Focus, Family, Fuel.

(The following is a transcript of Todd Katter’s message from October 22, 2017, titled, “Focus, Family, Fuel.” The video is also available to you here.)

A few years ago, I had an incident... at an airport. I’ll remember this all my life.

So... I spent the weekend with my brother in New York City. And I got back to LaGuardia—if you’re a New Yorker, you can probably say it better than me. I was in LaGuardia, in a terminal, and I’m just waiting for my flight. And I hear, it says, “Last flight, last call for your flight to Chicago.”

So, all of a sudden, get up, getting ready to go, and then I’m like, “Wait a minute. It’s not my flight.” I forgot, oh wait, I have a connection. I have to go through Atlanta. Yeah, I know, seriously—I hate Atlanta. No offense. I know it’s the global headquarters of Coca-Cola, but they have bad sports teams, and they call it Hotlanta for a reason. Not a fan of Atlanta. So I have a brilliant idea.

So I get up from my seat. I go to the ticket counter. And this lady was not having a great day, let me tell you that. So... I’m like, “Hey, you know, I see there’s some—plenty of extra seats. And that’s my final destination, Chicago. You mind if I jump on in?”

She’s like, “Son, I don’t think it works that way.”

So I’m like, “Alright. Okay.” Again, she had not had a cup of coffee or a giant chocolate in the morning. So... I redouble my efforts. I thought, oh, man, let’s do a trade. I’m like, “I have not one but two tickets. I have a ticket to Atlanta and a ticket to Chicago. I’ll give you both these tickets if you just let me get on the plane and go to Chicago.”

She’s like, “Son... it just doesn’t work that way, kid.” I think she said “Son” or “Kid” like twelve times. So.

Anyway, I still remember, disheartened, sat down by the window. And I watch that plane take off... nonstop to Chicago. Twenty-seven hours later... I arrived in Chicago. Something like that. So. Do you ever find yourself kind of in a situation like that? Where you want the nonstop flight somewhere... but kind of feel stuck? Maybe you feel like you’re in Atlanta. Anyone feel like they’re kind of in Atlanta this morning? Like not like metaphysically, but you know what I mean. So.

See, I feel like we’re all in Atlanta in our lives in some way. Where we have this picture of where we wanna go. We’ve started the journey. We’ve kind of put a stake in the ground, saying, “Hey, this is my dream. This is where I wanna go.” But we haven’t quite gotten there yet. And we find ourselves kind of in this midpoint on our life, and we have like twelve connections instead of the nonstop flight. And we’re like, “God, what are You doing? Why do I have to go... through Atlanta?”

So, this morning, I wanna ask you: what is your stake?

Some of you may be here, and you’re like, “You know what? My stake is I would love to be married. I’m in a relationship, but I’m not quite there yet.”

Some of you might say, “Hey, you know what? My stake would be I actually have, I’m renting a house, but I wanna have a brand-new house. That would be fantastic.”

For some of you, you’re like, “I have kids, and I can’t wait for the day they get out of the house.” Not till they’re forty. Trust me.

Some of you, you’re like, “You know? I’m near the end of my career, but I haven’t yet retired.”

Some of you are like, “You know, I’m retired, but I haven’t yet wimped out and moved south to Florida or even Atlanta.”

And some of you... you’re Bears fans. You’re waiting for the day that Mitch Trubisky becomes the next great quarterback and not Jay Cutler. That will not happen.

And some of us are Cubs fans waiting for another World Series victory. Too soon? Probably too soon.

Well, as they say, there’s always last year, right? There’s always last year.

Or maybe you’re here... in all seriousness, you have some health struggles. And you’re like, “Man, I can’t wait till I get through it.”

Or maybe you’re here, you’re like, “You know what, man? I’m really trying to forgive this person in my life. But I feel... that pain. I can’t get over that pain.”

Or maybe you’re wanting to grow in your faith, you’re wanting to become a better parent, a better friend, a better worker... but you keep getting stuck. You kind of find yourself here, in the middle, in the season between.

Or maybe you’re part of this amazing church family—I know I’m a little bit biased. But like the coolest church family on the planet. The one Steve Carter likes the best. And maybe... you just have seen God do unprecedented things. You’ve seen hundreds of people get baptized. You’ve seen tons of growth. You’ve seen sixty-five acres of land. You went out on the land. And you put your dreams down with a stake. So excited.

But now... you drive by the land. And it’s just more farm land. Still. Months later. You find yourself in the season between the stake and the shovel. The season when you prayed for the ground... and dedicated the ground... and when you’re actually going to break... ground.

You see, I think that’s something that we all find ourselves in today.

And can I confess something? I really don’t like being here. I really, really, really don’t like it. I like fast. I’m a runner—I’m a mountain climber. Sometimes, I’m a fast driver. Confessions. It’s true. In fact, every time I get a new car, you’ve gotta see how fast the car can go, right? And there are certain roads where it... I mean, maybe it’s not legal, but, you know, you can find a place. Even around here where you can kind of test that out and... yeah. No, I’m just kidding. I would never do that. But...

There’s just something amazing about speed. And yet God often tells us that we learn the most important things when we wait. Especially when we have to wait in things that really matter. Things like our permanent home. Things that really will change our lives and change our future.

So today I’m going to look at a message that God’s put on my heart. Honestly, I think I’m preaching to myself this morning on why, sometimes, right here is right where... God wants... us to be. You see, it’s inconvenient, but it’s not accidental. It’s intentional. Say that with me. It’s inconvenient, but it’s not accidental. It’s intentional.

Because there are things that God wants to teach us here that, quite honestly, we will learn no other way. And, quite honestly, it’s even more important that we learn these things here... than that we ever get there.

And Jesus’ disciples found themselves in a similar situation. And they found themselves learning something that we’re gonna learn about today. This concept of learning about our focus, our family, and our fuel.

So if you have your Bibles, open them up to Acts chapter 1. It’s kind of halfway in our Journey study. It’s page 110 if you have those books. We’re gonna dive right in to Acts 1 verse 1.

Luke says:

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.

Now, these two verses are actually summarizing the entire book of Luke. So if you kind of forgot to read through Luke in our Journey study, you can just start right now.  We just caught you up right there. There we go. But again:

After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.  

You Bible scholars will remember forty is a powerful number—it’s a symbol that there are great new things that God is doing. It goes on. It says:

On one occasion, while he [Jesus] was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

Jesus is like, “I know you wanna get going. I know you wanna get there. But first... trust me. You’re just gonna have to wait here... until the Holy Spirit comes.” But, again, the disciples, you can see, they didn’t wanna wait. You go to the text, it says:

Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time [at this time] going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

I love Jesus’ response. Again, He’s putting a stake in the ground. In fact, these verses summarize the entire book of Acts. He says:

“It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

“The ends of the earth.” Even Huntley, Illinois. I’m sure He was thinking of us in the back of His mind.

So then, after rising from the dead, Jesus literally rises up into the sky and disappears in the clouds. I don’t know if any of you have ever actually seen something that was undeniably supernatural? I have, but that’s for another sermon. So we’ll do that another day. But, again, get this. This is equally supernatural. Because, for the first time in Luke’s writings, the disciples actually do what He asks. Verse 14 says:

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 

It’s very simple. The disciples find themselves right here—in the waiting. Jesus has gone. The Spirit... has not come. And there they are. But, again, there are important lessons that they need to learn.

The first lesson relates to our focus. That when we follow Jesus, we’re part of something bigger. Turn to your neighbor and say that with gusto: “We’re part of something bigger.”

Nice job. Man, I heard some gusto there. Fantastic.

You see, after three years with Jesus, the disciples had the wrong focus. I mean, He was a king. They wanted Him to have this earthly rule. And they wanted to get the benefits of that. Wanted to be free from oppression—maybe even take over Rome. That was their version of there. They’d receive governmental appointments. Maybe have board of directors of places. Maybe be a judge on Shark Tank. Or The Voice. Some of them were carpenters—maybe they could replace Chip and Joanna Gaines and get their own TV show. They wanted some earthly awesomeness, right?

But Jesus: “No, you’re wrong.” He’s like, “Wrong focus. It’s not about this earthly kingdom. It’s about the Kingdom of God.” And that Kingdom describes this way of life that is where God is reigning and ruling over you and over your heart, and it’s way bigger and way more important than any earthly thing.

Now, I can’t blame the disciples, because I’m often the same way. Often, I’m really, really excited about my version of there. Yes, I know, I’m a Cowboys fan, but I have other “theres” as well, like a permanent home. Climbing Mount Everest—I will do that one day... if my wife lets me. And winning my four fantasy football leagues. You know. We have versions of there.

But, on a more serious note, I’ve been thinking about this. I can’t wait for my son to learn to walk. Can’t wait to have a conversation with him—just to hear what he’s saying, going back and forth.

And then... man, I really hope, I don’t know if this is gonna happen or not. But... I hope that my dad is still of the mental acuity where he can have a conversation with my son, and my son can get to know his granddad even just a little bit. Man, that would be really, really cool.

Because these “theres” in my life and in your life, they really matter. And, again, the Bible’s clear: we should pray for our dreams. We should pray for the things that are on our heart. God cares about them.

And I know some of you here, you have some very difficult things that you’re dealing with. You know, some of you have a tough situation with a relationship or with a marriage. Some of you are just dreaming for your kids to be reconciled. Some of you are just excited for them to come home for Christmas cause it’s the next time you’re gonna see ‘em.

We all have our vision for there. And those are good things. But, again, no matter what our there is, there’s something even bigger than that. In fact, the word that Jesus uses in verse 8 for “witness” is where we get the word “martyr.” Because if you’ve truly witnessed the power of what Jesus did, truly grasped the implications of it, it so changes our world. That we would give anything... for others to know about it. It’s our number one job.

Now, I heard recently about a conversation between two church members. And it went something like this. One guy’s like, “Can you believe it? They have drums on the stage. If Jesus knew that there were drums on the stage, you know what? He’d be rolling over in His grave.”

The other person responds, “Dude, if Jesus is rolling over in His grave, we got bigger things to worry about!”

It’s true. And the reality is... is Jesus rose from the grave. Jesus is alive. And as John 3:16 says, He came and died so that every person who believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life. Guys, that’s the best news ever. Our number one job is to get that word out. That is what it means to be part of something bigger.

Recently, I had a traffic accident. Very minor. Very minor, and I wasn’t speeding. The officer thought I was. I’m like, “I wasn’t speeding. I know I drive fast, but I wasn’t speeding.”

So I had to go to traffic court. Anyone ever been to traffic court? Okay, okay, honestly, I’m impressed. Last service, I was like, they’re a bunch of liars. No one’s like, “I haven’t been to traffic court. Whatever.” I like, I feel like... my GPS has it saved—that’s how often I go to traffic court. That’s actually the truth. More than I should.

So I’m in traffic court. And, you know, there’s like forty or fifty people in the court. And, you know, about ten or fifteen minutes in, the judge is like, “Todd Kay-ter—Kay-ter?” You know, no one can ever get my name right, which is always frustrating. But he’s a judge, so I’m not gonna say anything. I’m like, “Yes, sir.”

He’s like, “Please approach the bench.”

So I approach the bench. I go up to the bench. And, then, all of a sudden, I got freaked out. He’s like, “Turn around. Face the room.” Yeah, I’ve never seen this. Again, I’ve been to traffic court a lot of times, I’d never seen this. I was like, what is going on?  

Again, you’re like, why has he been in traffic court so many times? That’s a sidebar conversation. You can pray for me later.

But I approached the bench. And so he looks around. And he’s like, “May I have the attention of the room.” He’s like, “Were any of you... in an accident... with this man... at this time... on this road... in this Honda Accord. If so, please make yourself know.” And, suddenly, I got really tense. I mean, I’m a grown man. But I’m like sweating. I’m nervous. Like I feel like the seconds were going by so incredibly slow. I start looking around, I remember, oh, wait a minute. There’s someone I kind of recognize. I wonder if that’s that person that I hit. I’m like, oh, this is gonna be really bad. So I’m looking around, looking around, looking around. Like, literally, just like taking forever.

But no one... raised their hand. So then he looks at me. He’s like, “There’s no one here to prosecute you. You are free to go.” Boom—hits the gavel. And I got out of there as fast as I could! I literally ran back to my car. My heart was still pounding. I’m not joking. It was still pounding.

But then, later, as I had a chance to reflect on it... I realized that there’s a day when we’re all going to appear in a courtroom. Every single person who’s ever lived. Revelation 20 talks about this. And we’re gonna stand before a judge who loves us, who’s our Father, but also who is a just judge. And I don’t know about you, but I know about me, I have committed more than minor offenses. I’ve gotten more than minor scrapes. And, in fact, the Bible talks about how Satan, and that name, Satan, actually means “accuser.” Satan knows all these things that we’ve done. And these accusations are building... up.

So that day will come when the judge asks us to approach the bench. But then... our Savior will have a book. And because of our Savior, He’ll say, “You know what? Your name is written in My book. Yes, you had all those accusations, and all those accusations are true. But you know what’s even more true? I bled, and I died, and I rose again... for you. You’re in My book. So come and share in My happiness... forever.”

Again... that... is so... important. That’s the biggest news that this planet has ever known. The news about Jesus. Because we’re all gonna face a day, and everyone we ever meet, we ever see, will face that day.

So, since that day in the courtroom, I can’t help but be asking, “Man, does this person know Jesus? When this person comes to that day, will they have Jesus to say, ‘Hey, I don’t care about what they’ve done. Their name is in My book’”? I’ve just been captivated by this because that is the heart of what Jesus is saying right here.

He’s like, “Before you get to there, before you focus on anything else”—again, those are very important things, but the most important thing we can do with our one and only lives is spread the message of our Savior. It’s the most important thing.

That’s why we do things like Trunk or Treat. That’s why we have these, you know, events where we can make invitations. I mean, first off, as Eileen said, who doesn’t like Halloween candy? I did some research. Wanna know the most popular Halloween candy in the state of Illinois? It shocked me. I’m thinking Tootsie Rolls, right? Candy Corn? Maybe like Snickers or Reese’s or Baby Ruth’s—like, really good. No. Sour Patch Kids. I know, I know. I’m not making this up. Sour Patch Kids. Don’t give Nathaniel any Sour Patch Kids.

Actually, you probably shouldn’t give him any candy right now—he’s a little too young for that. But.

So we were looking for ideas for Nathaniel’s costume. So I started also researching, what are the top costumes? You wanna know the top costume? Wonder Woman. He’s not going as Wonder Woman, I’ll tell you that. I didn’t have to think twice about that one. Instead, you’re gonna think we’re probably a little strange on this. But we’re gonna have him go, we’re gonna dress him up, and put like this white pillar with like an Ionic column on his head. So that when people look at him, they can say, “Hey, look, there’s a Katter Pillar.”

Don’t you feel sorry for that kid?

But in all seriousness... you know, Trunk or Treat’s a really important thing. It’s just a simple way for us to make an invitation. We’ve seen some families get connected to our church because of this. We’ve seen people find Jesus because of Trunk or Treat and other events like this.

In fact, if you guys were at our Baptism service this past August, there were many powerful moments. But one was an entire family had come to our church because of an invitation, and we got to watch an entire family go into the water together and get baptized. Again, all because one person invited one person. When we do that, who knows what God might do?

So, again, in this season, that’s the most important thing we can do—be part of something bigger. But God also teaches us not just this lesson about our focus; He teaches us a lesson about our family.

Now, there’s a guy in my small group who, we’re going through the Journey study, and he also is the high school girls’ basketball coach of Marengo. Do we have anyone from Marengo here? Alright. Okay. Alright. They have an awesome basketball team. Awesome girls’ basketball team.

So he’ll get his girls down in the huddle before the game. And he’ll look at them. And he’ll inspire them. And he’ll say, “Hey, you know what? It’s not about how many points you score. It’s not about your stats. It’s about one thing. Big team. Small me. Big team. Small me.”

And, again, that’s really what Jesus is getting at to the disciples. That’s what He was wanting them to get. So, again, turn to your neighbor, the person you didn’t choose the first time, and tell them, “Big team. Small me.”

Again, often, the disciples did the opposite. You remember reading in Luke, and other Gospels, they would ask, “Who is the greatest? Who gets the best seat? Who gets the one next to Jesus?” James and John—they even got their mother involved in the conversation! She wanted her boys to have the best roles.

The disciples weren’t ready for there yet. Imagine people bickering about those things building the church. Jesus knew that there was something they needed to learn right here... before they’d be ready for there. And there was something I realized that was just so fascinating to me when I was studying this text in Acts 1. Because, many of you know, our creedal text as an entire church of Willow is Acts 2:42–47, which describes how this group was fully devoted, was all in, was together.

But you wanna know the first time that actually happened? It wasn’t in Acts 2. It was right here. It was in Acts 1. It was right here when they were in the waiting season. Even before the Spirit came. And some of you, God’s speaking to you because you find yourself here, and you hate being here. But the reality is, is God wants you to learn something right here. That some people may see down the road, and it may make all the difference. But they’ll never know that it was the decision in this moment, in the hard moment... the moment where you were doing everything you could to hold on. It was that decision that made all the difference.

You know, recently, I came across this fascinating story. It was done—there was a research, group that was done by a group in Belgium. And they got these three groups together. And they wanted to see something really important. They wanted to see what would be people’s propensity to help out.

So this researcher had a whole bunch of household items. We got our cotton balls. We got our paper towels. And they were gonna drop these items. And they were gonna show these three groups of people different pictures and see if a group saw a different picture, did it kind of subconsciously influence their willingness to help?

So the first group saw this one—just a single person by themselves. The second group saw the next picture—two people. And then the third group saw two people, not wide away from each other but right next to each other.

So then each time the drama happened, the researcher went, and, again, their subjects were all around, the researcher... oh, woah...

...and just like you, nobody helped. No...

So they waited to see, alright, how many of the subjects were going to help. In the first case? It was 20 percent. In the second case, where they saw the two people separate, it was also 20 percent.

Wanna guess what it was in the third case? Yeah! 60 percent! You guys, you guys are smart people. Smart people. Way to go.

But you know what, I’m sure you probably saw that coming. You know what I did not see coming... when I was listening to this story? Is the age of the subjects... was eighteen months... old. Eighteen months... old. You see, even little toddlers... are profoundly impacted by the influence of us when we’re joining together.

Because the reality is, is God wired us that way. God wired us for community. And I can see it for my son, when I walk into his room, there’s something in him that’s looking for connection, that’s looking for partnership, that’s looking for community. And when we do that as a church family—when we live out the sense of big team, small me, we are impacting the next generation. We’re impacting everyone—whether they’re 18 months, 18 years, 118... I don’t know. We’re having such an influence. And Jesus knew that. And it was really important.

And, again, I think that’s why God finds us here in this season at Huntley. The season between the stake and the shovel. Because God is challenging us to come together in new ways. In fact, we’ve been doing this Journey study—all of us studying God’s Word together. We’ve been doing this Say Yes board. We’ve seen many of you sign up to say yes in Promiseland.

In fact, a guy, named Michael, a couple weeks ago, he shows up, two weeks ago, for the first time. He texts Eileen, our Promiseland director, he’s like, “Oh, my daughter loved her time.” He’s like, “Yeah, first week, I’ll sign up to serve.” Just. Like. That.

And I believe that some of you guys are here. And God’s speaking to you. What does it mean for you to have a perspective of big team, small me, in this season? What does it mean for you to be fully devoted? What does it mean for you to be together? What does it mean for you to put your stake down in a new way, even in this land-between season? I think God has some great things in store for us.

And, again, this brings us to our third and our final lesson. I think this is actually the most important one of all. Not only do we learn something about our focus and our family. We learn something about our fuel. You see, the disciples, they had this debate with Jesus. They were here... and they wanted to know the ending. They wanted things to be all figured out in their head. But, again, as verse 7 says, Jesus is like, “It’s not for you to know... the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority.”

You know what’s fascinating? If you read through the Bible, you will see that Jesus didn’t know... when He was in the Gospels, He says that there were many things that were gonna happen that, when He humbled Himself and became a man, He didn’t even know what was gonna happen in the future. So if it was good enough for Jesus not to know when He walked this earth, I think it’s probably good enough for us as well.

But instead of giving full knowledge, in Acts 1:8, Jesus is deciding what will be His final statement to the disciples. And wanna guess what He says? He says, “You will receive power.” One more time, turn to your neighbor, again, the one you like better, and say, “You will receive power.”

You get that? It’s a promise. His power is our fuel.

You means every single one of you in this room. Will means not optional, not negotiable. Receive means it’s nothing you do; it’s nothing you earn. Power. The Greek word is dynamis—it’s where we get the word dynamite. It is life-changing power. Power to change our focus and be part of something bigger. Power to be part of a family—to say, “Big team. Small me.” Power to trust that God’s presence today... will... be greater... than our need for His provision tomorrow.

You guys know that I love to run. And fall is undoubtedly the best season of the year. So I’ll, I’ve been just roaming Chicagoland on my days off on Friday. And finding some really cool places to run. Just doing these trail runs. So, couple weeks ago, I was running, and I took this picture here. And, again, you know, just beautiful. You can see a bunch of leaves in the trees. A bunch of leaves in the ground. You know the thing about beautiful leaves? The different colors? They’re dead. They’re dead. Shocking biological insight. I know. You guys are very impressed.

You can tell someone that’s what you learned in church today.

But this is nature’s way of pruning. In fact, nature knows that for the trees to go and be ready for the winter and then for the spring, they’ve gotta leave some things behind. Can I confess something? I love that picture. It’s so beautiful. It’s so serene. But when God wants me to leave some things behind... it’s excruciating. It’s really painful.

In fact, if I’m honest, in this Home process, my desire to go real fast has conflicted with God’s desire to teach me patience. God’s been challenging me, “Leave. Some things. Behind.” My desire to have the answers and figure things out has conflicted with God’s desire to say, “Hey, you need a wise team around you guiding every step.” Again, God’s like, “Leave. Some things. Behind.”

And I don’t know what God is asking you about. But I would encourage you... lean into Him. Lean into His power. He will help you leave things behind. Because, often, He doesn’t want you to get to this next place until you’ve fully left behind the things that you need to leave right here.

And what I have found is, often, it’s by His grace that I don’t get there as fast as I want. Because God knows that the process and the work that He’s doing in me in this excruciating season right here... is critical for what He will give whenever we end up there.

There’s a story that I heard recently that kind of captures how God comes alongside us in a really cool way.

Many of you are probably familiar with the great inventor named Thomas Edison. You know. This guy invented the battery. He invented the lightbulb—we wouldn’t be in this room without him. He invented the microphone. You wouldn’t be able to hear me without him. And he even invented the phonograph. I know, you know, some of you were listening to your phonograph this morning. But...

Just a really, really, old iPod—if you don’t know what a phonograph is. But, see, when he was a kid, he went to school. And he went to school, and his teacher gave him a note, and, again, he couldn’t really read the note. So it was a note for his mom. So he went home to his mom, and he gave his mom the note. So his mom looks at the note. And, suddenly, she just starts crying as she reads it.

So then she takes a moment. She gets her composure. She’s like, “You know what, Thomas?” She’s like, “The school is telling me you are so special. You are so gifted. That I’m gonna get to teach you everything I know because they don’t have the capacity to teach you all the things you need to know.”

So his mom just pours herself into teaching Thomas everything she knows. And, again, as we know, Thomas Edison grew up, and he invented all these major things. He was the best inventor the world has ever known. And then, many, many years later... Thomas Edison was going through his mom’s stuff. After his mom passed away. And as he’s going through box after box, he comes to that box, and he finds this note with tear stains on it. And when he reads that note, he starts crying.

What he reads is: “Your boy Thomas has so many special needs... is so out of our help... that we’re not gonna help him at all. You’re gonna have to keep him at home and teach him yourself.”

And what Thomas realized was the belief in him by one person... changed the course of his life. Changed human history... forever.

And let me tell you something. If you think Thomas Edison’s mom believed in him, that doesn’t hold a candle to how much your Father in heaven believes in you. Cause He loves you more than anything on the planet. He created you. He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. And He has great and glorious plans for your life. And whatever you’re facing, whatever season you’re in, I can promise you this: you will. Receive. Power. It’s a promise. You can take that to the bank.

So, again, if you’re here this morning, and you’re like, “I’m in a great season. And my biggest win would be the Bears winning the Super Bowl.” Well, good luck with that.  That probably won’t happen.

But... maybe you’re here. And you’re like, “You know what? To be honest, here is hard.” And hard things are hard, right? Hard things are hard. I just wanna encourage you. You will receive power. As you lean into God, as you lean into His presence—God has great things in store for you.

And... as we as a church family... as we find ourselves in this season between the stake and the shovel... God has great things in store for us. For God has promised that He will build His church, and nothing will stand against it. And if we find ourselves here, and this season feels a little longer than we think it should be, you know what? There’s a reason for that season. And I think God is causing us to have a renewed commitment of focusing on that something bigger—on spreading this amazing message to our world. I think He’s causing us to have a renewed vision of what it means to be a community—what it means to be like family. What it means to think, Big team. Small me.

And what it means to lean into Him because you. Will. Receive. Power.

Amen?