for?”

Moving Forward

March 18, 2009

On Monday my wife and I officially sold our house. This was a really big answer to prayer for us in moving forward with launching a church in Ft. Lauderdale. This was also one of the hardest days of my life. As we were finishing up packing all of our things to move out of the house you always have that final walkthru where you check to make sure you have not left anything behind. This was so difficult for me, I thought about:

  1. the effort put into making this my home
  2. the memories of gladness that came from the home
  3. the years of hard work it took to get the home
  4. the dreams that came true in the home
  5. the dreams that were dreamt in the home
  6. the lives that were changed in the home
  7. the fears that came without having a home

This is the point in the evening when I just broke. God has been calling us to something new, something that we have only seen in our hearts and minds and I tell you what, in that moment my faith struggled big time. Change is hard, it can even be a deterrent to our faith. I love what Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

When we walked out of our house for the last time and locked the doors and shut the garage, we made our step of faith. We told God that even though we can’t see it, we are believing for it, that you would make it hard for people to go to hell in Ft. Lauderdale because of Coastal Community Church. We are hoping for the people who have not seen or heard of the life giving nature of Christ to find him and find hope. God is going to do “Greater Things” through each and every one of us as we take our own steps towards Him in faith not seeing but Believing.

Luke 12:2-3

March 13, 2009

I was given this scripture by someone over a year ago now. At the time they said God kept giving it to them for me and I think that they thought something bad or innapropriate was taking place in my life and were frustrated that I would not admit to them this thing was happening. I have kept this scripture up in my office since

Luke 12:2-3
The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and whatever you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!

I knew at the time that God was doing something new and fresh inside of me. So many times we take things in His word that we are given and only think about the negative in a situation. I truly believe that God was giving this woman a word for me but because she saw what He said as negative, she thought I was doing something wrong. Why do we look at the glass as half empty? Why do we not look at the light of God’s word and people through the eyes of encouragement and hope?

I believe that there is a time coming for all of us to not just think about and talk about our dreams why we are alone but that God is bringing each one of us into a season where He will reveal each of those things for all to see. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” God has greatness within each of us and is just waiting for the day to bring those dreams out of us and shout them from the rooftops to all of mankind. In that though we have to have the faith to start speaking them out when we are in the tough times of life. Lets be a people who believe God has great things in store and look to the hope that He has for each one of us and encourage one another to do “Greater Things” for Him

Great Quote

March 12, 2009

I got this twitter the other day that has been on my mind quite a bit. It is a quote from the late D.L. Moody that says “A holy life will produce the deepest impressions. Lighthouses blow no horns; they only shine.”
I don’t know about you but I want to produce deep impressions on people for Jesus Christ. It isn’t about living a loud life and talking it up but really allowing your light to shine in a dark world. How do we go from a 20, 45, or 65 watt bulb to a shining spotlight that reflects a life that is devoted to Christ? I love what a mentor of mine said to me once and I believe that this is how we grow in that and it is this, “It’s about a passionate pursuit of God and a passionate pursuit of the people He loves.” Are we passionate about God. Is He the first and foremost thing we are thinking of in our lives. Do the people He is longing to come into relationship with matter to us or are we only concerned about ourselves? I want to fulfill the Great Commandment of Loving God and Loving People. We can’t take anything from this life but our relationship with God and the people that know Him. Let us be a people who are lighthouses to the world that shine bright.

Crazy Week

March 8, 2009

This week has been unbelievable. We were finally able to let our church where we currently serve, Bayside Community Church, that we would be leaving to go plant a church in Ft. Lauderdale. I don’t know about you but I always think that when God gives you a vision for your life and you start to go after it that it should be easy. Well Wednesday night at church was anything but easy. From the time that Shayla and I got there till the end was a major struggle for me personally. During worship I was looking around the room, seeing people who’s lives have been changed through the intersection of my life to create their story. Their stories have been put together in different ways and times to create the His story of my life. It has been such a great journey up until this point and just thinking about walking away from the lives, relationships and this amazing church was really hard on me. At the end of the night all that God kept speaking into my heart was two words “Greater Things.”

I believe that God has “Greater Things” for each one of us. The thing is that we so many times settle for the good things instead of stepping out into the unknown to experience the fullness of all that God has for us. We become content with the job, car, relationship etc. because it is comfortable. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where God or Jesus really ever left anyone who followed Him comfortable. I think that for each one us we have got to step and live a life of adventure and risk. God didn’t risk it all so we could risk less, in fact at the end of Jesus life He tells us we will do Greater Things than even He did. What is the Greater Thing God is asking you to step out and risk in?