Resurrection Sunday


On Sunday, March 31st we will celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter.   I’ll be giving part 2 of my series Scars, with a message called Every Scar Has a Story.

IMG_3509Former American Idol finalist Phil Stacey and my wife Beth Allison will be leading us in worship.   They have some amazing songs prepared for us to experience together.

Join us at 9:00 or 10:45 a.m. for a Jesus-exalting service!

Stations of the Cross

stations of the cross 2-01

Take a scriptural walk through Jesus’ last few days on earth.  On Wednesday, March 27, we will have stations set up in the Sanctuary with scripture, prayer guidance and time to think about His love for you through His ultimate sacrifice.

The sanctuary will be open from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. (go through the stations at your own pace)

Nursery is available from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m (up to age 3).

There will be no Awana on March 27, but Exit Seven youth will happen as usual.



Visit to Union University in Jackson

Union University - Jackson

On Tuesday, I visited Union University in Jackson, TN, with a small group from Hendersonville, to be part of the Union Forum.    Union University has a campus down the street from our church in Hendersonville, but their central campus  is in Jackson, TN.    Union University was founded in 1823, and is the oldest institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist church.     However, like most Christian,  liberal-arts instituions, it has an inter-denominational focus.

The Union Forum was a luncheon featuring political commentator Stephen Hayes.   It was a great day of fellowship and learning!

Brent Batson speaking this Sunday!

Brent and Kirsten BatsonBrent Batson has been my friend for 26 years, and I consider him one of my pastors.  He serves as an overseer at CIL, and he’ll be preaching in both the 9:00 and 10:45 a.m. services this Sunday (March 17).

Brent is the pastor of Church of the Springs in Dripping Springs, TX (outside of Austin).

He is an energetic speaker, and a great storyteller.  You’re going to love Brent’s ministry.  I’ll see you Sunday!

Good news about the new Pope

Pope Francis

Here are reasons why it appears the election of Pope Francis is good for Christianity:

1.  He is a Jesuit.   The Jesuits, or “Society of Jesus” was began in the 16th century.  This group of priest take a vow of poverty that keeps them from some of the financial corruption that can creep into religious leader’s lives.  The Jesuits were among the first missionaries, and they believe in spreading the gospel through evangelism.  Pope Francis is  the first Jesuit pope.

2.  He is from the Southern Hemisphere.   In his influential book, The Next Christendom, author Philip Jenkins observes, “. . . the center of Christian world has shifted inexorably southward, to Africa, Asia, and Latin America . . . The era of Western Christianity has passed within our lifetimes, and day of Southern Christianity is dawning.”[1]    With most of the cardinals as Europeans, choosing a pope from the South represents both the current and future state of the Roman Catholic church.

I love this observation from The Economist magazine:

Just as the election of a Pole in 1978 helped presage the fall of the iron curtain and the reunification of Europe, the Argentine’s election heralds the shift in economic—and political—power from north to south. With John Paul II, the papacy stopped looking like a club for Italians; with Francis it is no longer a club for Europeans.

3.  He is conservative on social issues.  Among other important issues, Pope Francis opposes homesexual marriage and abortion.  I believe a conservative Pope will help slow down the moral erosion of our societies, since he influences so many people that will look to him for spiritual guidance.

4. He appears humble.  I love this account that was printed in the Mach 13th edition of the Tennessean:

At home in Buenos Aires, he sold the expensive archbishop’s residence and lived in a modest apartment, did his own cooking and rode the bus to work. That is in marked contrast to the way several Vatican cardinals live, starting with splendid homes and chauffeurs.

In conclusion, my prayer for the new Pope and the Roman Catholic church is, “Let your kingdom come, and your will be done!”

[1] Philip Jenkins. The Next Christendom : The Coming of Globlal Christianity (Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) 2-3.

Best College Basketball Teams Last 30 Years

March means college basketball, and I’ve watched a lot of basketball over the years.   Since my earliest memories only go back to about 1980, here are the best college teams I remember watching (the year is the “spring date” of the season):

Grant Hill1)  1992 Duke Blue Devils:  Christian Laetner, Grant Hill, Thomas Hill, Bobby Hurley – this team was a TEAM.  They defended their ’91 title when the whole world wanted to beat them.

2)  1996 Kentucky Wildcats:  Rick Patino never gathered a more talented and disciplined group.

3) 1984 Georgetown Hoyas:  Patrick Ewing led team was dominating in every way.

4) 1990 UNLV Runnin’ Rebels:  It was hard to see Dallas native Larry Johnson play outside of Texas, but the pure talent on this team may be unmatched by any other team.

Arkansas - Corliss5)  2009 North Carolina Tar Heels:   In the era of “one and done,”  Roy Williams assembled a team that never was really challenged in the NCAA tournament.

6)  1994 Arkansas Razorbacks:  A solid team led by Corliss Williamson, and cheered on by President Clinton.   This was a fun era for the state of Arkansas.

7)  2007 Florida Gators:  The most under-appreciated back-t0-back champions in NCAA history.

8)  1993 North Carolina Tar Heels:  This incredibly talented team helped Dean Smith seal a legendary career, and quiet Michigan’s “Fab Five.”

Houston 19839)  1983 Houston Cougars:  The only team on my list that didn’t win it all.  Akeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler led  a team that should have never lost to NC State.  However, the dominance of the Cougars made the NC States upset win more meaningful.

10) 2008 Kansas Jayhawks:  This team could run, as they upheld the KU tradition of winning with Coach Bill Self’s first championships.

Mark Chapter 8 and Time Change Sunday


I love teaching straight from Scripture, as there is so much God wants to show us through the Bible.   For the last few years, we have been on an intermittent journey through the book of Mark.   We’ll pick back up in Mark 8 this Sunday (March 10) with a message called Healing in a Process from Mark 8:22-26.  This story of Jesus healing a man through a process will show us a compassionate and involved God, who cares about our physical bodies.

TIme Change - SpringDon’t forget to set you clocks ahead one hour this Saturday night for the start of Daylight Savings!

I’ll see you at either the 9:00 or 10:45 a.m. service.





“Nashville Celebrates Israel” Event

Full LIfe
On Tuesday I attended a pre-event luncheon for a gathering called “Nashville Celebrates Israel.”  The rally started last year, and is scheduled to take place this year on Sunday, October 20, 2013, in a location to be determined.

My friend Nick Serban of Full Life Assembly of God in Franklin hosted today’s luncheon (I loved his stage design . . . Nick and Kim Serban are talented at church architecture and design!).

I saw lots of friends at this event, including Michael Hines of the International Christian Embassy for Jerusalem, a ministry that CIL supports.

We committed as a church to get behind this event financially, as we support Israel, and want to be part of Nashville’s statement of solidarity with the Jewish people.