I’ve seen this question posed an unbelievable amount of times in recent months by good, kind, and well meaning believers, who are asking the question in most cases because something about a piece of music they heard has genuinely caused them to take issue. The things they take issue with, however, tend to be grouped […]Read More Can Music be Christian?
Hey Everyone! I just wanted to bring your attention to a couple of new pages on my website. As some of you may know, I’m a singer/songwriter, worship leader, and pastor. And I’m in the process of trying to establish an itinerant worship/speaking ministry based out of Charleston, SC (the area I’m from). Part of […]Read More A New Music and Ministry Page!
There seems to be this…I don’t know…unwritten rule in the Church that any sign of unhappiness suddenly means that you either lack faith or even trust in God, OR you are somehow ungrateful for the lot God has given you at the moment. And many times, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Unfortunately, though, often times the […]Read More To the People Who Mean Well In Your Season of Pain
Have you ever been chugging along in life, thinking, “Man, nothing could stop me now!” and almost at that very moment you have the rug pulled out from under neath you and your world begins to crumble? Yeah, that happened to me back on October 31st, 2017. I had been with my company for over […]Read More Yours: The Story Behind the Song – Peace Out of Pain
Guest Author: Cherie Bates I should probably begin by introducing myself. Hello, my name is Cherie, and I have a confession to make: I am not making a New Year’s resolution this year. Instead, I am writing out a manifesto. A manifesto is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as: A written statement declaring publicly the intentions, […]Read More 2018: A Manifesto in Defiance of Generational Norms
There’s an old Harry Chapin song called “Cats in the Cradle” that I recall my father saying frequently when I was a kid was one of his favorite songs. When he was a pastor, I even recall him using the lyrics of the song as an illustration a time or two. If you’re not familiar […]Read More Cats in the Cradle: A Cautionary Tale
You can’t simply state “Jesus fulfilled (“ended” – as is often interpreted) the law, therefore we are under grace.” without fully understanding what Jesus actually did, and what He said He actually did. Take a little journey with me through Hebrews 8 and 9 in order to better understand how GRACE and THE LAW work perfectly in harmony. Hebrews […]Read More We Need Grace AND the Law
I couldn’t help it. I just started thinking about the other 10 lessons I’ve been learning, and up came a few more. So…I’ve laid them all out for you here just as I have done in the previous article. So here we go! Learn to be humble, or God will humble you Himself. Humility isn’t […]Read More 10 More Lessons I’m Learning About Being in Ministry
I’ve been serving in the ministry in one shape or form for the last 15 years. Be it volunteer or paid, full or part time, or as a youth minister, music minister, or both at times. And while I certainly don’t have the track record of many who have gone before me that doesn’t mean […]Read More 10 Lessons I’m Learning About Being in Ministry
Victors take responsibility for their mistakes. Victims blame others for their mistakes. Victors receive correction as a teaching moment. Victims take correction as a personal attack. Victors let go of offenses. Victims horde their offenses and take on others offenses as well. Victors refuse to be defined by their failures. Victims refuse to see anything […]Read More Victor OR Victim: Which One Are You?
Around the start of August a man went out on his porch to survey his property and assess the work that needed to be done that day. The summer had been a wet and hot one so several weeks had passed between the times the man was able to do yard maintenance. The grass was […]Read More Wasps in a Bush: A Modern Day Parable
Right now, in Podunk small town America, aka Cottageville, SC…it is 90 degrees with 54% humidity. According to weather.com it actually feels like 99 degrees with the heat index thrown in there for good measure. For the last couple of weeks it has poured ridiculous amounts of rain on my 1.5 acres here in Cottageville, […]Read More 10 Dangers of Neglecting to Gather with the Local Church Body
How often have you heard someone, when asked “Who is the Church” would respond with a quick, “I am the Church!”? I know I’ve heard it….a lot. In fact, I’d dare say I’ve probably said it a time or two myself. And unfortunately, it’s just not an accurate or biblical statement to make. Don’t misunderstand […]Read More I Am Not the Church
As a worship leader, my desire is to see the church (universal) understand what worship is and actually put it into practice. Sadly there are many voices convoluting and confusing the discussion with equating personal preference with scripture. They may not be actually saying it with their lips, but their actions and attitudes clearly demonstrate […]Read More 25 Aspects of Worshiping God
Last year at this time (Father’s Day) I wrote the following article as I was working through my first Father’s Day more-or-less devoid of a father (he’s still alive, just read the article and you’ll figure out what I mean): Father’s Day for the Fatherless. It’s been a year now. I’m now on to my […]Read More Father’s Day for the Fatherless – Part 2
We’ve all been there…someone in authority over us comes to us and lets us know that they need to talk to us privately. Then, we get to the closed door room and we are confronted with something we may have said or done that is needing to be corrected. I know I’ve been there COUNTLESS times […]Read More When Correction Becomes a Memorial
No doubt you’ve seen them. You’ve seen the cars with the “Christianese” catchphrase bumper stickers on them…or the “Jesus Fish” or the crosses….or even the bumper sticker for a local church plastered on a car…and the rare car that has all of the above plus some. And it also just so happens that the driver […]Read More Bumper Sticker Christianity
I have not always understood what spiritual authority is…nor did I probably even care for a long time. Nor am I claiming to understand it completely now, but I’m definitely farther along than I was. And to understand where I am now, you have to understand where I was and how I got here. It […]Read More Spiritual Authority: This is My Story
This last week I went through a humbling experience. It was brought to my attention by my mentor (and spiritual father…and pastor) that some of my antics on social media may have caused hurt to some close to me, as well as reminding me that as a pastor every action I take and every word […]Read More Humility: The Churches Strength and Its Weakness
Offenses will come. It’s not a matter of “if”, but a matter of “when”. And how we respond to our offenses will ultimately determine how or if we are able to move on from the offense and will also determine how much damage is caused in the process. The unfortunate fact is this: when one […]Read More When Poison Poisons the Poisoned
People are going to hurt you. It hurts, even more, when the hurt comes from those who you love the most. It is, unfortunately, the nature of a humanity that is deeply depraved and fallen, to hurt one another, to eat the wounded, to cause harm physically, emotionally, and mentally to those that we love […]Read More How to Respond When it Seems the One Who Hurt You is Succeeding In Life
Look…I’m not one to get into the “music wars” arguments in church (because they are silly nonsense), but I think this article takes a lot of leaps and bounds in their assertions regarding hymnals. They give 15 reasons why we should still be using hymnals…I’ll give a reason for each of them as to why […]Read More A Response to “15 Reasons Why We Should Still Be Using Hymnals”
It is never easy to say goodbye to people that you have lived life with for so long. It’s easy to say goodbye to people you’ve never poured your life into, but it is NEVER easy to say goodbye to people who have shared intimate moments in your life with you. It was not easy […]Read More When They Say Goodbye: Coming to Terms With Those Who Have Walked Away
Growing up, I’ll admit, I was a disrespectful punk who cared very little about the feelings, concerns, or responsibilities of the average parent of any girl I dated at the time. My biggest concern? That I get what I felt I was entitled to…time with my girlfriend. I didn’t care how it impacted her family […]Read More What I Would Tell My 15-Year-Old Stupid Self About Dating
The biggest lie about marriage and divorce? “It’s just about me and my spouse. No one else.” Sadly, many have bought this lie hook, line, and sinker and have left a huge massive pile of victims in the wake of their divorce. The reality is, your marriage is not only about you and your spouse. […]Read More Marriage & Divorce: It’s Not Only About You.
Ever hear someone say, “It’s just me and Jesus!”? Or something like, “I appreciate your concern, but Jesus loves me and His grace is enough for me, and I know he’ll forgive me and love me just as I am.”? Usually, these statements are blurted out hastily when a pastor or another fellow Christian is […]Read More Accountability: “I don’t need it, it’s Just me and Jesus!”
At some point in history, someone (or someones) determined that they needed to find a better way to be able to see farther and with more clarity than what was physically possible with the naked human eye. It is still a mystery to this day as to exactly who invented it, but the first patent for […]Read More The Nearsighted Church: How to Get Our Telescope Back
I’m not trying to “rain” on anyone’s parade, or be negative. What I am trying to do is paint a picture of the reality of where we are as a nation and issue a warning. And if our people continue to choose to ignore the warning we will further entrench and solidify the judgment of […]Read More It Rains on the Just and the Unjust…
You know, around January 1 everybody put out a “Year in Review” blog or Facebook post or something out there in the social media ether discussing 2016. I certainly have my thoughts on 2016, but didn’t want to get washed over by the plethora of writings I’m sure hit the airwaves that day. Now that […]Read More 2016: A Series of Unfortunate Revelations
Recently a member of the Abolish Human Abortion (AHA) society put out a Facebook status that stated that the gospel was not the main thing. He argued that loving God and loving others was the main thing and that the gospel was secondary to these 2 things. This was also followed up by several leaders […]Read More The Gospel IS the Main Thing…and Here’s why
“Those punk kids will never understand what it’s like to have responsibility. When I was their age I already had a full-time job.” “Those old people are such tightwads. I’m glad our generation is a lot more generous.” “Look at those parents, their kids are such brats. Our parents would never have let me go […]Read More World War Infinity: The Generational Wars
In 2 Kings chapter 7 we see an interesting story where the people of Israel are under siege by the Syrian army. Because of this siege the people of Israel were starving to death. They were helpless, hungry, and desperate. In fact, in chapter 6, we see that they are so desperate that people are literally […]Read More How Shall We Die?
Have you ever been so afraid that you were blind to what was really happening around you? I know I’ve experienced this. Especially when the pressures of life began to have a profound effect on more than just myself, but also my family, or friends, and others around me. The most recent corporate example of […]Read More When Fear Blinds You to Reality
2016 has been….an interesting year. To say the least. But of all the interesting things in 2016, I think that it has been a pivotal year for the church in America. A revealing year. As I’ve stated in previous articles, the heart of much of the American Church was radically exposed. And all it took […]Read More The Missing Spark of Revival and Unity
When in the course of Church history it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the ideological bands which have connected them with another and to assume credibility and obedience to God despite the opinions of mankind that they should declare the causes which compel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be […]Read More A Declaration of Independence from Situationism
This election season, unlike any other I’ve witnessed in my very short 16-year voting history, has been one of the most stressful and disheartening elections I have personally been through. We are still a good 2 weeks out from election day, but let’s not kid ourselves, people have made up their minds at this point […]Read More Minds Are Made Up. So where do we go from here?
“I just want to share with you what God has put on my heart.” In some cases (and I do mean some) this is a legitimate statement. God has indeed (in some cases) put something legitimate on the heart of a believer to speak to another believer. I think about Nathan to David concerning his […]Read More Masking Words With Deceptive Phrases
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. So, today I ended up coming home from work a little early to tackle our yard situation. The front yard needed to be cut…but it has only been about a week since I last cut it. And the back […]Read More Neglecting the Back Yard: Lessons Learned from Lawn Care.
Sometimes pastors must exhort their church in areas that they may be struggling in or could at least improve in. Perhaps it’s exhorting them to be more generous (as we have been doing in my church the last 5 weeks through our “We LOVE Giving” series about generosity)…or perhaps it’s about tithing…or perhaps it’s about […]Read More Don’t Slap Rocks…