Do it again…

I remember days gone by, where my son would crawl up on a chair or sofa, jump off into my arms. He would crawl back up over and over again, squealing joyfully…

Do it again Daddy! Do it again!

shutterstock_285150578When I was a freshman in college, I went off to Bible college, wild-eyed and ready to see God do amazing things in my life and the lives of people. I really didn’t know what that meant, I just had a feeling he could and would.

That seemed to come to a crashing halt two months into my semester. I got a really ominous call from my parents asking me to come home for the weekend. As they explained to me how my dad’s business was failing because of awful circumstances, some self-inflicted, some not – I felt like God’s hand had left my call to see God do amazing things in the lives of people. I even contemplated leaving Bible college, not knowing how I could afford to pay private college tuition anymore.

God began to do exactly what I hoped and prayed for, just differently than I expected. My tuition bill was paid out of nowhere. I still don’t know who paid it. As I prayed and thanked God for His provision, I said –

God, what now?

I clearly heard him say –

Ask me to restore your family.

That’s it. That’s all I heard from God. God wanted me to be faithful in praying that one prayer –

God, restore my family.

So, I prayed it. I prayed it faithfully for years. As time passed, I watched in amazement as God kept His promise to restore my family. I’m not going to lie, it was hard to watch sometimes. I wondered why God didn’t want me to quit school and go back home to work and help. I watched my parents pray and work HARD. They scratched and clawed and hoped and PRAYED – and GOD CAME THROUGH.

Where there was loss and hurt and pain; God brought provision, healing and hope. Today, my parents are restored. God kept his promise.

Fast forward nearly thirteen years to the day I learned of my parents’ situation, I mourned the loss of my failed marriage because of circumstances, some self-inflicted and some not. I felt like God’s hand had left my call to see Him do amazing things in the lives of people.

Through an intense time of struggling through this and hearing from some Mighty Men of God who clearly told me –

God doesn’t revoke calling.

First you need to know that I seem to hear from God in a sarcastic tone, probably because he knows I get that, I heard God say –

Really, Jason? Do we need to go over this again? Haven’t I proven myself? This is Who I AM.

As my Senior Pastor, Will Davis Jr. said this past Sunday

Once we see God come through for us, we lose the right to question Him again.

Did He restore like I thought He would? Nope. Did He do it better? Yes. A thousand times, YES! He has showed me over and over and over that he isn’t just a God who blesses and provides as Will says –

He over blesses. He over provides.

I am in love with a new worship song, “Do it Again,” by Elevation Worship. The lyrics say –

Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You’ve never failed me yet

I know the night won’t last
Your Word will come to pass
My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus, You’re still enough
Keep me within Your love
My heart will sing Your praise again

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again

I’ve seen You move, come move the mountains
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way
And I believe, I’ll see You do it again

I’ll see You do it again
Oh-oh

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You never failed me yet

And You never failed me yet
I never will forget
You never failed me yet
And I never will forget

Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Redman, and Steven Furtick
© Music by Elevation Worship Publishing (Admin. by Essential Music Publishing LLC) and Remaining portion is unaffiliated

I want to be like my young son. To have the faith to climb back up on that mountain, or in that valley, and say –

Do it again, Daddy! Do it again!

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Christmas in Disguise: Week 1

christmas-in-disguise-messySunday night, we kicked off a brand new, two week Christmas series with your students. “Christmas in Disguise” is designed to talk about the stuff we don’t often talk about around the holidays – the messy stuff. It is all about those awkward moments that don’t feel much like the hope and joy that Jesus brings into the world.

That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them, “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I will bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies go heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

– Luke 2:8-14 (NLT)

We get caught up in Christmas as well decorated, beautiful trees and impressive outdoor light displays. Real life brings mess. Angels announced Jesus’ birth to shepherds in the field with dirty, smelly sheep because he meets us where we are. Jesus, the Prince of Peace – willingly laid in an animal feed trough because he is willing to step into our messes.

The beauty of Christmas is that God stepped into our messy, selfish world to pull us out of the dirty, messy lives we live. So many of our students are facing our unmet expectations or the weight of their mistakes. They wonder if they are enough. They wonder if God has a place for them – if he even knows they exist.

As parents, we have an opportunity to set the tone this Christmas. Can we take away the pressure? Can we be agents of the true peace and hope that Jesus brings for our teens? That is my prayer for all of us this Christmas.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and let’s begin a conversation, encouraging each one another in parenting our students.

– Jason