The Day After | Passion Week Devotional Series

The Day After

Good Friday has passed, the crucifixion is complete and now we must deal with the day after. On the evening of Christ’s death Pilate allowed Joseph of Arimathea to remove the body from the cross and laid it in the tomb. (Matthew 27:62-66) The God-Man, as witnessed by many, had died along with the hope they placed in Him. It’s the day after that we find ourselves mourning over what we’ve lost, hoping it was only a bad dream, yet realizing life will never be as it was.

 

So what happened on the day after? We know it was Sabbath for the Jews, which meant their day of rest. But it’s clear that the Jewish religious leaders could not rest even though the Christ was laid to rest. They recalled His words, “After three days I will rise,” and took it to heart. Startled by the words spoken by Christ and concerned His disciples might steal His body and claim resurrection, they asked Pilate to seal the tomb and set a guard there. They not only killed Him, they wanted to keep Him dead.

 

Pilate in his normal fashion, obliges by sealing the tomb (setting a huge stone in front of the tomb opening as well as guaranteeing possession and ownership) and setting a guard (bodyguard to keep watch over, preventing escape or theft). The seal and the guard were guarantees to the Jewish leaders that all has been done to keep Jesus dead and preventing His body from being taken. Even after His death those who hated Him most tried all they could to imprison Him in that tomb. Dead just didn’t seem good enough for them, and rightfully so.

 

We, like Christ will experience things that die in our lives. Our dreams, hope, faith, relationships, etc… may all die and others might do their best to keep them that way. There may be seals that have been set and guards positioned to keep them dead, but I want you to know, “dead just may not be good enough.” If you sense something awakening from the dead…Should you feel like life is looking for you on the day after, let me encourage you to trust God, because He just may do the impossible.

 

The day after always seems difficult and bleak, but we serve a God who is not limited by time nor governed by death. If you find yourself dealing with something the day after, I’m here to encourage you to, “wait until tomorrow.” God has some great things in the places where you’ve experienced great loss, if you have the faith to wait until tomorrow. “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning!”

 

“Since His passion never dies neither should ours!”

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Blessings,

 

Darryl Morrison

 



Silent Suffering (Good Friday) | Passion Week Devotional Series

Good Friday – Silent Suffering

 

By the time you’ve read this blog today, there is a strong possibility the death of Christ would have occurred. Good Friday begins in the early morning hours with the first of six trials in which Jesus would stand accused. Think about this, “six times before 10 am Jesus would stand wrongfully accused.”

 

He found Himself standing before Annas, a former high priest (the supreme religious leadership position of the people of Israel) who tried to accuse Him but to no avail. Next Christ would stand before Caiphas, the son-in-law of Annas and acting high priest. Then He would stand before the Sanhedrin, a group of seventy men who formed what is comparable to the Supreme Court. They would formally examine Christ and later condemn Him to death.

 

Here we have three Jewish trials all resulting in guilty verdicts without true cause to convict. They hated Jesus and wanted nothing less than to see Him die. But in order to validate their judgments of death, the Jews sought to have Christ tried by the Romans. Three times as well Christ stood trial before Roman leaders. Before Pilate who considered Him not guilty. Then Herod who rendered Him not guilty, and finally Pilate again who, with sheepish cowardice, tried to wash his hands of the situation while giving Christ back over to the Jews to be crucified.

 

From 2 am to 8 am Jesus was tried six times, and denied three times by one of His most faithful men. While the trials were a total miscarriage of justice, the denial was as well. We see a man failed by the justice system and abandoned by His community. He would be left to face injustice, punishment and death, because so many ignored truth to the sway of public opinion and fear. We can find many reasons to be rightfully upset and demand justice for the sake of an innocent man. It would only be right to let our voices be heard and stand against the pains of injustice. This sounds so familiar, doesn’t it?

 

We know these feelings all too well and feel them for ourselves and others. We want to speak out, we want to stand up and against what’s wrong, but Jesus never did! He was like a sheep heading to the slaughter, silently. He did not retaliate, instead He committed Himself to the one who He knew would judge rightly. He bore our sins, in His body on a tree, so that we might die to sin and live righteously. By His wounds (not His words) we have been healed.

 

Good Friday was not good for Jesus but it was so good for us. Let us remember the manner by which we received His grace. He chose to suffer silently so we could live victoriously. He is the Lamb of God!!!

 

Live with passion today because He died with it!!!

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Darryl Morrison



Purpose, Passion, and Pain | Passion Week Devotional Series

Purpose, Passion, and Pain

Wednesday of the Passion was is often called “Silent Wednesday.” Not much is recorded concerning this day, but it be called, “The Calm before the Storm.” Jesus has returned to Mount Olive where he remained throughout the day and night. We can surmise that preparation had begun for the Passover while Judas was preparing to betray Jesus.

 

Thursday of Passion Week thrusts us into the multilayered aspects of betrayal, the Last Supper, requirements for spiritual greatness, sleeping on the job, and denial. Luke 22 shares provocative details of this day. It is here where most of us can find ourselves as participants in this narrative. While we all readily envision ourselves at the table of fellowship with Christ during the Last Supper, admittedly we could also be the one arguing over who’s the greatest or while knowing we would deny Him.

 

We can find ourselves in this narrative but our focus will be pointed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. It is here where Jesus agonized in prayer. (Luke 22:39-47) Jesus knew the time had come to fulfill the purpose of His passion, meaning death was near. It is in the Garden where Jesus was confronted with His purpose (the reason), His passion (powerful feeling), and His problem (death).

 

Have you ever felt so strongly about something or someone that you thought you’d be willing to die for them? If so, have you considered the reason that inspired you? Jesus agonized in the Garden to the point of beads of sweat falling from His head. He needed strengthening from the Angel of the Lord, because His purpose was packed with pain. That pain was not His own. It was the pain of all humanity that He would have to bear.

 

The word purpose in the church is commonly equated to something that makes us the benefactors. We will endure pain for those we love or for personal gain, but that’s not the purpose Jesus committed Himself to. In fact His purpose and His passion had more to do with the sinful, faulty, and unfaithful. There was no personal benefit for Christ. He would not be cheered and applauded.  Not many would come running to rescue, and even in His greatest moment of despair, His most trusted followers would be found sleeping on the job.

 

Jesus had and still has no good reason at all to die for you or me. We are sinners, liars, betrayers, and if given the opportunity we’d deny Him in a minute. He knew that then, and knows it now, but still He refuses to deny or betray us. When He pleads with God to take this cup away, I get it. He shouldn’t have to die for us, but the most profound word follows, “NEVERTHELESS.”

 

We are the nevertheless, our sins and faults are the reason for the nevertheless. Though we deserve to be on that center cross, with thorns in our heads, nails in our hands and feet, He still says, “nevertheless.” Though we betray Him and deny Him, selling Him out for self-preservation, he still says, “nevertheless.” My prayer for each of us is to remember Christ died because we are that nevertheless, and we live for Him “all the more.”

 

Live this Thursday like Christ did, with purpose and passion, even if it requires some pain!

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Darryl



The Confounding Truth | Passion Week Devotional Series

Confrontation, Confounding, and Truth

Luke 20:1-47

The Tuesday of Holy Week was marked by a flurry of activity. The weeping of Jesus was replaced by a pronouncement of “woe” upon His enemies. The chief priest, scribes, and leaders of the people had determined to destroy Christ (Luke 19:48), and His response was to preach the Gospel with truth and power. (Luke 20:1)

When His authority was questioned Christ challenged them to deny it. Knowing they could not deny His power, Christ shared a parable concerning the horrible fate of those who rejected Him, “the chief cornerstone.” Still His enemies sought to lay hands on Him, watching His every move with the hopes of seizing Him, but they could not catch Him in His words. (v.26) Then another group called the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection and questioned Him on the subject, couldn’t rebut brilliant His response.

In a barrage of accusation and questioning, Christ’s counters came in the truth of His word. Jesus concludes the chapter by warning His disciples, in the presence of all people, to beware of leaders who look the part in public yet secretly desire to devour their prey. The are not well intending, more concerned with public, and willing to take advantage of all for personal gain. When His enemies tried to strike, our Savior struck back with the truth of who He was, His authority, and the power of His resurrection.

The Passion of Christ teaches us to respond to our enemies in truth. We are not to defend our cause, but His. As we consider those who sought to destroy our King, we must remember that He took His stand by standing on the word of God. Today be sure to confront the lies, accusations, and threats of the enemy with God’s unchanging, unwavering, and undeniable world. Confound your enemy with truth!!!

“Live with Passion”

Blessings,

Darryl



What Will He Find? | Passion Week Devotional Series

What Will He Find?

Luke 19:41-47

 As the crowds rejoiced and praised their triumphant King, Christ’s mood revealed the true meaning of the moment. The stark contrast of emotions were on display, because as they (the people) worshipped, He wept. Jesus understood the significance and great impact of His entry into Jerusalem, while the people rejoiced because He could satisfy their needs. He wept because they missed Him.

He would surely bring victory and peace but not in the manner they thought. He came to bring His presence to a temple and people who had abandoned prayer. His temple arrival unearthed hearts blinded by economic gain, and financial transactions. In the place where His presence was to dwell, Christ dealt with thieves and robbers. In the temple where true worship should have occurred, Jesus encountered those who wanted to destroy Him.

As He entered from the Mount of Olives, the disciples worshipped Him as their King, the crowd rejoiced because He was their warring King, and He wept because many were blinded to His true purpose, passion, and presence. We must be mindful that when He comes, He comes with great expectations. As He triumphantly enters into our lives, let Him find those who know His presence and seek Him through prayer.

When He comes to bring victory and peace, let Him find those seeking His presence and calling on Him through prayer. Should He weep, let it be due to His great joy!!! Let His passion find a people of true purpose (prayer and praise).

 



IT’S ON!!!

Hello Everyone,

 

For those who may not know, Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church moved into a new facility. We celebrated our two-year anniversary in our new home. We trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders.  Leading up to the 28th, I shared thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

 

I pray this encourages or inspires you to build something for Jesus.

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Today marks the two year anniversary of Valley Gate church, and man am I excited!!! Less than three years ago I stood with my family as Pastor Donnell Jones (my pastor, friend, and confidant) announced we’d be leaving Washington D.C. to return to Phoenix, Arizona (my home) to plant Valley Gate Church. Before that moment I sat with my back to the congregation, crying, because only minutes before I had whispered in the ear of Kofi Essel we were leaving because I wanted him to hear it from me first.  I didn’t realize how hard it would be to stand before the faces of those I had come to love with every fiber of my being and tell them, “We’re leaving you.”

 

I cried my way through the first service as I tried to share the vision God placed in my heart for Phoenix. I’m certain my words made no sense because my emotions had taken over. As I looked over the congregation there were so many stories of lives changed, examples of faithfulness to God, pictures of hope, and testimonies of blessings. The amazing part was that I had the privilege of being a part of those stories. This realization gave me the focus that I needed. The announcement during second service was much smoother because God reminded me of the reason He was calling me home to Phoenix.

 

Phoenix is the place of my birth but more importantly, it’s the fuel for my passion. God called me from one of the most powerful cities in the world to the forty eighth state in America, to share the Good News of Christ. He brought me back to the scene of the crime, the place of my greatest pain, the residence where I resisted Him most, to show how much He’s changed me. It is here that God has commissioned me to reach my city, state, nation, and the world for Christ. Phoenix is not my resting place, it’s my launching pad.

 

In two short years He has shown me glimpses of what He has in store for His people. I’m grateful to be the one to help the people of Phoenix debunk the lie that God’s greatest is not for them. He’s opening spiritual eyes, setting captives free, delivering those in bondage, and raising them up to make a Kingdom difference. I’m honored that He called me to be a part of this process.

 

Today as I turned and looked, I did not see Kofi but I saw other stories of redemption, restoration, hope, and great potential. I saw my spiritual family. The faces were different from those in DC but the spiritual DNA was the same. We have the blood of Christ that cleanses and empowers us to live faithfully and fearlessly for Him. We are called to be disciples and to make disciples who will change the world.  For this reason I say, “IT’S ON!”

 

When IT’S ON your address may change but your people and purpose never do!!!

 

LET’S DO THIS FOR JESUS FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.

 

Thank you to each person who’s helped VGC get to year two!!!!

 

I love you,

 

Darryl Morrison



There’s Still Work To Be Done

Good Morning Everyone,

For those who may not know, this Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church will move into a new facility. We will celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new home where we trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders.  Leading up to the 28th I plan on sharing various thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

I pray this can encourage or inspire you to build something for Jesus.

 

There’s Still Work To Be Done

Last night a number of our VGC family members joined forces to help move furniture and equipment into our new building. Our 26 ft U-haul, filled with chairs, was unloaded by a group of men and teens; while our multi-purpose room was filled with men and women assembling chairs and tables. The children’s rooms were bustling with mothers and their children putting together chairs and tables for their rooms, while the sanctuary was busy with projectors being installed, floors swept and new lights and lighting equipment being tested. This morning from 8-10 am we joined again to clean, set up chairs, and put the final touches on the church in preparation for tomorrow.
 
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be a part of a group of people committed to making God’s house the best it can be for our anniversary service. Many stayed long after our expected end time to make sure all was complete. Moments like these strengthen relational bonds, and move us beyond being churchgoers to brothers and sisters in Christ. I witnessed this take place last night and again this morning.
 
As we look forward to Sunday service tomorrow in our new facility I realize, the move is not the culmination, it’s the commencement. We’ve not ended, we’re just beginning.  You’ll look around on Sunday and realize “There’s still more work to be done.” More lighting needs to be added and fixtures changed. The paint needs to be touched up and the bathrooms still need work. I took note of all that needs to be done and thought, “There is still more work to do.”
  
We haven’t reached our fundraising goal for the building.  However, with less than $20,000.00 to go, we thank God for blessing us with the resources to build His house. To those who committed to this goal in faith, let’s believe God for the resources you need to give. For those who satisfied their commitment, let’s ask Him for more to reach our goal. As I’ve said, “This building project is about trusting God with our resources and watching Him do the amazing with it.” Financially, there’s still work to be done.
 
This building project reminds me of how much God loves us. He saves us, delivers us, and places us in His family, when in our lives “there’s still work to be done.” He sees the many areas in our lives that still require some touching up, but doesn’t relent from allowing others to benefit from our gifts and talents. He invites us into the presence of His people when He knows there remain blemishes and stains that need to be covered. Our God is an amazing builder who knows every nook and cranny in our lives. He covers our past mistakes, and knocks down the old walls that separated us from Him, to make more space for His glory to fill our lives.
 
He knows there remains more work to be done in our lives and His church, yet still allows us to shine the light of His glory as bright as we can. When we join together tomorrow morning at 10:30 am, in our new facility, at 1445 W. Southern Avenue. Tempe, AZ 85282 let’s do so with this in mind:
 
1.     There’s More To Be Done: We have so much more to do.

2.     There’s More We Can Do: We have so much to give.

3.     There’s More Grace: We have been given so much from God.
 
Come ready to worship our Lord, with exuberant praise, as we give thanks for all He’s done and all He’s going to do.
 
I can’t wait to see you there!!!!
 
IT’S ON!!
 
Blessings,

Darryl Morrison | Lead Pastor
Valley Gate Church



I’ll Bless You with One

Good Morning Everyone,

For those who may not know, this Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church will move into a new facility. We will celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new home where we trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders. Leading up to the 28th I plan on sharing various thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

 

I pray this can encourage or inspire you to build something for Jesus.

 

I’ll Bless You with One

 

We often take for granted the incredible act of childbirth by assuming God’s majestic work is nothing more than a normal act. Bringing life into the world is a supernatural miracle, as Jo Ann and I can attest to.

 

Many years ago we realized were having difficulties conceiving, so I encouraged Jo Ann to see a doctor to help with her problem. After returning with a clean bill of health my mother-in-law suggested I see a doctor. I knew a fine, strong, strapping young man like me had no problems, so I confidently set the appointment expecting news that I was perfectly fine. Afterwards my confidence quickly turned to fear, as my initial check-up required a follow up meeting with an IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) Specialist.

 

After a myriad of tests the results were in and the news wasn’t good. It was confirmed that the conception problem was mine. My doctor calmly explained, “You have a low sperm count and there is an acrosome reaction issue.” At that time the lowest number of sperm he knew to produce pregnancy was 21 million, and I had 18 million. If that weren’t good enough, my acrosome reaction (look it up) was not reacting. My sperm was not attaching to the egg to initiate fertilization. This news rocked me.

 

Here I am a professional athlete, supposedly a celebrity, money (not a lot), living the dream, yet confronted with the fact that life wasn’t coming through me. I could give my wife many of the things she desired but not the one thing she desperately wanted, a child. This crushed us, sending our fairy tale life into a tailspin. We cried when Pampers commercials came on, and held back sadness when we saw newborn babies. That was until my wife did something “stupid crazy.” After one of our IVF appointments she brazenly bought a car seat. “Are you kidding me?,” I’m thinking, “didn’t you hear the man say I can’t produce a child and you buy a car seat?” That’s when it changed for us because she invited faith into our home.

 

Soon after as I read my Bible, I stumbled upon a story of a woman unable to have children and who, like us, was deeply wounded and distraught. Instead of getting mad at God she prayed, and He blessed her with a son named Samuel. (1 Samuel 1). Minutes after reading this story I heard an internal voice say, “Darryl, if you pray and ask me for a child, I’ll bless you with one.” I thought I was crazy but sensed something so real. Rather than ignore, I obliged and begin to pray while lying in the bed looking to the ceiling. This time He said, “Get on your knees.” Afraid that Jo Ann might see, I waited until she went downstairs then got on my knees and began to pray as Hannah did in the Bible. To my surprise, after praying, nothing happened. No voice, no tingling feeling, and surely no light from heaven.

 

I had nothing to hold on to but the voice that spoke, and the words He uttered. It remained difficult for us for us months until I heard the voice again. As I walked upstairs in our hallway, He said, “She’s pregnant and she’s pregnant right now!” I was both excited and fearful at the same time. There’s no way I could ignore this voice, but how was I to tell my wife she was pregnant because God told me so? I stupidly chose the latter and my crazy wife accepted my explanation. She didn’t believe me as much as she believed it was God speaking to me.

 

To make a long story longer, it was her time of the month as we left Virginia for an out of town trip. When we returned from our conference there were no signs of her cycle kicking in. We rushed to the Wal-Mart, purchased a pregnancy test, ran home and to our great joy the test revealed ‘PREGNANT’!!! Early the next morning (Monday) I called the doctor to tell him the great news, only to have him strongly discourage us from believing this pregnancy was real. Though he had his test results in hand to support his claim, I politely declined his help.

 

I had to hold on to the words I heard from God over the words of my world renowned doctor. I had to have faith in “I’ll Bless You with One” over “there is none”. For those who know us, you know God not only blessed us with one, He has blessed us with 5 beautiful children. When Jo Ann bought that car seat she invited faith into our barren situation, and when God spoke, He brought Faith (our daughter) into our lives. Next He gave us Samuel (inspired by the story of Hannah in the Bible), and then He gave us Grace, Naomi, and Benjamin.

 

Soon my prayer became, “God, you’ve blessed us enough.” “You can stop, please!!!”

 

He truly blessed us with one, “and some.”

 

For those living in a barren situation let me encourage with a few things:

 

1. Invite faith in: Trust God and make a bold move of faith. It may seem stupid to others but it’s reasonable to God.

2. Birth it through prayer: Our motto is, “everything birthed through us has been birthed through prayer.” Pour out your soul to God and ask Him to do what only He can do.

3. Hold on to His Words: Others will discourage you with their facts, but if He spoke it, hold on to His Word.

 

Time to Birth something amazing!!!

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Blessings,

Darryl Morrison



Light Bulbs and the Baptismal Pit

Good Morning Everyone,

For those who may not know, this Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church will move into a new facility. We will celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new home where we trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders. Leading up to the 28th I plan on sharing various thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

 

I pray this can encourage or inspire you to build something for Jesus.

 

Light Bulbs and the Baptismal Pit

 

Nowadays ministry seems appealing to some who haven’t the least bit of understanding what this calling truly entails. In the world of social media, selfies, cool light shows, and everything going viral, some have fallen for lure of celebrity over luxury of service. Pastors look cool in their skirt shirts, tight pants, cool sneakers, and trendy jackets. Tattoos and cool haircuts have taken over the more modest and conservative look. As one who enjoys defying odds, 

and breaking trends I have no problem with how a minister looks, but what concerns me is what our congregants and young up-and-coming pastors and leaders see.

 

In speaking with young leaders I find some are more enamored with standing before packed stadiums and preaching cool sermons, than with sharing the Gospel. They find it cool being the pastor of someone famous, over shepherding the obscure individual who’s unknown. I have no problem with serving the masses and elite, as long as our service continues to be driven by ministry to all. I learned this lesson early on with light bulbs and a baptismal pit.

 

A few years after my football career ended due to a neck injury, while climbing the corporate ladder in Human Resources Management, my pastor asked me the most ridiculous question one could ever ask. Darryl, he said, “Would you be willing to leave your job, take a $30K pay cut for a full time ministry position?” I politely declined and he politely encouraged me to keep praying. This preposterous offer remained on the table as I gladly “volunteered” alongside my pastor. I continued to decline his offer until I actually prayed and received confirmation from my wife. She noticed the joy serving others brought me and encouraged me to go “all in.”

 

I had no idea what to expect on my first day at work (I mean church). I couldn’t fathom what it meant to work full time as a minister or what my daily routines would entail. So, I put on my best church outfit and went to work at Grace Covenant Church, in Herndon, Virginia. Knowing my pastor and his leaders had prayed for me to accept his offer, I felt like a highly sought after NFL free agent. I thought, “if they waited this long I must really be important and a valuable commodity to the Kingdom.” So, during my first meeting on staff I pull up a seat next to the head guy. No one took issue with my positioning myself next to the head guy, so they must have known I was the man. But what happened next changed my life.

 

After the meeting, Pastor Brett said, “Darryl, I have a task for you to do.” I knew he had a very important opportunity that required my eloquence of speech, or charismatic personality to win someone to Christ. Surely he needed his first round pick to perform at a level none of the others could perform at. He said, “I need you to go the utility closet, grab a ladder and two light bulbs, and change out the dead light bulbs.” I was appalled and felt disrespected that he would dare ask his high priced (well, not so high priced) top free agent to change light bulbs. Nevertheless, I begrudgingly changed the lights.

 

After the lights he said, “I have a very important job for you to do now.” It was clear to me he realized the error of his ways with the light bulbs, and now he would fix his wrong by giving me my preaching assignment for that Sunday. In my mind I was ready to change the world because I was the next T.D. Jakes. But to my chagrin, he asked me to turn on the water to the baptismal pit. Unfortunately this meant crawling under the spider web-infested baptismal pit with more wood chips than one could imagine, and turning the water on. I turned on the water.

 

I left work/church that day defeated and dejected because serving in ministry was not as I had planned or expected. No one told me that I’d have to go in to dark places and get dirty in order to help others get clean. I couldn’t believe I had get on that ladder to turn on lights so others could see. I thought I was this important person that everyone would laud over.  It didn’t take long for me to realize, true ministry is about sacrifice and service over celebrity and selfies. If I wanted to serve God I had to get dirty, be obscure, and serve as if only He were looking.

 

Years later, as I prepared to preach my final sermon in my home church before traveling West to plant Valley Gate church, that same church that once had only 70 members, but was now over 2,500, God brought back to my remembrance the light bulbs and baptismal pit. He brought it back to remind me that had it not been for a light bulb and baptismal, I would have never known what it meant to turn on the lights in the darkest of souls or to go to places where it’s dark, dirty and others are unwilling to go, to turn on the water cleanses and makes whole.

 

Before I could stand before thousands to share the Good News, God had to see me faithful with a light bulb and baptismal pit. To every young leader, minister, parent, or employee please allow your service and sacrifice to motivate you over celebrity and status. “Servants truly are the greatest leaders.”

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Darryl Morrison

 



Fingerprint of God

Good Afternoon Everyone,

For those who may not know, this Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church will move into a new facility. We will celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new home where we trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders. Leading up to the 28th I plan on sharing various thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

I pray this can encourage or inspire you to build something for Jesus.

 

Fingerprint of God

 

During my time in Divinity School at Regent University I was privileged to take a class called Spiritual Formation, instructed by Dr. Diane Chandler. This class and professor so impacted my life that I had to have her visit our church during our initial year of existence. I felt so compelled to have Dr. Chandler come due to her very gentle, yet highly impactful approach to knowing Christ in all aspects of life. She’s highly intelligent, articulate, and full of the Spirit. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone so graciously lead someone through deliverance while in an intellectual setting.  What changed my life was our final assignment entitled, “Spiritual Portfolio.”

 

Now I’ve heard of portfolios and I get the idea of putting together a resume, but this was my first time ever putting together a spiritual portfolio. We were challenged to consider every aspect and phase of our lives, from the good to the bad with the aim of identifying where Christ was in them, and what was His purpose. The premise of this assignment was based on the scripture Colossians 1:27:

 

“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

 


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The Day After | Passion Week Devotional Series

The Day After

Good Friday has passed, the crucifixion is complete and now we must deal with the day after. On the evening of Christ’s death Pilate allowed Joseph of Arimathea to remove the body from the cross and laid it in the tomb. (Matthew 27:62-66) The God-Man, as witnessed by many, had died along with the hope they placed in Him. It’s the day after that we find ourselves mourning over what we’ve lost, hoping it was only a bad dream, yet realizing life will never be as it was.

 

So what happened on the day after? We know it was Sabbath for the Jews, which meant their day of rest. But it’s clear that the Jewish religious leaders could not rest even though the Christ was laid to rest. They recalled His words, “After three days I will rise,” and took it to heart. Startled by the words spoken by Christ and concerned His disciples might steal His body and claim resurrection, they asked Pilate to seal the tomb and set a guard there. They not only killed Him, they wanted to keep Him dead.

 

Pilate in his normal fashion, obliges by sealing the tomb (setting a huge stone in front of the tomb opening as well as guaranteeing possession and ownership) and setting a guard (bodyguard to keep watch over, preventing escape or theft). The seal and the guard were guarantees to the Jewish leaders that all has been done to keep Jesus dead and preventing His body from being taken. Even after His death those who hated Him most tried all they could to imprison Him in that tomb. Dead just didn’t seem good enough for them, and rightfully so.

 

We, like Christ will experience things that die in our lives. Our dreams, hope, faith, relationships, etc… may all die and others might do their best to keep them that way. There may be seals that have been set and guards positioned to keep them dead, but I want you to know, “dead just may not be good enough.” If you sense something awakening from the dead…Should you feel like life is looking for you on the day after, let me encourage you to trust God, because He just may do the impossible.

 

The day after always seems difficult and bleak, but we serve a God who is not limited by time nor governed by death. If you find yourself dealing with something the day after, I’m here to encourage you to, “wait until tomorrow.” God has some great things in the places where you’ve experienced great loss, if you have the faith to wait until tomorrow. “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning!”

 

“Since His passion never dies neither should ours!”

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Blessings,

 

Darryl Morrison

 



Silent Suffering (Good Friday) | Passion Week Devotional Series

Good Friday – Silent Suffering

 

By the time you’ve read this blog today, there is a strong possibility the death of Christ would have occurred. Good Friday begins in the early morning hours with the first of six trials in which Jesus would stand accused. Think about this, “six times before 10 am Jesus would stand wrongfully accused.”

 

He found Himself standing before Annas, a former high priest (the supreme religious leadership position of the people of Israel) who tried to accuse Him but to no avail. Next Christ would stand before Caiphas, the son-in-law of Annas and acting high priest. Then He would stand before the Sanhedrin, a group of seventy men who formed what is comparable to the Supreme Court. They would formally examine Christ and later condemn Him to death.

 

Here we have three Jewish trials all resulting in guilty verdicts without true cause to convict. They hated Jesus and wanted nothing less than to see Him die. But in order to validate their judgments of death, the Jews sought to have Christ tried by the Romans. Three times as well Christ stood trial before Roman leaders. Before Pilate who considered Him not guilty. Then Herod who rendered Him not guilty, and finally Pilate again who, with sheepish cowardice, tried to wash his hands of the situation while giving Christ back over to the Jews to be crucified.

 

From 2 am to 8 am Jesus was tried six times, and denied three times by one of His most faithful men. While the trials were a total miscarriage of justice, the denial was as well. We see a man failed by the justice system and abandoned by His community. He would be left to face injustice, punishment and death, because so many ignored truth to the sway of public opinion and fear. We can find many reasons to be rightfully upset and demand justice for the sake of an innocent man. It would only be right to let our voices be heard and stand against the pains of injustice. This sounds so familiar, doesn’t it?

 

We know these feelings all too well and feel them for ourselves and others. We want to speak out, we want to stand up and against what’s wrong, but Jesus never did! He was like a sheep heading to the slaughter, silently. He did not retaliate, instead He committed Himself to the one who He knew would judge rightly. He bore our sins, in His body on a tree, so that we might die to sin and live righteously. By His wounds (not His words) we have been healed.

 

Good Friday was not good for Jesus but it was so good for us. Let us remember the manner by which we received His grace. He chose to suffer silently so we could live victoriously. He is the Lamb of God!!!

 

Live with passion today because He died with it!!!

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Darryl Morrison



Purpose, Passion, and Pain | Passion Week Devotional Series

Purpose, Passion, and Pain

Wednesday of the Passion was is often called “Silent Wednesday.” Not much is recorded concerning this day, but it be called, “The Calm before the Storm.” Jesus has returned to Mount Olive where he remained throughout the day and night. We can surmise that preparation had begun for the Passover while Judas was preparing to betray Jesus.

 

Thursday of Passion Week thrusts us into the multilayered aspects of betrayal, the Last Supper, requirements for spiritual greatness, sleeping on the job, and denial. Luke 22 shares provocative details of this day. It is here where most of us can find ourselves as participants in this narrative. While we all readily envision ourselves at the table of fellowship with Christ during the Last Supper, admittedly we could also be the one arguing over who’s the greatest or while knowing we would deny Him.

 

We can find ourselves in this narrative but our focus will be pointed in the Garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. It is here where Jesus agonized in prayer. (Luke 22:39-47) Jesus knew the time had come to fulfill the purpose of His passion, meaning death was near. It is in the Garden where Jesus was confronted with His purpose (the reason), His passion (powerful feeling), and His problem (death).

 

Have you ever felt so strongly about something or someone that you thought you’d be willing to die for them? If so, have you considered the reason that inspired you? Jesus agonized in the Garden to the point of beads of sweat falling from His head. He needed strengthening from the Angel of the Lord, because His purpose was packed with pain. That pain was not His own. It was the pain of all humanity that He would have to bear.

 

The word purpose in the church is commonly equated to something that makes us the benefactors. We will endure pain for those we love or for personal gain, but that’s not the purpose Jesus committed Himself to. In fact His purpose and His passion had more to do with the sinful, faulty, and unfaithful. There was no personal benefit for Christ. He would not be cheered and applauded.  Not many would come running to rescue, and even in His greatest moment of despair, His most trusted followers would be found sleeping on the job.

 

Jesus had and still has no good reason at all to die for you or me. We are sinners, liars, betrayers, and if given the opportunity we’d deny Him in a minute. He knew that then, and knows it now, but still He refuses to deny or betray us. When He pleads with God to take this cup away, I get it. He shouldn’t have to die for us, but the most profound word follows, “NEVERTHELESS.”

 

We are the nevertheless, our sins and faults are the reason for the nevertheless. Though we deserve to be on that center cross, with thorns in our heads, nails in our hands and feet, He still says, “nevertheless.” Though we betray Him and deny Him, selling Him out for self-preservation, he still says, “nevertheless.” My prayer for each of us is to remember Christ died because we are that nevertheless, and we live for Him “all the more.”

 

Live this Thursday like Christ did, with purpose and passion, even if it requires some pain!

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Darryl



The Confounding Truth | Passion Week Devotional Series

Confrontation, Confounding, and Truth

Luke 20:1-47

The Tuesday of Holy Week was marked by a flurry of activity. The weeping of Jesus was replaced by a pronouncement of “woe” upon His enemies. The chief priest, scribes, and leaders of the people had determined to destroy Christ (Luke 19:48), and His response was to preach the Gospel with truth and power. (Luke 20:1)

When His authority was questioned Christ challenged them to deny it. Knowing they could not deny His power, Christ shared a parable concerning the horrible fate of those who rejected Him, “the chief cornerstone.” Still His enemies sought to lay hands on Him, watching His every move with the hopes of seizing Him, but they could not catch Him in His words. (v.26) Then another group called the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection and questioned Him on the subject, couldn’t rebut brilliant His response.

In a barrage of accusation and questioning, Christ’s counters came in the truth of His word. Jesus concludes the chapter by warning His disciples, in the presence of all people, to beware of leaders who look the part in public yet secretly desire to devour their prey. The are not well intending, more concerned with public, and willing to take advantage of all for personal gain. When His enemies tried to strike, our Savior struck back with the truth of who He was, His authority, and the power of His resurrection.

The Passion of Christ teaches us to respond to our enemies in truth. We are not to defend our cause, but His. As we consider those who sought to destroy our King, we must remember that He took His stand by standing on the word of God. Today be sure to confront the lies, accusations, and threats of the enemy with God’s unchanging, unwavering, and undeniable world. Confound your enemy with truth!!!

“Live with Passion”

Blessings,

Darryl



What Will He Find? | Passion Week Devotional Series

What Will He Find?

Luke 19:41-47

 As the crowds rejoiced and praised their triumphant King, Christ’s mood revealed the true meaning of the moment. The stark contrast of emotions were on display, because as they (the people) worshipped, He wept. Jesus understood the significance and great impact of His entry into Jerusalem, while the people rejoiced because He could satisfy their needs. He wept because they missed Him.

He would surely bring victory and peace but not in the manner they thought. He came to bring His presence to a temple and people who had abandoned prayer. His temple arrival unearthed hearts blinded by economic gain, and financial transactions. In the place where His presence was to dwell, Christ dealt with thieves and robbers. In the temple where true worship should have occurred, Jesus encountered those who wanted to destroy Him.

As He entered from the Mount of Olives, the disciples worshipped Him as their King, the crowd rejoiced because He was their warring King, and He wept because many were blinded to His true purpose, passion, and presence. We must be mindful that when He comes, He comes with great expectations. As He triumphantly enters into our lives, let Him find those who know His presence and seek Him through prayer.

When He comes to bring victory and peace, let Him find those seeking His presence and calling on Him through prayer. Should He weep, let it be due to His great joy!!! Let His passion find a people of true purpose (prayer and praise).

 



IT’S ON!!!

Hello Everyone,

 

For those who may not know, Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church moved into a new facility. We celebrated our two-year anniversary in our new home. We trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders.  Leading up to the 28th, I shared thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

 

I pray this encourages or inspires you to build something for Jesus.

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Today marks the two year anniversary of Valley Gate church, and man am I excited!!! Less than three years ago I stood with my family as Pastor Donnell Jones (my pastor, friend, and confidant) announced we’d be leaving Washington D.C. to return to Phoenix, Arizona (my home) to plant Valley Gate Church. Before that moment I sat with my back to the congregation, crying, because only minutes before I had whispered in the ear of Kofi Essel we were leaving because I wanted him to hear it from me first.  I didn’t realize how hard it would be to stand before the faces of those I had come to love with every fiber of my being and tell them, “We’re leaving you.”

 

I cried my way through the first service as I tried to share the vision God placed in my heart for Phoenix. I’m certain my words made no sense because my emotions had taken over. As I looked over the congregation there were so many stories of lives changed, examples of faithfulness to God, pictures of hope, and testimonies of blessings. The amazing part was that I had the privilege of being a part of those stories. This realization gave me the focus that I needed. The announcement during second service was much smoother because God reminded me of the reason He was calling me home to Phoenix.

 

Phoenix is the place of my birth but more importantly, it’s the fuel for my passion. God called me from one of the most powerful cities in the world to the forty eighth state in America, to share the Good News of Christ. He brought me back to the scene of the crime, the place of my greatest pain, the residence where I resisted Him most, to show how much He’s changed me. It is here that God has commissioned me to reach my city, state, nation, and the world for Christ. Phoenix is not my resting place, it’s my launching pad.

 

In two short years He has shown me glimpses of what He has in store for His people. I’m grateful to be the one to help the people of Phoenix debunk the lie that God’s greatest is not for them. He’s opening spiritual eyes, setting captives free, delivering those in bondage, and raising them up to make a Kingdom difference. I’m honored that He called me to be a part of this process.

 

Today as I turned and looked, I did not see Kofi but I saw other stories of redemption, restoration, hope, and great potential. I saw my spiritual family. The faces were different from those in DC but the spiritual DNA was the same. We have the blood of Christ that cleanses and empowers us to live faithfully and fearlessly for Him. We are called to be disciples and to make disciples who will change the world.  For this reason I say, “IT’S ON!”

 

When IT’S ON your address may change but your people and purpose never do!!!

 

LET’S DO THIS FOR JESUS FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.

 

Thank you to each person who’s helped VGC get to year two!!!!

 

I love you,

 

Darryl Morrison



There’s Still Work To Be Done

Good Morning Everyone,

For those who may not know, this Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church will move into a new facility. We will celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new home where we trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders.  Leading up to the 28th I plan on sharing various thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

I pray this can encourage or inspire you to build something for Jesus.

 

There’s Still Work To Be Done

Last night a number of our VGC family members joined forces to help move furniture and equipment into our new building. Our 26 ft U-haul, filled with chairs, was unloaded by a group of men and teens; while our multi-purpose room was filled with men and women assembling chairs and tables. The children’s rooms were bustling with mothers and their children putting together chairs and tables for their rooms, while the sanctuary was busy with projectors being installed, floors swept and new lights and lighting equipment being tested. This morning from 8-10 am we joined again to clean, set up chairs, and put the final touches on the church in preparation for tomorrow.
 
I can’t tell you how grateful I am to be a part of a group of people committed to making God’s house the best it can be for our anniversary service. Many stayed long after our expected end time to make sure all was complete. Moments like these strengthen relational bonds, and move us beyond being churchgoers to brothers and sisters in Christ. I witnessed this take place last night and again this morning.
 
As we look forward to Sunday service tomorrow in our new facility I realize, the move is not the culmination, it’s the commencement. We’ve not ended, we’re just beginning.  You’ll look around on Sunday and realize “There’s still more work to be done.” More lighting needs to be added and fixtures changed. The paint needs to be touched up and the bathrooms still need work. I took note of all that needs to be done and thought, “There is still more work to do.”
  
We haven’t reached our fundraising goal for the building.  However, with less than $20,000.00 to go, we thank God for blessing us with the resources to build His house. To those who committed to this goal in faith, let’s believe God for the resources you need to give. For those who satisfied their commitment, let’s ask Him for more to reach our goal. As I’ve said, “This building project is about trusting God with our resources and watching Him do the amazing with it.” Financially, there’s still work to be done.
 
This building project reminds me of how much God loves us. He saves us, delivers us, and places us in His family, when in our lives “there’s still work to be done.” He sees the many areas in our lives that still require some touching up, but doesn’t relent from allowing others to benefit from our gifts and talents. He invites us into the presence of His people when He knows there remain blemishes and stains that need to be covered. Our God is an amazing builder who knows every nook and cranny in our lives. He covers our past mistakes, and knocks down the old walls that separated us from Him, to make more space for His glory to fill our lives.
 
He knows there remains more work to be done in our lives and His church, yet still allows us to shine the light of His glory as bright as we can. When we join together tomorrow morning at 10:30 am, in our new facility, at 1445 W. Southern Avenue. Tempe, AZ 85282 let’s do so with this in mind:
 
1.     There’s More To Be Done: We have so much more to do.

2.     There’s More We Can Do: We have so much to give.

3.     There’s More Grace: We have been given so much from God.
 
Come ready to worship our Lord, with exuberant praise, as we give thanks for all He’s done and all He’s going to do.
 
I can’t wait to see you there!!!!
 
IT’S ON!!
 
Blessings,

Darryl Morrison | Lead Pastor
Valley Gate Church



I’ll Bless You with One

Good Morning Everyone,

For those who may not know, this Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church will move into a new facility. We will celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new home where we trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders. Leading up to the 28th I plan on sharing various thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

 

I pray this can encourage or inspire you to build something for Jesus.

 

I’ll Bless You with One

 

We often take for granted the incredible act of childbirth by assuming God’s majestic work is nothing more than a normal act. Bringing life into the world is a supernatural miracle, as Jo Ann and I can attest to.

 

Many years ago we realized were having difficulties conceiving, so I encouraged Jo Ann to see a doctor to help with her problem. After returning with a clean bill of health my mother-in-law suggested I see a doctor. I knew a fine, strong, strapping young man like me had no problems, so I confidently set the appointment expecting news that I was perfectly fine. Afterwards my confidence quickly turned to fear, as my initial check-up required a follow up meeting with an IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) Specialist.

 

After a myriad of tests the results were in and the news wasn’t good. It was confirmed that the conception problem was mine. My doctor calmly explained, “You have a low sperm count and there is an acrosome reaction issue.” At that time the lowest number of sperm he knew to produce pregnancy was 21 million, and I had 18 million. If that weren’t good enough, my acrosome reaction (look it up) was not reacting. My sperm was not attaching to the egg to initiate fertilization. This news rocked me.

 

Here I am a professional athlete, supposedly a celebrity, money (not a lot), living the dream, yet confronted with the fact that life wasn’t coming through me. I could give my wife many of the things she desired but not the one thing she desperately wanted, a child. This crushed us, sending our fairy tale life into a tailspin. We cried when Pampers commercials came on, and held back sadness when we saw newborn babies. That was until my wife did something “stupid crazy.” After one of our IVF appointments she brazenly bought a car seat. “Are you kidding me?,” I’m thinking, “didn’t you hear the man say I can’t produce a child and you buy a car seat?” That’s when it changed for us because she invited faith into our home.

 

Soon after as I read my Bible, I stumbled upon a story of a woman unable to have children and who, like us, was deeply wounded and distraught. Instead of getting mad at God she prayed, and He blessed her with a son named Samuel. (1 Samuel 1). Minutes after reading this story I heard an internal voice say, “Darryl, if you pray and ask me for a child, I’ll bless you with one.” I thought I was crazy but sensed something so real. Rather than ignore, I obliged and begin to pray while lying in the bed looking to the ceiling. This time He said, “Get on your knees.” Afraid that Jo Ann might see, I waited until she went downstairs then got on my knees and began to pray as Hannah did in the Bible. To my surprise, after praying, nothing happened. No voice, no tingling feeling, and surely no light from heaven.

 

I had nothing to hold on to but the voice that spoke, and the words He uttered. It remained difficult for us for us months until I heard the voice again. As I walked upstairs in our hallway, He said, “She’s pregnant and she’s pregnant right now!” I was both excited and fearful at the same time. There’s no way I could ignore this voice, but how was I to tell my wife she was pregnant because God told me so? I stupidly chose the latter and my crazy wife accepted my explanation. She didn’t believe me as much as she believed it was God speaking to me.

 

To make a long story longer, it was her time of the month as we left Virginia for an out of town trip. When we returned from our conference there were no signs of her cycle kicking in. We rushed to the Wal-Mart, purchased a pregnancy test, ran home and to our great joy the test revealed ‘PREGNANT’!!! Early the next morning (Monday) I called the doctor to tell him the great news, only to have him strongly discourage us from believing this pregnancy was real. Though he had his test results in hand to support his claim, I politely declined his help.

 

I had to hold on to the words I heard from God over the words of my world renowned doctor. I had to have faith in “I’ll Bless You with One” over “there is none”. For those who know us, you know God not only blessed us with one, He has blessed us with 5 beautiful children. When Jo Ann bought that car seat she invited faith into our barren situation, and when God spoke, He brought Faith (our daughter) into our lives. Next He gave us Samuel (inspired by the story of Hannah in the Bible), and then He gave us Grace, Naomi, and Benjamin.

 

Soon my prayer became, “God, you’ve blessed us enough.” “You can stop, please!!!”

 

He truly blessed us with one, “and some.”

 

For those living in a barren situation let me encourage with a few things:

 

1. Invite faith in: Trust God and make a bold move of faith. It may seem stupid to others but it’s reasonable to God.

2. Birth it through prayer: Our motto is, “everything birthed through us has been birthed through prayer.” Pour out your soul to God and ask Him to do what only He can do.

3. Hold on to His Words: Others will discourage you with their facts, but if He spoke it, hold on to His Word.

 

Time to Birth something amazing!!!

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Blessings,

Darryl Morrison



Light Bulbs and the Baptismal Pit

Good Morning Everyone,

For those who may not know, this Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church will move into a new facility. We will celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new home where we trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders. Leading up to the 28th I plan on sharing various thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

 

I pray this can encourage or inspire you to build something for Jesus.

 

Light Bulbs and the Baptismal Pit

 

Nowadays ministry seems appealing to some who haven’t the least bit of understanding what this calling truly entails. In the world of social media, selfies, cool light shows, and everything going viral, some have fallen for lure of celebrity over luxury of service. Pastors look cool in their skirt shirts, tight pants, cool sneakers, and trendy jackets. Tattoos and cool haircuts have taken over the more modest and conservative look. As one who enjoys defying odds, 

and breaking trends I have no problem with how a minister looks, but what concerns me is what our congregants and young up-and-coming pastors and leaders see.

 

In speaking with young leaders I find some are more enamored with standing before packed stadiums and preaching cool sermons, than with sharing the Gospel. They find it cool being the pastor of someone famous, over shepherding the obscure individual who’s unknown. I have no problem with serving the masses and elite, as long as our service continues to be driven by ministry to all. I learned this lesson early on with light bulbs and a baptismal pit.

 

A few years after my football career ended due to a neck injury, while climbing the corporate ladder in Human Resources Management, my pastor asked me the most ridiculous question one could ever ask. Darryl, he said, “Would you be willing to leave your job, take a $30K pay cut for a full time ministry position?” I politely declined and he politely encouraged me to keep praying. This preposterous offer remained on the table as I gladly “volunteered” alongside my pastor. I continued to decline his offer until I actually prayed and received confirmation from my wife. She noticed the joy serving others brought me and encouraged me to go “all in.”

 

I had no idea what to expect on my first day at work (I mean church). I couldn’t fathom what it meant to work full time as a minister or what my daily routines would entail. So, I put on my best church outfit and went to work at Grace Covenant Church, in Herndon, Virginia. Knowing my pastor and his leaders had prayed for me to accept his offer, I felt like a highly sought after NFL free agent. I thought, “if they waited this long I must really be important and a valuable commodity to the Kingdom.” So, during my first meeting on staff I pull up a seat next to the head guy. No one took issue with my positioning myself next to the head guy, so they must have known I was the man. But what happened next changed my life.

 

After the meeting, Pastor Brett said, “Darryl, I have a task for you to do.” I knew he had a very important opportunity that required my eloquence of speech, or charismatic personality to win someone to Christ. Surely he needed his first round pick to perform at a level none of the others could perform at. He said, “I need you to go the utility closet, grab a ladder and two light bulbs, and change out the dead light bulbs.” I was appalled and felt disrespected that he would dare ask his high priced (well, not so high priced) top free agent to change light bulbs. Nevertheless, I begrudgingly changed the lights.

 

After the lights he said, “I have a very important job for you to do now.” It was clear to me he realized the error of his ways with the light bulbs, and now he would fix his wrong by giving me my preaching assignment for that Sunday. In my mind I was ready to change the world because I was the next T.D. Jakes. But to my chagrin, he asked me to turn on the water to the baptismal pit. Unfortunately this meant crawling under the spider web-infested baptismal pit with more wood chips than one could imagine, and turning the water on. I turned on the water.

 

I left work/church that day defeated and dejected because serving in ministry was not as I had planned or expected. No one told me that I’d have to go in to dark places and get dirty in order to help others get clean. I couldn’t believe I had get on that ladder to turn on lights so others could see. I thought I was this important person that everyone would laud over.  It didn’t take long for me to realize, true ministry is about sacrifice and service over celebrity and selfies. If I wanted to serve God I had to get dirty, be obscure, and serve as if only He were looking.

 

Years later, as I prepared to preach my final sermon in my home church before traveling West to plant Valley Gate church, that same church that once had only 70 members, but was now over 2,500, God brought back to my remembrance the light bulbs and baptismal pit. He brought it back to remind me that had it not been for a light bulb and baptismal, I would have never known what it meant to turn on the lights in the darkest of souls or to go to places where it’s dark, dirty and others are unwilling to go, to turn on the water cleanses and makes whole.

 

Before I could stand before thousands to share the Good News, God had to see me faithful with a light bulb and baptismal pit. To every young leader, minister, parent, or employee please allow your service and sacrifice to motivate you over celebrity and status. “Servants truly are the greatest leaders.”

 

IT’S ON!!!

 

Darryl Morrison

 



Fingerprint of God

Good Afternoon Everyone,

For those who may not know, this Sunday January 28th Valley Gate Church will move into a new facility. We will celebrate our two-year anniversary in our new home where we trust God will use us, and this building, to advance His Kingdom, raise up disciples, and train leaders. Leading up to the 28th I plan on sharing various thoughts, lessons learned, and revelation from the years of planting this church leading up our move in.

I pray this can encourage or inspire you to build something for Jesus.

 

Fingerprint of God

 

During my time in Divinity School at Regent University I was privileged to take a class called Spiritual Formation, instructed by Dr. Diane Chandler. This class and professor so impacted my life that I had to have her visit our church during our initial year of existence. I felt so compelled to have Dr. Chandler come due to her very gentle, yet highly impactful approach to knowing Christ in all aspects of life. She’s highly intelligent, articulate, and full of the Spirit. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone so graciously lead someone through deliverance while in an intellectual setting.  What changed my life was our final assignment entitled, “Spiritual Portfolio.”

 

Now I’ve heard of portfolios and I get the idea of putting together a resume, but this was my first time ever putting together a spiritual portfolio. We were challenged to consider every aspect and phase of our lives, from the good to the bad with the aim of identifying where Christ was in them, and what was His purpose. The premise of this assignment was based on the scripture Colossians 1:27:

 

“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

 


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