Sincere

Posted in Reflections.

sincerity2I often run across people, both those that claim Christianity and those that don't, who seem to argue from the same playbook. They seem to argue from the negative. Here is what I typically hear –

• Christians are all hypocrites. Have you seen how some Christians act?
• Christians argue over the smallest and insignificant things...one church argued over whether you could have a clear podium because it looked too much like a televangelist's podium.
• Christians don't tip well. They are stingy and don't give well.
• Christianity is just a bunch of rules.

Well, let me clear up a few things by quoting Alexander Campbell from his debate vs. Robert Owen.

Jesus Teachings

Posted in Reflections.

prayingThis past Wednesday night the teens and I sat and talked about the teachings of Jesus. It was an incredible study that opened my eyes to how the world changed, not just because Jesus was the physical Messiah, but because of what He said. What he SAID.
These teachings were and are so important to who we are as Christians. Sometimes I think we focus on the physical cross and His physical suffering and death, and rightfully so, while forgetting His life and teachings. Just take a look at one of these teachings that changed the world.

In Luke 11:9-13 Jesus says, "And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

Snowpocalypse

Posted in Reflections.

snowpocalypse

I've spent a lot of time in the past few days thinking about being prepared for all of life's hard times. We have seen a gridlock of crazy weather in the past few days that has completely, and literally, frozen Atlanta and the southeast into one big block of ice and snow. It was beautiful as I watched it come down slowly outside in my back yard. It was stunningly tranquil.
I remember looking over at my daughter and seeing the joy in her eyes. Snow! SNOW! Everywhere. She could barely contain herself with the joy that was inside of her. She wanted to run and play. She instantly started singing that really catchy song from "Frozen." It has now been playing in my house for the last three days.
And then I turned on the news. Oh. MY. GOODNESS. What a horrible, horrible mess. I started seeing and hearing of so many stranded and lost. I heard of so many who were walking miles, sitting in their cars overnight, and eight hour commutes. I heard of children trapped in their school buses, in their schools, and teachers stuck at school. I heard of people having babies in cars stuck in traffic. CRAZY things.

Gods love

Posted in Reflections.

godslove

Over the past few weeks we have been studying about God. Specifically, Discovering God. In doing so we have learned lessons on fearing God, knowing God, seeking God, and this past Wednesday we spent time on God's love. We talked about 5 things that help us better understand the love of God. I wanted to share these with you all.

GOD'S LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL. HIS MERCY AND GRACE ARE CONDITIONAL.
I hear people constantly say, "God loves me. He just wants me to be happy." Yes, God loves you. He sent His Son to die on the cross for you. He loves you. That has never been in doubt. But do you love Him back? Are you willing to do what He asks of you? Are you willing to change your life and be what He wants you to be?

offering

Posted in Reflections.

offering"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, 'How have we despised your name?' By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, 'How have we polluted you?' By saying that the Lord's table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering.

Discovering God

Posted in Reflections.

discoveringGodfacebook

I love new years. I really do. I don't really know why, but I just do. It is an amazing feeling to feel that one can just start over and be something different. I love that feeling of being at the cusp of something great. A new year always makes me feel that way.

This year has been no exception. I feel like something incredible is possible in this new year. And I know exactly why.

It is because we serve the God of hope and renewal. We serve a God that gives us hope in tomorrow, hope in forever, and renewal found in His Son.

Worship Leftovers

Posted in Reflections.

leftovers

If I were to choose any person in the world to visit my home, it would be Sir Alex Ferguson. In years past, I would have said David Beckham for sure. Our kids could have played together, my wife and Victoria Beckham could have gone shopping together. David and I would hang out and talk football (soccer), Man Utd, Italy, and world cultures. But that was a few years ago. Today, I would love nothing more than for Sir Alex Ferguson to come to my house.
Sir Alex Ferguson is the greatest football (soccer) manager of all time. Seriously. It is not even a matter of opinion. In his 26 plus years as the manager of Manchester United he won an unprecedented 38 trophies, including 13 Premier League titles, and 2 Champions league titles. For those of you who have no idea what that means, that's the equivalent of winning 13 BCS National Titles, 13 Super bowls, 13 World Series, 13 Stanley Cups, or 13 NBA titles. And 2 world cups. In 26 years.

The Value of Encouragement

Posted in Reflections.

jeffjenkins

In the summer of 2011, I left a job that I loved dearly. It was one of the hardest things that I have ever done in my life and it affected me in a very profound way. I loved the work, I loved the teens, and I loved the church, but it was not a good fit in a lot of ways. I was left extremely dejected and, honestly, very hurt.
The day after I left my job I loaded my family up and moved to Texas for the foreseeable future. I went to get away, to spend some time with family, and to spend some time in thought. My brother-in-law offered me some work in the oil fields and I took him up on the opportunity.
It was not hard work. In fact, it was mostly tedious. I would spend 12 hour shifts reading gages every hour on the hour and write down the water pressure to best estimate when to call out a water tanker. It doesn't take a rocket scientist, but it does take someone who is disciplined. More than anything, it provided me with hundreds of hours to sit and think. And that is what I did.
I thought about the future. I thought about God. I thought about ministry. I thought about the mission field. In fact, I'm pretty sure I covered just about every avenue available to me at that point in time. But most of all, I thought about whether or not I wanted to stay in ministry.

Family History

Posted in Reflections.

family-history

Recently, I decided to do a little family project. I spent some time on the ancestry.com website researching my family history. After a few phone calls to family members, I found out a whole lot about my family. I found my grandfather's enlistment forms for World War II, my great grandmother's birth certificate, and my great-great grandfather's marriage license (all photocopies of course). It was intriguing to find such incredible pieces of my family history.
There are stories about the Edwards through the years. Supposedly, over 140 Edwards fought in the Civil War – 138 for the North and 2 for the South. We have ancestry that runs back to King Edward (thus the Edwards name) and also a notorious pirate. Honestly, I'm not sure which one of those is better. I also managed to find out that on my mother's side we are related to President Buchanan. Not even sure I knew that there was a President Buchanan.

Silence

Posted in Reflections.

silence

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish." Psalms 1

Who are you online?

Posted in Reflections.

facebook

There are days where I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Now, some of you might think this to be a waste of time and I agree. There are some days where it is. Other days though, it is a great place to see how people are doing, catch up with old friends, and to encourage one another.
Each and every day I try to write something positive on Facebook. Sometimes it is a scripture from the Bible, and sometimes it is just my random thoughts. I am amazed how many people read these posts everyday! But I guess I shouldn't be surprised in the end. With all of the bad that there is on Facebook and the Internet, providing a source of positivity is a good thing. So, I keep doing it.
However, I have learned one incredibly important lesson about social media and the online world. There are a thousand and one things to argue about with someone.
Let me give you an example.

Finding the good in the bad

Posted in Reflections.

ADHD

There are days that I sit in my office and just think. Seriously. I just sit there and think for hours. I always look like I'm doing something and usually I am. I may be typing, writing, reading, or surfing the net, but my mind is always running at a thousand miles an hour.
When I am at home I typically have a book next me that I am reading, a computer that I am on, a TV program that I am watching, and possibly even a phone conversation going at the same time. I honestly do not know how I can do all of these things at once, but I can. This issue has always caused me to not test well or even have the greatest grades in the world. My mind has always roamed and had, well, a mind of its own. I have had quite a few people tell me that I may have ADHD throughout my life and sometimes I agree with them but other times I do not. But mostly, I feel that I have been blessed by this "curse."
Some look at this craziness and think that it is just that, craziness. I choose to look at it and think that God has given me a talent.

Ask a Question

Posted in Reflections.

office

Annoying sound. Dream stopped dead in its tracks. No more annoying pig flying around his house. Must have been a dream, he thinks to himself. Annoying sound. Annoying sound again. A sleepy hand reaches over and hits the snooze button on his phone. A few minutes pass by before the annoying sound kicks in again. His hand reaches out again and types his code in slowly to unlock his iPhone. Groggily he brings his phone close to his face, and without really looking, he turns off the alarm.

Legs stretch out and slowly place themselves on the carpeted floor. Slowly, he stands up while yawning and heads to the bathroom so he can take his shower. The shower is too cold at first and then its too hot. He’s awake now.

Making the Old Brand New

Posted in Reflections.

doors

As I walked into the bottom floor of a flat (apartment) building in Kramatorsk, Ukraine many years ago, I was scared. I was twelve years old. I was in a foreign land. I knew no one but my small family who was with me. I was in a strange place. I wanted to go home.

The outside looked bland and colorless. The inside even worse. Concrete walls. Many rooms but no doors. Trash here and there. No bathrooms. No light except what came through a few dirty windows. The floors were covered in dirt, dust, and looked to have never been cleaned. There were walls that had never been painted. A building that no one cared about. Hopeless.

My fears became stronger when taken into the basement. We went down a flight of stairs, flipping on one light switch as we went, and we walked into a place that looked like a prison. In my twelve-year old mind, even the worst criminals in the world wouldn't want to be here. It was the creepiest place I had ever been.

Then vision, hard workers, godly people, and a mighty God went to work.

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Worship Times

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10:00 am Worship
6:00 pm Evening Worship
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