Church Blog

Church Blog

June 24, 2020

Dear Friends, As we began our Elder’s meeting this week (on Zoom, socially distanced), Mike Morledge directed us to Colossians 3.  It’s a fitting passage for all of us to be meditating on and soaking ourselves in right now, as we think about how to live in obedience to Christ in a day when many of us are worn out and wondering about where our world is headed.  Colossians 3 gives us guidance.  1. “Set your minds on things that…

June 17, 2020

Dear Friends, You’ve heard of secret shoppers, right?  People who are hired to pose as customers in stores and to provide feedback on their shopping experience?  Many years ago, the Wall Street Journal profiled the work of a man named Thomas Harrison who hired out as a mystery worshipper.  He would attend a local church worship service and then provide the church leaders with a report card, outlining the good, the bad and the ugly. For example, after attending services…

June 10, 2020

Dear Friends, I imagine some of you were surprised to get the email on Monday with news that we were postponing the start of our Confronting Christianity book study that night because of heavy rain and the possibility of flash flooding.  A rained out indoor book study? Honestly, as I’ve thought about the decision to postpone the start of the study, I’ve realized that as I sat looking out at the steady rain falling, I thought to myself “If I didn’t have…

June 3, 2020

Dear Friends, I know I have blind spots. I know my life experiences have shaped and defined the way I view the world. I know I instinctively believe that the way I view the world is right, and that other ways of seeing the world are “less well thought through.” I know I had a head start in life because of the color of my skin. I know as much as I might try to understand or empathize with what it’s like to be part…

May 23, 2020

Dear Friends, I saw Michael Jordan play in person once. We had gone to San Antonio for Mary Ann’s sisters wedding.  It just so happened that the Chicago Bulls were in town while we were there.  In those days, the San Antonio Spurs played their games in the Alamodome.  It’s a football arena that can hold more than 70,000 people.  For basketball games, they typically set up the arena to seat a little over 20,000 fans.  But with MJ in town, they…

May 20, 2020

Dear Friends, First up this week: A little humor. One more?  Okay, here you go.  A mash-up of all the COVID-19 themed commercials on TV these days:

May 13, 2020

Dear Friends, There are no simple answers to the dilemma we are facing today as a nation.  I wish there were. We have taken significant steps to “flatten the curve” when it comes to COVID-19.  What we feared two months ago – overrun hospitals and doctors decided who gets a ventilator and who is left to die without one – by God’s grace hasn’t happened here.  The number of people who have died from the virus is a sobering number, but not…

May 6, 2020

Dear Friends, Anyone ready to re-open?  To get back to being together? Yeah, me too.  I was thinking this week about taking my children on college campus visits when they were in high school.  I remember telling them that 35% of their college experience would happen in the classroom.  65% would happen outside the classroom.  The classroom was central and important.  But most of what they would learn over their four years in college would occur outside the classroom. I think the same is…

April 29,2020

Dear Friends, I need four minutes from you. Here in Arkansas, we’re about to take the first steps toward reopening our state.  This week, the Governor announced that campgrounds in state parks will reopen for self-contained RV units for Arkansas travelers only this Friday.  Cabins and lodges will open up in two weeks.  Today, the Governor announced that restaurants can open their dining rooms in a limited fashion a week from next Monday. And later this week, we expect to hear recommendations for hair…

April 22, 2020

Dear Friends, Anyone else having a hard time trying to figure out what’s coming next? Last week, the Governor of New York declared “the worst is over” when it comes to the coronavirus. This week, the Director General of the World Health Organization said “the worst is yet ahead of us.” The Governor of Georgia will this week lift restrictions in his state to attempt to begin restarting the economy.  Meanwhile, the Governor of Michigan has tightened things down in…

April 15, 2020

Dear Friends, More than thirty years ago, back before there was YouTube or Mp3 files or TED Talks or Master Classes on line, I plowed my way through a series of 39 lectures on church history.  Those lectures were a game changer in my life. Much of my theological education came via cassette tapes.  They looked like this.   My car was littered with cassette tapes.  I had travel cases full of them.  They included albums I had recorded so I could listen…

April 8, 2020

Dear Friends, While everyone around us has their eyes fixed on the COVID19 pandemic, how can we fix our eyes on Jesus?  What does that look like? Let me tell you what it looked like for Mike Morledge this week.  Mike and a neighbor got together and invited the families on their street to gather for a socially distanced prayer time.  They invited the 13 families on their street to join them.  Folks from 12 of the 13 homes showed up. What did they…

April 1, 2020

Dear Friends, I read this tweet yesterday morning and it stopped me in my tracks. I think Sarah is right.  I think we are in for a hard few weeks.  Maybe a hard few months.  Or longer. Mary Ann was listening to one pundit on a podcast this morning.  His forecast was a dim one.  He thinks we will be well into 2021 before we “get back to normal.” I told her that the person she was listening to is a smart man. …

March 25, 2020

Dear Friends, We may be scattered and quarantined, but that’s not keeping many of us from continuing to gather. Small groups are still getting together.  Our youth group hung out together on line on Sunday.  This morning, eleven families gathered on their devices for a Gospel Zone class with the kids.  The kids loved seeing each other!  Everyone sang, played games, learned Exodus 15:2 (with motions, of course) and Mr. Matt taught from Leviticus about God having rules for sacrifices and offerings.  “God…

March 18, 2020

Dear Friends, First things first.  My wife wanted me to make sure I passed this on to all of you.  It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it.  It’s safe to say that none of us has ever experienced anything like this before.  I’ve thought many times this week about conversations I had with my mom about living through the great depression and World War II.  She often told me that our generation couldn’t even imagine what it was like to embrace the…

March 13, 2020

Dear Friends, We’ve made the decision this morning not to meet together for our worship service this Sunday, but to gather together on line instead. As you know, in the past 36 hours, things have changed dramatically.  Based on the most up to date information we have, we believe our most prudent course of action is for us not to gather for worship this week.  In addition, we’re temporarily suspending other meetings at church – the women’s Bible study, Kid’s Small Group,…

March 11, 2020

Dear Friends, You know that potluck we had planned for this Sunday? Yeah, you can see where this is going. As of today, Arkansas has its first reported case of Covid-19.  It’s no surprise to anyone.  It was a matter of time.  The President tonight announced that, among other measures, he is suspending all travel to and from Europe for 30 days.  Tom Hanks shared on social media that he and his wife Rita Wilson, while working in Australia, have tested positive for Covid-19. …

March 7, 2020

Dear Friends, Two quick reminders as we prepare for our time together tomorrow. First, this.  You can set the clocks ahead now if you’d like.  Don’t forget.  Here’s the second reminder. You may have heard there is a bug going around.   When I went to Home Depot this morning, I saw that their workshops for March have all be cancelled.  People are taking precautions to protect themselves from Covid-19.  And that’s good.  There’s a lot the doctors and scientists don’t know yet…

March 4, 2020

Dear Friends, Imagine for a moment that today was November 16.  And for the sake of this thought experiment, let’s say it’s a Saturday and you’re shopping at Target.  Or Walmart.  You can choose. You know what you’d be experiencing, right?  The store would be stuffed with more merchandise than normal.  There would be more customers than normal.  And you ‘d see a whole lot more red and green and white than you typically see.   You might see something that would remind…

February 26, 2020

Dear Friends, For more than three decades, I’ve had this art print hanging in my office.    The painting is called Light In the Forest.  The artist painted this when she was still a teenager.  She had recently broken her neck in a diving accident in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. She was in a wheelchair when she painted the picture.  She was (and still is today) a quadriplegic.  The artist’s name is Joni Erickson Tada. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone quite like her. This week, Joni…