For the last 8 days I have had the awesome privilege of traveling with my good friend Jeff Askew and a group of 140 students and adults sharing the Good News of Jesus in prisons, a youth detention center, a recovery center, as well as at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastor’s Conference in New Orleans. We then traveled back to their home church, Liberty Baptist Church, in Hampton, VA. Sleep was rare and the schedule was demanding but over the week we saw hundreds of lives changed and encouraged by the power of the Gospel. The timing of the trip was good for me. From the moment Beth, the kids and I hit the ground in Bradenton in late May, we have been getting settled, meeting new people, and connecting with possible ministry partners. The trip away provided me a chance to take a step back, assess the first few weeks of Good Life Church being in the Bradenton/Sarasota area, and allow the Lord to minister to me. Sharing the Gospel so many times, to so many people always is a reminder and a challenge to believe the Gospel myself. What I mean by believing is not simply to have an intellectual understanding that Jesus is God, He came in flesh, lived a perfect life, gave up His own life on the cross as a sacrifice for our sin, and rose to life again on the third day. I don’t just mean to believe enough to pray a prayer, make a commitment, or walk an aisle. I don’t even mean to believe enough to do things I know I should and to steer away from things I know I shouldn’t in some religious pursuit. What I mean by believing the Gospel is to get to the point where these historic and present truths of God so flood my heart, my mind, my everything and that His Spirit, as real and as powerful as ever, re-defines my view of life, of myself, of other people, and of the world. To be re-captivated by a love that deep, that pure, that sacrificial, causes the only sensible response, living fully surrendered to His will and His mission.
I am now back on the ground in the city that I have been called and I am pumped about jumping back in to meeting more people, serving the community and sharing the gospel and life with everyone we come in contact with. But as I do, I am grateful for a renewed mind and spirit thanks to the what Jesus reminded me of this last week.
Remember today, wherever you are, whatever your doing… God SO Loves you! Jesus’ blood was, is and always will be enough and life is too short to waste it trying to find everything Jesus already has provided for you, Just come home.
Thanks for your continued prayers. Don’t forget to set your alarms at 1:28 to pray for us!
1 Thess. 2:8