Because you say so, I will. (Luke 5:5)

If I could only describe the things that are happening to Beth and I, it would freak most of you out. I guess this sums it up....If you know Beth, she is not a morning person to say the least. Actually, most mornings, Beth isn't even a person, more like some sort of snarling animal that should be better off left alone swimming in a swamp in the middle of the Nation of Kazakhstan growling at Borat. (baby, that is just a joke) Anyway, at 4:30am this morning Beth wakes me up because she can't sleep because of all of the thoughts that are going through her head about moving to Boston and getting ready to plant. Let me was 4:30am. We talked in bed for a while and finally got up at about 5:15 to go downstairs to write down some of our thoughts and get in the Word.

I came across Luke 5. Please allow me to share:

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, with the people crowding around him and listening to the word of God, he saw at the water's edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, Jesus said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men."

God spoke to me through this scripture. In this, it is clear that no matter what your experience is, when Jesus speaks and tells you to do something, and you do it, you will see great success. If you notice, Jesus told Peter to cast his net and Peter (who is the professional fisherman) must be thinking, "we've been here all day fishing and have caught nothing, and now you tell me to cast my net and you think the outcome will be different?" None the less, Peter cast the net and caught so many fish that the boat began to sink. Then, Peter freaks out because he knows Jesus knew of his lack of faith and Peter confesses his sin.

Here's my point. Just about everyone that I talk to mentions the spiritual deadness of the Boston area. They talk about how the Catholic Church is incumbent and failing to have influence. They talk about the liturgical boringness of church in that area and how no churches have been able to to be successful or have a real impact in the Boston area. It would be natural to be like Peter and say, "Lord, People have been trying to plant churches in Boston for years and none have had any great success. Why in the world do you want someone else to try? This is a dumb idea." But like Peter, I wanna say "But because you say so, I will let down the nets." The worst thing that I can imagine would be, not casting my net and missing the opportunity to see God place an amount of people in our net that would blow our mind.

Dream w/ me:

Maybe God really is telling us to move, build a team, and plant a church. What if we are obedient and God gave us a "Peter" experience. It would be the greatest thing that we could ever be a part of; it would be our legacy.

God, Please dont move on.

I read this blog from Elevation Church pastor Steven Furtick. Talk about hitting home. The last thing that I want is to miss what God wants to do through us. I was almost brought to tears in thinking that it is possible to miss out on the timing of God because of fear or a lack of courage. I am asking anyone who will read this to pray for Beth and I as we begin to make decisions for our future. Pray that we will always be reminded of Joshua 1:8 "Be strong and courageous, dont be terrified, dont be discouraged, for the Lord our God will be with us wherever we go."

here was the blog.

The lifetime of the opportunityJuly 30th, 2008
“The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity.”
Leonard Ravenhill

Every opportunity has an expiration date. Exceptional people, churches, and businesses possess the agility to move at the speed of God. This usually means merging into oncoming traffic at breakneck speed.

A lot of people I know are more fearful of making a wrong move than making no move at all. Not me. I’ve been alive long enough to know that if I just sit at the intersection after God has given a green light, He’ll only honk a few times before He passes me by in the other lane. Doesn’t mean He’ll stop loving me or stop using me. It just means that that opportunity is gone. Forever.
If you are currently considering an great, godly, risky opportunity, consider this:The cost of missing out can be greater than the cost of messing up.The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity.

Being on Mission "Fishers of Men"

I have been trying so hard lately to live a life on mission. The other day I posed the question to Beth, "What are we intentionally doing, in order for lost people to come to faith in Jesus?" I was really convicted of this the other day while listening to a sermon titled "Dwelling w/ Unbelievers" The point of the message was to share the importance of living intentionally missional lives. They asked the question, "where are you hanging out so that you are intentionally hanging out with unbelievers, in order to see the people far from God, filled with life in Christ?" They also, asked "Do you have influence w/ any unbelievers right now?" and Why are you afraid to chill w/ unbelievers?" Those are some tough questions?

Hanging around lost people is not very difficult for me because I work a secular job that puts me in touch with many different people, I play basketball at the YMCA 3 days a week, and my personality is one which engages people all of the time. The conviction came when I asked myself, "Am I utilizing these opportunities to see people far from Christ, draw near to Christ?" I need to start looking very careful everyday at how God wants to use me to be a missionary who is intentional about these things everywhere I go.

Matthew 4, Jesus says, I will make you fishers of men. Notice he didn't say hunters. Sometimes I want to be a hunter rather than a fisherman. A fisherman, throws out his line, and when he hooks something, slowly reels it in. A hunter, sees its target and shoots it. Jesus was a fisherman, he would throw his line out with compassion, love, truth, etc and when one would take the bate, he would be right there to guide them in. I at times can be a hunter where I see someone who is lost and want to kill them with the gospel rather than loving them and slowly walk them into this love story with Jesus. There is a huge difference.


If you read back a few blogs ago, if I would have shot Starr w/ the gospel rather than having love and compassion on her situation, she would have been uninterested. But because I threw out a little Jesus, she bit the bate and my family is growing a close relationship with her and watching Jesus work in her life.

Last week, at the YMCA, one of the guys I play ball with was going to go in for surgery on his knee and it was his last day to play for 6 months. After we were done playing, I pulled him to the side, and just asked him if I could pray for his surgery. In a moment of shock that I would ask such a question, he accepted. So I prayed and was done. Afterwards, he looked at me and was amazed that someone would actually do that, he gave me a hug, (A man hug may I add, one that starts with a dap, then is brought in like dudes do after scoring a touchdown). He looked at me and said with as much sincerely I have ever seen from him, "Thank You". That was missional. I didn't tell him about his sin, or hell, or outside of a relationship w/ Jesus , you have no business coming to the throne of the Father in prayer. Instead, I loved him like Jesus would have if he were here.

I (we) need to live missional, we need to love like Jesus did. We need to surround ourselves with lost people like Jesus and show them what it looks like to follow Christ and not be religious fundamentals., like the ones who nailed Jesus to the cross.

Friends and Family pop-in.

This past week was so cool. First my Grandparents popped in from NY to visit. They are awesome. My grandparents were the first people in my life who prayed for me. They say that when I was little, they knew how I was being raised from a "Religious" perspective and how the family baggage was effecting me and they would consistently pray for me. I never knew about this until I a few years ago. Then we had our friends from college, Heather and Carlos, come and visit us with their little baby girl. She was so cute. It was so awesome to see them. They are the type of friends that you can go years without seeing them and when you finally get together, it's as if you were never apart. I had a chance to share with them my heart for Boston and what God is doing. They were so encouraging and I will definitely be calling them when it is time to move and invite them on the journey with us. Check Spelling

Prayer Room "Go into your room and close your door"

We have this over sized closet under our stairs that has been used for everything you can think of. It has been a clothes storage room, Shoe closet, office, computer room, scrapbook room, junk room, etc. I came home the other day and Beth has turned it into my own personal prayer closet. It has rocking chair, bookshelves, speakers for my Ipod, and a fresh coat of paint. I have had the sweetest time in there the past few days. I can go in shut my door, read, pray, study, etc. Its been awesome.

Matthew 6:5-6

5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Note to self: Never Forget

Note to self:
Never forget the conversation that I had with Frank on his porch. It could be one that we look back on forever as a moment in time that God was pushing us forward, to something huge. Or maybe it wasn't. Time will tell.

Which way do I go?

Today I had conversations with three different people to talk about my future. What to do, What to do?? All three conversations, if taken to its final stage, would take me to totally different places in my life. I am just praying that if there is some sort of transition that is supposed to take place in the future that God will make it clear what direction to go in. I currently love my job, I have a passion for ministry, and I want to plant a church. Timing is Everything!!!!! I just agree to not pursue anything, but if things fall in my lap, maybe its God.

Barry in a Wheelchair at Walmart

It seems like lately I have been trying to be more sensitive to what God wants me to do in the moment. A few days ago when I was dis-obedient to what God was telling me to do, it really bummed me out.

Anyway, yesterday we went to Walmart and I had Ella in the car and we were waiting for Beth to check out. I could sense that God wanted to do something through me so I drove by the entrance to see what was up. About 3 minutes after being there, Barry, a Walmart employee who was in a wheelchair rolled out with a burger. I saw him pray for his food before eating it. Its crazy how seeing something that simple can really bless me. So I got out of the car to wait for Beth and started talking to him. I asked him why he was in a wheelchair, did he have a family, etc. It turns out that he was in a car accident 14 years ago and he is paralyzed from the chest down. I asked if the Dr's thought he'd walk again, he said "No" but they don't have the ultimate say.

It is neat that God sent me to this man to be blessed and not just bless him. He had a great attitude and I could tell he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Anyway, I told him that I felt that Jesus wanted me to pray for him so I asked him if I could and he kindly accepted. It was pretty neat to stand at the entrance of Walmart with people everywhere and pray for this man in a wheelchair. I can only imagine how the Lord may have decided to use that to encourage other onlookers.

There was no healing, no miracle, he didn't stand up and throw his wheelchair and dance around the streets, but I could tell that there was something deep in my soul that was touched and I feel that Barry felt something similar. David Wilkerson says it best in his famous book, The Cross and the Switchblade, "There is nothing like being led by the Spirit; Nothing"

Beautiful Morning

I had a beautiful morning with the Lord today. For a few months I have been trying to read the bible before I do anything in the morning. Today was neat. I spent about 45 un-interrupted minutes with God. It was the 1st thing on my agenda to do and I started at about 6:20am. I normally struggle with a system and how to fill my prayer time. Today this is what I did.

1. Read the 1 year bible.
2. Prayed using the outline in the Lords Prayer.
3. Stood and read scripture aloud and prayed through the things that struck me.
4. I did it all outside so I could speak out loud, walk around, and look to the sky at times.

Now I am reading "Knowing God" by J.I. Packer and drinking my coffee. What a beautiful morning.

Hickup at Disney World

Today I got a call from my old college pastor who married Beth and I. He told me that he wanted me to submit my resume to the Youth Director at his church. Dan goes to FBC Oviedo which is a mega-church right next to Disney World in Orlando.

I have no-idea if this is from God or not. Could it be that God is opening up doors for me to gain experience within a mega-church to prepare me for the future? I really don't know.

Elevation Church, Charlotte (Conversation)

Today I had the privledge to have an hour long conversation with Larry Brey at Elevation church. I was able to talk to him about my calling to church plant and get a little perspective from him. He seems like a great guy. A couple of things that I walked away with and questions that I need to confirm from myself are listed below. These are things that he said I need to be able to say "Yes" to before committing to be a church planter.

1. Am I called to be a GREAT preacher of the gospel?
2. Will I be one of a kind or just a Copy and Paste church?
3. Do people confirm the anointing of God on me?
4. Are we (Beth and I) willing to make the sacrifice?
5. Am I willing to tell people to either jump on board or get out of my way because we're doing it anyway?

Also, he said I need these things before launch.
1. What are the things that no matter what will you never change your view or values on?
2. You need to have an army of service orientated believers to fight with you.

For those who don't know. Elevation church is a mega church in Charlotte. It was labeled the fastest growing church in 2007. It went from 120 to 4000 people in 18 months. The pastor is only 28. Larry has invited Beth and I to a behind the scenes at Elevation where we would hang out with him and hs team to see how they get things done. That is a major honor.

I am eager to get in my prayer closet to see what is next for us.

I was dis-obedient to the Holy Spirit....and it Sucks

Today I pulled into McDonald's with a guy that I work with. As I was pulling into my parking spot I noticed 3 guys talking in the parking lot. Immediately the Holy Spirit said "Go Pray with them." It was just about as clear as I have ever heard God verbally speak to me. However, that seemed a little weird. Think about it, am I supposed to just role up and say "God wants me to pray for you"? Anyway, I took 1 step towards them and totally chickened out. I turned around and walked into McDonald's. As I get to the counter and order, God is just convicting me, and he's still telling me to go outside and pray for them. Finally I order and walk out there. It turns out that there was only 1 guy there still. So, I walked up to him and said, "I think that God wants me to pray for you", he said "Your about 3 minutes late. I was sharing the Gospel with 2 guys and they just left." OH MY GOSH........

I was so upset and cannot stop think about what would have happened if this guy was sharing the Gospel with them and I just rolled up and said that God sent me to pray. Think about how the spiritual climate would have sky rocked and I could have been a part of something so cool.

So anyway, I was dis-obedient to the Holy Spirit and it sucks!!!!!!!!!

Starr Night at Chili's

Last Monday Beth and I went out to dinner to Chili's with our close friends. We're chillin, taking our time ordering and I strike up a conversation with our waitress. Her name is Starr w/ 2 R's; just to clarify. Anyway, she is this sweet little black (African Americans for you conservatives) college student who goes to NCA&T. I'm asking here we're she's from, how she likes school etc, then I invited her to visit our church. I told her how relevant it is and how all the people are young and she'd love it.

About 10 minutes later she comes back to our table and says the following: "I just feel drawn to you and feel like I can ask you this. My boyfriend and I have been together for 7 years (Long time, she's only about 21) we live together, we moved out here together. Anyway, he doesn't tell me that he loves me and when I see other couples it makes me want to look elsewhere, is that Bad?" Wow, is this really happening, is my first response in my head.

I quickly got in Pastor role. I told her that obviously that she was being intimate with this by and that it was not Gods will for that to be the case and she does need to be looking somewhere but not another boy. I explained to her that the reason that she was so upset that she wasnt hearing "I love u" from him was that she had put all of herself into making him her source of fulfillment. In this case sexual immorality was the case but not the main sin, that was just fruit of the real sin that was taking place. The real sin was idolatry, she created the boy to be her god. I told her about Jesus and how he always fulfills, always loves, always cares and will always be there.

That was on Monday, on Sunday she showed up at church. She found Beth and I after service to tell us that God totally jacked her up. That night God told here that she was to break up with him. She goes home and breaks up with him that night......CRAZY. Then at church she gets a bible and tells us that she is going to read that book even if it kills her. Now we're going to see here again on Sunday and maybe before then.

Check out her e-mail to us today:
HEY!!! Im sooo glad you wrote me. I accidently deleted Beth's # out of my phone so I went to Daystar's website to try to find u. I wrote Frank an email. BUT... everything is actually great with me. I still live with Leon because I dont have the money to move as soon as I wanted to but the good news is I FOUND AN APARTMENT!!! My roommate and I are supposed to move in at the end of the month so thats great. But, the lady at the apartments said that eveything looks good but we have to get the final approval from the manager on monday.. SO PRAY THAT I GET IT!!!
I haven't started reading my bible yet. I mean I know I could start at the beginning but I was wondering if there is some place else that u could reccommend me starting. I would love to hang out with you guys some time this week end but I have to work in the evening so if yall are doing anything before 5 let me know!!!!

It is so cool to see God at work in the lives of people. I cannot wait to build a church of people looking to be missionaries in their world and we will be able to see this going on all over our city.