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Confirmation from a Long Dead Friend (“Moving On!” Pt.7)

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A radical decision: Uproot my family from a place I’ve lived my entire life, leave a job I’ve worked at for fifteen years to go to a state I’ve never been to plant a church. Ridiculous! It’s a good thing God confirmed my decision in many ways. Here’s the second set of confirmations He gave me. (Start this entire series by clicking here.)

I met with Hope Chapel’s  administrator, Dale Turner,  the “second-in-command” at our church, to tell him what I was planning to do. A very wise man, creative and full of faith, he has helped me make many sound financial decisions and has been a great sounding board over the years. I told him the whole story, everything you’ve read up to this point. “So, what do you think? Is this from God?” I asked. “You know how I’ve resisted this church planting thing over the years.”

“Steve,” Dale replied, “it has to be from God. You were the last person in the world I thought would go.”

That statement sounded vaguely familiar. About three years prior I asked him what the odds were of Karen and I purchasing our first home, which was a “short sale,” that is, where the seller gives up his home  to repay the bank for the remainder of the mortgage. “Your chances of getting that home are slim to none,” Dale cautioned at the time.

Six months later, we moved into our very first home—at half the price of what the market value was!

That evening, as I was readying myself for bed, I pulled out Charles Spurgeon’s devotional “Morning and Evening,” to read that night’s entry like I usually do. The biblical text on June 20, 2013, was from Mark 1:18: “Immediately they left their nets and followed him.”

This is what he wrote:

When they heard the call of Jesus, Simon and Andrew obeyed at once without hesitation. Most readers and hearers become moved to decide to take action; but sadly, the proposal is a blossom that has not flowered, and as a result no fruit comes from it; they wait, they waver, and then they forget, until, like the ponds on frosty nights, when the sun shines by day, they are only thawed in time to be frozen again.

Should the reader be impressed with any duty while perusing these pages, let him be quick to fulfill it before the holy glow has departed from his soul, and let him leave his nets and all that he has rather than be found rebellious to the Master’s call. Act while opportunity and desire are working in happy partnership. Do not be caught in your own nets…go where glory calls you. His harvest will be a hundredfold, and his Master will have great honor.

It’s not the first time my long-deceased friend and mentor had spoken to my heart. How much more this third day! Five times since I made my pros and cons list God affirmed this decision.

There was one person left to speak with: my Pastor and boss, Zac Nazarian. Read what happened by clicking here for part 8.

7 Comments

  1. “When they heard the call of Jesus, Simon and Andrew obeyed at once without hesitation. Most readers and hearers become moved to decide to take action; but sadly, the proposal is a blossom that has not flowered, and as a result no fruit comes from it; they wait, they waver, and then they forget, until, like the ponds on frosty nights, when the sun shines by day, they are only thawed in time to be frozen again. Should the reader be impressed with any duty while perusing these pages, let him be quick to fulfill it before the holy glow has departed from his soul, and let him leave his nets and all that he has rather than be found rebellious to the Master’s call.”

    Steve when I read the above section I can not help to think of what the scriptures say of salvation,

    “1Working together with Him, we also appeal to you, “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.” 2For He says:
    I heard you in an acceptable time,
    and I helped you in the day of salvation.
    Look, now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation 2Cor. 6:1-2.”

    “4 Blessed is the man You choose,
    And cause to approach You,
    That he may dwell in Your courts.
    We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
    Of Your holy temple.
    5 By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us,
    O God of our salvation,
    You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, Psalm 65:4-5.”

    The Apostles are such a great example, the Word of truth comes to them, calls them and they go… no hestitation seen.

    Yesterday during “On the Box” Ray said something that I believe should be at the fore front of our minds, (if it is not already), he said “Once the door of grace closes, there is no opening it again.”

    With that in mind, you don’t wait for them to die before you weep for them, but you weep for them to God, now and you go to them and reason with them from the scriptures were they are, whether to the streets or in the elevator at the mall. thanks Steve for being a powerful testimony to God’s provision in more than one way.
    I have read your blog over the last few years in hope to glean some wisdom that God has imparted to you. Thanks for being an inspiration to me.

  2. Pastor Steve,

    I see God working plainly in your story. Joan and I will pray for you and your family.

    The folks in south Texas are warm, decent people who desperately need to receive the Gospel message. I believe that God will provide and revival will start in Dripping Springs. Let’s see if it spreads to Austin and San Antonio.

    Best regards,

    Doug

  3. Steve,

    When you get here to Texas you will have at least 1 person from Dallas who will be willing to drive 3 hours to come see you on at least a monthly basis because your zeal for evangelism is so inspiring. Myself and Texas will be lucky to have you here!! And hill country is really beautiful. I think you and your family will really love it.

  4. What a great story. I was very touched with your message this morning. I will definitely pray for you, Karen and the girls. I, myself would love to move out of LA to raise Jasmine in a better environment. Pray for me and Natacha as well, that the Lord will speak and soften her heart. Thank you ,

  5. Steve,
    Thank you for taking the time to let us read about this entire adventure. There are many lessons in it for all of us.
    Thanks!
    David

  6. I’m gonna repeat something here that I wrote on your page on Monday:

    Hey Steve – great sermon yesterday. I think you made everyone uncomfortable at some point. We – ALL OF US – need to be convicted and to keep on being convicted that we’re not sold out enough for Jesus. Reminded me (that the song you sang) our Pastor at the Church where Cheryl and I met used to sing that song: “I surrender all ..” only he would always play with folks and say “I surrender some…” Sounds like Mike Nazarian up there selling us $3 worth of Gospel, right? No, today I’ll take … $4 please.

    What bears repeating is that we do need to put Jesus first. You’re always quoting the 10 Commandments to folks, this is a good thing to do, though I’ve never heard you actually use the first Commandment in any of your convicting arguments. I think EVERYONE is guilty of breaking that one, we don’t put God first – always. We all of us are idolaters, in that we put ourselves first, forget about God, however it happens during our day, and we cruise along happily until we run headlong into another brick wall and then remember and we go “Help – Lord!” This is the nature of sin, or our sin nature if you will.

    Being “Sold out” is an expression we Christians like to use, and we don’t often run to it because, like Pastor Zac says: “The Lord may make me move to Africa and eat bugs.” Well, I’ve been to Africa, and I’ve eaten bugs, and neither is as bad as that. In fact, I would have to say I’ve had more adventures since becoming a Christian than I ever did before in my “PC” existence, and I always used to poo-poo Christians and think how boring their lives must be. And even today, I don’t really consider myself a “Sold out” believer. I try, I have some time to devote to God’s activities, and I pray, and I talk, and I argue, and I plead, and I share truth, and I offer love, and I do many things, but when it all comes down to it at the end of the day, I’m still pretty selfish and self-centered.

    Thank you for being willing to take this step of faith Steve. The Lord told me that Karen is going to get the horse. I don’t know why, He just told me to say so.

    God bless you Pastor!

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