For All God’s People

The letter to the Colossians is one of the Apostle Paul’s most substantial writings. There are few books in the Bible with deeper reflection on who Christ is and the work of Christ in the world. Paul writes this letter to encourage the Colossians, and to remind them of all that they are because of Christ.  It is a rich and deeply thought out understanding of Christ. The Book of Colossians is a short work by Paul. It is only four chapters long. I hope you will take time to read it today.

I was recently reading Colossians and a phrase stood out to me…


We Belong Together

We were created to work together for God’s good purposes. That is a difficult truth for us to wrestle with. The world we live in often tells us that we are better by ourselves. We celebrate rugged individualism. We value individual achievement. However, God designed us to work with one another.

I recently watched a video that reminded me of how God calls us together, to make a difference in the world. This video was taken in the middle of a busy street in Berlin, Germany.  Just before the video begins, a large commuter bus strikes an 18-year-old pedestrian. The young man was thrown under the bus and caught under the axel.  It was a terrifying moment as people watched him become trapped and injured…


A Force For Good

When I was a kid my friends and I spent hours playing with our Star Wars toys.  I cannot begin to count the amount of lightsaber battles I was a part of in my own back yard.  This is why I love this story about the Chick-Fil-A in Columbus, Georgia where the employees had a galactic battle with a little boy.

The Merrikens took their entire family for “Galaxy Night” at their local Chick-Fil-A. Their 8-year-old son, Caleb was excited to take part in the festivities. When they arrived, Caleb, who has spinal muscular atrophy and is confined to a wheelchair, found it difficult to join the other kids in the restaurant. Caleb was sad. He is a huge Star Wars fan. Sadly, he felt excluded from the evening’s events.  Caleb’s mom was willing to duel with him and asked an employee to borrow his lightsaber for a moment. Caleb and his mom went outside to battle…


Warrick Dunn

One football player I loved to watch was Warrick Dunn. Warrick Dunn became a nationally known player while at Florida State University. As a running back, Dunn ran for over 1,000 yards in 3 straight seasons. He was selected as an All-American and helped lead Florida State to a National Championship. He would be drafted in the first round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and in his first season would win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He would have an exceptional career in the NFL.

Warrick Dunn’s success on the football field was extraordinary. However, his work to make others successful is what he has dedicated his life to beyond the gridiron. Warrick Dunn grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He had a loving mother who worked so hard to support her family. As a single mother, she did all she could to bless her family. Her dream was to one day purchase a home for herself and her children.


A Life Changing Invitation

The scriptures are filled with examples of invitation. The invitation is “Come and see” what God has done. This invitation is also “Come and see” what God is doing. This invitation language is found in both the Old and New Testament. When we answer the invitation to come and see, our lives are changed. When we invite others, we have the potential to change their life with the love and hope of God.

I was in 7th grade when a friend invited me to an event that transformed my life. One Sunday morning, just as worship was finishing, Lisa made her way across the sanctuary and invited me to attend the youth program that night. I accepted her invitation, not knowing a single thing about the youth ministry. When I arrived that night…


Galatians 6:7-10

Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption; but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not lose heart. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.


Psalm 84:1-4

“How lovely is thy dwelling place,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, yea, faints
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and flesh sing for joy
    to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may lay her young,
at thy altars, O Lord of hosts,
    my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in thy house,
    ever singing thy praise!”


Place Mercy Above Differences

There are few conversations that take place in the Gospels that are more interesting than the one between Jesus and the Syrophoenician woman.  (I hope you will take a moment to read it: Mark 7:24-30) In this conversation there are theological arguments, cultural struggles, and name calling.  It would even seem that the Syrophoenician woman wins the argument.

The seventh chapter of Mark begins with several religious leaders from Jerusalem eating with Jesus and his disciples. The religious leaders have traveled to meet with Jesus in the area known as Galilee. Galilee is where Jesus does much of his ministry. There they have an argument about what is clean and unclean, because it seems that some of Jesus’ disciples did not wash their hands, according to the “tradition of the elders.” Jesus strongly teaches that, “There is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but that the things that come out are what defile.” This conversation was about dietary restrictions found in the Levitical law.  However, it was to teach that God was most concerned about what’s in our hearts and not in our stomachs.


You Are Not Your Past

In October of 1997, The Lion King opened on Broadway. It was a tremendous success. It is now one of the most successful Broadway shows in history. It is still on stage today and is now the highest grossing Broadway production in history.

The characters, the music, the movie animation, the musical staging for The Lion King have all helped lead to make this a successful show. However, it takes far more than good music and setting to make a good show. The story must speak to the heart of those who are giving up their time to watch the show.

At the heart of the story is the struggle of a young lion, Simba, to overcome the mistakes of his past…


White Castle Wedding

A special wedding is exactly what Jamie West had planned when she elected to have her wedding at White Castle.  You read that correctly… She married Drew Schmitt in a fast-food restaurant, and they were excited to do so. White Castle is a hamburger chain, known for its small square hamburgers. White Castle holds a special place in Jamie’s heart.

Jamie West had a difficult childhood. By the time she was 4 years old, she was living in a foster home.  She would live in and out of foster homes and shelters until she eventually would become homeless, living on the streets of Arizona and California.  Jamie was 15, homeless, and hungry.  She had not had food in almost a week when she walked into a White Castle late one night.  She didn’t know what to expect.  Jamie was not expecting a warm welcome, but that is exactly what she received.  The manager saw her come in the store and told her to go wash up in the bathroom.   While Jamie was in the restroom…