• One Another

    I thought that, for this week’s blog update, I would share a much more detailed list of the different “one another” passages you find in the New Testament. As I shared in last week’s message on “The Joy in Humility” found in Philippians 2:1-11, the best way to combat pride is looking beyond yourself and having the same mind in Christ Jesus. It’s exactly in this place that Paul was speaking from to the church of Philippi in Philippians 2. There was disunity in the church body and Paul called them to work beyond the disunity and seek out oneness found in Jesus. This is where the one-another passages find…

  • Smoke Signals

    “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel.” (Philippians 1:12) A man who was shipwrecked was able to reach an uninhabited island. In order to protect himself from the elements, he gathered what few possessions he had managed to salvage and went to work to build a small hut from which he would sleep and constantly and prayerfully scan the horizon for the approach of a ship. Returning one evening after a search for food, he was terrified to find that his little hut was completely enveloped in flames thanks to the fire he had built…

  • The Happiness Habit

    Grace and peace, friends. I pray this finds each of you well. It’s hard to believe that Easter has already come and gone. Last Sunday’s Easter service was such a joy for us all in that worship space and we pray that each of you found that – even in your homes – Easter and the Good News that’s found within the midst of the Resurrection story found all of you! Truly, “Christ has risen, INDEED” and that truth has changed everything. So where do we go from here? I am glad you asked. This Sunday, we’re starting a new series called the Happiness Habit. Have your Bibles ready because,…

  • Gloves of Grace

    Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10) I was taking something out of the oven recently and, unbeknownst to me, used a pair of oven mitts that – according to my wife – should have been retired…

  • Be Strong

    Grace and peace, friends. What an unprecedented time we are all living in. The phrase I have heard repeated over and over is “uncharted territory.” While I agree with that statement in relationship to COVID-19 and what we’re seeing across the nation and world, I would also have to recognize that conflict, fear and anxiety have been around since that first taste of fruit in the Garden of Eden. What I have to bring myself back to is: How do I live and react to the anxiety I face on a daily basis? I returned to a passage I taught from back in January of this year found in Joshua…

  • The Noisy Cricket

    A Native American was walking down the street with a businessman one day when the Native American stopped and said, “Do you hear that?” The businessman replied, “Hear what?” “The crickets.” “Crickets,” the businessman replied, “I don’t hear any crickets.” The Native American smiled and, after looking to his right, pointed to a single cricket chirping on the side of the busy sidewalk. Needless to say, the businessman was shocked! “I can’t believe that. We are here downtown with all of these people. You and I are talking and you can hear a single cricket chirping on the side of the road. I don’t know how on earth you have…

  • Daily Bread

    George Mueller, a great Christian evangelist and director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, was one of the great men of faith who knew and practiced the power of prayer in his life. Of prayer, he said the following, “I live in the spirit of prayer, daily. I pray as I walk about, when I lie down and when I rise up and, what I have found is this: the answers are always coming. The primary business I must attend to every day is this: to fellowship with the Lord.” A story is often told of an experience Mueller had taking care of the children at the orphanage.…

  • Prime the Pump

    I loved reading a story told by pastor Charles Swindoll found in his book, Living Above the Level of Mediocrity. In his book, he tells the story of a young man who had been lost in the desert for several days, dehydrated, weary and desperate for a drink of water. Just when it seemed like he wasn’t going to make it, the man stumbled upon an old shack with an unlocked door. As he walked inside, he was elated to see an old, rusty water pump. Thinking that it was too good to be true, he ran over, grabbed the pump handle and began to move it up and down. Sadly, nothing came out as…

  • It Takes Two

    In his book, The Pursuit of Excellence, Ted Engstrom tells the story of a preacher who had saved up enough money to buy a few inexpensive acres of land. In the middle of the acreage was a little run-down, weather-beaten farmhouse that stood as a picture of years of neglect. Surrounding the house were old tree stumps, rusted pieces of farm equipment, debris strewn about, as well as a fence on the property that needed some serious repair work. Truly, the whole scene was a mess. So, the preacher went to work. He rolled up his sleeves, and during vacations and in his spare time, he hauled off the junk,…

  • Frodo Sized Faith

    In the movie, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, we follow the story of Frodo, a brave but vulnerable hobbit, who has inherited a deadly ring from his cousin, Bilbo Baggins. When Frodo’s friend and wise counsel, Gandalf, discovers that the Dark Lord is looking for this ring and knows that Frodo has it, Gandalf urges Frodo to leave his homeland and take the ring with him. In time, a fellowship of eight join Frodo and they travel through the mines of Moria. When the fellowship comes to an opening with three different passages Gandalf, perplexed, admits he has no memory of the place nor does…

  • Cementing In the New Year

    You know, cement – in order to become concrete – must be mixed with sand and water. Having done several mission projects in the past, it’s a process, to say the least. It takes a lot of effort and a lot of work but the end result is always the same: But that’s the secret, right? You have to follow the instructions. A bag of cement purchased from the store that is never properly mixed with water and sand, is ineffective. Water and sand must be married together if you want something that’s truly cement-able. And that is not a bad illustration for where we’re going to go this Sunday.…

  • Something to Sing About

    “The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.” – Dr. E.T. Sullivan In the Gospel of Luke, before the singing of angels and the arrival of the shepherds, before the “No Vacancy” light went on and the innkeeper turned Mary and Joseph away, there was a quiet, small, simple yet beautiful, whisper of the birth of One who would come to point the way toward the Messiah. After 400 years of waiting, anticipating, hoping for a word from the Lord, here, in Luke 1, the Word comes. I loved visiting Zechariah and Elizabeth’s story last week as…

  • Give Thanks

    Grace and peace, friends. Last Sunday, we wrapped up our series Grace’s Table with a word on trusting in the provision of God. There were three central truths we found in the Abraham and Isaac story last Sunday from Genesis 22. One, we mustn’t be surprised when we experience trials in our lives. Remember: no test, no testimony. However, when we find ourselves in the fire, trust in the promises of God and remember that the Lord will always provide. I pray that whatever you find on your table this Thanksgiving Day, may you remember you’re loved and know that you’re seen and are precious in the eyes of God.…

  • ‘Course He Isn’t Safe!

    Friends, There’s a scene I love from C.S. Lewis’ story, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Just after the children enter the magical world of Narnia, a family of beavers gives them shelter from the cold along with a hot meal. During their visit, Mr. Beaver mentions Aslan, the King. “Is—is he a man?” asked Lucy. “Aslan a man!” Mr. Beaver said sternly. “Certainly not. I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-Beyond-the-Sea. Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts? Aslan is a lion—the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is…

  • Party Guests

    I’m going to let you in on a little “post-Harvest-sermon” Sunday afternoon tradition that I have: After a blessed morning of worship and preaching, I go home, eat some lunch and then crawl under my anxiety blanket, watch The Great British Baking Show and take a nap. Every Sunday. That’s my routine. 😉 Now that I think of it, perhaps this was Jesus’ routine as well (see Luke 5:16). Somewhere between lunch and burrowing under the blanket last Sunday afternoon, my wife asked me a question, “Maybe Zacchaeus was there?” Honestly, that comment came from out of nowhere. “Where?” I asked. “At the party!” she replied. I was still not…