Knowing My Place

Jeff Relationships, Salvation, Sundays 0 Comments

“Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great, for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.” – Proverbs 25:6-7 If there is a skill to be mastered by us all, it is that we should endeavor to know …

The Fine Art Of Tuning People Out

Jeff joy, Relationships, Spiritual Growth

A great danger for us is to spend time wondering what people think of us.  Let me declare how people think of us:  INACCURATELY. No matter whether they think more of us than they should or less of us than they should, they never hit the bulls-eye.  A very common affliction for many is the preoccupation with how other people …

If I Love…

Jeff Love, Relationships

In pastoral ministry there is a joyful experience of welcoming new people into the flock.  It always excites me when God entrusts new families to our church and I’m often eager to find out His purposes in merging a singular life or a full family with the group of believers at New Bridge Church where I serve.  When someone commits his …

Rainbow Sherbet Saints

Jeff Relationships

Spiritually groomed in a church culture that emphasized the practice of separation, I learned in the early days of my journey with Jesus that it was my presumed responsibility to be suspicious of those who were different than me. At various points I remember hearing well-meaning (but misguided) Christians speak about God’s expectation that we should maintain distance from people in …

Handling Your Opposition

Jeff Endurance, Relationships

There was a very long season for me in ministry when I rarely went a week without some level of significant resistance from another human being. It was maddening and discouraging on some days, but on other days I found myself stirred for the fight. Looking back, none of it felt holy because the conflict was almost always involving another believer. …

A Rare Friend Indeed

Jeff Relationships

Today I want to intentionally think on friends who have stood by my side.  When your life circumstances take a downward turn, or when you find yourself misunderstood or misrepresented, or when you drop from the heights into a foul, soupy marsh, or when you recognize that you have zero ability to clarify people’s thoughts about you, or to repel …

3 Leanings

Jeff Cultural Observations, Love, Relationships, Service

Thinking deeply.  Working diligently.  Loving fervently. Chances are that you naturally lean more towards one of these three than the others.  We are all hardwired uniquely by God, and that wiring from Him suits His purposes for our lives. Some of you have been granted patient minds that often desire to understand the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’.  Others of you …

Syringes, Brass Knuckles, Flames & A Call For Divorce

Jeff Relationships, Sin

When reading the bible over the course of many years, we expect to be occasionally pierced by the words of Scripture.  When God’s truth pierces us, we are to respond.  Some, like a child getting her first shots at the doctor’s office, squirm and pull away from the syringe filled with the medicine they need. Others, not enjoying the pain …

I Got Saved Twice

Jeff Legalism, Relationships

Set free from my bondage in a dramatic 1994 encounter with Jesus, and immediately thereafter immersed in religious fundamentalism, I considered myself saved, sanctified, separated and sincere. My Christianity was displayed in those early years through a commitment to remain steadfast to an ever-elongating list of Do’s & Don’t’s. I easily marked other believers with whom I differed as being …

Untangled Church People

Jeff Relationships

Many people make the mistake of romanticizing past church ages.  They think that the church of yesteryear was pristine and seamless, fluid and unchunked with the sediment that causes the church to gasp for fresh spiritual air today.  Because of this poorly constructed thinking, many people have abandoned the concept of belonging to a church, and have taken the presumed …

Letting Them Walk

Jeff Relationships

A lot of awful things have occurred under the banner of compassion.  Helping people is one of the practical ramifications of a heart made new through faith in Jesus Christ.  The Scriptures indicate that Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38) and how so much of His ministry exemplified the heart of God to come to the aid of those …

Unforced Errors

Jeff Relationships, Victory

I have no shame in admitting that I enjoy watching the Atlanta Braves play baseball on television.  It adds nothing to my soul and likely assists me in keeping the flabby tonnage that I need to shed as I sit in my recliner instead of walking on the treadmill, but I’ve been doing it since I was eleven years old …

Restaurants & Relationships

Jeff Church Life, Relationships

My family and I are enjoying some time away with each other. If the Lord lays something fresh on my heart to share while I am away, I will certainly blog it. Until then, please enjoy some from the archives. Below is one from a while back that I thought would be nourishing for you today. Blessings to you all. …

The Harriet Tubman Catalytic

Jeff Race, Relationships

So I posted a simple word of affirmation on my Facebook page about Harriet Tubman becoming the new face on the $20 bill. For me, choosing her was a no-brainer, so I wanted to express my opinion that I believe it to be a wise move from those who make such decisions regarding our paper currency. I can think of …

An Important Promise From Jesus

Jeff Forgiveness, Relationships

The promises of God are fuel for the soul. I love the history of the bible because it provides context for my faith. Prophecy in Scripture helps me to know what is coming so that I may be prepared in this life before it ends and I give a final account for my life to my King.  History and prophecy …

Managing That Inner Voice

Jeff Relationships, Spiritual Growth

Following God in life is an incredible adventure.  Christianity is not so much a religion as it is a personal relationship with the unseen God.  No doubt, it is a faith-building process that begins with an instant of surrender and then plays itself out over time as we learn the One to whom we bowed in trust. He leads us …

So You Want To Be Free…

Jeff Forgiveness, Relationships

A decade is far too long a time to be locked up.  From 1984 to 1994 I spent every single day – morning/noon/night – incarcerated.  During those years I went to school, attended raucous parties, traveled in and out of my home state of Georgia, earned a living, took vacations and poured my life into reckless pursuits.  Nonetheless, my soul …

10 Helpful Hints To Grow In Your Gossiping

Jeff Relationships

I wanted to take a rare moment to give a shout-out to all of you gossips out there.  I’m always writing to a presumed audience of people who love Jesus, love His church and love setting a righteous example of unity in the eyes of non-believers.  But not today – today I am writing to you! If You are not …

People Who Have Nothing To Offer You

Jeff Prayer, Relationships

If there is one activity the enemy will fight in your life it is the intentional calling out to God to come to your aid.  Satan is not afraid of our church buildings, our colored lights, our polished eloquence, our social programs or our church-lobby donations kiosk.  Hell will encourage us in much of what happens in our churches because …

Hurting People

Jeff Love, Relationships

Recently, God has allowed me to spend time with some people who are going through deep seasons of struggle and pain.  An incarcerated man who is reaping the whirlwind from his addictions looked at me through a plane of glass in the prison where he now lives and recounted his story of downward spiral to me. Few valleys are as …

Considering An Important Change

Jeff Legalism, Relationships

There is a choice you can make which is assured to make your journey here below much more enjoyable.  Many people, if not most, rarely make this a priority for themselves and it is a shame because of the tremendous benefit it would bring to them.  By the way, this single facet of the walk of faith is also a …

Relational Resurrection

Jeff Relationships, Resurrection

God has been so gracious to us.  As Easter Sunday draws near we have the exclusive privilege as twice-born children of God to rejoice in the reality that we will never truly die.  We will live forever according to Jesus Christ (John 11:26) and His resurrection is the final blow to Satan; the greatest weapon that Satan had was death …

Extended Hand, Open Hand

Jeff FAITH, Money, Relationships

A slight irritation began to find me when a friend refused to let me bless him recently.  This is a good guy, a hard-working servant of the Lord.  I became aware of a need that he had and did some investigative work to see if I could facilitate that need being met.  Respectful of boundaries, I started gently indicating to …

Too Soon

Jeff Relationships, Uncategorized

We have all done it.  A chunk of data finds its way onto the hard drive of our mind and we select a folder, place that data within and encrypt so it cannot be accessed, or deleted by another.  We have all made snap-judgments, formulated prejudices and rendered verdicts without having the necessary component of knowing the full disclosure of …