Thursday, March 30, 2017

Main Ingredient

Most recipes have that singular ingredient that is most important - without it, the recipe falls apart. Without chocolate chips, it's not chocolate chip cookies. Without bananas it's not banana bread. Without steak it's not steak.

Paul identifies a much more significant main ingredient, not just for dinner or dessert, but for our life. This week, in 1 Corinthians 15:1-2, we learn that without the Resurrection, we have no hope.

See you Sunday!

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Every parent has heard it, the question "why." As in "Why do I have to clean my room?" or "Why do I have to be in by midnight?" or "Why do I have to take out the trash?" The easy answer is the all-time favorite parental go-to response of "Because I told you so." That would be enough, but there is obviously more to it than that. For one thing, if you don't clean your room and take out the trash, eventually the room becomes trash. For another thing, nothing positive ever happened to any teenager after midnight.

But ultimately, the answer is: We tell our children things they need to do because we love them. We want the very best for them, so we tell them what we believe will bring the very best into their lives. And absolutely nothing positive ever happened to any teenager after midnight.

Jesus calls us to obey his command. In John 15:15-16 where we will read this Sunday, Jesus gives us the reason why, a reason worth knowing.

See you Sunday!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

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!

Hear this message at NHBC Media

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