• Biblical,  money,  Thoughts/Reflections,  Tough stuff

    The One About Giving

    Let’s be honest, most ministry activities and the things we do as churches require resources – they require money. Sometimes the amount of money necessary appears on boards positioned at the front of the sanctuary. Sometimes it is only visible in the quarterly finance reports. No matter what, it is an unavoidable truth that churches and ministries need money to operate, and the Bible gives some very clear instruction on giving. I’ve heard it stated more than once that Jesus spoke more about money than he did about any other single subject. I honestly haven’t looked too deeply into that supposed “fact” but he certainly didn’t avoid talking about it…

  • Bible study,  Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional

    The Gospel Trumps Rights

    Today is Memorial Day, the day we stop to observe the sacrifice that millions of men and women have made for our nation. We honor those who have given the last full measure of devotion to secure our freedom and the freedom of others. Every time someone lays down his or her life for another person it is reflective of the love that Jesus taught us about and displayed through his life, and death on the cross. No, their deaths are not redemptive like Jesus’ but they do remind us of the greater spiritual truth, and the greatest example of selfless love and devotion. I pray that as we reflect…

  • Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional

    Love Trumps Freedom

    One of the most profound and exciting truths about the Christian faith is that Jesus has set us free; “For freedom, Christ has set us free (Gal. 5:1),””So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free (John 8:36).” We have been set free from the law (Rom. 8:2), sin, and death. With his life, death and resurrection Jesus fulfilled the law. His perfect life fulfilled the righteousness expressed in God’s moral law, and he gives us that righteousness as a free gift since we cannot gain it for ourselves. He also fulfilled all the parts of the law that were designed to foreshadow deep truths about the…

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  • Bible study,  Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional

    Decisions Decisions Decisions

    We make decisions every day – without exception. Some of them are important life decisions like who will we marry? Will we get married? What career path are we going to pursue? Should we accept the new position in another city or state? Decaf or full strength? You get the picture. Other decisions carry considerably less weight – chicken or beef? Eastern or Lexington style barbecue? Flip-flops or shoes? No matter what choices we are facing we all have a decision making process that we go through or a framework which guides us in making choices. I would wager that for most Christians if we do think about making a…

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  • Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections

    On Holiness

    In the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou there is a scene in which the three protagonists are sitting around a campfire enjoying some barbecued gopher when a group of people clad in white robes passes by the campsite on their way to the river. Naturally, the congregation is headed to the river for baptism. Intrigued, the escaped convicts make their way down to the riverside where Pete and Delmar enthusiastically wade into the water to be baptized, and have their sins “warshed away.” While there are numerous theological rabbits to chase regarding this scene, for now I want to focus on the results of the “baptism.” You see, aside from…

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  • Bible study,  Biblical,  marriage,  Sermon/Devotional,  Tough stuff,  Uncategorized

    Bible in the Bedroom: Toward a Biblical View of Sex

    You should have seen some of the looks I got when I told the congregation I was going to talk about sex. For as long as I can remember (which isn’t very long comparatively speaking) the topic of sex has been more than a little taboo in the Church. To be sure, sex is a very personal and intimate topic that should be discussed with utmost care and sensitivity. However, as our culture has become more and more sexualized we Christians have tended more towards the head-in-the-sand approach. It is as if we think if we ignore it, it will go away. We have done an outstanding job at rejecting…

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  • Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections

    A Good Friday Meditation

    This was originally the message I wrote for our Good Friday Service 2018.  Today is not a day of celebration. Celebration will have to wait. Today we should feel the weight of Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, dying on the cross because of us. On that cross Jesus cried out with the words of the Psalmist, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” He was abandoned because of us, because of our sin. He was forsaken so that we wouldn’t have to be. What happened? How did humanity get to a point that we killed the very Son of God? Well, not long after God created them, Adam…

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  • Bible study,  Biblical,  Spiritual warfare

    Take Your Stand

    One of the greatest battles in history was the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Against hundreds of thousands of Persians a few thousand Greeks stood and fought to defend their homeland from the most powerful empire at the time. The most famous event of this battle was the last stand of the Spartans who numbered 300, along with around 1000 others (Thespians and Thebians). This battle was romanticized in the movie 300 which takes considerable poetic license with the actual history of the battle. The ancient historian Herodotus gives us one of the best, early accounts of the battle and most other histories lean heavily on his work. Now, before…

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  • Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional

    Regaining the Wonder of the Gospel

    I don’t ever want to get over the gospel. I don’t ever want to get beyond the gospel. You might think that’s rather childish or that I don’t want to go deeper in my understanding and knowledge of the faith I proclaim. You would be wrong. You see, I believe there is nothing richer, more profound, or more beautiful than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul reminds us, “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved (1 Cor. 1:18).” How could I ever exhaust the wonder of the power of God? How…

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  • Biblical,  the truth about,  Tough stuff

    Christianity and Weed

    Two nights a week I teach Adult Basic Education at our local prison…I mean “correctional institution.” Naturally, many of the people who find their way into prison have had some experience with drugs, and sadly, many are hoping to have more experience with drugs after they leave. So, last night somehow the topic of marijuana (weed, smoke, bud, pot, Mary Jane, etc.) was brought up in our discussion of World War Two (Please don’t ask me how. They can turn the conversation to weed if you’re talking about Mother Teresa). Of course, these guys know that I am a pastor and a Christian so comments were made about how the…

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