Friends forever…


A relationship is a connection between persons.

Some relationships are limited to social media interactions while others are packed with investment of all sorts.

Last night at the dinner table, one of our kids was getting the bulk of attention (which is perfectly ok). However, after a while, one of the other kids made the observation that they felt ignored. So, we ignored the point that our child felt ignored. 🙂

After everyone pushed away from the table and began to disburse throughout the house, Leigh-Ann made the effort to connect with our child who felt ignored. She discovered that there were a few other events earlier in the day that contributed to our dinner table discussion.

Relationships are simply a connection between persons, but there is nothing simple about relationships.

This Sunday, Pastor Dave, James and I are really looking forward to sharing some concluding thoughts from Romans 14:1-15:13 regarding relationships within the church. Specifically, among fellow Christians, we will have different opinions on matters of preference and we must accept others without forcing them to see it our own way.

In addition to some shared sermon time, we are planning to spend time answering tough questions on the topic of relationships within a church.

I hope to see you on Sunday!




Yesterday, we went sledding. The kids had been excitedly waiting all day. In fact, they started preparations for sledding at least a few hours before I told them I could be home.

After spending the better part of the afternoon in anticipation we started the final round of layers…snow pants, coats, hats, scarves, and mittens.

Finally, after everyone was thoroughly bundled up and the sleds were packed into the van, we took off for the hill.

All six kids (I included myself in that number :)) had a blast.


The kids went alone…together…and even in a five-person train. I stayed at the bottom of the hill most of the time to make sure they didn’t slide into the road and get hurt…safety first :).

There were a few times the older girls traded with me so I could go down the hill.

I remember the first time, trying to get myself on to a small little saucer and then letting go down the hill and picking up speed and feeling every.single.bump…I wondered if this was the smartest decision for a 40-year-old man.

Well, in spite of my fears, there were no injuries and only a lot of fun and some great memories.

There are times when life is like a trip down the sledding hill. We take off on an adventure and then we begin to think of all that could go wrong…and we become fearful and anxious. This Sunday, Pastor Gabor GrĂ©sz from Budapest, Hungary will bring the sermon from Mark 4:35-41, entitled, “On the other side of your fears.”

I am confident that God will use this sermon in each of our lives. I sure hope to see you on Sunday.


Announcement: This past Sunday, January 1st, I shared a sermon from Psalm 90. I challenged our church to “Make every day count” by committing to reading the Bible every day in 2017. We have posted a personal Bible Study guide on our website as a resource to help you in that pursuit.



I love fresh dinner rolls!

Last night, we went out to eat as a family and the server brought some fresh bread that was hot from the oven with honey butter…I am pretty sure that fresh dinner rolls will be a staple in our diets in heaven.

In fact, my theology bears it out that carbs won’t matter in heaven.

And while I’m on the topic of fresh…there is something amazing about fresh paint, a fresh fade (haircut), fresh shoes and fresh air.

This Sunday, I am super excited to share a sermon entitled, “Fresh” from Psalm 90:12-17.

Looking back on 2016, I would guess that for some it was a great year…but for many others, 2016 is a year that will look better in the rear view.

2017 is a fresh year.!

Better than hot rolls with honey butter, haircuts, and clean air.

Psalm 90 may be the only Psalm written by Moses. In verse 12, he writes, “So teach us to number our days that  we may get a heart of wisdom.”

Going into 2017, we must number our days so we may get a heart of wisdom.

A fresh perspective on the oldest Psalm. A fresh look at a new year. A fresh start for a weary life.

I hope you can join us this Sunday…it’s going to be even better than fresh dinner rolls.


Announcement: You have a day and a half to still give to the needs of New Life and count it on your taxes for 2016. That would be a fresh deduction :). If you are still hoping to give, you can click this Easy Button.

Thank God for the DMV…

Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles. Of all the things on my to do list for the day…my visit to the DMV was at the bottom.

I’m not sure what it is…the mass of humanity piled into a small, bland room with banged up furniture …or…the high level of emotions as people seem to pin their hopes on a successful visit …or…the employees who are literally worn out from dealing with people…

I have no doubt that optimism goes to the DMV to die!!!

So, no surprise that I had my share of drama while attempting to simply register my vehicle. The line was slow and due to an incredibly small mistake on the title, I was sent away without new tags.


As I sat down to resume my sermon study on gratitude, I realized that my gratitude gauge was on empty.

But there is good news…

After spending an afternoon in Psalm 103, my attitude completely changed. Not saying that I’m looking forward to my second attempt at the DMV on Monday…but I have been reminded that in spite of potential negativity around me, there is an incredible amount of things and people for which to be thankful.

This Sunday, I sure hope you can make it out for the service at 10:45am. We will study from PSalm 103 and I’m pretty sure you will be reminded of God’s goodness and you will be moved to bless him.

Hope you have a great weekend!




On Thursday, Leigh-Ann and I traveled out of town to officiate a wedding. While traveling through the extremely hectic airport in Atlanta, we found ourselves in a long line with several passengers. Each one had good reason to be frustrated and one by one shared their standby stories.

There was one passenger who was different than the average…she was empathetic to the airline employees and passengers. She already had experienced the disappointment of being left at the airport while a full flight took off…and her future was packed with more overbooked flights.

After the boarding door slammed shut, I overheard her helping a particularly frustrated fellow passenger while I took off for my flight at a different gate (Leigh Ann and I were booked on separate flights for this leg…long story).

I arrived at my departure gate, and was almost trampled by rude passengers while in line to board…and then I noticed this angel of a passenger holding the baby of a mom traveling alone.

Seriously impressive!

At a time when most people were grumbling about poor service and missed expectations, she was positive and super-upbeat…and helping out complete strangers.

I had noticed her Tar Heals jacket and on a whim Googled NC Tar Heels Women’s Basketball Coaching Staff and immediately recognized the angel passenger, Tracey Williams -Johnson.

While reading her impressive bio, I couldn’t help but conclude that her most impressive accomplishment in my mind is how she treats people…especially strangers.

There is no doubt that the girls who play for her and her fellow coaches are very fortunate. However, one doesn’t need to be a D-1 Basketball coach to make a difference. It all starts with one act of kindness fueled by the Gospel of Jesus.

If you would like more encouragement about making a difference fueled by the Gospel of Jesus, I hope you can attend the service at 10:45am tomorrow at New Life CityChurch. I am confident there will be much to learn about the Gospel and the impact it can make in everyday situations…even in airports.

Have a great Saturday,


Falling in love and staying in love…


Falling in love with Leigh-Ann was easy…she is beautiful, witty, smart, fun…I could go on, but I don’t want her to get a big head :). It’s been more than twenty years since we first met and staying in love has not been nearly so easy.

In fact, some of her greatest strengths have actually provided opportunities to misplace my love for her with my love for what she can do.

Leigh-Ann keep our house immaculate (especially considering that we have five kids). She can cook and bake with the best. She is extremely quick on her feet. She is loyal and quick to forgive.

I’m sure after reading this description, you are wondering how it would be more difficult to stay in love than to fall in love.

Here’s why….if I’m not careful I can become totally preoccupied with what Leigh-Ann can do for me, that I fail to love Leigh-Ann for who she is…

This dilemma spreads far beyond romantic relationships…this Sunday we are going to look at another “Little Fox” called, “The danger of compromised love” from Revelation 2:1-7.

This is the story of a church that fell so deeply in love with the culture of Christianity that they abandoned their love for Jesus.

Unfortunately as a husband, my list of accolades is much shorter than Leigh-Ann’s so I make it easy for her to stay in love with me :).

I am super stoked about the sermon for Sunday, I hope to see you there,


Lessons from a pocketknife…

Last week I received this text, “Heading to the hospital for Dallas. He severed his finger with that stupid pocketknife.”

And yes, there is a story behind that one…

The day before, while I was mowing the lawn, unbeknownst to me, our four year old took off on his scooter. After crossing the alley and the street, Dallas noticed him and caught my attention when I saw him sprinting down the sidewalk. I turned off the mower and headed that way myself.

I gave Ian an hour timeout and told Dallas I would like to buy him a gift to thank him for watching out for and defending his brother.

After several hours of mental deliberation, Dallas told me that he would like a pocket knife.

So after soccer practice, he and I went to two stores to find him a knife. I took some time to educate Dallas regarding the responsibility of owning a pocket knife. I made sure he knew he could never take it to school or church and that he must be very careful when using it.

The next day he went over to his cousins house and Leigh-Ann told him to be sure to only show the pocketknife to his cousins and not to open the blade or use it.

Well, like our four year old, Dallas decided to push the boundaries and started whittling a stick…and then it happened…he sliced through the back of his thumb barely missing the bone and tendons and all the way thru half of his thumbnail.

His initial response was to attempt to hide the wound. This never really worked because the damage from his disobedience far bigger than he could have imagined.

After a full afternoon in the ER of two hospitals, multiple stitches and way more attention than even Dallas wanted, the thumb was bandaged and on the mend. And hopefully the lesson in obedience is intact.

Dallas Finger.jpg

This Sunday we continue our series on “Little foxes that spoil the vine” and will study from James 4:13-17 about failing to take steps of obedience.

When you and I fail to obey God, we may not need stitches, but we definitely will experience consequences. Don’t forget, James 4:17 even applies to church attendance…”So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”

Have a great weekend,