Last weekend I traveled to South Florida to meet with friends to share the vision of Good Life Church and to ask for prayer and support. The weekend was amazing and was highlighted by a powerful day of worship with Two Rivers Church. The Good News was presented in a clear and loving way and many began following Jesus. I am thankful for Steve Pridmore and his leadership in the South Florida community.
On Sunday night I was in the process of meeting with a long-time friend at Starbucks in Ft. Lauderdale when my rental car was broken into and my bag was stolen which contained a work laptop and a couple prayer journals. The laptop contained almost all my writings over the last couple years. After spending the rest of the evening trying to cancel bank accounts and changing personal passwords from everything from facebook to twitter, to this blog, I tried to get some sleep.
I headed towards the airport in the morning anxious about dealing with 2 broken windows on a rental car. As I drove I sensed Jesus telling me to go back to the scene of the crime before going to the airport. I really didn’t want to, but I thought maybe the people who stole from me had a change of heart and returned my bag. When I arrived at the scene I got out and looked around but didn’t see anything so I headed back to the car. I sensed the Spirit tell me to check in the dumpster, so I did and…nothing. The Lord then told me to look in some bushes all around the dumpster and I did and… still nothing. I got back in the car and told Jesus I was wasting time and I had to catch a flight. As I drove, Jesus directed me to another dumpster. As I approached it I sensed that this was it. My pulse raced as I just knew that I was about to witness a miracle, my bag just as I had left it, with a note from the repentant thief. To my surprise the dumpster contained nothing at all, not even a piece of trash. I told God that the whole search was a waste of time and I returned back to the car and headed to the airport. After I had gone a couple blocks the Lord spoke again to me. “Jason, you search frantically for things, I search frantically for people. I want you to do the same.” He also revealed to me that the enemy smashes the windows of people lives everyday and steal minds, hearts, dreams, talents, gifts, and lives with no regard for the damage left behind. He then revealed to me that my ministry, our local congregation called Good Life Church, will be focused on getting back what the enemy stole from people. The Gospel is the offer of restoration to the world. The Good News fills the emptiness in our lives and gives us new hearts, new minds, renewed purpose today and a promising future for tomorrow. The people of this world need this!
My prayer is that Good Life Church will be used by God to live out, model, and share the restorating work of Jesus (the Gospel) starting with the people of Bradenton/Sarasota and then beyond.
Though this situation caused some unrest in the Smith home for a few days, it will be most remembered for how God used it to illustrate His Heart and plan for Good Life Church.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.