I Forgot To Say Please ??!

Psalm 85, Colossians 2:6-15 and Luke 11:1-13

The Luke text is about as basic a Bible passage as you could ask for! Here you find portions of what we call The Lord’s Prayer and then a clear call to earnestly ask God for “good things” such as daily needs and…..the Holy Spirit! Ask, seek, knock! A brief summary of Prayer 101(!).

I vividly remember a question of our son Ben who, of course, was in church from day one. He certainly overheard talk about prayer, and was taught to pray, and did pray. He was about age 4 when he caught us off guard with the question, “Why doesn’t God give me what I want?” I don’t think it was close to Christmas when it becomes confusing to church kids when they hear about God AND Santa Claus!

I don’t quite remember what we said but, regardless, it is just as much an adult question at times, especially during times of trouble, affliction, and stress. “God! I am asking!

Prayer is at the heart of faith-filled living. It is at the center of a personal and communal relationship with Jesus. It is both joyful and at times a painful struggle. It involves mountain top experiences and low times in the valley.

As the Psalmist cries out and ultimately affirms, “Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?” (85:6) and “Also, the Lord will provide what is good…”(85:12b).

Sunday in worship we praise, rejoice, confess and certainly continue to ASK! We will join the Psalmist and Luke and Paul in earnest prayer!


Pastor Barry

From Our Gideon Friends

As you read this, recall what part of the Bible you have already read today! Or did you use verses in your prayers this morning or tonight? Did you think of any scripture as you heard the news of the day or Interacted with your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors?

We are a people shaped by the Bible whether or not we read or hear from it every day. It is part and parcel of our nation, our history. The Bible is the primary source from which we learn of God and God’s people and God’s Creation.

So, this Sunday in worship our friends from Gideons International will once again share their stories of their efforts to make the scriptures available to all. Gideon Bibles are in hospitals, hotels, handed out in public, and sent around the world in many languages.

This Sunday we celebrate God’s revelation in human words inspired to point to Jesus Christ. Bring your personal Bible from home and follow along as Psalms, Luke, and Colossians proclaim God’s message for us. And look for someone to receive a “gift” as we close our time together in worship!

See you soon! Blessings for the week!

Pastor Barry

His Strength in Your Weakness

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. — 2 Corinthians 12:9

I haven’t always had an easy road in life. As many of you know I have had a number of struggles and made mistakes in my past.

But I can look back on my past today and instead of moaning about it, I can say, “I went through that, and now I can comfort others and God can use my story to help others.” It has become a tool to help others.

I wouldn’t want to go through that again, of course. Nor would I want anyone else to go through the same thing. But I’m thankful that God can take my past and use it for His glory today. I’m thankful that He can take that hardship and use it for His glory. He can do the same for you.

Maybe at this time in your life, you’re going through some hard times, and you’re wondering why. God will use it. It’s hard to believe now. But just remember that it won’t last forever.

As 1 Peter 1:6–7 says, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (NKJV). Trials don’t last forever.

I’m reminded of a sign posted at the end of an airport runway that reads, “Keep moving. If you stop, you are in danger and a danger to those who are flying.”

You can take that same statement and apply it to the Christian life. Keep moving. Don’t give up. Don’t abandon hope. You are going to get through that valley in your life.

There will be an even greater mountaintop beyond it, with great lessons you have learned as God demonstrated His strength in your weakness.


Chaplain Rob

I Am God’s Masterpiece

What are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. – Psalm 8:4-5

All of us long to feel like we matter, like we have value. But so many of us struggle with feelings of being unworthy. That’s one reason we spend so much time trying to make people like and respect us. We think that helping others or winning success will fill in the holes in our sense of self. But life doesn’t work that way. We’ll never get an accurate picture of our own worth through another person’s eyes. For that, we need to see ourselves through God’s eyes.

David addresses this issue in today’s reading: He basically asks God, “Why are we important to you?” And he finds his answer in the way we humans were created. God made us only a little lower than himself and crowned us with glory and honor.

That’s where true self-worth comes from. It’s an internal realization that God, whose “majestic name fills the earth” (Psalm 8:1), gives each of us glory and honor just for being who we are—his beloved creation.

Ask Yourself
Where do you tend to find your sense of your own value? Do you tend to rely on outside sources (such as other people) or on internal attitudes?

All through today, personalize and ponder the words of David: “God has crowned me with glory and honor!”

Ask God
Creator God who made me, forgive me for disrespecting your creation. Help me adjust my attitude and my behaviors to reflect how much you value me.


Chaplain Rob

Worship July 14

Psalm 103:1-18, II Timothy 1:1-7 and Luke 18:15-17

Our message will be from Jordin Davis, Project Transformation Intern.

Jordin is our guest speaker this Sunday sharing what she and 15 more college summer interns have offered to children in the Lavergne and Woodbury communities. And keep in mind even more Interns were working in other churches and communities in and around Middle Tennessee. And our own MTSU Wesley Foundation housed them and provided community for these 16 young adults in service to others.

Children keeping up or improving upon their age specific reading skills, children hearing Bible stories, children playing and doing arts and crafts, volunteers from many churches: this is Project Transformation and Locks Memorial and Kedron have been partners with all involved! For ten weeks!

Jordin will tell us what she has learned as well and where she is heading in her vocation. And our churches will spend this Sunday celebrating children, families, and their friends. The scripture texts include the life and blessing of children; parents and grandparents are mentioned; and we are reminded of how close to the Kingdom of God are children!

So, come to support Jordin and her intern colleagues and to praise God for the outreach of the church to all ages!

Blessings on all!

Pastor Barry

Pray and Let God Worry

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? —Matthew 6:27

When I was younger we used to have a little bird feeder on our back porch. It was my job to keep it filled with birdseed every day. Each night I would fill the feeder and in the morning the birds knew breakfast would be there. They would cruise in and eat the seed, or they would get the seeds off the ground or the vegetation. I loved watching them come and I was reminded of Jesus words.

Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount in the region of Galilee, where all around Him were birds chirping away and beautiful wildflowers growing. He drew on that backdrop to make a point: “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” (Matthew 6:26–27 NLT).

In other words, look at what is before your eyes. Have you ever seen a stressed-out bird? Birds wake up every morning and sing away. They’re simply happy. No bird has ever been promised eternal life. No bird has ever been given the hope of Heaven. Yet they sing away, every day. Jesus wasn’t saying that birds sit by idly and wait for the food to come to them. They take action.

I like what Martin Luther said: “Pray and let God worry.” That is really the secret. Philippians 4:6–7 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (nlt).

The next time you are gripped by fear and worry, the next time you start thinking, “What if this happens? What if that happens?” turn it into a prayer. Look to the Lord and let Him give you His peace. Let God do the heavy lifting when it comes to your worries.


Chaplain Rob

The Secret to a Worry-Free Life

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. —Matthew 6:33

There are many things you can seek to live for in life. You can live for a lot of things. You can live for your physical appearance. You can live for a successful career. You can live for pleasure. But here is what Jesus said: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:33 NLT).

With those words, Jesus gave us the secret to living a worry-free life: Instead of worry, put God and His will first in your life. Among a number of options, put God in the number one position.

Let’s take your career for example. Is your career choice, your line of work, really for God’s glory? Are you seeking Him first in what you’re doing?

You might say, “Rob, you’re a pastor. It’s easy for you to seek God first. I work in the real world with real people.”

I understand. But here is what your goal should be: to honor God in everything you do. Here is what you need to ask yourself: “As I’m doing this thing, what is my goal?” If your goal is just to make money no matter what it takes, you have the wrong goal. Your goal should be to honor God, give honest work, and have personal integrity and a good testimony in the workplace.

When the day is done, you want to have a good name and a good reputation. Proverbs 22:1 says, “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver or gold” (NLT).

Seek first the kingdom of God. If you want a life free of worry, anxiety, and fear, then put God’s kingdom before everything else. Seek Him first, and He will take care of you.


Chaplain Rob

Amongst Wolves and Lambs

2 Kings 5:1-14, Galatians 6:1-16 and Luke 10:1-20

It’s July 4th and I write about worship on July 7th. We as a nation of colonists, immigrants, settlers, and natives, can look back and say, “This or that stretch of nation making must have been rough!” Wolves at every turn ready to devour our stated values in Constitution and Declaration. Wars and rumors of wars. A Great Depression and a Great Society trying to make room for a very diverse population.

Our Bible verses reveal the challenges that the church, on behalf of the Kingdom, finds itself up against time and again: going up and out against resistance! Prophets like Elisha we face opponents that we either offer something to “help” or we enter into conflict with. “Do I help Naaman or do I watch the people fight Naaman?” Paul in Galatia resists those who would compromise the Good News. And Jesus sends his Seventy out as though they are Lambs amongst wolves. The Kingdom proclaimed and acted upon is worth the risk.

Whether nation or church, challenges arise, whether prophets or Lambs, we are expected to go forth with a message from the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings. Being a nation of great aspirations or being a church with mission is just not an easy calling. But we’ve been there before! We can do it again…..with God’s help, with God’s Kingdom just over the horizon, just a bit further past the wilderness.

May you be blessed in the challenges!

Pastor Barry

Freedom is a Choice

Choose you this day whom ye will serve . . . as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD…. Joshua 24:15

In America, every year July 4th brings with it festivities, fun, food, family and friends, and fireworks—all as a celebration of national freedom. But even with all the celebrating and fun, many Americans are still caught in the web of bondage on a mental, emotional, relational, financial, vocational or spiritual level. Most often, we ourselves create the chains that bind us by making poor or sinful choices.

The longer I live, the more convinced I am that life is a series of choices, each choice has a consequence, and we must live with the consequences of our choices. In order to have true freedom in your life, then, you must make wise choices.

Will you choose good over evil (Psalm 34:14; Romans 12:21)? Obedience over rebellion (Proverbs 10:8; Hebrews 13:17)? Truth over deceit (Colossians 3:9; Proverbs 12:22)? Kindness over dishonor (Ephesians 4:32; Proverbs 14:2)? Every day you make hundreds of choices and these form the basis for your lifestyle.

Seek God’s wisdom in all of your decisions, not the wisdom of the world, the flesh or the devil (James 3:17). Take the sometimes difficult step of saying, “I’ll do it God’s way!” even though it may mean avoiding the easy road. In the long run, the freedom that comes with making godly choices is definitely something to celebrate!

Lord, we lift to You our praise and adoration for the blessings You give us each day as we choose to walk Your way.
I hope each of you have a happy and safe 4th of July!

Chaplain Rob

The Path to Personal Peace

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! —Isaiah 26:3

If you want to overcome fear and worry, then you need right thinking. In other words, think about what you think about.

We’re told in Philippians 4:8, “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT). If you want personal peace, this is where it begins.

Why is the mind important? It’s command central. With our minds we reach to the past through memories, and we reach to the future through imagination. We need to learn how to think properly and biblically. As 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (NLT).

The next time you’re troubled, you might try talking to yourself. We need to tell ourselves to think biblically, because it doesn’t always come naturally. For example, we see the writer’s despair in Psalm 42: “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” But then the writer continues, “I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (verses 5–6 NLT).

Many of the Psalms are songs and prayers. They are honest. And as we read some of them, we may think, “I dare not pray that.” But go ahead and pray that. Go ahead and say, “Lord, I am hurting right now. . . . I’m in pain right now. . . . I don’t understand this right now. . . . I’m struggling with this right now.”

The next time you’re feeling down, the next time you think, “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this situation,” quote the Bible to yourself. Remind yourself of the truth of God’s Word. That is what it means to think biblically.

May God bless you today!

Chaplain Rob