Reentry, Racism, Riots, and the Right Thing to Do: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, Tomorrow we open our doors for corporate worship for the first time since March 8th. Had you told me then that June 7th would be the reopen date, I would have laughed in your face and told you we’d never be able to make it that long. But you are resilient and God’s grace is simply amazing. We are scheduled to have a little less than half of what we averaged pre-COVID19. This tells me something very important: Some are ready to get back. Some aren’t. Both camps are right. You know what? It’s okay that we...

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A Saying We Can Accept

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15 I don’t have to tell you this. You see it. You hear it. You read it. Opinions about rioting, Trump, and COVID-19 are everywhere. If you say something, you mess up. If you keep quiet, you mess up. If you protest violently, you are wrong. If you protest silently, you are “saying” something offensive. If you wear a mask, you love your neighbor or you don’t have enough faith. If you don’t wear a...

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George: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, It’s funny, isn’t it? When you just hear the name “George” – if you’re like me, anyway – you think of a white man. If you add the name “Floyd” to it, everything changes. The name “George Floyd” has changed a lot in recent days. I feel compelled to write this morning for several reasons I will share below. One, you need to know that what you will watch today on-line was recorded on Tuesday, May 26th. If we were live and in person, I am not sure what I would say in light of the racial...

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Staff: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, We are by no means “out of the woods” on this whole COVID-19 deal. There still much change, transition, pivoting, and figuring out left on the table. A. LOT. However. . . You, West Franklin, need to know something. Your staff team has blown me away. The last 3 months has been hard. Weird. Different. Uncharted. But the staff I get to work with, and the staff who loves you so much, shifted on a dime in order to do whatever necessary to keep you on course with Jesus. Three of them (Brad Cleveland, Kelly Davenport, and...

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The Wonderful Counselor on Anxiety

Based on a sermon preached on May 24th, 2020, I encourage you to consider this passage of Scripture, get alone with the Father, and honestly ask yourselves the questions that follow. Matthew 6:25-34 (25) Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? (26) Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? (27)...

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Turbulence: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, If you’ve been on an airplane, chances are you have experienced turbulence. A good pilot will warn the passengers of what is coming and ease everyone’s fears by navigating them through the rough skies. It can be disruptive. It can be startling. It can give the nerves a jolt. Turbulence shakes the entire aircraft, knocking everything and everyone around for a few seconds or minutes before returning to smooth air. If the pilot warns of oncoming turbulence, you best go ahead and finish your Ginger Ale. If it’s not in you, it will be on you. Nobody...

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Fifteen Years Ago Today

Fifteen years ago today, I became a dad. I guess I “officially” became a dad nine months earlier. But according to a certificate I got from McComb, Mississippi, I became a dad a decade and a half ago. Fifteen years ago today, I was pastoring in Amite, Louisiana where God gave me the privilege to serve for nearly five years. Fifteen years ago today, I was halfway through the PhD program at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. I was consuming myself with books on preaching. Fifteen years ago today, Katie was a fourth grade teacher at Oak Forrest Academy there...

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Eyes: A Letter to West Franklin

“Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to a heart. . .” (Proverbs 15:30) West Franklin Family, One of the things I miss most right now is your eyes. I love looking you in the eye. I need to look you in the eye. Your lips can lie to me. Your eyes can’t. You can tell a lot about a person by their eyes. I have often joked with my wife that the Lord didn’t need to give her a mouth, because I know what is going on by the look in her eyes. (And, by the way, her eyes...

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Greener Grass?

“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.” (Proverbs 12:11) I’ve always assumed this Proverb was about hard work. A quick flyover takeaway is simple: Work hard. Stop fantasizing. Do the work. Don’t daydream. True, the inspired author of Proverbs did mean hard work is essential and wise. But that’s not all this word of wisdom is teaching us. In fact, it may not even be the main point of the Proverb. Look a little closer with me. . . Notice carefully what he says: “Those who work their land. ....

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Come! A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, If you tune in tomorrow morning, you will hear me say this sentence: “There are times when the Father doesn’t want to share you with anyone else.” It’s an implication of the way Jesus uses the word “secret” in Matthew 6:1-18. The Father is eager, jealous even, to be with you. Though I wouldn’t go so far as to say He’s desperate (He is not insufficient and has zero needs). However, His heart is incredibly zealous to be with you. Just you. He begs you to “Come!” to Him. Consider. . . “Come, everyone who is thirsty,...

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