Doesn’t get much more beautiful than this about sundown, eating seafood in downtown Chattanooga! You guys need to move on up and over to this part of the country…launch a church with us…retire here…relax here…name it.
Archive for the ‘Obedience’ Category
One thing I know for sure: Submission places you in the zone for favor with God. I have experienced that throughout my 20 years in ministry and I’ve not experienced it too. It’s much more fun when I’ve submitted. Erwin McManus refers to “signing on” years ago to a life of sacrifice. No doubt, when God calls us, we must go, regardless of how we feel. To me, that’s the key word, “feel.” You don’t have to feel it, you just have to know it down deep inside.
It would take a book to let you in on the miracle after miracle of confirmation that God has sent our way, “for such a time as this” and Origin Church. All we want to do at Origin is love God, love people right where they are, and all grow closer to God- changed lives. I can’t imagine not having moved to all five places of ministry over the last 20 years; the changed lives, the life-long friendships, new environments, new homes, fresh cities, and simple obedience. To be transparent, out of all five, I’ve never wanted to move to any of them, except one, and it wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. However, they all became home, with deep roots, and amazing growth for all five of us as a family. We’re so proud of our three kids, who have excelled everywhere we’ve gone.
Here’s an interesting thought for me today: My first church in Georgia I pastored for almost 8 years. I’ve been gone from Georgia for a little over 8 years now. What do the next 8, or the next 16 years hold? We don’t know, but we look forward to finding out! What about you?
- Are you living in such a way as to be missed?
- Are you on the edge and the ledge of trying to make a tough obedience decision but you’re afraid to make it?
- If you stay where you are right now, and do the same things you’ve always done, you’ll get the same results you’ve always gotten.
- Wouldn’t you like to meet the people God has reserved for YOU ALONE to influence, with the good things of God? They may be in another job setting, another city, another church, another something……..Trust me, God has had them reserved for me in every city we have lived. Again, I cannot imagine not meeting these people.
- If you had news of a terminal disease, today, would you wish you had done something differently, in light of affecting people, influencing people, and impacting people for Jesus Christ? (obviously we all would have a list of something, but I’m asking regarding ministry, eternity, and risk)
- Don’t be a slave to a wage.
- Want implies that you do not deserve what you desire. You do. (everything God has ordained for you.)
- You will never have enough money to follow your dream.
- Start today to earn the wages your mind pays you.
- When you have no challenges, you feel miserable, because challenge is purpose.
- The only catalyst most of you are missing is RISK.
- In order for God to have pleasure in you, you must strive, test, and dare the jaws of the lion.
- Ease offers God nothing.
- You need to jump knowing there is going to be a net there.
- He needs you to go out into the rain without doubt knowing that sunshine will appear.
LIFE IS SHORT!
You know, Ephesians 6 has always been a text that changes things when you get near it……especially when you teach from it or obey because of it: “Putting on the whole armor of God” is so important. Sam Cathey always said, “Don’t preach Ephesians 6 unless you’re ready for all hell to break loose.” Sam, I didn’t preach Ephesians 6 this time, but I may have thought about it….Well, when you move into the miracle territory of obedience, you have to remind yourself that the things that can happen to you like the list below, is common. None of us want to go through the pain of what we don’t want to get to the results of what we do want. Take a glance at what our family has dealt with since Friday of last week, almost everyday, as we have stepped into the mission field of church planting:
- Our truck was not loaded well; therefore, a myriad of broken furniture, torn leather, and ruined things
- Long list of things to be repaired
- Got stung by a yellow jacket
- Traffic and rain made us late for church Sunday
- Our computers crashed; has taken us days and hours to get it all back up and running
- A dog ran out in front of Jordan and it was killed (I posted yesterday)
- Kim got in my car Tuesday and the check engine light came on
- Kim left her paperwork at home after driving 25 minutes across town
- Jordan went to his school and we couldn’t get in touch with him for 5 hours. We had to go find him. We were worried. We found him.
Needless to say, this is not something I post to acquire self-pity but just to reiterate that as a pastor for almost 20 years, you still have to adjust the attitude, learn, dig deep, and know that God must be up to something big. The good news is, that the longer you journey with God and His love, the more memory you have of how He’s generally always followed the same course of action. Our good friend Donna Stilwell put it this way: “If you obey God, the devil comes after you. If you don’t obey God, God comes after you.” Which one would you rather have upset with you? God is bigger! It’s always worth it, trust me.
P.S. Right in the middle of all of this God has been throwing out blessing: A pastor called and committed to be a financial and support partner of Origin. Another couple made a contribution to Origin; someone I had never met before. Check out, here, what’s been similar, and almost the same days of challenge for church planter, Paul Peterson, who just got to Cincinnati.