Thursday, December 8, 2016

No Debate

As far as I know, my high school did not have a debate team. I suppose our teachers thought we argued enough already. We did, however, have a history teacher who made us have a class debate as part of an assignment. He asked us what we thought about certain issues of the day, and then made us stand in front of the class and argue the case for the opposite side of what we believed. I understood the importance of seeing both sides of an argument, but I always wondered: If both sides are right, what's the point of the debate?

Philippians 2:9-11 describes a day when there will be no debate about the only thing that really matters - Jesus Christ is Lord. Join us this Sunday as we look forward to that extraordinary day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Flip the switch/Plug In

The power went off for awhile today at church. When that happens, it is always a reminder of how dependent we are on electricity. No computer, no light, and it quickly began to get chilly in the building. Nonetheless, as I entered a room, I would flip the light switch...and time after time, the same thing happened....NOTHING. I was still as much in the dark as when I entered the room.

Sometimes in life we feel in the dark and like nothing can be accomplished. We do what we think is best, even though we know better and we're still in the dark. The problem is generally the same...we aren't plugged in to The Power. 

Once the power came back on, I was still going to sit in the dark until I turned on the switch. Never mind that power was surging all around me....if I didn't turn the lights and computer on and UTILIZE the power, nothing would get accomplished.

God's power never goes out. It doesn't even flicker. And it is more than we can possibly imagine. But we have to use it and allow Him to be powerful in our lives. "I ask that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe." Ephesians 1:18-19. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Good Attitude

My seventh grade reading teacher told me I was cynical. After I looked it up, I realized that wasn't a complement. She thought I needed an attitude adjustment. Most seventh grade boys probably do. In fact, my attitude was pretty cynical through the course of my seventh grade reading class, but I decided I could survive anything for a year.

Nice plan, except that when class assignments came out in the eighth grade, I had the same teacher, this time for English. I quickly learned I needed the same adjustment in eighth grade that I needed in the seventh. Fortunately for both of us, she did not follow me to the ninth grade.

We all need attitude adjustments from time to time. The Bible gives us the target:

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)

Join us this Sunday as we discover how to have the attitude of Christ, even as a seventh grade student (or teacher).

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Name Tag

My mom always told me not to talk to strangers. Good advice for a six year old, but basically impossible for an adult. I talk to strangers all the time: the air conditioner repairman I've never seen before, the cashier at the grocery store, the receptionist at the dentist. I guess, technically, they aren't complete strangers. I know who they are because they are wearing a name badge identifying them to be the person they claim to be, and even including their first name. Thanks for fixing the A/C, Nick.

In Exodus 14, God performs one of the greatest miracles in the Old Testament, the parting of the Red Sea. Even more amazing than the miracle itself is the reason why God did it. The miracle was not just to rescue the Israelites. In the passage we will study this week (Exodus 14:30-31), the Bible shows us that God's miracles reveal who He is.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Be Still

My dad used to cut my hair. Now my wife cuts my hair. Amazingly, when my wife cuts my hair, she gives me the same instructions my dad used to give me - "Be still!"

Being still is important if you are getting your hair cut. Being still was an important part of the Exodus experience for the nation of Israel (Exodus 14:13-14). Being still needs to be an important part of our spiritual walk, one we often forget.

Join us this Sunday, and learn the importance of being still.

Hear this message at NHBC Media

God's Surprises

As the 'Fall' temperatures stayed warm, but cooler weather was on the way, I began trimming back my plants and cleaning out my flower beds. Things looked pretty bare, especially on those warmer days when it felt like Spring and the time for flowers. My flower beds were now empty spots of dirt and chopped off plants that looked pretty pitiful. The green was turning yellow and brown, and the leaves now had nothing to stop them from piling up in the 'flower' beds.

One day, while clearing out the leaves, I noticed one beautiful, white daisy rising up from below the leaf piles and in between the chopped off plants. A few days later, I found several flower plants beginning to bud in the yard, undoubtedly carried by wind and/or birds, growing in a most unlikely place.

I believe we are called to be those 'flowers'....rising up when times seem cold and dark, or when no one around us is showing beauty. And/or we are to allow ourselves to be carried to what may seem unlikely spots, to share the beauty of God's love in unexpected places. Finding those flowers in the yard was a surprise, and the more I looked, the more I saw. To quote Emerson, "Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

One More Step

Standing on the high dive wasn't the hard part. Swimming in the deep end wasn't that bad. It was the part between the high dive and swimming in the pool that bothered me. But there I was, on the end of the 10,000 meter diving board (at least it felt like it was that tall). One swimming instructor and fifteen third graders behind me were encouraging me. Actually, they were yelling for me to get out of the way, but it didn't matter. I didn't hear anything they said. The only thing I could hear was the sound of my body hitting the water at 700 mph.

Then my instructor called out, "All you have to do is take one more step." And I did - and lived to tell about it. Actually, it was pretty fun. Before the day was out, I was doing cannon balls that would make a perfect score in the Olympics, if that was allowed in competition.

One more step. That's what the nation of Israel needed to do. They had reached a point in the Exodus experience which, if they continued, meant no going back (Exodus 13:21-22). When we learn to walk by faith, we will experience the same promise they found to be true. Join us Sunday and find that "one more step" for your life.

Hear this message at NHBC Media