Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"By Faith..."

This morning I spent my quiet time with the Lord reading Hebrews 11, a very familiar passage, deemed by some as the "Hall of Fame of Faith." The writer of the Book of Hebrews list some of the giants of the faith who in the Old Testament were used by God in some amazing ways. The introduction to each of the different men and women listed start with two simple yet profound words "By faith...". I spent a good portion of the morning reflecting on those two words, "by faith...". Faith, a great word, a word that is essential to our walk with the Lord, a word that as Christians we would say is crucial we embrace and yet on so many different occasions in our lives we abandon. Now we don't abandon it entirely per say, in the sense we don't have faith any longer, we abandon it, in the sense that we misplace our faith.

The key to the success of those written about in Hebrews chapter 11 is that their faith was in the Lord. In the midst of prosperity or in difficulty they remained steadfast in the promises of God. Now don't get me wrong, they failed, they were at times tripped up, but in the end they centered themselves in God.

By faith...I just continued to allow those two words to sit on my heart and mind and I began to reflect on this season of my life. What is it that God is calling me to? What mountains are currently standing in my way? What dreams and visions are at risk of not coming to fruition in this season of my life? And above all of that, what will be my response to these things? Will I cash in, give up, seek to place my faith in something else, or will I hold on to the promises of God. By faith...the Bible says.

I have been doing some serious praying in regards to our church and ministry lately. Six years ago a small remnant of people by faith...stepped out to start a church that would engage the culture and the world. God quickly grew that remnant and after 2 and a half short years by faith...300 people sacrificed their own resources to build a permanent facility that would serve as a launching pad for greater ministry. Shortly after that a small segment of people by faith...set out to start another campus in Naples. Since day one by faith...the leadership of Summit, thought it was as important to be committed to the world as it was to their own four walls, so from day one has decided to give a large portion of their resources to expand the vision of every man, woman and child in many different formats. In so many different ways and in responses to so many different what seemed to be overwhelming challenges, the people of Summit Church, by faith...acted in response to God's leading and saw the move and the glory of God in amazing ways.

Today our ministry stands at yet another crossroads with another challenge in front of us...and my prayer is that just like in our history that in our faith...we will respond. By faith...we will not shrink back! By faith...we will continue to pursue God with reckless abandonment. By faith...we will continue to partner with existing churches in our area and plant new churches and campuses to reach every man, woman and child. By faith...I pray that we will continue to strive to be a generous church, that holds ALL of its resources with open hands, sharing it as God leads us to. By faith...may this expression be defined and be led.

The fact is God's Word states, "And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him." Hebrews 11:6

I challenge you to take a spiritual inventory and complete this statement for yourself and for this recent season of your life..."by faith________?" What do you need faith for right now? What is it that God is calling you to do? And is your faith truly in the One who called you and who has saved you? Just a rambling, but worth a thought. God Bless.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Truly a great night with the fam. Saw Santa, had dinner, raised havoc. Max did such an awesome job. Love those snap shot moments. Autism sucks but God is good!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Going Away Party

Yesterday the staff of Summit threw a going away/appreciation party for my wife, Pam. Since day one of Summit my wife has played a huge role and an integral part of this ministry. In fact outside of the members of the Leadership Team up until yesterday, she was the longest tenured employee we had. And as grateful as I am for her hard work in keeping up with and maintaining the accounting for our ministry and for the many ministries we are connected with, I am much more grateful for a wife who has always supported me and encouraged me to do what God has called me to do.

The office for me will not be the same, but I am absolutely ecstatic that my wife will have the liberty and margin to be more engaged in the lives of our kids, in our community and in the lives of the women that God has placed in her path. I am so thankful for a godly wife.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What's My Name?

So the other day my wife and I were laying in bed with our kids getting ready for the day and I turned and asked my son, Max, "what's my name?" and he replied "HUN!" My wife and I laughed and laughed. Over the last couple of days I have reflected not just on my son's response, but more so on my wife's amazing influence and example over our children. Why did my son respond, with "HUN" because he has heard his mom call me that throughout his life span. Now before you cast that off as no big deal, think for a moment. There are many wives out there that do not honor their husbands and I have been blessed with one that does. Just as easy, my son's answer to the question, what's my name?, could have been, chump, idiot, loser, good for nothing, but the fact remains he has copied his mom's example. Now at some point we'll have to tell him that my name is actually Orlando, but for now I celebrate the blessing of a wonderful life whose life speaks loudly to our precious kids.