Category Archives: Uncategorized

Moving is Hard… BUT… He is Worth It…

FullSizeRender-4

Well, this has been one busy, crazy, emotional, exhausting, celebration filled, loving…WEEK!

We have:

–  Finished boxing our house

–  Celebrated our last Sunday w/ our FBC Ocala Family

–  Enjoyed a going away party w/ dear friends

–  Loaded our home (w/ tons of help) to find out the moving truck was not large enough

–  Did an on the fly drive to Tallahassee (w/ 2 awesome interns) to unload truck and drive back at 2:00AM

–  Loaded the truck a 2nd time

–  Signed the papers on the sale of our home

–  Enjoyed a final dinner w/ FBC Staff

–  Drove 2nd load to Tallahassee

–  Unloaded 2nd load into storage unit

–  AND… I’m sure I’ve missed something…

So, why all this…

A simple answer based on deep conviction.

GOD and the calling He has placed on our lives is WORTH IT!

Sacrifice, discomfort, exhaustion, trials… all the things mentioned above… are only for a brief moment compared to the eternity, satisfaction, and completion that HE will provide in Himself.

When Jesus is in the equation of “counting the cost”…the cost is always worth it because the Return is infinitely GREATER!

I ask you to PRAY as we move forward to pursue this call to Plant a New Church in SouthEast Tallahassee.  However, as much or more I ask you to STOP and ask yourself a question…

WHAT ARE YOU PERSONALLY GIVING YOUR LIFE TO?

There is cost for everything… are you investing, spending, sacrificing YOUR LIFE for something that is WORTH IT?

I have GOOD NEWS…Giving Your Life For The GOSPEL Is ALWAYS WORTH IT… Giving YOUR Life to HIS CALLING on YOUR LIFE is WORTH IT!!!

There will not be one moment wasted and not one moment spent unnoticed.

When Sacrificing for something that is GREATER than ourselves, producing something greater than we ever could… It just doesn’t seem to much like a Sacrifice anymore.

Buckle Up.  Get Focused.  Put it all on the table.  TRUST…and DIVE IN TO THE DEEP…where the realm of thoughts, words and deeds collide.

Advertisements

A Different Kind of 4th…

IMG_6496

Today is a day of celebration, a day of remembrance, a day of reverence, a day with family, friends, swimming, the lake, laughter, watermelon, grilling out and many other expressions.  However, this July 4th is a little different for my family.  As many of you know my family and I are moving in just two weeks to plant a church in Tallahassee, FL.  We are beyond excited and humbled that God would choose to use us for such a large task.  That being said, as we box up our house on this 4th preparing for the move I can’t help but notice through social media all the celebration going on and I, actually I should say we, long to be a part of those.  Honestly, moving stinks…plain and simple…nothing fun about it.

This is when God gently reminded me:

1.)  There will be other celebrations

2.)  You are celebrating freedom…by being obedient to what I have called you to do.  There is no greater freedom than being in the center of my call for you.

3.)  Freedom is why I have called you to go.  My desire is that you would proclaim my name where I am sending you that others may not only celebrate freedom on one day, or for a short life while on earth, BUT for eternity.

4.)  Nothing worth doing or having in this life does not come without some level of sacrifice.  Do not run or avoid sacrifice, but learn to identify it for what it is and what it is producing.

God is always faithful and He is sufficient.

I will say through this time of work I have been amazed in so many ways by my bride.  She is an amazing, godly woman, who loves the gospel and loves people…but she is also a woman that knows how to work, push through things and get things done.

She has basically boxed our entire home all on her own in a very short period of time.  She amazes me and I do not deserve the amazing woman that she is.  God definitely allowed me to “marry up” as they say.

So, to all of you out there celebrating today, ENJOY, STAY SAFE, REMEMBER today is about freedom but it did not come without a price…AND…some BAIRS will be joining THE PARTY somewhere, NEXT YEAR!!!

HAPPY 4TH!!!

#IfTheSonHasSetYouFreeYouAreFreeIndeed  #merica


Contract on the house!!! Praise God!!!

IMG_6260

First off, we just wanted to tell all of our family and friends how appreciative we are of them and their willingness to pray for our family as we move forward to plant a church in Tallahassee, FL.  We are greatly humbled that we are loved by so many…

Based off my last post, announcing church planting, we listed a few items specifically to pray for.  One of those items was for the sale of our home.  Over the past few weeks I have prayed earnestly and in detail to God.

“do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil 4:6

For those of you that know me, I am a planner, possibly to calculated.  So in the arena of stepping out on faith to plant a church I am having to adjust in many ways who I am.  Much of the future and answers are still yet to be determined (guess it is always that way, but we are just not mindful of it).  Because of this there is plenty of room for anxiety, but we know that God has called us, and because of that He will meet all of our needs in Himself.  Notice I said in His person, not in my circumstance.  God is faithful and sufficient.  As I think of Paul writing later in Phil. 4, he had learned what it meant to be content in all things.  I would like to think that I am doing the same and what God is revealing mostly to me is that He, and He alone is my only need…period.  If I add anything else to my list of needs, then Christ is not sufficient…BUT He is.

I say this to point to His Word and the my practice.  I am not sufficient in myself and I rely to much on outcomes and circumstance…God knows this about me and guess what…He knows it about you as well.  So He tells me in His word to bring my request to Him.  Not because He is not aware, but that I may place them at His feet and trust Him.

Back to praying.  I prayed a few things specifically on the sale of our home: 1.) right timing, 2.) right buyers, 3.) that our home would sell in such a way that God would receive credit and be recognized, and lastly 4.) it would happen fast.  Yes, you read that right, I prayed with my natural desire…as if God did not already know.

GOD IS FAITHFUL!!!

Now before we get to the outcome I want to put a warning out here.

God is NOT faithful because He answered my prayer the way I wanted.

God is NOT faithful because of a desired outcome.

God’s faithfulness has NOTHING to do with me.

God’s faithfulness is found within HIMSELF.  He is the very nature of faithfulness.  I get to experience faithfulness from God, not because of myself, nor because I deserve it, but because of who He is and what He has done.  God is faithful because He is God.  So, wether our home sales like we prayed or God has other plans, He is still faithful.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us…”  Eph. 3:20

So, why did I pray specifically?  Simple, GOD CAN!  I did so because I do not serve a small God and I will not try and reduce Him to such.  I also did so because I believe that what I am praying for is not based on myself, but based upon desire to bring God glory…the aligning of my heart and actions that He may be lifted up.

I know that my God can do ALL things!

One more thing on my prayer… as with all my prayers, I prayed that His will be done.  I also know this about myself and my walk with God, that often times my will and His will are not the same.  His will always trumps mine.  I am always to take the submissive role to His will.  Why might you ask?

He is God and I am not…

I gave my life away to Christ…

He is the potter and I am the clay…

His kingdom, not mine…

His glory, not mine…

He knows the future, while I don’t know the next moment…

I believe with my life that He can be trusted…

So, God can AND God can choose not to if that be His will.  God can choose to sell our house as we prayed and God can choose to sell it differently.  Understand…His will is perfect.

So…. the outcome.

We placed our home on the MLS last Thursday and in less than 48hrs we have received a contract on our home to the detail of what we hoped and prayed for!!!

PRAISE GOD!!!  GOD is Faithful!!!

Continue to pray…

  • a smooth closing on the house
  • transition from Ocala
  • schools for the kids
  • finding a new home in Tally
  • church plant partners
  • the people that will join the work that God has called us to
  • those that we will reach with the Gospel
  • timing…in all things

Bair Family Tallahassee Church Planting Announcement

IMG_6005

Yesterday we shared with our church family the news that we will be moving to Tallahassee the end of the summer, embarking on the journey of church planting. This is a very exciting, scary, emotional time for us as we step forward in faith, trusting Him.  We are very humbled by God to be considered worthy of such a great call and in many ways feel inadequate.  However, we know and trust that it is not so much “what” we bring to table (as if God needs anything, He is God), but more so our willingness to be obedient and offer ourselves to the Lord, to be used & poured out in any way He desires, to reach those far from Him, for the gospel.

Ocala has been home for us the past 5 years and we have built many life long, kingdom relationships while God has allowed us to serve Him here.  As we continue on this faith journey we will continue to post updates here and on other social media outlets.

Please be praying for us:

  • as we adjust all that we know to His plans
  • as we say goodbye to friends over the next few months
  • the sell of our home
  • the raising of financial support
  • the hearts God is preparing in this new work


the Not so Social side of social media…(part 3)

disadvantages-of-social-media (1)

Wow… last post… Jan. 9th… guess I took my words to heart (and to be honest was busy and still used other venues, while monitoring their usage).  So, good break, but back to it.

Let’s wrap this up…

Just some quick thoughts on how to use social media effectively.

1.)  Communicate a message

Probably 80%-90% of what I post is to spur on thought or to stretch myself as well as readers.  We all are people that live in routine and in typical, often mundane lives.  I personally need to be pushed and called to come awake/ alive.

What MESSAGE are you communicating?

Also, is what I post about self more than others?  Infatuation w/ self is the greatest risk when strolling through social media land.  Keep it real, keep it focused, keep it about others.

2.)  Share your Life

Now this may sound contradictory to #1, but just read.  Social media is a great way for others to follow what is happening in your life…especially loved ones that don’t live near you.  Post significant occurrences… some may include:  photos of your family, photos of unique places in the world, significant events.

I find that a good general rule of thumb to use is basically use it as if your were making a personal call to someone.  Don’t waste their time.

Also, be careful… in the real world I am careful of who I share my life and my family with.  Use wisdom…especially those with kids.

3.)  Don’t Waste Your Life or Others

Pay attention to what you post and what you spend time reading.  I know many friends/ family that have gotten rid of certain social media outlets, as they know how much time/life it can suck out of them…filling up on…well, nothing.  Everyone hates the “no point” posts (going to the bathroom, I had a bad day, etc etc)

If you need to to post EVERYTHING, then you are probably posting NOTHING.

Resist the temptation and be intentional and thoughtful when you post.  Also, when you browse, look for substance, skip the trash, keep it focused.

We all have the same 24hrs in a day, spend it wisely…a little “virtually”, but most of it in “reality”.


loving the “how” over the “Who”…

methods

Isn’t it ironic how we can take simple words/ letters and reorganize their structure/ order and end up with something so different.  As I wrote the title of this blog, “how” and “Who” is one of those examples.  The implications of which word we choose to love/define us are life changing.

Most people that claim faith in Jesus upon initial response would say it’s about the “Who”.  However, is this what our lives echo by actions?  Sadly enough, I believe we often times subconsciously embrace the “how” because we mistaken it’s identity for the “Who”.   In a sense we can all have a  form of spiritual “dyslexia”, getting our letters/priorities out of order, and not even know it unless we diagnose it by our symptoms.

Below are just a few measurement tools/ questions I use as reminders/ litmus test in order to keep my “Who’s” Who’s and my “hows” hows.

1.)  What sustains/ defines me?

This is really an “identity” question.  As a believer in Jesus, it is imperative that I understand the truth that God loves me because of Himself and not because of me.  God loved me when I was unlovable and did not love Him in return.  The Scriptures clearly communicate that “while we (me) were still sinners Christ died for us.”  We so often times skim over this core truth, when in essence it is the heart of the gospel, that an all sufficient God would choose to love an insufficient creation.  Simply put, God does not save/ rescue us because of what we do (our works), but because of who He is.  Our salvation is accomplished/ incapsulated within God Himself, through Jesus.  Jesus is why God sustains and defines us as His.

2.)  Is my “how” secondary to the “Who”?

All I have to offer God and this world originates from God, not me.  John 15 explains this in great detail from a horticultural angle.  If God is the source of anything beneficial in this life then I better not stray from Him.  When my time with Jesus personally does not match my time externally lived out in “what” I do in “ministry”, I run a great risk of withering and dying and leading people to follow me.  (See point 1)  We must always be in close communion with God by the feasting/ taking in of Scriptures and by intimate communication through prayer. This can be accomplished through large times and brief moments.  In prayer I especially try to maintain often and constant conversation in my spirit with God.  (yes, I do hear voices in my head 🙂 ).

3.)  Does my “how” match the “Who”?

“Are the methods I use God honoring?”, is another way of saying this.  I often teach and remind myself that God does not need me to accomplish His plan.  He chooses to use me as vessel for His glory.  God does not need unholy/ungodly methods in order to accomplish His plan.  The only way I will know this is by being a studious student of the Word/ Scriptures.  Although, the newest methods may not be spelled out in the Bible, God’s heart is.  Our “how” must match the “heart” of God.

4.)  Does my definition of successes match “His” success?

When I get pumped/excited about what I am doing I can often times become intoxicated/drunk by methods.  What do we know about drunk people?…They don’t think clearly, vision is impaired, and they do things that are contrary to the core of who they are.  Our tendency to become infatuated with our “how” is tied to our sin desire to be “self sufficient”.   As much as we want to point towards God we still have a nature within in us that wants to take the role of God.

What or who is elevated by my success?

5.)  Do I love my “how” over my “Who”? 

We all love our own creative abilities, especially when we birth new things.  This can occur in a secular line of work and also occur in ministry.  We often times receive praise, awards, monetary advances, placement, position, and the list goes on.  God has gifted us with His creative ability.  The danger is when our heart begins to love what we do over who we love.  It is an easy trap to fall into because we can see the results of our efforts with our eyes.  Others can see them as well.  Our efforts take on the facade of supporting our needs, our families, our hobbies…

However, what if God wanted to change how He uses you?  Would you be willing?  Would you be willing to leave all that “you” have created?  All that you labored for?  Could you sacrifice your “how/methods”?

When I struggle with answering this question I know I am getting close to loving what I do more than Who I love.

Below is quote from Andy Stanley from his book “7 effective principles of ministry”.  I believe he captures well what can happen in our lives/ ministries if we are not careful.  It also provides a perfect segway to my final thought.

“Individuals have been allowed to build their identity around a program, not a mission. It is normal for leaders to take pride in what they create. But it can become an unhealthy situation if leaders hold on to what they create too tightly. When individuals tie their identity to a program they’ve created, they lose the objectivity that is necessary to evaluate its effectiveness. And so mainstream denominations and conventional churches collectively pour millions of dollars annually into programs that should have been buried a decade ago. There is a very fuzzy line between building your personal significance around a program and attaching your heart to a mission. Programs need to change; a mission can last a lifetime. When leaders give their heart to a mission, they hold whatever they create with open hands. Why? Because the value of a program is linked to how well it helps accomplish the mission. And a good leader is always more passionate about the mission than about the program.”

6.)  Is “how” I am doing it accomplishing the mission of “Who” it is for?

God exists and has redeemed us for His glory/purpose.  However, we must be careful here that we do not confuse our purpose with God’s purpose.  God’s purpose is to be glorified and worshipped.  His purpose defines our purpose, not vice versa.  God does not exist for us, we exist for Him.  Our purpose is to worship the one true God and to lead others to do the same.  This effort is often times referred to as “mission”.    The mission simply put is to Make Disciples.  One author was once quoted as saying “one day the mission will cease to exist”.  When this age is over there will no longer be a mission but only worship of God in all His glory and splendor.

Is what  we are doing accomplishing the mission?

The following is what I use to determine this in my life (family, friends, vocation):

REACH–  Is what I am doing reaching people that do not know Jesus

BAPTISM–  Is what I am doing producing fruit of people placing faith in Jesus

ENCOURAGE–  Is what I am doing encouraging other believers to love Jesus more

EQUIP–  Is what I am doing equipping believers to be secure in their love for Jesus, enough to defend it.

MOBILIZE–  Is what I am doing motivating believers to externally do what matches their internal change.

LEADERS–  Is what I am doing producing leaders that are not dependent on me, but on Jesus, to the point they are making disciples on their own.

However, I must offer a warning…

Our natural nature/ tendencies will try to justify what we are doing and marginalize those areas that we are not.  If we are truly making disciples all areas must be present.

Let us all love the WHO over the how…


%d bloggers like this: