Our Rockwall campus is moving!

Starting June 3, we will hold our services at Nebbie Williams Elementary School, 350 Dalton Rd., Rockwall, TX 75087. Come see us Sundays at 10 a.m.!

Daily Devotionals

We Know He Cares
Jun 15, 2018

I’ve seen many searching
For answers far and wide
But I know we’re all searching
For answers only you provide
’Cause you know just what we need
Before we say a word

Good Good Father, by Tony Brown & Pat Barrett

Becoming a dad has been one of the biggest joys in my life thus far, and I am only five months into this journey of raising a beautiful little girl. From the moment she was born, I felt an instant love, like most first-time parents do. It’s something so unexplainable that it leaves you speechless, and I know that our heavenly Father felt the same for us, even before he started putting us together inside the womb.

Does God really care? Knowing that God loves us more than we can even fathom should answer this question for us. Without a doubt, we know that he cares but, all too often, we get lost in our own thoughts and let the enemy trick us into thinking that God doesn’t care.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
— 1 Peter 5:7

Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
— Matthew 6:25–34

“Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
— Genesis 28:15

We see continuously throughout the Bible how God loves and cares for us, but the biggest implication of how deeply he cares for us is that he sent his only Son down to earth to live a perfect life and, ultimately, die for our sins. Jesus is the spotless one, the savior of the world that is God’s greatest gift to us. He took on the death that we all deserve and wiped our slates clean. If you haven’t come to a point in your life where you believe that truth, please spend some time reflecting on the weight of his sacrifice for you. Grace is a gift from God that just takes belief in knowing that Jesus is the one true savior. With that truth in your heart, you will feel that God truly does care.

Daily Devotionals

He Is Involved In The Details
Jun 14, 2018

No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus, His Eye Is On The Sparrow, Jesus Loves Me, He Loves Us, Reckless Love — these are just some of the songs that have continued to run through my mind and comfort my soul over the past few days. They are awesome reminders of incredible truths: God sees me. He knows me. He cares for me. He loves me.

Friday night, I went to dinner and thoroughly enjoyed visiting with friends throughout the night. As I was leaving the restaurant, I saw a notebook with pages flying on the top of the minivan in front of me. I tried to get the driver’s attention. As she approached the light, the notebook flew into a small convenience store parking lot. She kept driving, and I was caught at the light. I knew I had to try to get the notebook and return it to its owner. I circled around, parked, and picked it up. I flipped through to look for any information that could help, but came up empty. I was, however, even more convinced that the notebook was definitely important to the owner.

After running a couple of errands, I decided that the best thing to do was to take the notebook back to the restaurant in hopes that its owner would retrace his or her steps. As I approached the restaurant, I saw a man searching for something on the street and under cars. I recognized him as the man who, earlier, had been intently writing at his table while waiting for his family to arrive. I rolled down my window and called him over to my car. His face lit up in amazement, and relief seemed to pour over him. He asked, “How did you know?” He then continued to tell me how I couldn’t imagine how important the notebook was. I explained how I just knew to come back to the restaurant. He thanked me, shook my hand, and I drove away.

On my drive, I became overwhelmed at how God is involved in the details of our lives. I just began thanking him for loving me enough to leave the 99, to inconvenience himself about things that might not seem important to others but mean the world to me.

It’s really overwhelming how God loves us. He gave his one and only Son for us before we even existed, in spite of our choices, knowing the torture Jesus would endure and the excruciating death he would face.

He seeks us out. He goes before us. He knows the hairs on our heads. He collects our tears. He places our steps. He never wastes a hurt. He meets us where we are. He never leaves. We just have to hold on and allow him to work. He will always trade our worst for his best. It may not be instant. It may not look the way we thought it would, but it is always best and so much better than anything we could ever do.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
— Proverbs 16:9 ESV

The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.
— Psalm 37:23 NIV

The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.
— Exodus 14:14 NIV

You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help. This I know: God is on my side! I praise God for what he has promised; yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised. I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?
— Psalm 56:8–11 NLT

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
— John 3:16 ESV

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
— Luke 12:7 NIV

to grant to those who mourn in Zion; to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
— Isaiah 61:3 ESV

Psalm 139

Daily Devotionals

God Cares. Do You?
Jun 13, 2018

I recall a period in my life when it felt like God wasn’t listening. I’d heard that when we sin, we are separated from God. So, in this season of life, while I was struggling with sin in a big way, I just assumed that God had written me off. I know now that I was wrong. I had been saved years earlier. I’d just stumbled since then — a lot — falling in and out of a sin cycle. I was struggling with trying to please the world when I was with certain people and then trying to please God when I was alone or around church people. I wanted to do both. See, at the age of 16, I met a guy who I would later refer to as “my baby daddy.” We dated, on and not-really-off, for about 12 1/2 years. We grew very much apart during those years, but we continued to hold on to one another, despite the clear dividing line that I believe God himself was drawing.

At a certain point, I began to feel a tugging to let go of this relationship. I knew it was God speaking to me, but I just ignored it because, more than anything, during many of those years, I was not living out my mission for God but, rather, living out my own mission that I’d decided was more important. I was on a mission to marry my first love. I won’t go into much detail, but I will say there was a lot of compromise of Christian values to try to prove myself “worthy” enough to be chosen. I wanted to be sexy enough, fun enough, outgoing enough — conforming enough to this guy’s every whim, so that he would ultimately choose me to settle down with. This relationship went from innocent to toxic to dangerous and, finally, to over. But over those years, I can’t tell you the number of times I prayed that God would make that guy see that I was the one, that he would marry me, and that we would live a happy life together. I prayed that prayer so fervently for many years, and I meant it. I wanted an imperfect human man more than the perfect God. And so my prayers continued, but God did not answer my prayers. Instead, God began to work on me.

I didn’t stop going to church during this time, although I might have missed a Sunday here and there because of being too hung over, or because what I’d done the night before left me feeling too ashamed to enter into God’s house. I even did a Bible study that came at a perfect time: When Godly People Do Ungodly Things by Beth Moore. It was a transformative time. God was preparing me for my great escape. As time went on, there came moments of real clarity. A shift was happening. I finally wanted out of the hole I’d dug myself into. I wanted to start over, reinvent myself, and be the good Christian lady I knew God was calling me to be.

Despite the strength God was building in me, temptation and fear remained strong contenders. But God, of course, prevailed. My prayers to make this man want to marry me changed to prayers for God to move me, figuratively and literally, away from the place I’d allowed myself to stay in for far too long. And finally, finally, the chain of insecurity that kept me held in that nowhere place was broken, once and for all.

God was faithful, even when I wasn’t. Even when I felt he was no longer listening, I just kept praying. And my prayers changed from the wrong prayers to the right ones. God, through all that, was changing me, little by little. But it wasn’t until I began to be obedient to his prompting that I was finally free. See, we can say that God doesn’t care all we want when he’s not answering our prayers to fulfill our plans for our lives. But he’s a good Father. He doesn’t give us what we want, but rather what we need. As a parent now myself, I understand the importance of giving my child what he needs over what he wants. Why? Because what he wants is sometimes not good for him. This does not mean I don’t let him suffer the consequences of his own bad decisions. That’s where the learning takes place. And because God is a loving father, he does the same with us. He gives us free will. Either we will come to freely want the gift of Jesus that leads to righteousness or we will continue to chase the mirage of fleeting contentment offered by this world. We choose. But God never gives up on us. We give up on ourselves. We stop loving ourselves. We stop caring about ourselves. And those feelings? They’re not from God.

Oh, God cares! Do you?

Daily Devotionals

He Weeps With You
Jun 12, 2018

My dad taught me never to cry in front of people. As men, we shouldn’t let our emotions show in front of others. He wasn’t ever big on teaching us many principles, but for whatever reason, he was very adamant about that one. For those who know me now, I’m an emotional wreck. I’ll cry for whatever. I recently told my Community Group (CG) how, one time, I started breaking down while I was watching my dad eat dinner. (It’s a long story.)

Jesus wept.
— John 11:35

John 11:35 does so much for me, for so many different reasons. It’s a big jump from being taught never to show emotion in public to finding out that my good Father wept in front of a crowd. In that moment, I connected with Jesus on an emotional level. I have had so much pain in my life — moments of crying in bed because I convinced myself I was worthless, and that death was my only option — but I am not alone in the pain. I am not alone in the tears. I get so much comfort knowing that God the Creator, holier than my little mind can comprehend, will pause and weep with me.

It’s so easy to confine yourself, distance yourself and convince yourself that you’re alone. But the same Savior that took a moment to weep with the ones he loved, right before he was about to resurrect the very one they were weeping over, is the same one with you in your moments of pain. He weeps with you.

Daily Devotionals

He Gave Everything
Jun 11, 2018

Have you ever been around a kid who wasn’t getting his way? I saw this little kid at a restaurant one time, his name was Timmy, and he was a grade-A, number-one brat. (I get it. Young children are a handful. One time, I took my nephew to the arboretum, where he pitched a fit, and we walked a mile back to the car with crying the whole way.) If little Timmy had only been crying, that would’ve been one thing, but little Timmy was running around the restaurant, hiding under tables from his dad. I have never wanted to spank someone else’s child so badly. Whoooo, thank you, Jesus, for self-control! His dad finally caught him and sat him at the table, where Timmy started shrieking, and then screamed, “You don’t love me!” and grabbed his cup and threw it on the floor. His dad looked at him, and I knew this kid was about to get the spanking of his life. Then he asked in his sassiest dad voice, “Timmy, does somebody need a hug?”

Timmy’s behavior did not improve.

I get questions about suffering from first-world agnostics and atheists all the time. They ask, “How can a loving God allow there to be so much suffering in the world?” Their argument is that, since God is loving and all-powerful, and suffering exists, then there must be no God.* They sound like Timmy in the restaurant to me. I want to look at them and ask in my sassiest pastor voice, “Does somebody need a hug?”

If life is not perfect, then you don’t love me.

The truth is that God’s design was for us to live forever, in paradise, with him. When we sinned, we separated ourselves from God. And not only did we fall, but all creation fell with us. It’s easy to say that God doesn’t care when you choose to focus on the suffering. God grieved about our suffering and sinful nature so much that he sent his son to die a shameful death on the cross so we could be with him! He gave everything to fix the problem.

Romans 5:8 says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” — BOOOM! (boom added for emphasis)

God’s answer to the suffering of the world was Christ. He held nothing back. More than that, God is grieved when you are hurting. In those moments, I hope you remember that he gave everything so that he could be with you in the midst of that suffering, because he loves you.

If you want some bonus reading on the impact of Christ in the world, here’s an article the Huffington Post published about that impact (Yes, I said the Huffington Post.) https://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-ortberg/six-surprising-ways-jesus_b_1773225.html

(*The Irony of this question is not lost on me. They are, of course, talking about the suffering of other people, suffering from which they are far removed. I want to say to them, “If you are aware of this suffering, and you ignore it, then I guess you don’t exist, and I am wasting my time talking to nothing,” then walk away. I have never done this, because I want to tell them about Jesus.)

Coming Events

Saturday, June 16, 2018 - Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Summer is one of our favorite times of the year, and it’s when our favorite event of the year takes place: youth camp! This year, camp is going to be fresher than...

#BestCampEver (preteen camp)
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 - Saturday, June 30, 2018

Students who have completed 3rd-6th grade are invited to join us as we completely take over Timberline Camp in Lindale, Texas, for our third year. Your kids will: Live...

Daily, from 07/23/2018 to 07/26/2018, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Want to know what RIOT stands for? It stands for fun, Jesus, and more fun for your kids who have completed kindergarten-6th grade. RIOT is four days of Bible study...

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Kaufman Campus
2918 US-175, Kaufman, TX 75142
Sunday services: 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Rockwall Campus
350 Dalton Rd., Rockwall, TX 75087
Sunday service: 10 a.m.

Forney Campus
204 FM 1641, Forney, TX 75126
Sunday services: 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

Sunnyvale Campus
610 Hwy. 80 E., Sunnyvale, TX 75182
Sunday services: 9:30 a.m. & 11 a.m.

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Mailing address:
P.O. Box 3209
Forney, TX 75126


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