Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Two more work days until we step into the "great unknown". I know that God has called us to this new season of full-time missions, and I have great confidence that we are smack dab in the middle of what He has for us. You have been an absolute gift to so many youth (and so many families) over the last 15 years. I have no doubt that you have impacted lives more substantially than you could even begin to imagine. The past 5 years, at First Free, have been so beautiful that it's hard to imagine why God would ask us to walk into something new...except for that He must have something even more incredible in store. You KNOW that I will follow you wherever you feel led.... I have the deepest possible confidence that you are seeking Jesus with your whole heart. Because of that, I have zero doubt that you are going EXACTLY where He would have you (and us) go.

I imagine that as you lead our family into the "great unknown" that you must be nervous. That you must feel inadequate. That you must wonder if you made the right decision to walk away from something so familiar, so comforting, so secure. I want to assure you that you are going the RIGHT way. As I was grabbing last minute birthday gifts for Aiyana, I was praying for you. I was asking God to show me how I could encourage you. I was drawn to the cologne department. 

Here is what was revealed to me in the best smelling section of TJ MAXX. 


Do you see the box? It's a bit busted up. You may feel that you aren't good enough. That you aren't capable. That you aren't the guy. The TRUTH is...God has got bigger, and more beautiful, plans for your life than you could EVER imagine. I firmly believe that as He is working out the brokenness in your life, that He is also creating in YOU a fresh impact. You are a man of many capabilities and a man of increasing integrity. In this FRESH season He will use you to IMPACT people that HE has prepared in advance for you to impact. I pray that as you open this box and see the bottle inside that you would realize that the things God is working out in you aren't deeper than He is able to go to to fix. The impact that HE has for your life isn't wider than He is able to stretch his arms to accomplish...through your submitting and stepping out to follow Him. Through your faithfulness.

"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

The water He is asking you to step into may seem like it's ICE cold. It might be terrifying. It might be daunting. It might be too vast, and too dark from the shore. You might think that as you DIVE into the great wide open that you'll fail. Truth is, HE is waiting out there for you. He is in the SAME boat as you. 

Remember this? (click it) DON'T FORGET WHO'S IN YOUR BOAT

You may being feeling exhausted from the giving, serving and pouring out that is part of your DNA. You may even feel you don't know how much more you have to give. In this season I pray that you would find DEEP ENERGY that can ONLY come from remaining attached to the VINE. As you abide in Jesus and remain in HIM, you will be rejuvenated from deep inside of you. You will bear more fruit than you can even begin to comprehend.

JOHN 15:5-8
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in Me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in Me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples."

My sincere hope for you (in this new adventure & throughout your lifetime) is that you would tap into the EXTREME POWER you have through CHRIST in ways that you have never tapped in before. I know that as you seek first HIS kingdom, EVERYTHING else will be added. 

EPHESIANS 1: 18-23
" I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms,  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church,  which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way.

JOEY....YOU, my LOVE, are part of the VICTORY LEAGUE. God has given you a unique skill-set, a level of gifting that I've yet to see matched, faithfulness that is inspiring, and a wife & family that is behind you in every single solitary situation we will face. I will always be your biggest fan. I will always be cheering for you to be the best you possible. I will always pray for you. I will always believe in you. We will fail each other many times in our lifetime....but I can promise you love and support for you will ALWAYS remain. 

I am beyond excited for this new season. (A bit nervous, too.) I know that the uncertainty can cause us to stumble and fear.....but I also know that with Jesus in the center of our family we will SOAR on wings of eagles. We will run and not grow weary. We will walk and not grow faint. The LORD will be our hope & strength. 
ISAIAH 40:28-32
Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

I pray that each time you spray or lather on one of these scents... that you would be reminded of these truths. I hope that as you smell it on you throughout your day... that you would think upon the mighty love that God has for you, and that you would be ENCOURAGED in each step you take. I love you TONS of BILLIONS of INFINITIES. 

Sami {forever in your corner}