Whatever It Takes: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, Quarantine sure has been interesting, hasn’t it? On the one hand, there is a whole lot of bad stuff going on. Lots of people going crazy. Like, stupid crazy. On the other hand, remarkable things have emerged. Like, miraculous. Let me give you two examples of the remarkable. Both have to do with my sons. (Go ahead, judge me if you like. But this is my letter, so I can brag on my children if I want to.) First, Luke (my 15 year-old) changed a bike tire. He took the broken rubber tire off of a bicycle...

Continue Reading

Five – O – Nine: A Letter to West Franklin

West Franklin Family, Five – O – Nine. 509. Five hundred and nine. It’s an important number. It’s a revealing number. It’s a number that leads me to push us a bit. 509 is how many viewers West Franklin had last Sunday morning for our livestream on Facebook and/or YouTube. 509. Think about that. It was our first Sunday back since the COVID-19 fiasco. Know how many we had in the room, on our property, at 700 New Highway 96 West? 170. One – Seven – Zero. 170. One hundred and seventy. That’s not 170 per service. That’s a COMBINED...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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)...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading

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...

Continue Reading