Saturday, December 26, 2009

Colossians 3.12-17

This Sunday I will be preaching from Colossians 3.12-17. I love verse 17 that says: "Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Imagine living into this. That whatever we do we feel confident that we can do it in the name of Jesus. This kind of reminds me of the "What Would Jesus Do" [WWJD] bracelets that were popular years ago. This is where we should be aiming for as Christians. That our Christian lives become all encompassing ----- so as to involve every aspect of what makes us who we are. Christianity is not just for one hour a week ----- but instead it is a way of living and being that is shaped by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Have you all had opportunities in your daily lives to do things that reflect the new life that you have in Christ?

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Luke 2:8
There were some shepherds out in the nearby fields, keeping watch over their flock at night.Luke 2:9
An angel of the Lord appeared before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them. The shepherds were terrified. Luke 2:10-12
But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid! Listen, a Savior has been born to you today who is Christ the Lord. Here is your sign: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”Luke 2:16
And they found Mary and Joseph, and the baby was lying in the manger.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Selfish Giving?

I heard a great conversation starter on selfish giving. This was on NPR on December 22nd, 2009. I thought you all would enjoy hearing this. If you are reading this on facebook then check out my blog at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I forgot

I forgot to tell you all about my interview in November. If you will remember I wrote a post about the commissioning papers that I was writing (you can read it by clicking on this link). The interview went very well. I have a discernment team that is made up of 9 people from all over North Carolina. There are 7 clergy and 2 laity. I passed the initial part of the interview that had to do with my call into the ministry. Now I am in the process of writing the second part of these commissioning papers. They are due on February 1st, but I am hoping to have them done by the end of my winter break. These papers are a lot more lengthy. The total page count is about 60 pages. I have written about 6 pages so far ----- and I should have another 6 written by the end of this weekend. Please continue to pray for me through this commissioning process. I appreciate all of you that have shown your support and have prayed for me so far.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Micah 5.2-5

This coming Sunday I will be preaching from Micah 5.2-5. The thing that sticks out to me immediately about this passage is verse 2, which says: "But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel." This seems to be a theme in all of the Bible, that God uses the little ones ----- the ones that the world does not look at as powerful and influential ----- to do the miraculous and awesome tasks that God has for the world. In Isaiah 11.6 it says: "The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them." Notice the little child shall lead. Paul says something similar in 1 Corinthians 1.27: "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong." God's ways are not our ways, like it says in Micah ------ God is using little ole Bethlehem to raise up a ruler. Have you all ever seen God take the little things or supposedly "insignificant" people to do awesome things with?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Casville Lights

If you cannot see this video go to my blog at The Pairs and Spares Sunday School class is going to go to see the Casville Lights again this Sunday, December 13th. You all are invited. We will be leaving the church at 5pm and we will be getting something to eat along the way. I look forward to seeing you then.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Veggie Tales - Saint Nicholas

If you cannot see this video then go to my blog and you can watch it This coming Wednesday, December 9th at 6:30pm we will be showing the latest Veggie Tales video ----- Saint Nicholas: A Story in Joyful Giving. I want to invite all children out for this wonderful time. There will be balloons, popcorn, coloring and 2 CD's and a DVD as a door prize. I look forward to seeing you all then. You can find out how to get to the church by going to the website at

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Urban Abstract from Musuta on Vimeo.

I just found a cool new video site ---- you will want to go to my blog if you are reading this on facebook. I thought you all would enjoy this cool video.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I wanted to ask all of you to please be in prayer for all the college students that you know. Pretty much all college students (myself included) are up to their eyeballs in exams and papers. I have 3 papers due in the next 5 days and I would really covet you all to pray for clear insight and understanding as I am writing these papers. I have about 52 pages that I am writing here at the end and have written about 5 of those pages so far. Thanks for your help. Blessings to all of you that are in the midst of exams and papers.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Black Friday Song

If any of you missed the premier of the Black Friday Song that I wrote, here are the words:
"O come, O come Black Friday. And rescue us from this economy. And let us go and spend all the money we don't have. For we don't have to pay till 2011. Rejoice, rejoice, for Black Friday. And rescue us from this economy."
"O come, O come Black Friday. And let us go shopping. So that we don't have to talk to one another. Instead we can go and buy blenders, toys, computers. Rejoice, rejoice, for Black Friday. And rescue me from talking to my family."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

Special note ----- if you are reading this on facebook you will want to go to my blog to watch this video www.wikiworship.blogspot.comI would love to hear what you all think. Does this resonate with your understanding of Advent and Christmas?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What do you think?

Tell me what you think.

Wow ------ it is Thursday

I have just realized that it is Thursday and I haven't written anything yet. I do have something to say though ----- this is the last Sunday of the sermon series through Romans. I will be preaching from Romans 14.1-12. Paul says in verses 7-8: "We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we did, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's." The life we live is to be to the Lord ---- who is the author and finisher of our faith. If this life that we live is not that way, then we are living a life that is turned in upon own desires and wants. What does it look like when our life is lived to the Lord?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

And we're off....

We are down in Fayetteville now ----- it is Saturday and it is finely not raining. Keep praying that we will experience the fullness of God's love on Pilgrimage.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pilgrimage - 2009

I am heading down with the youth group from Warren's Grove to Pilgrimage 2009. I am really excited and my prayer is that we will experience the risen Jesus Christ in an awesome way. This year the speaker is going to be Rev. Ruben Saenz who is a Pastor in Texas. Also the special music this year will be Nathan Tasker. You can find out more about Nathan on facebook at We'll see you down there!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Operation Christmas Child

This last Sunday we had our Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box packing event. It was a wonderful time and everyone packed a lot of shoe boxes. I think we came really close to our goal of 50 (we are within 10 or so) and so if anyone wants to contribute a last minute shoe box let us know. We pray that they will reach out with the love of God to all the children of the world. Amen.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Romans 12.20

In Romans 12.20 it says: "No, 'if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.'" Wouldn't this be something ----- we have our enemies over to the house for some good home cooking. Instead of gossiping, back-biting, slander, inventing evil, ruthlessness, hatred, and deceit ------ our response is to have them over for scrambled eggs and grits, collard greens, sweet tea, roasted clams, pinto beans and cornbread, peach cobbler and cream soda. Is this possible?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Romans 12.9-21

This coming Sunday I will be preaching from Romans 12.9-21. One thing that sticks out to me right away is verse 9 that says: "Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good." How do we hate evil? Some people have taken words like this and ended up hating people that they would describe as evil. Also, they have hated things that they think are evil. As Christians-----how do we hate rightly? (I understand that statement seems almost impossible to say) But seriously, what should we be hating and how do we hate that in the right way? What do you all think?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

rethink Church

Commissioning Papers

You all might have noticed me writing about these things called commissioning papers, so I thought I would let you know what they are. I am considered a Local Pastor in the United Methodist Church. What that means is that I am ordained to a particular Parish setting and there I have been set as the Pastor (in this case Warren's Grove). When I complete certain parts of my schooling then I can begin the commissioning process of becoming an Elder in the United Methodist Church. I am now at the beginning stages of applying to become a Provisional Elder (which is the beginning of applying to become a Full Elder). To do that I had to answer seven questions about my call into the ministry (it ended up taking me 14 pages to write it ----- you know Pastors are sometimes long winded). So, when you hear me describing that I have completed my commissioning papers, that means that I am on my way to becoming an Elder in the UM Church. Please keep praying for me ----- I am going to be interviewed in the middle of this month.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Angel Food Ministries

This is something that we will be learning about in the coming weeks at Warren's Grove. I thought I would give you a sneak peak.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Romans 10.5-17

This week I will be talking about salvation---and what that looks like in the letter of Romans. Sometimes we have a false idea of salvation, especially when we look at others. We think that if we just pull ourselves up by our boot straps and go out and Git'r'done then we will be saved. Who really is the Lord of salvation? If we have the ability to Git'r'done, by an act of our will ----- then who is the author of salvation?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Walk To Emmaus

This weekend I am going to be an assistant spiritual director at a Walk to Emmaus. If any of you have hone on the spiritual retreat called Walk to Emmaus I would love for you to comment so that others can know about it. It is a phenomenal retreat where a person can get away from the normalcy of life and experience God in a new and profound way. The problem is, that the closest community gathering is about 1.25 hours away from Roxboro. That is why there are only 4 folks at Warren's Grove that have gone on the retreat. I look forward to the day when there will be a closer one that we can participate in. I will be back in time for the big weekend. We are having homecoming this weekend and Ryan Quanstrom and Edgar Ellis are both preaching. See you all then.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Since I don't have anything interesting to say [and I am in the middle of a hectic week], I thought I would just show some cute pictures of the kids.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Duke Library

I like to hang out and study at the library. I thought I would share with you all that information. Just in case you are ever looking for me and you can't seem to find me ----- I have made it my custom to study all of my school work at the library. The two places I like to hang-out are either Bostock Library or the Divinity School Library (specifically in the Holy of Holies [also known as the reference room]).

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Romans 5.12-21

The passage that I am going to be preaching from this coming Sunday is Romans 5.12-21. The hardest hitting and far reaching verse of the passage is verse 18 that says: "Therefore just as one man's [Adam] trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's [Jesus] act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all." This verse shows the sin of Adam's disobedience to God, in the garden of Eden, while at the same time showing Jesus' cosmic changing righteous action in laying down his life for humanity. One of the first questions that I think of when I read a passage like this is ----- so many people say that Adam and Eve are just a myth, if that is the case then is sin a myth?, and then if that is the case was Christ's death in vain? This is a disturbing question ---- but the Apostle Paul is the one who brings Adam into the equation. I have a certain place I have staked a claim, but I would like to hear what you all think. Comment below.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Christ Died for us

Romans 5.8 says: "But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." And then in verse 10 it says: "For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life." We were enemies of God---and God died for us. What a paradox. And that is God's radical grace.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Enemies of God

In Romans 5.10 it says: "For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will be saved by his life." Paul is saying that we were at one time enemies of God and then through the death of Jesus we were reconciled to God. Can you look back on your life and see times where you were doing the very things that put you at enmity with God? It says later on in the letter of Romans in chapter 8.7: "For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God." Is this where the true battle field is ----- that our minds have not been transformed and as a result of that we are hostile to God with our thoughts? Have you found ways to take your thoughts captive?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Romans 5.1-11

This coming Sunday I will be preaching from Romans 5.1-11. What portion of this that really stuck out to me is verse 9 that says: "Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God." It seems like we hear so little about the wrath of God, and instead we hear about God's love and kindness. Since I have heard so little about God's wrath, I am wondering what exactly God's wrath it is that we are saved from? What do you all think? What is the wrath of God we are saved from?

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I don't have any idea why we even talk about idolatry any more. Here in modern day America we don't actually have idols that we make with our hands. Do we?

Thursday, September 17, 2009

All are sinners

So, my last post about sin was leading up to what Tisha (please read Tisha's comment by clicking this link) is talking about ----- that Romans 3.23 says: "since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." But, one thing I want to get at is it is easy for us to see the sin that is so apparent in society ----- hence my reference to the MTV Video Music Awards ----- but, is it as easy to see the sin in our own lives. So often we try to justify things that we know are sins by saying things like: "well I am not as bad as some people." Have you ever caught yourself comparing your sin to other people's sin? And, once you make that comparison do you ever go on doing the same things you were doing because you aren't really "that bad" of a person?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sin - Romans 3.21-31

So, we are coming up on that part of Romans where Paul talks about sin ---- and he spends a long time talking about sin. And he talks about all kinds of sins. Paul talks about the sins of the Jews and also the sins of the Gentiles ---- that we all are sinners. Now, we don't like to talk about sin in modern day America because we are tired of some old televangelist with slicked back hair yelling about how we are going to hell and that we are a bunch of sinners (while at the same time make your tax deductible contribution). But, I have heard it said before that universal sin is the one Christian doctrine that all people can agree with ---- because we look everywhere and we see a bunch of sin. That is one reason I put the MTV music video award picture above, because that seems like it has been the hype all week. That there was just some flat out crazy stuff going on on stage. Even Jack Black lead the "congregation" in a prayer to Satan that started: "Dear Dark Lord Satan", while everyone held hands. But, what do you all think? Do you all think that it is really easy to see that there is sin in this world? If that is the case, then can you try to define what sin is? Let me know what you think.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Power of the Gospel

Now another important question in preparation for Sunday has to do with the power of salvation. I left us in the last blog post saying: "Do you think that the gospel is really the power of God for your salvation?" How about we make that a little broader ----- is the gospel the power of God for your neighbor's salvation? or maybe your neighborhood? or maybe your county? or maybe even the whole world? Is the gospel really that powerful? And if it is, then are we really acknowledging that we are ashamed of the gospel by not living out our faith boldly and enthusiastically? This is the very power of God we are talking about.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Letter of Romans

Now that we have finished going through a large amount of the letter to the Ephesians we are now going to begin a new venture ----- the letter to the Romans. This has been one of my favorite books of the Bible for a very long time ----- ever since I tried for a number of months to memorize all of chapter 8 (even though it was unsuccessful). But, as I have been diving into this letter I have realized how little I really know about it. This is a letter that is very deep in its theological analysis and also very broad in its use of the Old Testament. As a result of that I am really looking forward to a greater knowledge of what God has to teach us and transform us with this letter to the Roman church. We will be beginning this Sunday on Romans 1.8-17. I encourage you to read along with me as we dive into this passage ----- and the passages that come up. Romans 1.16 says: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Have you ever been ashamed of the gospel? Do you think that the gospel is really the power of God for your salvation?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Warren's Grove Praise Band

I did want to put this picture up and thank the Praise Band for all of their hard work leading up to Personality Festival. There was a wonderful turnout and I was so pleased to see Warren's Grove folks and other Roxboro folks there to support the band. Thank you all for your hard work. We are proud of you and this wonderful accomplishment.


I had a big weekend this last weekend. The reason for that is I was honored to be able to perform the wedding ceremony of Devon and Mandy Raisch. This is a dear couple that I have gotten to be very close to. They traveled from out of town to come to Warren's Grove so I could be a part of that special day. I wish them all the best and a fruitful marriage. At times during the ceremony I got really choked up ----- I was able to make it through though ----- just barely. But, God's grace is sufficient.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Softball Announcement

I have one more announcement about Softball ----- and this is quite an announcement to end the season with. We went to the World Softball Tournament and came in third!!! That is so awesome and I am so proud of our guys that represented Warren's Grove so well. You all did great. Thank you also to all of the fans that have supported the team as they have traveled and as they have been at home. You all are truly a blessing and an inspiration. I haven't received a picture yet of the team ----- so if anyone has one shoot me one through email. As soon as I get it I will post it for you all.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


On Friday, August 28th the Warren's Grove Softball Team won our local tournament. Now they are on the way to Cary, NC for the World Softball Tournament. Keep cheering on the team!!! They start on Saturday, August 29th at 9am.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Ephesians 6.10-20

This coming Sunday I will be preaching on Ephesians 6.10-20. In the last couple of years it seems like I quote this passage to myself more than just about any other passage. The reason for that is based on the complexities of working in a church ministry setting. It feels like there are times in the life of the church where there are difficulties with relationships and I have learned that: "Our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." [Ephesians 6.12] When I remind myself of this verse it causes me to spend more time on my knees and less time worrying and fretting. What do you all think? Do you think the real battle has to do more with cosmic powers than it does with flesh and blood? Do you think that relationships are a terrific place for darkness to creep in and cause each of us to fight against each other?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I am really glad

I am really glad to hear back from many of you concerning the passage (Ephesians 5.21-33) coming up this Sunday. It seems like it has struck a chord with many of you. Thank you for your insightful comments. Many of you have said that this passage is not very controversial ----- and I want to remind you of the controversy. This passage is controversial because some husbands will memorize this passage before any others in all of scripture. They will take the text and ramrod it down their wives throat and use it as a way to oppress. Stamping this verse: "Wives submit yourselves to your husbands," on their wives foreheads and then forgetting the whole time that it continues by saying: "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Think of the women that are out there that have to live under the oppressive "headship" of a husband that manipulates and takes advantage of scripture. What could that do to their love of God? What could that do to their view of the church? What could that do to their view of the Bible?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ephesians 5.21-33

This Sunday I will be preaching from a very controversial passage, that being Ephesians 5.21-33. This is the famous passage that has in it: "Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord." The reason I am doing this is because I have been preaching a sermon series on the letter to the Ephesian Church. The lectionary just skipped over this passage, and I didn't think it would be right to just skip over it. I think this is something that has caused a lot of hurt in the church (similar to the picture that you can see above). When this passage is in certain people's hands I think they can use this as a weapon to inflict harm. But, on the other hand, scripture teaches us that all scripture is inspired by God. In light of those two things I am looking forward to seeing what God will share with us this coming Sunday. But, I would love to hear from you all. You can share what you think about verse 22 that I quoted earlier ----- or maybe verse 33: "Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband." Let me know what you all think.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting back into the swing of things

I am starting to get geared up for going back to school. I just got done spending $300 on text books. But that is not as bad as the guy that was in front of me ----- he had a bill for $460. That is a boat load of money to spend on text books. The classes that I am taking this fall are:
A class on Lesslie Newbigin - taught by Dr. Geoffrey Wainwright.
Exegesis of Romans - taught by Dr. Richard Hayes.
The Significance of Catechumenate for Making Disciples - taught be Dr. Fredrick Edie.
This is an exciting semester. I am taking classes with two professors that I have been wanting to take a class with ------ those being Wainwright and Hayes. I only have two more semesters to go.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cleaning my office

Hello blogger world. I thought I would share with you all that I am cleaning my office. It is a laborious task for me and "sometimes" I get a little behind in doing it. But there is something that makes me strive for a clean office ----- and that is a particular pie that DeAnne has promised to fix me if I get done. This pie is called an "Angel Pie." My Grandmother used to fix it for me and my Mother. Now DeAnne "bribes" me into cleaning with the pie. I am not very good at sharing it ---- so she usually makes two. I am almost done!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ephesians 5.3-20

This Sunday I will be preaching from Ephesians 5.3-20. The verse that really sticks out to me is verse 15 that says: "Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil." This verse sticks out to me because it seems to be the verse that all of the other verses hinges on. It is almost as if you can read all the other verses through this one. Like verse 6 ----- you can now say to be careful not to let someone deceive you. Or verse 7 ------ be careful not to associate with deceivers. Have you all found that you have to be careful in certain situations? Have you had to take great caution when you find yourself in certain situations?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ryan Quanstrom

Hello everyone. I wanted to let you know that this Sunday Ryan Quanstrom will be preaching. Ryan has been our Student Associate Minister during the last 10 weeks. It has been a joy having Ryan on staff and I know many of you have been blessed by having Ryan this summer. Thank you again Ryan for all that you do ------ and I am hoping we can have him come back during the school year.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I wanted to share with you all that the Warren's Grove Praise band and myself have been given the opportunity to lead a revival in Hillsborough, NC. The Pastor there is Rev. Scott Finnicum and he heard about the sermon series I did on the Three Simple Rules and asked if we would do it at his church as well. I wanted to tell all of you about this, so that if you would like to come down you can plan accordingly. They are going to be serving food each night at 6pm and then the revival starts at 7pm. Here are the dates: Sunday, August 9th at 7pm; Monday, August 10th at 7pm; and Tuesday, August 11th at 7pm. If you need directions just go to their website and click on directions on the left hand side. If you have any questions you can email me or call me.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Outdoor Mission Camp

Hello everyone. I thought I would put some pictures up for you all to enjoy. You all did a great job.