Top Ten Quotes: White Picket Fences

When I came across the description of Amy Julia Becker’s White Picket Fences, two thoughts immediately struck my mind: (1) I have to read this book; and (2) I don’t want to read this book. Ignorance is  bliss, am I right? I read the book. Actually, I devoured the book. Becker unveiled things I didn’t want to see about myself and my upbringing, but she did so in a very non-assuming, humble, “I am with you in this” sort of way. She doesn’t judge. She doesn’t give a “how to” plan on how to fix it. But she does give...

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Top 10 Books from 2018!

Top 10 Books from 2018 Favorite books I read throughout the year in 2018. Love Big, Be Well: Letters to a Small-Town Church By far my favorite read from 2018. This fictional account of a relationship between a pastor and his church is just rich. A must read for any pastor. View on Amazon The Voice of the Heart: A Call to Full Living Like no other book I have read before, this book helps readers discover what’s going on in their hearts in order to live the way they were created. View on Amazon Parenting with Heart This is...

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Last Minute Christmas Idea/Illustration (Repost)

If you’re like me, you will take any ideas in order to make the final Christmas/Christmas Eve/Advent message special. Every preacher wants to carefully craft his words on Christmas Eve in order to make the service meaningful and Christ-exalting. Recently, on the 3rd Sunday of Advent, I preached a sermon on Zechariah’s song (the Benedictus) from Luke 1:67-79. Looking back through Luke 1, I challenged the congregation to learn from what the Lord did to Zechariah by being still and listening. Instead of us being so diligent about telling God how to do His job, we would serve our souls...

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Joseph, Christmas, and the Christian Life

The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and...

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Sermon Illustration: How Do You Receive Jesus? (Repost)

Tim Keller has written an outstanding book titled Hidden Christmas. In chapter 1, he gives a couple of thoughts/examples as to how one receives certain gifts. I have pasted a portion of it below. It is a great illustration to use at Christmas and one the preacher can tweak to his own situation and circumstances. Enjoy! . . .When we trust in Christ’s work on our behalf, rather than in our own moral efforts, God forgives and accepts us and implants his Holy Spirit in us to renew us from the inside out. This great salvation, this light that flashes...

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Where are the High Schoolers?

West Franklin Family, Four years ago, West Franklin Baptist became The Church at West Franklin, a Regional Campus of Brentwood Baptist Church. After, from what I am told, a long transition – a new church came to be. Not long after that, the current student minister was led of the Lord to a new and different ministry in another location. As it usually goes, it took a while to find his replacement. The Lord then blessed The Church at West Franklin with another student minister for a rich, but brief, two years. Again, as it usually goes, it has taken...

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Sermon Illustration: Resistance

Okay, so this is more of a “quote” for a sermon than an illustration. Nevertheless, it is great (and convicting!) food for thought. From Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ: “Your calling is to discern the place of resistance that the Lord has set before you. You will recognize it by the temptation to avoid it. It will be way out of your comfort zone. It will be characterized by pressure, by disturbance, by antagonism, by pain, by humiliation.” (from the chapter “The Call to Resistance”)  

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Still in Awe. Thank You, West Franklin Choir

West Franklin Family, Sunday was a HUGE weekend in the life of our church. Renovated building open for “business.” New Student Minister, Nathan Page. Three baby dedications (by the way, West Franklin had 7 couples give birth over the last year with 2 more currently in the “oven” . . . and I haven’t even preached through Song of Solomon! .  .  . ha). And. . . drum roll please . .  the Christmas concerts. Oh my. Speaking of drums. . .did you see the guy in the baptistery during “Drummer Boy”? Whoah. (FYI, click here to watch the entire...

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Sermon Illustration: Waiting and Hastening

From Fleming Rutledge’s Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ: Waiting and hastening! How can you wait and hasten at the same time? That, my fellow Americans, is the secret of the Christian life, knowing how to keep those two modes in creative tension, “waiting and hastening the coming day of God. . . [the] new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” This is so typical of Advent, the time of contrasts and opposites: darkness and light, good and evil, past and future, now and not-yet. Finding the right balance between waiting and hastening is the...

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Ten Advent Recommendations

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Shopping for yourself guilt-free. Kidding (sort of). This time of year, we get to focus on the coming of our Savior, Jesus. Usually, I pause my “normal” Bible reading pattern and read through an Advent Devotional. Below are ten. The first five, I have read and highly recommend. The last five (*), I haven’t but hope to soon. Maybe I will shop for myself? (“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,” right?) Enjoy clicking. Come, Let Us Adore Him by Paul Tripp The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper Good News of...

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