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The Most Valuable Question You’ll Ever Ask

The Most Valuable Question You’ll Ever Ask

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:7-11)

Some years ago, I began my journey with an amazing network marketing company. Now, regardless of what your opinion is about network marketing, it is a great industry that helps a lot of people but of course has its bad eggs and bad moments. Kind of like your family. Haha. The good, however, certainly outweighs the bad. But anyway, back to my post.

Up until this time in my life, most of my decisions and governing philosophy for life were based on WHAT I was doing or WHAT needed to be done, and HOW I was going to get it done. This consistently left me with mixed results and outcomes that rarely met my expectations so that even in my mid-twenties I was beginning to feel like I was spinning my wheels chasing an ever-elusive state of fulfillment.

Then I went to my first Saturday training with a company that I believed in and had vision for. There on that Saturday morning I was introduced to the life-changing concept of WHY, and I realized sitting in that seat that for most of my life I had be asking the wrong questions. Like a lot of people, I would ask “Who am I?” instead of “WHY am I?”. I would ask, “Where should I go?” instead of “WHY should I leave?”.  The list could go on and on, but suffice it to say that the power of that WHY question began a transformation in my life that DIRECTLY influenced where I am today.

As an outgrowth of that moment I began asking the WHY question about everything in my life. It helped me begin to understand my motives, my habits, my behaviors, my patterns of living, why I went through the cycles of life I was going through and why I was getting the results from my efforts that I was getting. When I began asking WHY, I started to realize that I was more responsible for the condition of my life than I had liked to think up until that point. It was always easier to find someone or something else to blame for my condition in life, until I started asking WHY. When I did, I realized that no matter the external circumstances, there was always SOME role I played in the equation. And the exciting part was realizing that since I’m a part of the equation that produces the results, then if I change, if I get better, then things around me would get better.

And they did.

But not overnight. It’s been, and will continue to be, and life-long journey toward understanding the WHYs in my life. But I wouldn’t change this sense of awareness of purpose for anything. And that ladies and gentlemen is the foundational premise for Church On Purpose. One of our primary goals for the culture of the church is to be able to create a community where it’s ok to ask WHY.

My prayer for you, is that with all the questions that you have in life, that today you will just start asking WHY. Why am I here? Why did that happen? Why am I the way I am? Why do I struggle with the things I struggle with? Why do I care so much? Why do I care so little? Why am I so mean? Why am I still at this job? Why am I afraid? Why am I worried? Why do I deserve to be respected and loved? Just begin to ask WHY.

When you do so, with a sincere and open heart, our Heavenly Father will begin to answer you, and help you begin to understand yourself and your place in His plan. Now it is important to understand, that just like in all of your other interactions, there will be some answers that you don’t necessarily like. Asking why you struggle with relationships may very well take you back to a place in your life, long forgotten, that He needs to heal for you to move forward. But appreciate the fact that any hurts or pains He uncovers, He is more than able to heal. And your life on the other side of that brokenness, is the life that you’ve been dreaming of.

Start today with one WHY, and allow that to take you down the rabbit hole of WHYs. And over time, watch how the fruit of your life begins to line up with the desires of your heart. Because like I learned at that network marketing Saturday training all those years ago, when the WHY is clear, the HOW is irrelevant.

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Live each day, but especially today, on purpose!

Coach J

How The Grinch Steals Your Christmas

How The Grinch Steals Your Christmas

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. You can tell for sure that you are now fully adopted as his own children because God sent the Spirit of his Son into our lives crying out, “Papa! Father!” Doesn’t that privilege of intimate conversation with God make it plain that you are not a slave, but a child? And if you are a child, you’re also an heir, with complete access to the inheritance.

We are all familiar with the Dr. Seuss holiday classic about the bitter green monster living in the hills above Hooville. There, isolated on the mountaintop, with no company except that of his dog, the Grinch devises the perfect plan to steal Christmas from those annoyingly happy Hoos living below. It is his belief that without the trees, and presents, and feasts that the Hoos will be too depressed to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year.

In an amazing turn of events, with all of their decorations, presents and food in a huge sack on the back of his sleigh, the Hooville Hoos wake up, make a beeline for the town square, grab hands and in a marvelous demonstration of the foundation of Christmas, they lift their voices in song together in celebration of their relationship. Listen to some of the words they sang:

Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas Come this way
Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas, Christmas day
Welcome, welcome fahoo ramus
Welcome, welcome dahoo damus
Christmas day is in our grasp,
So long as we have hands to clasp
Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome Christmas bring your cheer
Fahoo fores dahoo dores
Welcome all Whos far and near
Welcome Christmas fahoo ramus
Welcome Christmas dahoo damus
Christmas time will always be,
just so long as we have we
Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas bring your light
Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome in the cold dark night
Welcome Christmas fahoo ramus
Welcome Christmas dahoo damus
Welcome Christmas while we stand,
Heart to Heart and Hand in Hand
Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores
Welcome Christmas,
Christmas Day!

Touched by their meaningful display, the Grinch decides to return what he has stolen, and in perfect Who fashion, is welcomed and embraced with the same love the Whos shared among themselves.

how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-6

The truth about the Grinch Who Stole Christmas, is that the Grinch had it wrong from the very beginning. He thought to steal Christmas he had to take away the things, the decorations, the presents, and the food. When in fact, all the Grinch had to do to steal Christmas again was the very same thing he had been doing every year up until then. For sitting atop that mountain in his judgemental isolation far from the warmth and love of Whoville, the Grinch had been stealing Christmas for years. What he didn’t realize is that he had been stealing it from himself. And if we’re not on our guard, our flesh will turn us into Grinches who have Christmas stolen from us because we wont come down off our mountain.

In fact, the Christmas story at its core is about the restoration of relationships and the great lengths that God is willing to go, for us to have a chance at enjoying Christmas every day. Galatians 4:4-7 highlights the intentionality of God’s plan to fix the relationship that was broken with him. He didn’t haphazardly wait for a random moment, he didn’t wait for us to come to him. From the moment our relationship with him was broken, He had a specific time designated in the timeline of the world when he would implement an intentional plan that, highlighted by his coming to us, would give us the opportunity to embrace reconciliation.

But like the Grinch, we all have that moment when we have to choose to remain angry and bitter, or decide to allow love to overwhelm our hearts. True, it often times seems so hard to do. Especially when we review the laundry list of transgressions that has produced the feelings of frustration that dominate our thoughts. But when we allow love to fill us, like the Grinch, we access supernatural strength that allows us to do what seems impossible. We are able to lift loads that previously dragged and even crushed us. And more importantly, we are able to give the greatest gift of all to others, our presence through a loving relationship.

fanart

Christmas is our designated time of the year to emphasize the incarnation, the coming of God in the flesh of a baby named Jesus through the womb of a virgin named Mary. But the real miracle of Christmas wasn’t the miraculous birth, the perfect timing, or even the heavenly announcement. The real miracle of Christmas is that God knew the greatest gift that He could give, was His presence with us. And like the Father, Jesus gives us the gift of His Spirit to be with us in our hearts. And that Holy Spirit serves as a constant reminder to us of an inheritance that is ours. As sons of God, we get to have Christmas every day, because Christmas isn’t about the decorations, the presents, or the feast. Christmas is about the reconciliation and restoration of relationships. And in the Kingdom of Heaven, just like in Whoville, that’s the only way to live.

The Grinch Stole the joy, the love, the peace, the unimaginable and uncomparable feeling of Christmas from himself for years because he chose to be bitter and resentful instead of reconciling his relationship with the Whos. True, we aren’t clear whether they ever made any attempts to initiate reconciliation, but I’m so glad that God didn’t wait on any of us to make the first step. The culture of the Kingdom of Heaven is one of healthy, reconciled, restored, and loving relationships built upon the same self-sacrificing love that was extended to us when we didn’t deserve it, and the same mistake erasing grace that is extended to us every day. As citizens of God’s Kingdom, let’s learn how to live Christmas every day.

The Grinch would have enjoyed many more Christmases if he’d simply had the words Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians beginning at chapter 3 verse 12: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Baby Steps: The Journey From Vision to Reality of Church On Purpose

Baby Steps: The Journey From Vision to Reality of Church On Purpose

JUST BE PATIENT. Those were the words consistently expressed to me by each of the individuals whose counsel I sought prior to moving with my family to Omaha, Nebraska to plant Church On Purpose.

As much as I wanted to believe those words weren’t going to apply to this story, wisdom and experience taught me a long time ago that the best pace to move is always God’s pace. Regardless of how clear the vision may be, how many smaller steps you may have broken it down into, or how many bullets you’ve already checked off the list, the truth of the matter is that God will do, what God will do, when God will do it, and not before. And the last thing you want to do is try to force the vision to become reality.

For me, I accepted the position long ago that if God has a plan to get me from point A to point C, then sure, I could spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to get there myself. Or, I could stay connected and just follow directions. I could learn to maximize the potential of where I am today, so when tomorrow comes I am already equipped with everything I need to maximize the potential of that day too. And over time, I learned that that method not only allows me to arrive at point C with everything that I need to move forward, but it would ensure that I would hit point B along the way.

So here we are. We’ve been in Omaha for two months now, and when I talk to people back home I smile whenever they ask me any of the following questions:

  • Have you had your first service yet? (no, we’re finally actually getting settled in a brand new place and getting our bearings)
  • Have you found a building yet? (no, we can’t just buy a random building for two reasons: 1. we have to designate an area where we will serve and 2. we haven’t grown to the point in size to generate the income to financially support any type of facility yet, as a matter of fact we’re still just trying to make sure our own rent is paid every month)
  • Have you preached at any of the churches out there yet? (you know that old TV show CHEERS where the theme song said, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…”? Yeah, well this is pretty much the opposite of that. Nobody knows who I am, or even that I exist at this point.)
  • How many people do you guys have now? (well, including me and my family, we’ve got……..well……me and my family, and our Admin Leader Anthony. We start vision dinners soon so more people will be able to connect to the vision, but it takes time)

I smile because when you’re in an established church, everything seems so simple. But when you move halfway across the continental United States, to a place where you only have a pre-existing relationship with one person, and you’re planting a church for the first time, it’s going to take a little longer than a few weeks to get things up and running, make the connections, and start growing; much less buying/constructing a facility to house the operations of the ministry.

So here are some baby steps that we’re focusing on now and we prepare for the realization of the vision of Church On Purpose:

  • CONNECT CARDS: As we connect with people in the Omaha community, our connect cards allow us to leave them with something tangible in their hands so they can CONNECT with Church On Purpose via social media or directly with the person they talked with. The back of the cards have directions for registering for our Vision Dinners where I’ll be sharing the vision of Church On Purpose with interested people over a monthly meal. (design complete and just  arrived on 10/8! super pumped!)
  • VISION DINNERS: As we make connections with the community, individuals interested in learning more about Church On Purpose will be able to attend one of our monthly Vision Dinners where I will share the history and vision of Church On Purpose over a meal. This is afford them the opportunity to decide whether they feel called to partner with us in this effort.
  • LEADERSHIP TRAINING: As individuals connect with the vision of Church On Purpose and express a desire to partner with us, they will be invited to attend Leadership Trainings where I will walk them through a curriculum of culture development. During these sessions, through Bible Study, role play, and candid discussion I will, as clearly as possible, paint the picture of the kind of culture we want to create with Church On Purpose. These meetings are not training for positions and titles, but preparation to be leaders in creating the culture of the church family. Over time, these sessions will expand into the equivalent of a New Members type of class.
  • SMALL GROUP BIBLE STUDY: Once we’re clear on the kind of culture we want to create and have a core group of individuals that will help lead us in developing that culture, then we will initiate our regular weekly Bible Studies that will be open to anyone that wants to join us.

After all of that, THEN we move into PHASE 2!!

hahaha

And in between all of those bullet points are sub bullets including but not limited to: (in no particular order)

  • paperwork processing
  • financial management
  • lesson development
  • relationship building
  • pastoral care
  • other administrative duties
  • clarification of next steps of the vision
  • prayer, prayer, prayer
  • website and social media maintenance
  • and two lovely children that I happen to be homeschooling as well!!

BABY STEPS!!!

So rest assured, you may not see a lot happening on the surface with Church On Purpose right now, but that’s only because the seed has just recently been planted. And before a seed ever breaks through the surface, there’s a lot of work that takes place underground and out of the view of the world.

Sequance of bean seeds germination in soil
The work of the tallest tree begins underground and out of sight

We’re germinating right now. And although we want to grow and change Omaha and the world for the Kingdom, we understand the value of preparation, building a solid foundation, and patience.

We’re going to get there. We didn’t move halfway across the country to NOT get there.

But for now……..baby steps 🙂

SIDENOTE: Some of the items on our list are only hindered by the availability of finances to complete them. Starting a ministry is expensive, and if they Holy Spirit so prompts you, any contribution you make would certainly help us to continue to advance toward our goal of community impact for the Kingdom! You can make contributions here —> DONATE, or you can find me on social media and get our mailing information. Thank you in advance!

Live each day on purpose!

Coach J

Back To Scratch…

Back To Scratch…

The last time I got to start from scratch was in the Fall of 2002. I was a freshman at Norfolk State University and nobody knew who I was. Nobody cared who I was. I was just another face in the crowd with no reputation, no relationships, and no history. It was a chance to reinvent myself and become the person I’d always wanted to be but couldn’t because where I came from, I already had a reputation.

Over the next thirteen years, rather than DEFINING who I am I would DISCOVER who I am. Through good times and challenging times. Through celebratory moments and moments of distress, I came to understand who I was. The more comfortable I became with who I was, the more clearly I began to see who I could be. And the more clearly I saw who I could be, the harder I worked to get there.

Over time, I developed a reputation. I leave that to others to reveal what that reputation was, but I was proud of the associations I had developed with my name.

Then I moved to Omaha, Nebraska. A place where only one person really knew me besides my wife and children. In a new place, where nobody knows who I am, nobody knows what I’ve done, nobody knows what I can do, and honestly at this point, nobody cares.

It’s a humbling experience, but a refreshing one. There is a new fight and a new drive within me to continue chasing who I know I can be. A refreshing opportunity to move beyond the failures and start building something new.

It’s the same thing that happens everyday when God wakes us up. Each day is a new opportunity to start back at scratch, to strive to be the person that you know you can be. Every day God gives us new mercy and fresh grace so we can move beyond our faults and failures and pursue the excellence of who we were created to be.

Today is a new day, and if you desire, it’s a chance to start back at scratch. Today is a chance to move beyond the failures of yesterday and look forward to the potential and possibility of tomorrow.

I was afraid starting over was going to be difficult, then I realized how exciting it’s going to be to become an even better me.

Decide today to become a better you! You can start from scratch.

~ Coach J

Moving Day…

Moving Day…

Monday, August 10, 2015 will forever be a LIFE moment.

A “LIFE moment” is an event that you remember vividly for the rest of your days. Today was a LIFE moment. Today was moving day.

A little less than a year ago, I journeyed to Omaha, Nebraska for the first time in my life. Today, I packed up my family and left my home, my friends, my church family, everything familiar to me. I left my comfort zone in search of God. I already know Jesus, have a relationship with the Father because of him, and dialogue with Holy Spirit regularly (how do you think we ended up in Omaha?? lol) But one thing that has been clear to me since making the commitment to obedience over comfort, is that God has been waiting for me BEYOND my comfort zone.

My comfort zone was that place where I knew all the short cuts to get from point “A” to point “B”. It’s that place where I could drive most of my usual places on autopilot. It was a place where I had an established reputation that did most of the heavy lifting for me.

What I didn’t realize is that my comfort zone had become my CRIPPLING ZONE. The familiarity, the routine, the established customs and habits were leading me down the path to mediocrity because my life was on autopilot. Until God pushed me out of my comfort zone.

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY out of my comfort zone.

When the call to plant Church On Purpose in Omaha, Nebraska became clear to me, one of the things that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt was that I was going to get to see more of God than I ever had.

And I have!

Obedience to a plan that hasn’t always made sense to me has opened the door for God to do miraculous things. This last year has been a constant reminder of how God works and how He desires to work through Church On Purpose and the Body of Christ as a whole. Over the last year, there has not been a single week that has gone by where God didn’t make himself known, and EVERY time he did it, it was through one of his children.

This last 12 months has exposed so many of the people around me as genuine, loving, humble, Holy Spirit-led believers as God has moved through them to bless my family with love, encouragement, support, prayer, and resources for the work. The outpouring of love and support has been God’s tangible demonstration to us that we are on the right track, and that He is faithful to provide for the call.

We haven’t always had more than enough. As a matter of fact, there have been a number of times where it seemed like we didn’t have enough. The testimony of being able to pay every bill on time isn’t our testimony. Our testimony is that when it got cut off, we found out whether it was a necessity, and the necessities always got cut back on. But those things that weren’t necessities found themselves being cut OUT. Our testimony is one of education and equipping. We have had many difficult, but much needed lessons over the last year.

And it has been a looooooooooong 12 months. It’s crazy to think back and realize that nearly EVERYTHING has changed. What’s weird about all of this though, is that I’m actually more “comfortable” in all of the newness than I was in all of the familiar.

Even in the familiarity of the familiar, there was always an uneasiness inside of me poking and prodding me toward MORE.

But there’s a wonderful thing that happens inside of you, in your heart and your mind when you actually TRUST God. I don’t mean just say it, but I mean ACTUALLY TRUST HIM. In the face of challenging, confusing, and even ridiculous circumstances, He still provides His peace. Through all of the good byes and moments of reflection, He still provides His peace. The Bible puts it perfectly because it truly is a peace that passes all understanding. It isn’t logical. It rarely makes sense. But it’s real.

I don’t know how it works. I don’t how long it last. But I DO know, that the same peace I’ve experienced in these last 12 months, is available to you too. It’s waiting for you in your obedience to His call. And in case you were wondering, yes God is still calling people from the land of their father and mother to a land they never knew, to be salt and light, and to experience the limitless power of our God, that we can only access beyond the borders of our comfort zone.

God changed my borders from Norfolk to Omaha, but YOU have to find out what lines you need to cross. Maybe your borders will expand to the neighbor next door, or maybe even the next cubicle over. That’s between you and Him. But one thing is for certain, there’s a reason his final charge to us all started with the word “GO”.

Is this moving day for you too? It CAN be.

Where is He calling you? His peace is waiting in your obedience.

Remember, everything is created with purpose but only you have your vision.

~ Coach J

When nobody else sees it

When nobody else sees it

Vision is an interesting thing.

With vision, you can change the world. Without it, the world is sure to change you.

I’ve had the idea floating around in my head of starting a church since I was in high school. As a senior, a few friends and I would gather together for Bible study, worship and fellowship each Tuesday. We called ourselves Young Christian Fellowship. It was around that time that I started thinking about the purpose of “church” and its components.

Fast forward to Christmas morning of 2011. It was around 2:30 in the morning I woke up out of my sleep, sat up in the bed, and saw three little words in my mind that would change my life: CHURCH ON PURPOSE.

That’s all I would be able to see for another 3 years until venturing to Omaha, Nebraska. It was there that those three little words would grow into a church, and a church into a mission, a mission into a calling, and a calling into a reason for existing.

All along the way I’ve constantly reminded myself of two things:

  1. If it’s from God, let Him lead you through it
  2. Since it’s from God, everybody won’t see it

The first one of course has been the daily inward battle. When God shows you something special, He never gives you the full picture all at once. So it can be tempting to take the little bit of that picture that you CAN see and try to color in all of the other spots with what YOU think should go there. If there’s anything this journey has taught me is that THE PICTURE LOOKS SO MUCH BETTER WHEN YOU JUST WAIT AND LET HIM FILL IT IN. I will talk more about this in a future blog about this journey with Directional Revelation.

The second nugget though, has been both the inward AND outward battle. We live in a world that will celebrate one individual for going against the grain in one way, while trying to destroy an individual that goes against the grain in another way. It can be challenging doing something out of the norm, not because you want everyone to see it and support, but because you want SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE to see it and support. The scariest parts of the journey are always when you’re walking alone.

Returning from Omaha back in August having committed to following God’s directions to plant Church On Purpose, the prevailing thought in my mind was “What if nobody sees it?”. In those times when I would begin to think about how others would respond to the vision, a song we used to sing all the time as a little boy at my home church Union Branch Baptist Church in Chesterfield, Virginia would pop up out of nowhere. It would get stuck in my head and I would find myself humming those words for hours “I will go, if I have to go by myself”.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETgh-sqJ8QI]
The comfort those words would provide was always unexpected and appreciated. Those words echo a deep seeded faith in God’s superior commitment to me as I remain committed to the vision He’s given me. As those words would minister to me, story after story from the Bible would flash in my mind of all the everyday people that God used for extraordinary things. I would not only find comfort, but I would find fuel to press forward with the confidence of having my heavenly father leading the way.

Over the last 9 months, I’ve shared the vision of Church On Purpose with countless people. Some have seen it, most have not. Some have supported it, most have not. And you know what, I’m ok with that now. What I’ve learned is to never EXPECT others to see it because God has his own plan for them and if their purpose doesn’t align with what we’re doing, then I don’t want them TRYING TO MAKE IT WORK. We will be fine doing what we were created to do, and pray they will be fine doing what God created THEM to do. Everyone wont be a part of what Church On Purpose is going to do, and God is totally awesome for that.

So to those of you that have supported along the way, THANK YOU! It means so much to know that you understand the work God is preparing us for enough to pray for us, donate to the work, and offer encouragement along the way. Actions always speak louder than words, and may God bless you abundantly for your actions of support.

To those who don’t see it, won’t see it, or can’t see it. Thank you too! Your questions have caused me to consistently evaluate and re-evaluate my position of faith along this journey and your words of doubt have deepened my resolve to pursue God even more passionately in hopes of being a testimony to you that GOD IS STILL WORKING MIRACLES, STILL CALLING PEOPLE OUT OF THE LAND OF THEIR FOREFATHERS TO PLACES HE WILL GIVE THEM, STILL GIVING VICTORY BEFORE THE BATTLE BEGINS, AND STILL USING ORDINARY EVERYDAY PEOPLE TO EXPAND THE KINGDOM!

If you’re reading this because there’s something inside of you that is calling you to more than what you’re living, then let me leave you with is:

God sees all, so who cares if nobody else sees it
God is the provider of all things, so who cares if you don’t have what you THINK you need
God is the author or your vision, so who cares if YOU don’t see every last detail
and last…
The only way to see more of God than you’ve seen, is to do something you’ve never done.

Don’t depend on what you see, or what others see. Afterall, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 (KJV)

Remember, EVERYTHING has purpose, including you!

~Coach J

Omaha ALIVE!

CoP Alive

WE FINALLY MADE IT!!!

After months of planning, last minute hiccups and readjustments, and leaving at 2 am, we finally made it to Omaha after 16 hours on the road!

After getting settled in we ended up watching the movie Boys Town. It’s an older black and white that tells the story of Father Edward Flanagan‘s amazing vision to build a town for boys in need. The movie does a remarkable job of communicating the heart at the core of Father Flanagan’s ministry and how impactful one person can be when they chase the vision in their heart. The movie, which I highly recommend you watch here, shows the growth of the Boys Town vision from 5 boys to over 500. And since we are here in Omaha, it only made sense to take a trip out Dodge to see what Boys Town has become today. That would have to wait until tomorrow though. hahaha

A good night’s rest prepared us for a full day of experiencing Omaha. It started with worship, which was followed by a trip to my favorite place in Omaha Big Mama’s Kitchen. I had the chance to experience Big Mama’s food when I was here back in August and sense then I haven’t shut up about it to the others. But even more meaningful than that was having the opportunity to meet, sit with, and listen to Big Mama. Here wisdom and willingness to share played a MAJOR role in my journey to the realization of Church On Purpose. The restaurant was super busy, like it is every Sunday after church, but she still made it out to give hugs and meet the crew. I really excited for them and the opportunity we have to go back and sit with her on Tuesday.

Following worship and dinner, there was nothing left to do but hop in the truck and ride out! Anthony drove us around Northwest, West, South, and Midtown Omaha allowing everyone to see that there really is more to Nebraska  that just cows and corn! (at least in Omaha) There were a lot of questions asked, some unanswered, but you could smell the smoke from the wheels turning in everyone’s head. They were beginning to put people, places, buildings, colors, and life to their dreams and visions. The limitations were removed and they were beginning to dream even bigger.

What am I talking about “they”?!

I WAS BEGINNING TO DREAM BIGGER!

We made it back to Anthony’s apartment and closed the day watching the Central Park Five. If you haven’t seen it, you should make it a priority! We shared a meaningful dialogue following the movie and Quentin, Anthony and I wrapped the day with a review of the day’s events and discussion about impact.

There’s so much that happened in that 24 hours that I KNOW this doesn’t begin to scratch the surface. It’s one of those days that you just have to experience. It’s a trip you just have to experience, and I’m thankful that Jene’, Quentin, and Priscilla have the opportunity to see Omaha for themselves.

There have been a lot of people with a lot of questions, most of which don’t get directed to me. There have been a handful of vocal supporters and a number of vocal detractors, most of whom don’t say it to me. But coming here in August, and now being back here again, I AM MORE CONFIDENT IN WHAT GOD IS CALLING ME TO DO AND WHERE HE IS CALLING ME TO DO IT THAN I HAVE BEEN AT ANY POINT IN MY LIFE.

So I ask, what is God calling you to? And where is He calling you to?

You have purpose. Go live LIFE on purpose!

~Coach J