Thursday, March 16, 2017

Paint By Numbers

I used to love connect-the-dots drawings. Okay, I still love connect-the-dots drawings. And yes, I like to paint by number. It's the only way I can make art that will actually look like anything. When I took art class in middle school, my teacher told me I might want to try debate class. My play dough sculptures looked best right after the dough came out of the can. It was all downhill from there. So, for me, paint by numbers is the way to go.

The disciples were a diverse group ill suited to be evangelists, or at least it would seem that way. Fishermen, a political terrorist, and a tax collector? This did not look like the evangelistic A-team.

But Jesus had the answer. This week, we will see the pattern he established for his disciples (and us) that will change the world (John 15:12-14).

See you Sunday!

Thursday, March 9, 2017


The other day, I saw a great deal on an e-book - free. It looked like a great devotional book, full of insightful and uplifting ideas, and the price was right. So I downloaded it.

Except I didn't. When I began to read the book, I realized that I had received a promotional excerpt from the book. It was still insightful and uplifting, just incomplete. I could have the complete book for the discounted price of $9.99. Good thing it was discounted. If it was ten bucks, I wouldn't have bought it.

Typically, we want the complete edition, which is the idea of the promotion. The publishers hope the excerpt will whet your appetite enough to want the whole book and shell out a ten spot minus a penny.

Jesus doesn't just provide an excerpt of joy - he makes our joy complete. Find out how your joy can be complete this week as we study Jesus' promise in John 15:9-11.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, March 2, 2017


My favorite piece of farm machinery is the combine. My grandfather's combine fascinated me. For one thing, it was huge, with tires that were twice as tall as I was. I watched him going through the fields with absolute amazement. The combine would harvest the corn sending it into a bin where it would shoot out into a trailer. Amazing. He could harvest an entire field in an afternoon.

In John 15:7-8, Jesus provides the secret to bearing fruit - trust and obey. This week, join us for Envision Commitment Sunday as we discover what God can do if we will trust and obey.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Good Fruit

I like good fruit. Oranges, bananas, peaches, apples - put me in the produce section and turn me loose! Growing good fruit, however, has never been my strong point. It tried to grow strawberries once. I managed to make one strawberry. If the world depended on me for fruit, we would all have to take very tiny bites.

In John 15:4-5, Jesus uses a vine to illustrate an important principle - we need him. This Sunday, find out how you can have a fruitful life.

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Peace Talks

People have been talking about peace for about as long as there have been people. After Adam and Eve made a mess of things by getting thrown out of the garden, their boys started to squabble, leading to the first homicide. Things have gone downhill from there. The more we talk about peace, the more elusive it seems.

This makes Jesus' promise both audacious and profound:

John 14:27 (NIV84)
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

This Sunday, find out how only Jesus can provide real, lasting peace.

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Our phone system went haywire a few weeks ago, annoying because we had just installed a new system. Our provider sent out a technician who immediately diagnosed the problem - our phones were incompatible with the new system. Fortunately, returning to our previous system was possible, so we have phones again.

It always helps to have someone who can diagnose the problem and knows the solution. This Sunday, we will see Jesus' diagnosis for life in John 14:15.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Monday, February 6, 2017


Did I? I can't tell you how many times I have headed away from the house and then had the thought....did I unplug the curling iron? Why do I struggle with remembering whether or not I did it? It's because I use it day in and day out, and 99.9% of the time always remember to unplug it. But there's always the thought that one day I might forget, burn our house down, catch the neighbor's house on fire, and suddenly the houses on our side of the street are gone, and we are featured on the 6 o'clock news. And oh, by the way, no one in the neighborhood ever speaks to me again.

We do many of those things each day as just a part of our daily life. Do you actually remember putting the key in the ignition and starting your car, saying goodbye when you hung up the phone, or putting toothpaste on your toothbrush? Rarely. But it happens because it is part of living. It is just NORMAL.

We should live the Christian life in much the same way, not having to think, "Did I live for Jesus today? Did I seek to glorify Him by my thoughts, words and actions?" It should be a part of who we are and how we live each and every day. And it is vitally important.... forgetting not only endangers our spiritual walk, but that of others around us. God never forgets about us for a second, and we should follow His example in return, in all our ways, letting Him direct our paths.