30 Blessings You Will Miss Out On If You Don’t Go To Church:

1. You miss out on obedience to the command to not give up meeting together (Hebrews 10:24-25).

2. You miss out on loving God in your obedience, and as a result, experiencing him more deeply (John 14:21).

3. You miss out on loving Jesus by loving the bride he laid his life down for (Ephesians 5:25-27; Acts 20:28).

4. You miss out on hearing God’s Word faithfully proclaimed, and thus growing in faith (2 Timothy 4:1-2; Romans 10:17).

5. You miss out on hearing God’s Word applied specifically to you, your culture, and community (1 Corinthians 2:5; 2 Timothy 4:1-2).

6. You miss out on learning how to read the Bible better by sitting under gifted teachers and preachers (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9).

7. You miss out on being equipped to discern dangerous and deceitful doctrines that negate or distort the gospel (Ephesians 4:11-14; Galatians 1:6-9).

8. You miss out on encouraging others, stirring them toward love and good works, and receiving encouragement from others (Hebrews 10:25).

9. You miss out on using your gifts to build up the body of Christ for the glory of God (1 Peter 4:10-11; Ephesians 4:11-14).

10. You miss out on being built up by others faithfully using their gifts (1 Peter 4:10-11; Ephesians 4:11-14).

11. You miss out on sitting under God’s appointed leadership over you (Ephesians 4:11-14; Hebrews 13:7).

12. You miss out on submitting to the leaders God has placed over you, and thus submitting to God (Hebrews 13:17).

13. You miss out on being shepherded during the joys and trials of life (James 5:13-14; 1 Peter 5:1-2).

14. You miss out on following your pastor’s example (1 Timothy 4:12; Hebrews 13:7;Titus 2:7).

15. You miss out on agreeing to be accountable for your actions through church discipline, which is an extension of God’s discipline (Matthew 18:15-17).

16. You miss out on performing the ministry of showing up, that is, encouraging others by your presence and commitment (Hebrews 10:24-25; Acts 4:32-33).

17. You miss out on being equipped for the work of ministry by ministers called by God and the fruitfulness that comes from having been better equipped (Ephesians 4:11-14).

18. You miss out on giving and receiving prayers for spiritual growth and personal needs (James 5:16).

19. You miss out on receiving the blessing and instruction of corporate prayer (1 Timothy 2:1-2; Acts 6:1-6)

20. You miss out on caring for the poor and needy as the church, or receiving care if you are needy. (Acts 11:29, 2 Corinthians 8:4, 1 John 3:17.)

21. You miss out on serving others and taking your eyes off yourself (Romans 12:9-13).

22. You miss out on being in the center of God’s will, which is revealed as we obey and renew our minds in his truth (Proverbs 3:5-6; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18).

23. You miss out on celebrating the gospel through baptism (Romans 6:4).

24. You miss out on regular participation in the Lord’s Supper to join saints throughout history to celebrate the saving work of Christ and anticipate his future reign (1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Mark 14:22-25).

25. You miss out on practicing the “one anothers” with brothers and sisters in Christ (John 13:34-35; Ephesians 4:12; Romans 12:10-16; Galatians 5:13; etc.).

26. You miss out on corporately singing songs of praise to God (Colossians 3:16).

27. You miss out on being a testimony to the gospel’s saving and transforming power to the lost world (John 13:34-35).

28. You miss out on uniting across barriers of race and economic status to stand united in the gospel and make friends you wouldn’t ordinarily know (Ephesians 2:11-22; Ephesians 4:3; James 2:1; Revelation 5:9).

29. You miss out on speaking the truth in love to other believers believing and/or practicing unbiblical doctrines (Ephesians 4:15-16).

30. You miss out on bringing God delight as his gathered people (Zephaniah 3:17; Psalms 149:4).

Go To Church – You’ll Be Glad You Did.


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In our world of social media, we hear many terms like posting, sharing, trending, tweeting, following.  For the Christ-Follower, following Jesus is much more than posting a tweet or sharing a Facebook post.  The true Christ-Follower knows that following Jesus comes with great sacrifice and it will cost them everything.  However, the reward of eternal life with Him in Heaven – well, that is worth more than anything the world has to offer.  Following Jesus does come at a cost, but the blessings and rewards are far beyond all we could ask or imagine.

Join us Sunday, 9/25/16, at Ham Lane Church, as we begin a brand new fall sermon series: “#FOLLOW – What Does It Really Mean To Be A Christ-Follower?”   The preaching and teaching pastors and I will be sharing a series of messages exploring what the Bible teaches on the subject of following Jesus as Lord and Savior, the great cost involved and the even greater reward to be gained.

Jesus said, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23).  Will you be His follower?  Will you follow Him daily?  You see, daily means 365 days a year.  Are you willing to deny yourself and make Him the number one priority in your life?

Join us Sunday mornings 10AM at Ham Lane Church as we together, as a family of God, study the Word of God and pray that we might do more than just read a tweet or post a status, but that may we honor God with our whole lives.  Our prayer is that as we follow Jesus, we might become so much like Him, that others would see Jesus in us as we follow in the footsteps of our rabbi.


In His Steps,


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How far are you willing to go to worship?

Some good thoughts from a good friend.

Tonk Talks

I knew of a couple once who traveled about two and half hours one way to go to worship services. They lived in the Northeast of the United States and this was the closest congregation of the churches of Christ for them. This family was dedicated and determined to worship the Lord. How are far would we be willing to go to worship?

In the Bible we read of an individual who was dedicated to worshiping the Lord; the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:26-40. The scriptures tells us that the Ethiopian eunuch was traveling back home to Ethiopia after going to Jerusalem to worship. He would have traveled hundreds of miles by chariot just to go to the Temple of the Lord. While there he would have only been able to go to the Court of the Gentiles because of his status as a eunuch. This would be kind of…

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Why Bring A Friend To Church?


Sunday, September 18, 2016 is our annual BF2C ( Bring a Friend to Church ) Sunday at Ham Lane Church.  Each year, around this time, we plan a special service specifically to invite our friends and family to join us in a time of worship followed by a time of food, fun, and fellowship at our annual Fall Family Fellowship at Lodi Lake immediately following our morning services.


Why bring a friend to church? Nowhere in the Bible do you find an example of Jesus encouraging His disciples to bring a friend to a special church service.  I want us to understand that inviting someone to church and inviting someone to Jesus is not the same thing.  Although we do want to have numbers and see chairs filled on our BF2C, that’s now why we want you to bring a friend.  Although we are planning a special service and a great fellowship afterwards, that is not the highest level of discipleship. Moreover, we certainly do not what you to think that inviting your friend to church is the same thing as leading them to Jesus.


Why bring a friend to church?  It’s because we want them to connect with a biblical community, to experience worship together, to study, to sing, to give, to serve, and to experience fellowship with a family of God.  It’s because we understand that people will get an invitation to follow Jesus through the Bible study, the sermon, or general community environment.  It’s because we truly believe that what we have in store will impact their life for the sake of the gospel to help them grow, rest, learn, gain passion, and begin or strengthen their walk with Jesus.


I once heard a country preacher say, “I have never seen an empty seat get saved.”  I agree with that!  We want you to invite your friend to hear the gospel message, the good news about Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “ I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings” and “to win as many as possible” (see 1 Corinthians 9:19-23).  That why you should bring a friend to church.



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A Memorial Day Prayer -2016


Almighty, infinite God – it is appropriate that we would pause at this time to invite Your presence here among us at this Memorial Day Service.

For so many, today means a day off, the close of a 3-day weekend or even a vacation.  Today is a perfect time to gather with family and friends, enjoy food and fellowship and just relax.  Some may even be tempted to do nothing today.

However, many have chosen to gather here, because we know that 3-day weekends, vacations, and the freedoms we have to gather with family and friends is granted to us at a great cost.

We pray for the men and women serving in our armed forces even now, who are not afforded the luxury of a day off. This morning we pray for their safe return and we pray for their families who miss them dearly.

I am reminded of the Words of Jesus who said, “Blessed are those who mourn… for they will be comforted.”   God, please lift the hearts of those who see today not a just a joyous celebration but as a painful reminder of sorrow and loss.

Give strength to those who have lost family.  Comfort those whose loved ones died serving their country.   Serving OUR country.

Today, it is with thankful hearts that we celebrate and remember their sacrifice.

Let us cherish, nurture, and handle with care the freedom for which they fought – The freedom for which they fought and died.

We close this invocation by praying the Words of Scripture:

Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.”


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Another Great Year at PBL


Those of us who attended a Church of Christ Christian College know the blessings of Bible Lectureships.  At Ohio Valley, I looked forward to the annual Bible Lectureships each year and for many years after my graduation, while still preaching in the Ohio Valley area.  During my decade serving both God and country in the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps, the opportunity to attend any of our fellowship’s  annual Bible lectureships was not afforded to me.  However, now that I find myself living and preaching on the west coast, I have been afford the opportunity to attend the Pepperdine Bible Lectures {PBL} in the coastal cliffs of beautiful Malibu, California.

This was my 3rd year to attend PBL and each year they keep getting better and better.  N.T. Wright was a featured keynote speaker this year and it was nice to hear something from Dr. Wright and not have to worry about a test to follow or a paper to write as was true during my years in seminary.   Some of the legends in our fellowship (or at least legends in my opinion) were all on tap including Jeff Walling, Randy Harris, Don McLaughlin, and Patrick Mead.  The worship times were amazing.  All the praise teams did a fantastic job leading our hearts and minds in worship to our Great God.  I really appreciated Keith Lancaster (yes, KL himself) taking us back a little old school and leading the well-loved hymns of our fellowship.  And maybe best of all is seeing old friends and make new since this event draws people from all over the US, Canada and even further from within and from without our own tribes.

If you are ever afforded the opportunity to attend the Pepperdine Bible Lectures, I would highly recommend it.  If you cannot, you do have the opportunity to hear and see the lectures on line.  A simple google search will bring up multiple sites that have multiple years of the lectures that Pepperdine provides free of charge.  I can still remember the days of ordering and purchasing cassette tapes of lectures – back in “the day.”  If you go to http://livestream.com/pepperdineuniversity/pbl16, you will even find full worship services and hear all the keynote speakers.  I am confident you will be blessed if you do.


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What is Advent?

On Sunday November 29, 2015, we are beginning a sermon series on the topic of “Advent” which will lead us into this greatly anticipated holiday season of Christmas. Advent is the season of the year leading up to Christmas and is observed with various traditions within a variety of Christian Churches. The word “advent” means “arrival” or “an appearing or coming into place.” Some churches often speak of Christ’s “first advent” and “second advent;” or His first and second coming to earth. The Advent celebration is both a commemoration of Christ’s first coming and an anticipation and the hope of His second coming. Just as ancient Israel longed for the Messiah to come, so Christ-followers today long for our Savior to come again.   The Advent season begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve.

One of the most common Advent traditions involves the use of evergreen wreaths, branches, and trees. Evergreen has traditionally been used to represent the eternal life that Jesus brings. You may have noticed the evergreens throughout our building this morning. You will also notice an Advent wreath up front this morning, an evergreen circle with four colored candles and one white one in the middle. These candles will be lit one at a time during this Advent series. The first candle represents “hope” and this morning we will discuss the hope that came with the birth of Jesus and the hope we have in His promised second coming.

Commemorating Jesus’ birth and anticipating His return should be an everyday part of the lives of the Christ-follower. However, I think it is advantageous for us to take the opportunity at this holiday season, when people are experiencing the hope of Christmas, to share with them the true hope that came and is coming in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Does observing Advent make one a better Christian or more acceptable to God? No. However, celebrating Advent as a reminder of what this season is about is very good – and therein lies its greatest value.

Here’s a preview of the upcoming sermons:

Sunday Nov 29
Advent: Hope has come…Hope is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25  (focal verses 3, 13, 21)
Sunday Dec 6
Advent: Love has come…Love is yet to come!

1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 8, 22)

Sunday Dec 13
Advent: Joy has come…Joy is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 6, 8)
Sunday Dec 20
Advent: Peace has come…Peace is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 2, 25)


Wednesday Dec 23 “Christmas Eve-Eve Service”

Advent: Christ has come…Christ is yet to come!
1 Peter 1:1-25 (focal verses 10-13)


I hope to see you at our Advent Services this Season. In the meantime our prayers continue to be “Come Lord Jesus, Come!”


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