Anything Is Possible

The dream that almost wasn't

Warning!!! This will be a longer than usual post but one I believe will encourage you and help to increase your faith.  All of us from time to time need to have our faith extended and our hearts encouraged.  It is my prayer that this post will do just that as you read it and see how awesome and mighty our God truly is!

A little history to get you up to speed:

My wife and I came to the city of Escondido in 2005, with our three kids in tow, to take the pastorate of what was then known as Truth Tabernacle.  Pastor Jimmy Jones had faithfully served this church for over 20 years and was desiring to retire.  We were elected as pastor in March of 2005 and the journey began.  The church began to move forward as North Point Worship Center and over the next several years we saw God do some amazing things but we also faced many challenges.  As we all know, any dream having any value will face obstacles. However, the value you place on the dream determines how hard you press in order to see your dream come to pass!

In 2013 our church launched a capital campaign to get the building, that had been in our location for over 40 years, ready to sell so we could take the next step into what we believed God was leading us into.  We were limited in room and desperately needed to make a change.  Once we launched the campaign, many challenges arose which are way too numerous to discuss in this post!  I had been told by friends, who had gone into campaigns of this nature, to expect some major challenges along the way.  To be honest, many of those warnings I received I let go in one ear and out the other, thinking that whatever those friends of mine faced would definitely not happen here at NPWC!  Boy was I wrong!  Now, I am not one to focus on the negative in any shape or fashion, but allow me to just drop this in here – once the campaign started it seemed as if all of hell and high water came against us.  It was a difficult time but God saw us through it and we emerged on the other side, somewhat scathed and scarred, but better off because of it!

Fast forward to 2014 (told you this was a long post).  I received a flyer in the mail one day at the church that described a building which was for sale in our city.  The price was WAY out of our league as a church but I felt we should take a look at it and see what it was all about.  What I quickly discovered, once we walked through the property, is that this building was one Pastor Jones had also looked at to purchase several years earlier.  It was in need of much repair when he looked at it and had continued down the path of being neglected when we showed up to take a peek.  A portion of this building was one of the first churches built in the city of Escondido.  In fact, the portion I mention, was built in 1887 as a Southern Methodist Church.  It was later purchased by the 7th Day Adventist and added onto, making room for future growth and plans.

As mentioned earlier, the price was way out of our price range but there was something to the old building that got our attention.  As a result of walking through the building we met the future agent that would help us sale our current building and set us on the road to a miracle.  The funny thing about a miracle is this – you often do not know you are in the middle of one till it is all over!  A year later we sold our building and once it sold I asked our realtor about the building we had looked at close to a year earlier.  He informed me the building was in escrow and was set to become a charter school within the next year to two years.  I remember telling our agent on the phone – Adam, this building will fall out of escrow.  Just watch!

In October of 2015 God opened a door for us to go into Classical Academy High School and rent their assembly hall for our services.  This was a major blessing and allowed us to continue to grow and dream as we waited on the miracle God had in store for us!  I am forever thankful to CAHS for their kindness and willingness to work with us over the course of this last year.  It has truly been a blessing.

Fast forward to June 2016 (sorry, I am trying to get to the good part).  I am up early one Sunday morning getting ready for our services later that day when I decide to get online to see if there were any buildings or land for sale in our city which may work for us as a congregation.  As I began to research properties online, the building we had walked through two years prior showed up in my search.  I quickly contacted our realtor and was informed the next day that it was indeed for sale.  We immediately went to work on seeing if we could secure this building as a future home for the church.  What at one time had been completely out of our price range as a church, was now something we could handle and after much due diligence, inspections, discussions and prayer the church became the new home of NPWC on November 15, 2016!!!

Now begins the fun part as we work to beautify the house of the Lord.  I wholeheartedly believe that if God provides it, God will help you build it and the dream can become a reality.  We have much work ahead of us but the future potential of this building and location is absolutely incredible!  We went from roughly a little under 6,000 sf. in our old building to close to 18,000 sf. with tons of parking, Sunday school rooms, youth rooms, offices, two sanctuaries, a large fellowship hall and much much more!  GOD IS GOOD!  He alone makes the impossible POSSIBLE!!!

If you have made it this far in your reading I applaud you (wait I can’t LOL)!  This is a dream come true for our assembly and a LONG time coming.  What God has brought our way is nothing short of a miracle and we are thankful for what He has done and what is in store.  We are currently remodeling the church and have several months ahead of us of work but it will be worth it as we see God transform the lives of people throughout our community and county in a beautiful place of worship.

I wanted to give everyone a few snapshots of the building and the work that is now taking place!  Thank you for your time and we ask that when you pray, say a prayer for our church that we can complete what God has provided for us.  We will continue to update you on the progress of the remodel.  God bless.

~DS
img_0019img_0013img_0021img_0204 img_0206 img_0254

img_0242img_0241img_0239img_0238img_0250

img_0267img_0216

 

 

The 3 Perspectives of Life

what you see is often what you get

We have all been hindered by personal viewpoints in our lives, either formulated by our own perspectives of our failures or past circumstances. Sometimes we are even tripped up by the words and actions of others. What is so sad is that these perspectives often keep us from moving forward, keeping us from getting past those limiting moments in our lives.

This morning I woke up, early than I desired to be honest, and these three perspectives began to take shape in my foggy brain. It is nothing earth shattering but I thought I would just write them down and maybe somebody, somewhere would find strength in these primitive early morning thoughts.  Now please understand, this was a few hours before my first cup of coffee, if it doesn’t make sense we can blame it on that! 🙂

  1. My Past Cannot Define Me – Be honest, how often have we allowed failure, trials or struggles define who we are moving forward?  Too often to count I am sure but if the truth be told, your past has no defining power over your life if you decide those things are behind you and there are NOT YOU!  I refuse to allow my past to decide who I am in my present or in my future.  It was the Apostle Paul who stated; FORGETTING those things BEHIND ME – I PRESS…!
  2. My Present Cannot Limit Me – Look around you… Go ahead and examine your current circumstance and condition and you will quickly discover that what we think we need to keep pressing forward is usually not in our grasp.  This is where FAITH comes in.  I may not see how I can move past the current obstacle in my path but I do know a God that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all I can ask or think so I choose to look to HIM instead of the mountain in my present journey.  I must not allow what I cannot see to limit the perspective of my destiny.  I must keep pressing forward…
  3. My Future Cannot Frighten Me – The biggest problem Israel had when spying out the land was FEAR!  God had given them the land but their own perspective convinced them they were not able to step forward by faith into the promises of God.  I refuse to allow what is coming around the next corner, even though I can’t see it, to keep me from putting one step in front of the other.  I still believe that the steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord!  They may be ordered but I must do the stepping!

Hopefully today someone can take these three perspectives and incorporate them into your life.  God has great things in store for you and most of the time it is our OWN perspectives that keep us from moving into the promises of God.  Lift up your eyes today – you have a GOD that is FOR you and not against you!

~Darin

New Challenge, Same Attitude

If it hasn’t been challenging enough living life single-handedly, I am facing a new challenge with an upcoming surgery on my right shoulder.  Now if you are not aware, at the end of my right shoulder is the only hand I possess, so to say the next few weeks are going to be a bit challenging is an understatement. However, if it doesn’t challenge you it will never change you!  My grandfather used to say – “Boy, ain’t nothing but a hill for a stepper!” I am not sure what he was driving at but I guess he was talking about this one word that has been a driving force in my life, attitude.

I believe it was Winston Churchill who said: “Attitude is a small thing that makes a big difference!” I believe that statement is true.  Attitude is the driving force behind every decision, emotion, action and thought in our lives.  If our attitude about our current situation is faulty then the direction we move will lead us to the wrong destination.  Will challenges arise?  Will there be moments where it feels like you can’t take another step?  ABSOLUTELY… However, if I can understand my attitude determines my direction and once I set it correctly, it will lead me in the correct path, then I am halfway to making it to the right destination.  Attitude is everything!

When facing challenges, attempting to operate with the correct attitude, we must remember a few things I am convinced will help us:

  1. You can only correct what you are willing to confront – Hiding behind an excuse, blaming someone else for your condition or just being plain lazy, will never get you to a place of overcoming whatever challenge you may be facing.  I have to confront my attitude about the circumstance and strive to look at it from the right perspective.  View affects vision and if I am not looking at ‘it’ correctly, I will try to find a shortcut through the problem.  I have to face it and push through it!
  2. You are never exempt from a challenge – Life Happens!  Struggles come and struggles go and understanding they happen to EVERYONE is a step in the right direction.  Some people only think bad things happen to them.  Look around – someone, somewhere has it worse off than you and is facing a more difficult trial than you are.  Don’t let your attitude get sour during the trying times – Remember that God is with you and He will not put more on you than you can handle!
  3. Finally, This too shall pass – I love the scripture that states, “Weeping may last throughout the night, but joy comes in the morning”  Hang on, you are going to get through this and hopefully once you do, you will be able to look back and see the lesson that was necessary for you to learn in the struggle.  I know it is easier said than done when you are in the middle of it all but while you are walking through the valley pick up some stones that will remind you that God is for you and has a plan for your life.

Well, I better sign off.  Just wanted to encourage someone in the middle of the struggle – Keep your head up – there is some good stuff ahead of you.

~Darin Sargent

The Mr. Jenkins Interview

A moment that changed my life

If you have been a follower of my story or a frequent reader of my blog, then you know the story of my 4th grade teacher Mr. Jenkins, and the impact he made on my life at a crucial time.  In 2009-10 I released the children’s book “Thank You Mr. Jenkins” and was excited to see the impact this story had on teachers, students, parents and those facing unique challenges in life.

For some time now I have been considering revising and updating this book  “Thank You Mr. Jenkins.”  I am in the process of talking to a publisher about getting this book rewritten and expanded and I am excited about the possibilities of those it can impact even more in the future.

Below is a video that we had recorded a few years back detailing this story and introducing Mr. Jenkins himself.  It is a little long but it goes into detail concerning the impact this teacher had on my life and his perspective of a day that forever changed me and my perspective of who I am. I hope you will enjoy this story and pass it on to teachers and those that help make a difference in the lives of students or those struggling with differences.  I pray this story will continue to make an impact in lives across the world.

Thanks so much

~DS

Stages of Life

Currently, in the Sargent household we have 3 teenagers but in just a couple of weeks that will all change as my oldest turns 20!  It is hard to imagine that my wife and I are at this stage of our lives.  Seems like yesterday when we were bringing our first born home from the hospital.  Time waits for no man and unless we recognize the stages of life, time will pass us by and we will not capitalize on the importance of each segment of life.  There are lessons to be learned in every season, some good and some bad, but necessary none the less.

As a parent every stage is important.  The things my teenagers are being taught currently could not have been taught to them when they were 5 or 6.  It would have been impossible for them to comprehend at that moment in their lives.  But now, lessons that will sustain and guide them as they grow older are being taught and hopefully they are being grasped.  However, sometimes as a parent you have to put on your teachers hat and instruct as life reveals difficult assignments everyone must face.  To ignore these moments is to ignore the incredible opportunity we have been given as parents to shape and govern the trajectory of our child’s life.

There are many lessons that must be taught.  Things such as: the importance of faith, wholeheartedly loving and living for God, the quality of human life, respecting others, understanding the value of our time, talent and treasure etc…  The list goes on but each is as important as the other in the development of our kids.  This all hit home recently in a decision my wife and I made with our kids when it comes to cars and driving.  Yes, we are at that stage – two of our kids are now driving!!! (Can someone say INSURANCE COSTS?!!!)

We have told our kids that if they want to purchase a vehicle, they must save half of the money needed to buy the vehicle and whatever they save would be matched by us.  Now you must understand something – my middle daughter who is 17 IS A SAVER!!  She socks it away like crazy.  This is great but BAD when she reminds us often how much she has been saving for a car.  All I see are dollar signs flashing as I begin to compute my end of the deal and realize I better do something quick or we are in trouble….

These type of decisions and guidelines sound great when they are 11 and don’t have ways to get much money but now, when she is 17, I may have to sell my other arm to match the offer I made. I thought I was being clever and teaching them a valuable lesson, and I was but now I have to keep my end of the bargain.  So, I have decided to sell my truck and get me something used and reliable to get around and find something for her that will get her from point A to point B without breaking down on the side of the road.   Of course she is excited and I’m nervous but such is the stage of the life we are in right now.  I have learned as a parent I must keep my end of the bargain – it teaches me a valuable lesson as well as my kids.

Each stage brings new fears as well as new joys as we see God work in the lives of our children.  I want to continue to guide them through life by providing wisdom and mercy.  They will not always make the right decisions but I must recognize these moments as opportunities I can leverage to teach the valuable lessons necessary to become what God has destined for them to become.  This is tough but it is important!

And they say parenting is a piece of cake……….

~Darin

 

What To Do When You Are On The Edge

3 Things To Remember

It’s that time of the year again – the San Diego County Fair is up and running.  It is always a great time for our family.  Fried twinkies, chocolate covered bacon, krispy kreme donut chicken sandwiches – you know all those “healthy” food choices we somehow talk ourselves into eating because, “Hey – it’s the fair!” One of the areas at the fair that I enjoy spending time, is standing under the bungee jump!  I could be there for hours, watching people go up in that little basket, standing out on the edge, deciding if they should take the plunge or not.  The decision to bungee jump always seems like a good one in the company of the familiar, but once suspended a few hundred feet in the air, all alone, it’s a different story.

One of these days I am going to try it but for now I enjoy watching.  This year is no exception – I stand there, my neck craned upward as I waited for someone to jump out of the basket that is suspended in what seems to be thousands of feet in the air.  However, the disappointment comes when you stand looking up for an extended period of time, getting a crick in your neck, and the individual will not jump.  They stay on the edge of the platform and refuse to take the plunge.  You always feel a little upset that they didn’t go through with it and lost the opportunity to hear the approval of the crowd below.

As I stood there looking up into the sun waiting for the individual to jump, I was reminded of how often we stand on the edge of opportunities in our life, refusing to take the plunge because of uncertainties or the unexpected.  If we are not careful we can spend our lives constantly standing on the edge, afraid of the unknown or waiting around for someone to give us a push before we venture out of the “proverbial boat” and walk on the water.

When standing on the edge here are a few things to remember that may help you take that next step:

  1. UNCERTAINTIES ABOUND It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 45, you are going to have uncertainties about that next step.  There will NEVER be an opportune moment to do what you are feeling called to do.  You can not wait for the “atmosphere” to be just right, you have to take the next step.  You can live your life with excuses that keep you from going to the next level or you can do what so many have done before you and step out into the possibilities that await.
  2. AT SOME POINT YOU HAVE TO JUMP If you don’t you will never know if you can make it.  One of the challenges we often face is that the next step seems like it leads to nothing but open air under our feet.  FAITH is required to step out of the comfort and the security that you have become so accustomed to and take that leap that propels you into the unknown.  It is often said that you will never know till you try.  I remember in high school wanting to join the wrestling team.  Now, I know what you are thinking – WHAT?  A one armed wrestler?  You bet!!  I remember the feeling of, “what if I don’t make the team or what if the coach laughs at me or what if the cheerleaders cheer for my opponent!?”  I decided to go for it and guess what?  I made the team and succeeded at it also.  I remember winning matches that finished with the other guy crying because he was beaten by a one-armed guy!  Not something you want to go home and tell your dad at the dinner table.  I loved it.  I loved the challenge and I loved the lessons wrestling taught me, but had I never took the leap to try out, I would have never known the taste of overcoming.  It set the precedent for my life and I will forever be grateful for those experiences. The first step is the most important one but it is also the most fearful.  Trust that what has been placed in your heart is worth the risk and go for it.  This leads me to my next point.
  3. IF YOU FAIL, TRY AGAIN!  The possibilities of failure are certain but it is in failure that we often become stronger and wiser.  Failure is the best teacher in the world because it forms something in us that solidifies our resolve if we allow it to. History is replete with people who kept at it even when failure continued to raise its ugly head.  It was the failure that spurred greatness in their lives.  Don’t look at failure as something that is final!  Failure is the necessary ingredient that forges fortitude in you as a human being.

I believe that in each of you is a destiny unlike any other that is just waiting on you to take the leap of faith.  The world is waiting for someone like you to provide answers they are so desperately looking for.  It may be a business or a book but it’s inside of you just waiting to come out!  Go for it! Don’t stand on the edge and give up!

~Darin