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Damned if you do; damned if you don’t.

You gotta be a lotta’ called and a lil’ crazy to help shepherd God’s flock.

“I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

The Apostle Paul  –  1st Corinthians 9:27

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I am my own slave driver

 

26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  -Ezekiel 36:26

18 Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. -Colossians 2:18-19

I guess it all started a few weeks ago. We had an encounter with God in one of our group meetings that dislodged one of the major components of my religious engine. I’m not sure how to describe the transition as it was a divine one, but I can tell you that it came as the gospel of Christ was further revealed to my soul.

I woke up the following morning in what felt like a depression. And as I usually do, I went to my bible and began to read, and the depression-like-thing didn’t leave. Then I mustered up the faith to call on the person of Christ, and it was as if He walked in the room, and instantly I was righted. This came about 5 minutes into my allotted time with God before my day started.

Instantly as I was righted by the invited presence of God, I began to have compassion for a friend and was given some divine insights into their current circumstances.

Ever since that day I’ve noticed the absence of what use to give me great comfort, my religiousness. It’s been like losing a tooth and running my tongue over the empty spot. My religiousness use to have a position in my life that made me different than other people. It use to give me an identity that others could look up to and revere. And now it’s not there, sometimes I’m overlooked in a room, my presence is not as felt as it use to be. It’s honestly been kind of awkward. But at the same time liberating. This makes perfect since because the new testament is all about everyone having access to the fullness of God, not the religious who have earned the right, but to all who call on His name He gives the right to be sons of God.

All of a sudden I’m beginning to trust in the heart that God has given me. I’m doing what I feel God wanting to do, instead of laboring over what He has said or is saying.  It’s all so new to me.

Today, I went to a prayer meeting that I have been orchestrating with a handful of friends of mine. After getting there and beginning  to pray, I realized that my heart was not in it. I was not wholly there. It’s not that I didn’t want to commune with God, it was as if I was being released from being my own slave driver and making myself do this religious thing that God was not mandating.

Somehow as a result of all this I’m finding myself even further in love with God in this new found freedom. It’s as if the union He desires for me comes with a shared desire with Him. As if He knows that my ability to create my own freedom is futile. It feels like I’m being shown what’s it’s like to be friends with God. It’s as if He loves me for me…

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giving to this ministry?

I’ve found it to be a necessity to remove money and the plea for donations from being associated with my ministry.

For one, many ministries are in ministry for the money and have given ministry a bad name because of the association with money.  I have to be honest, it gives me a bitter taste in my mouth anytime I see the two together, and I have taken the route that if I am doing what God has called me to do, then He will make sure that I am provided for. And God has proven Himself to be faithful in this to me and my family. We have not been in need of anything, often times He has provided in ways and from sources that can only be explained as a miracle. I love that about the way God works in my life. There is a freedom that comes with trusting the creator and sustainer of all things, there’s nothing like it.

As it stands the only way I have found peace with myself in doing ministry is to give freely as I have been given. I don’t charge for anything and I don’t plan on it, it’s a rarity that I even mention my need at all (some would say to my own failure, but they don’t have to live with my conscience).

As it stands I lead a couple weekly and biweekly meetings, I’m writing a book,  I’m mentoring and counseling, and I’m living constantly “clocked in” to the needs of others. Study, prayer, and conversations with those that surround me is the life I find myself in. The best way to describe my life is that instead of trying to gain and achieve in life, I live to give it all away. Some call it downward mobility, others may call it insanity.

Nonetheless here I am. In the coming months I’m going to take on a part time job to help pay the bills and help pay for the expense of doing ministry. And I was wondering if you would like to help me pay for some of the expenses I need to give myself away. If you would like to donate just once or become a monthly donor I welcome that.

Until Formation receives it’s non-profit status, the best way to give is to send checks to Jason Goodnight at 157 Water Oak Drive Pineville NC 28134, you can put For Local Missions in the subject line. If you decide to become a monthly donor you will receive frequent ministry updates with details of all the excitement and a few testimonies.

Thanks for your consideration, and may the Peace of Christ guard your hearts and minds.

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it’s on us.

God has done everything possible to set us free from the bondage of sin and it’s effects. He has had mercy on us, forgiving us to uttermost, and has even chosen to forget our sins (Psalm 103:12). In many places in the scriptures Jesus commands us to forgive, to bless and and not to curse, to give and not expect anything in return, to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to not let the sun go down on our anger, to serve God and not money, etc. These commandments are given as gifts for our freedom, they aren’t given to bind us up. 

See God has mercy and is forgiving, and even forgetting; our adversary is not. Even though God has control over all creation, He has given us many choices. Choices that will affect our level of freedom. Not because God is not in control, but because He has made a way for us to stave off the bondage that attacks us by our simple obedience to Him. It’s an act of love and trust in our communion with Him.

We have a tendency to forget the greatness of the supernatural forgiveness that was given to us when we asked for God to forgive us by the blood of Jesus (Eph 2:8-10). It was like night and day for me and many of you who are reading this.

Continue reading “it’s on us.”