Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Journey of the Magi - By T.S. Eliot

A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times when we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities dirty and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wineskins.
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

This was written by T.S. Eliot on August 25, 1927. This was after his conversion to Christianity and his subsequent confirmation in the Church of England.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Matthew 2.13-23

This coming Sunday I will be preaching on Matthew 2.13-23. I want to spend some time looking at verse 23, that says: "There he made his home in a town called Nazareth, so that what had been spoken through the prophets might be fulfilled, 'He will be called a Nazarene.'" The question that has caused me to spend time with this verse is this: What is the importance of Jesus being called a Nazarene? I think that this has two important aspects: 1) the unclean spirit in Mark 1.24 calls Jesus the one from Nazareth, and then in the same breath describes him as the holy one of God. This has a great deal to do with Numbers 6 ----- and figureheads like Samson, Samuel, John the Baptist and others. 2) This also has to do with the incarnation. For Jesus still introduces himself to Saul as Jesus of Nazareth in Acts 22.8. Why this is important is due to the fact that this is the resurrected Jesus answering Saul's question: "Who are you Lord?" How does this change our understanding of the resurrected Jesus when we confess that he is Jesus of Nazareth?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Preparation

I had to share with you all this awesome quote that I read while preparing for preaching on Christmas Eve. It comes from Alan Culpepper and he says: "A humility born of need may be the prerequisite for entry into this new kingdom." Now that can preach!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Luke 2.1-20

This coming Christmas Eve I will be preaching on Luke 2.1-20. I love this passage ---- and especially how the King James Version (KJV) puts verses 11-14: "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The KJV just makes my heart remember days of sitting around and listening to my Dad read from Luke. When I hear "for unto you is born this day", I think that it is addressed to me. That this child ----- was born to me. Interestingly, notice that this address is presented to shepherds in the fields ----- and not to the child's parents. For this child ------ who has come to bring salvation to sinners ----- was born for the whole world. Even poor, peasant shepherds ------ even poor fisherman ------ even tax collectors and prostitutes ------ even the lame, the blind, the destitute ----- and even you and me. This child is our King ----- one who is to reign in our hearts and over all the earth, as we do like the shepherds did in verse 20: "glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them." Merry Christmas to all of you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Westboro Baptist ?Church?

I have been doing a great deal of research lately on Westboro Baptist Church. I have actually found their protest schedule website. Apparently, this morning they are protesting a Methodist Church in Mulvane, Kansas. I would like to ask a question. After reading this snippet --- they actually make the case that this is helping them to love their neighbors. What do you all think of that claim?

Mulvane United Methodist Church in Mulvane, KS December 19, 2010 7:45 AM - 8:15 AM
WBC will picket the Mulvane United Methodist Dog Kennel to warn all who attend that there is death in that pot! So they poured out for the men to eat. And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot. And they could not eat thereof. (2 Ki. 4:40.) Don't walk, RUN from this place! The Methodists long ago dropped any pretense of believing or preaching truth when they allowed women to be preachers and when they began the satanic ritual called "affirmations" - blessing sodomite "couples". The same God who said "thou shalt not lie with mankind as with woman kind, it is abomination" (Lev. 18:22), also said "thou shalt not kill" (Ex. 20:13). When you teach the people that it's okay to be a sodomite, you teach them it's okay to conspire to commit murder. You have utterly failed in your duty to your neighbor to love them as yourself by lying to them about their sins. You did this because you hate God and you hate your neighbor. Not to worry though; we love our neighbor, so we will tell them the truth because that is the only hope for any human. If any of you have an ear to hear, come out from among them, do not partake of their filthy deeds and obey your God! Do that TODAY!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Matthew 1.18-25

This coming Sunday I will be preaching from Matthew 1.18-25. Something that has stuck out to me as I have been studying this passage is verse 19: "Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly." In this passage we can see that Joseph had got wind that Mary was pregnant and was wanting to not hurt her ---- but to "put her away" quietly. He would have been totally justified in not taking Mary as his wife. Here, Joseph loving Mary by dismissing her ----- rather than being harsh with her. We could put a term on Joseph such as chivalrous. He is not wanting to harm his betrothed, but at the same time he feels as if he cannot marry her since she is pregnant with another person's child.

Down South ---- we know about chivalry. I recently read a quote from Stanley Hauerwas on chivalry ----- it goes like this: "But I am never sure I know what women want. I think I need to know what women want because I was raised to think that my job as a male is to give women what they want. I am sure I learned that lesson from my mother. I have always assumed that my task is to make the world all right for any woman who is kind enough to love me. Paternalistic scripts die hard in the souls of Southern males."

For Joseph ---- he is not wanting to harm Mary ---- hence, he dismisses her. But God has different plans and sends an angel to appear to Joseph in a dream. God throws out the status quo ----- and writes Joseph into the gospel story. A story that is centered and focused on the salvation of sinners.

Do you all think you could have acted on this revelation from an angel of the Lord?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Isaiah 35.1-10

This coming Sunday we will be focusing on Isaiah 35.1-10. This passage begins by describing nature bursting forth in color and with joy. The natural world will give abundantly of itself ---- give rushing water, pools, streams, and swamps. And all of this is breaking forth at the traveler is moving along the highway called the Holy Way. This comes specifically from verse 8, which says: "A highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Holy Way; the unclean shall not travel on it, but it shall be for God's people; no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray." What does this say to us about the relationship of creation with God's people traveling through deserts and the wilderness?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Christmas Party 2010

For those of you that missed the Annual Christmas party, I uploaded a video from the party. The audio is really rough ----- sorry about that ----- there was a lot of background noise. Please enjoy this rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas, Person County style. If you cannot see this because you are on facebook, follow this link to my blog.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Flash Mob

You have to check this out. If you cannot see this because you are in facebook follow this link. This is one of the most awesome witnesses I have seen in a long while. Hallelujah chorus in a mall.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

John the Baptist

This week we will spend some time with John the Baptist. I will be focusing on Matthew 3.1-12. I have always wondered why John the Baptist had such a profound influence on the upper elites of Judea? Why would they come all the way out to a river to get baptized by this guy that seems to be such a ruffian? Just to prove my point, it says in verse 7: "But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, 'You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee form the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance.'" This seems like an unlikely candidate for the upper crust of religion to come out seeking to be baptized. I wonder if it has something to do with the traditional role of prophet and royalty that is so prevalent in the Old Testament? What do you all think?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

BBQ Overview ---- You really need to watch this

This is a great overview of BBQ for all of you. If you cannot see this video then please follow this link.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Romans 13.11-14

The new year begins for the Christian Calendar on this Sunday, November 28th. So, happy new year! It is the beginning of Advent. A time where we reflect on the coming of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ ---- and prepare our hearts and minds for his coming. I will be preaching on Romans 13.11-14. Verse 14 says: "Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." There are points in our lives where we make ridiculous statements like: "I need to go and find myself." How does that kind of statement jive with: "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ"? Can you still be yourself and put on the Lord Jesus Christ?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Time of Thanks

I just wanted to write a note to all of you that follow my blog. I am so thankful for all of you. You are truly a gift from God and I am thankful that the Lord has placed you in my life. There are times where I am writing that I know that many of you have prayed for me by name and that you have gone out of your way to say that you appreciate the things that I have written. Our Lord is a merciful and gracious God and part of that manifestation is found in your mercy and graciousness. Thank you for your continuing prayers and your involvement in my life. During this season, my prayer is that we can all give thanks for those friendships that surround us with love and grace.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Jeremiah 23.1-6

This coming Sunday we will be talking about what the prophet Jeremiah means when he says: "The Lord is our Righteousness." When I think of righteousness I think of right-standing. That in our relationships with each other we are doing right and in our relationship with God we are doing right. In this passage we could make the point that because the Lord is our righteousness ------ now we can be in right-standing relationship with others. So our ability to live in right relationship with God/others/ourselves/nature is all due to the Lord who is our righteousness. The one who has made us righteous ----- through the righteous act of laying down his life for us. But, this is the intriguing thing to me ----- what is the significance of "the Lord is our Righteousness" being tied to the line of David? Why does there have to be this kingly line?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Content Gap Methodist Church

This is a video from a dedication service that I went to in Jamaica. The church that we were at is Content Gap Methodist Church. This is their Sunday School choir. This church was re-dedicated after being destroyed by a hurricane around 3 years ago. There was much to celebrate that night ----- and this is a small example of that celebration. If you are having a hard time viewing this email click on this link and it will bring you to my blog.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

All Saints Day

This coming Sunday we will be celebrating All Saints Day. This is a great experience as a Christian as we remember those who have gone before us and those saints that are in our midst. I was wondering what you all think of All Saints Day? What does it mean to you? What do you think God teaches us through the saints?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In Disciple Bible Study

In Disciple Bible Study we have been studying about God's law found in the first five books of the Bible (Torah). As I was studying for Bible Study I found this great video about wearing a Jewish Prayer Shawl. This is talked about in Numbers 15.38 and Deuteronomy 22.12. I thought you all would enjoy watching this video that explains the shawl and how to wear it. If you cannot see this video then follow to my blog at

Thursday, October 14, 2010

At the Rob Bell Seminar ......

At the Rob Bell Seminar he quoted Frederick Buechner saying: "The common view is that life itself, whatever life is, does not care one way or another any more than the ocean cares whether we swim in it or drown in it. In honesty one has to admit that a great deal of the evidence supports such a view. But rightly or wrongly, the Christian faith flatly contradicts it. To say that God is Spirit is to say that life does care, that the life-giving power that is life itself comes from is not indifferent as to whether we sink or swim. It wants us to swim."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


We are in the midst of a four night revival. So far it has been going great. I have really enjoyed partnering with Concord, Oak Grove and Lea's Chapel in this revival. It has been a lot of fun to see what God is doing in the four different churches. The Lord has truly been present and some people have made some big commitments to Jesus Christ. Tonight is the last night and we are gathering at Concord United Methodist Church. Rev. Jim Jones will be preaching and the Warren's Grove Choir and Praise Band will be sharing the special music.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Autonomous Vehicle

I saw this really cool website that is having a van drive for 3 months using the latest in Artificial Intelligence. I found a trailer on it, but you can also check out the website for more cool videos: If you cannot see this video that go to my blog and you can watch the trailer

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chapel Service

I went to an awesome service at Goodson Chapel this week. Goodson is at Duke Divinity School. I actually missed going to Chapel at Duke so I have continued to go to the seminary once a week and attend chapel. This last week was a song service and I got introduced to a new song by Hillsong United. Here is the video from YouTube. If you cannot see this then follow this link:

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jeremiah 29.1-7

This passage from Jeremiah 29.1-7 is a letter that was sent to the exiles in Babylon. After being sent off to Babylon Jeremiah sends this letter to the exiles instructing them to put down roots. That even in the midst of oppression and chastisement they were to bloom. They were to be like a cactus flower. They were to be a people that thrive in a place that does not feel like home. Do you ever feel like you are not at home? Have you ever made a determined effort to find your place in a community that made you feel out of place?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hiking Trip

I took my three oldest children on a hike in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park and it was awesome. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done ----- but truly a meaningful experience all around. It is nice to have bathrooms and tables ----- but it was awesome to be out in the woods for 5 days.This is the last day of our journey. We had just ascended 1800 feet in 3 miles.We had an opportunity to see wild elk. They ended up coming about 100 yards from us.We spent a lot of time near creeks. We got to play in the creek.This is the day we left on our 24 mile journey. It just a few hours we were wet and I was told a tropical depression came through. We did end up getting soaked on the next day. The sun did come out and all of us started to really enjoy our time out in the woods. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone who likes to hike. It was tremendous.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Jars of Clay

Jars of Clay is one of my favorite bands. And with this video I can continue to see why. Good friends of ours, Pol & Michelle Buckingham, helped make this video.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Coffee House Event at Tricia's Espresso

Join us at Tricia's Espresso for a Coffee House Event featuring live local musicians. This is being sponsored by the Outreach/Missions Committee at Warren's Grove. Tricia's Espresso is at 43 Abbitt St. in uptown Roxboro. This is a great event to invite friends and neighbors, and those who are turned off by the church. This will be a safe place to hang-out and enjoy a good latte, iced coffee, cappuccino, or espresso. All are invited!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Jeremiah 8.18 - 9.1

This coming Sunday I will be preaching from Jeremiah 8.18 - 9.1. One verse that sticks out to me at first glance is 9.1, where the prophet says: "O that my head were a spring of water, and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people!" I wish that we all were like this ----- where we have cried and wept for the people of our communities. And we have done that for so long that we have run out of tears. Oh, if we were to have broken hearts ---- like God's broken heart over the indifference, the devastation, the murders, the losses, the grief, the hypocrisy........ Here the prophet is grieving over the situation and place the people are in ----- specifically the "slain poor people". What would the church look like if there were people that wept day and night?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Monk's Meal

Last night we had a Monk's Meal at home. It was a tomato based soup with carrots, celery and lentils. This was served with dried toast. This was part of my children's education for the day. They learned that Monks in a certain area of Britain do not consume any thing from four legged animals. So they could not have butter on the bread. Also, you are to eat in silence while listening to the holy scriptures being read. So we popped in a tape of Revelation chapter 17 and ate in silence ----- which was a huge accomplishment for an 8 year old, 6 year old, 4 year old, and a 1 year old. Yes, even the one year old was silent for the entire meal. Monasticism ----- what will be next in our wonderful world of homeschooling?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What I have been reading

Now that I have not been in school I have been reading some interesting books. One in particular that I have been with for a long time ------ is a book by a man named Nicholas Lash. It is called Easter In Ordinary: Reflections on Human Experience and the Knowledge of God. One fascinating quote that he has that has caused me to want to finish this very thick book is: "I am almost inclined to say that philosophers have no expertise except disciplined attentiveness and somewhat suspicious curiosity. They may be industrious but theirs is a service industry. They conquer no new territories and fashion no new products. All that philosophers (and, I would argues, theologians) have to work on is other people's conversations." What do you all think he means by "disciplined attentiveness" and "suspicious curiosity"?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

What does Jesus mean by hate?

In Luke 14.26 Jesus says: "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple." I thought Fred Craddock had an insightful comment on hate. Craddock says: "To hate is a Semitic expression meaning to turn away from, to detach oneself from." He said that at the time Jesus is saying hate it does not mean the same thing that we would mean by hate. We would think of hate as to loathe someone or something ----- here Jesus is saying that we are to make our priorities line up with our love and trust of God. This is a verse that has caused a great deal of angst ---- but in light of this view we are to make sure we do not put family / friends / self, before God.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Luke 14.25-33

This coming Sunday we will be focusing on Luke 14.25-33. This is oftentimes called "The Cost of Discipleship". One thing that has really stuck out to me are these phrases: in verse 28 it says "sit down and estimate the cost", and verse 31 says "sit down first and consider". There is something to be said about sitting, estimating, and considering. Are we taking the time to reflect in our daily lives? Are we actually looking at the grand perspective and asking what God would have us do? Or are we just doing things by impulse, and never considering to be intentional with using the time that God has given us? I think that these verses could easily be called "Counting the Cost of Discipleship". How do you count the cost?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Personality Festival

Today at the Personality Festival the Warren's Grove Praise Band and the DunHuffTon's will be performing at the Main Street Pavilion Stage. I hope you all can come on out and support the bands. They have been working really hard at practicing and preparing for this opportunity to share the love of Jesus through song. They perform at 10:30am till 11:30am. See you then.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Luke 14.1-14

As I have been studying this passage it is one that I see all the time. Especially when I go and visit my grandmother. Jesus tells a parable about how you shouldn't go and take the best seat at a wedding feast ---- and that is because the host might come and make you move. When I go and see my grandmother she would never want to take a good seat. In her mind she would rather just sit on the floor and let everyone else have a comfortable seat. Is this what Jesus is saying to us? That we need to make sure we are uncomfortable all the time and let everyone else live a comfortable life. If that is all that he is saying ---- then I don't know why he was killed for saying those kind of things. Instead, I think that Jesus has something to say with humility and who we sit down and fellowship with. Are we always trying to rub shoulders with the big muckity-mucks? Or do we fellowship with the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind? (see verse 13) My grandmother is an awesome woman ---- but I would love it if she would just take the good seat ----- because she deserves ----- not because she wants it ---- but because of what God has done in her life.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Sunday, August 15th @ 6pm

This last Sunday was a powerful time to discuss what death is ----- and how death does not have the final say. Colin Knapp truly did a terrific job leading that difficult discussion. This coming Sunday, August 15th @ 6pm we will be diving into a theme called: Christianity in the World. One particular question sticks out to me as I prepare for Sunday ----- the question is: "How can the church assist every parishioner in discerning and answering the call God has for them?" In order to live as Christians in the world we must recognize that we are all called by God to live out our faith in real and tangible ways. I am looking forward to the discussion that will follow. See you then.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday, August 8th @ 6pm

I wanted to give you a little information ahead of time about our next WikiWorship event. It is going to be on Sunday, August 8th at 6pm at Warren's Grove. Associate Minister Colin Knapp will be leading the discussion. It will be about Death, Dying, Suffering, and Hope. This is bound to be an intriguing subject and I encourage you to come on out. Andrew Hungate will be cooking and he is making a taco bar that night. Also there will be children activities as well. Look forward to seeing you then.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

WikiWorship - Sunday, August 1st @ 6pm

I wanted to let you all know what our next WikiWorship gathering will be about. We have some great questions coming up ------ questions like: "What are sins?"; "How do you know if you are really saved?"; "How far is too far to go with a boyfriend or girlfriend?" For the most part these questions deal with a relationship with God and can we be assured of that relationship. I have so much enjoyed the fellowship, but also the time of going deep into some very difficult questions. Last week's questions really stretched me and it was great to have so much interaction during our time together. I look forward to seeing you all then.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Next WikiWorship Event

For the next WikiWorship event (July 25th) we are going to be going with a theme of questions that ask what it means to be a Christian. There are some very intriguing questions in this group. Questions like: "Why is the church a place of gossip instead of worship?"; "Aren't all religions different ways of saying the same thing?"; "Is unconditional surrender possible for humans?"; "Where does God draw the line to say whether someone is old enough to know about him and believe in him?"; "Why is it so hard for Christians to see that we are called to share all we have with all of God's people?"; and finally "What is a Christian?" So we are going to be talking about things like why there are so many denominations, who goes to heaven / hell, and what does it take to be a Christian. I would like to invite all of you out on Sunday, July 25th at 6pm ----- there will be children activities, food, and a safe place to bring up the hard questions. See you there!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thank you to all of you

These are Thank You Puppies!!! Who doesn't love puppies ;-)

I wanted to send a quick note thanking all of you that came out for our kick-off event of WikiWorship. I thought it went really well and I was so encouraged to have all of you come out. This first week we talked about a very interesting question ----- "Who made God?" We will be sharing more on the blog in the coming days what the next question will be. See you then.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vacation Bible School

We just got done with Galactic Blast. It was awesome this year. I am so thankful for all the hard work that Karla Tuck put in. Also, for all the adult volunteers and youth volunteers. You all are an awesome group of people. The children really learned a lot this week.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kick-off Event for WikiWorship - Sunday, July 18th @ 6pm

You are invited to our kick-off event for WikiWorship. It is going to be at Warren's Grove ( and you can get directions by clicking on the link. This will be on Sunday, July 18th @ 6pm. We will be grilling out and there will be children activities. We then will be diving into questions that are similar to this one: "Who made God?" This will deal with things like cause & effect, evolution, and Biblical authority. I look forward to seeing you all then. If you have any questions, or you need better directions don't hesitate to call or write. You can call Pastor Philip at 336-592-3400 or you can email at

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Getting ready for the kick-off

Hello everyone. We are getting ready for the kick-off of WikiWorship. We have gathered all the questions and we have found some unique themes and interesting questions. We are going to start out with a very popular question that goes something like this: "Who made God?" We can all see that this question deals with many different avenues. Some of those deal with evolution, the notion of cause and effect, and biblical authority. We will be gathering on Sunday, July 18th at 6pm to talk about the answer to this question. I am going to be studying hard because I am up first for the answer. But we will also open up the microphone and intentionally give space so that others can respond as well. If you have any questions or you need directions to Warren's Grove just let me know. See you all then!!!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Amos 7.7-17

This Sunday I will be preaching from Amos 7.7-17. This example of the holy life has always intrigued me. The Lord is holding a plumb line in his hand in verse 7 and asks Amos what he sees. The plumb line is a way of measuring whether something is straight, and the reason it does that is based on the fact that it points toward the center of the earth. I automatically think of the things that measure our lives. What measures our stature or our character? Is it friends? Or family? Or advertisements? Here, the passage says that the Lord is the one who measures the building to see if it straight and to see if it is centered. What would it be like for the Lord to measure us?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Galactic Blast

We are getting ready for Galactic Blast Vacation Bible School. We started setting up yesterday at Warren's Grove. We have blow up space aliens and astronauts. This is going to be an awesome Vacation Bible School and I hope that all of you can come out for it. It is going to be Sunday, July 11th; Monday, July 12th; Tuesday, July 13th; and Wednesday, July 14th. Our commencement program will be on Sunday, July 18th during the 11am worship service. This is designed for children ages 3 through 5th grade. All of our Middle School and High School students are invited to come and help lead this VBS. See you then.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Galatians 6.1-16

On Sunday I will be preaching from Galatians 6.1-16. When I read this passage the verse that sticks out to me is verse 15 that says: "For neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything; but a new creation is everything!" The new creation that is found in Christ Jesus is everything. In this new creation God remakes the believer into a person that can authentically love and help the neighbor. This is a result of the Holy Spirit infiltrating our hearts and changing us into that new creation. Now we can actually live lives that are selfless ----- rather than selfish. That is why a new creation is everything. But now I would like to let the skeptic walk into this conversation. And as the skeptic I think we should ask ----- can someone ever authentically do something that is totally not selfish or egotistically motivated? What do you all think?

Monday, June 28, 2010

We went out one more time last night

Well last night we went out one more time to gather questions. One team went door-to-door around Warren's Grove and another went to Huck Sansbury park. This time we had Grey Pentecost come and follow us. She is a journalist from the Courier=Times newspaper here in Roxboro. She shadowed the team that went to Huck Sansbury park. We have had a very successful time gathering questions in the community. I have noticed that it has been a great deal easier to gather questions this year then it was 2 years ago. I think that is due in large part to the amount of people that are going out. By having more people going out and gathering questions it has just been easier. I also have been very encouraged by the response from the community ----- even though some people did not have any questions ----- everyone has been very warm and inviting. This is the last week that we are gathering questions so please post one under the comment section below. Thank you all so much!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Interestingly, we come to a passage this Sunday that talks about freedom. It seems like when I talk about freedom everyone immediately refers to the freedom we have here in the United States. In Galatians 5.1 the Apostle Paul says: "For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." In one essence we are free in the United States to do certain things ----- like the freedom of religion and the freedom to bear arms. But in another sense we are not free to do other things ----- like break the speed limit and not pay our taxes. Therefore, our freedom is contingent on our obedience to laws that the government prescribes upon us. In Galatians it sounds like our freedom is caught up in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the one who makes us free ----- not a particular law. Do you think it is possible to still be free ------ even if the particular nation you are in prohibits certain of your "freedoms"?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Terrific Time

I wanted to share with you all that there were 9 of us that headed out around town on Sunday night to gather questions. It went phenomenally well. I think we gathered around 50 questions. We went out in teams of 2 and 3. One team went to Palace Pointe ---- another went to Wal-Mart ----- another went to Huck Sansbury Park ----- and another team went door-to-door in a local neighborhood. If you all have anyone who would like to share a question, please don't hesitate to get it to us. This is truly exciting and I am glad to be a part of it. Also, please be in prayer for us ----- Grey Pentecost (who is a journalist at the Courier=Times) is going to come out and watch what we do next week. She is planning on writing an article on what we are doing. If you would like to come out with us please let me know.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Reminder about questions

Hello everyone. I wanted to send out a quick reminder about questions. We are gathering questions from everyone ----- across the whole globe. We received our first question the other day and so we are on our way. So, if you have a question for God, or for the church, or about life that you have never had the guts to ask, or you have never gotten an adequate answer please send it our way. You can either write it in the comment line below. Or you can email me directly at There are no dumb questions and there are no questions that are too hard. Look forward to hearing from you.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Some comments on the State of the Church Address

On Thursday night Bishop Gwinn started his State of the Church address with three questions. 1) Who are we? 2) Where are we? 3) What is our call? He went on to say that we are people that have a personal relationship with Jesus--and that our hearts have been warmed. We are experiential people--whose hearts have been touched by the power of the Holy Spirit and that God has changed us into children of God. He went on to say that we are on the edge of something different. We are on the cusp of now becoming something different, but there are a couple of things holding us back. He said that we need to give the ministry back to the laity--that we do not need to professionalize the ministry. Ministers do not need to be responsible for everything that goes on in the church. He also said we need to forget about making everyone happy--instead we need to stay in love with Jesus. Then we went on to explain that we need to be extravagant in our encouragement toward one another. We are to practice what we preach by encouraging one another. We also need to practice what we preach by living for Jesus and with Jesus. Our residence is to be found in the God who laid down his life for us. Our call is to be ones who go with Jesus all the way--not half way--but all the way.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Rev. Ron Snider

Last night I ran into Rev. Ron Snider. Rev. Snider served at Warren's Grove from 1988-1991. He and his wife Katie are serving at Fletcher's Chapel United Methodist Church that is in the Durham District. His children are Greg (age 21) and Emily (age 17). He wanted to say hello to everyone at Warren's Grove.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

An interesting fact

An interesting fact was brought up today at Annual Conference. They said that in the entire United Methodist denomination that 76% of our churches had an average worship attendance of less than 100. In the North Carolina Annual Conference there is an average worship attendance of less than 100 in 74% of our churches. That seems like a very large number of churches are small membership churches. What do you all think about that?

North Carolina Annual Conference 2010

We are in Greenville, North Carolina. In this picture you will see Colin Knapp, Philip Chryst, Martha Caves, Peggy Fulcher, and Virginia Wrenn. Please be in prayer for us.

Rev. David Blackman

I first ran into Rev. David Blackman. He served at Warren's Grove from 2002 to 2006. David and Jackie Blackman are currently serving in Grandy, North Carolina. This July he is taking a new appointment at St. Luke's UMC in Laurinburg, North Carolina. He wanted me to tell all of you that he misses you, loves you and is praying for you. Jacob is now 12 years old and Joshua is 10 years old.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Galatians 2.15-21

This coming Sunday I will be preaching on Galatians 2.15-21. Verses 19-20 say: "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Sometimes there are other translations that change the words "faith in the Son of God" to: "by the faith of the Son of God." This is a huge difference ----- and it is one that I am going to focus on. This faith is not some sort of force that we exert on situations that cause things to change ----- instead, this is Christ's faith that changes situations. Christ's faithfulness to the Father lead him to the cross. Through Christ's faithfulness we are crucified with him ----- this isn't something that we can do by the sweat of our brow. Therefore, because of Christ's faithfulness we lean to him as our hope and our assurance, for the life we live is according to his faithfulness. Do you all see the difference between these two translations? What do you think?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Official Gathering

We are officially gathering questions for WikiWorship summer 2010. 2 years ago (you can see that post by clicking here) at Warren's Grove we did WikiWorship and now we are going to do it again ---- but in a different way. This year we are going to do it on Sunday nights at 6pm July 18th, 25th; August 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd. We will be grilling out and then have children's activities during the WikiWorship event. Then we will invite the youth and adults to participate in the event where we will attempt to answer the hard questions that people are asking. We want to be a church that creates a safe place to ask the hard questions, rather than a dangerous place to ask the safe questions. But, what we need from you are questions. So here it is: have you ever had a question for God, the church, or about life that maybe you have never had the guts to ask or you have never gotten an adequate answer? If so, click on the comment link below and post a question. Or you can email me directly: Or just write on my facebook wall. We are truly looking forward to hearing all of your questions and responding to them. This will be a terrific opportunity for us to grow in our faith and in our relationship with each other.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Reinhold Neibuhr

In his book Leaves From the Notebook of a Tamed Cynic, Reinhold Neibuhr wrote in 1928: "We are told by a delightful 'expert' that we ought not really teach our children about God lest we rob them of the opportunity of making their own discovery of God, and lest we corrupt their young minds by our own superstitions. If we continue along these lines the day will come when some expert will advise us not to teach our children the English language, since we rob them thereby of the possibility of choosing the German, French or Japanese languages as possible alternatives. Don't these good people realize that they are reducing the principle of freedom to an absurdity?" Sounds very similar to today.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Galatians 1.11-24

We started a sermon series on Galatians last Sunday. This week we will continue in the first chapter of Galatians. One interesting thing to me in this passage is how Paul talks of his being set apart by God. God says something similar to Jeremiah when God says: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you." (Jeremiah 1.5) The Apostle Paul says: "But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace." (Galatians 1.15) This is an interesting statement to me because of the prevalence of God's grace. The grace of our Lord was calling Paul before he was born ----- even while he was in his mother's womb. Some people would say that Paul is being arrogant at this point ----- but we must understand that he is talking about God's grace. Is it possible for us to look at what Paul is attesting to as not being prideful or arrogant? Instead, can this be viewed as his humble attestation to the immensity and enormity of God's grace?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Not of human origin

It says in Galatians 1.11-12 says: "For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ." Here, Paul is saying that the good news (gospel) that he shared with the Galatians was not something that was of human origin. Paul did not receive it from a human source ----- therefore, he proclaimed the gospel as not being from a human source. Instead he received it by divine revelation and this revelation was of Jesus Christ. How does that change things when Paul says this was not from a human source? This is a good question, especially when we look toward scripture. Is scripture of human origin or is it of divine origin? If it is of human origin, what kind of impact does scripture have on our lives? If it is of divine origin, what kind of impact does scripture have on our lives?