Month: May 2016

Are You Taking Hold of God’s Vision for You?

Here are a few words in the old book of Deuteronomy that we need to dust off and look at again. See, the Lord your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the Lord, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. – Deut. 1:21, NIV Israel is at the threshold of entering the Promised Land. Moses is fearful—not of the struggles awaiting them on the other side of the Jordan. Moses is afraid of the spirit—the soul—of the people who are to “go up and take possession” of this gift of God. The words Moses uses in Deut. 1:21 are the words he spoke to the previous generation some 40 years before. The twelve spies went into the land and came back with this report: “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good… it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit. BUT…” (Numbers 14:7; 13:27-28, NIV). So they didn’t go up and take the land. …

This Week For Sunday

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. – 1 Corinthians 15:22, ESV The beginning of the world is such a beautiful thing to imagine. The innocence, the beauty, the peacefulness of it all. Every time I think of it, it saddens me that it did not last. Through one man and one selfish act came death. Death. It is such a heavy word. The weight of which is felt throughout every generation and every part of the world, from war to hunger, genocide to selfishness. We feel it’s heaviness in so many ways; hopelessness, fear, darkness. And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the corse of this word, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children wrath, like the rest of mankind. …

In God’s Timing and With Your Support

A few months ago, Mark and Sherry Sullivan of Lime Biscuit, also SoHills family, approached me about becoming a business partner. I was a bit shocked and excited by the offer. The Sullivans have been our friends for a long time and I have worked with Mark in many ways over the years. I immediately started talking to Kelli about the possibility. The hardest part was the realization that to make it work, my role on the SoHills staff would have to change. My amazing wife said she was in full support of whatever decision I made. After much prayer, I decided to accept the offer, become a partner at Lime Biscuit, and go part-time at SoHills. Our God constantly blows me away; His timing is amazing. My plans coming out of high school were to go to Atlanta Christian College. I had several people I trust tell me I didn’t need to go to a Christian school to be in ministry. I listened, went to UWG, and majored in Business Administration. I ended up on staff at SoHills with …

How To Practically “Guard your heart above all else.”

A wise Proverb that can alter the direction of your entire life says, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23). So how do you practically watch over your inner self? How do you keep your mind and heart from danger?  Right after Jesus challenged his disciples to take up their cross and follow Him, He asks them two questions of eternal significance: “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” (Matthew 16:26) Jesus asked these questions in such a way that He taught the equation: EVERYTHING minus your soul equals NOTHING. Here are three steps to practically guard your heart:  1. Ask God for help. After King David committed adultery with Bathsheba he wrote this song to the Lord found in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me.” David understood that God has the power to make his heart pure again. He pleaded …

This Week For Sunday

Many songs grow old and tiresome, and can quickly when you’re in the band playing them 5 times a Sunday morning. Then there are others that stand the test of time. I believe we will be singing songs like Amazing Grace, It is Well, and How Great is Our God for a long time. It’s hard to tell as the song is still fairly new, but I think Good Good Father may be another that we return to as the years pass by.  Being a dad, I can relate to the message. Over the past couple weeks, my boys have been having a very difficult time listening to and obeying us. There have been many times that I have lost my patience, moments that I’ve talked down to the boys, overreacted, and punished them for silly stuff. I’m just an earthly father, who fails over and over. But God, our heavenly Father, never loses His patience, never overreacts, and shows us a steady flow of mercy and grace. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down …

Have You Forgotten Who You Belong To?

There is nothing like becoming a Christian. You remember the joy? The fulfillment? The purpose that came into your life? The exuberant excitement when He saved you? Working in ministry on West Georgia’s campus I see a lot of things. But one of the most common (and personally frustrating) things I see is when someone becomes a Christian, is full of passion and zeal for the Lord, but a few months later is pretty much living the same exact life. I’m not saying I’m shocked that human beings continue to sin. I’m simply observing that sometimes the zeal and passion we see in the baptistry easily fades away. I would say this is more noticeable in the new things these believers don’t do as opposed to the old things that they still do. Things like praying, reading the Bible, and sharing their faith. To me, it seems to be an identity issue; people tend to forget that their identity is in Christ. But the Bible is clear about what happens in the life of a new believer, “Therefore, if …

No More Apathy, Declare War.

Jesus battles with you when you choose to declare war on your sin. I can’t say that I agree with theologian John Piper on everything, but one of the things he is passionate about that I can get behind is fighting against a wasted life and declaring war on sin. Last night several high school students talked with me about their frustration with peers who have incredible athletic ability, but are apathetic when it comes to getting better by working out in the weight room or practicing every day. They talked about how these athletes could easily play in division one colleges, but probably never will because of their apathy. I asked, “What is it that keeps us from doing what it takes to overcome, not only with sports, but with struggles and nagging sins? Why do we choose not to fight when Christ is ready to fight with us? Why do we pick up the sword, only to lay it down too soon in the battle?” I don’t know that I can speak for you, but for me it’s because I don’t …

This Week For Sunday

Lord, I need You, oh, I need You Every hour I need You My one defense, my righteousness Oh God, how I need You If I’m honest, I don’t feel like I need Christ hour to hour.  I know I need Him for salvation, but from day to day, moment to moment it doesn’t always feel like I need Him.  I can go to meetings and check items off my to-do-list with little thought about my need for Christ. But then I get stressed and overwhelmed.  Tasks become daunting.  My “organized piles” become chaotic mounds and my office turns into a storage closet (and not one from a fancy home magazine).  My eyes act like magnets to my phone screen.  My marriage is strained under the pressure I put on myself.  I’m rude to my teammates.  I expect much and give little grace.  My body aches, my mind wanders, and my soul is heavy. And my Savior whispers, “Be still.  Find rest in me.” (Psalm 46:10, Matthew 11:30) Lord, I come, I confess Bowing here I find my rest Without …

Are You Arrogant, Selfie Centered, and Out of Control?

Did you know that more people are dying from taking selfies than from shark attacks? We live in a world where taking a jaw-dropping selfie is causing people to climb higher and push the boundaries further in order to impress others. We post these pictures to social media, hoping to get hundreds of likes. And if those likes don’t come fast enough then the picture is removed and we try again. So, what is a Bible believing Christ follower to do? How do we keep our pride in check and what does God’s Word say? Here are three passages for us to meditate on before we take our next picture. Paul urges us in Romans 12:3, “Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.” We judge others by their actions while we often judge ourselves by our intentions. Paul tells us to be …

God Can Write His Own Stories

This past Sunday, Shannon spoke about how once you have accepted Christ, you are officially adopted into His family. As a result of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ we become sons and daughters of the Most High God. What an amazing, wonderful, and overwhelming truth to celebrate! So, that awesome news has to mean that the rest of our lives will be smooth sailing, right?! Unfortunately… no. In fact, James 1:2-4 puts it this way: Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. I have been a follower of Christ for over twenty years now and I have always struggled with this verse. Notice that it doesn’t say “if troubles of any kind come your way…,” but when. It even goes on to say that when you do experience trials you should …