Devotional - January 2016

Sunday, Jan 31

The other day I was watching a YouTube video of Larnelle Harris singing, "Were it Not For Grace." Under the video was a place were you could make comments. One individual had said: "Do you fools really believe this?" I thought about that question for a while. "Running down some pointless road to nowhere with my salvation up to me........ever running but losing the race, were it not for grace." You bet I believe this and claim it with all my might and strength. I'm nothing bu...t filthy rages before my Lord. But by His amazing Grace, my life is transformed not by what I've done, but rather by what He did for me. But all of us have to answer that question sooner or later. Do you really believe all this stuff about "grace", "salvation" and "eternal life"? Because my friend if not, you are on a pointless road to nowhere. Sooner or later, that question must be answered by us all. Godspeed my friends. May God's grace encourage you today.

Saturday, Jan 30

Tomorrow I'll be preaching a message entitled: "When the Light Goes Out Inside of You". This is the second sermon in the series, "Facing Your Own Demons." It's hard to be out of touch with the best of us. So many individuals have settled for less than the best. At one time they were passionate and excited about their walk with Christ, but now all they experience is apathy and discontent. Maybe that describes you in your Christian journey. The reality is, it doesn't happen i...n the blink of an eye, but over a period of time. We become more inward focused and fail to experience the joy that comes with being a disciple of Christ. We become sermon tasters and music critics. Before you know it, the joy and excitement has vanished from our life. It's happened to some of the most prominent followers of God. Knowing it can happen is half the battle. The good news is, there is one who knows how to ignite the fire once more. Our God is a god of second chances. The light can be turned back on. All it takes is a little more Him and a little less of you. Godspeed.

Friday, Jan 29

Four years ago today, I guess you could say my life was at a crossroads. I had resigned from one church with no place to go. The feelings of emotions ran from anger to hurt. From hostility to frustration. From despair to hopelessness. There has never been a time in my life that I felt more like a failure than at that time. I didn't know who were my friends and who weren't. I felt betrayed by people I trusted with my life and ministry. And now it was gone. I had no place to go... and I wasn't sure anyone would ever want me. I doubted my calling and my God. If there was ever a time I felt like the prophet Jeremiah it was then. A few months later I received a call from PHBC in Columbus. Seems they need an interim pastor for a few months. That few months has turned into 4 wonderful years. These folks have cleaned me up and along with God's help, restored me and saved my ministry. Now, together, we are building a new sanctuary and God is adding to our number every week. I can't remember when I've had so much fun. Remember, one failure doesn't mean divine foreclosure on a life. All we need now is for our house to sell. Even if it doesn't, God will take care of us. He's never failed me yet and he won't fail you. Godspeed my friend. Enjoy the journey.

Thursday, Jan 28

My oldest brother Al always reminds me: "I love you warts and all." In other words, in spite of all my shortcomings, my brother's love and loyalty remains true. For me, that is a source of great comfort because I'm not the easiest person to like, much less love. But to know that one sees you as you are and loves you still, well that alone gives a life value and encouragement. However, he's not the only one who has said that to me. Over 2000 years ago at Calvary, Jesus basically said the same thing to me and also to you. Very boldly he pronounced through word and deed that he loved us, warts and all. In other words, he loves you as you are, not as you ought to be. Now that should be fuel in your spiritual rocket as you start this day. Stop thinking that everyone's against you and realize the main one is for you!!! Even at your worst, God loves you. Chew on that one. By the way, let's start getting treatment for those warts! Godspeed.

Wednesday, Jan 27

I know this is hard to believe, but some people take great delight in their pain and misery. To have something, someone, or some ailment to blame for their plight in life somehow makes them feel validated. Now don't get me wrong, this isn't the case with everyone, but is with a few. You see, their pain is familiar, predictable, consistent, and well, in some ways, comfortable. To address the situation might cause a change in behavior, and that is more troubling than the current pain. However, God wants us to live complete lives which center around Him and His purpose. To do so we must get out of our comfort zone and address the pain in our lives head up. In other words, to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength requires us to be healthy in these areas. When you find yourself in a situation where the pain and hurt are so great, do something about it. Address it head on and seek help. We weren't created to face life on our own, but with the strength of God and others. The true question is: "Do you want to be healed or helped? The answer isn't as simple as you think. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Jan 26

I have chronic back spasms. One never knows when a slight move to the right or to the left will send them out of commission. Over the years I've learned there are some things I just can't do. Lifting heavy objects is one of those activities. However, it's not a trump card I use to get out of work, to the contrary, I still find myself doing a few things that can wretch my back out. A few of my observant friends know of this condition. There's nothing more humbling or comforting than to have someone come up to you as you're about to lift a heavy table and say: "I've got this." They gently move you out of the way and move the object. There are some of you out there that have some objects which need to be moved. They could be physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual. You're not able to move them on your own strength. Suddenly you hear a voice: "I've got this one". All at once, a peace comes over you. A peace which passes all understanding. Get out of the way and let Him do the heavy lifting. Godspeed.

Monday, Jan 25

Are you aware that you have divine appointments today? You do, even if you're not aware of this fact. God has place people in our path, circumstances in our lives to use for his glory. The sad part is, so many of us miss them because we've become too caught up in our own lives. We've made everything about us. We've become inward people focused on our wants and our needs. The problem with this philosophy is we never see the needs of others around us. Many of us attend church, read our bibles, pray and live decent lives. However, in the meeting of needs, we're kinda lacking. We rush though our day in order to finish it. In doing so, we neglect the co-worker who's struggling through life. We miss the neighbor who is lonely. We've even become oblivious to the friend who's broken. Put your faith in action by slowing down and becoming aware of the divine appointments God has for you. The blessings will start overflowing, that you can count on my friend. Godspeed.

Sunday, Jan 24

Today we begin our 8 part series entitled: "Facing Your Demons." The question we'll be asking is: "Can you sing when the going gets tough?" It's easy to be a follower of Christ when everything is coming up roses. But can you sing praises to God when you lose your job? Can you praise Him when you child is rebelling against you? Can you worship Him when your loved one loses their battle with cancer? Can you praise Him when you're spiritually in the desert? One thing we need to do in tough times is remember!!! Remember how God has worked in the past and how He will continue to work in the present. God may seem silent, but He's right there by your side. The chaos around you may be keeping you from seeing or hearing Him. Stop what you're doing and remember!!!! Anyone can sing when they're happy. Our memory allows us to sing even when our heart is breaking. Trust God on this one, not my words, but His presence. Godspeed.

Saturday, Jan 23

Every single one of us fights a spiritual battle of some kind. In other words, we all face our own demons. The problem with so many of us is, we try to fight these things on our own and with our own resources. There are some things we just can't face alone. There are certain demons, problems, battles which require supernatural abilities. This coming Sunday our church will begin an eight sermon series entitled: "Facing Your Own Demons". We'll deal with issues such as loneliness, depression, fear, anger, tough times, and the absence of peace, just to name a few. Being a Christian doesn't eliminate all of life's problems, but it make us strong enough to face them knowing the presence of God goes before us. Godspeed my friends.

Friday, Jan 22

I often have church members who approach me and say: "I have a hard time reading the Bible. Some passages just don't make much sense to me." I believe it was Mark Twain who once said: "I'm not so much concerned about the passages of scriptures I don't understand. I'm more concerned about the ones I do." I don't believe you can grow as a Christian and be all God wants you to be if you're not reading His word regularly. I always encourage our church members each year to read th...rough the Bible in a year. Inevitably, when they do, I start receiving text about how hard Leviticus is to read. I remind them that all scripture is inspired by God, but not all scripture is equally inspiring. However, one of the biggest reasons for reading God's word is, when we do, it reads us. It shows us where we are in our Christian walk. It also reminds us that our God is always with us, regardless of the circumstances. Nothing separates us from His love. Read His word, it will make a difference. Godspeed.

Thursday, Jan 21

Frank Sinatra sang the hit song, "My Way", years ago. Later on Elvis Presley released the song and made it a part of his concerts for years. Some of the lyrics proudly proclaim: "The record shows, I took the blows and did it my way!" A lot of us would like to be able to say this at the conclusion of our days here on earth. "We did it our way!" Unfortunately, for the Christian, if we do it our way, we've missed the point. The Apostle Paul stated in the final chapter of the book of Galatians: "I bear on my body, the brand marks of The Lord." Those scares from the beatings he took were medals of honor to Paul. Why? Not because he did it his way, but rather because he did it God's way. The reality is, it's really not that hard to live your life...your way. It is however, hard to die to one's self and live in a manner that pleases our creator. What will your record show? The blows you took, who were they for yourself or for God? Choose the battles carefully. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Jan 20

When you get ready to share a status, Facebook asks you: "What's on your mind?" I'm not really sure they want to know. Furthermore, are my friends wanting to know what's really on my mind? As we navigate through this pilgrimage called life, so many burdens and heartaches come our way. There's a student struggling to fit in high school and the pressure to conform to the crowd is immense. Do you want to know what's on her mind? A father struggles at work. It's been years since... he's really been happy with who he is and what he has done. Life now seems so repetitive. Do you want to know what's on his mind? There's a career woman who wants children, but so far, that hasn't happened. She wonders if she'll ever hear the sound of pitter patter feel in her hallway. Do you want to know what's on her mind? There's a middle aged couple who at one time couldn't wait to get to church. Now God seems so distant, and their faith has grown cold. Do you want to know what's on their mind? For most of us, our philosophy is: "Don't tell me your troubles, I've got troubles of my own." But there is one who wants to know and if you feel alone, isolated, or reject, the creator of the universe cares. Reach out and you'll feel His comfort and grace. He wants to know what's on your mind. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Jan 19

Glenn Frey, one of the founders of the musical group, "The Eagles" died yesterday. It was a sad day for me because their music was a huge part of my teenage years. As successful as they were, the broke up for a while because of tension in the band. Originally, the songs were going to be equally sung among the members. But more and more Frey and Don Henley took the lead. Then there were disputes over the money and how it was to be split. Now here they are, one of the most successful bands of their era, and recognition becomes central. (Hotel California sold 32 million copies alone.) Who gets the credit? The same was true with Simon and Garfunkel. It's not limited to music, it happens in sports. The Dallas Cowboys won back to back Super Bowls, but Jimmy Johnson and Jerry Jones fought over who got the credit. It also has crept into the church. Many times, people, rather than Christ become central. We want the credit. As it leads to group break ups and team disunity, it will kill a church. In the Body of Christ, He and He alone deserved the honor, glory and praise. To God be the glory. Godspeed.

Monday, Jan 18

You can outrun the law. You can outrun the government. You can outrun your friends and family. But you can never, I mean never outrun yourself. Sooner or later you have to face the music and realize who you are and what you've become. We have so many excuses as to why we are the way we are. It's our parents fault. My teachers were always against me. My coach never played me. My spouse never supported me. As one college president suggested: "A 'BA Degree ' should stand for, 'B...uilder of Alibies'." You and I must accept the responsibility for our lives. And frankly, if we're not where we need to be, then we need to do something about it. Stop whining and gripping about the odds being stacked against you and trust God and claim his promises. Remember, "We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength." So, look yourself in the mirror, understand where you are, and move where you ought to be. It's not easy, but then again, it's not supposed to be! Godspeed.

Sunday, Jan 17

There seems to be a lot of people who want something for nothing. This isn't reduced to the unemployed nor the ones who feel entitled to free food and medical attention. This seems to hit every socioeconomic group out there. Especially those on Facebook. First there was the founder of Facebook who was supposedly giving free stock to all those who would copy and paste the announcement on their page. Big surprise, this turned out to be a hoax. Next, there was powerball. Now tec...hnically you bought tickets in order to win a billion dollars, but it's still basically wanting something for nothing. Now there are those hoping that the ones who won powerball will give them free money if only they copy and paste the notification on their page. At this point I'm rolling my eyes. Wanting something for nothing. We've adapted the same philosophy to Christianity. Salvation is a free gift given to us by God. We accept it, then live like Hell, because it's free. WARNING!!!!! It's not actually free in that it cost God his one and only Son. WARNING!!!!! Jesus said: "We find our lives by losing them." True, salvation doesn't cost you any money, but it does cost you your life. You don't receive it at no cost. It cost you plenty, but it's worth more than you will give. Godspeed.

Saturday, Jan 16

There is no neutral ground in the Christian Faith. You do realize that, don't you? You're either moving forward or regressing. Many good people haven't realized that. God desires for you to grow in your relationship with Him each and everyday. Our faith isn't built upon a list of things which we are to do or don't do. Our faith is based on a vibrant personal relationship with the living God. That relationship can only be cultivated and nurtured through certain disciplines. ...First, we must spend time with God through prayer. Prayer is more than your wish list, it is developing an intimate relationship with God based on an open dialogue with Him. Second, read and study God's word. Many of us spend a lifetime defending a book which we've never read. When you read God's word, it reads you. Finally, find a church where you can worship and share in a small Bible study group. The coal that burns the hottest never does so in isolation. Find a place where you can serve. Stop regressing and start growing. Godspeed.

Friday, Jan 15

There are times when you'd like to blend in as a pastor/preacher and be part of the crowd. One of those times is when you're exercising. Over the past couple of years I've become the unofficial chaplain if you will at our fitness center. While lifting weights, someone might come over to me and talk about a particular situation which they are facing. Others may ask me theological or social questions. Some questions I'm asked deal with politics, religion, or relationships. I do...n't mind because I know it comes with the territory. However, yesterday, one of my senior adult buddies motioned me over to his exercise bike. He told me about his nephew who had been killed in an automobile accident along with one child who lost his life and another one still in the hospital. I told him we as a church were aware of the situation, and we were praying for them. He said: "I wanted you to know because I know you'll pray for them!" When someone asks you to pray for them, consider it an honor......but do it. We all find strength and comfort through prayer. Pray for this family as well, I can't imagine what they're going through. Godspeed.

Thursday, Jan 14

There are certain situations which you can't pray your way out. Now don't misunderstand what I just said and get mad and stop reading rendering me a heretic. Prayer changes people and situations. I believe that with all my heart. But there are certain situations which require an action from you. In other words, God isn't going to do something for you that you can do for yourself. If I had been diagnosed with a disease, I'd pray, but I'd also follow the advice my doctors give This brings me to the subject of depression. There's a huge difference between being depressed and suffering from depression. Depression is a condition which most folks just can't get over by praying their way through it. It is not a simple situation with a quick fix. My mother suffered from this cruel disease for years. My encouragement to you is to face the situation by being honest. Pray about it, but find someone you can talk to about your problems. A word of importance....depression is just as serious as any other disease, so treat it accordingly. With help and prayer, life can have meaning again. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness, but rather strength. Get it! Godspeed.

Wednesday, Jan 13

I've been called many things over the years. Been called a son, brother, husband, father, uncle, and cousin. I've been called a student, an athlete, an employee, friend, and enemy. I've been called a coach, pastor, preacher, counselor, administrator, and leader. I've been called a moderator, committee member, and board member. I've been called a fan, a winner, loser, and a spectator. I've been called arrogant, unyielding, strong willed, confident and a know it all. I've been called a poor leader, removed, lost, and out of touch. I've been called old fashioned, unrealistic, a dreamer, a writer, and a jerk. I've been called things which would be inappropriate to print. I would imagine most all of those are accurate, even if they only exist in the mind of a particular individual. I know this......I am a sinner in need of God's grace. I am nothing apart from Him. Call me what you wish, but I'm a work in progress, but I am a Child of the King. Godspeed.

Tuesday, Jan 12

Don't be that guy or that girl!!! You know who I'm talking about because you encounter them all the time. It's the fault finders! You know those folks who see the sins, faults, ugly qualities in everyone......but themselves. If you can grasp the following, your life will be more fulfilling and less exhausting. Realize that you only have one person to worry about, and that is you. Finding the flaws in everybody else can be an exciting past time, but it is destructive to the players. For you see, if you're that guy, or that girl, you never have to examine your own life, your own sins, your own mistakes. Worry about being the very best you can be and you'll be surprised at how much different you'll see others. You'll be more understanding, less judgmental, and more accepting. For remember, the standard of measurement you use to judge others is the one God will use on you. Finally, a little secret....nobody likes to be around that guy or that girl. Godspeed.

Monday, Jan 11

Many of you will remember several months ago I told you about a young mother we had visited and shared the gospel with her and her husband. If you'll recall, her statement to me was: "I'm not sure I can believe what you want me to believe." I responded by saying: "It's not believing what I want you to believe, but rather believing what God wants you to believe." She told us she just wasn't ready, but asked if she could still attend church. We assured her we would be delighted to have her and her family. Well attend she did!!! She is at Sunday School, worship, evening worship and Wednesday night every week. You'll be delighted to know that last Wednesday she approached me following Bible study and asked if I'd be available to talk to her next week. She indicated that she had some questions and that she was real close to a decision. Well, no meeting was scheduled, but yesterday during the hymn of invitation, she walked the aisle and accept Christ as her Savior and Lord. She said she saw the genuineness in her Sunday School class and at church. She also indicated that no one pressured her to do this. Folks, old methods still work such as outreach and visitation. You have to go where the people are. It's not out of date or old fashioned, it's doing what Jesus did on a regular basis. It's not about programs, it's about people. It's not about worship style, but substance. Evangelism isn't a bad word. If a minister isn't sharing his faith, what is he sharing? Trust me, it still works, because God is still in the soul winning business. Pray for this sweet young lady, this is the first time she's been in church, but man is she ever off to a great start. Godspeed.

Sunday, Jan 10

Christianity isn't an insurance policy which keeps you from all of life's calamities. As a matter of fact, Jesus himself said: "In this world you will have trouble." So expect it. However, there is an assurance we have as children of God and that is...nothing will separate us from his love or presence. You might be going through a horrific situation right at this moment. A rebellious child, more month than money, depression, grief, vocational setback, or a loss of purpose. The reality is this, no matter how dark or deep the pit, God is there. The problems may not go away or be solved immediately, but you have one who walks with you through the trials of life. The bonus, don't worry about Him leaving you because that my friend won't happen. Reach out, He's there. Godspeed.

Saturday, Jan 9

How are you at handling interruptions or detours in your life? For most of us we don't adapt nor handle change very well. We like our schedule and when it's interrupted, well, we don't roll with the flow too well. However, there are moments in life when God takes the initiative to interrupt our schedule and put a detour sign in front of our path. The detour or change may not seem the best for you at the time, but this is what I want you to remember. God is ultimately working behind the framework of the universe to bring about good in our lives. Now that doesn't mean that God sends bad things our way. But it does mean He's working in everything to bring about good. Even in the worst of situations. When you hit the detours, follow His signs! They lead to safety and life. Godspeed.

Friday, Jan 8

God's not working in the past. He worked in the past, but He is working in the now and will be working in the future. So here's my question: "If God has moved on from the past, why can't you?" In His word we are reminded that He's making all things new. (My friend Ron Mumbower does a great sermon on this topic.) So if God's making all things new, and is working today, why are we stuck in the past? Mark Twain once said: "I have a great future in my past." Don't we all! The past is where many of us find comfort, security, and safety. But you can't grow in the past, but you can learn from it and appreciate it. But living in it robs you of all the joy of this day. Who knows how God will bless you this day!!! But I do know this, it's hard to see future blessings when your head is turn to the past. Don't you want to dwell in the same place as God? Well, it's not in last year. As Pumba and Timon, the lovable characters from "The Lion King", reminded us: "You gotta put your past behind you!" For many this is difficult, but it's the only way to walk with God! Godspeed and hakuna matata!!!

Thursday, Jan 7

I get real frustrated this time of year. This frustration leads to anger and sometimes to the edge of verbal assault. You see, I am a regular at our fitness center. When I'm not able to run outside, I go there to get in my cardio and weight lifting. However, this time each year there is a flood of new members who have decided to "get fit" in 2016. All I know is, they're on my machine when I need it. Their stuff is in my locker. But wait! Don't go over the edge yet, because by Valentines Day most will have this out of their system. Yeah, call me a fitness snob, but it's true. Why? Being fit and staying in shape takes discipline and it's hard. Most aren't willing to pay the price. The same is true with Christianity. In times of trouble and heartache, people run to God and His church. But, before too long, after the crisis has past, the desire to be a part of a church on a regular basis fades with the wind. Walking with God takes discipline. You have to take time to pray, study, meditate and grow with fellow believers. It's not easy, but it is life changing. Physical training is important, spiritual training is a necessity. Now get off my machine and go read your Bible. Godspeed.

Wednesday, Jan 6

Today is a different post for me. As a matter of a fact I'm going to be as transparent as I can be. I need your help. And I need it now. The help needed comes in the form of a prayer request for me and my family. The petition is simple, I need my house in Decatur, Alabama to sell. It's been close to four years and I need this chapter to close. We've been blessed to have someone rent it for two years, but the financial strain has almost been unbearable. In that time we have had a child finish college, debt free and paid for a wedding, no outstanding bills. But this has been the pink elephant in the room. Our tenants are moving out next month. I need a buyer. I'm going to lose a lot of money, but that's fine with me, I just want it sold. I can't float this note for a long time. We only need one buyer. Pray for us. I don't do this very much, but we need it. I know it can be done quickly. Alfred Lord Tennyson once said: "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of!" I won't bother you again, but I'm not sure I can walk down this road much longer. Godspeed and thank you.

Tuesday, Jan 5

I always get a little tickled when someone comes to me and says: "I think your preaching is getting better." Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate the affirmation, because encouragement is important in the ministry. However, there are a few things we need to understand. First, the longer a pastor is at a church, the better he knows the congregation. The better he knows the people, the more in touch he is with their needs. Second, the longer he serves a church, the better he understands the vision God has for that church. But here's a truth for us all. Who doesn't want to get better at their craft? In most professions, we strive to get better each year. Salesmen want to produce more this year than last. Teachers want to do a better job of educating their class. Managers want their businesses to run smoother and produce more. Athletes train to get better. If this is true in every profession, why isn't it true in Christianity? Most of us are trying to grow spiritually by osmosis. That won't work. How are you going to get better as a child of God? Only one way, by spending time with Him. You must read His word and talk to Him. If that's not happening, you're regressing in your faith. Do that in your business, you'll get fired. Start's a new year, make it a spiritual growth year. You'll be the better for it. Godspeed.

Monday, Jan 4

Some of the sweetest words you'll ever hear are: "I believe in you." Back in the summer of 1982, I was serving as a summer intern at a church in New Orleans, Louisiana. I was hosted by a great young couple who was very active in the church. During those months there was a struggle in my life as to what God wanted me to do. I'll never forget the word spoken to me by host father, Lonnie Beasley. He said: "I believe God has a special plan for your life and will use you in a mighty way. I believe this because I believe in you!" I've never forgotten that conversation and it was a turning point in my life. So let me ask you: What do you believe in today? This is a simple, yet often overlooked principle......It more meaningful and impactful to believe in something, or someone who believes in you. Do you realize more than anyone, or anything, God believes in you? He really does! I guess the real question is: Do you believe in him? If so, get ready for a life of purpose and direction. Godspeed.

Sunday, Jan 3

If you missed the Alamo Bowl last night, then you missed the greatest comeback in bowl history. TCU was down 31-0 at halftime against Oregon and came back to win 47-41 in triple overtime. What do you say to your team when your down 31-0 at half? Do you think the kids on TCU's team thought they really had a chance? A score here, a stop there, a turnover and all of a sudden, you're back in the game. It's a lot like life. So many of us feel as though we are losing in this game. Nothing is going our way. There's headache, grief, tears, disappointment, and setbacks. We'd like to buy into the concept that we have a chance, but the odds are stacked against us. However, you need to remember, that all it takes is one break, one turn of events, one decision and all of a sudden your back in the game. But there's a catch, and there always is, you have to follow the coach and buy into his plan. So a good question is: who's your coach? If the answer is Jesus, then you are more than conquerors, you're guaranteed victory. What a comeback. Godspeed.

Saturday, Jan 2

What's going to make 2016 any different than any other year? I mean in a significant way, not just a trivial one. Where will your priorities be? Will you give your time and resources to things of this world, or things which have eternal value? Without being morbid, how different would you live your life if you knew it would be your last year on this earth??? It could happen you know. Statistics show that one out of every one dies. Would you give more time to your church, family, or to causes which can change lives for the better? Would you invite someone to church? Would you provide a meal for a grieving family? Would you tell one person how Christ makes a difference in your life? Or would it be business as usual. The world won't change for the better if you won't. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. How about turning those intentions into deeds? Then you'll see the light shine in the darkness and the darkness will not comprehend it. Give it a try. Godspeed.

Friday, Jan 1

As we start a new year, there's also a time of reflection back at 2015. I've been in the ministry now for 30 years and I'm not sure I've experienced a more fulfilling year than 2015. I'm not saying it was the best as far as numbers, programs, ministries, or events, but as a pastor, it would be hard to surpass 2015. First of all, our people at PHBC are unbelievable. You'll not find a harder working nor more dedicated group of folks. The obstacles we faced, were not griped about, but dealt with. In a year that would have been easy to say: "Due to the loss of our sanctuary, we can't do that!!" They found a way to get it done. That included Christmas programs, and full blown "Holy Week" services. They surpassed every mission offering goal and exceeded their budget giving, and increased in attendance. All with around 11,000 square feet less. And let me tell you, that makes it challenging. Second, God keeps giving us people to share the gospel with on a regular basis. Because of that, we've witnessed the baptisms of several adults and young people. In reality, isn't that what it's all about? Finally, God has given me a great team. You'll never see a group love and like each other more than this team. We have each other's back instead of stabbing each other in the back. It's always fun to work with this group. They are problem solvers not creators of problems. In 2016, we'll watch our new sanctuary go up, but we'll remember the ground which was laid in 2015. Can't wait to see what God's going to do on "The Hill". Godspeed.

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