Have You Ever Had Your Life Changed?

Honest question. Have you ever had your life changed before? I don't just mean like, you recently discovered how much you love Starbucks or your favorite team won the big game. Those things will eventually fade away. I'm talking about 'the entire world suddenly seems different and you can't go back to how it used to be' kind of change. I have. And when something changes you that much, it's kind of hard to keep it bottled up. (Acts 4:20)

God, through The Church of Eleven22, is changing my life.

If phrases like the one below intrigue you, hit me up. I'd love to tell you more about why any sane person would think something like this let alone post about it on the internet. Yeah it seems weird from the outside. I get it. Hey I'm just a normal dude like anyone else. In fact, the 12 disciples were all just a bunch of scrappy roughed up fisherman. In other words, God chose the original cast of Deadliest Catch to be the founders of Christianity. How cool is that??

Anyway I'm starting to ramble on again more than I planned to. If you want to checkout a church that is changing people's lives by the thousands here in Jacksonville, let me know. Forget about weird stuff like the Pope or the guys who stand on street corners with big signs that say REPENT in all caps. There's something better....

Come and see.

My brother and his wife singing the praise at Eleven22. Photo by me.

My brother and his wife singing the praise at Eleven22. Photo by me.

Be Strong and Courageous in 2016

Amazing message by pastor Joby Martin from the Church of Eleven22. If there is a bold step that you have been holding back from taking and you need the right nudge to help you finally take that leap of faith, check this one out.

When he starts off by saying "I know that was heavy" he was referring to a video that had just played on the big screens showing a husband and wife who are members of the Church doing a testimonial in which they discussed how after she found out he was having an affair on her, she chose to forgive him anyway and stick together because she wanted to show the love and forgiveness of Jesus. Talk about being bold and courageous!

*Update - Week 3 was this past Sunday (1/24) and it was just awesome. Check it out!

You Should Come to Eleven22 With Me

You've seen the bumper stickers. If you're curious just what Eleven22 is all about, you can catch a glimpse of it by watching this video from Sunday's service. This is not the kind of church you've ever been to before. It's changing people's lives by the thousands here in Jacksonville. It's changed mine.

Try it out and see for yourself! Click Here for more info.

Eleven22 - Greater Than

For those who have been following along with me on here, you may have seen some of my past blog posts talking about Eleven22 . Maybe you've seen the logo on bumpers and car windows and thought it was the name of a band. (So did I the first time I saw it.) And although Eleven22 does have an awesome band, Eleven22 is actually a church. In just a few years, it has rapidly become one of the fastest growing churches in Jacksonville if not thee fastest. (Did I just use the word "thee"?) 

Anyway, I have said this before and I'll say it again. This isn't just any church. There is something different about it and that's the reason why every Sunday morning if you drive anywhere near Beach Blvd and San Pablo Road you see the ENTIRE parking lot completely full starting from Hobby Lobby going all the way back to the old Winn Dixie. (Which is now Hope's Closet.)

So just what the heck is so alluring about the place that has caused so many people to walk through the doors and keep coming back for more? People aren't supposed to just WANT to go to church right? Isn't church just place where people get told they can't have any fun in life and if they do they'll just go to hell? Isn't church the place where people put on white robes and sing very strange sounding monotonous hymns to the tune of an oversized pipe organ? Aren't Christians just self righteous people who think they're better than everyone else???

Well, that's unfortunately the perception that some people have but the truth is, it's a very big misconception. Eleven22 is different. Radically different.

Also if you're worried about it being a trend thing, believe me there is no one out there who dislikes trends more than I do. But this isn't just a trend—it's a place that is changing lives.

I often tend to write too much and I think I might be starting to again so I will try to get to my main point here quickly. If you've heard about Eleven22 and are curious to see what all the hype is about, then I encourage you to try it out. It's a really big room and the lights are down low so you can just sit in the back and slip out when it's done without having to talk to anyone. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with what you see and hear.

Ok so...I said I was going to get to the point of this post and here it is. Today's service was the conclusion of a 6 week series that Pastor Joby Martin preached on called Greater Than. This series really did some work in my heart over the last month and a half and gave me some incredible perspective to live my life by. If you're feeling up to it, you can watch the sermons online and get a taste of what this place is all about. At the end of today's sermon the pastor presented everyone with a challenge. Inside the notes handout was a pledge card. He asked that anyone who was willing to fill it out also be bold enough to take a picture of it and post it online. If you've got any Eleven22 friends on Facebook you might have seen this already but here is mine.

If you're not a Christian, then some of these words are going to sound VERY weird. Hey I've been a Christian since I was 13 years old and a lot of the stuff in the bible still sounds strange to me too. But there is some stuff in there that would actually blow your mind. For example, did you know that the apostle Paul, probably the most famous of all the apostles and the person who wrote THIRTEEN books in the bible was a Christian terrorist before he became a Christian?? Yeah, the dude went around getting Christians murdered before becoming one himself. That should tell you right there that God is a God of love and forgiveness and not some harsh hateful judge that just wants to crack down on you with a whip or a bolt of lightning. :)

Okay I've written way more than I planned to. Again.

If you read all of this and want to chat with me more then hit up the contact page and drop me a line!

(Excuse the crinkle. It was raining when church ended and I had to carry my 2 year old across the parking lot.)

Eleven22 Band | Adam Szarmack Jacksonville Commercial Photographer

If you're from Jacksonville, then you have probably seen the Eleven22 stickers all over everyone's car windows everywhere you go. And I mean EVERYWHERE. I count at least 10 of them a day on my way to and from work. So if you've seen them but don't really know what it's all about, it's actually the name of a church. And a pretty amazing church at that. The Church of Eleven22. In fact, it's where my family and I attend. (Also my friend and fellow photographer Lyndsay goes there.)

If you're someone who has always been on the fence about going to church, I really encourage you to check this one out. If you're nervous about it don't worry. It's really big so you can sort of just blend in and sit in the back without really talking to anyone. And I promise you it is not like any other church you've been to or heard of before.

The pastor Joby Martin is just your average guy. He likes hunting, fishing and college football. And he talks about it a lot. But he has also been given an amazing gift to teach the lessons written in the bible in a very easy to understand way. And his delivery is hilarious.

The other amazing thing about Eleven22 is the band. They are just plain awesome. When you walk in and they are cranking away you can just feel it! The worship leader, Ben Williams, is a good friend of mine. I have known him for 20 years. His passion is incredible and his voice is just awesome.

Checkout a video (not shot by me) from a special live recording worship album that they did. Then checkout some images from that night (shot be me) after you finish.