Become

Become

Authenticity vs. Tradition

There was this one time in Africa… I joined three other Burleson area pastors for my first trip to Africa. Together we led a leadership seminar for pastors and workers in western Tanzania. Our first session opened with Scripture reading and songs of worship. The songs, though sung in a language I did not know, were easily recognized as hymns of the church. The congregation, made up of both men and women, stood stoically and sang “How Firm a Foundation,”…

Put Down Your Cymbals and Pick Up Love

Jesus said, A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)   Jesus also said, Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. (John 14:23-24) People will say, “It’s hard to love unlovable people!” That is precisely why Jesus issued the…

In Our Desperation, Jesus Is Able

Jesus is able . . .  to transform gut-wrenching pain into glorious testimonies of praise.  to shatter the shackles that holds a person captive.  to restore what enemies have devoured.  Desperate belief In Mark 9 a grieving father described to Jesus how his son had long been oppressed by an evil spirit. The son was unable to speak. The evil spirit often caused him physical harm. The father didn’t demonstrate inspirational faith. No, hopefulness had left his heart many years…

Don’t Settle

People “LIKE US” We connect easiest with those who have similar interests, are experiencing similar life events, and who share similar perspectives on more controversial subjects. I have learned when someone says they are not able to connect with others at church they typically mean there are not enough people “just like them” within the congregation. They are actually saying, “I want people my age, who look, think, and vote like I do, who raise their children as I do,…

Our Teens are Under Attack

Do you remember what it was like being a teenager?  For most of us, there are good memories, but also plenty of awkward moments, challenges, and struggles navigating those formative years. As difficult as it was for you and me growing up, our teenagers today are under attack like never before.  This may seem a little extreme in an attempt to grab your attention, so let me share with you the current state of our teenage culture.   The Current State of Teenage Culture The Nuffield…

Lead By Serving

Alsbury has four standing committees tasked with leading our church through 2019. Each is instrumental to the overall effectiveness of our church. Committee members serve the church by fulfilling assigned tasks. A quartet of Committees Our Budget and Finance Committee develops an annual budget, distributes funds as approved by the church, and protects the church from fiscal difficulty.  Our Personnel Committee supervises our ministerial staff and makes recommendations to the Budget and Finance Committee regarding compensation.  Our Missions Committee guides…

We Need a Remedy

Have you ever felt stuck? You have every intention of making some changes and putting your best foot forward, but in about two weeks, old habits and emotions begin to creep back in. You opt for the familiar instead of embracing the new. It’s like you are staying safe in the shallow end instead of taking the plunge into the deep unknown. Trading big adventures for a small life. This is where my brain has been the last couple of…

The Cause for Great Joy

When Joy is Difficult For many, Christmas is a time of joy and excitement. But for others, the Holidays are not eagerly anticipated. It can be a time when we are acutely aware of the absence of loved ones, dissention and strain in family relationships, fear of the unknown of future days, or the uncertainty of a medical diagnoses. As we face some of these difficult situations, Christmas can be anything but happy. It is during these hard times that we should be reminded…

The Peace Jesus Brings

My Peaceful Place It’s quiet. The sun is coming up over the rolling hills. I’m alone with a cup of coffee. All I hear is the gentle wind making music through the wind chimes. The pressures and concerns of the day haven’t kicked in yet. Surrounded by cedars with hills in every direction, I can just be. When I think of peace, my mind takes me to that screened-in porch on Rock-N-Horse Farms in Festus, Missouri. When you think of…

Where Is Your Hope?

Our theme this week, the first week of the Advent season, is hope. Hope is defined as a “sense of expectancy and the desire for something to happen.” What is your hope this Christmas season? Paul wrote the Christians in Rome (Romans 5:3-5), We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the…

5 Tips to Daily Reading Your Bible

New Year/New Habit Every habit develops through a combination of discipline and time. We decide to do something. We do that something regularly for several days in a row. Consequently, a new habit develops. Sunday I asked you to commit to time in the Bible every day through the end of the year. Together we are developing a wonderful habit.  Here are 5 tips that will help us fulfill the challenge.  Make it a priority. Whether it is the first…

What Happens When We Share Our Story

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight s in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. -Psalms 1:1-2 Psalm 1 begins the whole book to convince us of a truth that we put out of mind over and over: “God’s story has everything to do with what I am doing right now.” That’s…