finding meaning in the mundane

Category: Church (page 1 of 10)

Be A Part Of Hope City’s Story

153 Days Left%2F%2FBlog PostThere are only 153 days until Hope City publicly opens its doors for the first time!

It is so exciting!  153 days may seem like a lot of time to you, but January 22nd will be here before you know it, and we’ve got a lot of work left to do!

We have been hard at work with an incredible launch team.  You would be so proud of this group of people–I know I AM!  This team is focused on what is ahead, not where we’ve been.  They have a heart to see the city of Sarasota changed by the gospel of Jesus, and I am so proud of them!

But we can’t do this alone!

This would be impossible without you!  We need your prayers and your financial help.  Our launch team is giving sacrificially and together with your help we have received almost $130,000.  This means that we have a gap of $70,000 left before we accomplish our goal.

Will you consider making a financial gift to help support Hope City today?  As Pastor Bill Hybels says, “Maybe God has afflicted you with affluence”,  would you consider how you can help make that $70,000 gap shrink?  Every dollar matters… and will be used in the mission of reaching people here in our city, because every person matters.  Our launch fund is exclusively used for purchasing equipment, but that equipment is used exclusively to see more people hear the word of God. It is all about people.

In the next few weeks we will be starting to secure the resources that we will use for church every week; computers, screens, projectors, kids equipment–everything we need for our kids environments, our main auditorium, and for our lobby.

You can send your gift electronically by clicking the donate button below.

Or, you can mail your tax deductible gift to the following address:

Hope City Church

3995 Bee Ridge Road Ext.


Sarasota, FL 34241

All checks can be made out to Abundant Life Church, and in the memo line write “Church Plant”.  Email with any questions.

Will you be a part of the mission to bring the good news of Jesus, the Hope of the gospel to Sarasota? Thank you for your gift to Hope City.


My God, Why?

Have you ever wondered why God allows pain in your life?  Or have you ever asked God “Why?”  Recently I had the privilege of being able to share a message with my church looking at these exact questions.  It is overwhelming to think about how many of us wake up each and every day in pain.  Pain comes in all forms: physical pain, emotional pain, or even spiritual pain.  But God hasn’t left us alone in our pain.  Nor has God been silent in our pain.

God knows all about pain.  And God loves you enough to say you will never be alone in your pain.  For more, check out that message below…


3 Truths God says About You

Great CommissionJust the other day I shared some exciting news about an e-book that I have written called “Empowered”.  I am like an anxious ball of joy right now.  I am so excited to get this book out the door and into the hands of people like yourself.  I hope that you will consider reading it.  The topic and themes presented in this book have been on my heart and my mind for the past few months as I have been writing late at night and early in the morning.  I believe that the message it shares is one that will change this world.  Hear me–I don’t think my words will change this world, I think that the message Jesus shared with us is what will change the world.

I wrote this the other day, and I think it’s worth discussing more:

I believe that God has put every single one of us in unique situations with unique opportunities.  No matter what age or stage you are, there are unique opportunities for you to be making an impact in the world around you.

3 Truths…

God has you where you are for a reason.

It is easy to be upset and argue with God why your life is the way that it is.  Maybe you are living in a place you hate, doing a job you can’t stand, surrounded by people you would rather run from.  Or maybe right now you are experiencing some of the deepest pain that you have ever felt in your entire life.  Maybe your life has a couple little kids in it that are running around seemingly cluttering up your space and cramping your style.  Frankly, those little energy suckers have got you beat.  Why God… Why???

Whatever it is for you, and wherever you find yourself, God has put you there for a reason!  Jesus says in Matthew 5:14

14You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 

So shine bright wherever you are.  Even if you don’t like your environment, don’t let it dim your effect on it.

You are not too anything.

For the longest time I told myself a lie.  The worst part is that I believed it too.  I used to tell myself that I was too young.  Right when I would feel God prompting me to do or say something I would stuff it away by telling myself that I was too young to lead in that way.  Or too young to confront those issues.  Or too young to make a difference.  Well, that’s crap.  You aren’t too anything.  Not too young, or too creative, or too energetic, or too quiet, or too much of a woman to make a difference in this world.  God can and will use your “too-ness” (like that word I just made up?) for His glory.  Jesus continues in Matthew 5 by saying,

16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so thatthey may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Live it out and lean into it.   Not feeling courageous enough, then this is for you.

The world is waiting for your impact.

There is nothing worse than bland french fries.  Except for maybe cold, day-old, bland french fries.  God has you where you are right now in order to make an impact on the world around you.  You are to be the spice of life.  In this same passage, Matthew 5:13, Jesus says

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

 Spice it up!  The world needs your quirks, your weirdness, and everything that makes you who you are.  God designed you that way.  Go be exactly who you are for His glory and His fame!

It’s time to live the life that God has Empowered us to!  Let’s do it.


Hot Tubs, Baptism, & Heaven

Baptism CelebrationRecently at my church, we celebrated our 1,007th baptism since our initial launch!  That’s right.  That’s One Thousand and Seven people who stepped into a portable hot tub to publicly declare that Jesus is their Lord and Savior.  It’s been a privilege of mine to baptize 58 of those 1007.  Every number has a name, and every name is attached to a story, and every story matters to God!  At Liquid we  believe that a baptism service is a reason to celebrate, and a celebration is a call to be loud.  So we pull out all the stops, and go crazy for each one of those people who go under the water, and come out again!  We are celebrating life change, and the story that God is writing in their lives.

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What we can learn from Avicii’s ‘Wake Me Up’

I can’t help but enjoy Avicii’s current hit song ‘Wake Me Up’, with it’s driving beat, catchy lyrics and all.  Plus it helps that it’s on iTunes radio all the time!  After having heard it multiple times, I had to go online and check out the music video.  I found this video to be a beautiful picture of what the Church should be like.

Here’s 3 things we can learn from Avicii and his song Wake Me Up:

1. Come:

Judgement is a relationship killer.  That is one of the fastest ways to make other people feel uncomfortable.  So, if your goal is to push people away, and keep people from coming to your church, work hard at judging them.  People are longing for a place to fit in and be welcomed.  That is where the Church comes in.  The Church should be the place where everyone no matter who they are, or what they’ve done should be accepted and loved.  I love how in the video the woman rides her horse up onto the bridge and looks out over the modern city with a twinkle in her eye as if to say, “Ah… I think I have found home.”  That’s what it should be like for people who walk into our churches for the first time on a Sunday morning.  Make it so that they are not afraid to come in to your church.  Do whatever it takes to break down that barrier.

2. Connect:

People don’t stay in a place because they have cool lighting and an awesome sound system.  People find themselves getting rooted in an environment because of their connection with other people.  I love the scene where they pile into the back of the truck as they head off.  There is something about the smiles and laughter of the few people together.  They have a relationship there that is looking to meet the needs of this confused and searching traveler.  They bring her right in, invite her to do whatever it is that they were already doing, and head off into the sunset together.  How are you at connecting people with your small group of friends?  That’s the power of relationships- connection.

3. Contribute:

Being a part of something, feels way better than watching something.  (Unless it’s an MMA fight)  When you get involved in an organization, church, or any other club your level of buy in goes way up!  People feel a sense of ownership when they move from sitting on the sidelines to being an active participant.  In this video, you see a whole sea of people who are actively engaged in what is happening on stage.  There are not rows of velvet chairs neatly lined up as if you are in a movie theater observing something.  No, these people are participating in the show, they are as much a part of the experience as the lights and sound waves booming from the stage.  How are you at helping people get plugged in to be apart of your churches service projects, or serving teams?  It’s vital!

Church AssimilationWhy do all this?  Why go to the trouble of helping people through this three step process?  Because you’ll find that there are people who will echo exactly what the woman said at the end of the video:

Get up!  Pack your things…

Where are we going?

Somewhere we belong…

I love hearing people say, AH… I’ve finally found my church home.  Every person has a story, and every story matters to God!  Let’s work hard to help people find home.


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