242 – A lifestyle, not a program

242 summer-01

ty-cobbI was watching a documentary last week about the troubled life of Ty Cobb, arguably the greatest baseball player who ever lived.  Cobb died without many, if any, teammates or former colleagues attending his funeral. He reportedly said something near the end of his life like, “If I had to do life over again, I’d do some things differently – I’d make friends.”

At the end of our lives, family and friends are what will be our greatest treasure.

242 Groups is a way we can invest in relationships that we will need on our spiritual journey.  It is not the only way, but it is a primary way, the people of our congregation connect for fellowship, encouragement and prayer.

Put the dates listed above on your calendar, and make them a non-negotiable for you.  The schedule is reasonable, so let’s make these meetings a priority.  Groups start this Sunday (May 4).

Check out a group available for you here

Small Groups

Acts 2:42
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.



Our Special Guests last Sunday

Abe and Jill

We had special friends from southeast Asia with us on Sunday, and CIL really blessed this couple.  This family invest in the lives of people in a remote, overlooked country.  By teaching trade, life skills, English and sharing everyday life, our friends are making a huge difference.

Even though our friends were blessed financially by CIL‘s generosity, I was especially proud of our church for engaging emotionally.  The friendliness, love and conversation from our congregation was truly refreshing to our guest.  Thank you CIL for being a place filled with the love of God.

On a personal note, Beth and I loved the fellowship we shared with these colleagues.  We were refreshed, too!

It’s Love That Believes the Resurrection



it is love pic1.2

Here is an article I wrote for the Hendersonville Standard in their Tuesday, April 15 Edition:

This Sunday the world will celebrate our most splendid spring holiday in Easter. Like every holiday, various cultures, families and individuals will express Easter uniquely. Despite a myriad of traditions, Easter is a distinctly Christian expression. Those of us who are Christians understand that the Easter story contains our deepest held belief, which is the resurrection of Jesus. Without the Easter story, the death of Christ is just another historical occurrence of an execution. With the Easter story, everything changes.

The apostle Paul, one of the greatest voices for the Christian faith stated, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless (1 Corinthians 15:17).” So, why does the resurrection mean so much to Christians? The resurrection is the great differential in the identity of Jesus. It is reasonable to accept Jesus as a great teacher, leader or philosopher. However, to believe that he was resurrected is to believe Jesus was more than a man, but that he was also God. The followers of Jesus believed this, and spread the story of his resurrection throughout the Roman Empire. The story has been spreading ever since. Legend tells us that the original disciples held to this story to their deaths, and countless Christians since have also willingly died to uphold this story.

While there is evidence of Jesus’ existence, and a great historical case for his resurrection, this cannot be unequivocally proven. So what makes over two billion current Christians around the globe believe the resurrection? Obligation? Yes, I suppose there are many who feel obligated culturally to believe. However, belief out of obligation is no true belief in the end.

It is love that believes the resurrection.” These words by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) were quoted in theologian N.T. Wright’s recent book Surprised By Hope (2008). This quote summarizes why I believe the Easter story. Like you, I have been through personal challenges. Through the early death of my father, a difficult illness with my infant child and walking with people in my congregation through deep times of sorrow, I have experienced love from God. This love would not be real if there was no real resurrection. As you enjoy this Easter weekend, take time to reflect on how the claim of Jesus’ resurrection has impacted the world. Also, I encourage you to search for the love of God that has made me believe the resurrection. “It is love that believes the resurrection.”


Favorite baseball line-up

In honor of a new baseball season, I am going to post a frivilous blog. I am a moderate baseball fan, but the older I get the more I appreciate the game’s slower pace.  My earliest memories of baseball start in the early 1980’s.  If I was putting a team together of players I remember, this would be my team:

imagesC – Pudge Rodriguez
1B – George Brett
2B – Ryne Sandburg
SS – Derek Jeter
3B – Mike Schmidt
RF – Bo Jackson
CF –  Mike Trout
LF – Kirk Gibson

White Sox Rangers Baseball FightStarting Pitchers
Nolan Ryan
Greg Maddux
Justin Verlander
Jack Morris
Andy Pettit
Closer – Mariano Rivera (of course)

Jesus Changes Everything


I am currently preaching a series called Jesus Changes Everything, as we look at historical impact of Jesus on society.  I love reading about the teachings, miracles and heart of Jesus in the gospels. Jesus said himself,

I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do.  And he will do even greater works than these.” – John 14:12 (HCSB)

This Scripture has always been hard for me to accept, because no one is higher than Jesus.  Yet, when you examine the historical impact that followers of Jesus have made upon society, Jesus is still at work through His people!

In categories such as medicine, science, art, education, and government – the followers of Jesus have changed the world!   Greater works have happened through the long-term application of Jesus’ teaching and heart.  He is the one doing the work, and we are honored as Christians to be His instruments.

Join me this Sunday at either 9:00 a.m. or 10:45 a.m. as I preach a message called Jesus Introduces Humility.  It will be Palm Sunday, and I want you to worship with me.

It’s a joy and honor to be your pastor!