Road Trip Sermon Notes

It has been a few months since I last posted “Sermon Notes”. Truthfully, an entire teaching series on the Beatitudes went by without me getting any of them up here to the blog. I can’t say that I will get them up here every week, but I thought I would get you all caught up on the most recent teaching series at Journey Church. Sadly we will miss next week and 2 other weeks of this series while we are (ironically enough) on Road Trips to Half Marathons. Here is a taste of the first 2 weeks of the series:

Week #1 – Road Trip Preparation

1. There is no such thing as a perfect family

2. Choices we make today will have generational consequences

3. Every family is fixable

Week #2 – Rules of the Road (Ephesians 4:24-32)

Rule #1 – Keep it honest (vs. 25)

Rule #2 – Keep it under control (vs. 26, 27)

Rule #3 – Keep it constructive (vs. 28)

Rule #4 – Keep it respectful and wholesome (vs. 29)

Rule #5 – Keep it cleared up (vs. 31-32)

Two Questions

1. Who are you fighting with in your family?

2. How would the relationship change if you applied these rules for the road?

God Had Other Plans

I hate the treadmill. I really do. I try to avoid it as much as possible, but the nearly 2 feet of snow outside make it pretty difficult to train anywhere else. With a half marathon looming a week from Sunday, I have to get the miles in somewhere. My plans tonight were to get in a quick 4 miles, type a recap of our January half marathon in Phoenix and call it an evening. God had other plans.

I love when He does that….

Our Pastor recently started a series on the Beatitudes. With house church looming tomorrow night, I have been thinking all day how I could tie in Sunday’s sermon on Matthew 5:3 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit”. I wasn’t really able to come up with anything today so I figured I would try again tomorrow. I had a pretty good feeling for what Jesus meant when he said that from my study of the Beatitudes a few years ago. I figured I could always pull something from there. God had other plans.

I hit the treadmill at a nice easy pace.  I put my iPod on Shuffle which is rare for me. I’m such a control freak when it comes to pace and music that I always use one of my pre-arranged playlists. Tonight I figured I would go with whatever played. As I went along, I began to pick up my pace. By the end I was running with the treadmill on the number 8 and completely empty. I pushed for a 5th mile and was nearing that mark when it happened. The song “How He Loves Us” by David Crowder came through the ear buds. God had other plans.

As I stood there completely empty of energy, sweating like crazy, God finally had my attention. The words to the song on my iPod echoed through my mind and directly to my heart. It began to all take shape. He was giving me a vision of being “poor in spirit”. He was removing all of the distractions from my day, my thoughts, my emotions to bring me to a point where I could think of nothing else.

We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

Note after note, lyric after lyric I was reminded of my desperate need for Jesus. While I gasp for air, I was overcome with the emotion of a love for me that continues even when He knows me. He knows my faults, my failures, my weakness and my battle with self. Yet He loves. I thought of the pain I get in my chest when I think how much I love my wife and children.

He loves more.

Being poor in spirit is understanding this desperate need all of the time. Not just after a hard run. Not after being pulled from all of the distractions.

Not after God made other plans.

* You can hear David Crowder’s “How He Loves” HERE

Sermon Notes – As Expected

This week continued the sermon series based on the film “It’s a Wonderful Life” as we looked at the question “Does Life Always Turn Out As Expected”. It is so funny how this happens. I could have just waited a few days on the post I did last week about “What Might Have Been” and used that for my personal application to this sermon notes. I sat listening to the sermon and thinking how just 24 hours earlier we were back in Charlotte, North Carolina where life very well may have “turned out as expected”. You all know the story by now so here are this weeks “Sermon Notes”.

Similarities between Joseph and George Bailey

-Both Married to a “Mary”

-Both from a small town (John 1:45-46) (Matt 1:23)

-Both had dreams (Matt 1:17) (Luke 1:30-33)

-Both visited by angels

-Both had a wonderful life

-Offered to Jesus the right ancestry (Isaiah 9:6-7)

-Provided protection for Jesus as an Infant

-Provided spiritual instruction (Luke 2:21-24) (Luke 2:49-50)

-Supported for Jesus Mother (Matt 1:25)

When Dreams Don’t Happen

1. Maintain a heart of mercy (Matt 1:19)

2. Be open to hear a word from God

3. Obey completely and unquestionably (Matt 1:34)

4. Remember that everything has a purpose (Matt 1:21)

Personal Application:

As I said, it seemed so odd to me that just 24 hours prior to hearing this sermon, Heather and I were back in Charlotte. It was just 15 months ago that we were “this close” to moving our family there. We were chasing what we believed was a God given dream. Yet visiting there this past weekend only confirmed to me that we made the right decision in not going through with that move. It was a time of disappointment and maybe even some frustration with not knowing what God was up to. Yet knowing what I know now, I am so thankful that we are where we are today. I’m so much more appreciative. God has been so good and patient with this servant. I am humbled by his grace and willingness to allow us to sort things out. I also wonder if the “sorting it out” is what refines our faith. It’s no secret I love Charlotte, North Carolina. However God had other plans and they were, remarkably, even better.

Same is true for the events in Bethlehem that night so long ago….

Sermon Notes – Do Angels Have Wings

Sunday we began our first message in the “It’s a Wonderful Life” series with the question, “Do Angels Have Wings”. Below are my notes followed by a personal application:

1. Ministry of Angels Towards God

A)Worship Him (Rev 4:6-8)

B)Serving Him (Psalm 103:20)

C) Ruling

-Over evil men

-Over Nature (Rev 7:2)

-Over powers of darkness (Eph 4:12)

2. Ministry of Angels Towards Jesus

A)Birth – Predicted (Matt 1:20-21), Announced (Luke 2:8-12)

B) Life – Protected (Matt 2:13) and Provided (Matt 4:11)

C) Resurrection (Matt 28:1-2)

D) Ascension (Acts 1:9-11)

E) Return (Jude 14)

*Note – Notice where they were not? They were not present at His death. (Matt 26:23-24)

3. Ministry of Angels to Believers (Heb 1:14)

A) Watching – (1 Cor 4:9)

B) Guiding – (Acts 8:26)

C) Providing – (Genesis 21:17-19)

D) Protecting – (Daniel 3:24-25) (Daniel 6:21-24) (Acts 5:17-19) (Acts 27:23-25)

E) Carrying us home – (Luke 16:19-21)

Our Response?

1. Recognize that Angels still exist

2. Find comfort in their existence and all they do

3. Never worship or pray to Angels

4. Follow their example to worship and serve God (Rev 22:8-9)

Personal Application:

One of the favorite things my mom used to tell us growing up was that “God still sends his angels”. I often wonder if that is true. I do believe that there are unseen forces at work that battle both for and against us. There is no question in my mind that spiritual warfare is real and true. If you doubt that, think about a time when you were on a spiritual “high”. How long was it before you were under attack? How long did it take for something that is your weakness or your failure to quickly come to mind? For me personally, it is a daily struggle. I’m thankful that I have come to recognize it as such. It’s similar to what the author Frank Peretti described so well in his book “This Present Darkness“.

I also wonder sometimes if we will see a replay of our life when we get to Heaven. Like a DVR version of what COULD have happened vs. what actually DID happen. Those times when Angels fought for us, protected us, guided us and carried us. Several years ago, I was retrieving a voice mail on my cell phone and literally drove through a red light at one of the most dangerous intersections in Columbus, Ohio. It wasn’t until I noticed another car nearly smash into to rear of my car that I realized what I had done. I’m lucky I wasn’t killed. It was at that moment that the words my mom used to say came ringing back to me “God still send his angels”. I wonder if we won’t see many of those clips when we get to Heaven.

Lastly, I am reminded that angels may not always appear as we think they should (halo, wings, white robe). I loved that about the movie “Michael” with John Travolta (see clip below). God still sends his angels. One day we will know and see just how many and how often they protected us.

Sermon Notes – Thankfulness

When I started posting “Sermon Notes” late in the summer, I was surprised by the emails and comments from those that follow this series weekly. Those notes are just from those that were willing to send some encouragement to keep posting. My hunch is that there are some out there that read them and have not written in or commented. I count it a blessing to have the technology to share church with each of you once a week. I actually thought of each of you tonight as I sat down in front of my laptop.

The service this morning at our church was dedicated to people sharing their stories of thankfulness. I cannot begin to express my deepest respect for each and every person that stood in front of the congregation to share their “story”. They battled fear of public speaking, fear of what others might think and the risk of transparency to be real. The stories were both inspirational and heart breaking. The stories ranged from addictions, battles with cancer, new marriages, loss of income and physical struggles. Yet each one shared their praise to God for the struggles. They gave praise to the Lord that moves in our lives and has full knowledge of our journey. To each of you I am humbled by your faith. Thank you.

My other thoughts during this time of sharing were:

1. I love the place that I call “church” every week.

2. I love that our community can be the place where we are who we are and it’s alright.

3. I pray I will have the courage of those that shared to give the honor and praise when the storms come.

4. Count your many blessings. Name them one by one.

One word that was spoken over and over and over again this morning was the word “grace”. I think all too often I take the gift of Gods grace for granted. To stand in the face of a storm and call it “grace” takes a faith I aspire to learn. For those that read this that do not attend, take the next 8 minutes to watch the video below. While this is not from our church service this morning, it might as well have been. This will give you an idea of the courage and the stories that were shared. Thanks for your encouragement on this journey. I am honored to share the road with each of you towards our ultimate destination.

Sermon Notes – A Church Made To Go!


As you can see from the clip above, we wrapped up the series from Acts 3 – 7 yesterday by taking a look at witnessing. Specifically, we looked at Phillip and the Ethiopian in Acts 8:26-36.

Reasons Most Christians Don’t Witness:

  1. Not able to do evangelism as well as professionals
  2. Too timid
  3. Fear of how people will respond

Elements of Effective Evangelism

  1. Obedient messenger (vs. 26)
  2. Hungry heart (vs. 27-31)
  3. God’s Word (vs. 34)
  4. Gospel and Jesus (vs. 34-35)
  5. Public profession (vs. 36-38)

Phillip’s Principles For Effective Witnessing:

  1. Obey the spirits leading
  2. Look for hungry hearts
  3. Approach people with tact
  4. Study the scriptures
  5. Share the gospel


Interesting service yesterday. I often tell my wife that I am one of the worst travelers in the world. I don’t like to be talked to when I am on a plane. I don’t like to talk to others. As soon as we hit that 10,000 feet and hear the “ding”, the use of portable electronic devices is something I can’t wait for. The iPod goes on and I get lost in a book. It’s probably rather obvious that I have no desire to talk on the flight. So when I hear stories of so many that have had deep and meaningful spiritual conversations on a flight, I am not one of them. I wish I was better about that, but I am always afraid to be “that guy”.

What is interesting is that my wife and I are never afraid to follow the spirits leading. If you were around for our Charlotte adventure you probably remember that. We’re not afraid to go where the cloud moves. So how can I be so strong (like Phillip) to follow God’s prompting in one area, but not in another? One thing I have learned is to not so much pressure on myself. Jesus saves…not Aaron. That doesn’t remove the call to spread the gospel, but it sure reminds me of my role. We are called to plant seeds. We should witness in the way we live our lives, care for the less fortunate and be aware of any opportunity to live out the gospel.

I have much to learn in the “Go” calling of the great commission.



On Sunday morning, we looked at Acts 6:8 – 8:3 and how Stephen faced the “ultimate opposition”. In preparation for home group this week, I found an interesting story regarding opposition. Chuck Swindoll shared this story in one of his messages:

In the northeastern United States, codfish are a big commercial business. There is a market for eastern cod all over, especially in the sections farthest removed from the northeastern coastline. But the public demand poses a problem for the shippers. At first, they froze the cod, then shipped them elsewhere, but freezing them takes away much of the flavor. So they experimented with shipping them alive in tanks of seawater. But that proved even worse. Not only did the cod still lose their flavor, but they became soft and mushy. The texture was seriously affected.

Finally, some creative person solved the problem in a most innovative manner. The codfish were placed in the tank of water along with their natural enemy – the catfish. From the time the cod left the East coast until it arrived at its western-most destination, those ornery catfish chased the cod all over the tank. And, you guessed it, when the cod arrived at the market, they were as fresh as when they were first caught. There was no loss of flavor nor was the texture affected. If anything, they were better than before.

What is true about the codfish is also true about the group of people who call themselves disciples of Christ. The group is known as “the church.” (source)

Ahhh opposition. Ain’t it grand? We all face it. I am sure each one of us can tell a story about how we face opposition at work, at school, at home and (as much as I hate to say it) within churches. When it comes to opposition, we have much to learn from the life (and death) of Stephen. As our Pastor pointed out on Sunday:

  1. He excelled at his calling
  2. He experienced ongoing opposition
  3. He found peace when others around him were in turmoil
  4. He saw things differently

Stephen looked to Heaven where he saw Jesus sitting at the right hand of God and was fearless in the face of his opposition. What they thought would stop the gospel only made it stronger. Opposition does that. Example?

In sports, teams often bring in a “backup” player that has equal talent to the “starter”. They are not attempting to create a controversy, they are looking to push that “starter” to his best. They are challenging that player to work hard to maintain his spot as the best. Without the opposition behind him, just waiting for his chance, the “starter” can get lazy and not reach his potential.

When we are following our God given and Spirit led calling, there will be opposition. Opposition can come from the most unlikely of sources at times. I often find it strange that, within the church, we can celebrate a family leaving a church to come to “ours” yet make it personal when one leaves “our church” to join another. When a family is spirit led to move to a place where they can use their God given gifts and talents to advance His kingdom (no matter where that is), shouldn’t we celebrate it? Yet, opposition is often the response. The enemy would like nothing more than to create opposition, dissension and conflict within the very walls of the churches.

Have you ever noticed how out of control the family seems on Sunday morning before church? The kids are arguing and it seems like everyone got up on the wrong side of the bed. It’s no coincidence that this happens to most families as they head off to church. It’s opposition.

When “fall ball” season came around this year, “the boy” was invited to play with the 10 year old kid pitch team. He was 8 at the time and would be “playing up” to a level of competition nearly 2 years ahead of where he had been. He would face kids bigger, faster and more talented. We made the decision that this would be best for him when the summer rolls around and he begins “U9” (9 year old travel league) play.

He is now playing travel basketball with the 4th grade team. Again, he is only in 3rd grade, so he is “playing up” one level. Through the first few weeks of practice, you can see that he is a step behind others that played last year. He’s learning on the fly and doing his best to keep up.

While we could have just plugged him in for another year of Upwards Basketball, we believe it was not the best for him in the long run. His passion is basketball. He loves the sport and is gifted at it. While he is facing opposition today that he didn’t face in Upwards, he is learning and growing as a player. We know that he will be a better player for having faced the toughest opposition he could face. It is sharpening him.

As we move through this journey, we are going to face opposition. It might come from friends that don’t see the bigger picture in play. It might come in the form of physical battles and struggles that are taking our efforts away from advancing His Kingdom. You can bank on opposition. Our response is to know that it makes us stronger. I love the version of text (NLT) that states the following:

“As Goliath moved closer to attack, David QUICKLY RAN OUT to meet him” – 1 Samuel 17:48

May we all face our opposition by quickly running out to meet it!

Sermon Notes – Suffering


Yesterday morning we had a guest Pastor speak at our church. Steve Smith, Assistant Pastor/Youth at Lindworth Baptist Church (not the wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers), spoke on the subject of “Suffering” from the text in Romans 8:17-28. While Romans 8:28 is one of the most quoted verses, suffering is something that none of us want to talk about. Ever.

Below are my notes from the service and the personal application (my take-away).

1. Suffering will be worth it all for our inheritance.

A. New glorified bodies

B. We will rule with Christ

C. We will be with God himself

2. We are not alone in our suffering.

A. Not alone in as the world

B. Not alone as individuals

C. Not alone as Christ (intercedes for us verse 27)

3. God causes all things to work together for good.

A. All believers

B. All things

C. “Good” means forming you into the image of Jesus Christ

Final thought: “God is doing SOMETHING with your suffering”


I marvel at how so often the timing of these things happens. I noted yesterday that there was “not a dry eye in the house” by the end of Steve’s message. A video clip he showed of a story out of Boston might have caused some of that emotion, but the reality is that there were several misty eyes before the video ever rolled. Pain and suffering hit home with every single person I know. Some show it more than others, but while we’re in this world there will be trouble. People are hurting and, dare I say, searching for the promise? It’s there, it just doesn’t appear as we would draw it up.

A year ago I sat with a friend as he fought the terrible disease of cancer. If I am honest, it is so hard to quote Romans 8:28 at times like that. When we’re knee deep in the storm, that is not often the first words that come to mind. Maybe it’s just me but my guess is I am not alone in that. Maybe that is why the Steven Curtis Chapman CD was on constant rotation for me last week too. “Beauty Will Rise” is a collection of 12 songs from a man that knows what suffering is all about. Each song is a journey from pain to ultimate resolution that God is in control. It helped me as the anniversary of my dear friends passing nears.

I included the video above because it has been my prayer for a year. While there are so many stories to come from my friends passing (like the people that accepted Christ as his funeral), one thing I learned was to pray for Gods will…no matter how painful. I am resigned to the fact that I am a finite man trying to understand an infinite God. Trust, faith, understand and surrender are not words that top my list, but that is all a part of this journey. I pray that I am growing stronger in each one every day.

For more, check out the “Video of the Week” posted in the sidebar. It’s a song by Kutless called “I’m Still Yours”.

Sermon Notes 10/4

Week 3 on the series “A Church Made To Grow” from Acts 3-7

This weeks sermon: “Generosity” Acts 4:32-36

Generosity can be identified by the actions of the heart. It flows out of the heart in 5 ways:

1. Connected to others (vs. 32)

2. Doesn’t claim possessions as their own. (vs. 32)

3. Commits to meeting the needs of others (vs. 34)

4. Trusts the leadership (vs. 34-37)

5. Filled with grace (vs. 33)

Grace is what gets you through. Grace can be seen in our giving.

2 Corinthians 9:6

Grace giving should be generous

Grace giving should be planned

Grace giving should be joyful


Sermon Notes 9/27 – Handling Opposition

We continue to be in a series from Acts looking at “The Marks of a Healthy Church“. Specifically this morning we looked at Acts 4 and how to handle opposition.

1. Opposition is expected (John 15:30)

– Comes at the least likely time

– Comes from the most unlikely people

2. Opposition is an opportunity to tell the truth

– Emboldened them to speak to their critics (Acts 4:10-11)

– Emboldened them to claim Christ (Acts 4:12) (Matthew 7:13-14)

– Silences your critics (Acts 4:14)

3. Opposition is a test of our love and loyalty

– What do you talk about when people talk to you?

– Peter and John were so full of Jesus it just “fell out” of them. (Acts 4:20)

4. Opposition is intended to strengthen our resolve to speak boldly

– Sharing what happened with their friends

– Prayed together (Acts 4:24-25)

– Filled with Holy Spirit (Acts 4:31)

As I think about this topic, I was reminded of this debate on Nightline regarding “Does Satan Exist”. I was most reminded of the way that Pastor Mark Driscoll responded to the opposition he faced in this debate. If you are familiar with Mark Driscoll, he has never been accused of being the most humble of individuals. He often confesses this weakness to his church. Not only does he confess the weakness, he has continued to grow in his humility.

That being said, Watch the beginning of this clip. Listen to the way that Mark Driscoll defends to gospel by speaking the truth. He is not rude or arrogant, but is confident in the TRUTH. May we all have the wisdom and knowledge to speak to our opposition in such a way.


Sermon Notes 9/20

This week continued our series from Acts 3-7 entitled “The Marks of a Healthy Church

Last week we looked at two marks which were:

I. They get involved with hurting people

II. They are filled with wonder and amazement

This week we looked at three more ways to identify a healthy church.

III. Deflect the glory away from themselves and on to God (vs. 10-11)

“If you can explain it, then God is not in it” -Bob Cook

“It was all God, it was all grace”

IV. Be faithful to speak for God

A. Speak the truth (13-15)

B. Speak truth in Love (vs. 17)

C. Offer People Hope (vs. 19)

V. Listen or heed Gods word completely (21-22)

Questions to ask yourself this week:

Am I involved with people that are hurting?

Am I filled with wonder and amazement over what God is doing?

Am I deflecting glory away from myself and on to God?

Am I faithful to speak for God even when it is difficult?

Am I listening and heeding God’s word completely?


Sermon Notes – 9/14


Church Made To Grow – What Makes a Healthy Church? (Acts 3:1-8)

Yesterday marked the start of a new sermon series from the book of Acts. Specifically, the fall series will look at how scripture instructs the early church to grow. We looked at the story from Acts 3:1-8 where Peter and John encounter a man crippled from birth. Their interaction and reaction to this man can symbolize the marks of a healthy church. Below are my notes from yesterdays sermon:

Two Marks of a Healthy Church:

2. Get involved with hurting people.

A. Stop to see people in need. Not just see people, but to actually LOOK at them.

B. Invite them into relationship

C. Share what you have

D. Stay until they can stand on their own

2. People are filled with wonder & amazement over what God has done.

Three things that hinder our wonder and amazement

A. Spirit of cynicism – don’t believe people

B. Skepticism – don’t believe in things

C. Fatalism – God doesn’t care about me.

When was the last time that you were filled with wonder and amazement at what God has done? As sure as the sun rises every morning, God is at work. The very fact that the sun DOES rise every morning proves that he is at work. Why have we lost the wonder and amazement? What can we do this week to get that back?


Sermon Notes – "Keep Singing"


A little different approach to this weeks “Sermon Notes”. Our church had the blessing of having a special guest for the holiday weekend, Dennis Jernigan. While Dennis didn’t preach on a specific topic, he shared his music, his heart and his story. There was so much there to reflect upon, I really can’t put it all in one post. God has blessed Dennis with an incredible ability to validate those in the audience to be “real” for a few minutes. He often says “let’s get honest” and that, for so many (yours included) is often very difficult to do.

Of the many things Dennis shared, there were two that really stood out to me. One I will share later this week in a different post, the other is the concept of allowing God to “Sing Over Us”. At various times in his speaking and singing, Dennis asked if there were those in attendance that were dealing with certain things (loss of a dream, loss of a loved one, loss of another kind). He then asked them to stand while he spoke directly to them. It was at this point that he would ask the church to “be the body of Christ” and surround those standing while he sang a song “over them”. I love that.

As you know, I have three children that mean the world to me. One of my favorite “Daddy Times” is when they climb up in my lap. I hate to think of the day when they will be too big for that. There is something about holding them close, singing a song in their ear, their giggles, their smiles, even the smell of their hair that brings me great joy. Even if they are looking for some comfort from a pain, it is a precious time that I cherish. Our Heavenly Father is no different. Thus the concept of God “singing over us”.

I know a lot of people going through a lot of “stuff” right now. Maybe you are as well. When was the last time you  allowed for a few moments of peace, still and quiet so that God could sing over you? Maybe today is the day. Maybe now is that time. Maybe this song by MercyMe will help guide and direct those moments.

“Keep Singing” by MercyMe from the CD “Undone

Sermon Notes 8/23


Today’s sermon was entitled “With a Little Help From My Friends” and was based on Proverbs 1:5. This was a continuation of the sermon series by Andy Stanley called “The Best Question Ever”. Before I get to this weeks notes, a quick “heads up” that there won’t be any sermon notes from me next week. Heather and I are crazy enough to be running in the Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon next Sunday morning and sadly, will miss church. There has to be an easier way to skip church than running 13.1 miles!!!


1. Wise people know when they don’t know..and they are not afraid to go to those who know.

A wise man will hear and increase in learning, and a man of understanding will acquire wise counsel. (Proverbs 1:5 NASB)

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15)

2. Many, if not most, of the decisions that you make privately and independently will become public knowledge)

3. Many, if not most, of the decisions that you make privately and independently are judged by the people around you.

4. Many, if not most, of the decisions that you make privately and independently affect other people.

if the results of those decisions are going to be known publicly, are going to be judged publicly, and are going to affect other people then why not get other people in on the decision making process before the decision is made because it is not going to be a secret after the decision is made.

5. Wise people do not make big decisions independent of counsel.

Three reasons why we need help from our friends (Genesis 41):

1. No one is so successful that he/she no longer needs wise counsel.

2. You will never reach your full potential without utilizing the wisdom of others.

3. Wise counsel may come from the most unlikely sources.

My Notes:

“Even Tiger Woods has a coach”

“Parents, sometimes the most unlikely source for counsel comes from your kids”


I can honestly say that I am a living breathing example of the principle of getting wise counsel. In saying that I am not bragging. I’m actually admitting that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. However, I have been blessed to know amazing people. People that, when asked, are more than willing to offer wisdom and advice. The day I forget that, or think I don’t need others counsel or wisdom would be a sad, sad day.

I have received a few requests so I thought I would post the link where you can purchase a copy of this series from Andy Stanley. I encourage any one that reads this to order a copy. It will help you in your decision process and that of those in your home. It might even save you from making a poor decision in the future by asking one simple question. “Is it the WISE thing to do”?

You can order a DVD copy for yourself (HERE)

YOUR TURN: What were they preaching at your church on Sunday?

Sermon Notes 8/15


Today’s sermon was a continuation of the Andy Stanley Series on “The Best Question Ever: Fool-proofing Your Life“. The topic today was entitled “Living on the Edge” and dealt specifically with the issue of our morality. Powerful, powerful stuff. For some odd reason I was reminded of this photo of Andre Agassi in Dubai (see video at end of post). He and Roger Federrer were invited to play a game of tennis for fun on this court. Each time I see this picture, I wonder if the thrill of the moment and game would have taken them one step too far. The consequences could have been terrible. This wasn’t a part of todays message, but it came to mind when I reflected on the sermon later. With that in mind, here are the notes from today’s sermon.


1. Three key arenas of life that we can ask this question, ie “what is the wise thing to do?“. One is our time. Second is money, but the third, and probably the most important one is the arena of morality.

2. Every wrong moral decision is introduced by a series of unwise decisions.

3. The “wise” thing to do will lead you away from moral disaster.

4. God’s advice for avoiding moral failure is to RUN. (1 Corinthians 6:18a)

5. Sexual sin is in a category of it’s own. (1 Corinthians 6:18b)

6. The way you flee from sexual immorality is to set standards for your conduct and your life that are so high, that are so far back from the edge that if you were to violate or compromise your standard there would be no consequences.


“a moral sin is like honey that sticks to your soul”

“Sexual sin is a category where we have the most difficult time forgiving ourselves”

“No matter how many times you pray, ask forgiveness, it’s the memory and the scar that may haunt you your entire life”.

“If you would be willing to do ANYTHING to go back and undo the past moral failures, why won’t you set the standards for the future so high to protect from those failures again”?


A key point he made was about how we justify those small decisions with “there’s nothing wrong with (insert unwise decision here)” and ultimately they lead to the wrong moral decision. I couldn’t help but think of the hauntingly cryptic words of South Carolina Senator Mark Sanford when he said of his affair, “it started with an email“. I again think of Agassi playing tennis on the court stories above Dubai. Had something happened, someone probably would have said, “it seemed like a fun idea” or “there was nothing wrong with playing tennis”. Yet in the moment, in the battle, when the wise decisions are often not made, the consequences could have been deadly…literally.

YOUR TURN: What were they preaching where you went to Church on Sunday?

Sermon Notes 8/2

OL3432757M-MYour greatest regret could have been avoided had you asked The Best Question Ever and then acted on your conclusion”.

Oh to have a time machine! If we could all only have “that one back”. Since we can’t, so many of us have learned to grow from the mistake and make a better decision next time. This weeks sermon notes, for me, should go a long way towards helping me make those decisions. The service was a broadcast of a teaching from Andy Stanley of North Point Community Church and based on the book by Andy of the same title. 

This morning was the first in the series and it started with a bang. The teaching is all based on Ephesians 5:15-17:

15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.

1. My temptation and your temptation is to ask this question: “How close can I get to sin without actually sinning”?

2. The question isn’t, “is it moral?, “is it legal”, or “is it right?”. The question we must begin to ask is: “Is this the WISE thing to do?”

3. The key to making wise decisions is to understand (and face-up) to the will of the Lord.

4. We have to ask “the question” at three levels.

a) The first level is, “what is the wise thing to do in light of my PAST experience?”

b) The second level is, “what is the wise thing to do in light of my CURRENT circumstances?”

c) the third level is, “what is the wise thing to do in light of my FUTURE hopes and dreams?”

Here are some of the other notes that I jotted down on our handout – 

“If you handle (insert temptation here) the way that culture does, you will eventually be in a place where you never wanted to be.”

“If asking that question makes you feel uncomfortable than you just discovered something has set you up for regret in the future”.

“Why is it so easy to see the foolishness in others lives but not to see it in our own?”

“Every man that chooses to do what they want to do and avoid the important question needs to understand that your decision effects not only you, but all of those depending on you.”

YOUR TURN: What were they preaching where you went to church on Sunday?