Homecoming This Sunday!

My dear friends,

Dr. Ronnie Phillips, Jr. has called all of us to share our testimony, invite an unsaved or unchurched friend, and pray for a powerful Homecoming harvest weekend.  Sunday, October 11 will be a significant day in the life of someone you know if you get them here.

Every LifeGroup, every leader, every deacon, and of course every staff member needs to have someone here this weekend.

The absolute importance of witnessing to children, restoring families, and church impact will all be lifted up this Sunday.

You can make it easy for a friend to come!  How can you do that, you ask?

  1. Don’t just invite them, bring them to church if possible. Encourage your students and children to invite friends, and agree to pick them up them as well.
  2. If you cannot bring them, agree to meet them at a certain time and place on campus. Make it easy for them to get around campus and to feel comfortable here.
  3. Remind them of the free gift book and packet for all guests.
  4. Tell them they do not have to dress up.
  5. Call them Saturday with a quick reminder.
  6. Tell them that they will hear a miraculous story about one of the presidential candidates.
  7. Be enthusiastic about LifeGroups and church.
  8. Pray for them!

I’ll see you and your friends this Sunday!


Pastor Ron

Homecoming 2015

Come Home

Homecoming 2015

I wanted to take my blog today to share with you a little about a special event coming up in the life of our church, Abba’s House.

On October 11, we will be celebrating Homecoming at Abba’s House. This will be a time of reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, and reflecting on the heritage of the place we call home.

Our special guest for this celebration will be none other than my dear friend and former colleague Pastor Gaylon Wiley. Pastor Wiley served as Pastor of Education at Central Baptist Church of Hixson/Abba’s House from November 1, 1991 – March 30, 2013.  During this time, he helped train over 1500 soul-winners. He and his team averaged over 200 soul-winners over 32 weeks a year for 10 years.  Only God knows how many people were saved! He is now pastoring Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Lebanon, TN.

Preachers often use the analogy of the pebble being thrown into the water. Although tiny, when it strikes the calm water, the ripples it creates can be seen and felt for a great distance.  Recently, Pastor Wiley had a reunion with a man whose family he had ministered to years back. The father’s name was Rafael, and he had abandoned his family in Canada, and gone back to Texas. Pastor Wiley met Rafael, witnessed to him, and led him in the sinner’s prayer to receive Jesus Christ as his Savior. Rafael went back, reconciled with his wife and 3-year-old son, and got his family back together. Pastor Wiley went on to baptize Rafael and his family. That ripple of influence is still being felt today through the life and work of Rafael’s then 3-year-old son… Republican Presidential Candidate, Senator Ted Cruz (TX).

Click HERE to see the full story about that reunion from WKRN-TV in Nashville.

So come home to Abba’s House on October 11. Whether you have been gone for a long time, or have never visited, we want Abba’s House to be a place you can call home. Because no matter where you’ve been, or what you’ve been through, The Father is waiting… and we are too!

For more information, you can visit our website.

You’re welcome at Abba’s House – Come home October 11!

Are There Sharks Here?

Shark 1

In 1975, the Steven Spielberg – directed mega-hit movie Jaws terrorized theaters all over the world, and life at the beach would never be the same. For years to follow, people thought twice before setting foot in the water. Over the next decade, several sequels followed, with each Jaws being bigger, scarier, and more deadly than the one before. Since then, other filmmakers have followed suit with shark-related thrillers such as Deep Blue Sea, Open Water, and many more. In recent years, one of the biggest weeks annually for The Discovery Channel is the much-hyped Shark Week — a week of programming that focuses primarily on sharks and the study of these deadly beasts.

Recently, Paulette and I were spending a few days in Destin, FL, following a visit with her mother.

great_white_sharkWe were enjoying a day at the beach… umbrella, lounge chairs, perfect weather, and a good book. At one point, I decided to go in the unusually calm and beautifully clear waters for a swim. As I waded in the shallows, I soon noticed a little girl around 7-years-old standing not far away. She had on a sun hat and looked at me somewhat concerned. She called out…

“Are there sharks out here today?!?!”

I was a little taken aback by her question, but soon observed she was quite serious.

I called back, “No, I don’t think so.”

She said to me, “You know they bite children.”

“Yes,” I said, “but I do not see any here”.

She then gave me — the obvious pushover granddaddy type — an order.

“You watch for them while I play,” she said.

“Yes ma’am,” I dutifully replied..

As I splashed around, she never got more than about ten feet away. True to my word, I spent around 45 minutes watching for sharks. As I made my way out of the water, she followed, not wanting to be in the sea without her “shark watcher”.

“Bye!” she called out. “I’ll be back tomorrow!”

Later, as I contemplated the time spent with my new friend, this parallel came to my mind.

Who will watch our kids and grandkids? Who will keep them safe
from the “sharks” in this world we are leaving them?

Think about it… a corrupt culture in moral decline, predators, Islamic terror, drugs, gender confusion, demonic attacks, and unstable family situations. The very places children should feel safe, they often don’t. The very people they should trust to keep them safe, they sometimes can’t.

Who will be there for all their tomorrows?  Who will watch while they grow, play, and learn?

The family should be the first line of protection and nurturing for young minds and hearts. Schools and safe communities should be places where children should be able to go without fear of physical or mental abuse and injury, or immoral and Godless indoctrination.

Yet, may I say that we in the church must be there so that the next generation can discover the beauty of God’s ocean and world while some of us watch for the sharks. We need to help young parents “train up their children in the way they should go” — God’s way — “so that when they are old, they don’t depart from it.”

We need to be the Lifeguards at the pool of society.

We need to be the Shark Watchers on the shark-infested sea of life.

We need to be the Watchmen (and women) on the Wall of a culture filled with predators and pitfalls.


I said to my little friend (whose parents were telling her to leave that poor man alone)…

“Yes dear… if I see you tomorrow, I will watch for the sharks.”

Seasons Of Life

Looking Glass

I recently heard this interesting thought:

“Some people are in our lives for a season, and some people are in our lives for a reason”.

Actor Harrison Ford once made this observation:

“I have relationships with people I’m working with, based on our combined interest. It doesn’t make the relationship any less sincere, but it does give it a focus that may not last beyond the experience”.

Sometimes, God puts people in our lives that become lifelong friends – those people that are there through thick and thin. Sometimes, they are only there for a short season – a period of time for a specific reason – and then they are gone.

Solomon said:

“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven”. ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

One of the great mysteries of life is having the wisdom to know when a season of life is passing. It’s not a good thing… it’s not a bad thing… it’s just life.

The key to dealing with it is… thankfulness. Being grateful to God for the time He allows us to touch the lives of others, and be touched by them in kind.

You Can’t Have It Both Ways

The more I watch the news, read stories on the internet, or talk to people, the crazier I see our society becoming. Here are just a few questions that I have been pondering of late…

  • Emanuel AME2We see stories nearly every week of some atheist or anti-religion group up in arms because someone prayed at a school function, sporting event, or city council meeting. We have seen anti-God groups go after every Christian symbol, holiday, and even our own national history with a vengeance, trying to eradicate the Christian “religion” and our Judeo-Christian roots from every corner of public life.

So where is the outcry from these same individuals when it comes to the tax-payer funded indoctrination of our school children and college students to Islam? If “separation of church and state” is so important, why do we need governmental-appointed positions such as Sharia Czar and Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference? Where is the indignation from anti- religion groups when it comes to the misrepresentation and acceptance of Islam by those in the corridors of power in Washington D.C.?

You can’t have it both ways.

  • For decades, the argument (among others) from pro-abortion groups has been that it is fetal matter — a blob of tissue — not a baby. A baby does not become a real person until it is actually born. Until birth, a fetus does not have a “meaningful life”.

If this is the case, then why is one of the nation’s top abortion providers, Planned Parenthood, currently embroiled in controversy surrounding the harvesting and selling of fetal tissue from aborted babies? If it’s not a person, why harvest these meaningless “blobs of tissue”? At what point, and who, decides that a person’s life has no meaning? What about people who are tragically injured and in a persistent vegetative state… are they no longer worthy of life?

You can’t have it both ways.

  • IMG_1905With the Supreme Court decision to legalize gay marriage in all 50 states, the LGBT community, which has spoken out for decades about discrimination and mistreatment, have finally been granted the “right” to marry the person of their choosing. After years of being denied the right to live their lives however they choose, believe what they want to believe, and love who they want to love, homosexuals and transgender individuals have been granted the ability to do so with the blessing of the United States Supreme Court.

So why is it ok now to vilify and persecute Christians who still oppose same-sex marriage? How is it that people who for years screamed “discrimination” are now discriminating against those who simply (and peacefully) disagree with their lifestyle based on personal religious values? How does a homosexual’s “right” to marriage trump a Christian’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion and freedom of speech?

You can’t have it both ways.

For a society that prides itself on intelligence and logic, we have crossed just about every line of logic and reason in our attempt to be “fair, tolerant, and inclusive.” Science, biology, natural law, and intelligence take a back seat to the ability to “identify” with a person or group. Laws are ignored by those entrusted with upholding the law because those individuals disagree with a certain statute or regulation. Those tasked with protecting and serving the public are forced to operate at a handicap because the very people they are trying to protect are advocating their destruction. We have been told that global warming (“climate change”) is the most pressing issue of our time. Yet recently, arctic ice increased by 1 million square miles in one year (2012 to 2013).

In Romans 1, Paul had this to say about those who choose to ignore and/or disregard the truth…

   The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — Who is forever praised. Amen.
    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. ~ Romans 1:18-32

Creation itself testifies of the glory of God, and His handiwork. A society may attempt to dissuade its members from belief in a Holy God. It may try to marginalize God, lumping Him in with fable, folklore, myth, and legend. Yet, the fingerprint of God on Creation is unmistakable and undeniable. In Psalm 19, David declared…

The heavens declare the glory of God;
    the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
    night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
    no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.

Werner Heisenberg, considered to be one of the fathers of Quantum Physics, had this to say about the relationship of science and religion…

“Where no guiding ideals are left to point the way, the scale of values disappears and with it the meaning of our deeds and sufferings, and at the end can lie only negation and despair. Religion is therefore the foundation of ethics, and ethics the presupposition of life.”

CoffeeCreation is not subject to the whims of world leaders, political correctness, or public outcry. Nature cares not a wit about feelings, fairness, or whether or not it offends anyone. The natural laws, written into the DNA of every cell in Creation, are as unchangeable as Jehovah God. Mankind may attempt to suppress all evidence of the goodness of God from society, but the stones, seas, and stars will not cease to cry out. And if nature declares the glory of God, and God is who He says He is, then His Word is true. And if His Word is true, then we cannot help but conclude that He means what He says, and that we must all come to Him in repentance and humility, to find grace and forgiveness. Truly coming to Him in repentance means to turn from our sin, and accept His finished work of salvation through His sacrifice. We cannot come to Him while holding on, in stubborn unrepentance, to the very things He died to redeem us from. You can’t have it both ways.

“The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you.”
~ Werner Heisenberg

All For One

Alexandre DumasFrench author Alexandre Dumas is famous for his many books, but most notably, the books he wrote about the Musketeers.

The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne (the book which contained the story of The Man In The Iron Mask) tell the story Porthos, Athos, and Aramis; friends and fellow Musketeers who live life by the creed:

“All for one… one for all”.

This battlecry of the Musketeers means that all live for the good of the individual, and that each individual lives in support of the body of Musketeers.

Sounds a lot like our life in Christ.

As Jesus gave His life for all of mankind, we as Christians are to live lives that point others to Him.

As you go about your life this week, remember that all you do should reflect Jesus, and His sacrifice for us.

“All for One… One for all.”

Through the Looking Glass

In Honor and Remembrance

Lady Liberty

We are at a time in our history when we are seeing an unprecedented assault on our first-responders, not only by street thugs and criminals, but by those in authority as well. While police men and women are being murdered on our cities and streets, those in the media and in positions of authority often times assume the worst — vocally — whenever someone in uniform is involved in an incident or altercation. While our system of justice is by no means perfect, and while police departments all over our nation are made up of imperfect people, officers of the law deserve no less than the rest of us when it comes to the question of guilt or innocence…

The assumption of innocent until PROVEN guilty.

Today marks the 14th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania — on America.

9-11Today marks the day that we suffered the worst loss of life in an attack on American soil since the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. Over 2,500 lives were lost on December 7… nearly 3,000 lives were lost on September 11.

Today, we remember the lives of our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens who died in the World Trade Center, in the Pentagon, and in a field in Stoneycreek Township, near Shanksville, PA.

Today, we remember the bravery of our heroic first-responders, who forsook safety and security, and rushed into harm’s way to save the lives of so many. We remember the heroic 343 firefighters, 60 police officers, and 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics who reported for duty, gave their all in service to their fellow citizens, and never returned to their homes and families.

Today, we remember the reason that
we still say, to this day… Never forget.

On September 11, 2001, we looked into the face of Islamic terrorism and resolved —then and there — that we would not be shaken. We watched as our nation pulled together in prayer and unity, and saw our houses of worship filled with people looking for comfort and hope.

Much has changed since 9-11. The world has become a more dangerous place, and we have become a more divided people. I think it is very fitting that, on this day, we once again commit to the unity and hope that bound us so tightly on those dark September days in 2001. We should reject the voices of racial hatred and division that try to tear us apart. We should not bow at the altar of complacency and apathy, but instead strive to make our homes and communities better places through service and responsibility. We should reach out to the less fortunate, and support those who serve us and lead us with our prayers and encouragement. We should operate in love while we stand on truth, and be the light this nation and world so desperately need. We should all re-commit ourselves to the meaning of these words…

KS77759I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands,
One nation under God,
With liberty and justice for all.

One nation under God. For as President Dwight D. Eisenhower said…

… In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.”

Never forget.