Lent

We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way. And we should remove the sin that so easily catches us. Let us look only to Jesus. He is the one who began our faith, and He makes our faith perfect. Hebrews 12:1-2 (International Children’s Version) I was in my mid 20s when I first heard of the words Lent and Ash Wednesday. Lent is the time between Ash Wednesday and Easter and lasts for 40 days. It is a time of sacrificing something that takes away our time to free … [Read more...]

Genuine Faith

I enjoy old episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. One of my favorites is called: Opie the Birdman. This heartfelt story is about Opie (Andy’s young son) who receives a sling shot for a gift. Andy warns him to be careful using it. Opie in excited boyish fashion takes his sling shot in tow, aiming and shooting randomly throughout the neighborhood. A hapless shot however lands him in distress, when he “accidentally” hits and kills a mother bird in … [Read more...]

New Growth

It is hard to believe that March is here. 2019 is moving forward at a rapid pace. The trees budding and flowers blooming tell us that Spring is here. I love this time of the year because it is a time to plant our gardens. It is exciting to look around and see things growing and turning green again.  It is also exciting seeing our church grow. Numbers are up and there is excitement in the air as we worship and as we continue to see new folks visiting our church and getting involved in our … [Read more...]

Religion vs. the Gospel

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15 If you hang around Christians long enough, you might hear a phrase like this, “We don’t have religion, we have the gospel.” This statement (or some iteration of it) is often repeated by the church, but what does it really mean? Why do we insist that Christianity is not just a religion? Pastor Tim Keller put together a chart that sheds light on the differences between religion and the … [Read more...]

Thank You!

It seems like it was just a short time ago that I received a phone call from Rick Marshall asking me if I would be interested in the position as Minster to Preschoolers and Children here at Eastern Hills. Just the night’before, Karen and I had prayed for God to open a door for a different ministry opportunity. Who knew it would be the next day! We knew that Eastern Hills had a history of longevity with most of their staff. I also knew the history of Eastern Hills from my days at Forest Park. … [Read more...]

Pruning – Not a Pleasant Experience!

It is that time of year….pruning trees, pulling winter weeds and cleaning out flower beds in preparation for springs awakening call. Last weekend, I joined that merry band of gardeners as I worked on one troublesome Crepe Myrtle Tree in our back yard. The tree bordering our rear fence has not been pruned for the past couple of years. As a result, our neighbors wild honey suckle vine and our crepe myrtle decided to entwine themselves into a mangled monstrosity that vexed my wife most especially … [Read more...]

Trusting God

This past Saturday I traveled through rural Alabama to a small community in North West Florida for a family reunion. Our reunion is held at the church where my Great Grandfather worshiped as he was raising his family of 13 children in the early 1900’s. This place is in the middle of nowhere. I have traveled to this place every year for many years. As I always do, I used technology as I traveled. I had the route in my GPS as I have done many times. When I reached the north side of Elba, Alabama … [Read more...]

Discipleship

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”– Matthew 28:19–20 “But, everything we do is discipleship.” I’ll never forget these words of a dear elderly brother when I tried explaining to him the need for intentional, reproducible discipleship at my first church in Athens, GA. His sentiments … [Read more...]

Bring All The Tithes Into The Storehouse

The Tonawanda Indian Reservation is in upstate New York. It is about 45 minutes from Niagara Falls. I lived there for a year on the reservation working with Seneca Indian children. It really was an amazing experience! Our reservation was unique in that it had a long house where Medicine men still practiced their magic and healing. The little Baptist church I worked at was older than our country. Originally, it met in a log cabin during the days of George Washington. We had a bi-vocational pastor … [Read more...]

Joy… Even in Pain!

Sunday Pastor Josh preached an outstanding and challenging sermon about how to maintain Joy in all circumstances. Philippians 4:4. Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (NIV) Joy in all circumstances is difficult! We all undergo trials, heartaches, disappointments and even tragedies that have the capacity to diminish our joy, especially IF our joy is dependent upon our circumstances. Pastor Josh reminded us that our joy is not dependent upon our situation or condition, but … [Read more...]