Praying and Believing Big!

What an amazing day yesterday as we opened our New Season Tennessee campus! We had 237 people in attendance with 13 people receiving Christ (7 came forward publicly!) and 2 people were baptized. What a GOD day!

I was amazed and so proud as I watched the Core Team serving with such commitment. I would not dare try to list names for fear of leaving someone out, but this group of people worked all day long on Saturday scrubbing dirty walls, sweeping, mopping, hanging signs, setting up chairs, cribs, and other equipment, etc… then turned around and came early on Sunday morning to finish setting up and welcome those who came to the service.

And let me say, it wasn’t just the adults! Teenagers and children were there working hard and helping get ready too! It was an amazing sight to see these men and women, boys and girls working and fleshing out our vision statement…”We exist so that people far from God may experience life in Christ and become fully engaged followers.”     

This group of people worked hard but they also prayed, invited and believed BIG! There was a spirit of expectancy in the air and they knew that God was going to do something great! 

Have you prayed any BOLD prayers lately? Our prayers are too small and too safe.

Let’s ask, let’s seek and knock on heaven’s door with audacious bold prayers.We saw God answer prayer yesterday in a big way! Let’s keep praying.

Ask God to consume you, to help you let go of your sin and junk, your hurt and pain and run into His arms with complete abandonment. God wants to use us fully.

Beg God to give you His heart, His eyes, and His ears for people…for lost people who don’t know Him and for those in the Body of Christ who are limping around when they should be sprinting. Ask God to let you see the world like He does.

We get to do this! We get to be used by God. Join me in believing!


Intentionality

The day is finally here…this Sunday, March 29th at 10:30 am, we will have the Grand Opening of New Season Tennessee at Bolton High School (7323 Brunswick Rd, Arlington, TN)

After 10 weeks of meeting, planning, praying and working, we will officially open to the public as New Season Tennessee!

We have a fabulous core team of people who have worked hard giving their time, giving their money, praying and seeking God for His guidance and His hand. This team has been laser focused and full of intentionality.

We really have been very intentional about everything. Here at New Season, we don’t do everything right, that’s for sure, but everything we do is done to create an environment where lost people can hear the gospel and be saved.

Everything we do is creating an environment to get people connected to God and to New Season. We are very intentional. Every song, every sermon, every video, every volunteer position…did I mention everything we do is creating an environment to share the gospel and to show Jesus to people?

We must be intentional. Jesus was extremely intentional. He came to seek and save that which was lost. That’s intentionality.

This Sunday will be very intentional! I am believing God for an amazing grand opening! If you live in the area and are not involved in a local church, join us! Don’t miss out on a movement of God…invite like crazy! Be intentional!

Tired of Playing It Safe

Last year it hit me…

I had been thinking long and hard about life and ministry. I was reading a book about multi- site churches when the thought came to me to step out and take a risk. I was tired of playing it safe.

We serve an awesome God who is not scared by our BIG audacious dreams and desires. On the contrary, God desires that we live boldly.

Proverbs 28:1 says, “the righteous are as bold as a lion.” God isn’t offended by our boldness, just the opposite. He is offended by our passivity. Bold faith filled prayers bring honor to God and God honors bold faith!

Are you going to play it safe or take a risk?

Abraham took a risk and left what was familiar to him to see a promise in the making fulfilled. Moses took a risk when he said to Pharaoh, “let my people go.” Joshua took a risk when he told the people to march around Jericho. Peter took a risk when he got out of the boat and started walking on the water.

We took a risk this year by starting two new campuses – one in South Paulding county and one in Memphis, Tennessee.

The SP campus  has only been open for 5 weeks.

New Season Tennessee opens this Sunday!

I am more committed today than ever to step out and take a risk with my life, my ministry and my future!

Take a risk! Take that step of faith and believe God for a better day and a better life. Don’t be paralyzed by fear of man or the fear of looking foolish.

Dare to believe, dare to soar, dare to live the life that God has for you. Stop playing it safe!

Addicted

It’s so awesome to be a part of a church where every Sunday, I get to shake my head in amazement. Watching God do what only He can do fires me up!  It’s addicting. Once you experience it, you have to have it again! Normal church just won’t do.

I am addicted to divine activity! I have had this addiction since July of 1985. Ever since I experienced this divine activity in my life, I can’t seem to settle for the “normal.”

Vance Havner once said, “Christians have been subnormal for so long that if they got just got normal, people would think they are abnormal.”

I love seeing God do things that only God can do. I am grateful that I get to see and be a part of a movement of God. Don’t you long for the supernatural, the eternal, the life changing, life altering power of God?

If you are not careful, your life will be explainable. Unfortunately for the most part, people and churches struggle half-heartedly through life hoping that tomorrow will be better than today. That’s not the life that is made by divine activity…that is human predictability.

Do you have any outrageous prayer requests?

Can you think of anything that has happened in your life that is unexplainable? Any divine activity lately?

When you take your natural ability and His super divine activity, you get supernatural

Please don’t pray for my addiction to go away.

Need Help With Your Money?

If my car breaks down I am not going to take it to a hair stylist to check it out.

If I have strep throat, I am not going to call a plumber to look at my throat.

I would have a mechanic look at my car and I would go see my Doctor to check my throat. Those are the experts who deal with those particular issues.

So, doesn’t it only make sense if you need some great financial guidance, advice for getting out of debt, tips for spending and saving, etc… that you would consult a financial expert?

You will have that opportunity this Sunday at New Season. We are bringing in Joe Sangl, one of the nation’s leading experts on personal finances. Joe will be speaking in our 9:15 and 11:15 services at our Hiram campus and he will do a special Financial Workshop from 4:00 – 6:00 pm on Sunday evening.

I am thrilled at this opportunity for our church. No-one likes to talk about finances, it really is the elephant in the room BUT to have the opportunity to learn things that can change your life in the area of finances is too good to miss!

I was reading Joe’s blog today and this caught my eye:

“When it comes to spending money, we all need a little guidance sometimes so I’ve put together 5 questions to ask before spending! It’s my hope that this series will provide you with practical questions to ask when preparing to spend a substantial amount of money (or any amount of money). Hopefully, these practical questions will help you truly understand the enormity of the decision and help you make the decision that is best for you and your family.

Let’s review questions 1 – 4:

QUESTION 1:  Is this a want or a need purchase?

QUESTION 2:  Will this item INCREASE or DECREASE in value?

QUESTION 3:  Do I have the money to pay CASH for this item?

QUESTION 4:  Will this purchase generate or take away income?

QUESTION 5: Will this help me achieve my future plans, hopes, and dreams?
I believe the number one reason that people fail with their financial plan is a lack of organization and lack of a plan. Without a long-term perspective, it becomes extremely easy to fall into the trap of living for the minute and immediately spending everything we earn. As one develops a long-term perspective, it really helps us recognize that spending all of our money right away will rip our future dreams away from us!”

This is the kind of information that we will have the opportunity to hear this weekend.

Don’t miss out! Be in a service on Sunday morning and then make it back for the 4:00 workshop. When it’s over, let’s all head to Jalapeno Joes in Hiram for dinner!

Just Maybe

I have been really thinking lately about how easy it is to play the victim and whine and complain about everything. It is easy to blame everyone else and not take responsibility.

So I was thinking if we would just "maybe"do some things what would happen..

1. Maybe If I start my day off with the Lord in prayer and in His word, I will have more energy and the strength to stay in the game.

2. Maybe if I improve my sense of mission and purpose, I will have a better idea of where I am headed.

3. Maybe if I improve my attitude, I will be able to see more clearly the opportunities presented to me every day.

4. Maybe if I prioritize my life better, I will not stay involved in the issues that burn up my time.

5. Maybe if I take action sooner, rather than permitting procrastination to rear its ugly head, my dreams will become reality.

6. Maybe if I trust God more and live a life of faith, I will live with less worry and anxiety.

7. Maybe today I will believe all that God had said about me, and all that God believes about me and start living the life God has for me,

The Other Side

I know I’m not alone in getting discouraged and frustrated.

I have my fair share of storms in my life. We all could write a book about the storms that come and knock us off our feet.

Maybe you entered this year thinking positive and expecting good things but one thing after another keeps coming your way!  

It’s not an accident that we read a lot about storms when we read the gospels. The gospel of Matthew says “and suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea”.  The word tempest is the Greek word,  “seismos” where we get our word, “seismograph”.  It actually means “a great and powerful shaking”.

On the sea of Galilee, storms would come up very unexpectedly.  It would be perfectly calm one moment, and in no time at all, you would find yourself in the midst of a furious gale.

In the gospel of Mark, in one story about storms, it says “the boat was getting filled with water”.

Have you ever felt that your boat was getting filled with water? Have you ever felt like the rain would just never stop? Some storms hit so suddenly and severely, and they keep pounding on you, that you wonder if there will ever be any relief.

You can look up in the sky and see a dark cloud forming, and you know a storm is on its way. Life doesn’t work that way! Most of the time, there is no warning and therefore, no preparation. You get blindsided, you get knocked down and can’t seem to get back on your feet.

If you’re in a storm right now, I want to remind you that Jesus said in Mark’s gospel “let’s go to the other side“. You’re going to make it. There is an “other side” of the storm where things are calm and peaceful because “there is one who rules over land and sea“.

I for one am ready for the "other side."

A Super Proud Dad

I have six kids, four sons and two daughters. They are all grown up and as much as I miss the days of playing in the yard, being involved in their schools, getting in trouble from my wife for playing football in the living room and all of the other fun memories, this is an amazing season of life as I watch them mature and follow God’s will for their lives as adults.

This is a particularly exciting time for my son, Stevie, his wife Whitney and my son, Jeremiah.

Stevie was called to preach when he was sixteen years old. He is a very talented musician so for several years, he led worship, recorded CDs, and appeared on American Idol, traveling to Hollywood, back to back two years.

He auditioned for The Voice and made it so he packed his bags and was on the way to the airport to fly to L.A. when he finally surrendered to the call of God to start a church.

His plans were originally to go to Memphis to start a church but through a few twists and turns, God has brought him to Cherokee County and his church plant, Mosaic Church will open this Sunday, March 15 in Woodstock.

I cannot tell you the pride and joy I feel as I watch my oldest son pray, preach, plan, prepare and work for this church plant. He is full of passion and expectancy to see God do something incredible.

He and Whitney have been meeting with a group of people in training and have already seen several people receive Christ in these meetings. They are amazing partners in ministry and those adorable 3 kids of theirs are an added bonus!

My son Jeremiah was living in Charlotte, N.C. and after praying, made the decision to move back to Atlanta and serve with his older brother at Mosaic. I have been amazed by the creativity and commitment to excellence in every detail that Jeremiah makes.

These two brothers together are going to rock their community for Jesus. I am fully confident that Mosaic will be a place where many lives are changed.

Meanwhile, I stand and watch with so much pride. You just never know when your little ones are running around what is down the road.

If you are not involved in a local church, go and be a part of the grand opening of Mosaic Church – this Sunday, March 15 at 10:45 AM at 11303 Hwy 92 in Woodstock, GA 30188.

Tell those Flockhart boys that their proud dad sent you!

Why More Campuses?

I have been asked the question, “why more campuses”?

Why start two new campuses and one of them is in another state?! There are many reasons but the number one reason is that people are lost and going to hell! 

According to Lifeway research, 3500 churches close every year. 3500 churches will no longer be preaching the gospel or being salt and light in their community. That is almost one a day. Let that sink in for just a moment.

According to N.A.M.B. (the North American Mission Board), nearly 72% of Southern Baptist Churches in North America have plateaued or are declining. American Church research project states that 77% of Americans do not have a connection to an orthodox (Bible believing preaching) Church.

There is a great need for God’s people to repent and to be broken hearted over the condition of our land. If we read Nehemiah, chapter one, we see the response of Nehemiah after hearing and understanding the condition of his land and the people. God broke his heart. He wept, prayed and fasted. The Bible says the news so gripped him that he “sat down.”

Churches are closing, churches have become stuck in the past and are married to tradition. Churches have gotten out of touch with culture and no longer relate to the younger generation. Many churches have become irrelevant so the doors close. They would rather experience the pain of the doors closing than the pain of change.

These statistics are unacceptable to me. I cannot sit idly by and do nothing. We must care more about the lostness of our world than the comfort of our own churches and preferences.

Lord forgive our indifference. We have grown cold and callous to the lost sheep. God help us to be like you…to leave the 99 and go after the one. Lord, change us, break us, forgive us and renew a passion deep within us.

Yes we need new campuses! Pray that God will let us start a new one every year!

Spiritual Slump

We all go through spiritual slumps.

Most of us can describe our walk with God at one time 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 to well the spiritual slumps they plague us. When I’m in this funk I have to remind myself over and over. This too will pass!

And it will, this slump will not last. I will not feel this way forever. So hang in there!

This too will pass.

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