We hope!

Put your hope in God. 
Hope through Jesus.
Receive hope through the Holy Spirit.

Advent begins today. The theme of HOPE on this 1st Advent Sunday reminds us that …

  • There is something greater beyond us
  • There is something available with us
  • There is something to look forward to

Put your hope in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Better holidays are in our future

Not all holiday experiences are created equal. While some of us may enjoy every moment, others hurt. A day is coming when there will be no evil, and through Jesus Christ our Lord, we will all feast together. It will be a perpetual “holy-day” with no one in distress.

The holidays we enjoy in this life give a foretaste of a greater reality. The difficult holidays make us long for something better that is on its way. Whatever experience is yours this Thanksgiving, take heart that the best is ahead. Our future is together in Him.

Thank you, Don Tracy!

My dear friend Don Tracy passed away last week, and we will remember his life at a Memorial Service on Monday, November 22, 2021, at 2:00 pm at CIL Church.

Though it is has been years since Don has attended CIL, his impact on our church is incomparable. He invested deeply in our faith community in multiple ways and was a great friend to me. I am forever grateful for this partner in ministry, and I am deeply honored to officiate his service.

Read Don’s obituary at this link

https://www.coleandgarrett.com/obituary/Donald-Tracy?fbclid=IwAR2Yrlajt_9AP9aeKrdzlsnb2gTGR4U150Ugi5Nl9dx2B5kGHYKK1aXKBlk

The service will be steamed at

Deconstruction – a new term for an ageless issue

If you have not heard the term deconstruction yet, you probably will soon. Relevant magazine states, “deconstruction is a popular term that refers to the practice of revisiting and rethinking long-held beliefs, specifically in the Christian faith.” It appears pervasive among younger Americans who have grown up in church, and it is a sad development when it ruins people’s love for the Lord. Deconstruction is not new, but its currents form is based on present sociological realities. It is a new term for an ageless reality.

Since the beginning of Christianity, apparent believers have fallen from their faith. Scripture prophesies that people will turn away from the faith. With the digital social connections available, we have a clearer view of the spiritual struggles so many individuals experience. We see it a lot more, but falling away from the Lord has always been part of humanity’s spiritual struggle.

It is natural and good to question, and I have seen that seeking truth leads to Jesus Christ. Jesus is not an option or a coping mechanism. He is the truth. If you are in the process of deconstruction, I believe that the authentic Jesus is on the other side of your questions. Keep seeking truth.

Sunday Summary – October 31, 2021 – All Saints Sunday and the Reformation

On Sunday, we acknowledged All Saint Sunday since All Saints Day is November 1. This annual recognition continues to increase in meaning as I see more clearly the “cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1)” that surrounds me. Each year, my list of deceased Christian friends grows, so I also want my heart for heaven to grow. The cloud also includes Christians in the past whose stories, songs, and writings point me to Christ today. Our service on Sunday exalted Jesus, the supreme one whom all saints worship.

You can watch the service by clicking below:

October 31 reminds us of all the good things since the Protestant reformation. I have gratitude for access to Scripture, understanding the priesthood of each believer, and a richer grasp of grace. The courage of Martin Luther and other reformers calls us to seek God’s truth continually

Thank you, Chip and Gala Johnson

On Sunday, October 24, we acknowledged the exceptional leadership of Chip and Gala Jonnson.

Since 2011, Pastor Chip and Gala Johnson have served the CIL family in almost every way possible. They have been such a gift. Chip, Gala, and their youngest son Zach are moving to Florida, and we will miss them greatly.

While they were here, they led and participated in 9 Thanksgiving Blessings, 8 Vacation Bible Schools, 7 Back to School Blessings, 5 Camp Blasts, 2 Ventures, dozens of board meetings, 100’s of Sunday mornings in 4.6, Connections, and over 500 Sunday morning services. Wow!

Chip would preach once or twice a year, and he is an excellent speaker. Chip can preach at any church in the nation, fit in well, and do great. I am going to miss these guys greatly, but they are always welcome to come home!

Sunday Summary – October 24, 2021 – Church Picnic

Dunking booth!

My heart is full after a great Sunday. It was so busy that I did not have the time or energy to reflect through this blog until now. Our service was strong, with five baptisms, anointed worship, and a wave of repentance that came through our ministry time.

Then, there was the annual church picnic! Meghan Breinig and her team did a fantastic job creating a shared experience for our entire CIL family. What a blast we had! I am so thankful for those memories we made.

You can watch the service by clicking here:

Conflict Resolution Seminar this Saturday (Oct 23)

I have the privilege to teach Interpersonal Conflict Resolution for Union University. I love working with students in an academic setting, but this subject has great relevance for every day.

This crucial topic is why I am enthusiastic about presenting a seminar this Saturday (October 23) at Westwood Baptist Church in Nashville. I’ll be teaching a workshop from 9 am to 1:30 pm titled “From Conflict to Peace.”

I invite you to participate, as all are invited. There is no cost!

Register here

https://www.westwoodnashville.org/conflict-to-peace