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Always There

For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”- Hebrews 13:5

I remember one of the first times as a young believer when I didn’t feel God’s presence. I woke up one morning and just didn’t have the great feeling I had before. And being new in the faith and not knowing the Bible very well, I thought, “I think God left me last night. What happened?”

When I talked to a Christian friend about it, he told me, “You’re going through a trial.”

“What? I’m on trial?”

“No, you’re going through a trial.”

“What’s a trial?”

My friend explained there are times in our lives when we don’t feel the presence of God, but He is still there. And in time I came to realize that God will allow us to go through trials.

For instance, you might walk outside tomorrow, and it’s an overcast day. So you say, “The sun was here yesterday. But I don’t see the sun today. I don’t feel its warmth. I guess the sun must have gone away last night.”

No, the sun hasn’t gone away. It has been merely obscured by a cloud covering. And if you don’t believe that, then try going to the beach without wearing any sunscreen. When you return home resembling a ripe tomato, you will realize the sun was out.

In the same way, some people falsely conclude that when they don’t feel God, He is gone. He has disappeared. But He is there, even when you don’t feel Him. The Bible tells us in Hebrews, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’ ” (Hebrews 13:5).

It is during these times that we must walk by faith, not by feeling, because God has promised in His Word that He will be with us. That is how we know He is there.

May today you all find that God is as close to you as the air you breathe!


Chaplin Rob


As Yogi Berra, MLB catcher and pundit once said, “It seems like Deja vu all over again!” Yes, it’s Homecoming at one congregation with a guest preacher, Rev. Nan Zoller,  for the other. That’s what you get sometimes as a United Methodist charge! It’s that “connection thing” where we see it takes a team effort to spread the Gospel in word and in deed. It’s good to be connected in the Stones River District with over 100 churches with pastors knowing each other and calling on each other (or upon Lay Speakers) for pulpit moments. And churches pulling together to share preachers, mission, and human resources, all graciously given by God to celebrate and to serve.

I suspect both Nan and I will touch upon similar scriptural themes this week. “Renting” and “home qualities” both make us think about our “dwelling places” and Who (God) provides to give us shelter and families and friends to live with. Matthew 21:33-46 is Jesus’ parable about the “wicked tenants and the benevolent Landowner” while Romans 14:1-12 is much about “spiritual siblings” learning to live together in spite of their differences. Both scriptures speak to the qualities of “home,” how we treat one another, and the One who makes it possible to have “home.”

Wherever you worship this Sunday is always part of what it means “to be home.” As Dorothy says in The Wizard of Oz at the very end: “O Toto, we’re home….there’s no place like home!”

Brothers and sisters in Christ, there’s no place like the home God has in mind for you both here and forever! “Home” indeed is “where the heart (of God) is.”


Pastor Barry

Who Can Help Us?

Driving out of Nashville back toward Murfreesboro and home on Tuesday was awful. Well, awful from the perspective of a driver in traffic who over the years has seen the congestion worsen. Who and when will the help come? The new mayor up there? The Governor? Congress? The Pope? Churches in the area? I also hear that Rutherford County could increase 50% in just a few years! Who will help us? A perennial question when issues and problems arise.
Moses asks a similar question in Numbers as do the disciples in Mark. Then James adds to this question about who is to step up and help those in need. And it’s not always just “who,” but rather “who will we LET help us!”  Who qualifies? Practical questions with practical answers? Let’s hope so!
I will see you “prophets, you disciples, you elders, you little ones” this Sunday  and see “what saith The Lord” about the matter of who should or should not get to help!
Bro Barry