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.

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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?

Cleaning House

February 27, 2009

We just sold our house this week. We found out that our closing date is on the 16th of March. We are so excited that in this down economy that God can still do miracles like selling your home.
Packing our home is another story, I don’t really enjoy going through all of the stuff that you acquire while living in your home. You don’t realize all the items that seem to just get stuffed in drawers, closets and your garage. It is a lot like our life, as we do life we just acquire things, needed or not they just get stuffed in corners and closets. We don’t need the majority of it, in fact when we start cleaning we ask ourselves “Why in the world would I keep this?” but yet we just keep packing the things away. In our walk with God it a lot like the same, we keep stuff we don’t need or doesn’t benefit us and actuality it hinders us from being all that God wants for us in life. The stuff that we hold onto is the stuff God wants to purge from our life but a lot of times we think we could never do without. But as we start to clean up the excess God brings the increase in our life.
What is God asking you to purge from your life in order to move you forward in life. Until we give up what we have we can’t experience where He wants to take us.

Quiet time today with God

February 25, 2009

I have read the story of the sermon on the mount so many times in my life but this morning I couldn’t sleep and Matthew 6:33 just kept coming into my head. It tells us “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” This verse has had such a huge impact in my life personally. It was in December of 2007 when God challenged me with this verse asking me if I would seek His kingdom above all my wants and desires in life. If that was the case was I willing to leave a great job at a great church to go reach those who have not heard yet. This was such a hard decision, do I stay where I am comfortable and content or do I step out in faith and chase after the revelation and call in my life. Needless to say I chose to step out. Well this morning as I was reading this all over I found that in verses 7:28-8:3 what I missed then. Jesus got up and gave probably the greatest set of services and teaching the world has ever seen. He was preaching for a long time and it was good. At the end it says that the people where in awe and amazement because He taught as one who had authority. At the end of all this as people were leaving and Jesus was coming down the crowds followed, they didn’t respond. They had listened to a great message and their was revelation their but they did not hear. See they did not get or realize the chairos moment they were in, that this was a moment of wisdom and revelation knowledge. So many time we go through life translating the Bible as intellectual property, we listen and learn more but end up doing less and believe that we are growing spiritually.
But there was a man who didn’t just listen to the story but heard what Jesus was saying and came to Him. He didn’t just listen but heard and took action. He heard the revelation that God was opening up before him and stepped out in it. So many times we hear God telling us something but instead of acting we put off, but not this guy he pursued. If we want God to fulfill the vision that He has given us we have to pursue it. This man’s revelation was that God could and would heal him, so he pursued Jesus with great tenacity.
I believe that today we need to be a people who not just listen to the word but hear it and react to it and pursue it with everything we have.

Exciting weekend

February 22, 2009

This past weekend was fantastic. Pastor Billy Hornsby did a great job of talking about how we need to fulfill our mission in life and what are some of the steps we need to take in order to walk out our mission. The first service kind of gave me a scare when Pastor Billy started to tell the church that I was going to launch a church in Ft. Lauderdale in the future with the help of the ARC. You never know what is going to happen at a service at Bayside. I am pretty excited that on March 4th in our First Wednesday service that Pastor Randy is going to be announcing to the church that Shayla and I are going to be launching out to fulfill the call of God on our lives to plant a life-giving church in Ft. Lauderdale.

Thank you for following the adventure here on our blog of what God is doing in us and through us for His kingdom.

Potential Worship Leader

February 12, 2009

Here is my friend Drew who might come and be our worship leader.