thoughts + ramblings

Life Now

“Life now” has changed so much over the past little bit. I was telling my girlfriend just the other day that I feel like the past 5 years of my life have flown by. I have seen many things come and go, many things pass me by, and a few things stick around. It seems like “life now” is ever-changing. I guess, maybe, that is just how life is.

You read about my transition from Harvest Church to One Church Tuscaloosa. Now, it has been 2 full months of leading and being a part of One Church Tuscaloosa and what an amazing 2 months it has been. I still search for a full-time job to pay the bills but I am in love with my full-time job of being a Creative Pastor for One Church.

Over the past two months we have been able to grow as a community, see what it is going to look like, minister to our community, partner with some amazing groups, and (last week) enter into a new phase of meeting in a coffeehouse. I love coffee, I love Jesus, and I love the church— so coffeehouse church is on the top of my list! The Lord has taught me a lot over the past 2 months. He has taught me a lot about myself and a lot about the church. I have grown in great ways.

This is life now. I am the Creative Pastor at One Church Tuscaloosa. Pioneering new territory, inviting people to be a part of that territory, and loving life. I have found a peace in church again. I have found local missions to be a passion that I have missed out on in the past. I have found that life now is good life with many possibilities ahead.

He will once again fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouts of joy. -Job 8:21

Don’t Turn Back

As quick as the thoughts of “what if I could go back and change things” came into my mind, the Lord just as quickly spoke into my spirit, “the Israelites wanted to go back to Egypt.”

There have been many things in life that I have wanted to go back to. There was a time in life when friends and I were termed “The Five”- five of us friends so closely knit that you would have thought nothing could break us, we broke! There was a time I enjoyed making money while doing what I loved. There was a time I was making a difference in a different place than I am now. There was a time I was pushing my way to work in the music industry. There was a time I had the biggest dreams in the world. Those times have passed. Some of my current times look a lot like those past times, but they still vary in some way.

God is bringing newness into my life. While scary at times, there is a peace. But there are definitely times I wonder “what if I could go back” or even “I wish I could go back.”

I am thankful for days like today when the Lord sweetly speaks a few words into my spirit that remind me that there is no need to look back or go back. There is only need to move forward. The Promise Land is ahead.

Maybe you needed this reminder today too. When you are living in what God has called you to, no matter where that is, keep at it, keep pushing, don’t look back, don’t go back, keep looking forward. Your Promised Land is ahead.

When It’s All Stripped Away

The lights, the large stage, the big band, the AV team, the full-out sound system, the great mics, the drums, the confidence screen, and more… two weeks ago it was all there, this past week it was all gone.

No doubt my choice. God called, I went. I walked off of the stage on the last Sunday of 2014 feeling like what we had just done as a band was wonderful. It sounded good, we worshipped, and it looked and sounded good a little more.

On the following Sunday, the first Sunday of 2015, I walked away from the stool (no stage) and felt like something was missing.

I knew that God wasn’t missing, Jesus’s love wasn’t missing, the Holy Spirit wasn’t missing, people to worship with were not missing. The lights, the sound, the big band, the production were missing. To be honest it took me about an hour to realize what was missing and to figure out why I felt the way I felt. Sunday afternoon the Lord brought to my mind Tim Hughes’s song “The Heart of Worship” and the story behind the song. And these words rang true for the opening session of this new season in my life:

When the music fades and all is stripped away, and I simply come. Longing just to bring something that’s of worth, that will bless Your heart. I’ll bring You more than a song, for a song in itself is not what you have required. You search much deeper within, through the way things appear. You’re looking into my heart. I’m coming back to the heart of worship, where it’s all about You, it’s all about You, JESUS!

I was starting to experience this for the first time in my life. All had literally been stripped away. God had called me from it all into the unknown and I went, I opened myself up for the Lord to strip it all away and I have found myself scared, but thankful.

I am sharing this with you today in a very public forum because I think many of us need this. I hope as I learn we can all learn. I pray that as God molds me through this experience we can all be molded. I share because a worship leader friend of mine suggested that it’s something worth sharing. I share because God is working and I always love to share about that. It brings me to a vulnerable place, but if it can encourage someone today and glorify God, I will put myself in that place.

{More posts to come on this as I continue in this journey.}

*PS: Nothing is wrong with the big production of it all… I am just starting to see that maybe it got in my way of true personal worship. As my friend (before-metioned in this post) told me, “God is taking you through this season to put you back on the big stage one day.” and I am believing this.

The next season is upon us

a new year gold clock

I had my 2nd biggest blog day when I shared about my last chapter coming to a close. I am thankful to have a place to share these things with many different people. Hopefully, to help each of us grow in some way. You’ve read about the last chapter closing. Now, it’s time for the next chapter to start. It’s not all clear exactly what is next, but it is coming together. Here’s to a new year, a new season, a new chapter, a new start. Happy new year! I am looking forward to sharing 2015 with you.

Cheers to the future!


Intentionality (n): The act of being intentional.

Synonyms: designing, planning

I love the synonyms for “intentional”. They are “designed” and “planned”. Intentional has been a word that has constantly been in my brain for the past few weeks or maybe even months. My friends and I have talked a whole lot about this concept. I believe being intentional, living with intentionality, is one of the most important things that any human can grasp onto. Living WITHOUT it is probably the most harmful thing for our lives.

Too often in my own life I have had dreams, callings, excitement and passions, but have left out the planning, designing, and “getting off my butt” parts. Do to many of us live like this?

For instance, in the church we talk a lot about reaching out to other people, going into the mission field, sharing the Gospel, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, hugging and encouraging the widow and orphans, going to those imprisoned with the story of love and hope, and so many other worthwhile actions; all while we continue to just go about our regular routine- our normal lives- without ever making these things happen. I AM THE WORST AT THIS! We love the idea, and yes we love doing it as well, but if never make the plans, design how it is going to work, and get about it we will never do it!

I definitely believe that if God calls us to something that He will make a way for it to happen. I just think He is making a way for things to happen a little differently than we may expect. If God is calling you to speak to the person next to you in the coffee shop, His “making a way” might be that He got you in the coffee shop, got the other person into the coffee shop, or maybe He has prepared that person to hear from you. Those are usually the ways that the Lord “makes a way”. And then at that point it is our time to act. The Lord has made a way for you to be in that place at that time so now, talk, share, love that person sitting next to you. And this scenario can go to the grandest scale… called to missions in the hardest country to live in? God isn’t going to move that country to your backyard for you to share life with them. He is needing you to move into their backyard to share life with them.

Whatever it is today… make a plan, design the plan, follow GOD’S plan, expect God-sized things, MOVE, GO, & BE INTENTIONAL!

Life Changes

My last two posts were on “taking action”.

As I wrote about taking action I was also realizing that in my life i do not take action many times like I should. It’s like those moments before you finally get out of bed in the morning. You think “I cannot get out from under these blankets…” and then you start to think “But, I have to do __________ and __________ today.” You then realize unless you get up you will be behind and something may go unaccomplished. So, you TAKE ACTION and get up!

Over the past 16 months, my life has continually been a roller coaster. Basically, a roller coaster for my whole family. 21 years, 4 months, and 1 day ago my family joined with a few other families and planted a church in our home town. It has been quite the journey, to say the least. A LOT of high points and a few low points as well. As the seasons changed over these past 16 months our church decided to move into a different location, cut some things back, and transition our pastors to bi-vocational (these changes being best for Harvest Church). Through all of the changes my father resigned and moved on back in September. I stayed around, knowing that my season wasn’t quite over. But, I knew it was time to “buckle up” and start praying more, fasting, and seeking the Lord like never before. In the midst of my seeking He continued to tell me to stay for a bit… then a couple of weeks ago it became clear the Lord was telling me that this season was over for me [one day I will share the questions God told me to ask myself in making this decision]. It was difficult, exciting, scary, and sad. My whole life (well 21/26 years of it) has been wrapped up in the ministry of Harvest Church/LOHBC*. Every minute of it, was worth it. My family loved ministering at Harvest Church. It brought much joy to our lives, but at times brought great sorrow as well… such is the life of good worthwhile seasons of life.

I say all of that to say, I do not know what God has planned next. But, I know it is good. He has given me some glimpses, and I am thankful for that. But, nevertheless, we follow! I continue to seek the Lord, to ask Him to search my heart, to fast and pray, to love and serve others, and to care for the forgotten. I know that this next season is going to be one for the history books [I know the saying goes “one for the record books”… I changed it :)], just as this past season was.

I have 2 more weeks at Harvest Church as the worship & creative arts pastor and cannot wait to see how those weeks unfold. I can’t wait to see how the future of Harvest Church unfolds after the transition in January. God is working in great ways. Some times (maybe many times) it is through storms, trials, and a little discomfort. But, through it all, we grow, our character is matured, and we are able to persevere all the more.

I am thankful for my past 4 1/2 years on staff at HC and for the 21 years my life was wrapped up in that beautiful faith family. I am also thankful for what is next. God is good. He is good through the steady, through the tumultuous, and through our many changing seasons. He is ALWAYS good!

{see my resignation letter HERE}



* “LOHBC”- former name of Harvest Church, Lord of the Harvest Baptist Church

Take Action [part two]

You’ve been here before.

You know you must make the move. You know it is time for the change.

You think the change is inevitable but you also know the change might take some getting use to- change always does.

You start to think, it can wait. Maybe things will be different and the major change will not have to happen.

Thinking about the change makes you anxious and nervous. You can only find peace when you get your mind off of the change.

You take your mind off of the inevitable change and act like it doesn’t have to happen.

You find false hope to make your anxiety over the change go away.

You let a few months or a year go by and you haven’t had to take action to make the change. You are feeling like it’s all okay.

And just like THAT it shows back up… you once again know the change HAS TO HAPPEN.

Too often we wait around too long to make change that we know needs to happen. This cycle (above) continues to happen until one day we have waited too late and it all falls out from under us.

There comes a day when the cycle above is broken. You can either break the cycle (make the changes needed) or the inevitable change will break the cycle and break you at the same time. Don’t let it take you, TAKE IT.


Make the change.

Decide on a way to go and GO!

Follow The Lord’s guide. He has been guiding since you first knew that the change had to happen, but you just were not willing to listen. Listen NOW, See where He is leading, and TAKE ACTION.

Take Action [part one]

Life happens. Changes happen. Ordeals come into our life. Challenges come at us from all directions.

DECISIONS must be made.

We all have so many things come at us every single day of our lives. Every day we make hundreds of small decisions and most days we also have to make some big decisions as well. Some seasons in life we have really hard and important decisions to make. But, I believe every day we must be moving forward. We have to make decisions to continue to move forward, whether that is in our personal lives, in our work environment, or in our churches.

Too often we have things come our way and instead of making a decision and taking action we just sit on it for a while. We just think it will go away. I would say the majority of the time it doesn’t go away. TAKE ACTION.

When something comes your way and you know you need to do something about it, go ahead and do something about it. Take some action. Make sure you are taking rational action but do what needs to be done. Don’t put it off.


Leaders make moves. Leaders shake things up for the betterment of whatever is at hand. Leaders TAKE ACTION.

Don’t just sit today when you know there is something to be done to better your life or the lives of those around you. TAKE ACTION.

Don’t look away

{it’s been a while…}
On July 1st I set out on my fifth journey into the NW zone of Haiti. It was my longest trip yet and to be honest I was just a little excited because I really felt like there was too much at home going on and that I didn’t need to leave; I had the misconception that I needed to stay here to be Mr. Fix-it. Since I was the leader and money had been put toward the trip there was no turning back. Thankfully! The few days before the trip my excitement grew strong and we set out with great anticipation.

I learned a lot in our 11 days away from home. I learned, once again, that it won’t be what you expect. I learned that that is a good thing- God’s exceeds our expectations but doing immeasurably more (Eph. 3:20). I learned that people want love more than they want stuff. We built a home for a family but that wasn’t the greatest thing we gave them; the greatest was love. I learned that life has tried to sell me the idea that I need Jesus AND the world, and too often I had bought into this lousy idea. I learned that Jesus works on you as He works through you. I learned that God will show up in the craziest of places and reveal exactly what He wants you to see. I learned to not look away…

I look away a lot. I look away from His calling on my life. I look away from the work He is doing around me. I look away from the work He wants to do in me. I look away from people who need to be loved. I look away from His truth as the world’s lies seep in. I look away. Sometimes I look away for just a brief moment. Other times I look away for whole seasons of life. Tragically, too often I look away for years. Whether looking away for a brief moment, a season, or years of our lives we are missing way too much. Jesus said, “follow me.” I can’t look away and still follow. Because the moment I look away I am looking at things other than what He would have me to look at. I cannot look away and still follow.

So, DON’T LOOK AWAY. He is working right now. He has worked in and through you before; He is now; and He will continue in the future. He is at work. He is to be our focus and everything simply falls into place as He would have it to fall into place. Some things will seem to fall apart as they are falling into place, but trust His sovereignty as you follow Him. So, go, FOLLOW.

Seasons of Goodbye + Hello

Last night I was driving down a back road late at night headed to a friend’s house (they offered ice cream, so I showed up… and ended up not eating ice cream… but that’s a story for another time). I’ve discovered lately that back roads through the woods are my favorite roads to drive. I can think a lot on those roads as I also really appreciate God’s creation.

So, last night (now, to the point) as I was driving down the road a thought hit me:

There will be seasons of goodbyes in your life as well as seasons of hellos. Don’t let a season of goodbyes scare you from letting a season of hellos happen.

Meaning, there will be times where people leave. It always happens. Friends move, people get married and life changes, circumstances divide people for a time, etc. There are simply, seasons of goodbye. These seasons usually aren’t fun but can be very necessary at times. 

There are also seasons in your life when people are moving into your life. Someone new moves into town and becomes a part of your church small group, an old friend introduces a new friend into your group, or an old friend comes back around. There are great times of hellos. 

So, the point. Goodbyes don’t feel good and sometime a goodbye makes us scared to let people into our lives because we just know that they will one day say “goodbye” and walk out. Well, we will all say “goodbye” at some point unless the rapture takes us all together. Even so, we must still let others in to our lives during seasons of hello. It’s best that way. Take chances, make new friends, let people come into your life, and let some go out of your life. It’s how it works. Don’t let that ugly “goodbye” scare you from saying “hello” to a new friendship, relationship, or acquaintance. These goodbyes and hellos are no mistake, it’s life, so just live and let it be as God wants it to be.