Rejoice in the Wife of Your Youth

“Rejoice in the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18 Recently I had the privilege of listening to this podcast. An interview between Carey Nieuwhof and Gordon MacDonald. I am only about a fifth of the way through and am compelled to write this thought down. Gordon MacDonald is 80 years old and reflected on his life and ministry leadership by offering 15 Life Lessons. The podcast is Nieuwhof’s attempt to draw out as much as he can from MacDonald on the lessons. A statement he made while unpacking his very first point struck me.   Here’s MacDonald’s first lesson: “Put...

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Jesus Went To Them

Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” Then they were willing to take him into...

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What Does Franklin Hear? A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, “And on that day they (were) rejoicing because God had given them great joy. . . The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away.” (Nehemiah 12:43) I imagine a young child out in the field with his father. The boy is hoping his dad is ready to stop for the day. He’s wondering what momma is fixing for supper. He’s hot. He’s sweaty. He’s ready for the harvest season to be over. Suddenly he hears what sounds like a massive group of people yelling. It sounds to him like the time his parents took...

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Amazed

“My Father is always at work to this very day, and I too am working. . . and He will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed.” (John 5:17, 20)   Jesus makes two very clear and important declarations here.  One He and the Father are always working.  Two, they work so we would be amazed. Go back and read the verses and the two declarations again. Seriously. Go ahead. Now think about it. God and Jesus are always working. And they are working for our amazement. They do what they are doing –...

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Dads: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the massive influence dads have on their children. Just this morning on my walk, I saw a 7 or 8 year old boy straining to see his dad work a front end loader. The boy was in awe. That was his daddy and he was so proud. You could all but visibly see the images of him being like his dad one day passing through his imaginative mind. This week started with me making a smart aleck remark to my oldest son. I was in a bad mood. I was...

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Table: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, I read this quote recently and found it, not only true, but very intriguing. “The only place you can go today and take off your mask in public? The table. You have to wear your mask to get there, but once at the table with your tablemates, you take off your mask. The Table unmasks us all, and unmasks all of us.” (Leonard Sweet) I hate wearing masks, but I love this thought. There is something about being with others at a table when we can just be. Recently I found myself thinking, “How ridiculous is it...

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Hope During the Democratic National Convention

Some of you just clicked on this thinking, “Oh no. We’ve lost Pearson. He’s ‘one of them’ now. I can’t believe it.” Hang with me for a moment. This isn’t a political thing. I’ve grown up red. I live in a red state. I pastor (mostly) red people. I’ve been told I have a red neck. I am a Bible-believing, evangelical conservative. You can exhale. I own, and am proud of my right to own, a Daisy BB gun. But I have to tell you, as I have watched the Democratic National Convention (DNC) the last couple of nights, I have...

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Fun: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, I was reminded this week that Jesus is fun. He’s a blast to hang out with. He’s someone you actually desire and look forward to being with. Consider. . . “On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” (John 2:1-3) In New Testament times, a wedding celebration lasted for several days. You got off work for a week to party with friends....

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Clarity: A Mid-Week Letter to West Franklin

(Emailed to West Franklin members on August 12th, 2020) West Franklin Family, We are approaching the half year mark since the pandemic interrupted all of our lives in March. Needless to say, this has been one of the most trying seasons we have, collectively, experienced in a long time. And, as we all know, it is not going away any time soon. As I write, the college football season is looking less and less likely to happen (insert huge sobs here).  Over the last week, our church leadership has intentionally and prayerfully considered our upcoming campus plan. To provide you...

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Funeral for Normal: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, No one enjoys a funeral. No one gets excited about attending a funeral. No one is eager to get to the funeral home and delights in being around sad people. Due to the nature of my vocation, I have been to my fair share of funerals. Never once have I looked forward to one. I have been blessed by many of them. But never been eager to get there. Yet they are necessary. Critical. In a very bizarre way, helpful. Even this guy said so. Funerals are never convenient. No one thinks on Monday morning, “Oh, I...

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