Epilogue

imagesFrom my book Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure, rehab, jail and victory.

In the last several years I have come to realize that most of us dream too small; in doing so we box ourselves in to a life far below God’s grand design. Here is an example from my own life: Ten years ago, when I was at Sierra Tucson (http://www.sierratucson.com) finally dealing with the trauma from childhood sexual abuse, along with the backstabbing hijacking of our church by my former best friends, all I was thinking about was getting back to that church and somehow “make up” with those very same toxic people whom God was obviously taking out of my life. In my codependent and twisted thinking of that period, sadly Highland Park Church was the sum total of my life. I had allowed it to morph into both my identity and my essence.  Do not misunderstand; it hurt like hell to walk away but the decision of flight instead of fight was a no-brainer for me. I never considered another course of action. I have never regretted that decision, because the truth was the dream had been an increasingly nightmare for over a year. I have detailed my personal failings and contributions to that nightmare in the proceeding pages.  That was my bad and I fully expect to have to stand before God at a future date to answer Him for that sin.

Shortly, after we planted the new church (Crossroad Community), a dear friend, Parker Sherrill, suggested that I email a mid-week electronic message –simple, practical and applicable that could be read in less than four minutes and would relate to real life. It was an incredible idea and took advantage of the mushrooming digital age. From Parker’s suggestion, “Something to Think About” was born (http://nashvillecrossroad.com/default.asp?FP=3720 ) God spoke through Parker. That one suggestion opened the door to a broader ministry than I ever imagined. Today, there are thousands worldwide reading STTA which has morphed into my blog. With our podcast and the Beta version of this book our efforts are now truly global. We regularly hear from people worldwide, who are being touched by the Crossroad Ministry. I have spoken before countless groups of hurting people. The digital age is reshaping the concept of ministry through instant and worldwide contact to a world without walls. Do you get what I am trying to say? Do not settle for a too small dream. God created us to think big. He expects us to dream big dreams. The very first step in a God – ordained big dream should always be to hand God a blank check, right out of the chute. You’ve got to be willing to say, “God I do not really understand your grace, your love, or your plan for my life, but I do believe. And because I do, as best as I know how, I want to dedicate my life to you to use me as you see fit. In all that I do I will first look to you for guidance.” It seems to me that is the key! You’ve got to be willing to give God that blank check. It has to be God’s will and not our own. In other words, you have got to be willing to say, “OK God, whatever you want me to do, you open the doors and I’ll walk through. I am in, for the long haul!”  Anything less than that will prevent you from soaring to the heights that God has planned since before you were born. God bless!

For the complete beta version of my book  for free Unscrewed: Becoming Whole Again. My personal story of abuse, shame, guilt, addiction, failure,rehab and victory. http://johngouldener.com/?page_id=3877

 

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