3 Ways To Be Better … Not Bitter

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What is the hardest thing you have been through lately?

When I think back on some of the hardest situations in my life, I find that I had a choice in each of them to either get BETTER or BITTER. I would love to say that I have always gotten better instead of bitter … but that would not be the truth. One of the things that made a difference in these tough situations was who I was talking with about the issues. I have identified three common conversations I had in tough times that helped me grow and become better instead of bitter.

Talking with God, family, and friends in difficult times can help you push back bitterness and become a better person.


1. TALK TO GOD

One of the benefits of a relationship with God is that we have direct access to Him through prayer. However, prayer is sometimes misunderstood to be our way of getting God to change our circumstances. When you talk with God, it is important to think of prayer as God’s way of getting His will done on Earth … not our way of getting our will done in Heaven. God is more concerned with our character development than our comfort. Share with God about your situation and ask Him to give you wisdom to see your situation from His perspective (James 1:5).

2. TALK TO FAMILY

The people in your immediate family are there to support you. As a husband and father, I sometimes am hesitant to open up to my family about my struggles because I don’t want to come across as being weak. The problem is I can wind up walking alone in isolation even when I am surrounded by people who love me. Isolation is a breeding ground for bitterness. Although everyone in your family may not be trustworthy, open up to the ones who are and share your struggles with them. Sharing your weakness with family makes you stronger.

3. TALK TO FRIENDS

Trust is built in drops and lost in buckets. One of the most valuable resources a person can have is a trusted friend. True friendships are built on trust and trust is built with consistency over time. Are you spending enough time building trusted friendships? Who in your life has been consistent over time and has earned your trust? Social media trains us to think of friendship in a shallow and distant way. Those types of friendships will not be of much help when the hard times come. Talking with a trustworthy friend in tough times makes you better instead of bitter.


One last thought…

Tough times can throw you off balance. When you go through a tough situation, build in extra time to be in the Word. God speaks primarily through His Word. Visualize a balancing scale and put your thoughts about your situation on one side of the scale. On the other side of the scale, put the truth found in Scripture. As you talk with God, family, and friends let the truth help you find balance.

When Paul prayed for people in the Bible, he never asked God to change their circumstances. Instead, he asked God to make them better in their circumstances. Talking with God, family, and friends in difficult times can help you push back bitterness and become a better person.

3 REASONS TO STEP OUT IN FAITH

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Why did the chicken cross the road?

That is an age old question that conjures up thoughts of why anyone should take a risk when they can just stay where it is safe. If you are like me, there have been seasons where I had to make a choice to either step out in faith or stay where I was.

When I graduated from college, my first job was as a teacher in the public schools. After about five years of teaching, I had the opportunity to step out of education and into ministry. I remember how hard it was to make that decision. Having spent four years in college and another two years in graduate school learning to be an educator, I felt a little like the chicken in the picture above. Behind me was a great career and job as a teacher with a lot of security. However, I could see even more as I gazed across the road to the other side.

Even though I was fearful of what might hit me as I crossed over, I stepped out in faith. Looking back on this transition, as well as others, three reasons to step out in faith stand out to me.


1. IT IS A GREAT WAY TO GET UNSTUCK

Have you ever felt stuck?

Maybe you feel stuck right now. Today, you may feel stuck in a relationship, career, or job. Over the years, I have talked with many people who feel this way. They dream of something more or different than what they have now. Every one of us that feels this way must use wisdom to pray that God would give clear direction.

Just as it would be wise for the chicken to look both ways before crossing the road, it is important to understand the timing and barriers to any transition. However, once that direction is clear, we then have the choice to step out in faith and not let fear control us … or stay stuck.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7


2. TRUE FRIENDS WILL STAY WITH YOU

Everyone that’s riding with you is not riding for you.

If you want to find out who is who, let the gas run out and see who helps push. In every transition I have made, I have found that not everyone who was “with me” was “for “me”. Also, not everyone who was “for me” was “with me”. Many people are only “for you” when they are “with you”. Others are “for you” even though they are not “with you”.

When you make the decision to step out in faith, true friends will identify themselves by rising up and being there for you. Some people are so negative you could put them in a dark room and they would develop. However, people who truly love you will want things FOR you and not just FROM you. This is the kind of love (agape) that God has for us.

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.”1 John 4:18


3. GOD CONSISTENTLY CALLS US TO CHANGE

Think about it. No one in the Bible who is following God stays the same.

Throughout the Bible, nobody following God gets to stay where they are. Change is the only constant in the life of a growing Christian. I am reminded of Saul who was on his way to capture Christians when he found a whole new life path to follow after Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus. Paul was used to write 13 of the 27 books of the New Testament including this passage about God’s transformational power to the church in Rome.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

Have you ever thought about how popcorn pops? Popcorn pops because there is a small amount of moisture in the kernel that expands from the inside out when it is heated. You could never make a kernel into popcorn with a hammer. It has to happen from the inside out under the right circumstances.

In the same way, God is calling us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. If you want to change your circumstances, change your mind. As your mind changes about what matters in life, don’t be surprised if you find yourself stepping out in faith in a direction that was never even on your radar.

Check out this fun video I made a few years ago…


 

CAREER CHANGE AND A PH.D.

PASTOR OF DISCIPLESHIP

CUTCHINS FAMILYWendy and I are excited to announce that I have accepted a position as the Pastor of Discipleship at First Baptist Church of North Augusta, SC. Over the past several years, my passion for leading worship has been increasingly outpaced by my passion for making disciples through teaching, writing, speaking, and preaching. This transition is something I have prayed about for a while and God has given us clear direction.

After our family finishes out the school year here in Texas, I will begin as a member of the Strategy Team at First Baptist Church of North Augusta. As Pastor of Discipleship, I will be responsible for overseeing all discipleship efforts of the church. FBC North Augusta is a thriving church that has grown to be one of the largest churches in South Carolina. They are also part of the top 10% of reported baptisms in their church size category.


FBC OF NORTH AUGUSTA

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A RENEWED RELATIONSHIP

ryanI am looking forward to working with Dr. Ryan Pack again. I served with him in North Carolina before he was called to First Baptist Church of North Augusta as Senior Pastor. Ryan is a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He also completed his Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral leadership at Columbia International University. Ryan is the author of Why Me?: Finding Hope When Life Hurts, a contributor to The Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook 2016and has also served as a state representative for the Executive Committee of Southern Baptist Convention.


DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY – Ph.D.

DBU-Athletics-logoThe next season of my life will also include pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Dallas Baptist University. Less than 20 people were accepted into the program this year. This Ph.D. program is designed to be completed in four years while maintaining a full-time job and can be done from any location. I have had the goal of completing a Ph.D. for years and believe this research based doctorate will help me continue to make an impact in higher education. I am currently teaching Apologetics 401 and 402 online for Fruitland Baptist Bible College and my book, Prove Itis being used at two Bible Colleges/Seminaries as part of their apologetics curriculum.

In addition to on-campus classes in the Fall and Spring, the DBU Ph.D. program includes three Summer Institutes comprised of 7-10 day intensive sessions. The first Summer Institute will be held this summer in Dallas, Texas and focuses upon personal growth, professional development, and leadership courses. The second Summer Institute includes a trip to Washington, D.C., with a special emphasis on political leadership. The third Summer Institute is based in Oxford, England, with a concentration on global and cultural leadership issues.

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THE GREATER AUGUSTA REGION

Wendy and I are also very grateful that we are headed to a part of the country that is close to our family (only 2 hours from Wendy’s parents). The Greater Augusta Region includes parts of both Georgia and South Carolina separated by the Savannah River. Augusta is also the home of the Masters Golf Tournament, one of the four major championships in professional golf.

Although Wendy and I lived in South Carolina for many years, we have never served in a South Carolina church, so this will be a new experience. Wendy and I will live just across the Savannah River in Georgia where she has accepted a job as an elementary school teacher at Riverside Elementary School. I was born in Atlanta and much of my family heritage is in Georgia. However, I have never lived there as an adult, so this will also be a new experience. We have put a contract on a new home there that has plenty of room for our family, including my mom who currently lives with us and will make the move with us.

WHAT GOD AND GOOGLE HAVE IN COMMON

google-logo1jpg-886dc0_1280wOne of the most familiar search engines on the Internet today is Google. Have you ever thought about the name Google? The term Google is a noun that became a verb. You have most likely heard people saying “I Googled it.”  Used in this way, Google is a verb. But what about the sentence, “Google is one of the most popular search engines on the Internet”? Used in this way, Google is a noun. Google is both a noun and a verb.


“Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”  Exodus 3:13-14


Our God’s name is also a noun and a verb—I AM. The verb tense here is imperfect and could be translated “I Am who was, who is, and who will continue to be.” God is completely and totally everything that He could possibly be. In fact, this means that He also has no potential to be anything other than what He is. God is life and we have life because He shares it with us.

The term google was originally a creative spelling of googol, a number equal to 10 to the 100th power. Googol was coined colloquially as an unfathomable number in the 1930s and is attributed to the nine-year-old nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. With this in mind, it is worth noting a striking difference between God and Google. As huge and expansive as Google is, it is limited and has potential to grow in a way that God does not.

“GOD HAS NO POTENTIAL”

When it is said that a person has “no potential” it is generally not a positive statement because it points to the person’s inability to develop to a higher level. However, in God’s case, He has no potential because He already is actually at the highest level possible. He is infinite, unlimited, and fully actualized. God, then, is Pure Actuality. He is Being. Everything else merely has being. God having “no potential” is actually positive because it affirms His total completeness and lack of need (and ability) for any growth or change. I AM.

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Are you regularly reaching into the riches of your relationship with God? When I need to know something, it is typical for me to search Google for an answer. However, as large as Google is, it has nothing on our God. Our God is beyond the limits of the best search engines. He is an unlimited source of knowledge and wisdom and He is always available. Further, the scripture teaches us that God actively searches us as well. Our relationship with God is interactive in a way that is rich in rewards and unique from all other relationships we experience.


“I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” Jeremiah 17:10


 

 

The Bible Is Not Twitter

For those of you who do not use Twitter, it is a social media outlet that limits your posts to 140 characters. This usually only allows the writer a few sentences worth of content for each post. This brief communication style has proven to be widely popular. It occurs to me that many people limit their exposure to the Bible to this same type of brevity. However, this is not how the Bible was intended to be used. The Bible is not Twitter … a few sentences without context is not enough.

Here are three simple thoughts on studying the Bible in context. 

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1. DEFINITIONS VS. MEANING 

Words can have multiple definitions but their meaning is found in the context of a sentence. For example, the word “bark” has multiple definitions and the meaning can be discovered in the sentence that surrounds it. For example, “listen to the dog bark” vs. “look at the bark on the tree”. We are dependent on the context of the sentence to discover the meaning of the word “bark” in each of these sentences.

In the same way, biblical sentences find their meaning in the context of a paragraph. Paragraphs find their meaning in the context of a chapter. Chapters find their meaning in the context of letters or books. And letters and books of the Bible find their meaning the context of the greater work of all 66 books of the New and Old Testaments. The Bible is not Twitter … a few sentences without context is not enough.

2. TEXT WITHOUT CONTEXT = PRETEXT

Michael P. Green illustrates the drastic way an author’s original reasons for writing can differ from current settings. He shares that in all innocence, children have for centuries sung a nursery rhyme that is in truth anything but an innocent verse: “Ring-a-ring o’roses, A pocket full of posies, A-tishoo! A-tishoo! We all fall down!” The rhyme arose about 1665 in the streets of London during a plague epidemic of the Black Death. Each phrase of the rhyme refers to an aspect of the plague.

“Ring o’roses” is a reference to the small, red rashlike areas that developed on people infected with the plague. “Pocket full of posies” is a reference to the ancient belief that evil smells were the poisonous breath of demons who afflicted people with the disease. It was thought that sweet-smelling herbs and flowers would drive them off. “A-tishoo! A-tishoo!” is a reference to the sneezing that was a symptom of the plague. “We all fall down!” is a reference to death. Thus, a common children’s rhyme is in fact a sinister parody of one of the most dreaded plagues ever to strike—the Black Death.

A pretext is simply a reason given for doing or saying something that is not the accurate reason. The goal in Bible study is first to discover what the original writer was saying to his original audience. Once the original meaning is discovered, then (and only then) we can discover appropriate applications to our current situations and contexts. With any Bible passage, there is only one meaning. Many applications flow from that singular meaning but we are dependent on the context to discover the original meaning of the passage. The Bible is not Twitter … a few sentences without context is not enough.

3. VERSE BY VERSE – PASSAGE BY PASSAGE

I’ve had the great joy of sitting under many great preachers. One of the things I appreciate most about great preachers is that their preaching consistently pulls from a holistic understanding of the Bible and the greater context of the passages they preach. Great preachers also understand that one sermon a week is not enough commitment to the scripture for a disciple of Christ to grow and mature the way God intends.

As Christians, we should be committed to consistently studying, understanding, and applying the Word of God. Let me challenge you to get involved in a verse by verse study of a book of the Bible with a group of other believers. Take advantage of the great opportunity we have to honor the Word of God by systematically walking through books of the Bible verse by verse and passage by passage.

Also, let me share a great resource for this type of study that is currently available for free! Dr. Tom Constable, a long time professor at Dallas Theological Seminary has made his verse by verse commentaries available online for free in PDF form at www.soniclight.com/constable/notes.htm. I have used these commentaries for years now and consider them my “first choice” commentary for use in group Bible studies because everyone can access them at no cost.

The Bible is not Twitter … a few sentences without context is not enough.

4 KEYS TO GREATER VISION

1. GLANCE BACK BUT GAZE FORWARD

Rural Road from a CarHave you ever thought about why the windshield on your car is so much larger than the rearview mirror? I suppose it would be difficult to move forward if your vision was dominated by what is behind you. When driving, it is important to remember that we should glance back but gaze forward.

Imagine if you saw someone driving and they were staring into their rearview mirror the whole time. Unless they were driving in reverse, some bad things could happen. First, they could be so focused on what is behind them that they would gradually slow down and eventually stop. Second, while continuing to move forward, they most likely would not stay in their lane, and might even swerve off the road completely. Last, they may stay on course but never enjoy the view of what is ahead until it has already passed. Glance back but gaze forward.

Over the last decade, I have worked in four organizations that were each over 100 years old. I have observed that tradition and heritage are powerful and positive contributors that supply great wisdom. However, the past must be viewed with the proper perspective, or it can paralyze an organization and keep it from moving forward.

Are you glancing back and gazing forward?


2. REALIZE HOW MUCH IS AHEAD

AugF4LongRoadWhen you are young, it is easy to dream about all the things the future has for you. As we get older and have more life experiences, there are more things to think back on from our past. However, there is always much more ahead than behind for all of us. God is an infinite Being and has created us to be eternal. I like to think of infinite and eternal individually. An infinite Being has no beginning and no end, while an eternal being has a beginning but no end.

The gift of God is eternal life. Anyone who has placed their faith in Jesus Christ has received the free gift of eternal life and has tapped into the life that our Infinite God shares with us. God is life and we have life because He shares it with us. What is ahead of us is an unlimited and unending experience of living with and in God. There is more ahead than behind. Even for the unbeliever there is an eternity ahead; however, it is not connected to the living God.

As Christians we have a lot to look forward to. God has saved us from the penalty of sin (i.e. death), through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. He is now saving us from the power of sin in our lives as we conform to the character of Christ. However, all of that culminates when He will save us from the very presence of sin and we live with Him in an eternal glorified state, where there will be no more sickness and no more pain.

Do you realize how much is ahead?


3. HONOR YOUR PAST BY NOT LIVING IN IT

LIVE-IN-PASTSometimes Facebook gives me the option to “share a memory” and it often causes me to reminisce and feel nostalgic. These feelings also hit me when I hear an old song I listened to during a different season of life. More often than not, I will choose not to share the Facebook memory, but it usually stays with me for a while after I see it. I think Facebook does this because they understand how much we like to remember things from our past.

The past is powerful. For many of us there is a fear of moving forward in faith. When an organization or an individual begins to look and move forward, it may feel as though the past is not being honored. However, it is the past that has brought you to where you are and has prepared you to take the next step. The past prepares you for progress.

Our past was not designed to get us where we are. Our past was designed by God to get us where we are going. Moving forward in faith is uncomfortable because it requires change. But God is more concerned with our character development than our comfort level. He has plans for each of us and His plans involve change. It has been said, the only constant thing in this world is change. What got you here will not keep you here. God is the Unchanging Changer of all things. He is the Unmoved Mover of all things. He loves you enough to not leave you alone.

Are you honoring the past by not living in it?


4. ASK GOD FOR GREATER VISION

wisdom-large-3James 1:5-8

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” 

James, the half-brother of Jesus, delivers a powerful promise from God in this verse. Anyone who asks for wisdom will be given it but we would do well to understand the word wisdom in this context. Dr. Tom Constable writes: “James used the word ‘wisdom’ (Gr. sophia) in the sense in which the Old Testament wisdom literature used it. There it refers to what God has revealed about His will for human life. Wisdom is seeing life realistically from God’s perspective.”

There is no better vantage point to see what is happening in our lives than from God’s perspective. He is the ultimate gauge for both physical and spiritual things. God can see the future in the same way that we see the past and He has infinite knowledge of both actual and potential things to come. How awesome is it that this omniscient (all-knowing) Being has a plan for you and for me.

Have you asked God for greater vision?


To sum it all up…

  1. Glance back but gaze forward.
  2. Realize how much is ahead.
  3. Honor your past by not living in it.
  4. Ask God for greater vision.

 

 

FEAR IS OPTIONAL

DB4C5F26-C569-4CF3-B0E0-F50878B6C29BHave you been in a situation that drastically changed the way you think about life? This past weekend I was invited to speak at an event for parents. As part of my talk, I decided to share a personal story about our oldest daughter Madi.

I will never forget the feeling of fear that came over me on that cold December Sunday afternoon in Charlotte, NC. Madi was around three years old at the time and had been feeling a little sick all morning.  She was running a slight temperature, but her symptoms had not been serious. In a moment, that dramatically changed. My wife ran into the room with Madi in her arms screaming… “HELP! MADI HAS STOPPED BREATHING!”

I took Madi into my arms and urgently told my wife, Wendy, to call 911 while I tried to figure out what was happening. Madi was still not breathing, her face was beginning to turn blue, and her eyes rolled into the back of her head. I frantically laid her down on the ground and started to give her mouth to mouth resuscitation with hopes of stabilizing her until help came.

Nothing I did seemed to help. She laid there limp, and as time went by, I began to deal with the thought that she might die in front of me if she didn’t start breathing. It was just me and her there on the ground, and I was as powerless as she was. Realizing there was nothing I could do, I prayed and asked God to help “my” daughter.

It was at that moment a thought came into my mind, and a feeling entered into my heart that has stuck with me since. “My” daughter is God’s daughter first, and only He could control what happened next. I quickly realized this beautiful girl is only on loan to me. She is not mine. She has been entrusted to my care by God, who loves her, and only He is in control of her life. At that moment, I let go. I submitted and prepared for whatever the Father had for us in the moments to come. My love for God and His love for me overpowered my fear.

To make a long story short, everything in this story turned out okay. Madi made it to the emergency room and recovered sufficiently from what we found out was a significant febrile seizure. She is now twelve years old and in the 6th grade at Hyde Park Schools here in Austin, TX. As scary as that moment was, it continues to be a powerful reminder to me as a young parent that God is in control and that He loves me. The love I felt from Him at that moment was powerful. It was a love that overpowered my fear and helped me realize that fear is optional!

Once you have experienced God meeting you in a moment like that, you see things differently. When He walks with you in the valley, it gives you a clearer vision of faith. In all of the circumstances we experience in life, God’s love is intense and passionate to meet us before, through, and beyond our time of need.

FEAR IS OPTIONAL


1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

2 Timothy 1:7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Isaiah 41:10
Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Job 12:10
In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

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WHY MOVE TO AUSTIN?

Over the last few months, numerous people have asked how and why Wendy and I decided to move to Austin, TX. And while I could wax eloquently about a number of different things that contributed to this event in the life of our family, I am finding the answer to be simply PRAYER. However, it may not be what you think. Although a lot of prayer went into this decision, I’m finding that I am in Austin not just as a result of prayer … but to LEARN about the power of God and prayer.

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In each season of our lives, Wendy and I have been given the opportunity to grow in very specific ways and it is clear that this next season will be dedicated to refining our prayer life. What we are realizing is that God has moved us to a church that is dedicated to prayer. In just eight short weeks of being a part of Hyde Park Baptist Church, Wendy and I have benefited from this “House of Prayer for all Nations” in ways that we have not experienced before and did not expect. There are a several things we have been reminded of lately.


1. God changes things. 

change-architect-sign1The Bible is clear that God is immutable (unchanging). He is the unchanging Changer of all things and the unmoved Mover of all things. My prayer will never change God but, when I pray, God changes me and my circumstances. God is also unlimited in power. Because of this, we should never hesitate to PRAY BIG! He is more powerful than all our money … all our friends … all our enemies … and all our obstacles. He is the most powerful and influential connection we have. I guess life really is all about Who you know.

If you need help with the details of life… PRAY.


2. The family that prays together stays together.

iStock_000005074501MediumWhen I accepted the job in Austin, Wendy and I decided that she and the girls would stay in North Carolina and finish out the school year while I went ahead to Texas. Over the past two months I have been separated locationally from my family more than any other time in my life. However, we are closer than ever relationally because of prayer. No matter how far apart you are from the ones you love, prayer keeps you close and connected. Even if you see your friends and family everyday it is still possible to drift apart relationally over time.

If you are feeling disconnected from a loved one… PRAY.


3. Discomfort develops character. 

5142c41184c49f1e2493b057It seems that no good deed in life goes unpunished. Significant happenings in the Kingdom of God always involve hard work as well as resistance and retaliation from the enemy. Spiritual warfare is real and should be expected. As you follow God, buckle your seatbelt because His will and plan for our lives rarely involves comfort. He is much more concerned with developing our character than with helping us discover places of comfort. When you feel resistance and discomfort, it may just be a sign that your are on the right track. It is not going to be easy… but following God is always worth it.

If you are uncomfortable and need strength… PRAY!


BOOK RECOMMENDATION

Wendy and I are currently reading a book titled “The Hour that Changes the World” by Dick Eastman. It was recommended to us by our Pastor, Dr. Kie Bowman, and we have already recommended it to several friends who are joining us in reading it. If you are looking to grow in your personal prayer life, this could be a great place to start.9780800793135


Does God Need You?

So…I am in the last weeks of work in North Carolina and am moving to Austin, Texas to start a new season of life. Big move. Just this past Tuesday, I had my weekly lunch at Monte’s Sandwich shop with Ken Wooten, a godly man who disciples me. We were talking and he said something to me that has stuck with me this week…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“If you want to see how much God NEEDS YOU, just put your hand in a bucket of water, pull it out, and see how much of a hole is left.”

I love Ken for many reasons, but mostly because he keeps me grounded. This simple thought reminded me of how amazing God really is…check out a few things we know about God.

  • God has unlimited power.
  • There is no place where God is not.
  • God is self-existent.
  • God is unchangeable in His nature.
  • God knows all things—past, present, and future.
  • God is life, while all other things have life as a gift from Him.
  • God is without boundaries, a being beyond the limits of the created universe.
  • God cannot be measured and is unlimited in extension.
  • God is completely and totally everything that He could possibly be.
  • God has an unerring ability to choose the right means to accomplish His will.
  • God exists in and of Himself, independent of anything else.
  • God is perfect: Flawless, excellent, complete, sound, blameless, without blemish, safe, entire, whole, and finished.

For me, there is a leadership lesson here…but also a relational one. Right now, take a moment with me to be overwhelmed at the thought that God is also Love, and that He loves you and me. “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

God didn’t get a good deal when he friended us. Quite the opposite.

WE ARE MOVING TO TEXAS!

Well… it’s official… Wendy and I are moving to Texas! I have accepted a position as the Pastor of Worship at Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, TX and will begin working there on February 22nd, 2015. Austin is the capital of Texas and has been named the fastest growing city in the United States with over 100 new people moving there each day.

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Hyde Park Baptist Church is a large church with a rich history and is also the home of Hyde Park Baptist Schools, a 4K-12 fully SACS accredited private Christian school with a strong 40-year history of Christ-centered excellence in education. The main church campus is near the downtown area of Austin and is also the home of the elementary and middle schools. A second campus on the north side of Austin named The Quarries serves as a second church campus as well as the home for Hyde Park High School and The Quarries Fitness Center.

920x360_Aerial_LogosAt Hyde Park, I will serve as a member of the Executive Team along with the Pastor, Dr. J. Kie Bowman. Dr. Bowman has served as Senior Pastor since joining the Hyde Park Baptist Church staff in 1997. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in New Testament Interpretation from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas, where he also received the Master of Divinity degree.

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In addition to leading the Worship Ministry, I will have opportunities to unleash some of my other passions for teaching, preaching, and writing. Hyde Park is also going to help publish my first book on Christian Apologetics, Prove It, which Dr. Ken Hemphill has agreed to publish through his publishing company, Auxano Press. Dr. Norman Geisler has written the foreword for the book and, if the timing works out, the plan is for the book to be published on Easter Sunday. That morning, a copy of the book will be distributed to the entire congregation as a free gift. Shortly after Easter, I will begin teaching the apologetics curriculum at Hyde Park.


Here is a short quote from Dr. Geisler’s foreword to the book:

Prove It by Stephen Cutchins is one of the best written, best organized, and most timely books to fill the need to provide a defense for our faith. Never has the evangelical church needed books like this more than today. Every pastor, every parent, every Sunday School teacher, and every youth worker needs this book. I highly recommend it.”


Wendy and I ask for your prayers as we take a step of faith and move into a new season of ministry. It is with a heavy heart that we move away from the Carolinas, which have been our home for decades. However, our family is united around this decision and are trusting God with all the details. He has been faithful in the past and we look forward to seeing His faithfulness on display in our lives as we move forward.

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