Journal

Why Does It Seem Like Everyone Is So Angry? (Sunday Sermon Notes)

2021-02-14T17:06:16-05:00February 14th, 2021|Journal|

  SERMON NOTES I was researching bridges and came across a quote from AirForce Magazine - “In time of war, bridges make attractive targets for air attack. They constitute seemingly vulnerable links in the enemy’s lines of communication.” Photo - Bombing of a bridge in Novi Sad in 99, the second largest city in Serbia/Yugoslavia. Photo - Draw Bridge When I think of drawbridge I think about ancient castle with a mote, and security lockdown

Are You Building or Burning Bridges? (SUNDAY SERMON NOTES)

2021-02-14T17:06:58-05:00February 7th, 2021|Journal|

SERMON NOTES America is being squeezed. I’m looking at the results of the squeeze in America, and it’s not all good stuff. In the past week, I’ve spoken with THREE different people who are wresting with their faith BECAUSE of encounters they’ve had with people in their faith family. The question that ALL THREE of these people asked me is “Am I Safe Here?” One was a black man who had concerns with some things

The Bible Is Not A Weapon

2021-01-23T14:20:57-05:00January 23rd, 2021|Journal|

“Let’s play Bible swords.” I was at Vacation Bible School in 1994 when I first heard this phrase. Every kid in the room had a Bible in their hand, no cheat tabs or fingers in the pages yet. The leader shouted “John 3:15…GO!” Every kid in the room is hustling through the pages trying to find this Bible verse first, because the winner got candy as a prize. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the books of

Bridge The Gap

2021-01-22T19:01:58-05:00January 22nd, 2021|Journal|

Wherever there are labels and divisions, we tear them down. Wherever there are outsiders, we build bridges. Black folks in a white dominant society? People who are gender confused? Immigrants? Muslim women? People whose first language isn’t english? Individuals on the autism spectrum? Kids like me who grew up in the foster system? All of you, ANY OF YOU IN CHRIST, have been made an INSIDER. You are fully welcomed, fully loved, no ifs, ands,

Good Grief

2021-01-27T09:46:03-05:00January 9th, 2021|Journal|

Good Grief   Jennifer and I were in tears as we discussed the reality of what happened on Wednesday. After looking at photos and videos, reading commentary, watching my friends react & argue online, and considering the implications of such an event in our Nation...I am tired.    So are you.    You are tired, frustrated, aggravated, and filled with emotions that you don’t even know how to describe. I see it all over you.

Christmas & Equality

2020-12-13T17:32:05-05:00December 13th, 2020|Journal|

Today I preached Luke 1:39-45 - the story of Mary and Elizabeth meeting and introducing their unborn babies to each other. John, Elizabeth's unborn son, was filled with the Holy Spirit upon their meeting one another. It's a powerful, prophetic picture of God seeing, blessing, and finding favor with the "least of these." It's a story of two marginalized women, and two unborn babies, being called by name, visited by Angels, and experiencing the infilling of

Praying Psalm 91

2020-11-25T21:00:21-05:00November 25th, 2020|Journal|

Make Psalm 91 A Personal Prayer God, I take shelter in you. You are the Most High, and I will rest in your shadow. I will live and reside and dwell in your presence, because you are the almighty. Lord, you are MY refuge, MY place of safety, and MY God. I trust you. I believe you will rescue me from every trap and continue to protect me from deadly disease. Cover me with your feathers,

Looking Forward

2020-11-25T00:36:37-05:00November 25th, 2020|Journal|

The other day I was telling someone I was looking forward to seeing them, as I typed I hesitated... I paused with “looking forward” typed into my text thread. I asked myself the question, am I really? What does it even mean to look forward? Is this just something I say, or do I REALLY “look forward”? Seems like I’ve been spending a lot of time looking backward. I’ve wasted a few hours a week looking

Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday

2020-11-24T02:25:08-05:00November 24th, 2020|Journal|

This past Sunday I spoke about Authentic Emotions. We explored the story of David, how he went from living in the Kings palace to hiding in a cave afraid for his life. We may not be experiencing the same circumstances as David, but with Thanksgiving and Christmas right around the corner I can imagine many people are dealing with some of the same emotions that David experienced in the cave. When we focus on the “what

Are you Conservative or Liberal?

2020-11-24T00:21:47-05:00November 23rd, 2020|Journal|

Confessions!! I am theologically moderateI am politically conservativeI am methodologically liberal Confused yet? Me too! Here’s my train of thought: I am theologically moderate Theologically, I am not a fan of any extremes. On moral issues, scripture is not always “black and white.” A lot of times scripture is gray. Where scripture is black and white, I embrace it and do not attempt to make it gray. And where scripture is gray, I do not attempt

We will rebuild

2020-11-23T02:56:00-05:00November 23rd, 2020|Journal|

Everyone knows about the grand opening of Oasis, January 19, 2014. It was our very first Sunday morning service. Hundreds of people showed up, 28 people met Jesus, & it was a big, exciting day.  But here’s the part people don’t know... Technically, we started Oasis 9 months earlier with a small crew of 40-something people in a rented room at the Holly Springs Cultural Center. There were no lights, no cameras, no frills. We stuck

Happy Anniversary

2020-11-24T23:49:00-05:00November 18th, 2020|Journal|

To my love ...the one who laughs with me. ...the one who eats beef with me. ...the one who sacrifices, serves, and loves me. ...the one who gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever received, children. ...the one who forgave me even after I accidentally farted on her my sleep the other night.  ...to the most beautiful woman, who has given me the most wonderful life. You married me?! I’m still in awe about!!! 😂 Sometimes I

A faceless, nameless, pastor.

2020-12-03T13:36:39-05:00November 18th, 2020|Journal|

When it comes to pastors, it seems like people are looking for something a little extra, a Pastor+, a rockstar. Err’body wants to be that “cool” pastor. The one with a slick insta, clever quotes and 🔥  sermon clips. I used to try so hard to be that guy, but I’m over it. I don’t want to be an entertaining, self promoting, personal brand anymore. My calling is to lay my life down, not lift myself up.

It’s Beautiful Outside

2020-11-13T19:42:32-05:00November 13th, 2020|Journal|

Isn’t it beautiful outside? Over the years I’ve come to learn that rain or shine, it’s beautiful outside. Thunder & Lightning? Beautiful. Clear Carolina Blue Skies? Beautiful! Dark, gray, storm clouds creeping overhead? Beautiful! Why? Because all weather is the handywork of our creator.  “He causes the clouds to arise from the end of the earth, makes lightning bolts accompany the rain, and brings the wind out of his storehouses.” -Psalms 135:7 I’ve always considered myself a four

244 DAYS.

2020-11-10T00:09:46-05:00November 10th, 2020|Journal|

244 days... ...that’s how long it’s been since I've seen some of you, that's how long it's been since we've had a 'normal' church service, and that is how long it's been since I went to Harris Teeter without a mask on. Truth is, we’ve ALL been impacted this year. You’re wearing a mask to the grocery store. You probably had to cancel some family plans this year. And by now, you or at least someone

Slogans Are Broken

2020-11-23T12:59:49-05:00November 5th, 2020|Journal|

Heard this phrase the other day, “Slogans are broken.” They were originally made with good intentions, and they were supposed to elevate positive thoughts and bring people together under one banner… …but they have been hijacked.  Slogans have been broken, abused, and taken advantage of. Designed to be vision statements, they are now being used as division statements. They were supposed to be talking points, but now they are being used as trigger points.  Slogans now have

7 Scriptures About Grace

2020-11-05T23:03:57-05:00November 2nd, 2020|Journal|

#1 – You are not condemned! "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1 NET) #2 – Jesus makes all things NEW! "So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away—look, what is new has come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NET) #3 – Jesus does not partially clean us…He does it completely! "Come, let’s consider your options,” says the Lord. “Though your

My Hope Doesn’t Ride On Air Force One

2020-11-03T00:49:43-05:00October 31st, 2020|Journal|

Politics... Did you know, the words politic, polity, and polite are all cousins from the same bloodline? All three of these words refer to what is civil, or… what is right.  Specifically, “politics” means “the methods or science of government”. In the church, we have what we call “Church Polity” which is usually a boring conversation about the right way to govern the church.  And of course you may have heard the phrase “personal polity” which refers to how you govern yourself.

Jesus and the sponge 🧽

2020-11-02T19:03:28-05:00October 26th, 2020|Journal|

Imagine an ancient public toilet…over 2,000 years ago. It’s basically a permanent, outdoor port-a-potty. There was a bucket that you’d sit on, maybe a wall on each side, and a hollow or open area beneath the floor of the bucket where all the human excrement landed. The higher class person would pay to sit on the public toilet, and a slave would remain below. There was no such thing as toilet paper, so the slave would

Thoughts on the Upcoming Election

2020-11-02T19:04:03-05:00October 25th, 2020|Journal|

Hey Oasis!  The election is just a couple of weeks away. So far it has been a multi billion dollar event…over $11 billion dollars, actually. The news coverage is frantic, the gossip is all consuming, the speculation is unending. Some people are using their Facebook accounts to lobby for the affirmation of their specific candidate and worldview, some are using every bit of their influence to convert and evangelize others to join their political party, and

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