Month: April 2016

This Week For Sunday

A mother’s love is so beautiful. Unreserved, undeniable, full of grace. Growing up, these words described my mom’s love. Yes, there was discipline, and I would get into lots of trouble from time to time, but it always came from a place of love. She gave of herself, her time, her money, her resources. I believe that a mother’s love points us to God as God is all of these things and so much more. As Christians, we are adopted into a family of believers and His love for us is beyond comprehension. On Mother’s Day, we celebrate this love, the love of Christ that is exemplified through mothers. This Sunday, we will be talking about how God loves us, and that no matter what problems we face, because of the Gospel, nothing can change that we are adopted by the King. Throughout this week meditate on these truths: We are found. We are loved. We are His, because He is love. He is hope. He is grace. He is good, and He will never …

God Is In Your Career

-written by Kyndel Pirkle How completely crazy are we small humans to think that we can put God inside a box? We all do it, right? We only think about the omnipotent Creator when it’s convenient for us. We put our quiet time in a 20 minute time slot, check it off our list, and leave it on the coffee table until the next day. God doesn’t fit inside our box. He manifests himself in the dark corners and unknown cracks  where we forget He exists. This place for me is my career. In the education system, Christ is He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named. What I love about my Savior is that this human law doesn’t stop His power. I’ve experienced God’s power through the people with which I work. I have been encouraged, uplifted and prayed for within the education system, a place where God isn’t supposed to exist. I have experienced suffering that led to triumphant praise. Because the people I worked with let God use them, a child whose parent passed felt peace throughout his mourning process. A child …

From Inadequate and Hurt to a God-Centered Marriage

You love your spouse… or at least you did when you said, “I do.” You love Jesus. So why is marriage hard?  Why is it you sit down around the dinner table and instead of pleasant conversation, you stew on the inadequacies of your spouse? Why do you feel a void left by a spouse who doesn’t fulfill you? What if marriage is less about our desire for comfort, happiness, and self-fulfillment and more about us being transformed into the likeness and character of Jesus? Wrestling with this question, asked by Gary Thomas in his book Sacred Marriage, can radically transform the focus of your marriage from a self-satisfying marriage to a Christ-centered marriage.  Romans 12:2 commands, “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” If you want to break the pattern of this world by having a God-centered marriage, here are a few steps …

This Week for Sunday

I’m a huge baseball fan. A few days ago, Yasiel Puig made an incredible play. He threw a laser to 3rd base from deep right field to get the runner out. May be the best throw I’ve ever seen. I was amazed. So much so I sent a message to Ben Walls making sure he took the time to watch it. There’s many things in our world today that we are “amazed” by. We use the word amazing to describe songs, men, women, kids, movies, music, weather, sports, cars, trucks, homes, boats, vacations, etc. When was the last time you were amazed by Jesus? When was the last time you couldn’t help to tell someone about His grace? Do you get more amazed by _______ than you do the power of Jesus? Now, I’m not trying to make you feel bad for liking something and being amazed by it. But what I am hoping to do is to remind you of our amazing Savior. There’s nothing more amazing than what He did. He took on our sin, …

Unleash the Power of the Word

Circuses are fun with the flying trapeze, people walking the high wire as easily as waltzing across the dance floor, the Globe of Death full of motorcycles, and acrobats building a human totem pole by catapulting one after another on top of an ever-growing stack of people. And every circus has its showcase of lions with their kingly manes, and beautiful tigers with their striking stripes. What makes having those ferocious creatures close by fun? Why do people leisurely walk around with their children, without a care in the world? Why aren’t they terrified when the big cats look at them and lick their chops? Because the King of Beasts is behind bars, and the rippling muscles of the tiger are stifled by a cage! What do you think would happen at a circus if the panels of the giant cage fell to the sawdust floor? There would be a frenzy of activity seldom seen in the lazy, carefree atmosphere of the Big Top. A sense of urgency sets in when danger is on the prowl. …

5 Ways to Glorify God in Your Parenting

Parenting is hard. It’s probably the most difficult thing that we’ve ever had to do. Our responsibility isn’t just to feed, clothe, bathe, and repeat for 18 years. Honestly, if it were just that, it would be much easier. But for Christ followers, caregiving is only the beginning. Kelli and I became parents a little over 3 years ago, so we are still learning. We definitely don’t have it all figured out and we understand that we aren’t nearly as deep into parenting as many of you. However, if you are willing, we’d like to share what we’ve learned in hopes that it helps all of us parent for God’s glory. Here are 5 ways we glorify God in our parenting: 1) Love your children Everything we ever do as Christ followers is to be done in love, even parenting. I don’t mean the warm-fuzzy “love” feeling.  Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of …

This Week For Sunday

Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  Do you see dark stains left by your sin?  Or do you see the grace of Jesus washing over you? What about when you look at your spouse? Are you blinded by pain from the past that you fail to see the forgiveness of Christ at work? We can be quick to accept Christ’s grace for ourselves, but we’re not always quick to give that same grace away or to accept that Christ has forgiven someone who has hurt us deeply. Lord, now indeed I find Thy power and Thine alone, Can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone. The Spirit has the power to change your heart and the heart of your spouse.  This Sunday we’re talking about marriage.  Take the time to prepare yourself for the message and allow God to start working on your heart now. Fierce – Jesus Culture …

My Thoughts are Higher

Do you remember being a child? Did you ever lose control of yourself because you couldn’t have just one more piece of candy? Or cry uncontrollably because your parents told you to stop pulling the dog’s hair out? Since I’ve become a father, I have been reminded of many foolish thoughts and actions throughout the course of my life. A few months ago my 18 month old son, Levi, specifically reminded me of some of my foolishness. While Kelli and I were preparing dinner, Levi got into the dishwasher and pulled out a knife. I immediately grabbed his arm and carefully got him to let go. “No-no, this can hurt you because you don’t understand how to use it yet.” Apparently he didn’t like my reaction, because he absolutely lost his mind. He backed up to the wall, turned around, and started to bang his head against the wall in anger. There have been many times where I have argued with God about the boundaries He’s given His followers. These are raw and honest arguments that I’ve had with …

A Biblical Response to Trials and Suffering

One of the biggest misconceptions about the Christian life is that once you become a Christian everything will be pleasant and all one’s problems will go away. But those who have truly been walking with God for any amount of time know that this is not true.  Jesus never promised that life would become a walk in the park once you come to Him. In fact, he promises the exact opposite. In John 16:33a, Jesus says, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows…” (see also Luke 9:23-25 and Matthew 5:10-12) The Christian life is a life full of suffering. No one can escape this reality. Still, knowing what we’re in for doesn’t help us to deal with it – so what does? The rest of John 16:33 says, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We must look to the cross, and see the One who suffered in our place. Jesus suffered much more than we ever will. He took on the full wrath of …

This Week for Sunday

Sunday we will be looking at parenting for God’s glory. Parenting is hard. In this fallen world, selfishness, laziness, and pride can keep us from being godly parents. Sadly and unintentionally, parents find themselves looking back and wishing they would have raised their children differently. Many parents wish they would have directed their children down a different path. How are you directing your children? Are you guiding them in the way of truth (John 14:6)? Are you teaching them to work hard (Proverbs 14:23)? Are you teaching them to be content in all things (Philippians 4:12)? Are you teaching and showing them love? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faithfulness? Gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)? It’s important that we ask ourselves questions like these; to evaluate our parenting in light of what scripture teaches. Your children are a gift from God. Let’s not waste the time that we have with them. Let’s start parenting for God’s glory. We have a good Father to model ourselves after. Good Good Father – Chris Tomlin King of My Heart – …