Sunday, July 24, 2022

How to Lead a Revolution

We now prepare for communion- a time to remember when Jesus sacrificed his life for our sins. 

This was a pivotal moment in history because, until then, the only way to connect with God was to live sinless lives. It wasn’t working. Everyone was still enslaved to sin. Communion represents freedom in Christ. 

Speaking of freedom, my family visited Yorktown, Virginia, where the final battle of the Revolutionary War occurred. The Yorktown battle marked the conclusion of the last major battle of the American Revolution and the start of our new nation's independence. Did you know the colonists won that battle in 1781, and it took two years for the peace treaty to be signed? The treaty officially ended the American Revolution, and that is when the British formally recognized the United States as an independent nation.

Even when the fighting ended, the struggle to agree upon terms for liberty and freedom to officially end the war took two more years. Let’s face it; we continue to struggled to agree upon terms of liberty and freedom ever since. To this day, we do not agree on what people should be free to do or not to do. Here is what I realized after visiting Yorktown. We can’t force people to believe the way we believe through wars, laws, or treaties. Faith based upon love for Jesus Christ is the only thing that will change hearts.

As we prepare for communion, we acknowledge that in our struggle to be transformed and help others to do the same, we fall short. We may come across as pushy, inconsiderate, abrasive, and judgmental.

As you examine your heart, think of something about which you feel strongly. Think of how you are communicating to others and the things you are or are not doing. Are your actions bathed in love? 

  1. To help reflect on that question, consider running your actions through the love scan:

    1. Am I being patient? Am I being kind? Do I have envy? Am I being boastful? Am I being proud? Am I being rude? Am I being self seeking? Am I keeping a record of wrongs? Am I keeping track? Am I kind of enjoying evil? Am I rejoicing in the truth? Am I protecting others? Trust? Hoping? Persevering?

As Christians, I believe we as a nation will be most free when we increase our capacity to accept God’s love in our personal lives and to show Christ’s love to others.

Father, as we reflect on our freedom to live the way we want to live in the United States we are overcome with gratefulness for all who fought for our freedom and for being born here. Then we are even more thankful for freedom from the bondage of sin. Thank you for dying for our sins and for the power of your resurrection. Father, as we examine our hearts, we pray you will help us judge slowly and love quickly. Increase our capacity to be transformed by your love as individuals and as a church. Help us to learn how to show love to others.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Living 100% Confident

VBS day for kids and Communion

Welcome guests. As we prepare for communion, I would like to review what you all learned at VBS this week from the life of Joseph.   Let’s check what you learned:

  • Brothers try to harm him and sell him into slavery.

    • Why not give up? God loves him no matter what, and God is with Him!

  • He works hard while in slavery but undeservedly gets thrown into prison.

    • Why not quit then? God loves him no matter what, and God is with him.

  • Around 13 years later finally gets put in charge

  • Gains great responsibility

  • Eventually reunites and reconciles with his brothers.

    • This story reminds us that God loves us no matter what, He is with us everywhere, God is in charge, He is stronger than anything, and God is surprising.

One of the main lessons we learned from Joseph is that God was with him everywhere. So, he did what anyone would do who is 100% confident that our loving God was with him.

  1. Imagine how your life would change if anytime anything happened or you did anything that you knew, without a doubt, you were 100% confident that God is with you.

For instance,

  1. Imagine being 100% confident that our loving God is with you. Are you worried? What are you afraid to do? How would you respond if: 

    1. Someone is being mean to you and/or you are being bullied?

    2. You don’t feel like you have friends?

    3. School is hard? Maybe you are struggling with grades.

    4. Struggling in sports or health?

    5. Are you worried something won’t work out?

    6. Are nervous about inviting a friend to know Jesus?

How does this relate to communion? Joseph was not perfect, but He knew God was with him, but he still made mistakes. As we live, we will make mistakes. However, we have to remember that despite our mistakes, God is with us, and He loves us. Therefore, never quit. Move forward boldly. He is in charge, stronger than anything, and may surprise you. 

Prayer: Father, thank you for loving us no matter what, even when we mess up. Thank you for being with us everywhere. Father, when Jesus dies and comes back to life, it is a reminder that you are in charge and stronger than anything. In Romans, your word tells us, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.” Help us live knowing with 100% confidence that you are with us. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022

The Foundation of Our Faith

Communion April 2022

Thank you for celebrating Easter and communion with us this morning. 

Have you ever questioned your faith because you didn’t get your prayers answered? Have you ever questioned your faith because you couldn’t feel God’s presence? If so, communion is a time we celebrate faith based on something much more than answered prayers and whether we feel God’s presence. 

How do you have faith when you see random bad things happening to good people or experience terrible things yourself? For many, these moments cause major “God, where are you valleys in life?” Many question their faith. I mean, on what do you base faith?

Peter was a disciple of Christ who had every right to ask the same questions. Listen to what he wrote: 1 Peter 1:3 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”

Peter wrote these words after being jailed. He watched his friends be tortured and killed for their faith in Jesus. He was martyred for his faith. His faith was not based on answered prayers or feelings. His faith was based on Christ’s resurrection. That is what drives us and millions and millions of Christians ever since.

Communion is a time to remember the foundation of our faith. The foundation of our faith is not whether our prayers are answered. That is circumstantial faith. The foundation of our faith is not based on whether we feel that Jesus is with us. That is emotional faith.

Our faith is based on evidence. Faith is the confidence that Jesus died and rose again because of evidence that exists to prove this claim. Faith is being sure God is who he says He is, and He will do what He says He will do.  Hebrews 11:1 tells us faith is the confidence of what we hoped for and assurance of what we do not see.

Communion reminds us of the last supper when Jesus ate with his disciples. It is a time to reflect on the fact that Jesus is God, died on the cross, and three days later was resurrected from the dead. Doing so, he has the authority to cleanse us from our sins.  Please join me in prayer as we examine our hearts and confess our sins. 

Romans 8:35-39. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Help us know your love that surpasses knowledge.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Sunday, March 20, 2022

Sweet Spot Hitting in the Game of Life (Bring both bats)

What do a baseball/softball bat, ping pong paddle, tennis racquet, and golf club have in common? They all have a sweet spot. In baseball or softball, the primary offensive goal is to hit the ball on the bat's sweet spot. That is where the most incredible power occurs over the ball. Liam, my youngest son, chooses to use a wooden bat. Wooden bats are more balanced, but they have a much smaller sweet spot. Sweet spot hits on a wooden bat are fantastic. They go far, and they sound great. However, if you don’t hit the ball on the sweet spot, the ball hardly goes anywhere, leaving your hands with a burning, stinging, and numb sensation. 

Another advantage is the batter can see ball marks from each hit. Liam can see where baseballs were hit in his first two years of little league. He can see permanent reminders of his performance. He sees where the ball leaves a stain. He can see when his hits were right on the mark and when they fall short of the sweet spot.

This year, it was time to upgrade to a longer bat. We went to SabreCat bats, and he ordered his new bat. He was excited. It had a new design, and he was able to start fresh. No marks!  One of the owners told him that the pros always hit the ball on the sweet spot in batting practice.

Our Christian life is similar. Our goal is Transformation. Romans 12- Do not conform, but be transformed. We strive to clothe ourselves with Christ. We want to be the salt of the earth. Just like baseball and softball players trying to find the sweet spot, we train as Christians, working to find how God can use us the most and how we can have the best impact. However, we shouldn’t confuse the goal of being like Christ or Christian living with the goal of salvation.

Just like Liam’s wooden bat has a small sweet spot, we know that our God is way more significant, more amazing, and perfect than we could ever imagine. Because God is God and He is perfect, our best is not close to good enough.  Isaiah 64:6 our very best deeds are like filthy rags. That means the sweet spot is teeny tiny- impossible to find. Sin is falling short of the mark. 

The sweet spot is impossible for us to find. Our love for Christ, makes us want to hit the best we can so that we can show others His love, but when it comes to making our relationship right with God, Jesus becomes our designated hitter. When we accept Christ in our hearts, God does not see our dirty bats that show many stains of imperfection. He sees His son with a bat with ball marks perfectly placed on the sweet spot. When God looks at us, He sees Christ in our place. With Christ in our hearts, we never step up to the plate of life alone, and we destroy life’s curveballs because Christ is always victorious.

As we prepare for communion, may we confess our sins. We acknowledge we fall short and we celebrate His forgiveness in our lives.

Saturday, February 12, 2022



This morning, as we prepare for communion, I want to talk about unbelievable things becoming believable. 

Today is Superbowl Sunday. Did you know the Bengals won four games last year? Last year, they were the worst in the AFC North, and analysts picked them to finish last in the AFC North this year. This year, 27 out of 32 teams were more likely to make it to the Superbowl than them. 


Speaking of unbelievable, I want you to imagine being a high school basketball player. Imagine it being the fourth period, and you are losing by two. The opposing team is shooting a foul shot, and you have one second left. Would you give up? 

Take a look at this video. I bet this kid would tell you it is not over until it’s over. Did you hear the other fans? Na na na na na na hey hey. Well, Jake Ramsey’s shot made them say “goodbye” to their dream of winning the game right then and there. AMAZING Full Court BUZZER BEATER! BEST of ALL TIME???? MUST SEE!!!!


Speaking of unbelievable, we serve a savior who hung on a cross, had a sword pierce his side, and nails pounded through his hands and feet. Talk about an amazing buzzer-beater? Christ came back to life in three days! No one ever would imagine he would come back to life. His resurrection changed the lives of billions and was so unbelievable that millions have sacrificed their lives because of it. 


Speaking of unbelievable, have you ever felt like you couldn’t catch a break? Have you ever felt like a failure? Do the odds seem stacked against you?  Have you ever tried to win at anything in life but keep messing up? 

As we prepare our hearts and minds for communion this morning, I want to encourage you never to believe and never give up. I want to take one more step and tell you Christ can do unbelievable things in you and through you.  You may not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Never give up. Keep the faith. Keep trying. Belief is not just a state of mind. It is a doing. Do your part to get better. To live at peace. To make amends. To forgive and forget. Put in the work, but then hang on to Christ. Remain in Him. Remain. He will produce great fruit in your life. 

Let’s pray: Father, you are unbelievable. When we think of your power, we are simply dumbfounded. You created the sun, which can fit over one million earths! You are that big and mighty, and yet you gave us your son who can take all of our sins. Thank you for doing unbelievable things on earth. Thank you for Jesus. Forgive us for falling short. We confess our sins and pray for more of you in our lives, in the life of our church, and in our community. Would you do amazing things through us here, Lord? We love you. In Jesus name, Amen

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Power of the Providential Pause

As we prepare for communion this morning, I would like to talk about the Power of the Providential Pause. I want to start by asking a few questions and then share something that has helped me deal with the feels.  In the last 48 hours, how many of you have felt any of the following: Read emotions of anger, sadness, and then confusion? 










Fed Up




































































If you went grocery shopping on New Year’s Eve, I guarantee you experienced half of those emotions, and if you are a Brown’s fan, I assure you have felt them all!  When it comes to emotions, I want to ask a question: What is the wise thing to do when those emotions are high? How do you say no to the emotions that compete for your control?  Your feelings are not who you are. You are a child of God. Communion reminds us Christ lives in us.  It is normal to want those emotions to go away.  Instead, welcome those emotions and look at them through the frame of Jesus and the cross. 

Let me explain. Here is where the providential pause comes in. When your emotions are high, I want to encourage you to hit pause. I want to guide you through prayer now. This is the prayer I use to help when My emotions are high and other times for that matter.  Please bow your heads or sit tall and look downward or at the cross.  Take a few deep breaths and say this, “Our Father, Who Art in Heaven.”

By doing so, you are saying, God, you are my father. You love me. That means you are patient with me and my emotions, you are kind when I don’t feel kind, and you are not rude when I feel like I am. You keep no record of wrongs. You forgive me when I fall short. You do not delight in evil, but you rejoice in the truth. Help me know your truth. You always protect, trust, hope, and persevere. You will not fail me.  Who art in heaven. Thank you for loving me unlike any earthly father could.

Help me be patient with others. In fact, I have one person I am thinking about now. Help me be kind, help me not be envious. Help me not be boastful, help me not be rude or self-seeking. Help me keep no record of wrongs. Help me not to delight in evil, but rejoice in your truth and to always protect those around me. Help me always trust, hope, and persevere for those I encounter.

Praise God for the positive emotions He provides (Happy, Strong, and Energized).