Thursday, December 22, 2016

Merry Christmas!

This Sunday, December 25, join with us in a special family time of Christmas celebration and worship. We have altered our normal schedule so that you and your family can have those special Christmas traditions. We have combined all our services and ministries into one special worship service at 10:30 AM. The service will include the singing of favorite Christmas carols, special music, and a Christmas message. The earlier time will allow you and your family to be home in plenty of time for Christmas lunch.

Bring your family and friends to join us for this special celebration of the Savior's birth this Sunday, December 25 at 10:30 AM.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Inner Workings

A few months ago, Marsha and I visited America's only working tea plantation. For a half hour, we took the free tour and learned how tea is made. I returned home with the interesting factoid that green tea, black tea, and regular tea all come from the same plant. The different teas come from the length of time the tea leaves are processed.

Feel free to tell your friends.

Okay, so it's not the most important fact to know, but it is still interesting to see how things are made. Paul invites us into the factory to see how the church works in Philippians 2:12-13. Sunday we will learn the extraordinary truth: it is God working in us.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

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.

Hear this message at NHBC Media

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Hopeful Instruction

Getting a drivers license is one of those rites of passage that make your fifteenth year seem to last about twenty months. I thought my sixteenth birthday would never come. It did, of course, and when it did I was ready. I had taken my driver's education class, practiced driving dutifully with my white-knuckled parents, and studied the driver's handbook from cover to cover. I knew how far it took to stop an 18-wheeler, the requirements for driving a school bus, and the correct lane location for a motorcycle - not that I was going to drive any of those things, but it was in the handbook, so I knew it. Nothing was going to stop me from a lifetime of standing in line at the DMV.

In Exodus 12, the nation of Israel was still a long way from the promised land. In fact, they hadn't even left Egypt. Still, God prepares them for a celebration they would teach to their children and grandchildren that would remind them of God's fulfilled promise. Join us this week as we discover in the description of Passover found in Exodus 12:24-28 a reminder that we can live in the promise of God, even when we cannot yet see its fulfillment.

See You Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Best Laid Plans

The quote "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry" comes from the poem "To a Mouse" written by Robert Burns. According to legend, Burns wrote the poem after plowing a field one day and inadvertently destroying the nest of a mouse. Burns' brother reportedly said that the poem was written while the poet was still leaning on the plow. Burns went on to become a world famous poet. No word about what happened to the mouse.

Moses knew a few things about plans going awry. His first attempt to free the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt didn't quite go the way Moses had planned. However, Moses was about to learn a valuable lesson we all need to realize - just because things don't work out the way we planned does not mean God is not at work (Exodus 5:22-23). Find out this Sunday how this important truth can revolutionize the way you approach life.

Listen to this message at NHBC Media

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Next Steps

I have two grainy videos in our vast family collection. I suspect you have some similar videos (maybe even some Super 8 movies) of the same thing - the first steps of our children. Families celebrate and grab the camera to record those first wobbling attempts to "come to Mommy" and rightfully so. It's an exciting day.

This Sunday, at our combined 11:00 service, National Heights will vote on Next Steps, the ministry strategy presented by our Ministry Study Team. This collection of twenty-one ministry strategies in six different ministry areas represents some opportunities and challenges that only God can do. You can find out more about Next Steps at  the web page NHBC Future. Join us this Sunday as together we begin this new journey of ministry. You might want to bring your camera!

You can hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Show-Me State

Missouri's unofficial motto is "The Show-Me State" (although it is on license plates - doesn't that somehow make it official?). No one is sure about the origin of the phrase, sometimes attributed to U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver, and sometimes to miners in Colorado who were making fun of fellow miners from Joplin (as in "those guys don't know how to do anything until you show them"). The phrase, according to the Missouri Secretary of State website, now reveals "the stalwart, conservative, noncredulous character of Missourians."

Proof is important in life. It was for Moses. When God called him to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, Moses wanted proof that God would do it (Exodus 4:1). So God proves it.

God has proven his power to us. The question for us is the same as it was for Moses - what will we do now?

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


A major wireless company used the slogan, "Can you hear me now" for nine years. Supposedly, if you used their company, you would be able to hear and be heard much better than if you use the other companies.

God calls us to hear the lost world around us. Many times their cries are obvious and loud, but sometimes, they are calling with merely a whisper. He also calls us to hear HIS voice each day.

As the old hymn states, "Open my ears, Lord, I want to hear Jesus." And, may our ears to the world be opened, too, so that when they call out, "Can you hear me now?" we are ready to listen, and to really hear.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Name Tag

At many reunions, people are issued a name tag with their photo on it. This is not some intricate form of security, and the photo may or may not look very much like the person wearing the name tag. The photo is from their high school yearbook. That way, people who haven't seen them for forty years can figure out who they are.

Knowing who we are is important. It was important for Moses. More significant, it was important for him to know the God he was called to serve. It's important for us, too. This Sunday, find out who God is as we read from Exodus 3:11-14.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Greater Things

At every Olympics, world records are broken. At the Rio games, world records were set in the men's 400 meters, women's 10,000 meters, and the women's hammer throw. No doubt, the next Olympics will see more records fall. After all, that's the point of the Olympic motto: Faster, Higher, Stronger.

The disciples weren't worried about setting a record. They were worried about surviving. Jesus had just told them he was going to the cross, news that devastated the disciples to the core. Then Jesus told them:

"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12 NIV)

Greater things! What could Jesus possibly have meant by that? Find out this Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Different School, Same Facts

Our partner school is in their third building in as many years, due to construction. One building was in a totally different part of town, one was old-one is brand new. The square footage and layout of each building was vastly different. To some degree, the staff and students are different. However, through it all....nothing changed about the facts being taught and learned. Two plus two still equals four, they're still looking for 'X,' and the alphabet still has 26 letters.

Throughout our lives, we, too, are in different places....sometimes in familiar, comfortable surroundings where we feel confident. Sometimes in new and different spots where we lose our way and feel ill at ease. And sometimes, what we thought was for sure is taken away. Sometimes it feels like a different school everyday as we face new circumstances.

But nothing changes about the facts being taught. God is still on His throne, He is still faithful, He goes with us through every step and we won't face anything that doesn't go through Him. Different school, same fact....with Him not our partner, but our leader, provider and comforter. Sometimes the lesson has to be taught again...but our Teacher always has the right answers.


There was an old advertisement for an investment firm called E. F. Hutton. Many people still remember the tag line: When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen. I never really understood that commercial until my retirement fund began to invest in stocks. I still don't understand the market, but if anyone says anything that in any way seems to help, I listen.

Jesus makes a statement in John 14:6 that needs to be heard. By everyone. In fact, it is a central truth. Your eternity depends on it. We'll read it Sunday.

See you there!

Thursday, September 8, 2016


Who could have ever imagined the explosion of construction television, shows that detail the process of building, buying, remodeling and reselling homes? From This Old House and Fixer Upper to Tiny Houses and Flip or Flop, homes are big TV today. There are probably many reasons for this, but part of the reason for their popularity is that we all dream of improving our living space, whether it's buying a couple of new throw pillows or moving to the new subdivision.

Join us this week as we take a look at John 14:1-3 where Jesus uses that common trait (and an interesting allusion to weddings) to help us understand the marvelous hope we have in his grace.

See You Sunday!

Listen to this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Stop Arguing!

My sister and I were pretty good kids, but we did argue. A lot. About pretty much everything. So my parents, often and with great forcefulness would tell us to "Stop Arguing!" To be honest, we really didn't have that much to argue about, except my sister did take more than her share of the back seat of the car. I think, more than anything, we just got in the habit. We argued because that's what we had always done.

We weren't the only ones. The disciples had a tendency to argue among themselves, often about some of the most trivial things imaginable. They argued on more than one occasion about who among them was the greatest. In John 13:15-17, Jesus taught them a lesson they would never forget, that true greatness comes out of service.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I Know You

I met a guy I hadn't seen for nearly twenty years. He had changed a little. Actually, he had changed a lot. I didn't recognize him at first. When he started talking, though, I remembered who he was. That's always awkward when you meet someone you are supposed to know, and you don't know them at first. In this instance, though, it didn't matter. He didn't remember me, either.

Jesus repeatedly shared an important truth we need to remember - when we know Jesus, we know God. This week we will see that this essential reality is revealed in John 12:44-46, a truth every person needs to know.

And remember.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


It's beginning to cool down outside (although sometimes it certainly doesn't feel like it). The days are getting shorter, the summer flowers are slowly ceasing to bloom and school is about to start. It all points to another season about to occur. Soon the leaves will turn and fall, there will be a chill in the air, pumpkins will be picked and we'll start planning for Thanksgiving. And before we blink in Fall, winter will sneak up on us. The seasons come and go every year.

Similarly in our lives, seasons change. We graduate, get jobs, perhaps marry and have children, and sometimes seasons are tough, like winter's bite. Loved ones die, jobs end, illnesses appear, and disappointments come. Life, like the weather, is always changing--it's part of the cycle. Ben Franklin is attributed to saying, 'nothing is certain but death and taxes.' But is THAT really true? Jesus might return before the death of several, and lawmakers continually change the way taxes are collected. So what IS certain? JESUS is THE SAME, yesterday, today and matter the season outside or in our lives. What a blessing. So thankful.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Do You Believe in Miracles?

They were Al Michael's famous words at the conclusion of the United States hockey team victory over the highly favored Soviet national hockey team at the 1980 Olympics: "Do you believe in miracles?" In truth, it wasn't a miracle; improbable, but the victory was actually the result of some excellent team play on the part of the US squad.

It is an important question, though: Do you believe in miracles? Do miracles still happen? Did miracles only happen in the Bible, or does God still work today? Find out this Sunday the exciting truth that we serve a God of miracles. Perhaps even more important is our reaction to those miracles, as the Bible reveals in John 12:37-43.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, July 28, 2016

All in the Timing

One year in our elementary choir, at our annual concert, I had a starring role. In truth, "starring role" would be in the eye of the beholder, but as far as I was concerned, the entire production depended on me. At one point, in our big finale, I had been assigned the task of playing the triangle. For those of you who missed out on elementary choir, a triangle is a one note instrument shaped like, amazingly enough, a triangle. Basically, it is an instrument anyone can play. The only requirement is to hit the triangle at the correct time in the song.

I had carefully studied my performance. I knew exactly when my note was supposed to appear in the song. As the time approached, a readied myself, triangle and stick in hand. The time came, my triangle note rang out, and the audience went crazy. I think they were actually applauding the fact that the concert was finally over, but in my mind, it was my excellent one note performance that made the entire event a success.

It's all in the timing. Jesus explained a simple truth about timing when it comes to serving the Savior (John 12:35). Join us this week as we learn the time is now.

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gold Medal

In just a few weeks, athletes will be attempting to live up to the Olympic motto: Citius - Altius - Fortius, usually translated as "Faster, Higher, Stronger." Of course, they will want to make sure they do the right part of the motto for the correct event. The strongest runner doesn't necessarily win; the highest jumper may not come in first in swimming, and the fastest long jumper may not leap the furthest. It is important to know how to win if you want the medal.

Jesus teaches a new way to look at winning in life (John 12:24-25). This week we will find out when losing is actually winning.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How Do You See Jesus?

We've all seen the optical illusion. Some see a vase, while some see two faces. A few months ago, people argued whether a dress was blue or gold. Scientists explain this as a matter of how our brains perceive different things, like color and perspective.

John 12 records the reactions people had to Jesus. Some saw him as a sideshow; some saw him as a threat; some saw him as the Savior. What made the difference is essential for everyone to understand.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Perfume Lessons

My mother gave me a lesson in perfume. Technically, I taught myself the lesson, but she reinforced it. I wanted to surprise my mother by making her room smell nice. I knew she liked perfume, so I found all her perfume bottles and "scented" her entire bedroom. It smelled like the perfume aisle of Macy's, if they poured out all the perfume bottles at once. Upon discovering my gift, my mother explained to me that: 1) Perfume was too expensive to use all over a room; 2) I shouldn't be getting into her stuff without permission: and 3) My dad was not looking forward to all his business suits smelling like Channel No. 5.

Perfume has always been expensive, but it was a truly rare commodity in the New Testament day, which makes the gift recorded in John 12:1-8 even more amazing. Join us this Sunday when we learn what it means to understand God's great gift.

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


There's going to be a lot of gardening going on next week--well, actually, it's already started. The gardeners have been chosen, the fields are being cultivated, and The Master Gardener is overseeing the whole process.

You see, next week is our Vacation Bible School. Many wonderful people have agreed to help in MULTITUDES of ways....praying, preparing food, setting up, leading classes, and the list goes on. The fields are being cultivated, ready for the planting. It takes some dirt, some toil, and a lot of faith.

Some seeds may be planted for the first time...people who don't really know who Jesus is and how very much He loves them. Some were planted before and just need some more Son and some tender care to sprout further. And some may be peeking out, almost ready to bud and bloom. And one day, we pray....the harvest will come. The Master Gardener will look at what He has planted through us and smile, because all the efforts have come together and the Son will shine in radiant glory on His seed that has come bursting forth. seeds are often carried and deposited elsewhere, the seeds that are planted with kids will be carried and deposited with their friends and family, so that they, too, can be a part of the harvest. It's going to be awesome!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Now Is The Time

It was the first sentence I ever typed: "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country." The sentence was used by my tenth grade typing teacher to help us learn how to find the correct keys without looking. What I didn't know is that the sentence has been used by typing instructors all the way back to 1889. That's a really old sentence. And a really old typewriter.

This Sunday, we celebrate our great country, and pay tribute to all those men and women who have come to the aid of this great nation. Join us as we give thanks for God's blessings He has provided our nation, and join our prayer that we use these great blessings for His glory.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Good, Better, and Best

I used an online service to print some digital photos and was presented with three options for the quality of the print: Good, Better, and Best. In the product description, "Good" provided a photo of "great clarity;" "Better" provided a photo of "optimal color;" Best provided a photo of "unmatched quality." I decided to use a different company, one that didn't make me choose.

We often face choices in life, sometimes between choices that all seem reasonable. In this week's message, we will learn what David learned: the importance of choosing the best, especially when it comes to forgiveness (2 Samuel 9).

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

When the Answer is No

I had a lifelong dream of being in the Olympic games. Well, lifelong until I was twelve. That's when I tried out for the junior high track team. I wanted to run the hurdles, so the day came for the coach to pick hurdlers. Ten seventh graders lined up to run down the track hurdling to the best of our ability, with our coach timing each of us individually.

At the end of my tryout, the coach pulled me aside and told me, "You have great form going over the hurdles. If only you could run between them a little faster...." Apparently the actual time it took me to get to the finish line was more important than how I looked going over each hurdle.

I didn't make the team. My Olympic dreams dashed, I thought my life was over. Fortunately, our life is not determined by our success or failure in the seventh grade. God was still good, even though the only gold medal I would ever win was the participation medal I got in Cub Scouts.

God told David he would not fulfill his life dream of building the temple. It was not, however, a defeat in David's life. This week, we will learn how to win by saying yes when God says no (2 Samuel 7:25-26).

See you Sunday!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Best Seat in the House

One of the best parts of being pastor is that I get the best seat in the house every Sunday morning. While everyone in the congregation is looking at me (please accept my apologies for the green tie), I get to look at everyone in the congregation. I have seen it all, from an elderly deacon chasing a duckling down the church aisle (yes, you read that correctly), to a child ducking under a pew to escape mom's grasp (excellent downfield technique; I think he's a running back now), to the occasional "Sunday Morning Siesta" pose (head back, open mouth). The great thing about it is the variety of people who gather for worship each Sunday. It's a blast praising God!

David knew well the enthusiasm of worshiping the Lord. Even when some others around him did not get it, he could not wait to give praise to God (2 Samuel 6:21-22). Join us this Sunday as we learn the priority of worship.

Hear this message at our NHBC Media website

Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Reese's peanut butter cups were created by a man who was struggling to support his growing family. After working sometime on a dairy farm run by the man who owned the Hershey Chocolate Company, he became inspired to create his own chocolates in his basement, as a means of providing a little extra money for his family. Initially, the two didn't seem to go together at all. Why would PEANUT BUTTER be put in chocolate? But of course the rest of the story is that enormous growth came out of that pairing.

Sometimes when trials come, we think there must be some mistake. This doesn't go together. We're a Christian, shouldn't our path be smooth? Why are we hurting, when we're striving to live a Godly life. Has God forgotten us? Isn't He noticing??

But eventually, we can see in the rear view mirror that what God ALLOWED in our lives, combined with our trust in Him and His perfect will, created growth and more than we even could've dreamed. God never has a mismatch.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Grudge Match

Sportswriters use the phrase frequently: grudge match! Whether it is a boxing rematch between two grizzled fighters, a football game between rival teams, or a pitching duel between two baseball powers, a grudge match represents more than just a game. These teams are settling an old score.

We might think that would make life more exciting. Unfortunately, it does the opposite. Grudges in real life only make things worse. David discovered a secret we can all use. Mistreated by Saul in every way, David finds a way not only to forgive him, but to celebrate the good God had done in his life (2 Samuel 1:27). Learning how not to hold a grudge is important for us everyone.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Winning Strategy

Coaches are famous for developing winning strategies. They often encapsulate those strategies into a single statement:

Winners never quit, quitters never win - Vince Lombardi

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better. - Pat Riley

Maybe I can put you in the game next week. - My third grade basketball coach

Join us this Sunday as we learn the winning strategy David learned in 1 Samuel 30-31: We win the battle when we trust God.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Still Fighting Giants

We all face giants in life. Whether it is a difficult diagnosis, a lost job, a broken relationship, or worse, the giants in our life can seem like more than we can handle. David faced his share of giants and found God always to be faithful. Join us this Sunday as we find out in 1 Samuel 30:6-8 how God is faithful in the battle against our giants as well.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Game of Life

I was never very good at the Game of Life. The board game invites you to choose a career, buy insurance, lose money in the stock market - all the fun and exciting things life brings our way. For me, I could never figure out how to make the right choices. As you move your car load of kids around the board, spaces offer choices of which path to follow, how much money to spend, all while hoping to make it to the next payday. The game ends with a final choice - move into retirement and hope you have enough money or take one final spin with the chance to win it all and become a millionaire or park your car for the rest of the game in bankruptcy.

You can guess where my car load of kids ended up.

Choices are part of life. We've all made our share of bad ones. Join us this week as we find out how God gives us tools to spot bad choices in life, and the grace to win even when we don't, a lesson learned from the life of Saul (1 Samuel 28).

See you Sunday!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mom's Forgiveness

When your mother is looking through the hole in the window at you standing in the backyard with the ball in your hand, there's not much to say. Pack your bags and move to Grandma's.

But then there is the dinner plate at your spot, just like every night. Sure, you still have to pay for the window, but mom's forgiveness means more than three month's allowance.

This week, as we celebrate Mother's Day, it should be a reminder that we all need to learn to forgive. David learned that lesson in 1 Samuel 26, where we will read this week and learn that God can win our battle to forgive.

See you Sunday (bring Mom)!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

To Be or not To Be

Recently while reading the Bible, a simple two-letter word jumped out at me. The word was, 'be.' The verse was Joshua 1:9, and it states, "BE strong and courageous..." It involves action on our part. God will provide strength and courage, but then we must BE those things. defines the word as to exist or live, to continue, or to occupy a position. However, the verse doesn't stop there....God also will 'be.' The second half of the verse states,' The Lord, your God WILL BE with you wherever you go.' God is a God of action.

That led me to ponder how very many verbs are given to us throughout the Bible...we are to tell, do, wait, go, pray, love, repent, hear, sing, worship, trust, hear...and the list goes on. In the performance world, 'action' is the direction issued after other things are in place...the sound is keyed, the set is in place, the lines have been given, and so on. We can trust that when God, our director, calls, 'action,' He has put things into place and the call is for us to move/to be/to take the action He has commanded. 

I noticed, too, all the actions the Bible tells us that God takes..He loves, forgives, provides, saves, hears, upholds, intercedes, creates, gives, and HIS list goes on and on. We need to be ready to listen and to DO as He directs. 

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Win the Battle

We all face battles in life. Some of those battles are serious conflicts waged against enemies like illness, depression, and anger. Some of those battles are against the life annoyances that cause us to stumble along the way (Really? Someone left the lid off the toothpaste again?). Whatever the case, we need to be ready - we will face battles.

We would all do well to know how to deal with the battles before they come. David faced numerous battles throughout his life. Some he won; in some he was not so victorious. The reasons for his victories, and his defeats, are important for everyone to understand. Over the next few weeks, we will survey some of the battles in David's life and discover how God can win the victory in our life.

First, we will look at how we, like David, can find victory through the word of God (1 Samuel 24:12-15).

See you Sunday!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Faith That Goes

I have always been awed by missionary stories. From the filmstrips (if you don't know what that is, ask someone who is over forty) they used to show us in Sunday School, to the web videos today, we continue to learn how God is doing amazing things through those who have followed his call.

The fact is, we should all practice a faith that is ready to "Go." God has called each of us to a mission field, whether it is around the world or in the next cubicle. This week, we look at the faith of Abraham who, when God called, was ready to go (Hebrews 11:8-11).

See you Sunday!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Faith for the Journey

I have followed, with great interest, the development of driver-less cars. Google, and other technology and automotive companies, are racing ahead with development of cars that drive themselves. One day we will no longer have to ask the question, "Who has the right of way?" Cars will honk at each other and figure it out all by themselves.

Until that day arrives, we are stuck with maps, GPS, and asking the guy at Kum & Go. One thing will always be true: wherever you are going, you need faith. This week, we will look at two men, Enoch and Noah, whose lives exhibit faith for the journey (Hebrews 11:5-7).

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Where Do I Start?

"The longest journey begins with a single step." I hope whoever said that had a good sense of direction. Head down the wrong path, and that journey will become really long. The "are we there yet" chorus from the back seat is much more tolerable when you can answer that "we are almost there."

That all depends on starting in the right direction. Hebrews 11 answers the question, "Where do I start believing?" Faith begins at the beginning, and it's a journey worth taking.
Join us on the journey this week as we study Hebrews 11:3-4.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Closer than you think

One of my contacts was bothering me the other day. I knew I needed to get them out for awhile; however, me without some kind of vision assistance is a scary (literally) thing! You know those big letters at the top of the eye chart? I can see that they're THERE.....but to identify them....that's another thing. And so....I always keep a pair of glasses handy, just in case.

I thought I knew right where they were. I keep them in the car (or so I thought), because if I have an eye problem while I'm out somewhere (especially driving), you do NOT want me on the street with vision help. So, it made sense to have them at the ready in the car.

I went out to get them from the car. I looked right where I knew they glasses. Then I looked in the second place, no glasses to be found. I searched my stashes in the house and came up empty handed. I checked our other vehicle...nothing. I went to bed 'blind,' and wondered where in the world they were, even though I was SURE I'd always kept them in the car.

The next morning, I knew I had to have some help, and so I prayed, "Lord, you know where they are. Please show me." I looked again in the car.....and there they were, right where they were supposed to be, right where I 'knew' they were. Why hadn't I seen them? Was it because I was hurrying, because I didn't look closely enough, or what?

I immediately thought how often we miss God and what He does for us. We look in all the wrong places, but He's right there, right where He said He'd be, He's at the ready to help me....but I look right over Him.  He says in His word, "I am with you always." As the song says, "Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Jesus." It was a great reminder. My prayer was one of thanks for finding the glasses, and one of confession and recomitment to look for Him....right where He promised He would be.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


The courtroom has long provided dramatic fodder for television and movies. From Perry Mason to Matlock (did he have a first name?) to the "Order" of "Law and Order," bright attorneys have solved cases in sixty minutes (minus commercials). Everything hinges on the evidence, the "smoking gun," the last second confession.

Hebrews 11 provides definitive evidence on the meaning of faith. Over the next few weeks, we will examine the evidence and discover the powerful impact of life in Christ. Join us this Sunday as we begin this journey in Hebrews 11:1.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Why Go to Church?

If someone called you one evening and asked you the reason why you attend (or do not attend) church, what would you answer? Gallup did a poll in 2007 asking just that. The answers were basically what they expected: people who attend church indicated they do so for spiritual reasons (because of their faith) and for reasons of community (to gather with other believers). Those who do not attend cited their lack of belief, or what the Gallup pollsters defined as being "just plain lazy." (

Why go to church? The passage for this week's message, Hebrews 10:25, answers that question, and the reason may be more important than you think.

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

House for Sale

Denise and Robert Webb built the home of their dreams overlooking Lake Whitney in Central Texas. The home had a commanding view of the lake one from one of of the prime lots in the area. The Webbs enjoyed the pristine views and beautiful sunsets. All was well, except for one small detail.

The land under the house fell off into the lake.

Fortunately, the process took several weeks, and the Webbs were able to safely remove most of their property. They even burned the house to the ground, hoping to keep debris from the house out of the lake. Eventually, the entire cliff where they had built their dream home collapsed into the waters below.

Realtors around the country then recited their mantra, "Location, location, location" - and checked the foundations of all their current listings.

It's always a good idea to check your foundation. This week, we will read how Hebrews 10:23-24 describes the sure foundation we have in Christ, and how that knowledge can spur us to love and good deeds.

See you Sunday!

Here this message at

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Time Change

This weekend we are supposed to "Spring Forward." The only thing I like about that phrase is the word, "Spring!" I will miss that hour of sleep until we "Fall Back!"

One of my favorite scriptures is Ephesians 5:16, where it speaks of redeeming the time. We often speak of making the most of every opportunity, time being short, etc. However, I read an interesting commentary that brought in the fact that to redeem is to gain or regain possession of something. We regain our time to be used for good things rather than bad. God redeems us so we can be restored and used for good. 

I'll still miss that hour of sleep....but maybe now I won't waste time grumbling about it!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Tickets, Please

 It's almost time for post season college basketball tournaments, otherwise known as March Madness. One March I saw my dad get mad when we tried to go to an NIT game, and all the tickets had been sold to scalpers who would gladly sell you a seat a four times to original price. The practice was supposed to be illegal where we lived, a fact my dad shared with the police officer we found standing about twenty feet from a half dozen of the guys scalping tickets. The officer was very apologetic, but admitted there was little he could do.

So my dad and I went home and watched the game on TV.

No ticket, no entry. In Hebrews 10:19-22, the Bible explains that Jesus has made it possible for us to enter the Most Holy Place, the very presence of God. We will explore this extraordinary truth in this week's message.

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Right Goal

When you make a shot in basketball, it's always a good idea to be at the correct goal. Just ask the Laker's Larry Nance Jr., who inadvertently scored two points - for the Clippers.

This week's message focuses on the importance of aiming at the correct goal in life - giving praise to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:17-18).

See you Sunday!

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Winning Score

My wife taught me a new game last week. The final score: Vaughn - 189; Marsha - 13. Great victory...for her. The object of the game was to have the lowest score. I only missed it by 176 points.

Sometimes we look at all the evil in this world and might be tempted to think we are losing the battle. If we do, we forget what this week's passage tells us:

2 Corinthians 10:3–4 (NIV84)
3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

We know the winning score!

See you Sunday!

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Monday, February 8, 2016

School Days

I love our Bible Study class. I love the people, the teacher, the discussion, the textbook, the laughter, the sharing of prayer requests and praises--but there's one thing I really DON'T like! It never lasts long enough. I feel like a sponge each week, soaking up the information from God's word, finding out more from the teacher's perspective and the thought-provoking discussions. I always leave feeling such thankfulness, but I want MORE!

And then I day, class will be in session for all eternity, as we sit at the feet of THE Teacher...the One Who knows it ALL, the One Who wrote the book. The characters we have studied will be in class with us. And there will be those same friends who I enjoy every Sunday morning...and we'll all be in class together again...laughing and sharing...and rejoicing. And because of what He did for me, when attendance is taken, I will be able to say, "Present!" Truly, what a day that will be!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Some things are hard to describe. The website "The Daily Edge" lists things that are difficult or impossible to describe. Find a friend and try to:
  • Describe a color, without using the name of a color.
  • Describe the difference between left and right.
  • Describe what water tastes like.
  • Describe the color of a mirror.
Paul found something he simply could not find a word to adequately describe so he made one up. This week, we look at 2 Corinthians 9:15, where Paul describes God's indescribable grace.

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

God's Blessing Equation

I was a sixth grade millionaire. Well, that's stretching it a bit, but on paper, I was the richest kid in my school. On paper. 2x4 note paper. In a small notepad, I kept IOU's from the lunchroom. Every day, my mother packed two Twinkies in my lunch. I ate one, and traded the other for an IOU - a fellow sixth grader's written promise that they would pay me back. By the end of the year, I had successfully created 157 loans, each for one Twinky. My plan was to collect the debt, sell the Twinkies, and pocket the cash. However, I soon realized the flaw to my theory.

The school year ended.

By the seventh grade, no one cared about their snack food debt, and I no longer wanted Twinkies. I had moved on to Hostess cupcakes. My fortune in Twinky futures had become absolutely worthless.

We sometimes forget the reason why we have what we have. God blesses us for a purpose - so we can give those blessings away for his glory. This week, we will take a look at God's blessing equation in 2 Corinthians 9:9-10.

See you Sunday!

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I'm never sure if I have enough. For example, if I'm packing for a trip, I can never figure out how many socks to take. One for each day? What if some get dirty before the day is over? How many days might they get dirty? I have really sweaty feet! What if it is a three sock day?

Finally, my wife will tell me, "Enough! Pack one for each day and we'll wash some out if you need extra."

Great idea. So does that mean I need to pack laundry detergent....

In this week's passage, 2 Corinthians 9:8, we discover a wonderful truth. When we know Christ, we will never have to wonder if we need more grace. In Him, we always have enough!

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Strong Comparison

We explain life by comparison. We explain what is not known by what is known. If we are trying to explain the sound of a new singer, we say, "He sounds just like Elvis!" If we are trying to explain the taste of a new dessert, we say, "It tastes like a Butterfinger candy bar with whipped cream." If we are trying to describe the problem we are having with our car, we might say, "It sounds like an overloaded washing machine."

This Sunday we look at 2 Corinthians 8:9, where Paul uses this principle to explain the unexplainable - to describe the riches we have in Christ.

See you Sunday!

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Thursday, January 7, 2016


I am not an accountant. For good reason. For one thing, my wife is an accountant. She is really good at it. For both of us to be accountants would be unfair. Somebody has to keep H & R Block in business.

Even though I am not an accountant, I have had to learn how to use spreadsheets. Not that spreadsheets are essential to ministry, but they have come in handy from time to time. At least when my wife begins to describe the credits and debits of her daily routine, I can nod my head supportively.

I would not, however, describe myself as an expert in spreadsheets. Or put another way, I do not excel at my Excel excellence. Okay, that was a long way to go for a pun, but it leads to the point of this week's message from 2 Corinthians 8:7, where Paul encourages his fellow believers to excel in everything, especially in the grace of giving.

See you Sunday!

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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

No Thanks

I love the start of each new year. It is such a sweet reminder of our God, who is all about NEW! Even His book to us starts with Him creating new and ends with Him creating new. He is building a new heaven and a new earth, He makes us new creatures, and He provides new mercies every morning. And why....because He loves us.

We, too, start each new year with new things....clothes, toys, gadgets, etc. Couple that with new commitment, a new month, a new year...but what if we said, 'No thanks.' What if we were handed a brightly wrapped present from someone who knew just what we needed and we refused it? What if we refused to turn the page to the new week, month, year? But yet, sometimes we do something similar in our lives. We hold on to 'those things which so easily entangle us,' (Hebrews 12:1), and we try to hold onto the past, instead of realizing how very much He has to offer us in our future.

Happy NEW Year to you, knowing that He is working all things for our good, He is still on the throne, and He is still in control.