This week, our church hosted a nationwide conference for pastors, and I had the privilege of being on the leadership team. It was a huge undertaking involving hundreds of volunteers and 2,500 pastors, and I’m proud to say that it was a smashing success! Our team navigated schedule changes, weather uncertainties, supplier hiccups, and just about anything else that could have been thrown our way, all while showing the patience and love of Jesus. Well, most of the time.

What made the operation even more interesting was that while we were bringing this event to fruition, my wife and I bought a house, sold a house, and celebrated her birthday. No pressure, right? It was the perfect opportunity for wires to get crossed and emotions to get tangled. The feeling of being overwhelmed was lurking around the corner at every turn.

Our days began at 6am and ended at midnight. Our teams in every facet of the conference ran like well-oiled machines. Was this luck? Was this because we have the best volunteers? Even though our people are incredible, practice made this event go so smoothly. These volunteers practice every single Sunday. Each team begins early Sunday morning and prepares for multiple services, encounters many people, and handles various issues in a manner they were trained. So, even though our conference had monstrously long hours, our teams knew what to do and when to do it. 

This idea of practice parallels our spiritual life. 

Each season or situation that comes my way and seems to pile on more than I can handle is my opportunity to practice becoming more and more reliant and dependent on God. Will I let my emotions take over? Will I fall under the pressure? Or will I remember the promises of God and allow Him to pick me up, brush me off and fight for me?

If you come to my blog often, you will see that I repeat many scriptures. It’s because they are the ones I need to see, hear and remind myself of often. They are the ones that lift me up when I am tired, discouraged, frustrated, or downright angry. One of those scriptures is in the book of Proverbs.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)

When I need God the most is not the time I need to go searching for a fluffy pep talk. When I’m all tangled up in my emotions, To-Do lists, and negative self-talk, I need to hear that God can make my path straight again and that I don’t have to do this on my own. He’s got me.

Are you feeling tangled? Do you need help practicing your faith? I would love to pray for you and remind you of God’s truth. Please send me an email to ShawnMcCarthy@seacoast.org.

We will get through this together. 

In His service and at yours.


Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

4 thoughts on “Tangled

  1. Thank you and the team for a seamless onference for ARC. Through the years you have pefected, through God your leadership qualities. and you always come through wth flying colors. Hopefully, having gone through a number of changes in the past few months, you can rely on God, to ease your path in the future. You deserve the best Hugs


  2. The conference was awesome!From my vantage point all went very well. Late tee shirts?? Not a Problem. Gave us a chance to help in another way. Gave us time for fellowship, lunch, and a bit later, time to fold a huge bunch of tee shirts. There is not one thing wrong with going back to favorite verses. The one you quoted is very important to most Christians. I saw a lot of smiling faces both on volunteers and attendees. Serving Jesus with you is always a blessing.


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