Wear a Name Tag

You know what I hear a lot as pastor of The Church at West Franklin? This: “I love this church because it reminds me of home.” And this: “I love this church because it is a lot like family.” And this: “I love this church because it seems so warm and inviting.” And this: “I don’t want to introduce myself because I probably should know them.” And this: “What if they have been attending for a while and I just don’t know it?” And this: “I wish there was a way we could know everybody.” If I have heard these...

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Bird Watching & Anxiety

Has it ever seemed a bit odd to you that, according to Jesus, a cure (the cure?) for worry and anxiety is to go bird watching? “Consider the birds” Jesus says. The word “consider” literally means “to process information by giving consideration to” something. Yeah. In the middle of a warning against anxiety and worry, Jesus admonishes His listeners to “process information by giving consideration to” . . . Birds. The theological instruction Jesus has for worry is to think about birds. (See Matthew 6:25-27) If you think about this – it’s brilliant. It should be of no surprise, but...

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A Fatal Mistake? Really?

“Be sure of this: I warn you today that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the LORD your God and said, ‘Pray to the LORD our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.’” Jeremiah 42:19-20 If you skipped over the verses above, you might want to take another glance. Go ahead. I’ll wait. I know, right? Go ahead and read it again. I’ll wait. . . It looks like Jeremiah is telling his audience that they made a huge mistake by asking him to pray for them. It looks like Jeremiah told them they...

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What Do You Think of Jesus?

Recently, I had the opportunity to take my two sons and two of their friends to see the movie Run the Race. My favorite scene was (don’t worry. . . this is not a spoiler) when the main character was invited to dinner at his new girlfriend’s home. The two of them shared a meal with her parents. Before the meal began, the girl’s father asked the high school senior two questions: “What do you think of my daughter?” AND “What do you think of Jesus?” I mean, whoa. What incredible questions to ask a high school boy! (Or any age...

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42 Life Lessons (Opinions? Thoughts?) on my 42nd Birthday

In no particular order, below are 42 thoughts on life on my 42nd birthday. Life is composed of seasons. Seasons of life don’t last long. Enjoy the season you’re in. Pastoring is hard. Pastoring is incredibly rewarding. Pastoring can take your soul hostage. Every single individual is hurting. Every single indiviidual has issues. Mental illlness is real. Mental illness is impossible to recover from. Jesus makes impossible things possible. Parenting is far more difficult than I imagined. I learn more about my own heart through parenting. My childhood wasn’t perfect. My childhood was as close to perfect as one could...

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No Take Backs

“So all the officials and people who entered into this covenant agreed that they would free their male and female slaves and no longer hold them in bondage. They agreed, and set them free. But afterward they changed their minds and took back the slaves they had freed and enslaved them again.” Jeremiah 34:10-11 Did you ever have that friend growing up who would convince you to trade something he wanted from you, for something he had that appeared of value? That friend who would convince you your life would be better if the trade happened? That friend who grew up to be...

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Target and Flag Football: My Two Boys

I am sitting in my car watching my youngest son play a scrimmage flag football game. Forty-give minutes ago, I dropped him off here so I could go to Target and the hardware store to get supplies so my oldest son can redecorate his room. I am watching my youngest son having the time of his life, soaking up every second of being the quarterback with some of his best friends. I imagine my oldest son trying to wait patiently at home, wondering with great angst if I picked up the right materials. One son would rather be playing a...

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#blessed AMIRIGHT?

“They were even more astonished, saying to one another, ‘Then who can be saved?'” Mark 10:26   The rich young ruler walked away grieving (Mark 10:22). Jesus told him to get rid of everything and follow Him (Mark 10:21).   Jesus said it was hard for the rich to get into heaven (Mark 10:23). As a matter of fact, He said it was easier for one of the largest land animals to enter the tiniest of spaces than for the wealthy to get in (Mark 10:25).   As He was prone to do, He shocked the disciples with His words....

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Listen to Him! Part Three

Read Part One Here and Part Two Here. Why do we have such a hard time listening? Why do we have such a difficult time really hearing what Jesus came to do? Why do we want to keep Jesus from going to or “rescue” from the cross? Third and finally, we do everything we can to avoid SUFFERING. There’s a reason Peter wanted to build tents on top of the mountain. He didn’t want to come back down. Life was easier up there. Life was more glorious up there. Life was less stressful up there. There’s a reason Peter rebuked Jesus...

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Listen to Him! Part Two

Read Part One Here. Why do we have such a hard time listening? Why do we have such a difficult time really hearing what Jesus came to do? Why do we want to keep Jesus from going to, or try to “rescue” Jesus from the cross? A second reason is that it simply sounds TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE.   Recently a gentleman stopped me after the second worship service to tell me there’s got to be more to it. He had just overheard someone talk about what they would say to God after they died and stood before Him. The...

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