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Below the Surface

Below the Surface

My family has been in the brick making business for almost 40 years.  With heavy machinery we literally move mountains to get the elements we need for making brick. The process is extremely time consuming and costly as hundreds of feet of dirt have to be removed to get to the useable shale and clay below, but those deeply buried materials are vital for the strength and consistency of good brick.

I see many parallels between the extraction of shale and growing as disciples of Jesus. Like digging for shale, it is takes time and sacrifice to get below the surface level of people’s lives and into the deeper “workable material”. For some, removing the most prevalent lies and discovering God-given identity simply takes focused time of believing His truth. For others, the magnitude of life’s challenges and pain have deeply buried that identity and the unearthing of their gifts and calling takes great sacrifice. Unfortunately, so many of us lack the patience to allow God the time and access in order for Him to expose the gold in us.

Year after year, as director of the Day School, I’ve been privileged to watch God take people beyond the surface level. Through the discipleship school, I’ve seen Him excavate the deeper things in their lives for His glory. Give 9 months of your life and see God clear off the topsoil of your world in order to get to the real building material. He has already paid the price for you. Let him move your mountains.

Day School Director Blake Hartsock

Clarity For A Lifetime

Clarity For A Lifetime

Laura and I started a training school 26 years ago with a group of
people who were hungry for more of God and passionate about His purposes
in the earth. That hunger led us to meet regularly to worship, pray,
study the Word of God, reach out to our city, and be in close
relationship with one another. It was a life-changing experience for all
of us. That school is now called the Antioch Discipleship School and it
is still changing lives today. Let me encourage you to consider the
discipleship school as a possibility for your own life – no matter what
stage of life you are in, God has more of His heart to share with you.
Acts 2:42-47 describes the early church which would gather together for
fellowship, teaching and prayer, and out of that experience came lives
transformed for eternity. A year spent in the discipleship school will
not be a year wasted. It will literally give you clarity for a lifetime
of following Jesus.

Pastor Jimmy Seibert

Give It Time!

Give It Time!

In the process of hearing God for something, many things are a part of the process.  The principles included are by no means comprehensive and they are no substitute for the voice of your Father.  As He lovingly directs you, obediently follow. Hopefully, the things I have learned in my own journey will simply help clarify the process.

Many times when we enter a season of seeking God for direction, we approach Him with a fistful of options and a heart of expectancy.  Unfortunately, for most people it is very difficult to hear God while so many doors of opportunity are still available.  If you are deciding between more than three options, I would strongly encourage you to begin your process by asking God which ones of the options can be eliminated. That is why I will  call phase 1 the elimination phase. Ideally, you will enter into phase 2, the seeking phase, with 0-2 options on the table.

Did I just say 0 options was a potential ideal?  You betcha!  When we enter phase 2, we are often tempted to ask the Lord “yes” or “no” questions in order to discern what His will is. I submit that this is actually a veiled attempt at controlling the process and limiting God’s ability to speak.  If we really believe that “God can do more than we ask or imagine” then we certainly don’t want to merely present our best thought. In this phase, we want to begin asking the Lord open-ended questions.  Questions like “God, what do you have for me?” or “What is the vision/dream you want to plant in my heart?”  When we engage God like this we accomplish two things.  First, we ask questions that require that we sit and listen to Him for answers, which is vital to developing intimacy.  Second, we access the heart of God about our lives and His plans for them. That, I can almost guarantee, will be significantly different and significantly better than we thought they would be.

At the end of the seeking phase, we will come out with some things that God has spoken. When you earnestly seek Him on decisions, you will hear Him speak!  This seeds the way for phase 3, the mining phase.  Most likely, the words that God begins to speak during the seeking phase will seem incomplete or completely impossible.  That is ok.  It is simply a way that God draws us into deeper relationship with Him.  Remember, everything He does in our lives is designed to bring us to a place of peaceful dependence on Him.  As God speaks and it is clear that He is leading in a specific direction, it is time to start asking clarifying questions. It’s time to “mine” the heart of God for more information. Psalms 25:2 says “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings.”  When God gives you the foretaste, pursue it with passion and commitment, and it will be revealed to you.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, give the process its time.  If you have 30 days, take 30 days!  Let God have the opportunity to speak, invited and unencumbered, for 30 days and you will come out the other side with clarity and vision.  Even if you hear God clearly on direction on day 2, spend the next 28 days listening and affirming that word. You will be amazed at the results!

Night School Assistant Director, Trey Green