All posts filed under: Playlists

Revisiting What the Time of Remembrance Represents

The night before Jesus was to endure suffering and humiliation for all of mankind, He sat down with His disciples to share in the Passover (Pesach). This is one of three major holidays in Jewish customs. The Passover is to remember what God did for the children of Israel when He brought them out of Egypt. Its purpose is to remind the Israelites of the final plague when the angel of death passed over their firstborn and cemented their release from captivity from the Pharaoh (see Exodus 12). During Passover, Jesus took a loaf of bread and gave thanks to God. When He broke the bread, Jesus said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Then He took a cup of wine and said “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people — an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you” (Luke 22:19-20). After they finished eating, they sang a hymn and then went out into the …

Taming the Destructive Fire of Your Tongue

-written by J.J. Cole A single wooden match weighs .15 grams. It is so light, that its weight cannot even be felt. It produces a small spark and flame, that can easily be pinched out with our fingers.  Nevertheless, when not respected, it can produce a monster that will destroy and even take human life. In 2016 a single spark resulted in 14 lives lost and 10,000 acres of the Great Smoky Mountains to be engulfed in flames, including significant portions of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.  A place with several decades of investment and effort that so many of us have visited laid in waste.  But, thanks to resilience placed in the human heart by God, rebuilding is happening. James 3:6 tells us that “the tongue is a flame of fire.” It goes on to explain in descriptive detail that it can “set your whole life on fire.” Basically, James 3:3-10 sternly warns us to respect the tongue, for at its core it is a match. Today, James may have included our fingertips as we …

Question and Grow in the Face of Troubles

Three hurricanes. An earthquake. A collapsed elementary school where 20 children were lost. Hundreds killed, thousands left homeless. Why God? It seems the past several weeks have been filled with nothing but tragedy after tragedy. And, the one question I keep hearing asked and keep seeing posted in social media is, “If God exists then how could He allow these things to happen?” To the unbeliever, I think this is the most difficult question to answer. I often respond with that we cannot try to understand and explain the infinite with a mind that is finite. We cannot attempt to understand the ways of God because His ways are not like our ways. But for the believer, as Jesus and James remind us in their letters, to choose a life of belief is not to choose a life free of pain. The Psalmist says, “The righteous person faces many troubles…” But, it also says, “but the Lord comes to the rescue each time” (Psalms 34:19). Times that bring great pain and seem to defy explanation test our faith. When …

Parenting Every Day With the Mercy of Christ

So, we’ve been going over “adulting” the past few weeks.  I’ll be honest there are times that I still don’t see myself as an adult.  Yes, I have a job, I’m married, and I have children.  By most standards, I am considered an adult.  But then there are times that this quote rings true: That horrifying moment when you’re looking for an adult but you realize that you are an adult.  So you look around for an older adult.  An adultier adult.  Someone better at adulting than you. And, let’s be honest, nothing is better at pointing out your “adulting” faults than children.  You start off with very good intentions. Okay kids it’s time to clean up your toys and get ready to go to bed. *30 minutes pass* Guys, really please clean up. *15 minutes pass* (now in Batman voice) I’m the father you need, not the one you deserve right now.  Clean your room in 2.7 minutes or I will throw everything you own away. Adulting, in general, is hard. Adulting as a …

It’s Not All About The Benjamins

Even when we aren’t talking about money, we often talk about money: As good as gold Another day another dollar Gold digger Made of money Money doesn’t grow on trees Worth its weight in gold I was struck by this the other day when I read a passage of scripture, ironically not about money. Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.  For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” – Hebrews 13: 5-6 “How is this not about money?  It literally says, ‘Don’t love money’ in the text.” I’ll give you that, but the passage isn’t about money. I had never noticed how the writer of Hebrews had used money as the hook to draw the reader into a deeper discussion.  Yes absolutely, don’t love money, but not because money is bad.  Not because God doesn’t want you to have money.  The writer isn’t …

Is Your Marriage Not Working? Work Your Marriage.

Weddings. Men hate them, especially when it’s their own; women love them, especially when it’s their own. Men watch the time at weddings, always worried they’ll miss their cue; women cry at weddings, which is another reason men don’t like weddings. Weddings are fertile ground for the unexpected. A ring is dropped and falls through the floor register, clanking its way to the furnace in the basement. In one wedding we had a “groomsman delay,” because he dropped like a fly right in the middle of the ceremony. In another, I called the bride by her sister’s name all the way through the ceremony. I know a preacher who unconsciously switches the initial sounds of words. At one ceremony, he asked the groom to place the ring on his bride’s finger and repeat what was supposed to have been: “with this ring I seal this vow.” Instead, he asked the groom to say, “with this ring I feel this sow.” I don’t know, but I imagine the mother of the bride wept while the men snickered …

Showing Love in a World of Hate

One of my good friends in the entertainment world, who I’ll refer to as D, could not be more opposite of me. D is a comedian with Second City, an avowed atheist, and his political and social views differ from mine to the extreme.  Yet, D is also one of the best examples of Christ-like love that I know. On many occasions, I have told him he reminds me of Christ and, in his own unique and eloquent way, he responds with, “The rebellious, loving, passionate, giving, authority-challenging, and mercy-to-the-poor side of Jesus I dig… it’s the “God” stuff I am not onboard with.” I am praying he comes around to this side as well. He has a huge heart for the hurting, the downtrodden, the outcasts of society. He routinely volunteers his time in shelters, hospitals, mosques, and with charities to show people they are loved and not forgotten. His heart has been desperately hurting recently regarding the growing racial division in our country. He is Caucasian, but often marches in protests and attends rallies …

Can You Hear Me Now? Listening with Intentionality

“Are you listening?” “Listen to me.” “Just stop talking and listen.” I feel like I will never stop telling my children to listen to me. And if they would take the time to listen, I wouldn’t have to continually tell them to close the door when they come inside, to put their shoes in the shoe bin instead of leaving them on the floor, and to not complain but speak kind words about other people. I know my kids hear me, but they aren’t fully listening to me all the time.  Listening isn’t just hearing what is said to you.  Listening is even more than hearing and understanding. Listening is hearing it, understanding it, and acting on it.   If I tell my daughter to brush her teeth every night before bed, she isn’t listening if she doesn’t actually do it.  When understood, listening should create in her a need to brush her teeth every night. James 1:22-25 makes this point clear for us as Christ followers: But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must …

You Can Change Your Heart With Your Posture

A few years ago, my husband read several books on the subject of body language and still has this incredible ability to read people just by observing them. He can tell what you think about an idea just by how you stand during a conversation. Our Lead Pastor will tell you it’s easier to speak to a group of people who are smiling, shaking their heads in agreement, and returning eye contact.  When everyone has glazed over eyes and crossed arms, you quickly pick up on the “you’re boring” message. I prefer to sleep on my right side, facing the edge of the bed. A few years ago I noticed because of our sleeping arrangements, every night I would physically put my back to Corey and some nights I was doing the same in my heart.  Now, I intentionally fall asleep facing my husband because I know my body language communicates just as much as my words.  In his book Love Does, Bob Goff writes, “Something about the hard wiring that God gave each of us links …

Are You Living With The Power of The Resurrection?

Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? – Luke 24:5 The angels at the tomb spoke these words to Mary Magdalene as she was going to prepare Jesus’ body.  In a moment with a single sentence, her world was fully transformed. The resurrection is the very foundation of our faith and source of our salvation. Without it, Jesus was just a man.  But, when Jesus was brought from death to life by the resurrection power of God within him, the world changed in an instant. Too often, we who have experienced the transformative power of God in our lives forget that this resurrection power dwells within us on a daily basis.  This resurrection power breaks chains of addiction, hopelessness, depression, anger and every attack of the enemy that seeks to place us back in the very bondage from which we have been delivered.   Just as this power restored Jesus from death to life it restores our life from one of defeat to victory.  When we sing, “I’m no longer a slave …