Five things on my mind about CIL

mens bible study21.  Our Men’s Bible Study that happens every Sunday morning at 8:00 a.m. is going deep in relationships.  This rarely happens with men, and is a sign of God doing a special work among our guys.

2. Our youth pastor, Matt Malone, is the east Tennessee version of Jimmy Fallon.  He really entertained us today with his act on the keyboard.

2. CIL loves kids!  We had a bunch of them today.  Accumulating kids isn’t enough, we are about discipleship.  I thank God for a loving nursery, Journey’s, 4.6 Experience, Awana, Camp Blast, VBS and all the other outreach to kids through CIL. Thank you children and youth volunteers!

3. What is a great sign of a successful small group?  Laughter.  Our 242 Groups are full of laughs, and we’re all better because of Christian community.

4. I love when I discover friendships have been birthed among participants at CIL.  When I run into friends around town hanging out at a restaurant or coffee shop, or meeting at a party, I know that Christian community is growing among us.

getaway 2014 25. So thankful for people who are providing partial and full scholarships for our teenagers to attend summer trips. Specifically, we had folks step up to fund several teenager’s beach camp today.  Still, we have other teenagers who need a scholarship. If you want to contribute by giving on-line, you can to to and choose the on-line giving option.

A great Sunday.  My cup runneth over!


Happy Anniversary Beth

IMG_3361Today is the 16th Anniversary of my marriage to the lovely Beth Hall Alllison.

We married at West End Church of Christ in Nashville, started our marriage in a condo in Madison, TN, moved to a farm house in Princeton, TX, to a starter home in Frisco, Texas, and have been in our home in Hendersonville, TN, for 11 years.

We were crazy youth pastors, planted two churches, lost both of our Dads, survived the scare of an ill infant, led a complicated merge of two congregations, finished grad school, taught music classes in different settings and started doctoral studies.

The best part? Three amazing kids, who will accomplish much more this we could dream.

And these days, we laugh more than we ever have.

It’s been a busy 16 years, but it’s been an amazing joy, and the best is ahead!

I love you, Beth!

Jesus Encourages Education


IMG_4728This Sunday I will be teaching on a subject very important to me – education.

As we pick back up the series Jesus Changes Everything, my sermon is titled “Jesus Encourages Education.”

It will be great to have Phil Stacey home with us for a rare open Sunday, as he will be leading us in  worship.

Exciting services are planned for Journey’s (K-3rd grade) and the 4.6 Experience (4th-6th grade).  Caring nursery workers are available to watch babies and toddlers.

It will be a great Sunday, so join us at either 9:00 a.m. or 10:45 a.m.

Awana Awards Ceremony

IMG_4743On Wednesday we had the Awana awards ceremony at CIL.
Wow, was it inspiring!

In an era when kids are constantly being criticized for their lifestyle habit (i.e. inactivity, lethargy, poor attitudes), the Awana kids are pushing back that stereotype.  These children (age 3 – 5th Grade) were so excited about memorizing Scripture, and so were their teachers. Our kids are being discipled though Awana, and I see a great future for our church through this program.  I am so thankful for the leadership of our Awana commanders, Ed & Andrea Ahlmeyer, and their team of dozens of volunteers.

When we start this program again in August 2014, make sure your kids or grandkids are involved.

We are blessed to have lots of people who care about kids at CIL.