Sunday, November 28, 2010

Three things I have learned about walking by faith…

Daniel 3:16-18 (NIV) Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

I you have spent any time at all in church as a kid you probably have heard the story of the three Hebrew boys and the fiery furnace. If not, lee me recap, there are three boys, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego (not their real names – long story for another time…) Anyway, these boys have been commanded, along with the rest of the Babylonian Empire, to boy down and worship an idol that was made by the King, Nebuchadnezzar. As you read above in The Message version of the Bible, they said “No!”. This makes the king very unhappy so he threatens to throw them all into a fire and burn them as an example to anyone else who would get the same idea.

This is where it gets good, they make a statement to him in two sentences that have absolutely revolutionized my thinking. I don’t know about you, but I have a thinking problem. Every time God promises something I start with the “What is he doesn’t?” stuff. It really drives me crazy and makes me mad all at the same time. You know what I’m talking about, God says He wants to bless you or heal you or whatever, and we believe for a minute, then we start the how, when, where questions. We know we heard from God for our lives, but we still struggle with doubt.

I have found that faith is actually the exact opposite of the natural, human reaction and thought process. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 10:39 (NIV) ”Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” In Matthew 19:29 He said, “…the last will be first and the first last.” In our world the first are first and the last are, well, last, but Jesus has come to bring a new kingdom, new thought and a new reality.

So back to the Hebrew boys and thre three things they taught me. Number one, they teach us that God can do it. v. 17a - If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it… They had no doubt as to God’s ability to perform. In order to truly walk in faith you have to know that He can do anything. You have to believe He is your source, your supply, your everything. The first thing I had to learn to walk by faith and not by sight was that God CAN. That simple.

If I do not believe He is able to that I can not make it to the next step, that I believe He will. v.17b- and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. Step one is knowing He can, step two is believing He will for you. It is easy to believe that God spoke everything in existence and that He can heal the sick, and that He can provide all you need according to His riches in glory. It is another thing entirely to make that personal and believe He will for you and for me.

The three amigos were not happy just knowing that God could do something, but they were facing a very personal need and they believed that He would do it again, FOR THEM! How much more would we accomplish, or at least attempt, if we truly believed that God would take care of us?

That brings us to the third and final lesson, v. 18- But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Even if He does not come through for us, we will still not bow, we will not stop, we will still believe and we will not worship any other God but our God.

This is the hardest thing for me personally to get my hands around. I know God has called me to do things, I believe He will, but now God is challenging me to walk with the determination that even if He does not answer the way I thought He should, I will not stop serving Him.

My prayer today for each of us is, “God let me know you can, let me believe you will, and let me trust you so much that I can say that even you don’t, I will serve you. This is the true attitude of faith and the attitude that can see God do the miraculous in our lives. It will allow us to truly walk without fear. What is the worst thing that can happen? Name it and get comfortable with it, and then get over it. God has not called us to love in fear, He has called us to walk by faith.

So what happens if he doesn’t come though as you thought He would? I think we are asking the wrong questions. The correct question should be, “What if He does?” Well in the story we read, it caused the entire nation to serve the true and living God. What about you, what would happen in your life if He really did do it? Would it turn your home, your job, your finances, your relationships upside down? What do you have to lose? Take on the attitude, “God Can, I believe that He WILL, but even if He does not, I will still walk in faith…” and watch God move in your life.

Share your stories with us today. Just go to The Bridge – Hot Springs FaceBook and go to the My Story page. Let us know what God has done in your life this year!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Port St. Lucie to Hot Springs

On October 4, 2007, three years ago today I was laid off from a very good job as The Director of Commercial Real Estate in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Our life had been in chaos for some time at this point and we were trying to find God's direction in it all. We knew what God had said to us and what we were called to do, but were not sure if that would be a reality again or not.

Within a week of that transition Deidre and I received a call from her mom, Dianne Bates in Hot Springs, AR, with an invitation to work with The Master's Table and begin a mission in this soup kitchen on Sundays to the down and out in Hot Springs. The problem was we were still in South Florida and Hot Springs was a long way away. So we did what we knew to do, we prayed and asked God for His direction. We had some very big issues that needed to be addressed, so I put out a "fleece" to God and said this is what has to happen for me to know it is your will for us to move to Hot Springs; 1. I needed a job there. 2. We had a house in Port St. Lucie, FL to sale in a pretty bad economy. 3. We did not have a place to live and no money to rent it if we did. 4. We did not have the means to make the move 21 hours across the country.

In late October, the 29th, I decided to come on out to Hot Springs for a few days to just check everything out. The day before I was scheduled to fly out I received a call from a national head-hunter I had contacted that said I have a potential job for you in, of all places, Little Rock. She said the only problem was I had to interview there immediately. I told her I was flying into Little Rock the next day and so the meeting was set. I was driven from the airport to the McCain Mall in North Little Rock, met with the mall manager, and in less than an hour I had the job. I left there with the first obstacle checked off.

That night I met with Doug & Lain Rodgers, the founders of the Master's Table. We hit it off and went to the facility the next day. We served 486 people that day, then had 30 return on Sunday for a mission service in which I spoke. By the time this was done I was sold. I called Deidre and told her we were moving to AR. I still did not have a place to live, our house sold, nor did we have money to move, but I had a word from God.

When I returned to Port St. Lucie we decided to go to dinner at Bennigan's. On the way home from dinner my car was rear-ended by a Ford F150. It did a good deal of damage and put me seeing a chiropractor for a couple of weeks. What Iwe did not know was that God was using this event to "give seed to the sower". We settled with the insurance company with all bills paid and $500.00 in cash for pain & suffering. Now we have been around long enough to know that "if it's not big enough to meet your need it must be your seed". We decided to sow that $500.00 in Pastor Clint Brown in Orlando. He was a great mentor and had been our covering pastor for over 5 years.

Within just a few days things started heating up. We had a couple of Hispanic men come to our front door at 9PM and asked to come in and see the house. They said they liked it and wanted to make an offer on it. We showed them around, against my better judgment at that hour, and sure to their word, they made an acceptable offer and bought the house; 2 down, 2 to go!

We then received a phone call from a lady in Hot Springs, she said, "We really feel this is a God thing. We will have signed a lease on a house for 6 months for you, we are going to pay for it and all you have to do it move in." 3 down! Then we received a call from a man who said he wanted to pay for our entire move; gas, hotel, food, everything. He sent me his credit card and that was that. On November 13th, 15 days form the time I flew to Hot Springs I was in a truck with my nephew Andrew and the Twins, Mikayla & Mariah, headed to Hot Springs, AR.

I wish I could say that it has been easy the whole time, but that would be a lie. But I can say, thanks to an initial $500 seed, and many since that, we have been able to walk into the purpose and destiny God has designed for us. My challenge to you is to step out in faith, sow into the ministry God has attached you to, watch God move on your behalf, oh yea go to¬e_id=100692326663310&id=151781231524220#!/pages/Tell-Us-Your-Story/151781231524220 and let us hear YOUR story.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Live Where You Are!

I am sitting in a Hampton Inn in Baton Rouge, LA. Pastor Jeff and I just left All Access 2010 Church Planter's Conference for the evening, what a day! We just sat through a message by the host Pastor of The Healing Place Church, Dino Rizzo who challenged us to not despise the small things. Everything starts small, but that is just the beginning...

My take away is that we need to "Live", truly live, where we are. So many times we spend our lives looking for what's next, praying for the next BIG thing, that we forget to enjoy where we are. I am in a town on the Gulf Coast, my family and my church are seven hours away and I am reminded of what is most important. I am so very blessed. I have the greatest wife and kids anyone could ask for. My wife, Deidre, is the most amazing, talented, gifted person I have ever met. She has spent her life giving of herself for people to be saved. She never ceases to amaze me with her love, compassion, and passion for The Bridge. My girls are the prize of my life. God has blessed me greatly. I am so blessed to be able to minister to the greatest church in Hot Springs! I have decided to live where I am and watch God take us to the next place.

Here is the point of my rambling, God has put you and positioned you right where you are. You have two choices, walk around the mountain for 40 years grumbling about where you are, or thank God for his provisions and blessings and watch Him remove every obstacle and take you into the promised land. In the words of John Maxwell, Bloom Where Your Planted! God has great things for you, enjoy the ride!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It has been way too long since I sat down and put my thoughts to paper (or keyboard as it were). I am sitting in front of the fire in my living room at 5:30AM just thinking about how great and wonderful God is and decided it has been long enough.

We have just crossed into, not just a new year, but a new decade. For some of us we can remember a few of these transitions. I remember graduating high school 20 years ago in 1990 and the feeling of anticipation I felt to finally be "in the nineties". Then who can forget Y2K, the year 2000. A transition into a new millennium with its confusion, uncertainty, fear and yes, amazingly disappointing total lock down of all things electronic. (That didn't happen for those who are confused right now, but Microsoft did post record sales in Windows related upgrades that year, just saying.)

We are once again standing at the entryway of a new decade, 2010. We have crossed the threshold and are looking into a new time, a new era, with excitement, fear, frustration, expectation, and longing. Longing for this year to be better than last year. To finally live up to the resolutions we made two days ago, for our marriage to be better, or jobs to be better, to make more money, to lose weight, to pray everyday, or to stop smoking.

It is against this backdrop that God has placed a single word in my spirit for 2010 - EPIC. I believe this year, this decade, will be an epic one for God's people. Epic means to go beyond what is ordinary or commonly accepted in scope and size. I believe this year the body of Christ will begin to see different than it has ever before (scope) and that vision will cause us to become greater than we have ever imagined (size).

Habakkuk said that, "even though the vision takes a little longer to get here than you would like, wait for it. It will come, that you can depend on". I am sitting in my living room at 5:30 in the morning with a prophetic message for you today, your life it getting ready to turn a corner. You are in the place of transition, moving from one arena to another.

In the math world the number 10 is significant because it transitions us from counting in single digits to double, or from 1's to 10's. It begins a new system of measurement. It takes us from simple addition to multiplication. God is speaking, through this Epic year that you are going to be moving to a different counting system. Your church will not be able to count the same as it has before. Your life is exploding this year to a new level. Your relationships are transitioning to a new depth of intimacy.

This year, 2010, is an Epic year for every child of God, every Christ follower. Take your vision, write it down, make it plain. Picture yourself walking in it. Take the time to put together a Vision Board, see it, feel it, smell it and live it. This is the year of faith, of advancing, this is an Epic Year! God bless!!!