Rejecting Lies

“But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.” Genesis 3:4 My faithful Father and God of truth, how I think upon the bait offered to Adam and Eve. It was a lie sugarcoated with a promise. Maybe in the instant they bit into the fruit and hit the hook they knew….

Light and the Beauty of Christmas

Monday night the Caston family went out for my 49th birthday dinner.  Afterward, we toured a neighborhood in Cumming, GA that is known for its holiday lights. Here is our favorite that we proclaimed the “winner.” It’s not full-scale Griswold-esque, but it is still impressive. As we drove through the winding neighborhood with what seemed…

The 3 Greatest Words of All Time

“It is finished!” – John 19:30 Abba, Father, when Jesus spoke those words on the cross, he intended for them to echo throughout time, that each new generation, by the enabling grace of your Holy Spirit, would hear and believe the good news. My mind and my heart worship you with thanksgiving, in light of your…

How to Pray for Joy

“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11b Abba, Father, how I want to experience the fullness of joy. And yet, sometimes I would settle for even a taste of joy. Like a starving sailor on a long journey who begins to forget the aroma of…

Intervention

This is the final message in the Creekstone sermon series in James, The Gospel for Real Life. Listen:  About four years ago, I was approached by three different members of the Creekstone staff about an issue that had them deeply concerned. They had not collaborated or discussed this issue with each other. Their concern wasn’t…

The Four R’s of Worship

What makes a good worship service? Often, people will evaluate a service based on the quality of the music, the comfort of the seats, the freshness of the coffee, the personality of the preacher and other elements which the congregant is able to observe. However, what if the impact of a worship service is not…

Blessed is the One Who Receives

“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:12-13 My God and giver of life, that is what I…

6 Reasons Why You Should Attend Gathered Worship Every Sunday

It seems to be an increasing phenomenon that more and more professing Christians consider joining with other believers on Sundays for worship to be an optional aspect of their life as disciples of Jesus. “I was up late on Saturday night.” “The kids have soccer games on Sunday mornings.” “We watched a service on TV.”…

Living Between the Advents

This is message 11 in the Creekstone Church teaching series through James, The Gospel for Real Life. Listen to the audio:  Georgia fans can almost taste it. With the Bulldogs in the FBS Playoff on January 1st, many UGA fans are looking for—praying for—the return of glory that took place in 1980, when an undefeated…

The Blessed Life

“Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1 My God and refuge, who has paid the debt of my sin. You tell me that the blessed life is the forgiven life. It is the blessing of having a God express his grace by sending his own son to remove…

The Country Club Gospel

I served a church back in the 1990s where many folks in the congregation were members of the Memphis Country Club. As a pastor in my 20s, there was no way that I could afford to pay the membership fee, which I suspected was in the six-figure range. Nevertheless, I was invited to the club…

The Ways of the Lord

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 ____________________________ Abba, Father, the Spirit within me rejoices in your sovereign rule over all…