Two Things Stirring Me

Two things I have learned over the last week that are stirring me …


– “The Turks (Ottoman Empire) in 1915 destroyed the minority of Armenians in their midst, killing probably as many as a million and a half, and driving hundreds of thousands into exile.”[1] In my study of 20th century history how did I miss this? The Ottoman systematic killing of the Armenians is part of the origin of the term genocide. The modern Turkey government still will not acknowledge this as genocide.  This reality demonstrates again that even after 100 years, history is still being defined by interpretation.


IMG_0336 – I have always been impressed with the effectiveness of Awana (children’s discipleship program), but I was staggered by a statistic that Christina Keller presented at the Awana Awards ceremony. According to credible market research:

  • 69 TO 94% of teens leave the church after high school
  • Only 1.8% of Awana alumni surveyed dropped out of church as adults
  • 92% of Awana alumni still attend church weekly or more often 

There are variables of this study I have not analyzed, but the point is clear –

Awana is making a tangible difference in DISCIPLESHIP!

Education Leads to Civility

Rude2Civility is the act of demonstrating kindness towards people with whom you disagree. Civility is an important and undervalued by-product of education.   Our culture is in desperate need of more civility.   Our culture has become so polarized; civil dialogue is virtually a lost art.  If you do not believe me, peruse Facebook during election season.

Education produces civility in students. As a student understands more about different worldviews, they will manifest more empathy and cooperation. In one of my favorite quotes, Robert Frost anecdotally said, “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper.”  Our culture is more peaceful and desirable when different ideas produce civility instead of anger.

AngerHow does education effect civility?   Education exposes the individual to new ideas, perspectives and experiences that foster civility.   Learning is more than accumulating information, but it’s converting that information into beneficial behavior in society. Education has a unique platform to change the world through learners who become civil citizens. Without knowledge and its proper social applications, combative behavior will dominate society, instead of civility.

Education is a crucial path to civility.

Great Teachers, Great Future

community-educationBeyond my vocation as a pastor, I feel called to use my leadership service for the advancement of education. One of the biggest misconceptions about education comes from a definition that is too narrow. The belief that education exists only for the dispensing of knowledge is not just a limiting description, but a destructive guiding principal. Education is more than standardized tests, graduation rates and school rankings.  Education is about the individual. When an individual’s mind and heart come alive as a life-long learner, teachers have unleashed God-given potential. With all the contemporary problems with education, I believe that effective teachers are still one of the greatest assets we have for a better future.

And The World Goes ‘Round

The World Goes 'RoundI was so impressed with the opening night of the musical revue And The World Goes ‘Round by Actors Point Theatre Company. The show continues this weekend and next at GodWhy Church in Hendersonville. The music is written by the legendary musical theatre team known as Kander & Ebb. Though this production has no direct association with CIL, our children’s pastor Greg Wilson is the Artistic Director of Actors Point, and is one of five amazing performers. Our worship leader and my wife, Beth Allison (in the green dress), was another performer.  It was great to see Beth shine in this area, as she worked really hard to make it a success.  Beth has a bachelors degree in Performing Arts, so she is very comfortable and effective on stage. It was a fun night of music, and I highly recommend it! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015 (7:30 PM)

Sunday,  April 19, 2015 (2:00 PM)

Saturday, April 25, 2015 (7:30 PM)

Sunday,  April 26, 2015 (2:00 PM)

Get your tickets by clicking here

Dr. Charles Gaulden’s Sermon


On Sunday, April 12, my good friend Dr. Charles Gaulden spoke at CIL.  Dr. Gaulden is a professor and Old Testament scholar at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida.  He was instrumental in CIL hiring me in 2008, when we merged the two church plants.  Since then, Dr. Gaulden has served me as an academic mentor, as I sat under his teaching and leadership when earning my masters degree in 2009-10.

His message on Psalm 46 called “Therefore” was an encouragement to us all!   On a personal note, we had a great weekend of fellowship, encouraging one another and laughing quite a lot.

Take a listen to the sermon: