Go big or go home
To celebrate his 50th birthday, Pastor Mario Moxey tandem skydived in Las Vegas. The one thing he was certain of during the experience was once he made the commitment to take the leap (or be thrown) out of the plane, there was no going back. And there was probably no better way for Moxey to showcase commitment to the members at Bahamas Harvest Church than showing them a video of him completing his first skydive on August 13, 2019. He went big for his half-century milestone, and during the church’s first service of 2020, Moxey encouraged the membership to go big or go home in this year.
“Commitment is taking the leap, because once you take the leap, you’re committed. There’s no going back. And that’s what’s needed right now. We need to be committed. We need to take action and understand 2020 is a year to take action.”
With the church’s theme for the year “Tomorrow is coming, are you ready for it?”, Moxey said people need to prepare themselves for tomorrow.
“We can’t afford to squander the opportunity that God has given us to prepare for what is to come,” he said.
“One of the great tragedies I have observed in life is too many people settle for the status quo rather than attempting to live their life to its fullest potential – I believe there is something on the inside of us that is drawing us for greatness, drawing us to do something that is much bigger than us.”
But he admitted that life has a way of tempering people.
“All of us had personal struggles that we’ve gone through, and issues we’ve had to encounter that really rock our world and jaded us to some degree, and as a result of that, many times we become resigned to an existence where they are simply at their best – okay. ‘How you doing? I’m okay. How’s life treating you? Okay. What’s going on in your life, is anything extraordinary happening? No, everything is okay.’ Everything is just okay. I believe God is calling us for more than just okay.”
He said in this year, he wants people with unfulfilled dreams to fulfill their dreams.
Skydiving is a bucket list item that he’s been able to scratch off.
“Not only do I want you to fulfill your dream, I want you to do it big. I want you to understand that you can have incredible dreams,” he said.
Moxey spoke to his youthful years and being taught that God provides people’s needs not wants. It’s something he said he’s glad not to believe anymore. And that getting into ministry, he began to realize that God is interested in way more than just people’s needs, but in their desires. He said God is interested in the things that His people are interested in.
“God is interested in our desires. He wants us not to really think small, not just to think about our needs, he wants us to think about our wants. So, the question is: what do you desire? What do you want?”
Moxey encouraged his members to not be intimidated by the question or back away from it, but to answer, because God is interested in their desire. He said the moment they begin to realize God is not just interested in their needs, but also in their desire, that their thinking would begin to shift from barely surviving to thriving. Moxey told them that God is interested in their desires because he placed their desires inside of them in the first place.
In order to see their dreams fulfilled, and to go big, the senior pastor said they have to put in the work and be willing to work hard.
“God fuels the passion on the inside of us, so why do we have a small mindset?”
Believe in me
Moxey reminded members that they have to believe in themselves. He told them that God can believe in them and that they can have a burning bush experience, but if they don’t believe in themselves, he said nothing would happen.
He reminded them of Moses’ burning bush experience.
“Moses and I just alike,” said Moxey. “I get tongue tied and my words get tangled, and my subject and verb always in disagreement. I can barely pronounce some of the words that are in scripture, but that don’t stop y’all from coming back every Sunday it certainly don’t stop me. Here’s the point – what excuses do you have? God believed in Moses, but Moses did not believe in himself. God can see things in you, but until you see things in yourself, until you begin to understand that you can do…what it is that God says you can do, ain’t nothing happening.”
And that belief in themselves required two things – conquering their fear and relocating from “excuse-ville”.
Fear, he said, is something people learn and prevents people from believing in themselves. He told them that they cannot afford to allow fear to stop them from believing in themselves. He said people also have too many excuses and if they “feed” their mind with negativity, that’s what will flow out; but he said if they “feed” themselves positivity, possibilities flow out and they begin to see possibilities in everything that they approach.
“As a man thinketh, so is he. So, whatever you think – you is; whatever that is. Those who believe they can move mountains, do; and those who believe they can’t, don’t.”
Moxey told the membership he believes he can move mountains.
Moxey said once Moses believed in himself, he was unstoppable, relentless and fearless, and that he became a man of action.
The pastor said the longer a person takes in delaying taking the leap, the more challenging it becomes for them to take action.
“People think, ‘If I just wait, and pump myself up that I’ll have the nerve to take action’ – no, it doesn’t work that way. The longer you delay in taking action, the more difficult it is for you to actually do it. When you delay thinking you’re going to take action later, that does not help you. The longer you have a delayed action, the higher the risk is for you not moving forward the way you should. The best thing you can do for yourself in 2020 is to take action – to become a man or woman of action. In life, you have to be a person that always takes action. There are some people who are able to make decisions quickly, and there are others who take, like, almost forever to make a decision. People that make decisions take action; they act on what they hear and know right now in the moment. You have to learn how to take action in whatever it is you want to do – whatever the assignment, whatever the dream, whatever the task. If your dream is to get a house, you have to take action and get started.”
Stay the course
Staying the course, Moxey said, is also crucial and there are two necessary disciplines to stay the course – putting away distractions and making the commitment.
The pastor told his membership that they have to prepare for what God is about to do, and that it has a lot to do with taking action.
Moxey professed that any time he has a decision to make and he doesn’t know the direction God wants him to go in, or he’s uncertain of the way he should go, he makes a decision and moves with the decision he’s made, whether it’s the right decision or not. He said he just makes the decision, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
“I can tell you from experience that oftentimes God has to correct me and help me and push me towards the right direction, and I’m okay with that, because the one thing I’ve learned about God is this – God loves wild fire more than he loves no fire. It is easier to steer a moving vehicle than it is to steer a parked one, so take action – keep moving, keep doing what it is that you believe God wants you to do – but don’t remain still. This is our year to take action.”
Moxey, who usually concludes a service by offering next steps tips, has changed it this year to take action, because he said he will remind everyone over the course of the year that 2020 is the year they need to take action for something. And he encouraged them to do something within the following seven days of the service to advance whatever their dream is. He also told them that every member of Bahamas Harvest Church will be moving out of “excuse-ville” as this is their year to take action.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.