Love in the Tough Places

This past Sunday, I preached on “Love in the Tough Places,” out of John 13:31-35. It’s the section of text where Jesus gives the Disciples the new commandment to love — even in the tough places.

I opened the sermon with a reference to Beyoncé’s new visual album, “Lemonade,” a dynamic ode to heartbreak, restoration, and what it means to love someone in a tough place. Don’t you just love when pop culture helps bring to life the biblical text? #LEMONADE

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A Pocket Full of Stones: A Response About James Fortune

When it comes to stories about “stones,” we all know of the story of David who had five smooth stones in his possession, using only one to take out the giant, Goliath.

My favorite reference to stones is the song called “Pocket Full of Stones” by the rap group UGK. This song, full of expletives, heavy 808 beats, and stories about an inescapable drug life chronicles two rappers who keep their “stones” (crack rocks) in their pockets, waiting for the next addict to find them to make a purchase.

Don’t judge me.

There’s another story about stones in John 8 where Jesus reminds the crowd of men who set out to stone a woman accused of adultery that they should only cast a stone if they too were without sin.

This is the Scripture that is most often used when Christians talk about “judging” the actions of another Christian. We hear, “We all sin — who are we to judge or cast a stone at someone else?”

We take John 8:7 and misinterpret it, water it down, wave it like a banner over the iniquities of others so that we can be removed from the microscope of judgment. We don’t want people to see and judge our sins so we lean into this text in John 8 to excuse ourselves from being accountable for not just our sins, but how our sins impact the lives of others. Continue reading

Surviving Sarah Podcast Feature

A few weeks back, I recorded an iTunes Podcast with Sarah Bragg, host of Surviving Sarah, a podcast focused on what it means to survive — survive life, yourself, your kids, your jobs, whatever! [I stole that from her site, btw!]

Before I jump in: if you don’t have iTunes, click HERE to listen to a streaming version. You’re WELCOME! Continue reading

When God Gives a New Plan

“God is the same yesterday, today, and forever more!”

We’ve all heard this church cliché spilled from the mouths of everybody from seasoned saints to new converts as a declaration that God does not change. God does not change his/her mind. God will always deliver the way God always does, not when you want ’em, but always right on time. Continue reading

Cut from the Same Cloth

I’m sitting in the international terminal at the Atlanta Airport preparing to go to Uganda with 10 new friends.

I can’t explain the kind of excitement and wonder that is bubbling up inside me as I listen to the chatter of Facebook friends turned real-life ones.

But before my attention turns toward the beautiful people of Uganda, I first must tell you about Marcia. Continue reading