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Goodbye, Florida!

Updated: Jun 1, 2021



My life's journey continues.


Born and raised in Florida.


23 years in Florida.


I became a Christian and had my heart cleaned in Florida.


I will be leaving "The Sunshine State" and moving to "The Sooner State." From the Southernmost part of the continental U.S.A. to almost the center of the U.S.A. From Sabal Palms to Eastern Redbuds. From sneakers to boots. From beaches to mountains. From hurricanes to tornadoes. From a good place to a good place. From Florida to Oklahoma.


I will miss so many things about my home like my friends, families, and the cool places around here, but I am looking forward to this next season of life. As a Christian, one never knows where God may take them, but wherever God leads it is sure to be a place where that person will flourish, and be made more into God's image as they continue to follow Him.


"God prefers to guide us in a way that keeps us close to Him."-Alan Fadling

I'll be moving to Oklahoma City this week and I will be serving Oklahoma City Bible Methodist Church alongside Pastor Darrell Stetler II & his wife Liz. I am excited. I did my ministerial internship for my B.A. from Hobe Sound Bible College with Pastor Darrell in the summer of 2018. After I graduated in May of 2020, I served at Hobe Sound Bible Church for a year and got more training and opportunities to grow. I am so thankful for the many doors God has opened for me so that I can get closer to Him.


I would have never guessed that I would be moving to Oklahoma. The first time I left Florida was when Hurricane Irma came our way in 2017, and H.S.B.C evacuated the on-campus students to Pell City, Alabama. It was supposed to be about a 12-hour trip, but it took us almost 24-hours to get there because of traffic. That was the beginning of me traveling the world.

Jesus the Christ, the God of the universe, loved me so much that He met me in my friend's living room when I was homeless at the age of 16 and saved me. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I heard the words of Jesus clearly as I read them, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:28-29, KJV). I am 23 years old today and I am still resting.


I am so thankful for my mom, siblings, my friends, my spiritual Pops & his wife Aline, pastor McPhoy & his wife Patricia, pastor McElwain & his wife Sue, pastor Matt & his wife Vonnie, pastor Jean & his wife Rose, all of Hobe Sound Bible College & Church, F.E.A Ministries, my amazing friends, Jon & Joana Stratton, Aaron & Tonya Hamilton, Ephraim Maurival, Justin Hanna, Amy Robledo, Clay Carrol, Tyler & Elizabeth Mayle, Macaylan Alexandar, Samuel Bozone, Andrew & Lisa Graham, the Budensiek family, Steve & Tessa Charlot, Paul Stetler, and the "Finney" family for their investment in me! I have fond memories of all of these people and more here in Florida.


I remember many crucial conversations, tears, heartbreaks, big and small decisions they gave me guidance in, financial support, prayers made on my behalf, lessons, trips, late-night IHOP and ice cream runs, golf cart rides, Sunday dinner briskets, early morning weekly meetups, and love from all of the people mentioned above and those not mentioned. I am thankful because I am the man I am today because of all of their good influence in my life.


I don't know what the next "23" years will look like but I am glad that God is guiding me in such a way that I will be closer to Him. I am looking forward to living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma!


"And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." - Isaiah 58:11 (KJV)

Here are some quotes I'll be holding onto as I transition into this new season of life:


"The will of God is always a bigger thing than we bargain for, but we must believe that whatever it involves, it is good, acceptable and perfect." Jim Elliot

"Yes to God always lead, in the end, to joy." -Elisabeth Elliot

"“Don’t you mind him,” said Puddleglum. “There are no accidents. Our guide is Aslan....'"-C.S. Lewis

“Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on Earth.”~John Wesley

“Christian contentment is that sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every condition.” -Jeremiah Burroughs


"Let me not sink to be a clod; Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God." -Amy Wilson Carmichael




Bibliography


Lewis, C S. (2005). The Silver Chair. New York: HarperCollins.


Fadling, A. (2020). An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus' Rhythms of Work and Rest. Illinois: InterVarsity Press.


Burroughs, J. (1998). The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. Pennsylvania: Banner of Truth Publications.


Elliot, E. (1957).Through the Gates of Splendor: The Life and Testament of Jim Elliot. Illinois: Tyndale Momentum.



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