I love the spring in Atlanta. I love the Dogwoods when they bloom, and the different colors of all the Azaleas as they bloom. The Wisteria and how it smells as well as all the other wild flowers. I especially like walking or running in the woods wilt all the wild flowers and wild dogwoods. The native azaleas are so unique and beautiful. Yes, spring is one of my favorite times in Atlanta. But then comes Summer. It is good too, but it can be awfully hot and muggy. But the grass is so green (if we have enough rain). Summertime at the pool or on the lake. It’s great too. But then comes fall. Fall has a tinge of cool in the mornings. It’s a great time to run and watch football. Yes, Fall is nice too. Winter in Atlanta, that’s another story. The only thing good about winter is when we have a nice warm sunny spell. But they are few and far between. No, winter in Atlanta is not my favorite season.
Seasons change, not only in nature but in life. I have already said that I am in a year of transition. I have been feeling a change in season for a long time. Today marked the official beginning of that change. First, what was the old season. I honor the old season because it was my past and it was good. For the last 12 years Julia and I, now just me, have poured our life and ministry into RiverStone. I love RiverStone and its people. I love Tom, Terry, Mark, Cory, Daniel and all the staff. I have poured my life into them and to seeing RiverStone truly become a church that goes after the Kingdom. We were very blessed and found much favor with all the staff. Because of that favor, God was able to use us to help implement many of the ministries that are in place now. RiverStone represents all that Julia and I could give. We gave everything we had. I will always love it, it will always be home. Right now it is in a very good place, and I am excited about all that God is going to do through it. All of my best friends are there, and I love so many of the people. But it is the past, mine and Julia’s past.
Today, I stepped into my future. I met this morning with my pastor and friend Tom Tanner and shared my heart with him. He gave me his blessings and love and then released me to follow my dreams. I expected nothing less from a man that I have walked with for so long. So as of today, I am going after my dreams with a bunch of revivalist in South Atlanta. Yes, I am now officially connected with Bethel Atlanta. I don’t know what is going to happen. I came with no agenda or promises. I hope to be involved with the school in some capacity next year, but I will have to wait and see. At any rate, I am excited. Sure it’s a long drive, but I have done this before. For five years we made the trip across the top end perimeter to North East Metro. So I am used to the drive. I am excited to e associated with Steve Hale. Steve had the vision and courage to go out to Redding and then bring back the culture a church plant and a school. Steve and Lindy are great senior leaders and it will be an honor working with them. Getting to keep working with Scott and Lacey is a dream come true.
So, I start a new season. It’s fitting that it is spring in the natural, because it is spring in the spiritual for me also. A time of new beginnings. But no matter where I am affiliated, it’s still all about the Kingdom, not the church. That’s why it really doesn’t matter. I am who I am, and I will always do what God has made me to do. I will still be a bridge between the north and the south, I’ll just be based in the south. I’ll still go after the Kingdom. I’ll still have the same ministry. I still have my friends in both places. So in many ways, nothing has changed. And yet, I am excited and have a renewed passion to go after all that God has for me, in every area. This is going to be a good, fruitful season. As I go, I honor the past, but I do embrace the future.