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What Was Toughest About Abraham’s Call To ‘Go’?

Genesis04_SocialQuote_Insta2This week at Access, we talked about Abraham and how God called him to leave everything behind.

His property. Friends and family. Everything he knew. Anything he owned. Left behind in the pursuit of a supernatural mission that God had called him on.

He became a sojourner. Someone who depended on God for everything. He slipped up in the midst of a famine shortly after beginning his mission, but apparently the New Testament didn’t have harsh words for him; only affirmation (Romans 4:3, Hebrews 11:8-17).

God told Abraham that He would bless all the people in the world would be blessed through him (Genesis 12:1-3). As awesome as that moment must have been, I imagine that he woke up the next day with all the fears of walking away from everything he knew.

Sometimes, we’re tempted to need a mountaintop moment with God, when His past promises still stand today. His call to “go” is no different today than it was yesterday. So, we either sit in our fear and let it paralyze us or trust that He is equipping and sending us out!

It’s still scary when you take the step of faith, whether it’s mending a broken relationship, or reaching out to offer help to someone in need.

Before I step out, it’s always scary.
But after I step out, I’m always glad I did!

As terrifying as it may be to take a step of faith in our own lives, in which God is calling us to “go,” I hope we can remember that He also promised to walk this road WITH us (Matthew 28:18-20)! It’s not meant to be easy, but His presence gives us peace in the midst of any circumstance!

Maybe the first step for us today, is to remember God’s past faithfulness. Think on those moments where you knew He was walking with you through a difficult time. Let those be the moments that remind you of His faithfulness along with the Scriptures that anchor your faith in Him.

I told our crew yesterday that Psalm 121 is an anchor passage for me. When I’m doubting or struggling, I run back to this passage:

1 I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

Four Things I Want Our Launch Team To Know

4ThingsLaunchTeamAs we get ready to get ready to launch Access Church, I want our team to know a few very important things:

1. I recognize your sacrifice. You guys have given up so much time and energy to get Access off the ground! I know that some of you have had to turn down some great opportunities to make it to meetings, go on shopping trips for the church, set up bank accounts, buy trailers, and meet with friends. I am so thankful that you would consider this worthy of sacrificing your time, talent and treasure!

2. It’s an honor to serve in the trenches with you! We’ve already been able to walk through some of life’s issues together and I am thankful for the opportunity to grow together! When one of us is hurting, others can surround them with love and support. I truly am honored to be in the trenches with you and I pray that we’ll continue to get each other’s backs!

3. I am so thankful for your friendship! Growing/learning/serving together has not only prepared us to launch Access; it has forged together relationships that will not easily be broken. It is such a great support for me personally as we launch! I’ve felt the love and support coming from you guys and I can’t express how thankful I am for you!

4. Get ready…it’s about to get real! So far, we’ve been able to see what it’s like to grow our team internally. While that has been exciting, we’re about to watch God do amazing things! And we’ll get front row seats! But know that Satan will be coming after us. Some on our team have already experienced this! So I’ll be praying for you each by name throughout the week, and I would ask you to do the same for my family and the rest of our team. Let’s cover Access in prayer as we dive in!

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you!”

Joshua 3:5

Monday Night Mind Dump // 09.21.15

There are several times I have an idea for a great blog post, but don’t have the time to put in to editing. Other times, I just want to tell people about what’s going on in our life. Again, time. Editing.

So this is a shot at taking a (dangerous) peak into what is going on in my head these days. It’s raw. Proceed with caution. You have been warned :).

1. We’re in what I call, “Launch Season.” We’re quickly gathering all the equipment that we don’t have yet. We’re shoring up our systems and processes. We’re trying to make sure that everything works (technology, branding, equipment, flow, etc). I am absolutely experiencing the most stressful season of my entire life. To be totally honest, I’m a blend of anxious, afraid, stressed, excited and expectant. But it will be worth it to see people experience life change!

2. We left Arkansas on September 15, 2014. When I put that in perspective, I’m pretty excited about all that God has done in just a year! Who would have thought that we would be able to start having services a year from the point that we literally pulled into town? God has given us some really great people and I’m so thankful for them! They are hard-working, committed and are ready to see what God will do with our little rag tag group of friends :).

3. I have learned a lot about myself in the last year. I got started with the work of starting a church and didn’t look back. I became associated with all the options (which is what is so enticing to church planters…having creative freedom). I wanted to learn everything I could about everything before I started (which sounds smart, but is totally unreasonable). I ended up paralyzing myself with the list of choices. What night will we meet? What kind of coffee will we serve? What is our website going to look like? How do you go about inviting people to your church in a non-invasive way? Where are we going to meet? What is our structure going to look like? For some people, that’s energizing. For me, it has been quite paralyzing. In the past, I knew that I had the opportunity to be a third chair leader, as a student pastor. That provided me with so much freedom. Someone was paying for me to have an office, and a printer, and utilities for that office. We had a building that we didn’t have to haul a trailer to every week. Everything just stayed there! It’s crazy how foreign that is to me now! And I’ve never been so thankful to have been surrounded with such great leaders in my past to lead me to this point. Having stepped out, I’ve learned my limits and have become more acutely aware of my shortcomings. I am thankful to learn about myself, even though it has been learning more about my weaknesses. I believe that will make me a better leader and an even better husband and father.

4. One of my greatest regrets from the last twelve months is that I haven’t stopped to reflect as much as I promised myself that I would. I’m a sap, so I love to look back at the big moments that God showed how good He is. Unfortunately, I have very little written down from the last year. I think I’ll pair that up with my day off. This (mind dump) is honestly going to help me process through what God is doing and how I’m doing.

5. I have a strong belief that God is going to use our little church plant to do something pretty big. As I tell the story of Access Church, I usually say that, and I bet it comes off as youthful arrogance or the desire to have a big church. Please don’t misunderstand me: I have never wanted to run from the public eye as I have these last few years. I have no desire to be famous or to have “a big church.” But I believe with EVERYTHING inside me that there are all kinds of people that are hurting with nowhere to run. And I want to be someone who will offer them help…to invite them into a community of loving friends who are all striving to surrender more and more of our lives to God. And I want to surround myself with people that exhibit that same surrender. When I read through the gospels, I see Jesus CONSTANTLY reaching out to people that are at the end of their rope. And He doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks about it when He gets down on the ground to comfort them and offer them healing and a road to true life. And that’s what inspires me most. We will probably be met with strong opposition as we move forward to offer help to the hurting and broken. More than ever, I am afraid that I won’t be able to stand up to that opposition. And more than ever, I am acquainted with my need to start my day in prayer, asking God to give me strength. I repeat: I have never believed in something so much in my life…we are here to be a part of something that truly changes the direction of peoples’ lives that are searching for the abundant life that Jesus offers!

6. I just got word that one of my best friends on this planet, Jared Clifton, is going to come visit me in November! That’s pretty freaking awesome and I can’t tell you how therapeutic that is for me! Big props to his awesome wife, Katie, for hooking that up!

7. Caden turned 3 this month! This picture pretty much sums up his personality. If you know Caden, you already knew that :)



This post probably breaks every rule of blogging. That’s not lost on me. If nobody reads this, it still would have benefitted me for processing it all. Thanks for hanging with me! On with the adventure!

Soundtrack today:
Bethel – “No Longer Slaves”
Twenty One Pilots – “Goner”
Lowercase Noises – “This Is For Our Sins”
The Brilliance – “Yahweh”

VLOG // Midtowne Mission Team

Midtowne Church is an awesome church from Benton, Arkansas. They are invested in what we’re doing in Columbus, Ohio and they sent a team of high school student leaders to serve in our city! In this vlog, you’ll see us working at Stowe Mission, grabbing coffee at Fox In The Snow Cafe, and playing a game called One-For-One, which isn’t fun for anyone!

VLOG // Clippers Game w/ Cohen

Our friends invited us to go to a Clippers game and sit in their box with them! Between the food and the mascots, Cohen had a great first baseball game! Shout out to Kiera, Sara, Janie and Alan for having us!

VLOG // Kipton Goes To Kindergarten

Our firstborn went to school! Where did the time go???

VLOG // Arguing With Arkansas Fans About College Football

When a group of high schoolers came up to serve in Columbus, we had a lot of fun talking college football. This is just one of those conversations. I didn’t turn the camera on until about halfway through the conversation. Here’s what happens when you put some passionate college football fans (from the Big Ten and SEC) in the same van for a 30-minute ride.

Family VLOG // Family Walks

Family Walks, Baseball, and neighbors!

Beanboozled 2: Barf Is Back With A Vengeance

We introduced the Beanboozled game to our friends Kiera and Sara. The following is what ensued. A fair warning to people with weak stomachs!

Family VLOG // Columbus Jazz & Rib Fest 2015

Ever since we left Columbus in 2007, I have been dying to go back for the Jazz & Rib Fest that happens every summer! I finally got to go back and we took our kids (definitely not the easiest pushing a double stroller through that crowd), but we had fun!