Moving Forward

family_01     Thirty years ago my parents loaded up the few of us still living at home and moved us from Massachusetts to Florida.  Ever since then (with just a couple minor exceptions), I’ve never lived outside of Pinellas County.  Tracy was born and raised here, and except for the few years we lived up in Odessa, it’s been the same for her.

This June that’s about to change.

Three years ago we received a call from our good friends Tenney & Pam Olsen, directors of the International House of Prayer in Tallahassee.  They were anticipating growth for the ministry, knew our hearts for prayer and worship, and wanted to know if we would pray about coming to join their staff.  The timing never worked out for us to make the move… until now.

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No reserves. No retreats. No regrets.

“Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations.” – Isaiah 42:1

It was the summer before my Junior year in High School that God used this verse to confirm that He was calling me into a life in the ministry.  When I responded to the Holy Spirit’s drawing at a youth camp that summer, I knew from that moment forward that I would be working with youth the rest of my life.  I had been praying and asked God to confirm that calling to me through His Word, and one day that scripture “address” popped into my head, and when I looked it up – well, you can see why I would take that as a confirmation.

Over the 25+ years as youth pastors and pastors since then, we have had so many young people come and go through our lives.  It’s been an awesome privilege to see so many grow in their walks with the Lord, and especially in seeing those who have responded themselves to that same call into ministry.  Now – don’t get me wrong, those who are now studying law, or who are teachers, soldiers, store clerks, nurses, firefighters, moms, dads… I am equally proud of each of them, too!  But to deny that there is not some sort of kindredness with those called into ministry would be a lie.  I guess you could compare it to being a Marine and knowing other Marines… sure you admire the Navy, Army, and Air Force – but you really feel connected to another Marine.  I hope that makes sense. Continue reading