I don't like to gamble. Probably because I am bad at it.
Every time I change lanes in traffic to speed up I slow down. When I am in a rush and switch lines at the grocery store, you got it, the guy in front of me either has a million coupons or paying with a check. (and who pays with a check these days anyways.)
Even my fantasy football team (no money involved, just pride) is dreadful.
When it comes to chance, I am not a fan.
When it comes to fate. I am a believer.
I cry at sports movies that highlight the underdog. (Rudy & Field of Dreams 'nuff said...tear.)
I am a sucker for a good chick flick where two people who never should have met... do. (Serendipity or pretty much anything with John Cusack)
I was recently talking to a good friend of mine about how he meet his wife how it was a series of events that brought them together.
They met at a wedding.
They both were in the bridle party.
They both hit it off.
The interesting thing was that before the wedding he just declined a job position that would have landed him in Oklahoma.
Far away from the girl he just met at the wedding.
Far away from the girl that would become his wife.
I love stories like that, I believe in stories like that.
Even the story of how I met Marisa was anything but chance.
I recently had a week that changed my life.
It was a one of those weeks that can send your life into a different direction in an instant.
Planting a church is all about faith. I always thought as my self as a person that has alot of it. After all I believe that everything happens for a reason...you gotta have faith to believe that you can raise 30,000 in a year.
I had two big conversations with two pastors of two big churches, who I thought were going to be a big help to our church plant.
It was a big disappointment.
We got no help.
Needless to say I felt crushed.
One pastor I met even suggested I should put my resume out there, that maybe this church planting thing wasn't for me.
I did a lot of driving that day, I did a lot of praying.
And alot of venting...after all Im Italian. We love to vent.
The next morning was rainy and dreary, but it was a beautiful day.
After I dropped my wife off at work I had the Pandora Hillsong United station playing in the car, (by the way I love pandora who needs FM radio).
Seriously, every song that played was like a message from God.
Songs of God being in control, about not giving up, about hope.
I was balling.
If a car pulled beside me at a red-light, Im sure I would make for a good youtube video.
Then something inside just clicked.
I emailed my pastor saying I wanted to be more involved at church even though I am not a full-time staff member.
I called my brother, I said I was not about to give up on the dream to plant a church even though things have not gone the way I expected.
There was a feeling that I had that is hard to put into words, it was if I was on Holy Spirit Red Bull.
What happened next really gave me wings.
Upon returning home I checked the mailbox to find a letter from a friend. Enclosed was a note that read how his family has been praying for us, how he believes in our vision to reach the Towson/Baltimore area, and there was also a check for $5000.
I cried... again.
The timing was perfect.
The timing was God.
I can understand why the bible says "The God of your fathers and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" a combination of 31 times throughout the OT and even the NT.
We need to be reminded of what God can do.
We need to be reminded what God has done.
We need to be reminded that God is our source.
I believe that everything happens for a reason.
This church plant is happening for a reason.