Dear Friends of Ocean Hills…
As many of you know from my open letter, I have departed Ocean Hills for a new work that I am confident that the Lord has started. I would like to address some recent events that have prompted some serious questions.
I was as shocked as all of you when Hal Henderson read the letter that Jim Nicol and the board approved concerning my departure from Ocean Hills Church during both Sunday morning services. I was especially stunned because we watched it from our home computer knowing it was being viewed publicly on the web broadcast. I recorded the audio feed as the letter was being read. Thankfully it has since been edited from the archives. As you can imagine, Roxie and I were devastated.
Since the reading of the letter, we have received numerous calls saying that a moral failure had been committed. After much prayer and at the request of trusted counsel I have decided to respond. First of all, I am married to the most amazing woman God ever created on earth. Her beauty, wisdom, love for Jesus, companionship, faithfulness to our family and marriage makes me the wealthiest man in the world. We are more in love today than ever before and I can’t imagine doing anything that would hurt her in any way or jeopardize our relationship. Secondly, I am deeply saddened by the vague wording of the letter that would leave any question in the mind of God loving people that there would be any hint of indiscretion on my part. There is no moral failure on my part that would warrant this kind of conjecture, just a difference of opinion on issues that have led us to part ways and my desire to do so in a godly manner.
I am especially aware of the timing of these events as Roxie and I have announced that we are moving forward towards a new venture of faith. This reminds me of Nehemiah 4:7,8… Now it happened, when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites heard that the walls of Jerusalem were being restored and the gaps were beginning to be closed, that they became very angry, and all of them conspired together to come and attack Jerusalem and create confusion. The work of the enemy is always to bring confusion to any new work of God. The number of phone calls we have received are a clear indication that people are confused as to what has happened and why it has happened. What did Paul say in the midst of confusion? He said, I know in whom I have believed and I am persuaded that He is able to keep me. Roxie and I are resting in God as our defense and we are committed to walking in the love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dear friends, please know that Roxie and I are in a great place. We believe that God has called to begin a new venture of faith. We are excited about the vision God is giving us and we are working to build lasting partnerships that will become vital relationships for a new work. We don’t pretend to have all knowledge so we have secured great men of God to advise and mentor us through this time. We see his hand of favor leading and guiding us.
I want to encourage you towards a helpful course of action. One that brings honor to our Lord and unifies the Church in South Orange County. When you speak of Ocean Hills, speak blessing. Pray for them as a body. When you speak of the work that Roxie and I are pioneering, speak blessings. Pray for us as we build our team. Let’s conduct ourselves in a way that is consistent with people who have encountered the love of Jesus. Let’s see if we can be living examples of God’s grace. Most important, let’s do something great together in South Orange County that will result in thousands of lives being transformed by the power of God’s Word lived through the lives of authentic followers of Christ.
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