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Embrace the Struggle

09 Apr

Yesterday was absolutely amazing! We celebrated City on a Hill Church’s second Easter. It started very early in the morning at sunrise with an Easter Sunday sunrise baptism. We shared in the sacred moment of baptism with 44 people. Needless to say it left me awestruck and the wonder of God’s hand. The shoreline was filled with over a hundred witnesses. Glory to God forever. Every Friday since January I have spent my morning out at North Gandy Beach praying over what took place yesterday and asking God for the impossible and improbable. Yesterday’s baptism reveals the unmistakable, undeniable testimony of God. We left the waters of baptism to go to two dynamic services where we saw over 20 people make decisions to follow Christ or re-commit their lives to Christ. Again I am left totally in awe of God’s saving power and redeeming grace. This Wednesday will mark the two year anniversary of the first meeting of COAH’s launch team in the Native Sun warehouse. It is so hard to believe it has already been two years. As I have stated multiple times over these past two years, “Church planting is the most beautiful, brutal adventure I have ever been on in my life.” Life itself is a beautiful struggle. As the joy of Easter began to subside and I began to reflect on the work God had accomplished in and through COAH a sobering reminder appeared that the struggle continues. I didn’t even get through the night before the reminder that we are in a struggle for the souls of men, women and children and the enemy never takes a day off. I received word that some key team members were going to have to go away leaving us in a very difficult position. Right away my mind raced and I began doing what I have been doing for the past two years praying like it all depends on God because it does, and working like it all depends on me. One thing I have learned is that church planters must have a masters in creative problem solving:) Rather than go into panic mode I just began to rehearse the good deeds of God in the life of COAH. His hand of provision and protection have been on us from the very beginning. I remembered back to two years ago when I didn’t have anything but Jesus and a dream. I had no Launch Team, no building, no money, no church, no nothing and God provided for us then. Why would He not provide for us now? So I began praying for God to raise up new team members to stand in the gap. I just have to embrace the struggle and recognize that to struggle is biblical. This struggle is seen all throughout the bible. In Isaiah 6 we hear God say, “Who will go for us? Who shall I send?” in Luke 10 we hear Jesus say, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send laborers.” I am the last guy to complain about laborers! I have the most amazing Ministry Team on God’s green earth. I am humbled and honored at the choice group of servant’s that God has gathered and is gathering at City on a Hill Church. So rather than panic and lose my composure I will do what I have done from the beginning pray and ask. I basic biblical principle that can solve most of our struggles is simple, “We have not because we ask not and when we ask we ask with selfish motives.” I don’t want to be guilty of not making the “Big Ask” of God first before anyone else. I have asked God now I am making phone calls, sending emails, sending FB messages, and tweeting our needs. It is definitely not with selfish motives because at COAH it is all about Jesus, it has always been about Jesus and it will always be about Jesus. So I sit here in my office the day after Easter with a new struggle to embrace. It is not new to God and quite honestly it is not new to me. All I have to rely on is God’s amazing provision for us up to this point, which has been stellar. We need a drummer and a bass player to lead out congregation in worship and help us fulfill God’s divine call for COAH in St.Petersburg, FL. We need musicians to lead people into the magnified presence of God and to help people break through during our times of prayer. We need either one drummer and bass player that can play the third and fourth Sunday of the month or we need two drummers and two bass players that can play once per month. This will complete our teams and help us continue the struggle against the enemy of our soul and make it hard to go to Hell in St.Petersburg, FL. I invite you, no matter where you are, to embrace the struggle with us and join us in prayer asking and believing God to call and draw these folks to our church. I do not know what struggle you are facing but I encourage you to embrace the struggle, pray and seek God first, then work like you already have the answer. Remember life is a beautiful struggle so embrace it:) Be encouraged!

 

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