• 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…

  • 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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  • 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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  • 1 Corinthians 3,  Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections

    Self-confidence to God-confidence

    If you’re anything like me, it is easy to listen to all the voices that speak into your life. People who either encourage, or discourage you. People who believe in you, and those who don’t. Those who try to affirm your gifts and calling, and those who try to convince you that you’re mistaken. The list could go on. Now, Dr. Phil, and Oprah, and Dr. Drew, and Joel Osteen, and Tony Robbins are all going to give you some ideas about how to deal with those negative voices that bark into your ear. Some might even have some advice about what to do when the voice is your’s. Well,…

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  • Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections,  Tough stuff

    Cultural Icon to Missionary Outpost: The Shift We Must Make in How We View the Local Church

    There was a time, not so long ago, when Christianity was the dominant religious force in our culture. As you may or may not know, I write from the context of the “Bible Belt” and I believe this shift away from cultural Christianity has happened slower here than in other places in our nation and world. However, even if it has happened almost imperceptibly, it has happened none the less. You see even back when I was a kid (1980’s and 90’s) there was an overall sense that going to church was what you did on Sunday morning, and it was good and right. Generally speaking the values and morals…

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  • Thoughts/Reflections,  Tough stuff

    The Way We’ve Always Done It

    I think most of us who have been a part of the Church for more than a few weeks have heard someone say, “Well, that’s the way we’ve always done it.” In fact, if you’re like me you’ve probably been the one who said those fateful words from time to time. Now, before I go any further, I’m not trying to be ugly here or castigate anyone who says something related to that phrase. Like I said, we’ve all said it before and if we haven’t we’ve all thought it before. Humans are creatures of habit and we like things to be comfortable and predictable. I get that and for…

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  • Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections

    Being Mr. Carson

    So you too, when you do all the things which were commanded you, say, “We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.” Luke 17:10. Last night marked the last installment of Downton Abbey’s fourth season and the long wait until season five airs in about ten excruciating months. If you are unfamiliar with the show, which I believe few people are, it chronicles the lives of the residents of…Downton Abbey. Set in early 20th century England it gives the viewers a glimpse into what life may have been like for the nobility and the people that served them. There are stark differences between…

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  • Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections

    A Little Dab’ll Do Ya.

    The apostles said the Lord, “Increase our faith!” Luke 17:5Faith is a topic that most of us are quite familiar with, especially in Christian circles. We talk about having faith, asking in faith, faith like a mustard seed and so on. This word is firmly planted in our religious language and minds. Like the apostles in Luke 17 we are used to the concept of faith but, also like the apostles, we may need Christ to adjust our understanding. In Luke 17:1-4 Jesus has just told the disciples that if they are going to be a fully functional “body” of believers they must do three things; encourage one another, hold…

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  • Biblical,  Ryan Burris,  Thoughts/Reflections

    The Christian’s Diet: Feast Upon the Word.

    Note: Today’s post is from one of my dear brothers in Christ, Ryan Burris. He has been called to the ministry and is currently pursuing his Master’s of Divinity at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also a youth minister, a gifted preacher and, as you will read, a wonderful writer and expositor of God’s Word. I hope you enjoy his thoughts on this important subject and are blessed and challenged by his message. Christian Ezekiel 3:1 He said to me: “Son of man, eat what you find here.  Eat this scroll, then go and speak to the house of Israel.” A new year is just around the corner, and…

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  • Biblical,  Sermon/Devotional,  Thoughts/Reflections

    Love – Hate Relationship

    If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:26There are times when I read the Gospels and wonder if Jesus didn’t just get fed up with people misunderstanding Him, following Him for the wrong reasons, and just plain being silly. The verse above represents one of those times for me. Looking at those words one can only wonder if Jesus had simply had enough and laid into the people who were following Him just to see the next cool miracle. In the previous verse…

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