I Have a Dream

I have a dream. I have a dream for Oasis Church. I have a dream attached to our new church home. I can see it…it’s within reach!

My dream includes my husband Alex and my daughter Layla. In my dream, we are thriving and growing as a family. Alex and I are coaching young couples at the Oasis in honoring each other and setting an example that the world will take notice of and want to emulate. In my dream, Layla is a leader within our Kid Creative Ministry, using her gifts to bring praise to GOD. Our son (he’s not here yet, but in my dream, he is) is courageous and bold and passionate about Jesus and a powerful witness at a young age. I can see my family going from strength to strength in our new church home!

I can see several hundred hands lifted, hundreds of faces beaming in our new sanctuary, a sanctuary where you can sense presence of GOD and the “cloud of witnesses” that the book of Hebrews talks about. They are all cheering us on!

In my dream, I see knees bent to pay honor and reverence the Lord. I see thousands of hearts saying YES to Jesus and His plan for their lives. I see people on a journey of walking in GOD’s grace and truth, learning what it means to be a follower of Christ.

I see an empowering of GOD’s people to preach and declare the good news. I see GOD’s truth setting the captives free and the miraculous happening EVERY WEEK in our services. I see addictions broken, the lame walking, the blind regaining their sight, people once bound, now released to love and trust and move forward. I see cancer and other diseases fleeing the bodies of those who have gathered to worship, to pray and to seek GOD on their face.

I see our children being taught their value and how to reach their full potential. I see young people discovering their GOD-given purpose and leading their peers at school to follow and live for Christ. I see lifelong friendships forming. I see broken, fragmented marriages and families restored. I see GOD glorified in our relationships with one another.

In my dream, I see Oasis bringing justice and care in many forms, from ministering to homeless teens, serving our elected officials and officers to tutoring kids and adults- we will be available to meet the needs of our community. From handing out bags and bags of groceries to the down and out, to praying for and walking alongside a single Mom or Dad- we will be the hands and feet of GOD. Whole several blocks in our new neighborhood are being sponsored and supported by you and me. I see all those we touch and care for thanking our GOD really (and not us) for His blessing and provision. In my dream, I see a community changed and a city on its knees. I see Oasis Church leading the way.

But it is going to take more than dreams for my church to occupy our new home. It will take MANY of us sacrificially doing our part to see this come to fruition. Raising the 2.9 million dollars it will take to close escrow by May 15th is our goliath for this season but as young Davids, we know how the story ends! Our prayers and our trust and confidence in GOD are key to reaching our goal and fulfilling our dream.

GOD is still in the giving the desires of our hearts business.

What’s your dream? Are you still dreaming?

Are you actively pursuing your dream? I pray that you are. Remember to do what only you can do and watch GOD do what only He can do!

Believing that this will be the year of “Dreams Come True” for you and me!

Shunna
Posted in Messages

A Flying Shark, Candied Yams & God’s Word

My family had a wonderful Christmas this year! Great friends & food…awesome church services…perfect Southern California weather (78 degrees on Christmas day)! I can’t really complain about this year’s holidays. Layla was happy as well with her many gifts underneath the tree. One gift in particular, made her Christmas morning- a flying Shark! The commercials and the box made it look way simpler to assemble and fly than it actually was though. In fact, my husband Alex was all set to return Mr. Flying Shark come December 26th but I asked a “telling” question, “Did you read the directions”? He said yes, but it was the way he said yes that caused me to question how well they had been read. ☺ So on the morning of December 27th, I woke up and read ALL 6 pages of directions and found that we were missing a key step. Once we followed this key step, the Shark worked perfectly.

I mentioned the great food we had at Christmas- turkey & cornbread dressing, southern greens, potato salad, mac n cheese, banana pudding…and on and on! My Mom and I spent 2 days cooking food for the 60 people who came to my house Christmas night. It was one of the best Christmas Dinners ever! One dish I didn’t mention in my list of “greats” was my candied yams. Now they did turn out okay but if I am being honest, I have to admit that they have been better. This year I chose to NOT follow the directions and make up my own recipe.

I think both of these stories I have shared are typical of all of us at one point or another-doing things our way and not following the “tried and true” way.

My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 3:5-6 which tells us to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will direct your path?”. GOD is our “tried and true way”!!

You might ask, “Is it really that simple?”

YES! It is…GOD and His promises are clear, true and simple. Humanity (you and I) complicates them. Our pride makes things more difficult than they ought to be. And I’m not talking about things as trivial as assembling a child’s toy or baking sweet potatoes. I’m talking about our life choices, our decision making.

Why do we do this? Why do lean on our “own understanding”? I know why I have failed at living out this verse more than once. I think I know better. I think my way will get the same results as God’s way, only quicker. I think I’m smarter. How arrogant, huh? If you are being truthful, you’ve probably had the same thoughts.

In 2012, my heart is stirred to live my life at a higher level for GOD. I am definitely more passionate about GOD and His plans for my life than ever before. I am committed like never before to read His directions (the Bible) and follow them with His Spirit’s leading and guidance. I don’t plan to settle for average or good in 2012. I plan to see the exceedingly, abundant move of GOD in my world. That’s my prayer for you also.

It starts with our obedience and our trust. Come on, you can do it! For yourself…for your loved ones…and for a world dying (literally) to meet a Savior! Your surrendered, obedience to GOD lights up brighter than anything else to show others who He is.

Happy New Year, Happy New You!
Posted in Messages

New Year’s Resolutions in December

I used to be one of those people who would wait until January to set goals for my year and life. I would vow to start exercising, start eating better, writing more songs and, starting my book, praying more, giving more. ALL of these “goals” would typically last for just under 30 days and then I would fall back into my old habits and comfort. I would once again become content and satisfied with life as I know it.

Is this you too? Have you settled into life as you know it? If it is, I have 2 thoughts to share with you, 2 things that I have done the past couple of years to stay the course of achieving my goals and I’ve found great success:

1. YOU determine the when and how you are going to make positive changes in your world, not the calendar, not other people- YOU do!

If I would have waited until “Resolution” season to begin, I wouldn’t have released a CD this year, begin to consistently exercise, started a blog, written an outline for a book, changed my diet. If my husband Alex and I wouldn’t have determined to get out of debt a few years ago (mid year), we would be adding get out of debt to our 2012 goals. If we hadn’t committed ourselves to regular family days and twice yearly vacations, we would still be putting everything else ahead of our family and not getting quality and quantity time together. You are the only one who can make the decision to grow, to change, and improve. What are you perhaps putting off until January? Start today at fulfilling your dreams. Don’t wait!

2. You have to want the change more than the comfort of NOW.

The only way we change and move forward is if we prefer the goal more than the current state of affairs. I heard Pastor Bill Hybels share a message once about vision specifically, but it also relates to achieving our goals. He said “Here has to look worse than there to motivate people into change. If you’re “future” isn’t more desirable to you than your “here and now”, you will never make changes to get to your “future”. But if you get more passionate about the possibilities ahead of you than the status quo, you will see HUGE dividends….Nothing will be able to stop you!

I believe that you can do it…I have succeeded where I have determined to succeed. You can too! So join me in setting new year’s resolutions in December…come on, I dare you!
Posted in Messages