What Are You Dreaming About?

I have been at it again. Dreaming about reaching people and making a difference.

We have two campuses, one in Tennessee and one in Georgia. Different locations but one church. One vision but different dreams for different settings!

I have been dreaming.

If you haven’t been dreaming lately about something new, something better or something really big, then today would be a great day to start! Today, I want to encourage you to renew your God given right to dream.

9 years ago, I was dreaming. I was dreaming about what could be and what should be.

I was dreaming about starting a church in the most un-churched county in the state of Georgia. I can remember dreaming about reaching people, watching lives be changed and impacting the community.

2 years ago I was dreaming about a second campus in the Memphis area.

Unfortunately lots of people and churches are not dreaming. If you aren’t dreaming, you are not going anywhere. Every person ends up somewhere but few people and few churches end up somewhere on purpose.

I am constantly dreaming, planning, praying and believing for a different future. What are you dreaming about?

I had big dreams 9 years ago as 40 people met together, dreaming and praying of what could happen. And 2 years ago with about the same amount of people dreaming about a multi site campus in Tennessee.

None of us thought that in 9 short years, we would see over 2000 people walk forward to accept Christ!! We have seen miracle after miracle with God showing up and doing only what He can do.

I’m dreaming of so much more for New Season Church.

What are you dreaming about?

Vision Matters

Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

Without goals and dreams and Godly ambition, people perish. Without that “fire in your belly”; that calling or drive; that purpose and passion inside of you, you will die. You must have a vision. You have to own it, share it and make it happen.

Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Wow, I like that quote! I not only like it, I believe it, I embrace it and I live it.

I close my eyes and think and imagine what could be and what should be, and what action I need to take to make it happen. I am not just speaking of a project, a job or something you have to get done because you have been told to do it…I am talking about a vision! A preferred future. I am talking about your life!

A life without vision is wearisome; a vision without passion will have no life. Passion without vision is just the heart’s way of throwing a tantrum. Passion always accompanies the vision.

Vision without passion won’t get you anywhere because you will lack the drive to make it happen.

Vision really does matter!

What is your vision?
What is your passion?
What has God called you to do?

Vision really does matter!

You Can’t Do Life Alone

No matter how tough you are, no matter how independent or self-reliant you are, and no matter how much you pride yourself in the belief that you don’t need anyone, it is just not true.

You and I cannot do life alone.

Even in the perfect Garden of Eden, God said to Adam, “it’s not good for you to be alone.” We were created to be in community.

We were designed to need and want other people. Life is meant to be shared and experienced with others. There is strength in numbers.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” We need each other!

Going to church is obviously essential and even commanded, but you worship in a crowd and fellowship in a small group.

That smaller group is what you need. You need a place to share your hurts, pain and problems. You need other people to pray with you, encourage you and hold you accountable.

We have many opportunities coming up at New Season to allow you to connect with other people.

Join us this Sunday, Feb. 12th at 12:30 pm or on Monday evening, February 13th at 6:30 pm for our Group Launch. This will give you the opportunity to enjoy a meal that we provide, fellowship with others and allow you to find a Small Group to be a part of. We will even feed your kids and provide childcare.

We are doing all that we can to help you connect in a Small Group.

We also have a new session kicking off for our D-Groups (Discipleship Groups) which meet on Wednesday nights at church. D-Groups begin on March 1st and we offer a variety of classes.

Take advantage of these opportunities to grow, connect and build relationships.

Remember, you can’t do life alone!

Be A Reader

I’m a reader. I love to read! I read every day.

Reading every day has been unbelievable. I read theology, biographies, books on church growth and everything I can get my hands on concerning leadership.

Reading has become a love for me. Not a duty or a chore but pure delight.

Books can take you anywhere. And they have for me!

My journey with God, spiritual growth and ministry took off when I grew serious about reading. I began to change…I could see it and feel it.

Other people noticed the change in me. I began to grow by leaps and bounds.

Today, I read 80 to 100 books every year and have been doing so for the past 15 years. Reading has changed my entire life.

My pastor, Johnny Hunt has just written an incredible book about demolishing strongholds. I encourage you to buy it today!

Be a reader!

Top 5 List

Let me give you five things that we need to do this weekend…

1. Throw yourself at Jesus
Surrender everything you are and everything you hope to be. Confess, repent, experience his cleansing, and forgiveness. Trust Jesus to give you a new start and a new direction.

2. Constantly renew your mind
Feed your mind the right things every day. Read, pray, listen to sermons, get a healthy diet of good things in your life. Preach to your self!

3. Spend time with positive, faith-filled people
Who you associate with will be extremely important. Who you hang around or do not hang around with will “make or break you”. Surround yourself with positive, faith-filled people. It will make a difference!

4. Know that God is working
Knowing that God is working causes you to trust and to depend on Him. God is not finished – what He starts, He finishes. He is molding you and sculpting you into a trophy of grace.

5. Share your story
Tell others how faithful God has been. Tell them how He has worked in your life. Don’t waste your pain.

Where Are You Running?

I talk to someone every week who is either in a mess or they know someone else who is in a mess.

They always start off saying, “I don’t know how I got here but…”

I think I have said “the secret to life is how you deal with your pain” at least a million times!

God has created us to be emotional beings and when we are hurting, we begin to create outlets or emotional escapes. When you are sad, mad, stressed out or really depressed, you begin to feel hopeless and grow frustrated with your current situation.

When that happens – when you get to that place, where do you run?

Do you run to alcohol or some other drug? What about that pornography that you have to watch or the issue you face with spending money out of control? You fill in the blank.

Do you run to these things or others that only cover up your pain, something that allows you to hide? Or do you run to the only one who can actually ease your pain and bring healing?

We all run, we all escape. The question is where you running?

If you run to the wrong thing you will not only create the opportunity for addiction to set in, you could jeopardize your future!

Run to Jesus! Run to a counselor! Run to friends! Run to accountability! Run to the right things.

Where are you running?

Today is cause for celebration! It is my wedding anniversary with my best friend and love of my life!

It is also our twins, Kayla and Austin’s Birthday. They turn 27 today!

Happy birthday Kayla and Austin! It’s hard to believe our twins are 27. I can remember being in the Dr. office with Vickie getting a sonogram and finding out we were having twins. Double blessings!

Even crazier than that is celebrating my wedding anniversary today…

My wife has put up with a lot! She has stood by Be in the good, the bad and the ugly. I thank God for the wisdom, discernment and encouragement she has provided over the years.

Vickie is beautiful both inside and outside. She is funny, sweet, compassionate, a lover of Jesus and an avid sports fan! I certainly out punted my coverage.

Most couples go into their marriage believing that if they can marry Mr. or Mrs. Right, that will be the answer to all their problems and believe that “love will keep us together.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hopeless romantic and I believe in love. You have to have love. I am deeply in love with Vickie Flockhart!

I’m not talking about silly, Ooey-gooey, emotion only type love. I am talking about commitment; honoring your vows; hanging in when things get tough.

I am speaking of a I Corinthians, chapter 13, verses 4-7 kind of love. You know, the kind of love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.

Too many couples today are throwing in the towel and giving up on their marriages. Remember Romantic love gets you down the aisle, but only sacrificial love will get you to “till death do us part”!

I’m glad we didn’t throw in the towel!

Happy Anniversary Vickie! I love you!

Hurting People Hurt Other People

Over the years I have observed and learned that hurting people hurt other people.

People look for someone to blame when something in their life doesn’t work out. Most of the time, you will notice that they become very defensive and critical. You will be on the receiving end of their rants on social media or even in person. They will use their tongue or pen or words in print to try to hurt you.

Have you noticed that you can have fifty positive things said about you and one negative comment, one disloyal friend, one unkind word or one bit of criticism about something can make your whole attitude change? That one word, action or inaction of a person can change your entire demeanor and put you in a terrible mood. It’s so easy to allow hurting people to hurt us.

Do you have any critical people in your life?
Have you experienced some unfair criticism lately?

There is no shortage of people who want to line up and take shots at you, especially if you are doing something. Aristotle said, “if you don’t ever want to be criticized, then say nothing, do nothing and be nothing.”

Most of us pretend that it really doesn’t bother us to be criticized but deep down, we know that it really does.

Do you remember the little song we sang as children, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” That is not true…words really do hurt!

Remember that critics do what critics do, they criticize! Don’t allow the critics to steal your joy. Don’t allow the fickle opinions of people to dominate your thoughts.

Do you deserve or warrant some criticism? Of course, we all do.

Learn from the small truth but remember that people’s opinions or words about you do not define you. God’s opinion and words DO. He loves you in spite of all of your faults and failures. Trust His good opinion of you.

Zephaniah 3:17 says, “The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Remember that hurting people hurt other people.

God Isn’t Finished

Have you ever had the thought that God is finished using you? Or perhaps you messed up so bad that you feel God will “put you on the shelf” for the rest of your life.
Maybe for days, weeks, months…maybe even years, you have believed that it’s over, that God can’t use you.

I have good news. The only people God ever used in the Bible were people who had really “messed up.”
Abraham lied, Moses killed a man, David committed adultery, Peter had a big mouth and even denied knowing Jesus, and Paul was a murderer.

Listen, your past doesn’t disqualify you from an amazing future in Christ. God is not finished with you, just the opposite, He is just beginning! His plan and purpose for your life are just beginning to unfold.

Stop believing the lie that you have convinced yourself to be true. God has a marvelous plan for your life and He is going to use you! It is going to blow your mind.

God isn’t finished.

Out of Step

It is so easy to get frustrated, discouraged and out of step with God. We all go through spiritual slumps.

At one time or another, most of us can describe our walk with God as distant or as a roller coaster ride.

We have spiritual mountain top experiences and we have the dry valleys. We know the thrill of victory, but we also know the agony of defeat. Have you ever been so down you don’t think you will ever get back up?

You have no energy, no drive and your “want-to” is broken. You feel like God has abandoned you. You feel that God has left you and you will never be able to get out of the hole that you are in.

There is nothing worse than not sensing the presence of God…that divine absence, spiritual loneliness, the feeling when you pray but are not getting through.

We all know too well the spiritual slumps that plague us. We all know how easy it is to get out of step.

If you find yourself in this place right now, make sure you know even when you fall and get out of step you can always get back on track walking with God.