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

Sunday Summary – September 26, 2021 – We Gather

My heart is full from Sunday’s services. Seven were baptized, and we had a special baby dedication at 9:00 AM. I am so grateful for the church and the weekly gathering for worship. It is what God’s people have always done, and the remnant will continue to do so. And if the Lord tarries another one thousand years, believers will be gathering for worship then.

This is what God has called us to do. This is who we are.

Thomas McKenzie – A Significant Loss

I am sorry this blog has recently had so many death notices. It is an unusual time. However, I want to acknowledge and inform you of this impactful death.

Thomas McKenzie was a strategic and important voice in Nashville and America. I am so sad to learn of his sudden and tragic death on August 23. My prayers and love for The Church of the Redeemer, and all who are mourning this loss. He was special and needed.

Click for full article

Peace, Strawberries and Ice Cream

We celebrate with special food. I’ve been reading on and off a lengthy biography of President Ulysses Grant by Ron Chernow. A big story during Grant’s administration was a dispute with Great Britain, which ended with a diplomatic, peaceful solution in the year 1871.


Chernow writes, “the commissioners celebrated their achievement over plates of strawberries and ice cream.”


May there be more peace with strawberries and ice cream!

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. The term “maundy” comes from the Latin word “command.” On this night, we remember Jesus’ new command:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

At a Maundy Thursday service a few years ago, these words hit me with power and conviction. This Scripture has been my life verse since then. I do not always live this Scripture, but it is my standard of spirituality.

On Maundy Thursday, we recognize that Jesus established Holy Communion as our way to remember and connect with Him. We also remember that Jesus washed His disciple’s feet on this day, so we should also serve each other.

The observance of Maundy Thursday is important preparation for Good Friday and the Easter celebration.

Thanksgiving Article in Hendersonville Standard

In this digital revolution, it is still exciting to see an article you wrote in the paper. I am honored the Hendersonville Standard included my Thanksgiving message in Wednesday’s edition. The irony for this post, the article is not posted on line, yet. :-). But, I put it in this blog for those who want to read on a holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

This year may be the most significant Thanksgiving you have ever experienced. Like many observers of culture, I have been alarmed how the original intent of the Thanksgiving holiday has digressed in recent decades. The consumerism of Black Friday has demanded fathers, grandmothers, teenagers, and all types of people work retail on Thanksgiving night.   Movie theatres debuted holiday blockbusters that packed theatres. Sports continue to fill up television each hour of the holiday. While I admit that I have participated in these activities and enjoyed the freedom to do so, too much of these indulgences felt untrue to the holiday’s purpose.  

Thanksgiving holiday originated out of terrible pain. The Pilgrims left England on August 5, 1620. After one ship malfunctioned and others changed their mind, 102 Pilgrims crowded on one ship, the Mayflower. After several delays in England, they had seven weeks of difficult sailing.  November 9, 1620, they first spotted land, which is now Cape Cod. The exploration crew found abandoned corn (even though they had never eaten corn before). This corn would sustain them that first winter. God had providentially provided this corn to help the Pilgrims survive.  Still, it was a brutal winter. When the worst was over, 47 had died, almost half the original number. Our American Thanksgiving is a story of survival, provision, destiny, loss, grace and miracles.   

From that group of pilgrims, the American Experiment’s genesis began, and we are still benefiting from this ideal today. Over the decades, the prosperity of our nation gave options for travel, entertainment, and leisure. This pursuit of happiness is a way of life we enjoy and indulge in on Thanksgiving. Then, 2020 occurred.

Thanksgiving is different this year than any in recent memory. Theatres are closed, retail stores are pick-up only, and sports stadiums have vastly empty spaces – if any fans are allowed at all.  Who would have imagined we would consider mitigation protocols when planning a family dinner?  

Amidst our current national challenge, this is an appropriate time to give thanks to God.   Being thankful does not mean your life is ideal. You may have experienced an unexpected loss this year. You may have altered holiday plans that have left you feeling discouraged and disappointed. Still, we do not give thanks to circumstances; we give thanks to someone. We give thanks to our God, who gives us the strength to endure any grief or trial. We thank our friends and family who stand with us on tough days to get us to better days.  Remember the Pilgrims and reflect on God’s plan for your life. This may be a hard Thanksgiving in 2020, but a heart of gratitude will point us to better days.

Dr. Aaron Allison
CIL Church (Hendersonville)

Remembering Don George and Lynn Hancock

On Thursday, I went to Dallas for Pastor J. Don George‘s funeral. It was a hard but beautiful day. I saw old friends, many that I did not even have the chance for a conversation. I am blessed to be part of the company of pastors who descend from Pastor George’s ministry.

This picture is a treasure to me. Pastor George and Jaroy Carpenter are anointing me with oil before a mission trip in 1990. Behind us is Calvary’s long-time worship leader Lynn Hancock, extending his hand in prayer towards us. Lynn also passed away just a few weeks ago. He was such a good friend to my family and me in my formative years. I learned how to worship in Lynn’s ministry.

I am sad Pastor George and Lynn Hancock have passed away, but I know I will see them again.

The Three Streams Chart

We had such a powerful worship experience last night. We took that evening to lean into the “Spirit stream” and found refreshing in the Lord.

Last Sunday, I started our vision series CIL Forward and shared our identity as a Three Streams church. Here is the chart that we shared during the sermon about the Biblical-basis for a Three Streams identity. Pastor Dan Scott introduced this chart to me a few years ago, and it has been a great way to put in words how God has formed us.