Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 


123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789


You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Overboard Blog

Living the extraordinary life of faith!

Filtering by Tag: God's provision

Excuse Me...Your Faith is Showing

Joseph Castaneda



The prophet Isaiah gives us two of the most amazing commands followed by two of the most amazing truths! 

1: Don't be afraid
2. Don't be discouraged

I love that those aren't just suggestions to make our lives better or ideas that will create a happier you (although they will!). Seriously, these are commands God is giving out to His children while they are in the midst of some serious turmoil and struggle. The odds seem impossible to overcome. The chance of victory seems unlikely at best...certain to end in crushing defeat at worst. There was no out.

But God.

God shows up, and He reminds His people who is in control of EVERYTHING in life. He reminds them of how He is the God of all power and authority, the God who raises up kings and kingdoms and who just as easily brings them down. In the face of one of Israel's greatest foes this God commands, "Don't be afraid," and, "Don't be discouraged."

Then, to remind the Israelites the why of His commands, He states:

1. I am with you
2. I am your God

Amazing! The Almighty Creator God of the universe is close to His children, and personally relates to them! He is their God, personally reaching out and personally known and He is with them. Unlike the gods of the people around Israel, God's who were neither personal nor near, this God delights in knowing, loving, and blessing His people.

I don't know what you're facing right now, or what you might be facing soon, but I know my God (and He knows me!) and He says to you: Don't be afraid, and don't be discouraged, because I am with you...I am your God! Will you, today, exchange your fear, discouragement, anxiety, worry and stress for the hope, courage and power that God provides? The only way to do that is through faith, trusting that God's promises are as true today as they were 2,700 years ago when he gave them to Israel.

Everything We Need

Joseph Castaneda



It's an extraordinary truth that God sent His perfect Son, to be the perfect Sacrifice, to pay the price for sins He did not commit. And having paid that price, God then opens the doorway to heaven so that you and I can enter into a relationship with Him, through faith in His Son's offering. If the story ended there, we would have nothing for which to complain or any ground from which to demand or request more.

Amazingly, the story doesn't end there!

Not only does God bridge the gap that allows us to enter into relationship with Him, but then within that relationship He gives us "everything we need" to live a godly life that is pleasing TO Him, and rewarded BY Him. He doesn't just want us to be saved from our sinful condition, He wants us to flourish in life as we cling to Him.

So whatever is happening in your life today, whether you are experiencing the joyful view from the top of the mountain, or you're feeling the cold angst of being trapped in the valley of the shadow of death, remember that all you need is at your disposal. Cling to Jesus and find Him sufficient to make your joy greater or to shine a light in the darkness.

Six months later...


Two weeks ago, while we were traveling somewhere between Southern California and Salem, Oregon, it hit me: we had passed the six month mark since I lost my job. January 16th has become an important date in my life -- an anniversary of sorts -- that marks a shift in my personal walk with God, the start of massive change/uncertainty and a season of intense growth. So on July 16th, six months after “you’re fired,” Traci and I reflected on all that has happened during this time. Scenery from our 10,000+ mile road trip that began June 19th.

When you experience a significant life change, time seems to pass at different a pace. In one sense, it feels like January 16th was years ago: a lot has happened to us in the past 181 days. We’ve driven across the country twice, logging more than 20,000 miles in our already aged van. I’ve slept in 30 different beds across 18 different states, and Traci has traveled half-way around the world to minister in Thailand. We’ve learned to live even more simply, and how to accept the grace, kindness and generosity of others.

This time has been a life-changing experience for our kids, too. They’ve had to say goodbye to schools they’ve been with the past two years, pack up all their belongings into a storage shed and had to “tag along” for a ride into the unknown. We’ve comforted all three of them at different times, cried with each them at other times, and watched them grow during this period of faith-stretching, too. All of us have been part of this journey.

Through all of the struggles of being jobless and homeless, through the challenges that come with trusting God and waiting for Him to reveal the next step, our whole family has been changed. God has become bigger to each of us, and without questions, we are all learning to walk in a renewed and strengthened faith. As Traci and talked about life six months after God changed interrupted our lives, here are a few observations we made.

First, God’s ability to provide has far exceeded our needs on every level. When I lost my job on January 16th, I was given six weeks to move out. That means on March 12th, we, literally, became homeless. And yet, since that day, we have never been without a roof over our heads, and we have never missed a meal. God has opened doors -- house doors! -- to provide shelter, beds, kitchens and basic comforts for all of us. We have lived in the city, on a lake, in the suburbs and in the country, we have house-sat vacant homes or lived in the company of dear friends and family. Every time we’ve needed another place to live -- God has met our need.

Second, we've learned that God is a lavish provider. In a lot of the circles I’ve grown up in, I came to understand that faith in God meant He would meet your basic needs and that’s it. Somehow I took away from sermons, missionary stories and fellow pastors that God was in the bare-minimum business, and not in the lavish gift-giving business. God has grown in my life these past six months, and maybe in this area more than any other. He has been so lavish with my family, and He has shown that He doesn’t just meet needs, He lavishly and generously pours out more than our lives are able to contain.

In Psalm 23 David wrote, “You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings” (23:5). Notice that David’s feast occurred “in the presence of his enemies,” in other words, during the tough seasons -- the seasons when he was being pursued or challenged. But God showed up during that time and David describes God’s goodness like a feast, like a Thanksgiving meal, and says, “my cup overflows with blessings.” During our tough season we have feasted on the goodness of God and have seen, first hand, that He doesn't just meet the bare-minimum need -- He fills cups to overflowing.

Third, we’ve learned that our desire to grow is best met in challenges. Last October Traci and I ran our first half-marathon, and -- obviously, we didn’t know what was going to happen just three months later -- we knew the run was a metaphor for life. One of the big lessons I wrote about was the fact that you don’t get the medal that says you finished, unless you complete the race.

For us, that meant months of training, beginning while the snow still covered the ground. We ran when the roads first made an appearance in April, and we ran in downpours and drizzly afternoons in June. We ran in beautiful weather along Northern Michigan farms, and we ran in stifling heat and humidity in parks, roadways and big cities while traveling for my job. Running a half-marathon is hard, and receiving the joy of finishing requires months of hard work.

Likewise, growing in your faith is hard, but the resulting spiritual and personal change is worth it. Traci and I have longed to see some big dreams become a reality, and during this season, God is preparing us for the reality of those big goals. Does it hurt? often. Is it fun? occasionally. Is it easy? rarely. Is it worth it? always!

Finally, Traci and I have come to understand that our kids have to experience this for their good, too. Honestly, this might be the hardest part of the journey, and the burden I feel the most. It’s one thing to have your own life or marriage impacted by outside influences, it’s another thing entirely to watch it spill over onto your children. For years, though, Traci and I have prayed for their faith, and for their individual relationships with God, and we are seeing amazing growth in their lives, too!

Those times we’ve prayed with them, and for them, those times we talked about God-sized goals, and those times we’ve dreamed together as a family -- those possibilities we’ve talked about are beginning to take shape through this trial. To pray for change and growth and dreams with our children, and yet to try and “shelter” them from this hardship is a disservice!

Just as Traci and I realize our greatest growth occurs in the shadow of hardship, our kids’ greatest growth will occur as they see how Traci and I navigate pain and change, and as they learn to work through it themselves. During this season, more than once, their faith has lifted Traci and I when we were running low. And every time they see God answer a prayer, provide for a need or show up in grand fashion, their future lives are being shaped in ways that wouldn’t occur without hardship.

While I can’t honestly say I want the next six months to be anything like that past six months, I can honestly say I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. If you’re going through one of these season, I want to encourage you to reflect on how God is showing up in your life. For me, the more time I take to see His fingerprint in all of this, the more my faith is strengthened even in the face of extreme uncertainty. I'm confident if you look for God's hand in your hardship, you'll experience growth in your faith, too!

Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water.

I'm 40 and living in my friends' basement...


...and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Seriously. This morning I was thinking about how crazy life can be. At times, Traci and I feel like we’re the punch line to one of those Nationwide Insurance commercials: “Life comes at you fast.” It’s funny when it happens to MC Hammer, not-so-funny when it happens to you.

Last week we returned from a 6,500 mile road trip to Oregon, and began the next phase of our Michigan life by moving into the basement of a dear friend. Don’t get me wrong, it might be one of the nicest basements I’ve ever seen. There are four bedrooms (the places sleeps 14!), two full bathrooms, a full kitchen, a nice little dining area and to top it off -- it’s fully furnished including towels, blankets, sheets and all the kitchen utensils for our family. Did I mention we’re on a lake and have a beautiful view from large windows and have walkout access from our private entrance? It’s really a gift.

This is the view we enjoy each morning, from our new digs. Couldn't ask for much more!

Back in January, I was struggling to see the gift side of this situation. After all, I’m 40-years-old, I have a wife of 18 years, three amazing kids and I’m at the stage of life where I should be settling into my career. In fact, five months ago, I would have told you that I was settling into a career. I would have told you that I was in a job that I could see staying with through my “golden years.”

Then God turned my life upside down. He removed my job, income, insurance, house and basic comforts and securities. He clearly directed Traci and I to put ourselves full-time into Overboard Ministries and He lined up a partnership with another local ministry (Starwood Ranch) to help make that pursuit a reality.

So, in an instant, we moved from regular full-time income to having to raise our own support. We switched from having the comfort of an on-site house, to living on the kindness of others while we wait 7 months to settle in a new town (August/Sept). For the first time in my life, my insurance isn’t being supplied by my employer, and instead, we’re paying out of pocket for super limited coverage and I’m facing the expenses of an upcoming surgery. The kids will be changing schools again.

And I honestly wouldn’t want it any other way. Seriously.

Over the past few months, as I’ve had time to process the series of events that has put us where we are, I can honestly tell you there’s no other place I would rather be. Sure, I would love to be back in a house, on someone’s payroll and enjoying the peace of mind that comes with quality insurance, but if I had to choose between that and the path we’re on...I hope I’d make the hard decision to hold this course every time! (Of course I’d take both if I could, but right now, God has said those two options aren’t available to us.)

The reality is that this journey has already stretched me further than I thought possible, and I suspect the stretching has just started. Already I’m experiencing a renewed energy and faith in the person and work of God, and I suspect He has some pretty amazing works to show us. Traci and I are enjoying a closeness and intimacy that only comes through facing obstacles together, and the bonding we’ve done with our kids has only served to strengthen their faith and push me to be a better dad.

Although this season has brought deep sorrow, challenging growth and difficult decisions, it has been filled with deeper joy, richly rewarding experiences and life-changing moments of being the recipients of God’s goodness and grace through others. The sorrow, growth and decisions don’t compare to the joy, experiences and goodness and grace of God. Not even close.

I feel a little hint of experiential understanding of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (NIV).

The Overboard Life requires an eternal perspective, in the good seasons and in the “bad” ones. When God has provided abundantly beyond our needs, and when it seems that He has given just enough to meet the current circumstances. When we have that eternal perspective, truly we are maturing in our faith and will be ready for whatever God has next.

I’m still maturing, and the season of life we’re in is part of the process of preparing us for a deeper faith and more profound expression of our relationship with God. If being a 40-year-old homeless husband and father is what it takes to experience that, then I’m ready for the journey. Yes, I’m praying for a little more certainty and comfort in the future, but even more, I’m praying I keep becoming who God wants me to be so that I’ll be ready for what He wants me to do.

And that’s why I can honestly tell you, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Seriously.

Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water.

Regardless...what I learned, when God didn't.


Obviously I enjoy writing a blog, but I also enjoy reading blogs. When I come across one that really hits the mark for me, I love sharing it with you so you can add another one to your reading list. My new friend Hannah has a great blog, and today I've asked her to share with you so you can get a sense of who she is. I hope you'll read it and check out her other works on her site. Enjoy!

"You are invited to join us at for a special Hardship Service. 

Come share your darkest moments and hardest seasons with dozens of strangers.  Do you have a health issue that God hasn't healed? Come tell us about it!  Are you facing eviction because you haven't gotten that raise at work? We'd love to hear about it!  Have you been crying over a broken relationship that God hasn't restored? Come cry with us!" 


You will never see this service advertised on a church website or bulletin. Why? Because people love to talk about the amazing things that God does.

When He heals the sick. When He provides in miraculous ways. When He raises the dead to life.

But most people don't want to talk about times that God doesn't.

I am not one of those people. 


It all started with a blazing furnace and a simple declaration.

Photo: Tim Walker

You've probably heard the story of crazy King Nebuchadnezzar and the furnace. I like to call him Nezzy for short. The story is found in Daniel chapter 3 and tells of three young men who refused to bow to the idol that Nezzy built of himself.

In a nutshell, they refuse to worship the idol so Nezzy throws them into the blazing furnace. But a miracle occurs and the three friends emerge safely from the flames without even a smell of smoke on their clothing.

This story is pretty unbelievable. But I believe the most unbelievable part comes not in the furnace but at the idol when the friends stand before the king. They say with boldness:

"But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

Their faith in God gave them the audacity to say, "REGARDLESS of what happens to us, He is our God." Regardless. It means in spite of everything. Despite the prevailing circumstances. In the face of everything that tries to stop or hinder.


Honestly, sometimes it’s really hard to say those words.

In the GOOD times of blessing, provision, and health it's easy to say, "You are my God."

But it’s a different story when things are hard. In the BAD times, when they stay bad, and when God doesn't show up how you expected Him to.

But, I truly believe that if we want to grow into mature Christians we have to learn to praise God when He DOESN'T just as easily as when He DOES.


This was not an easy thing for me to learn.

In college something happened that changed my faith forever. It was a normal Friday night when all of the sudden I got a terrible headache and couldn't even stand. I tried everything to ease the pain but nothing worked. Months went by and I had every test under the sun but the doctors could not figure out what was wrong with me.

My grades slipped. My relationships suffered. My faith in God was shaken.

A year later I was diagnosed with something called NDPH (New Daily Persistent Headaches). The doctor said, "This means that for some reason you suddenly got a headache and you will have them for an undetermined time. There is no cure. Many people have it for the rest of their lives."

As you can imagine, that was not very comforting to me. But I knew that the Bible told me I was healed by Jesus stripes. So I prayed. I asked. I sought. I did everything you’re supposed to do. And you know what happened?

God didn't heal me.

I was so angry with Him because it didn't make sense to me that He could be ABLE to do something and still choose NOT to do it.

Months later, still in pain, I sat down to pray. I couldn't even find the strength to ask him one more time. So instead of praying for healing I simply said, "I love you." They were the only words I could muster.

And in that weak moment, I heard His sweet voice: “Daughter, your faith shouldn't be based on what I do. Whether I heal you or not, I’m still your God."

From that moment on I have been free!

To this day I still have headaches every single day. I don't know if God will ever heal me. And frankly...I really don’t care!

Because REGARDLESS of whether He heals me, blesses me, or gives me anything at all, He is still my God!


Today, you need to know that REGARDLESS of what is going on in your life, He is still GOD!


When we are in the tough times of life we tend to think that it’s God who has somehow changed. But in reality it’s us who decide to change, not God!

Malachi 3:6 God says: “I, the Lord, do not change." Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human. He does not change his mind.”

God doesn't suddenly change on us. It’s us who change under the weight of our worries, pressures and disappointments.


There are three important lessons I learned when God didn't heal me:


Make a decision right now that you will trust Him REGARDLESS of your frustrations.

My struggle with healing left me so frustrated with God because I knew that He was ABLE to heal me but He chose not to. I started to let my frustrations blind me to who God was. This is a dangerous place to walk.

Maybe you are frustrated with yourself. With God. With others. I understand. But I want to challenge you to have a faith that doesn't hinge on what God does for you or in you, but hinges instead on who He is.

Faith isn't faith unless it is faith even if He doesn't.


Make a decision right now to praise Him REGARDLESS of what you get out of it.

We all want things. We want to be blessed. To be healed. To have life go a certain way. There's nothing wrong with having those desires. But the problem comes when we let our wants determine our worship.

We must do what is right, even if God doesn't do what we want or expect.

We often do quite the opposite.

Many Christians tell God that once they get what they want, then they will worship. But we don't worship to receive anything from God. We worship because of who He is.

He is worthy REGARDLESS of what we want!


Make a decision right now to seek Him REGARDLESS of your problems.

I used my problems as an excuse to stop seeking God. I thought because I was in pain that I got some kind of pass from pursuing His Presence. But I was wrong.

Having problems doesn't change the fact that God is the most worthwhile PURSUIT we will ever have!

REGARDLESS of what is going on in your life, God is still God.

If you ever get misguided in thinking that your hard life exempts you from giving everything to God, let me remind you that not only is He worthy, but He did the same for you.

REGARDLESS of your past. IN SPITE OF all your sin. AGAINST ALL ODDS of having a relationship. IN THE FACE OF EVERY OPPOSITION that tried to stop Him...

He came. He lived. He died. He loved. All for you.

I don't know about you but that is enough for me to say, "REGARDLESS of what is happening in me, to me or around me:


"Oh God, You are my God. Give me nothing  And I will still give you everything."


As you can see, Hannah has a great style, and I've really come to enjoy her blog. It's raw, challenging and she writes with humor and passion. Please take a moment to check out her site, A Wasted Life.

My Thoughts on Pot(s)


At youth events in Oregon and Iowa (and soon at one in Michigan and one in Indiana), I have preached messages from 2 Kings 4:1-7 about pot. Actually, the passage talks about lots of pots…the kind you fill with water or oil (hee hee). It’s a short but powerful story about how God loves to provide for His children according to their faith in His ability to provide. I typed 1 Kings 4 in my blog software’s search bar and found a post from August 8, 2011 on this very topic.  

While this post is almost 2.5 years old, it holds some powerful truth rooted in the amazing story in 2 Kings 4. You feeling overwhelmed today? You feeling like you can’t ever catch up or like you will always be behind? Read this post and then start getting your jars ready!



Back in 2 Kings 4, Elisha the prophet meets a woman who is in dire straights. Her husband just died and he had some serious debt. The only collateral his creditors would accept were here two remaining sons. All the widow has to her name is a little oil. If Elisha doesn’t do something, it’s bye-bye kiddos. This woman was overwhelmed.


Traci and I have been there. Early in 2011 we were struggling on a lot of levels, trying to make ends meet financially, trying to keep our marriage strong, our kids growing in the Lord and we launched a couple of new projects just to make sure life stayed interesting. We didn’t have much to offer, but we gave what we had.



Elisha asks the widow to give what she had. She has oil and Elisha reminds her that God works with us where we are, with what we have. He doesn’t wait for us to get better gifts, more money or a better pedigree; He finds us useful today if we’ll but turn to and trust Him. Verse three says it all:


“Elisha said, ‘Go around and ask all of your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few.’”


God was ready to ‘pour out’ his blessing and all He requested was a willing, faithful and obedient widow to trust His lead. She didn’t have to have any skills. She didn’t have to have any possessions. She didn’t even have to be debt-free. She just had to be ready to grab the side of the boat and jump out on the water when God said to “come”.


The widow obeyed, the jars were filled with oil from the original jar that had so little in it. Her boys kept bringing in jars and one after another, as God’s goodness overflowed, each jar was filled! When the jars ran out, so did the oil. She sold what she had and was able to pay off her debts and live off the remainder. God delivered in a big way.


Can you imagine the roller coaster of emotions this widow traveled on? What a day! First it started with not having any money and fearing the loss of her two sons. It moved into being part of an unbelievable miracle that created an unheard-of provision for her family. It ended with a house full of jars full of oil -- enough to start selling so that slavery could be avoided, with enough left over to provide safety and security for her family. I bet her day started and ended the same way: She was overwhelmed.


I think we’re feeling a bit of that with Overboard Ministries today. Some of the early 2011 struggles are still here today. And sometimes when you can’t see the way of God’s provision, you sit back and pray and trust and hope while you plan, scheme and try to figure out a solution. You’re overwhelmed by obstacles in front of you because you can’t yet see God’s ultimate plan. But He has a plan and often it’s fulfillment seems to hinge on our ability to trust Him to provide using mechanisms already in place. The widow had oil. The widow had friends and neighbors with jars. While God could have miraculously put money in her bank account, he chose what she already had to provide a way of escape.


When Elisha commands her to collect jars in verse three he says, and “Don’t ask for just a few!” She asked God for help and God tested her. He was going to give to her what she had faith to believe He would provide. Then in verse six you see just how much she trusted Him:


“When all the jars were full, she said to her son, ‘bring me another one.’ But he replied, ‘there is not one jar left.’”


They grabbed every empty jar they could find! If you’re overwhelmed today, call out to God for His help. Ask Him for what you need then prepare the ‘jars’ to receive what God has in store. It’s not that we name-it and claim-it, but we must believe that God can deliver in a big way when it comes to our needs. For example, when speaking about wisdom, James says when we ask,


“[we] should believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does” -- James 1:6-8


You see, God answers prayer consistent with the faith from which we ask. I believe God loves to overwhelm His children with answers bigger than His kids could imagine when they trust Him to do so. Unfortunately, we all-too-often ask like James describes; we know we should pray but we don’t really believe God is going to respond. How do I know? Because we don’t start pulling out the extra jars we’re going to need to receive all of God’s answer.


Today we are overwhelmed by God’s goodness. He filled up more of our jars but we’re banging on doors and asking for more pots. I don’t want to stand before Him one day and discover how much more of His goodness I could have shared in if only I had trusted Him to do what only He could do. Faithless living isn’t for Overboard Ministries and I hope it’s not for you, either. Those who are going to get out of the comfort of the boat and out on the water where Jesus is building His Kingdom are going to have to carry lots of jars. There’s no other way!



You ready for God’s blessing? Seek Him and ask Him to show up big, but when you do…you better make sure your jars are ready! Hmmm…that would make an interesting book title...


Go ahead and take the plunge, life is always better on the water!