Blog Posts

  • Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah
    Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah See the need (2:3): “Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Set the vision (2:5): “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.” Solicit support of key leaders (2:7-8): “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct […]
  • Unwavering Devotion
    Devoted Discipleshipby Lisa Coleman I would guess that a few of you have or have had a device, most recently smart watches although small navigation gadgets have been around quite some time, that tracks your walk, ride or run. My husband Clif would come in from a long bike ride in west Texas and gleefully (my word!) upload his Garmin, that was mounted on the handlebar of his bicycle, into the computer. He would then study the route he took, the miles he rode, calories burned and reminisce I suppose. The information it yielded told a story, his story for […]
  • Unified Discipleship
    Unified Discipleshipby Lisa Coleman Have you ever taken ‘one for the team’? To answer that, we have to consider if we’ve ever been on a team. I did not come from a family of athletes. But I have been and continue to be on teams. You have too! While it is much more fantastical hearing about gifted athletes saving the day at the last minute by a play that ultimately injured them but won the game, there are quiet acts of sacrificial teamwork happening all around us. We are likely members of a family team, a work team, a friend/neighbor […]
  • Confident Discipleship
    by Lisa Coleman Do you like to go to antique stores? What might fuel one’s fascination with ‘old stuff’? I think comfort plays a large part. Somehow our pasts, our histories if you will, are wrapped up in the breadcrumbs of our younger selves. I just displayed a butter churn of my grandmothers on my kitchen island. My Mother remembers churning butter in it as a child. It reminds her of who she was and brings her comfort and confidence in who she is in her twilight years when so much has changed. That knowledge somehow bolsters my confidence in […]
  • Spontaneous Discipleship
    Why are we called Tennessee Volunteers? I recently wondered this and looked it up, turns out The Volunteer State was coined during the war of 1812. It became even more prominent during the Mexican War when then Governor Brown requested 2,800 men to fight and some 30,000 volunteered to serve. It made me think about last year, the ominous 2020, as we refer to it only half-jokingly. We started out with tornadoes in March, a derecho in May, and a Christmas morning explosion, not to mention the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. In the wake of these catastrophes, we’ve lost […]
  • Catalytic Activity Accelerant INtroduced
    Okay, I will admit that I had a little too much fun creating that logo. But if you have been following the news this week then you likely get the pun.  It serves as a perfect illustration of the power of momentum and I have my lovely wife to thank for pointing that out to me today as I prepared for our study this week. If you haven’t been following the news, then you probably missed one of the wildest weeks on Wall Street in a long time. A group of individual, somewhat activist investors started pumping a stock on […]
  • Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz…
    Plop plop, fizz fizz…  Can you finish that sentence?  I would be surprised if more than a few of you cannot.  Speedy, the little animated character with a tablet for a hat, sang that jingle to us over-and-over again on TV in the 1960’s.  Maybe I am just a bit more nostalgic these days now that I’ve reached 60 myself, but I could not help but think of that classic commercial as I prepared for this week’s study. I am likely one of the few who likes the taste of the effervescent concoction, but that is not my point.  Who […]
  • Supernatural Self-Control
    After successfully separating numerous Siamese twins and continuing to refine the techniques of several complicated surgeries, Dr. Ben Carson has become known throughout the world as a premiere brain surgeon. What many do not know is that because of an uncontrollable temper as a child, Dr. Carson’s career was almost over before it began. In his book Take the Risk, Dr. Carson writes about the day he invited God to help him deal with this critical character flaw: One day, as a 14-year-old in ninth grade, I was hanging out at the house of my friend Bob, listening to his radio, […]
  • F1 Emergency Room Training
    ER Docs Learn from a Formula One TeamWhat could a team of medical doctors possibly learn about practicing medicine from a Formula One racing team? If the doctors remain teachable, maybe they could learn a lot. That’s what happened at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. After completing a twelve-hour emergency transplant, the head doctor watched a Formula One race. As a car pulled into the pit, he noted that the crew changed the tires, filled it with fuel, cleared the air intakes, and sent it off in seven seconds.It struck him that it often took thirty minutes for his […]
  • Supernatural Faithfulness
    Man Attempts Alaskan Channel Crossing in Duct-Taped WatercraftIn many instances, duct tape is highly reliable—but as a means of water transportation, it may not be a prime choice. Just ask the Alaskan man who recently attempted to cross a channel near Juneau on a “homemade watercraft”—more specifically, “an inflatable, duct-taped craft”—complete with a paddle, his dog, and a conspicuous lack of a life jacket. A local news outlet stated that while the “weather on scene was reportedly calm with 9 mph winds,” a local Coast Guard crew still ended up coming to the man’s aid: when the makeshift boat started […]
  • Supernatural Kindness & Goodness
    Salt and pepper, peas and carrots, nuts and bolts, pots and pans, Adam and Eve, Jack and Jill, day or night, hot or cold.  What do each of these things have in common? The duplets each represent a famous pairing and in general each pair results in some semblance of balance or symmetry.  They complement or contrast one another in a way that makes the whole greater than the sum of its parts.  They are symmetrical and synergistic. Have you ever thought about the symmetrical and synergistic aspects of the Fruit of the Spirt? As we embark upon our study […]
  • Supernatural Patience
    If nothing else good comes of the Covid crisis, perhaps it will be a bit slower pace wherein we learn to be more patient with one another. We live in a breakneck, fast paced world, or at least we did until a few months ago. And while things have certainly slowed down for many of us, I suspect the pace will change at some point in the not too distant future. The intervening period will likely be measure in months rather than days, but doubtful that it will be measured in years, in my opinion. Society won’t tolerate it long-term. […]
  • Supernatural Peace
    According to Merriam-Webster, a peacemaker is one who makes peace, especially by reconciling parties at variance. Do you know anyone who fits that description? Do you have any peacemakers in your family? If so, then you know the value that they bring to the table. Like many of you, we just celebrated Thanksgiving in our home with our family. It was a joyous occasion all around. We love having our kids and grandkids around and we had a house full of them for the past few days. In total, we had six adults and five kids crammed into our house for several […]
  • Supernatural Joy
    What do you enjoy doing most in life right now?  What activity brings you the purest natural joy?  For some of you that might be spending time with your kids or grandkids, for others it might involve traveling and exploring the world, and for others it might involve the pursuit of a hobby or sport.  Whatever it might be, it is almost certainly some form of natural joy. In this our second study in the series on the fruit of the Spirit, we turn our focus to joy.  But not just any joy, supernatural joy!  Joy of the Spirit.  What […]
  • Supernatural Love
    Jesus makes it clear that spiritual fruit should be evident in our lives, if He is in us. In John 15:5 He said: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Spiritual fruit only grows when we remain or abide in Christ. It comes from the vine as Jesus told his disciples in Matthew’s Gospel. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good […]
  • An-tic-i-pa-tion
    Do you remember the classic 1970’s commercial from Heinz Ketchup? You know the one where the two boys are having burgers and one must wait forever for the ketchup bottle to be passed. The one with the classic theme song playing: “An-tic-i-pa-tion, an-tic-i-pa-a-tion, it’s making me wait…”  And I’ll be that I’m not the only one who just heard Carly Simon singing it in their head.   The premise of that commercial of course is that somethings are truly worth the wait, and indeed that is so. I cannot say that ketchup or catchup would make my top ten list […]
  • I’m So ‘Cited
    When our daughter Haleigh was little, around 3-4 years old, she had an expression that I loved to hear her use.  It usually came out fast with a bit of an elevated tone. Not quite a squeal but pitched high enough that you knew she was really excited about something. It was almost always accompanied by a big smile, happy feet, and hand gestures. With her big brown eyes, she would look up at me and say, “Daddy, I’m so ‘cited!”  And then she would go on to tell me about what made her so elated, with words pouring out […]
  • Indescribable Joy
    Have you ever lost something of great value? Something that was priceless to you, something that was irreplaceable. You searched high and low for it, to no avail. Finally, after exhausting every possibility you gave up hope and wrote it off as a loss. Do you remember how that felt, the heaviness that came over you when you realized that you would never get it back. Now imagine for a moment, that you found it, suddenly and unexpectedly. How would that make you feel? Would you jump for joy? Would you shout ecstatically for all to hear? What was lost, […]
  • Ultimate Trust
    Have you ever had to trust your life into someone else’s hands?  For those of you with military experience, that may be old hat to you because you did it so often it became second nature to you. Thank you! For the rest of us, it can be scary. It matters not whether you were about to undergo surgery for a life-threatening ailment or whether you were involved in an unfortunate accident and had to be rescued, your survival depended upon the one you trusted to see you through it. You placed your life in their hands and demonstrated trust […]
  • Exemplify!
    Often in life I find myself needing a pattern or wishing for a model of something I am trying to do or accomplish. Maybe I am the only one like that, but I learn best by example and absent a suitable example I usually resort to trial and error.  And if I am being totally candid, there are usually several iterations of trial and error before success is achieved. Sometimes a benevolent mentor has had to step in and show me how to do it or I would never have figured things out. That does not happen too often but […]