News


11
Mar 2019
Jesus and the Moral Life

We have entered the Season of Lent, the forty-day period leading up to Easter, reminiscent of the time Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before his public ministry.  It is a season of soul searching, penitence, and spiritual growth. If we are honest, we will admit that inner work and personal growth is challenging.  Pointing out the flaws in others is much easier to do but is often a convenient way to avoid examining our own hearts and lives.  Judgment and blame is far too common in this culture.  Jesus offers a......

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05
Mar 2019
Building For Our Future

We are continuing to make significant progress towards breaking ground on our new addition this summer. The construction committee is meeting regularly with Centric (our architect) and Batten and Shaw (our contractor). We are still aiming to break ground in May or June. The vision that the congregation embraced this fall with a very successful capital campaign is still very much needed. Our children’s classrooms are overcrowded (a nice problem to have). The Bridge has grown significantly and will be ready to move to the new chapel so we can utilize the......

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26
Feb 2019
Facing Life Is Better Together

In the ministry, I find myself on the front lines of people’s deepest pain. A young mother diagnosed with cancer; a husband deciding to leave a marriage; alcoholism, addiction, severe depression, suicide, bankruptcy, financial struggles, miscarriages, the sudden loss of a loved one, and much more. Ministers get invited into situations that many others never see or even hear about. All human beings suffer to various degrees. This is simply inevitable. What is fascinating is how different people process and handle their pain and grief in a variety of ways. Some seek......

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11
Feb 2019
Coming to Terms with Our Age of Spirituality

Retired Harvard theologian Harvey Cox has observed that at some point in the middle of the twentieth century, Christianity began its gradual transition into what he calls the “Age of the Spirit.” However, it is clear that “spirituality” means different things to different people. In his book The Future of Faith, published exactly ten years ago, Cox argues that there are three basic reasons why spirituality remains on the rise. First, it is a form of tacit protest that demonstrates why a growing number of people are dissatisfied with shrinking the faith (Christianity......

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28
Jan 2019
Turning Tragedy into Opportunity

Blake McMeans grew up in Knoxville, TN and was one of the top recruited tennis players in the nation.  He was smart, driven, good looking, and was absolutely dominant on the tennis court, winning tournament after tournament.  He was recruited by numerous colleges but accepted a scholarship to play tennis at the University of Tennessee, his father’s alma mater.  On the night of November 10, 1994, his life changed forever.  Blake went out drinking and partying with his future fraternity brothers on the Knoxville strip.  He then got into his car to......

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14
Jan 2019
Troubling Trends or A Challenge for Christians?

George Barna has been researching and identifying religious trends in America for many decades.  Having authored over fifty books, he is the founder of the Barna Group and leads the American Culture and Faith Institute in northern California.  In a book published just a few years ago titled America at the Crossroads, Barna says this: “What we believe about the existence and nature of God, the veracity and reliability of the Bible, the means to and nature of eternal salvation, the concepts of truth, love, forgiveness, power, purpose, and sin – these......

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31
Dec 2018
Self-reflection at year's end

The end of a year is a reminder that time moves forward and presses on whether we are ready or not. Change is the only constant. Christmas has come and gone. Trees and decorations are coming down. Everything is on sale. Somebody once told the story of a department store return desk the day after Christmas. It had a long line with people returning gifts: sweaters, tools, jewelry, toys, and other things they did not want. At the end of the line was somebody holding the baby Jesus, seeking to take him back. Will the hope, peace, joy,......

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18
Dec 2018
Letting Christmas Come Alive

A number of years ago, there was an old tenured professor at Harvard Divinity School who was being subjected to considerable ridicule because of his belief in the virgin birth of Jesus. One day, one of his younger colleagues challenged the old professor for holding what was regarded as an intellectually irresponsible position. The younger professor said, “Do you mean to tell me that if some young woman from Boston came into the hospital and said she was going to have a baby, that she was a virgin, and that an angel......

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03
Dec 2018
Remembering President George H. W. Bush

This past weekend, President George H. W. Bush passed away at the age of 94. Bush was elected President of the United States when I was only eight years old. When I was in fourth grade at Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, I had the chance to go hear him speak live. It was an experience I will never forget. President Bush served our country well. Before being elected President, he was Vice President under Ronald Reagan, Director of the CIA under President Gerald Ford, Ambassador to the United Nations under President......

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26
Nov 2018
Healthy Spirituality and Emotional Stability Are Inseparable

Is it possible to be spiritually mature and emotionally immature? New York pastor Peter Scazzero has emphatically said no for years.  In his book Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, he talks about how he had to first learn this lesson the hard way.  There were three factors that brought him to this realization, all of which will hit close to home for all clergy and religious leaders. First, he became frustrated, unhappy, overworked, and lost his sense of joy.  He was burned out and needed a break. Second, he became angry, bitter, and depressed. ......

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