February 24, 2012

Is this a God Vision/Purpose for me or am I just talking to myself?

Earlier this week I was driving through town at night headed to CCF Devotionals & Dinner. I was in a congested part of town, when I see cars slowing in front of me. Then, I realized they were slowing down for an older lady, walking toward traffic, on the edge of the road (not off the road, shoulder area, but ON the road). The road was so narrow, that each driver had to move over into the oncoming traffic to avoid hitting her. She was carrying a bag of groceries, and a large over the shoulder big purse. As I passed by, I thought to myself, “Why is she waking ON THE ROAD? Why doesn’t she move over further to the shoulder OFF THE ROAD? That old lady is gonna get hit by a car! What an idiot! Somebody ought to help or say something to her. What grocery store is around here that she got that loaf of bread she’s caring? She’s got to be somebody’s grandma, why didn’t her family give her a ride? Where was I going…and what time am I suppose to be there? Boy oh boy, that was a crazy old woman walking in the dark on the side of the road.”Now all these thoughts happened in my mind in a matter of maybe 2 seconds (a couple of those thoughts are the curse of living with ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder.). But then, as I was about a block or so away from the “crazy old woman walking in the dark on the side of the road”, I heard a similar voice in my head say, “Turn around and offer that lady a ride”. Long story made short, after another block of arguing going on in my head, I turned around and gave the lady a ride…to her AA meeting. She was a 25 year sober recovering alcoholic. I was truly blessed to have met and talked with this lady for those 12 minutes she was in my car.

So, what’s my point?
In discerning God’s vision or purpose for our lives, in our preparation to pray a Sun Stand Still prayer like is found in Joshua 10:12-14;

12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on[a] its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!

How do we know if it’s God speaking to us or it’s our inner conscience? In other words, if we were to call in the experts to verify that our vision is authentic, what would the “real thing’ look like?

Here are 4 qualities of True Vision or Purpose from God:
1) The Vision or Purpose will be Biblically Based
a. Joshua’s Vision or Purpose came from an earlier conversation with God in Joshua 1:2-5.

2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

God told him what God was going to do & what God wanted Joshua to do. IT DON'T GET ANY PLANER THAN THIS. Keep in mind that all the “how to do it” was not as clearly defined at this point…but make no doubt…the WHAT TO DO was very clear.

b. For us it today, it means that the Vision or Purpose will be revealed through Biblically based prayers, reading and marinating in the scriptures (some people call this meditating on the scriptures you’ve read), worship, and life experiences.

2) The Vision or Purpose will be Affirmed by key people
a. These people want God’s Vision or Purpose for your life as much or more than what you may want it.

3) The Vision or Purpose will be focused on Jesus
a. What I mean here is that you won’t be the focus of the Vision or Purpose, Jesus (AKA: God) will be

4) The Vision or Purpose will be tied to/bound to you passions, gifts, & life experiences
a. God won’t waste your passions, gifts & life experiences (even if the life experiences were not pleasant ones). God Vision or Purpose will require you to use those passions & gifts, and life experiences to be able to accomplish the great things God is calling you to do or be.

So, was the voice in my head telling me to turn back and give a ride to the “crazy old woman walking in the dark on the side of the road”, God? It certainly sounded a whole lot like the earlier voice in my head that called her and “idiot”. I think the second voice was definitely God.

And I am thankful that I was able to distinguish between the two voices that sounded the same… or I would have missed a great blessing as God blessed another person through my obedience.

February 15, 2012

Sun Stand Still - Audacious Faith

It’s time for Audacious Faith.

This past week I began a new message series called Sun Stand Still at LifeSpring Church. It is based off the Biblical account of a prayer that Joshua prayed as recorded in Joshua 10:12-13. Steven Furtick, pastor of Elevation Church, wrote a book about his churches experience as their congregation embraced the concept of developing their personal faith to the point that they dared to ask God for the impossible.

Now, I’m not talking about just praying impossible stuff, like “God, I really need $10,000,000” (5 years ago, that prayer would have been for $1,000,000, but with inflation and all, the amount had to go up).

I also am not suggesting that people can grow their ordinary, mundane faith into a powerhouse of audacious faith, with the purpose of manipulating God for their own purposes.

What I am talking about is an individual developing an audacious faith which is lived out in their lives, that is based off of the understanding that the Greatness of God can be directly connected to a person’s potential to do great things on His behalf, when that person is connected with their God-sized purpose and potential.

Let me define for you what I think audacious faith is…


Having the boldness or daring to ask God for the Impossible, the thing(s) that only God can do.

We read about this happening throughout the Bible. Audacious faith that leads to miraculous healings, miraculous pregnancies and births, miraculous instances of financial restoration and blessings, seemingly broken and destructive relationships between family or loved ones being restored.

In fact, in the course of my life, I have seen the impossible done on several occasions within my own family.

Any day I get in one of our 2 cars to drive, I am reminded of a time when Jodi & I were unable to afford a newer car, even though we were having “car problems” (and we all have had car problems at one time or another…you know the type…when it’s better to keep adding oil, radiator fluid, or giggling the ignition key to start the vehicle…or keeping one foot on the brake and other foot on the accelerator while sitting at a stoplight so the car doesn’t shut off…all because you don’t have the money to fix the car).

Then one day, out of the blue, someone I have never met before in my life, and have never seen since, delivered a newer used minivan to me at the church where I was leading a Bible study. This man said, “God wants you to have this”. I’m serious! It freaked me out a little at the time.

I made several attempts to persuade the man to tell me who the “human” or “humans” were who donated this minivan to Jodi & I, so I could personally thank them. It was then that the deliveryman finally said, “Those person’s names don’t matter. They are doing what God has told them. What does matter is that the God of the universe has just given you a minivan … And God let me be a part of that miracle by delivering it to you today”. And with a big smile on his face he said, “God bless you and your ministry”, and he got in car driven by some lady I had never seen before and they drove off, leaving me standing there with the keys and title to a minivan, with my Bible study group all looking out the window or standing on the porch wondering what the heck was going on and who was this guy that just interrupted their Bible study.

Let me just say, that was the first time in my life that I recall ever being so speechless that I couldn’t even finish leading my Bible Study (truth is, they were as dumbfounded & teary eyed as I was).

So, here’s the BIG QUESTION for you today:

Does the brand of faith you live by produce the kinds of results in your life that you read about in the biblical stories of men and women of faith?

If not, would you consider joining me, and the congregation of LifeSpring Church over the next 8 weeks, as we begin to explore the actions and faith needed to move from a warm “snuggie” faith of comfort to an audacious faith that allows God to do the impossible through us for His glory.

BTW, we have copies of the Sun Stand Still books, by Steven Furtick, available at our Next Steps table each week at LifeSpring Church for you to take and read.

For those of you who missed the first message of this series, you can listen to it here. I have also included the completed message notes for that week as well.

Feel free to share your thoughts and personal stories of how you have seen God at work in your life. And I DARE YOU to form your own Sun Stand Still prayer and stand back and be amazed at the work you will see God do… that is, if we ask Him audaciously.

February 9, 2012

Tybee 1/2 Marathon- The race that keeps on giving

Today's blog is a combination of things that have happen since my running of the Tybee 1/2 Marathon Saturday, 2/4/12.

It was my first 1/2 & I did finish. HOWEVER, it nearly whooped my butt. It seems the pain in my right leg during the last 2 weeks of my training was not shin splints...but a stress fracture (found that out 3 days AFTER the race, after the Dr read the x-rays).

We had a group of 8 that trained together from LifeSpring Church over the last several months. The final race times for our team ranged from Alex, who ran the fastest for the guys in his first ever 1/2 marathon and finished at 1hr. 41 mins. Next for the guys was Josh, who was not far behind Alex.

Deb, finished in 1hr & 50 mins. which was top for our girls, with Courtney & Shannon just a few mins or so behind her.

Dave, Rebecca and I, like Alex, were attempting our first ever 1/2. Dave and Rebecca did remarkable finishing in 2hrs. 44 mins & 2 hrs. 41 mins respectively.

Check out the pictures of the team racing on our facebook page called LifeSpring Fitness Lifegroup

Then come the ole preacherman. Yep, 3 miles of running before the pain was so bad that I had to walk and run mile 4. From then on is was a slow, tearful, and extremely painful hobble, to the finish line that was 9 miles away.

I had time to ask lots of questions: questions to God “why me”, and questions for myself “what the heck are you doing Dorsia”.

I had time to pray: Pray for my teammates, pray for the pain to stop, pray for the strength to endure the pain, pray not to throw up because of the pain, pray for that 100 year old lady not to pass me at mile 6…(she passed me, along with several hundred others).

So, with all that time, I “shuffled on”, until I crossed the finish line..... at a blazing time of 4 hrs. 21 mins.

Since Saturday, I have been put in a walking boot and placed on crutches for 3-4 weeks, and told no running for 10 weeks (there was a time when that phrase “no running” would have been good news...but honestly, I already am missing running...crazy for an old, fat guy, right?). The doctor just shook his head and said, “the pain alone should have stopped you…unbelievable”, before he said “mid distal tibia stress fracture” and suggested I drink more milk and take calcium supplements.

And, unbelievably, I even preached the next day…sitting in a chair. Moreover, some said it was the best, emotional sermon they had heard from me… to bad we didn’t recorded it for posterity.

Below is a copy of an email that I sent to those who attended that Sunday’s worship service with a few things that I felt I needed to say. I hope your will read it and that God will give you encouragement and hope through the words.

From the LifeSpring Church message series titled RUN: the 2/5/12 sermon called: Execution.

As you could tell, this was an emotional message for me to deliver. Early on, as a young man, I was taught to keep your emotions in check… sort of like that old Secret deodorant commercial; “never let them see you sweat”… well, for me, it was; “never let them see you cry”. This is really difficult for a person who is as passionate about life as I am, and who also has my mother’s blood running through their veins (Momma Ruth will start crying when she reads just this much of the email…sorry about that dad).

Anyway, due to time on Sunday (and my emotional state), I was not able to tell you of the BIGGEST blessing I received during the ½ marathon race at Tybee. I feel that it is important that you hear this, and this is why you are receiving this email.

This Sunday’s message, as well as the others in the RUN series revolved around Philippians 4:13 “I can do EVERYTHING through (Jesus) who strengthens me.

I spoke of about my goals for the race were: 1-having the endurance & stamina to finish the race & 2-not passing out or throwing-up in front of anyone.

I also shared some of my intimate personal commitments (aka…promises…covenants) I had made with Jesus over the years: 1) I will walk to you and with you 2) I will follow your plan 3) I will give you my all 4) I will give you glory in all areas of my life 5) I will do all this in a way that others will see the Life-Change I have is from you 6) I will lead others to a similar type Life-Change found in their living out Jesus’ purpose in their lives

I talked about how I liked the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible when it uses the word “BELOVED” verses the New International Version (NIV) when it uses “Dear Friends”.

I spoke about the bonding that I had developed with my “Beloved” runners from LifeSpring, especially my running partner, during our training. I told of how the LifeSpring running team’s words of encouragement, as well as just seeing them running their race and achieving their goals as we passed one another on various parts of the race route, was so encouraging to me.

I even had an overhead that emphasized this by saying; “Christians are drawn together to strengthen each other, so they can stand alone.”

Yes, for over 3 ½ hours, the thoughts, memories, and past words of encouragement from my teammates helped me to continue hobbling toward the finish line. And maybe that is what has helped you get to where you are today with your spiritual journey with Jesus. The past thoughts, memories, and past words of encouragement from significant people in your past… your teammates.

But, as Paul Harvey says, “here’s the rest of the story”… Hobbling alone in pain somewhere past the 11 mile marker, I heard a yell behind me…a yell loud enough I heard it over my headphones (Yes, even though I was injured and hobbling I was still listening to my “running playlist” of songs). I looked to see Lindsay & Laura, two LifeSpringers who had come just to support our running team & take pictures for historical documentation of this great event. Behind them were Alex and Rebecca, my running partner, who had just finished the race a good while earlier. I quickly turned my head and acted like I didn’t hear them, and proceeded to thank the nice policeman for his patience for waiting on me as he blocked traffic so I could cross through intersection of the road. As I kept hobbling, tears just started flowing out of my eyes like a water faucet. The good thing is since Lindsay & Laura had not been training to run, and Alex and Rebecca were exhausted from already running 13 miles, it took several minutes for them to catch up to me. This allowed for me to collect myself (aka “get my stuff together”) before they got to me.

And do you know what? They all walked the last 2 miles of the race with me. In fact Josh, Shannon, Deb, Dave, all came back to walk with me (Courtney had also came, but she went a different direction looking for me and never found me). OUR WHOLE LIFESPRING TEAM CAME BACK FOR ME! Even though they had finished the race, had the car keys and had other things to do that day, THEY CAME BACK FOR ME. Even though there was a period of time when we were separated and alone, and had to rely on our thoughts, memories, and past words of encouragement from each other…they understood that wouldn’t be enough. AND THEY CAME BACK FOR ME! They went the extra mile (in my case 2 ½ miles) and walked it with me. They said things like, “we started as a team, and we’ll finish as a team”, “no one gets left behind…no one, not even you preacher”.

I’m not sure of what you are looking for out of life. I’m not sure what you are looking for out of a church. I’m not sure what your relationship is with Jesus. I’m not sure of how God is going to use you and our church to bring about Life Transformation in our areas of influence. I’m not even sure of why I am writing you this email, other than to say this….

I am sure I am trying my best to follow Jesus wherever He leads.

I am sure our church will do everything we can to obediently follow Jesus wherever He leads.

I am sure you are invited to be a part of Jesus’ Team of Christians.

I am sure you are invited to be a part of the LifeSpring Team.

And I promise you this, if you join Jesus’ Team & the LifeSpring Team, you may feel at times that you are alone… but YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

I also promise you this. Your fellow Christian teammates, especially the ones at LifeSpring, WILL COME BACK FOR YOU! You won’t finish the race alone! Because we believe that Life Changing encounters of Jesus’ love are best found when DOING LIFE TOGETHER. “We started as a team, and we’ll finish as a team”, “no one gets left behind…no one, not even you”.

I hope to see you this Sunday as we take church to a “Whole ‘nother level” as we begin the SUN STAND STILL message series.


Dorsia, Pastor of the most AWESOME LifeSpring Church