January

Expanded Expectations

January 29, 2017
Everyone has expectations. It’s a part of our make-up. We like to gauge the present and look forward to the future. Expectations give hope for what it could be and what can be; therefore, our imagination often wanders free, pondering these hopes and dreams. This tendency to harbor expectations impacts our ideas of marriage, career, money, love, purpose, faith and more. In fact, expectations touch all genres of our lives, because we were created to have hope, faith and love. Hal Lindsey once said, “Man can live about 40 days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air…but only for one second without hope.” This statement is directly connected to our expectations. Think about the power of our expectations and how they can give us a determination that won’t quit, a discipline that refuses distraction and a dream that will not die. We have been inspired by others like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs. These examples and more have changed the landscape of our culture and the way we live, yet as we walk through the swamp of life, it can be hard to remain inspired. Have you been there? We’ve all lived long enough to have experienced the backlash of expectations when they don’t deliver what we thought they would. This leaves us feeling empty and helpless, arriving at our destination not-yet-filled. This doesn’t mean we should quash this part of our lives, it just means we need to shift our expectations to the right person. You see, as we age, we tend to be more cynical and skeptical of what can happen to us and for us. We limit our imagination to only the things we can logically figure out so that we are not hurt like we’ve been in the past. We tame our excitement, bracing ourselves for let-down.  This causes us to live with a closed heart, not loving to the fullest. This is a trap.

So, what if we had Expanded Expectations?

In the face of our disappointment, we shouldn’t shut down but rather open up to God as our source and hope. We have to remember that He is able to do anything in our lives, and He is the one who fulfills our souls. The Bible says in Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God.” This short, simple verse contains a powerful truth. It’s declaring that with Jesus we can have Expanded Expectations. We can enlarge our hope, trust, and dreams because He is able to do it. This slaps life in the face because He is greater than our hurt, our loss and our lack of peace. He knows what we feel and how our expectations have fallen flat due to various circumstance. He knows our struggle with others, ourselves, money, health, kids and more. He knows we are tempted to shut off the idea that tomorrow will be better than today – Yet He is still faithful. In fact, if we are faithless, He still is faithful, because He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). In what area of your life can you have Expanded Expectations? I encourage you to take this challenge. Dare to believe that our God is able to do anything, and He is greater than anything! He can heal your family, give you the right spouse, touch your child, give you a great career, heal your body, redeem your past, unite your family and do the impossible! This is the Christ we serve.  He desires us to have Expanded Expectations! Decide to push back doubt, shake off unbelief and crush negativity. Life is too precious and short to let these things rob you of your full potential. No matter what hasn’t worked out or what has failed, God is greater! His ability is infinite and He loves you with an everlasting love! Live with Expanded Expectations and begin to say daily, “The best is yet to come.” Have a great week! Pastor David Norris

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His Plans For Me Were Much Bigger Than I Had Ever Dreamed

January 11, 2017

2016 was the year that changed me, but it wasn’t about me, it was about Him.

I found myself broken again, pieces of me shattered all over the ground for many different reasons. I was so unsure that God had a plan for me. It seemed I kept running into dead end after dead end with no hope I would find my way. Deep in my heart I knew better, and that’s why I continued to wait for God and His perfect plan. I was just so broken that God wasn’t doing things when I wanted them done. He wasn’t working on my timing, but on His.

 

I didn’t graduate college on time, I was dealing with insecurities from childhood, I thought I was gonna live the rest of my life alone. All the things I knew were a lie, but Satan kept beating me down with what he could.

 

Until one day in May of 2016 I had enough. I had nothing left to lose so I did what I was scared most to do, and that was let the world inside my heart. I tore every wall down and poured my heart into my first blog post titled, “A Single Man’s Prayer for a Virtuous Woman.”

 

It was day in and day out after that moment that God put it heavy on my heart to write. I poured everything out and let strangers into my heart. I was scared, but I knew God was telling me to share my story.

 

I wanted my brokenness to be a help to someone, because I didn’t want them to feel so alone like I did. I laid it all out, but not just the bad, I had so many good stories of how God blessed me that I needed to share. I wanted the world to know that no matter what I was going through God was there, and He was my strength when I thought I didn’t have any. He never left me.

 

I had more stories to share than I ever thought possible. So many stories poured out that I thought it would make more sense if they were all together, in some kind of order. I had no idea God planned for a book. I thought publishing a book of my testimony would be nearly impossible, but with a simple Google search what was once impossible became possible. On June 29, 2016, my first book “Safe Thus Far: My Testimony” was released.

 

If you would’ve asked me five years ago or even one year ago if I had plans to write a book, I would’ve laughed and told you no. But I didn’t know God was preparing my heart to do just that.

 

I was hoping that with the release of my book my story would help others, but little did I know God was healing me in the midst of it all. I started to see that God had a plan for me all along, and when I laid my baggage down I was finally free. I was free to see myself through the eyes of God again, and those bags that once weighed me down were no longer heavy.

 

I’ve met countless people along the way, people I never would’ve met had I not listened to what God was telling my heart. People who had given up on God, people who wanted to be more for God, people who had lost children to suicide, and people who just didn’t understand all saw the goodness of God through my testimony.

 

I’ll be forever thankful that God put it on my heart to share my story with the world. He is my best friend, my strength, and it’s only because of Him that I’ve made it Safe Thus Far.

Bigger Than I Had Ever Dreamed

If you truly pursue God with your whole heart, I believe you will find Him to be everything you’ve ever needed and so much more. He has plans for you that are much bigger than anything you’ve ever dreamed. Chase after Him to see all that He has in store! Who knows you may have a book inside of you too.

 

Jeremiah 29:11 – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

 

If you would like to learn more about my story feel free to visit Amazon.com or watch the trailer for my book on YouTube!

-Brian Williams

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Does God Care About My Flavor?

January 11, 2017
The Bible says in Matthew 5:13, ” You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” You know that you actually add flavor to the earth? Who you are and what you do as a Christian actually is the flavor that the world needs. You see if you know much about salt, you know there are different kinds, styles, and flavors of salt. There’s rock salt, sea salt, table salt, kosher, and Himalayan just to name a few.

Does God Care Really?

In being the salt or “flavor” of the earth like Jesus said we are, if we are not pursuing the dream, purpose, and passions that God has placed in our heart then we truly aren’t any kind of flavor. We can tell the world about the goodness of God until we’re blue in the face, but if we aren’t stepping out in faith and pursuing our “flavor” we will only be stale crumbs for them to see.

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