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The Strength of the Church

This morning, we had a joint Sunday School gathering at Tabernacle.  Our guest speaker was a former member of TBC and Union native, Ralph Brown.  His topic was the title of this post, "The Strength of the Church."  The text he used was Luke 24:44-53 and records some of Jesus' last words to His disciples prior to his ascension and I encourage you to read it.  He shared with us from that scripture 4 points that are the strength of the church and these are my takeaways from that message.

1.  Headship
The head of the church is Jesus Christ.  That goes for the worldwide kingdom of God and the local church body.  The head of your church is, or at least should be, Jesus.  It's not your pastor, the deacons, or the biggest tithers.  Jesus is to be the leader of the church.  Colossians 1:18 reads, "And he is the head of the body, the church."

Jesus should be our motivation for why and where we come to church.  We shouldn't come just for Sunday school, just for pr…

It Starts with Believing - It Doesn't End There

In Acts 16, when Paul and Silas were wrongfully imprisoned they began praying and singing hymns while in prison.  Then an earthquake shook the prison so that all the doors came open and the shackles came off the prisoners.  This was the perfect opportunity for them to escape.  But they remained along with all the other prisoners.  This had such an impact on the prison guard that he asked the men, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"  Their answer is the simplest, yet most important foundation to coming to salvation.  They told the guard, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."  That was it.  There was no understanding of creation, comprehension of the Trinity, divinity training, or theology required for salvation.  The ONLY requirement was and is to place your faith and hope in Jesus Christ.

If you are saved, you likely remember the feeling of peace in your life that came in those moments.  And you understand the grace that God ha…

2018 Game Plan

2017 is in the books.  Good or bad, it's gone and now it's time to focus on 2018 and beyond.  A verse that I have tried to model my life after for the past few years is Luke 2:52 - "And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man."  This verse gives us a solid four pronged foundation to begin to look for ways to build or increase ourselves just as Christ did.  We can follow His pattern and set goals to increase ourselves in wisdom (intellectually), stature (physically), and also with both God (spiritually) and man (relationally).

Intellectual
My intellectual goals have focused on my professional career.  While I'm still uncertain as to what all I will pursue in 2018, I have come a long way in accomplishing many of the goals I've had previously.  I love where I am in my career, where I work, and what I believe I may have the potential to do there.  But I also want to have a major impact on the people around me and my community now and…

Falling Asleep

Tonight, after a long, busy, hectic week, we all went to bed out of routine and a little later than normal.  Britt put Aubree down and Thomas was watching a cartoon until it went off.  Then he joined me in the recliner while I was watching some crime show.  That's when something special happened.
I put Thomas to bed each night and we lay down and fall asleep together.  But tonight, for the first time in I don't know how long, he fell asleep laying in my arms.  I wasn't sure if he was totally out or not until I got up because he just went to sleep so calmly, so relaxed, and so peaceful.  As I made my way to bed, my mind was flooded with thoughts.

I began to wonder, when was the last time I took a nap in my parents' arms?  Did either of us know that would be the last time?  How happy were each of us in that moment?  What would we have done differently if we knew?  As parents, we yearn to see our children grow up, be successful, be happy, and be good people.  And as pare…

Opening a Gift on Christmas Adam

1.  Adam came before Eve.  My dad has called December 23rd Christmas Adam for as long as I can remember.
2.  As kids, were allowed to open one present on Christmas Adam.  Yes, that was early and maybe not fair.  But a lot of times I think it was a setup so Mom could have us wear our new clothes for Christmas and count it as a gift.  (I'm learning your tricks as I parent lol)

Since becoming an adult, I have missed opening that present early.  Don't get me wrong, I love watching Thomas rip into his (and whoever else will let him) gifts and the excitement on his face.  And I love giving a heartfelt gift to someone and seeing their happiness.  But there is something special about opening your own gift that someone felt like you needed.  And I was blessed to open a gift of perspective and joy yesterday.

Yesterday Afternoon I had to go to Walmart (I almost asked for prayer requests but refrained). While chit chatting with the cashier I told her I hope she has a Merry Christmas and t…

Happy Wifey Day

It's not our anniversary, her birthday, or Mother's Day.  And no, I'm not in the doghouse...for anything that I know of anyway.  I know that there are a lot of good wives and mothers out there, and that this is a sort of random day in December to share this, but I just had to share my thoughts and feelings of the past few weeks.

My wife is utterly amazing.  If I were a more intelligent man and knew more words I could come up with a better description of her awesomeness but I have a somewhat limited vocabulary.  She may not do dishes, fold laundry, handle money, or be as organized as I would like for my life partner to be all the time.  But she knows and does what is MOST important.

She loves me with all my flaws, supports my passions, and reels me in when I begin to allow myself to get carried away and unfocused.  She has a balance of support that is uncanny.  She knows that at times you just have to let me dream without squashing it right then (like when I told her I woul…

Business is Business - A Taxable Thought

The goal of every singe for-profit business in the world is to generate more income than it has expenses.  This is true for all business structures, be it a sole-proprietor who generates $20,000 or less in gross revenue, a multi-billion dollar corporation with locations all other the world, or anything in between.  The simple rule of business is to make more than you spend.  Period.

The United States Government is an extremely large business with a budget that is incomprehensible to many of us.  And yet, given all the revenue sources, power, and influence that it has, it still is not operating profitably.  Why?

One reason is income taxes.  In my opinion, the federal income tax system is greatly flawed.  My understanding of the original intent of an income tax refund is basically that you get your "change" from paying in more than you owed at year end.  It should work just like going to the grocery store, spending $30, handing the cashier $40 and getting your $10 back.  Howev…