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Friday, February 16th, 2024

There are two ways to coach someone. You can coach down. Or you can coach up. I’m guessing you are probably wondering what in the world I am talking about.  Real briefly: coaching up is a positive way to coach.  Look for signs of improvement. Look for signs of progress. To get to this week’s Scripture I would say read Colossians 3:1-4. To wrap up from last week:

  • We need to set our minds and hearts on things above. (v.1)
  • We need to reshape our perspective. (v.2)
  • We need to redefine our purpose. (verses 3-4).

Sadly, there is also a need to “coach down.” Let me explain. Coaching down in this instance means to “put to death” certain things. Verses 5-11 is a list of things Paul says we are to put to death. Here they are:

  • We are to put to death our sinful passions. (5-7)
  • We are to put to death our sinful practices. (8-10)
  • We must put to death our sinful pride. (11)

This Sunday’s message is Part 1 of Tough Challenges are Given. Pastor Ryan will be preaching Part 2 while Jo and I are gone. If you have a chance to visit, we would love to have you. If you are unable to join us in person, please check out our live stream. We meet at 9:00 and 10:45.

For another perspective on this sermon, please check out my other blog, Cycleguy’s Spin. You can link to it here.


Friday, January 19th, 2024

The Bible is a book about Jesus Christ. The Old Testament records the preparation for His first coming. The Gospels record Him coming as God in the flesh and His life on the earth. Acts is the message of Christ as it spreads all over the known world. The epistles give us the teachings we need to know about Jesus. Revelation tells us about His second coming-the coming to end all comings.

One of the most powerful words in the human language is a small, three-letter one. That word? BUT.  Track with me please. One, God is Holy, True, and Perfect. Two, men are sinners condemned to be lost forever. The BUT changes all of that with this statement: BUT JESUS.  My purpose in this week’s sermon is to investigate why Jesus changes all of that, why He is to be honored above all. I give some more details about the sermon on my other blog, Cycleguy’s Spin. You can access that just by clicking here. In Colossians 1:15-20 the Apostle Paul makes one of the greatest presentations of who Jesus is in all of Scripture. Short. Concise. To the point. And straight on uncompromising. He is Lord of Creation; He is Head of the Church; and He is the Savior of the Cross. I love preaching about Jesus and His preeminence and His work of reconciliation (making us friends again with God) and His redemption (setting us free). This week’s sermon is going to be fun to preach but by no means is it “easy.” 

Join me/us please at 9:00 and 10:45 in person or via live stream. I would be humbled and honored if you would. Above all, please pray for us this Sunday. Along with the message, one of our elders/building team members will be giving an update on our future addition. Also, two of our young ladies will be reminding us of their planned trip to Kenya next month. Cassie and Hannah need your prayers and support.


The Gospel is Preached

Friday, January 12th, 2024

So…if you go to my other blog, Cycleguy’s Spin, you will see a post about this week’s sermon also. I’m trying to resuscitate Cycleguy’s Spin with a variety of approaches-book reviews, guest posts, upcoming sermons, and even a commentary of sorts when the “feeling” arises.   If you have been there, thanks. I have a new series starting this Sunday called WELCOME HOME…where… I have been developing it and working on it since last October.  Why you might ask? Simple. I think church needs to be different these days. I don’t mean compromising different where the gospel is withheld or not preached for fear of offending someone. But the church should be a “Safe Place.” Let me explain by using my approach for the next two months:


The Gospel is Preached

Jesus is Honored

Grace is Offered

Lives are Changed

Obedience is Encouraged

Truthfully, the Gospel is often hindered or hidden by pastors and churches who are afraid of being seen as bigots or hardhearted or uncaring or narrow-minded. I realize those are and can be said about churches, and quite possibly, me. I don’t think they are accurate though of what the church is supposed to be. We can be firm, but friendly.  We can be convicted, but caring.  We can be solid, but sweet. We can be passionate, but pleasant.  But one thing we must never be is COMPROMISING.

We have a mandate in the Bible. Check out Col. 1:3-14. I Cor. 1:18-31. Romans 1: 16-17.  I found this to be quite revealing:

The goal of the Gospel is not just that we might pass some kind of test by accurately recounting the importance of Jesus. The goal of the Gospel is to produce a type of people consumed with passion for God and love for others.

As you can gather, this first sermon is on the Gospel being preached without compromise. I can honestly say that I am more excited about this series than one I have preached in recent memory. I am so looking forward to it! I hope you will join me in person if possible. If not, we live stream our service at 9:00 and 10:45 a.m.

Dark Horse

Friday, January 5th, 2024

As you can see my theme for 2024 is Run with the Horses. It is a take off of Jeremiah 12:5 where God is asking Jeremiah how he can run with the horses when he gets bogged down in the muck and mire of the Jordan.

The first sermon of the new year is based around three Scriptures: Jeremiah 12:5, I Cor. 9:24-27, and Heb. 12:1-2. They all have to do with running. The truth we all know is that people had feet of clay then; people have feel of clay today. People were evil then; people are evil today. They had a cult of celebrity worship then; we have a cult of celebrity worship today. While we often look at men and women in the Bible as heroic, ready and willing to take on armies, many of them were disappointingly non-heroic. Abraham lied; Jacob cheated; Moses murdered; David committed adultery; Peter blasphemed. And then there is Jeremiah. Jeremiah was different. There is no hint of pride, worldly success or personal achievement. What we do get is a man who is brutally honest about his feelings.

I’m also using the two NT Scriptures to talk about the need to prepare for what is ahead. I suspect that 2024 is going to be a test for those of us who call ourselves followers of Christ.  Hebrews 12 tells us to keep our eyes on Jesus while I Cor. 9 reminds us to run the race and not look around while running.  Vitezslav Gardavsky, a Czech philosopher and martyr who used Jeremiah as his “image of man” once wrote,

“The terrible threat is that we might die earlier than we really do die, before death has become a natural necessity. The real horror lies in just such a premature death, a death after which we go on living for many years.” (Run with the Horses-p.19)

I’d like to invite you to join me in person or via live stream at 9:00 and 10:45.


Friday, December 29th, 2023


The final Sunday of 2023 is rapidly approaching. I know…hard to believe. Right? But it is a fact that Christmas is over and 2024 is staring us right in the eyeballs.  In a few days people will be staying up and watching the ball drop. The only thing I watch drop is my eyelids as I go to bed at my normal time. Usually that time is around 9:00. I may actually push it to 10:00 but I’m not counting on it. 🙂

This sermon ends my theme of VICTORY for 2023. It has been an interesting year in many ways. I took my first ever foray into preaching on Revelation.  I started it on January 8 and preached to the end of February. I took a break for the months of March and April to take a look at Characters of Easter, then preached some on Joshua as I focused on Mother’s and Father’s Day. In July and August I went back to Revelation and got to chapter 13.  During that time Pastor Ryan and his family took a 7 week sabbatical. It was a super busy time for me, but I was able to be involved in some of the young people’s ballgames (I loved it). In September and October I preached a much-needed series on The God We Worship which culminated in the church’s 19th anniversary.  During the months of November and December I honed in on More Than a Holiday (Thanksgiving and Christmas being more than a holiday on the calendar). 

And here I am…the last Sunday in 2023 and finishing up by asking “What Does it all Mean?” You can visit my other blog, Cycleguy’s Spin, for a more complete idea of the sermon. I’d like to invite you to visit us online or in person this Sunday (if you live in or around Spencer or if you are visiting McCormick’s Creek State Park). We would love to have you. We have two services: on at 9:00 and one at 10:45. Both are live streamed.

Have a good end of the year and may your 2024 bring you closer to Jesus.  I will talk about the theme for 2024 in next week’s post on the Sunday gathering.


Friday, December 22nd, 2023


What do the Innkeeper, Herod and the Religious leaders all have in common?  Well…I suspect the title of this post gave it away.  They all missed Christmas. Well…not Christmas as we know it. Obviously. But they did miss the significance of the birth which took place right under their noses.

At the same time there are some who did not miss Christmas. The most obvious are Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men. But there were two who had waited a long time and finally saw their wait come to pass.  I am, of course, talking about Simeon and Anna (See Luke 2:25-40 for their stories).

Back to the first three. This Sunday I will talking about how they missed Christmas and why. I thought I would give you a taste of what I will be saying.

1. The Innkeeper missed Christmas because he was too preoccupied. Have we gotten so preoccupied with life that we miss it?

2. Herod (and others like him) miss Christmas because they refuse to believe or they see Him as a threat. Like Scrooge, they work without a thought given to others or the true meaning of the season.

3. The religious leaders missed Christmas because of their religion. The big question-the huge question-is this: if the religious leaders knew of Messiah’s birth and where it was to take place, why did they not go with the magi or form a group to go together? I mean, if I had been looking for something to happen for years, and I knew it was prophesied to happen, why would I stay home? Surely they had some curiosity. But then again…maybe not.

We have one service on Sunday morning at 10:00 so if you plan to attend or watch online please keep that in mind. We also have a Christmas Eve service planned at 5:00 that will be laid back, involving singing some carols, hearing some testimonies, taking communion together, watching a Christmas video, and listening to Mollie Wainscott play O Holy Night on her violin. The morning service will be live streamed but not the evening.  I look forward to seeing you.


Friday, December 15th, 2023


 Aspiring actors and actresses are everywhere. I went to high school with Jeff Goldblum. My senior picture is on the same page in our yearbook as his. I had no clue Jeff would leave our high school and head to New York for the stage and ultimately to a TV show named TenSpeed and Brownshoe, and then on to Jurassic Park, Independence Day, multiple other movies, and finally back to TV with Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

For every successful actor there are hundreds, maybe thousands who never make it. At best, they are two-bit players. Truthfully, some people are looked at that way. Many overlooked. Many seen as hacks. It happens all the time, in every profession. Sunday’s sermon will be dealing with two groups of people. One, is seen as little people. The others are seen as big people. Well…at least as the world looks at them that way. But in God’s eyes, there are no little people and there are no big people.

Shepherds and Wise men. The have’s and the have not’s.  The clean and the unclean.  The “welcome-to-my-world” versus those who are “not welcome anywhere.” The stories are familiar but I will be praying we all might learn something new this week. I look forward to seeing you in person at 9:00 and 10:45 or via live stream.


Friday, December 8th, 2023


We are rapidly coming to the close of 2023, but before that happens the focus must be on Christ and what Christmas means. One of my favorite subjects to talk about is GRACE and the lineage of Jesus is GRACE IN SPADES. My sermon Sunday is from Matthew 1.  You know…that boring lineage you, me, and thousands of others pass over. Let me rephrase that: USED TO PASS OVER until I studied it in depth and realized that it is filled with phenomenal people. All of them are important, obviously, but there are a few who stand out. Before I tell you who, I thought I would give you a fun fact: My original sermon title but5 Women and a Man. I received word that might not be a too appropriate of a title. So…being the humble man I am (AHEM) I changed it to the title you will see at the end of this post.

Now…back to the originally scheduled post.  Five Women and a Man. Here they are:

Tamar- a Gentile who dressed as a prostitute to seduce her father-in-law Judah.

Rahab- a Gentile from Jericho who saved two spies but then was saved from Jericho’s destruction. She married Salmon and they had Boaz.

Ruth- a Moabitess (mortal enemies of the Israelites) who followed her widowed mother-in-law back to her hometown. Ruth met and married Boaz.

Bathsheba- described as the “wife of Uriah” in the lineage. Committed adultery with David (she may have not had a choice).

Mary- a teenager (probably) engaged to be married to Joseph, pregnant out of wedlock. It was sort of like the scarlet letter.  But WOW! The mother of Jesus impregnated by the Holy Spirit.

Joseph- a godly man who was going to do the “right thing” by silently divorcing Mary to avoid scandal for her.  But his heart is seen in his decision to stay with Mary and being the earthly father to Jesus.

That is the sermon. I’ve entitled it What a Heritage! I hope to see you Sunday at 9:00 or 10:45 in person or listen via live stream.


Friday, November 17th, 2023


There is a profound difference between thankfulness as a concept and thankfulness as a practice. This is true in so many ways. Take, for example, car companies. Every year they have a grand extravaganza of a car show.  Included in this show are “concept cars.” Cars of the future. Cars that are dreams of people. But in most cases, they remain concepts. I’ve seen some wild ideas that are just that…ideas. How much more practical to reveal a car that is a reality.

Think for a moment about gratitude. People who think rightly about God’s provision are thankful, and rightly so. And they say so. Thankers (that is not a word according to spell check) feel something because their gratitude is felt, sometimes deeply. We may stumble on words or how to express our thanks (like when we are put on the spot in a crowd), but we have this overwhelming sense of gratitude for what we have received.

This week I am continuing my series on More Than a Holiday by talking about “we have been blessed to bless others.” There is no better way to say thanks than to pass along that thanks by doing something for others. So, after a look at the 10 lepers in Luke 17 we will be going to James 2 and try to put a “handle” on some practical ways to show gratitude.

Join us in person if you are able. If not, please watch our live stream. We meet at 9:00 and 10:45. I look forward to seeing you or hearing you were watching.


Friday, November 10th, 2023


The story is told that Oliver Cromwell, an English statesman and widely considered one of the most important figures in the history of the British Isles, coined the phrase “warts and all.” Pictures show him with a very prominent wart between his lower lip and chin. When he was given the title of Lord Protector, it required a portrait be painted of him.  He refused to sit for the portrait unless the painter, Peter Lely, painted him “wart and all.”

The truth is that many of us don’t want to be seen as we are. We want the warts to be hidden.  For us to know what a thankful heart should look like, we have to be open and honest and openly picture it, even it makes us feel uncomfortable. 

Sunday morning, after finding out what a thankful heart should look like, I plan to run a comparison of a thankful heart vs. an ungrateful one. This time, for this purpose, it will be good to compare. Sunday morning I am continuing my series More Than a Holiday as I look at Thanksgiving, and then Christmas, with that theme in mind. So…what does a grateful heart look like? And are some of the negative results of an ungrateful heart?

Please join me Sunday at 9:00 & 10:45 either in person or via live stream.  I would love to see you and meet you in person if possible. If not, let me know you are watching and I will try to contact you. Have a great and grateful weekend.