Being connected to God is about more than just a union; it’s about communion with Him. When Martha and I got married, it wasn’t long before I began asking, “Who is this woman?” And trust me, she was asking herself, “Who is this guy?” We both realized our marriage was not playing out the way the fantasy did in our minds.
We learned that relationships—real, lasting relationships—take work. We learned that communication is key for success. Whether good or bad, we found out we had to be honest about how we felt, and we had to encourage each other even when we didn’t feel like it.
We have worked at being connected not just by a marriage license, but by communing with each other and with God in relationship. To be successful in marriage and any other significant relationship, you have to be led by God’s Spirit and not your feelings.
Christianity—a relationship with God—is more than just saying a prayer of commitment....
This month we are focusing on our value of "We Honor." A lot of times we associate honor with just those in authority over us, but it is more than that! We should honor up, honor down, and honor all around.
Mark 6:4-5, Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.” 5 And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.”(NLT)
The power of Jesus was hindered because of the people's unbelief and lack of honor. He couldn’t do any miracles among them! Let us not be guilty of unbelief and not honoring. I just want to emphasize why Jesus couldn't do miracles - it was because of their unbelief and lack of honor.
The good news is when we honor God and we honor His Word, we position ourselves for the...
How do you find a Proverbs 31 woman? What does she look like? I don’t have all of the answers but I do know what a Proverbs 31 woman looks like because I married one! And we are celebrating her birthday! The birthday card I gave her said Happy 39th Birthday! But seriously when I think of Martha I think of what Proverbs says,
Proverbs 31:29-31“Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” 30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. 31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”
What I appreciate about Martha is that
Amidst Hurricane Florence, I have been meditating on this Scripture from Psalm 46 (MSG) and in particular verse 1 which says, "God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him."
During a time of crisis and uncertainty we want to mobilize the church and community to step up and serve those in need. No one knows the full impact of this storm but our passion at C3 Church for 20 years is to provide real hope for real people in a real world. And it’s an honor to serve.
Our God is a God who is ready to help. So, during the crisis and the storm, let's take refuge in our God. He has not forgotten about us, He is still on the throne. We have been praying and believing for God to turn this hurricane around and even die out! We believe that God does hear our prayers. Let's pray for those who are in the line of danger, and for the power of God to be displayed. Let's pray for the Church to rise up and that Jesus and His light would shine brightest right...
Everyone of us have probably been hurt and we have hurt someone else. Because hurting people often hurt other people. Sometimes we are even hurt by those who are close to us. But when I realized that Jesus is my Good Shepherd I now have confidence that even if people do or say hurtful things to me I’m ok because I have a relationship with Jesus who declares that He is my Good Shepherd. People may come and go out of our life but Jesus promises that He will never leave us or forsake us!
The Bible often refers to Jesus as a shepherd and to us as His flock. Let’s talk about what that means for us.
The shepherd served as the door to the sheepfold. He stood guard there during the day, and he slept across the threshold at night, making sure the sheep stayed where they were supposed to be and the thieves and wild beasts kept away from his precious flock. This is what Jesus was trying to explain to the Pharisees in John 10 about who He was—and who He is to us.
He is our...
Today begins a new week, so I am excited for what lies ahead! Everyday, we encounter someone who is living in darkness, whether we are aware of it or not. Therefore, we have an amazing opportunity to be a light everywhere we go. Simply by changing our attitudes, we are communicating that light to others.
We all know that the moon doesn’t produce light on its own; it just reflects the light of the sun. When we shine the light of Jesus, it is different because we don’t just reflect the light of Jesus. When He is in us, His light shines through us out to the world. We aren’t just capable of showing His light, though. We are called to share it with the world.
This instruction in the Book of Matthew is one of the most intimidating things God tells us to do. Many believers have no problem loving God, praising Him, and even obeying Him. But when it comes to going out and telling others about Him, we clam up. The good news is that there are a lot of different ways to...
One of the Rolling Stones’ first big US hits was a song called “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” That song continues to be popular because it speaks to a need in our culture. So many people are trying to find satisfaction in this world but keep coming up empty.
The reality is, Jesus is the only one who can truly satisfy, but he wants us to worship Him for who He is, not what we can get from Him.
When I was able to turn to His Word and start praising Him for all He is and every way He had guided and loved me up to that point, it didn’t take long for me to release my fears about providing for my family and find hope for my future, even though I couldn’t see where we were headed.
Jesus wants a relationship with us that remains consistent through the good and the bad. He wants us to call on Him to celebrate with us when things are going well and to help and comfort us when we are having a hard time. God is the Great I Am. He loves it when we worship...
Feeling powerless is one of the most frustrating and sometimes even terrifying experiences we have as humans. Whether we are being pushed around by a person in authority, seeing a loved one suffer through a health crisis we can’t change, or feeling overwhelmed by the number of people suffering around the world, we hate feeling like we have no control.
We might seek power to overcome limitations and insecurities or some other obstacle or challenge we face in life. But what does real power look like? When I mention the word power, what comes to mind?
The Bible is alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12). We need to get into God’s Word and let His Word get into us. Reading the Bible is the first step, but then we need to go beyond that and meditate on His Word. Psalm 1 says that when we mediate on God’s Word, we will be fruitful like a tree planted by streams of water (vv. 2–3). We have to read it, meditate on it, and memorize it.
God has given every single one of us the ability to make a difference with our lives. If we aren’t careful we can focus on our limitations or on our failures. But I believe every single one of us can live a life of excellence!
What is excellence?
Excellence is different than perfection. Excellence is doing the best you can with what God has put in your hands.
Perfection is never being satisfied until everything is exactly the way you think it should be.
In 1998 Martha and I moved from Lynchburg, VA to the Raleigh area of NC to start a new church. I can remember driving around rural North Carolina seeing homemade signs promoting a fundraiser a church or organization was doing with typos and written sloppy by hand. I began to think how we could raise the level of excellence in our community. I believe that when we live a life of excellence that it will help others around us see that they can too.
Our church has gone from meeting in an elementary school...