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 … Continue reading Light and the Beauty of Christmas
When I counsel couples preparing for marriage and detect a pattern of conflict, I get concerned. This concern is not because I do not expect there to be arguments in marriage. Not at all. My concern is that the couple may be going into marriage with a mindset that marriage will fix their problems. Conflict … Continue reading Marriage Maintenance 101: Resolving Conflict
Why can't God just forgive? What is the real need for the cross where Jesus was brutally, violently, and painfully executed through crucifixion. Why can't God just forgive? One of the most popular genres of television is the crime procedural, where police investigators use forensic science to solve murders. Just consider the success and duplication of shows … Continue reading Why Can’t God Just Forgive?
This is the first message is our 4-week study in Psalm 51, Broken and Contrite: The Unexpected Path to Spiritual Renewal. Listen here: It has been twenty years, but I still remember the stain. After I had completed my seminary studies and the trials of pastoral ordination, I received a fountain pen as a gift. … Continue reading Stain Removal (Ps. 51:1-2)
This is part 2 of last week's message, Responding to the Wound. Listen here: In his book, The Peacemaker, Ken Sande outlines four essential promises of forgiveness. “I will not dwell on this incident.” “I will not bring up this incident again and use it against you.” “I will not talk to others about this incident.” “I … Continue reading Choosing to Forgive (Matt. 18:31-35)
This is the next message in our People of the Promise sermon series. What do we do when we have been wounded by another believer? Our natural reaction often is either to attack in anger or withdraw in fear. What if the process of experiencing grace and extending grace that conflict requires could result not … Continue reading Responding to the Wound – Matthew 18:15-20
April 7, 2013 • Listen Here –> When I Confess Freely, God Forgives Fully • Acts 3.11-26 (Revolution Series) How do you tend to react when confronted with or accused of an offense? Why is genuine repentance so hard? What is it about me that resists uncovering and owning my sin? How does repentance differ … Continue reading “When I Confess Freely, God Forgives Fully” • Acts 3:11-26 (Sermon)
When I blow it, there are some choice words that I expect to hear. You are a failure. Why can't you get it right? You always let me down. You are a disappointment. Those are law words. Thankfully, in the gospel, there are other choice words spoken by Jesus: "It is finished and you are … Continue reading Choice Words
In Ken Sande's book, The Peacemaker, he outlines the four promises of forgiveness. In other words, this is what I am saying to someone when I say, "I forgive you." “I will not bring this incident up against (ie, to use against) you again.” (Of course, if someone is struggling with an ongoing pattern of sin, … Continue reading The Promises of Forgiveness
Corrie ten Boom (1892-1983) was a Dutch Christian whose family rescued Jews during World War II. They were betrayed and arrested. Corrie and her sister Betsy were sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Betsy died there, but Corrie’s life was spared. Several years after the war, she was speaking on the subject of forgiveness at … Continue reading Jesus, Help Me!
This is the message from the Community Lenten Service on March 27, 2012.
Have you ever seen two coaches or players on the sideline have a disagreement that turns loud, and then into a fist fight. It's ugly. When did they forget that they are on the same team, and that a "house divided" can't stand? I believe the enemy wants to get a foot in the door … Continue reading Playing on the Same Team
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part, but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more; Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul! Horatio Spafford, "It is Well with my Soul" (stanza 3), 1873.
"I found it a beautifully powerful thing to be assured of grace BEFORE confession." Historic Christian liturgy tends to begin with a song of praise, then move to the confession of sin, an assurance of pardon, a song of thanksgiving, the sermon, communion, songs of response and a benediction. Today at East Lanier Community Church, … Continue reading The Assurance of Forgiveness/Grace “Before” the Confession of Sin