Month: January 2016

The Habit of Confession

written by Kyndel Pirkle When I get nervous, I poop. It’s just a sick truth. Some people want to vomit, but not me; it’s always the other end. This is why I’m such an honest person, because if I don’t confess or tell the full truth it comes back to bite me in the butt (pun intended). If I sin against a brother or sister in Christ and they have no knowledge of it and will most likely never find out, why is it that my spirit tugs me toward truth? What they don’t know won’t hurt them, right? As Christians, we have an obligation toward one another. We are to hold each other accountable and share with one another in our sins (James 5:16). Proverbs 28:13 says, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.” When I stand before the Lord, I would hate for Him to say, “Kyndel, why didn’t you confess to Jesse those harsh secrets that you kept in your …

Forgive to Live

If you haven’t seen or heard of Netflix’s “Making a Murderer,” there’s a chance you live in a cave. The documentary is all about a guy named Steven Avery, who was wrongfully accused of rape and spent 18 years in prison. Avery wanted those years back. He sued for $36 million in compensation for the time he spent in jail as an innocent man. No matter how wrong they were or how high the cost, those 18 years were gone forever and no amount of money could buy them back. A reporter asked Avery if would ever forgive the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department for their role in his guilty sentencing and Avery said he didn’t think he’d ever be able to forgive those involved. You may be asking yourself, “How does this apply to me?” Jesus said, “If you forgive those who have sinned against you, your heavenly father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your heavenly father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15). God loved us so much that He sent His …

This Week For Sunday

“Love is patient, love is…” When Paul was writing to the Corinthians about love I believe he listed “patient” first for a reason. Being patient is difficult! We want what we want now. We want people to do what we want when we want them to do it. At its core, patience is the opposite of selfishness. Selfishness doesn’t wait. Selfishness demands it’s own way right away. Patience doesn’t give up. Since becoming a father, I have learned a whole new level of patience. I have to tell my boys things over and over and over and over and over again. The same is true for us. How many times have we turned against our Heavenly Father? Over and over and over again. Yet, our God is slow to anger. He is quick to listen. He is patient. Truth is, the more we become like God, the more patient we become. Pray and worship over these songs through your week. Seek God. Seek Him and patience that only comes from knowing Him. Close – Hillsong …

Hope for Eternity

“Ever heard of Bo Davenport? Where is Edmonson County anyway? How big a town is Brownsville?” These were the questions being asked as a first year coach took an unlikely team to the Kentucky State Basketball Tournament. You see, basketball is “King” in the bluegrass state. It’s the state where babies teethe on basketballs and learn to dribble before they can walk.  Kentucky High School basketball does not divide the schools into classes like most other states or as they do in football; it’s the small school verse the big school, the David vs Goliath. It’s exciting and makes for an unpredictable “Sweet Sixteen” run during tournament time and the 1976 Tourney was no exception. Edmonson County is rural. Brownsville, the county seat, is a dot on a map, a city you go through on the way to Mammoth Cave National Park. Nobody gave them a chance of making it to the “big dance.” Nobody, that is, except a first year coach who taught solid fundamentals and team work. And yes, there was the community, …

Make the Story Come Out Right

“Cities of Refuge” were designated cities to which one who had accidentally committed manslaughter could run in order to escape the pursuit of the avenger of blood. No part of Palestine was more than 30 miles away from a city of refuge. Provisions were made so principal roads were always open, every river bridged, and every turn marked so that a man who was running for his life might have a chance. You can read about these cities in Numbers 35, Deuteronomy 19, and Joshua 20. I am not guilty of manslaughter (some people better thank God for His restraining grace in my life), but there have been times when I needed a “city of refuge.” Maybe you too have experienced times when you wanted to go somewhere and cry out, “I’m beat!,” “I’ve had it!,” “I am sunk!” Times when you felt like you were running for your life. When you didn’t know if you could hang on any longer. When you needed someone to be kind and tenderhearted, gentle and sensitive (Ephesians 4:32, NLT & The Message).   I am so thankful …

This Week For Sunday

I don’t know about you, but I’ve thought our series “Love Does” has been a great one so far. This week Shannon is talking about forgiveness. For some of us, that’s the hardest part of love. It’s easy to love someone while they are on our good side, but once they do something against us it can be hard to love and forgive them. We are well aware of our brokenness and we know we need grace.  We love receiving grace.  We are quick to sing about God’s grace, but we’re not always quick to pass that grace along to others that have hurt us. Jesus says, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  (Matthew 6:14-15) Whoa. If that doesn’t raise every single warning flag you have then your warning flag machine is broke. Throughout the rest of your week, as we prepare to gather on Sunday, I challenge you to take these songs and pray …

4 Tips to Loving Selflessly

If someone asked you, “What does a Christian look like?,” do you know what you would say? Do Christians look different than other people? Do you look different? How can we identify Christians? After Jesus washed His disciples feet he told them, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35) Love sacrifices for others. Love does not demand our own way, but looks out for others. Love is selfless. Jesus also says, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13) Jesus was the ultimate example of this sacrificial love and this love is forever remembered through the popular scripture John 3:16 which says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” Take a minute and think about …

This Week For Sunday

How is your love measuring up to the standard? In John 13:34, Jesus says, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.”  And how did Jesus loves us?  In the song “This is Amazing Grace,” the lyrics describe it this way: Who breaks the power of sin and darkness Whose love is mighty and so much stronger The King of Glory, the King above all kings This is amazing grace This is unfailing love That You would take my place That You would bear my cross You lay down Your life That I would be set free Oh, Jesus, I sing for All that You’ve done for me Who brings our chaos back into order Who makes the orphan a son and daughter The King of Glory, the King of Glory As Christ-followers, our love should be greater than the love others have experienced and expect.  When people fail us, we show them an unfailing love that is given no matter the circumstance.  When others sin against …

Love Your Neighbor

We’ve learned that love has conditions. I’ll love you if you let me hang with the boys this weekend. The world defines love as being based on something. I love you because you’re such a good husband.  There are three words in the New Testament that are used for love: eros, phileo, and agape. Eros is a romantic love where the focus is on personal happiness. Phileo is a brotherly love that we offer most people and is focused on “our” happiness.  Agape love has no conditions; is limitless. Agape love is the only love that God commands of us have for each other. It is the love that can be the most difficult to give, because oftentimes there is little return for a fleshy desire. Paul writes in Galatians 5:14, “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love [Agape love] your neighbor as yourself.’”  The Greek word for neighbor is geiton and it means “one living in the same land.” The adjective of this word is plesion and it means “near.” It kind of has …

This Week For Sunday

Whew. The holidays have already come and gone. It’s crazy how fast they come and how fast they go. I always look forward to the holidays, enjoy them while they last, and then am thankful when they pass so I can return to my routine.  (Kinda like this weekly post… We missed a couple weeks in the midst of the holiday hustle, but we’re back at it now.) This week we are introducing “Touch the Sky” by Hillsong United. A line in the chorus sings, “I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground.” That is such a powerful picture. The lower we arrange ourselves the further we reach into heaven. Think about it: Jesus, in all of his riches and glory, lowered himself to become a servant and a sacrifice for all people.  He said things like, “the last will be first” and “you must lay down your life to find it.” Jesus is all about honoring humility. When we lower ourselves, we acknowledge his greatness. Begin to humble yourself this week and prayerfully sing …