Tag Archives: faith

Don’t Move and Trust Me

HighwayAs I was driving to the church this morning, down 85, one of the things that I do in my prayer time with God in the morning, is asking Him to order my day, direct my day and give me wisdom to make right decisions, lead effectively, just to have the greatest impact in my day, that is possible. With that being said, there are many things within my personal life and our ministry that we are nothing short of needing God to work out, provide, etc.. As the leader of my home and as the leader of the ministry, the one thing that I don’t want to do is limit the blessings and the flow of God, in either entity, based on anything in my life that may be out of order, that I need to improve, shift my thinking in, etc.. So I began to ask God, “what do I need to do? What needs to change in me? Where am I falling short, by maybe limiting Your outpouring in our lives?”

As I got about 2 miles down 85, I established myself in the center lane and set my cruise control 1 mph under the speed limit and just begin to ride, listen to the music in the background and listen for God to answer me. There were cars going by me left and right, even though I was doing the speed limit. After a short time, a car came right up behind me, riding on my tailgate, flashing their lights at me to get over and out-of-the-way. And it was in that moment that God began to speak to me and answer the question that I had just before asked. He said, “Be still and stay your course; keep moving in the direction that you’re moving, remain within My order, within My limits, and continue to trust Me. Don’t be influenced, or pressured by what’s going on around you, what’s in front of you, and what’s pressing behind you. Just keep moving forward, staying committed to My principles, and trust Me.”

There is nothing more secure and assured than operating in God’s order and in the trust of His wisdom, His leading, His timing and the big one that gets us all, His provision. There are many factors of life, many circumstances, many scenarios, and so many people around you, that will either directly attempt to influence you to move outside of God’s boundaries or ahead of God’s timing, when we just need to be committed to doing it the right way. There are many around you that will indirectly influence you because you will see them moving ahead of you and around you and doing it at a faster pace, seemingly making progress and advancement in life ahead of you; obtaining things quicker than you’re getting them, accomplishing more than what you seem to be accomplishing, but they’re doing it out of God’s order and outside of His boundaries. Do not be urged and influenced by anything or anyone that is moving out of God’s order or attempting to move you out of God’s order. Sometimes you don’t have to know more, you just have to do right by what you do know and it will lead to more.
I was driving towards my destination, making progress, doing it well within the boundaries of the law and those around me were trying to influence me emotionally to shift from that path. And it was in this moment, in a small, practical scenario on Interstate 85, that God chose to encourage me in life and leadership, today. Don’t move and trust Me.
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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Day

This is far more than a civil rights speech this was a Kingdom message, stretching much farther than just the color of skin or the disorder of culture. This was a message founded deeply in the principles of God, uniting His creation. Progress was made as a nation; but I believe if Dr. King were alive today, he would be greatly saddened at the regression that we have allowed. Our nation once mighty, not from wealth and power, but in unity and conviction is no longer better, but worse. Our division, hatred and anger used to at least be honest, out front and open, but now it’s subtle and deceptive. You hate your brother while smiling to his face and inviting him into your home. We continue to call a spiritual war, a race war and use fleshly tactics and weapons to fight a spiritual war that is immune to your artillery. The seed of racism was buried in the hearts of men, using man’s own ignorance to divide God’s creation. The spiritual enemy that we face, much like the ignorance embedded deep within many, is not racist. He attacks the black and white, alike, and fools us to blame each other. We must understand that “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV)”

Dr. King understood this because before he was ever a civil rights hero in America, he surrendered himself as a servant of the most high God and an ambassador of God’s Kingdom. Whether you are white or black, your brother of another color is not the issue, it is the condition of your heart. You must cease from fighting a spiritual war with fleshly weapons, it’s weak and lazy. Put down your chosen weapon of hatred and pick up a spiritual weapon that’s proven..love. Love is so powerful that it can both connect and conquer. It unites the greatest of friends and overcomes the fiercest of enemies. As a matter of fact, I’m not sure that you can really call it love until it is an enemy. “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. (‭Luke‬ ‭6‬:‭32-36‬ NKJV)”

If you really want to celebrate today and what this great man stood for, don’t throw a party in his honor or parade his name, live in accordance to the principals that he lived by, the principles of the Kingdom. You are fighting a war, but you must choose who and what you are fighting for. Not black or white, but evil or good. Choose your side and your weapons wisely.
You are fighting a war, but you must choose who you are fighting for. Not black or white, but evil or good. Choose your side and your weapons wisely
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New Church Makes It’s Home In Anderson Mall (Anderson Independent Article/Saturday, December 27)

By Abe Hardesty/Anderson Independent

Sixty-five stores were open for business in late December at the Anderson Mall.

Only one offered free products.

That store, near the entrance of J.C. Penney and across the hall from Books-A-Million, is the Rejuvenate Church — the newest tenant in the 42-year-old mall.

What seems an unlikely location for a house of worship is one that Anderson County native Jason Wilson considers ideal. From the time it began meeting in homes in the Powdersville area a year ago, Wilson had been looking for an Anderson location, preferably one in an easy-to-find spot that would foster diversity.

The Anderson Mall, he discovered, meets all those criteria.

“The mall is a great place to find a cross-section of the population. Shopping doesn’t discriminate between age, financial status or anything else,” said Wilson, who serves as pastor.

“I knew that if we were located at the storefront of a mall, we’d get all types of people walking past,” Wilson said. “And that’s where I wanted to be.”

The church began meeting at the mall in late September. Its meetings usually draw about 30 “regulars.”

It marks the first full-time ministry for Wilson, a 1996 Wren High graduate who attended college at both Clemson and Troy State of Alabama.

After earning a degree in health sciences at Clemson in 2001, he worked as an employee health coordinator at the AnMed Health System and served as a youth leader at New Image Church in the Powdersville area before making the commitment in 2013 to form a new congregation.

Wilson’s goal is to “create a culture of ultimate diversity.”

He had initially planned to use a school or theater as the meeting place for his new ministry, but came up with the mall idea while shopping last year with his wife, Serena, and two children.

The unusual venue, he said, “puts us light years ahead” of the typical pace of growth for a new congregation.

“We believe that the church is the bridge that connects divides,” Wilson said. “There are very few places that everyone visits, regardless of age, race and socioeconomic status. The mall is that place.”

Wilson, in a post on his website, added that the location gives the new church a chance to reach some shoppers who otherwise might not stop by for congregational meetings or Bible study.

“We’re not convincing people to come to our church; they’re coming to (the mall) to buy their jeans and we get to love them while they do it,” Wilson wrote.

Wilson hopes to add Sunday-morning services in January.

Wilson, 36, felt called to the ministry at age 18, just before his sophomore year of college. He spent the next seven years “dodging” that calling, but said he eventually “realized he couldn’t continue to escape it.”

About two years ago, Wilson made the commitment to form a new church and become senior pastor about two years ago.

“In January 2013, I felt like God was speaking to me,” said Wilson, who announced to close friends at a Christmas party in December 2013 that he felt called to start a new church.

Wilson is well-acquainted with full-time church ministry. His in-laws, Gary and Cindy Cannon, have served more than 20 years as youth pastors at Greenville’s Tremont Avenue Church of God. An uncle serves as a minister in Alabama and his great-grandfather once served as pastor of the McDuffie Street Church of God.

Wilson married the former Serena Cannon in 2001. They have two young children.

The family ties to the ministry offer no guarantees when it comes to starting a new church, Wilson said.

“Starting a new church is the second-most failed business venture — only about 20 percent succeed,” Wilson said in mid-December, as he worked to install a sound system in the mall storefront.

In an effort to reduce expenses, Wilson and others in the group have become do-it-yourselfers to an extent.

“My grandpa was a carpenter. I worked with him a little, but it is not my gift,” Wilson said of the renovation project, which turned into a group effort.

Wilson is a big proponent of teamwork, and often uses the team-building techniques he first came to appreciate as a student of football.

“Football closely resembles life. I call it the ‘godliest’ sport,” Wilson said. “There are a lot of biblical principles involved in football.

“The way a successful church body comes together, with each member fulfilling its roles, and working together as a team, and facing adversity is much the same way a successful football team functions,” Wilson said.

Article taken from Saturday, December 27, 2014 edition of the Anderson Independent

Article By Abe Hardesty/Anderson Independent

Photos By Ken Ruinard/Anderson Independent

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Just Keep Praying

PrayerI just want to take a minute to encourage you. If you’ve ever dealt with a long-standing problem; had an illness that you’ve battled what seems like forever or you’ve had a persistent need that you feel you’ve been praying about for so long and have never gotten an answer from God. Don’t quit praying and faithing.
I don’t always understand why God works the way He does or in the time He does, but He does work. And because you didn’t get an answer or a touch yesterday, doesn’t mean today’s not the day. Give each day an opportunity to be the miracle moment, through continual prayer and faith.
I want to share a quick story with you. Please know that my sharing this is not done to draw attention to myself or to celebrate anything “I’ve” done, rather to encourage you to continue to trust God in the moments that you want to give up praying the most.
Yesterday, at a church, I had a woman come up to me after service that had been trying to find me for 3 months. That long ago, in this same church, I had a chance to pray with this lady. When she came to me that morning, 3 months ago, she began telling me that she had been suffering from severe headaches, daily, for 2 years. Now, if you know me personally and what my wife has been through with migraines, you know the irony in God sending this lady to me to pray for her. I remember, as she shared her struggle with me in that altar, laughing at God under my breath; certainly not at her struggle, but at the fact God would send this headache laden lady to me, to pray for her, while my own home couldn’t even conquer the same issue. 
Anyway, she had tried everything the doctors directed; she was taking tons of medication to attempt to function in life, but really had no life and was losing all hope in her prayers. But she didn’t give up and took one more chance at an agreement in prayer. 
We prayed together that morning in that altar and by her words yesterday, she told me as she left that altar she knew God healed her. Since that morning 3 months ago, after 2 years of debilitating headaches, she has not dealt with another one. She’s not taken another gram of medication and she is enjoying life again.
God answered her persistent step of faith that morning. She came broken, hurt, in pain, tired, wondering if God would ever respond and if her life would ever be normal again, and because she didn’t give up in her prayers and in her faith, God touched her life. In a moment it all went away. 
I tell you that just to say, don’t give up on your prayers and your faith in the Almighty. I know you’re tired of dealing with whatever it is you’re having to go through; I know you want answers, I know you need help and yet each day seems as if nothing’s changing. Be strong. Don’t lose hope in God and your prayers to Him. He is Alpha AND Omega; which means that He not only saw the beginning of your struggle but will be there to see you overcome your struggle. Keep praying today. Keep believing today. Because today could be the day that it all changes in moment.
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Fishing and Frustrated

Abandoned BoatA short time back I got a phone call from a friend that owns his own business. He had taken on a job that required an extra hand, so he called me to see if I’d be interested in helping him for a few days. I, of course, agreed and made the appropriate plans to be with him on his job site. He’s very knowledgeable and skilled in his craft, whereas I, on the other hand, was there simply to offer whatever assistance he needed. 
Over the next few days, while I worked to the best of my ability, I often found myself frustrated and empty, even though I worked hard and got paid. I would listen to some of his instructions and would still not get things exactly how they needed to be; I’d watch how to use a certain tool, and still have trouble making it work when I got the opportunity. While he’d breeze through a task, the same one would take what seemed like forever to complete. For a person like me that wants things to be done right and excellent, those few days were filled with aggravation, frustration and fatigue. 
And then God reminded me, “relax, your frustration comes because this isn’t what you were built to do.”
This is the life of so many and I have no doubt, it’s why so many work hard, make good money and live completely tired, frustrated and incomplete.
In Luke 5, Jesus was taking a stroll by the lake, teaching, with throngs of people following almost too close for comfort. On His way around the shore line, He passed some fishermen, who at the end of a days work had left their boats stranded and were making their way to clean their nets, minus one tired and frustrated fisherman who was still left in his boat, pondering a day of despair and unfulfillment. Jesus, putting a little distance between Himself and the load of people following, stepped over into this fisherman’s boat, sat down to rest His feet and continued teaching to those on the shoreline that were eager to listen. 
As He finished teaching, He turned and addressed the boat owner, some guy named Simon, who in spite of this great teaching and the presence of the One that was in the boat with him, was still caught up in the despair of his day. Simon said, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing..”  What Jesus did next, is just what Jesus does next when you encounter Him. He changed his life and charged his purpose.
Jesus graciously, allowed him to see that the frustration and lack of fulfillment that he was experiencing, wasn’t from having the wrong tools or equipment or even a desire to succeed, but simply that he was spending his life attempting to succeed in a job, trying to make ends meet, that he was never built to succeed in. (That oblivious chase gets tiring.)
This is the picture of humanity. Working the same routine that I worked for several days, trying to succeed at a job that your personal gifts and abilities were never meant for. God never intended for you to be a slave to a dollar or an accepted routine. He never intended for you to pursue life with so much gas in your tank for success but never any impact. 
My grandfather worked over 50 years as a carpenter; which was a very rigorous and laborious profession. There were times in the summers that I would help him out when I got a little older and I remember him always telling me, “work smart, not hard.” The smartest work you can do, is to listen to the Master and discover that dream, that purpose that He’s built you for, and then work hard to develop it. Don’t be so caught up in the despair of today’s labor and the dream of a paycheck, that you can’t hear God talking to you from inside of the boat, because you’re already plotting on how to pursue tomorrow. It would have been a shame for Simon to be so focused on the day’s failure and the dread of tomorrow that he never heard Jesus telling him he wasn’t even supposed to be on the lake!
Because a frustrated fisherman, listened to the Master, obeyed with an act faith and cared to pursue his purpose, we find something different just a short time later in Acts 2.  A broken, unfulfilled fisherman who spent his days of hard work and caught nothing became an empowered voice of impact, who with his first message had a “catch” of three thousand lives. 
How will you respond to that teacher in your boat?
When all this is said and done, you want to be as Paul was; your life poured out as a drink offering. Not because you’re empty from trying to keep up in a race you weren’t supposed to run, but because you’ve given away every gift of purpose that was in you. 
Put down the net and get out of the boat. Don’t wait any longer. Pursue what’s in you, not what’s around you.
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