That was a question asked of me, but let me take you back further into our story. It was the summer of 2015 and my wife found herself in our courtyard at the place we call Sparrows Cottage. We had been living in this humble 2 bedroom for a little over 5 years in our hometown of East Tennessee. We were in between missions and callings and things seemed really quiet between us and God though we were in His will.
She began to pray “ Lord allow us to find a place to serve in your kingdom.” God had closed some doors and we did not understand at the time why. For those of you who know my wife she is a servant and an encourager. For many years my identity was a singer/songwriter and I got to work in several churches, outreaches, and prison ministries. So we both were in a waiting season and were thinking “ What now? “
One night around 3 am my wife received a text from her sweet aunt who is a God fearing woman and lives what she believes. My wife began to read to me what it said “ I have been praying and have a word for Jason. God says that he will begin to preach and to teach to many nations in the coming years.” Now I know there are skeptics and believe you me I was one of them. So much so I did not want to receive the word given unto me. But since then there have been many follow ups confirming what we are now doing. So I tried to shrug it off and move on.
In October of the same year we found ourselves in Myrtle Beach South Carolina taking a much needed vacation. And everyday we would walk to this coffee shop and Jamie would get coffee. We began to notice this was a different kind of coffee shop. Christian music was playing all the time and powerful quotes were all around the shop. And we noticed the staff was different too.
We struck up a conversation with a gentleman who was the barista and found out that we had a kindred spirit. We began to share stories and he asked me what I did and about our faith walk and what we were called to do. And we shared what we had been up to that point and then he asked. “ Have you ever thought about writing? “ And I was like “ Huh???? “ That was an unusual question. I was like “ Uh, no I haven’t.”
He began to share his story that he was a follower of Christ, a preacher, singer, musician and had written several books and was also a publisher. A couple of those books were written about his experiences along with his wife and the ministry opportunities that they had while serving coffee.
You see this coffee shop is in what is to be considered the bad side of town. There are alot of homeless who hang there, people who are addicts and others with mental illness issues. Not to mention there is a nightclub right beside the coffee shop. And through being in the right place in the middle of where God had called them he shared some wonderful stories that ended up in the book called “ Coffee Shop Diaries “ by Dr. Lonnie Riley.
Jamie and I would continue our friendship with this sweet couple. Lonnie in the months ahead would face many near death health related issues and still faces obstacles today. And we have since spent time with them learning more about their mission and life experiences.
I would return to our hometown but that question would not leave me. “ What did it mean?
“ How did the words spoken over me and this question come together? I was raised in an area where you did not color outside the lines. Church had 3 songs, announcements, offering, prayer and a short message and it ended there for most. When it came to the miracles, signs and wonders most around us believed that was only for the early church.
We had during this fall begun to attend a church that was a new plant and felt God had called us there for a season. And we love those people and are still very much connected with them even now in our current project. But I knew in my heart it was not our final destination into what we were being called into. Through this season God allowed us one more opportunity to serve that really propelled us into our future calling and many of you were there on that night.
So as the fall of 2015 turned into winter I had decided to change Jobs and gain a higher education in a new field but God continued to press on me into something else. And what He was calling there was no way, shape or form I could do in myself alone. And in January 2016 I had to take my wife to a local steakhouse and pour out my heart to her. I said “ God if this is really you, give me a confirmation from someone in this field that you are calling us into! “ Because I knew there was no way it would happen and I could carry this secret one more day. But wouldn't you know it. While waiting in the line I ran into a friend…...long story short.
I found myself sitting there crying and telling my wife that God is calling us into this new thing. I do not think he wants me to go for the job offer for He has something better though I do not understand it all as of now. And I began to share with her what God had shown me and what could and would be. My wife began to cry tears of joy, not tears of fear and God granted her peace about our future.
The years that would follow would humble us, break us and mold us into what we are today. We would have to learn more about faith and learn more about fully trusting God in moments that it seemed there was no way out and no way through. And every promise that God made in the beginning of our journey He has kept. Not only kept, we have overflow!
What is God calling you to do? What extreme thing has he laid on your heart? It may not make sense now, but it will. And listen to this when God calls…...He provides, you will not need a loan from the world for provision in bringing the call to life. It took us a couple of years to figure that one out.
We are 6 years into this journey and we are just now doing what God called us back then to do, and it's just now all coming together. There have been moments of delay, moments of quiet time and moments that we had many questions but time after time we found confirmation through the Holy Spirit that this was our call. And what I finally spoke publicly to
my wife on that January day has come true. The question I was asked in 2015 by Dr. Lonnie I can answer today with confidence and assurance with proof from the Word of God and physical evidence. We have just returned from another week of learning from some of the best filmmakers in the world at the Christian Worldview Film Festival and Guild. With 90 percent of new equipment paid for, debt free, us, and an army of sold out believers. We are filming UNINVITED and I just wanted to thank Dr. Lonnie for asking a simple question and Jill for sharing from her heart these moments changed our eternal destiny in our Call.
Jeremiah 29: For I KNOW the PLANS that I have for YOU!