Aaron

Jesus Over Everything

As I write my article for this week, I am sitting at a place I know very well and love to visit. This is Caswell week for our youth group, and Nicole let me join in the experience. I’m here with our group of 47 youth and chaperones along with other churches from all over North Carolina. We have our large group worship sessions in Hatch Auditorium. Since the 1960s when it was constructed, Hatch has been a place of…

With Everything

Mark 12:29-31 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” This week is Camp HoriSon. There are 115 kids here for camp, and they are surrounded by a small…

Summer Slam

My family moved to Lenoir, NC, when I was in the second grade. My dad was called to FBC Lenoir to be the minister of music and youth, and the church had something I had never seen in a church before…a balcony in the sanctuary. My friends and I would always sit on the front row in the bottom right corner of the balcony. The sun would come through the stained glass window and warm up the pew just right…

Memorial Day

My former pastor, Dr. David Smith shared this story in a devotional in May 2022. It is a powerful story that needs to be retold so I wanted to share it with you all this week: Writing the Chaplain Corps History for the Army website, John Brinsfield tells the following story of “The Four Chaplains.” “It was Feb. 3, 1943, and the U.S. Army Transport Dorchester was one of three ships in a convoy, moving across the Atlantic from Newfoundland…

A Tale of Two Stumps

Title: A Tale of Two Stumps Our Grounds Committee recently completed a tree project around our church. They had the canopy of trees raised across from the sanctuary and around the FLC, the dying pine trees in the corner of the property cut down, and the tree that had died next to the church sign was completely removed. It was a big project and it really helped to increase the beauty and safety of our campus. At our monthly Guys…

Rainy Days

Milli Vanilli was a popular music act in the 1980s and 90s that became more famously known for their lip-syncing scandal (a sermon illustration for another day…). Their song “Blame It On the Rain” topped the Billboard charts and is advising the listener to “blame it on the rain” and other natural elements after leaving their love interest and regretting it.  As I write this article, it is a rainy weekday morning. It’s the type of weather that has a…

We Are Easter People…Who Listen to Children

This past Sunday we were blessed to watch and listen to 35 children of our church (35!!!!!) perform their musical: Danny and the Shacks. Katherine and her team did an amazing job teaching the children the stories of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In turn, the children did an incredible job of teaching the church through their speaking parts and songs. Did you listen on Sunday? Did you hear the message of the musical? It’s easy to get lost in…

We Are Easter People: Find Your Passion

Last night, I attended the Spring Meeting of the Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association (GCCBA). The speaker was talking about seeing an image that changed his heart. He said, “Have you ever seen an image that just mesmerized you; an image that God used to soften and till the soil of your heart to the point you had to do something?” My heart and mind screamed “YES!” You are probably like me and think, “Well that’s just a pile of…

We Are Easter People

Before my Grandpa passed away in 2022, I would visit him and my Grandma in Raleigh when my work for Gardner-Webb would take me through or around that area. I always enjoyed eating a meal or spending the night with them. On one such trip, I was enjoying breakfast with them at their favorite diner around the corner from their house in North Raleigh. As the conversation flowed over coffee and a good meal, I asked my Grandma how they…

We are Easter People

I’m a sports fan. I don’t know if you are or not, but I’m sure you’ve at least heard of the NCAA March Madness Tournaments. During March Madness, men and women pursue their dreams of being a national champion in one of the most exciting sports events of the year. I saw a commercial several times over the course of the tournament that made me think. It was an NCAA commercial designed to sell tickets for games and encourage being…