Today we continue Growing in Grace with Topic #2 in Romans 6:23 and Hebrews 9:27 under the title, “The Necessity of Judgment.” Hebrews 9:27, “It is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life … Continue reading The Necessity of Judgment
This is Chapter 1 in Growing in Grace: a 36-Week Discipleship Course. Listen to the content as delivered to Creekstone Church in Dahlonega, GA: While some of us raise our own chickens for eggs, most of us buy our eggs at the grocery store. If you are like me, before you choose a carton to purchase, … Continue reading The “All-ness” of Sin
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato (428-347 B.C.) believed that everything in the material world is a shadow of that which is eternally true, beautiful, and good. While what we see is imperfect, especially concerning humans, there is something about humanity (and all other facets of the material world) that leads us to conclude that there … Continue reading The Gospel According to Plato
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
“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 … Continue reading The 3 Greatest Words of All Time
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 … Continue reading The Country Club Gospel
1 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what … Continue reading What is the Gospel?
“Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality.” This definition is incredibly important to grasp when it comes to Christian identity because we think about Christianity, we typically think about doing, not being. We tend to be so doing focused that we end up connecting our identity to our activity. But what if my identity has nothing … Continue reading Gospel Ontology: How Being Precedes Doing
Lutheran professor, Dr. G. Ferdie, said, “The gospel is not a movement from vice to virtue, but rather, a movement from virtue to grace.” The idea is that when exposed as a sinner (our vice), we naturally attempt to become virtuous (i.e., we try to “be good” or at least be better). The big problem is … Continue reading Moving from Virtue to Grace
Listen: In 1998, Jewish Rabbi Joseph Telushkin published a book entitled, Words That Hurt, Words That Heal. His thesis is that words have inherent power and can be used for good or ill; to build up or tear down; to inspire the spirit or crush it. Words can put a baby to sleep or they … Continue reading “Words that Hurt, Words that Heal”
Listen Here: We all know the final words to practically every Fairy Tale: "And they lived happily ever after." This is everyone's dream. To live "happily ever after." To marry the dream girl. To have the dream job. To live in our dream house. To enjoy dream vacations. To raise dream children. To experience a … Continue reading Happily Ever After (Ruth 4)
A friend of mine in Mississippi takes broken pottery and turns the pieces into beautiful picture frames. Most folks would just throw those pieces away. But to Stacey, the broken pieces are beautiful. In fact, she can't use them until they are broken. Listen here: The same is true with us. We can't be used … Continue reading Repurposing Brokenness (Ps. 51:13-19)
This is message #2 in our Broken and Contrite: The Unexpected Pathway to Spiritual Renewal sermon series. Listen: The Bible speaks of a sickness that is not transmitted by physical contact. It is a sickness that invaded the world in the earliest chapters of the Bible. It is worse than a sinus infection. It is … Continue reading How to Survive the Pandemic (Ps. 51:3-5)
Dr. George Grant wrote an article on the life of St. Patrick for Tabletalk Magazine in August of 2005. Below is an excerpt from that article that uncovers the true story of a remarkable life. Patrick was a younger contemporary of Augustine of Hippo and Martin of Tours — the fifth century heroes of the faith … Continue reading The True Story of St. Patrick
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)
According to the Daily Mail... Hannah Peterson was involved in a serious car accident just one month before her wedding in Ontario. She broke her pelvis in three places, punctured a kidney, broke some ribs, and suffered a concussion and partial hearing loss during the July 18 collision. Despite being confined to a wheelchair, Hannah … Continue reading He was Strong for Both of Us
What compelled the Magi to travel such a huge distance, bring such costly gifts and bow in worship to a Hebrew child in a small village? What does it have to do with us? Find out this Christmas Eve message, A Magi Story.
On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther, at the time a Roman Catholic monk and theology professor, nailed a protest letter to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, where he taught at the local university. The letter is known as his 95 Theses, a protest against the sale of indulgences, among other things. Essentially, indulgences could be … Continue reading Ocotober 31st and the Re-Discovery of Grace
Sermon Notes: Deuteronomy 8:6-20 6 Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. 7 For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; 8 a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig … Continue reading “Remembering Our Recipientness” (Deuteronomy 8:6-20)
Last Sunday's sermon was on communication and based on Paul's admonition in Ephesians 4:29 to build others up rather than tear them down. A couple of the main ideas are that healthy communication is a gospel issue that requires my heart to be deeply affected by God's grace. Otherwise, I will be self-righteously critical, cast … Continue reading The Heart of Gospel-Influenced Communication
Thanks to my friend, Dr. Johnny Long, for this super-helpful resource.
This is the Creekstone message for Sunday, Aug. 16, 2015.
This is the Creekstone message for Sunday, Aug. 2, 2015.
This is the Creekstone message for July 19, 2015. Ready to be set free?
This post is an excerpt from Bob Kauflin's Worship Matters blog on "How Exciting Should Our Sunday Services Be?" Sunday mornings aren’t New Year’s Eve celebrations. They aren’t rock concerts. They aren’t pep rallies. They aren’t World Cup finals. They’re something much more mundane, and at the same time something much more eternally and cosmically significant. Our … Continue reading How “Exciting” Should Sunday Gatherings Be?