• What are you FACING, today?

    Revivalist, pastor and author, Dr. Vance Havner, said the following in regards to Jesus: “He didn’t have a ‘hard face’ for it was full of love and compassion, but he did have a ‘set face.’ He had made up His mind that He knew where He was going. Though the devil offered Him the kingdom of this world, our Savior took no shortcut; He chose the way of Calvary… He had set His face like a flint, and neither friend nor foe, man nor devil, could divert Him from His goal.” I loved that description of Jesus that He “had set His face like a flint.” Truth be told, this…

  • Simon Peter, Jesus and Cinderella

    “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times should I forgive a brother or sinner who sins against me? Up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’” – Matthew 18:21-22 Fresh off of the heels of Jesus talking about addressing sin within the lives of other believers, Simon Peter asked Jesus a question on forgiveness. “How many times should we forgive? Up to seven times?” Seven times? Where’d that number come from? In the Old Testament, there was a Jewish belief that the magic number was three times. You were called to “forgive and forgive and forgive.” (see Amos 1-2)…

  • Blowing in the Wind

    There’s a 19th Century folktale about a young man who went around the small village he lived in and loved to spread rumor and gossip about anyone and everyone he could think of. Seeing the harm he was bringing on the small community, the wise sage of the village called the man into his little hut and asked him for a favor. “Would you help an old man out,” the sage asked, “and take this bag of feathers and place them all throughout the village today? And then, at first light tomorrow morning, come back and see me.” Uncertain as to why this was necessary, but also respecting the wisdom…

  • TKO

    If there’s one thing I know to be true it’s this: Conflict is inevitable. Our fallen nature is prone to failings, fallouts and false assumptions. Though a life lived in Christ does not guarantee the absence of conflict, perhaps there’s something within the conflict that can be learned. What if, within the fighting, there’s something deeply transformational that Christ wants us to learn? In our new Harvest series beginning this Sunday, called TKO, we’re moving from the battles we have seen in scriptures to the battles we face in our everyday lives. Let’s do a deep dive into Matthew 18 and examine what Jesus had to say regarding humility, honesty…

  • Lead Me Not to the Chocolate Chip Cookie

    A boy climbed up in a chair and started eating chocolate chip cookies that his mother had made and left on the kitchen counter. The problem? His mother told him to stay away from those cookies until after dinner. Catching her son red handed, she surprised him and asked, “What are you doing? Didn’t I tell you to not eat those cookies? They are for after your supper.” With a full mouth, the child replied, “Momma, you don’t understand. I got here on this chair and my teeth got caught!” He certainly gets points for creativity. In last week’s Battle Ready message, we looked at the temptations that Jesus faced…

  • Hungry?

    I heard a story once of a man who had saved up all of his hard-earned money to take a cruise. Because he saved up just enough money to cover the cost of the ticket, he figured he’d just eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches throughout the duration of the trip since he couldn’t afford anything else. About three days into his trip – surprise – he got tired of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Walking past the lavish buffet bars and seeing the variety of foods made him second guess his decision. So, he spoke to a waiter in a restaurant and asked him the following question: “How much…

  • “Hey there, mighty warrior!”

    I loved sharing last Sunday’s message on Gideon from Judges 6 and 7. The battle that Gideon faced was overwhelming and, truth be told, he didn’t feel like a mighty warrior. However, remember the truth shared from last Sunday’s Word? Gideon’s story reminds us that when we are at our least, God can be at His greatest! What’s necessary are open hands and a ready heart to serve. Gideon chose to focus on his limitations rather than receive the strength of the One who was standing in his midst. And really, he’s not the only one! Remember the list of all stars in the Scriptures. Moses was 80 years old…

  • Lessons in the Waiting

    Mark Twain said the following in relationship to patience: “All good things arrive to those who wait – and don’t die in the meantime.” There’s some truth to that, you know. Have you ever wanted something so badly that you just couldn’t wait for it to happen? Patience may be a virtue but it isn’t always an easy one. Yet, perhaps in the waiting, there’s a season of learning in which God wants us to grow. That’s what I loved about kicking off our “Battle Ready” series with the story of Joshua and the Israelites in Joshua 5. Here you have the moment that God’s people are stepping into the…

  • Battle READY!

    There’s this pretty great scene in the movie, “Creed.” Rocky Balboa, who has retired from boxing, takes on a new fighter who happens to be the son of his late friend, Apollo Creed. One of the first lessons that Rocky teaches his new protégé happens in front of the mirror. Take a look: Watch Video Did you catch it? “You see this guy staring here back at you? That’s your toughest opponent. Every time you get into the ring, that’s who you’re going against. I believe that in boxing, and I do believe that in life.” As we say in preacher world, Rocky, “That will preach. That will definitely preach.”…

  • Go Faithfully

    Did you hear in the news this week about the 17th century painting of the Virgin Mary that was handed over by its owner to a restorer to enhance and touch up the faded piece of artwork? This is not an uncommon occurrence, of course. However, what was uncommon was who the owner of the priceless piece of art handed it over to: a furniture restorer who had little experience in touching up and enhancing priceless pieces of art. Unfortunately, what came back was not what the owner had expected. As you could imagine, the artwork has gone viral as the owner wanted others to learn a valuable lesson: make…

  • Obedience

    Grace and peace, friends. I was so inspired (and challenged) as I read about Philip in the book of Acts in preparing last week’s message. Within his willingness, boldness and obedience to the Holy Spirit, he crossed cultural and racial boundaries that led to the commission of Jesus given in Acts 1:8, becoming Christ’s witness in “Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” This morning, I wanted to share a poem that I came across last week as I was preparing for last Sunday’s message. I believe it speaks to the reluctance we may sometimes feel to step outside of our comfort zones; yet, it also speaks…

  • The Gospel According to Fred

    Racial tension was real and felt by many in the country. Only a year prior, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated, and the current headlines filling the newspapers and television sets a year later were that of African Americans who were violently being removed from “white” swimming pools. Enter onto the scene Fred Rogers. It was episode #1,065 of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Fred was determined that the minds and hearts of our nation’s children needed a different story. So, he offered them one. In the iconic scene, Fred is sitting in a kiddie pool and cooling off his feet on a hot (studio) summer day. Enter a friend of Mr.…

  • Atchafalaya and the Holy Spirit

    Ever heard of the Atchafalaya River? It’s a 137 mile-long distributary of the Mississippi River that winds through south central Louisiana and, eventually, empties into the Gulf of Mexico. This little river actually holds great benefit to a lot of people. It serves as a significant source of income for many in the region because of the many industrial and commercial opportunities it offers. Yet, as scenic and productive as it may be, it owes all of its strength to one source: the mighty Mississippi. Why? Because a distributary doesn’t have its own direct water source – it serves as an overflow of something else. Meaning, when the Mississippi is…

  • One Tick at a Time

    Did you hear about the clock that had a nervous breakdown? At first, everything with that little clock was fine. It kept great time. The problem came when it began to think about how many ticks would go through its mechanism before it died of old age. Two ticks a second would equal 120 ticks a minute, 7,200 an hour, 172,800 per day, 1,209,600 per week, and 62,899,200 ticks per year. The sheer volume of ticks sent the poor little clock into “shut down” mode. So, the clockmaker took the little clock to a clock doctor who probed until he learned what was troubling the little timepiece. “I have to…

  • Keep Moving

    There was a quote attributed to Roger Bannister, the one I referenced in last Sunday’s message, who holds the record for being the first human being to break a sub-four minute mile in 1954. Roger said, in relationship to running, “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and knows it must be faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are a lion or gazelle. When the sun comes up, you’d better be moving.” We run after a lot of things in this…