Afterthoughts | March 29, 2020

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LISTEN NOW: March 29, 2020


SERMON TITLE: “Enough Is Enough”

SCRIPTURE: Mark 6:30-44

On Sunday afternoons at the Cutchins’ home, we usually have some early afternoon coffee, and find ourselves discussing the morning message. “AFTERTHOUGHTS is our way of sharing the conversation and discussion with you. In each post, we will ask five questions to spark discussion over a cup of coffee.


  • What stood out to you?
  • What did you think needs more discussion?
  • What were your biggest takeaways?
  • What did you find most challenging?
  • Why did you think this message was important?

Self Care Isn’t Selfish

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

It was February when I moved to Austin, TX, for a new job. This was not my first major move, but this move was different. See, my family stayed in North Carolina for several months to finish out the school year while I started my new position. I was learning both a new job and a new city while also flying back to North Carolina to see my family almost every weekend. On top of that, I was also finalizing and editing my first book for an Easter publication date.

12080370_1080201292005127_7062043521799463920_oWithin just a few months, I found that I was pushing myself too hard. I was worried a lot, and my family missed me. The pace of life did not slow down even after the book was released, and my family moved to be with me in Austin. As time went on, I found that I was getting run down and out of shape.

After more than a year of pushing myself, I was dealing with heart issues, high blood pressure, and serious depression. Thankfully, I make a few small decisions to prioritize what was really important. During that time, I realized that I needed to make some big changes that eventually led me to leave Austin, TX, and change my career focus.

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

Michael Hyatt is an author, speaker, and CEO of Michael Hyatt and company. He is also the former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing and a New York Times best-selling author. Hyatt has long been one of the premier leadership bloggers and podcasters.

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 6.28.34 AMHis most downloaded podcast ever was the Leader-Cast Event in Atlanta, where he spoke to 3500 people live. This event was broadcast to over 20 countries and 100,000 people around the world.

The title of his talk was, “Self-care as a leadership discipline.” In this talk, Hyatt shared that he had some serious heart scares that caused him to trade in the “hustle fallacy” for self-care. 

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

“And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

Why do you think God rested on the 7th day of creation? The first place we tend to cut is self-care. Did you know that reducing your sleep to 6 hours or less reduces your cognitive processes to the equivalent of being drunk? Michael Hyatt says, “Self-neglect causes crises that cripple careers.” 

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

The Bible teaches that those who do no work are lazy. However, the Bible says that those who don’t rest are disobedient. Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me 6 hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first 4 hours sharpening the axe.” 

CZgq0QQUYAE343LToo many people are burning out. Think of the last time you felt fully relaxed and imagine if that was your every day. The truth is that self-care drives success and significance in the life of a Christ-follower.

You need rest to be at your best. Self-care also fuels creativity. If you are looking for a breakthrough, you may just need to take a break. What Michael Hyatt calls “The Hustle Fallacy” comes with a HIGH price. It can be effective in short spurts, but sprint after sprint after sprint led me to burnout.

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

The first place we tend to cut is self-care because it seems like an unnecessary luxury. Daily tasks like sleeping enough, eating well, exercising regularly, connecting with people we love, engaging with meaningful hobbies, and making time for personal reflection take a back seat to the busyness of life. But, we need rest to be at our best. You are all you have to offer. It is not selfish to activate self-care.

Screen Shot 2020-03-26 at 6.40.18 AMJack Nevison did a study that showed 50 hours on the job yielded only 37 hours of productivity. However, if you raised it to 55 hours on the job, it caused a drop to only 30 hours of useful work. When we push past 50 hours in a week, we don’t get more done. 

As a Christian, you may feel that you must always work to help others. But, self-neglect is not a Christian concept. It can cause crises that cripple you from doing the work God has for you. Years of self-neglect will catch up with you in the form of a divorce, physical crash, or spiritual brokenness.

ASK YOURSELF: Do I want one-dimensional career success?

ASK YOURSELF: Do I want momentary success or significance that lasts?

In order to make a difference, you must take care of yourself.

Are You Under Attack?

“Because I said so!” 

Did you ever hear this phrase as a kid? I did. If I asked my mom why I had to do something or why couldn’t I do something, she would often say, “Because I said so!” That used to drive me crazy, and I vowed never to say that to my kids when I grew up. 

il_fullxfull.1425469338_dhofHowever, I now understand exactly why she used those words, and I have said them to my kids. My mom knew what was best for me and wanted to protect me from painful or challenging consequences. What I was blind to as a young, naive child, she could see clearly from the wisdom of experience.

So what does our heavenly Father tell us to do? God says that you should “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5). 

Let me ask you, who or what do you pray for? 

I would guess that you pray for wisdom to deal with difficult situations you’re going through. You probably pray for people you love who are struggling with health issues or making tough decisions. I’m sure you also pray to thank God for the blessings He has provided you and your loved ones. 

Well, what about your enemies? 

bigstock-Man-Holding-Pray-Word-In-Palm-60692744-1-minHave you ever prayed for an enemy?

It takes an immense amount of emotional, physical, and spiritual energy to manage situations in which someone is attacking you. Betrayal by others causes bitterness that can eat away at you. Your enemy’s words and actions aim at breaking you down and dominating the situation. 

If this is the case, why would I suggest that you pray for them? Well, because God says so! Praying for your enemies may not be an easy step to take, but it’s imperative and is the best way to guard yourself against the attacks of your enemies. 

We can see an example of this in the book of Esther.

Esther was a beautiful, orphaned Jewish girl. She was a God-fearing woman who was chosen to be the queen of a pagan king who didn’t know she was a Jew. The king was influenced by his right-hand man, Haman, who was an enemy of the Jewish people and was plotting to have them killed. 

1102016075_univ_cnt_2_xlEsther found out about this plot and chose to fast and pray in response. She also risked her life to approach the king and ask for his mercy on her people, God’s people. The king’s heart softened because of how much he adored her, which caused him to overrule the plot to kill the Jews and caused the downfall of Haman.

Now, if God has the power to use an orphaned Jewish girl to change the heart of a king ready to kill an entire race of people, he certainly has the power to change the heart of your enemy. He also has the power to change you through your circumstances because you pray. Focus on glorifying God, even with those who are the hardest for you to love. Imagine the emotional health and freedom that you would experience as a result of following His instructions to pray for and love your enemy. 

When you get angry or frustrated at the actions or words of an enemy, don’t let that anger poison your heart. Change your thoughts to prayers and use the situation to submit fully to God and show others His work in you. Pray not only for God to change that person’s heart, but also pray for Him to change yours.

“A man who is intimate with God will never be intimidated by men.” 

– Leonard Ravenhill

Afterthoughts | March 22, 2020

LISTEN NOW: March 22, 2020



SCRIPTURE: John 2:1-11

On Sunday afternoons at the Cutchins’ home, we usually have some early afternoon coffee, and find ourselves discussing the morning message. “AFTERTHOUGHTS is our way of sharing the conversation and discussion with you. In each post, we will ask five questions to spark discussion over a cup of coffee.


  • What stood out to you?
  • What did you think needs more discussion?
  • What were your biggest takeaways?
  • What did you find most challenging?
  • Why did you think this message was important?


Vision is powerful.

Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 6.16.49 AMAbout 350 years ago, a shipload of travelers landed on the northeast coast of America. The first year they established a townsite. The next year they elected a town government. The third year, the town government planned to build a road five miles westward into the wilderness. In the fourth year, the people tried to impeach their town government because they thought it was a waste of public funds to build a road five miles westward into a wilderness. Who needed to go there anyway?

Here were people who had the vision to see three thousand miles across an ocean and overcome great hardships to get there. But in just a few years they were not able to see even five miles out of town. They had lost their pioneering vision.

Henry Ford said, “I’m looking for a lot of men with an infinite capacity for not knowing what can’t be done.” Helen Keller said the only thing “worse than being blind would be to be able to see but not have any vision.” When asked what he thought about when he struck out, Babe Ruth said, “I think about hitting home runs.”

Vision is powerful.

Here are four visionary steps you can take today.


Screen Shot 2020-03-12 at 4.08.45 AMWhen 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.

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. What is ahead of us is an unlimited and unending experience of living with and in God. There is more ahead than behind. As Christians, we have a lot to look forward to.

Do you realize how much is ahead?


Screen Shot 2020-03-12 at 4.04.45 AM“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach” (James 1:5). Anyone who asks God for wisdom will receive it, but we would do well to understand the word wisdom in this context. Dr. Tom Constable writes: “Wisdom is seeing life realistically from God’s perspective.” 

Wisdom is vision. 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. He has infinite knowledge of both actual and potential things to come. How awesome is it that this all-knowing Being has a plan for you?

Have you asked God for greater vision?


Screen Shot 2020-03-12 at 4.10.58 AMSometimes Facebook gives me the option to “share a memory” and it often causes me to reminisce and feel nostalgic. More often than not, I will choose not to share the 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 the 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.

Are you honoring the past by not living in it?


Screen Shot 2020-03-12 at 4.13.16 AMHave 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. 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?

Soon after the completion of Disney World, someone said, “Isn’t it too bad that Walt Disney didn’t live to see this?” Mike Vance, creative director of Disney Studios, replied, “He did see it; that’s why it’s here.”

Vision is powerful. With a clear vision of what we can become in Christ, no ocean of difficulty is too great. Without a clear vision, we rarely move beyond our current boundaries.

Vision is powerful.


Are Your Valuables Safe?

What is your most valuable possession?

Think about it.

Where is your most valuable possession?

Are your valuables safe?

Copy of Copy of UntitledPerhaps the first step in answering these questions is knowing the real value of things. In a 1987 edition of The Atlanta Journal Constitution, there is a story about a rock collector named Rob Cutshaw. The article describes Rob owning a little roadside shop outside Andrews, North Carolina. Like many in the trade, he hunts for rocks, then sells them to collectors or jewelry makers. Rob knows enough about rocks to decide which to pick up and sell, but he’s no expert. He leaves the appraising of the rocks to other people. As much as Rob enjoys the work, it doesn’t always pay the bills. He occasionally moonlights, cutting wood to help put bread on the table.

Here is where it gets interesting. While on a dig years ago, Rob found a rock he described as “purdy and big.” He tried unsuccessfully to sell the specimen, and according to the article, he kept the rock under his bed or in his closet. He guessed the blue chunk could bring as much as $500, but he would have taken less if something urgent came up like paying his power bill.

Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 6.37.14 AMThat’s how close Rob came to hawking for a few hundred dollars what turned out to be the largest, most valuable sapphire ever found. The blue rock that Rob had abandoned to the darkness of a closet decades ago is now known as “The Star of David” sapphire. It weighs nearly a pound, and could quickly sell for $2.75 million.

TRUTH: Things are not always what they seem.

Matthew 6:19-21

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Jesus says there are two types of treasures. One is good, and one is bad. But we need to know which is which. Sometimes we get them confused. Location one is Earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal.” Location two is Heaven, “where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

I want to ask you another question.

What do you think happens after you die?

1 John 4:17 says, “We may have confidence for the day of judgment.” The day of judgment John mentions is a mystery worth explaining. The Bema Seat of Christ and The Great White Throne of Judgment are the two significant judgments mentioned in the Bible. The Great White Throne of Judgment is for unbelievers, and the Bema (Judgment) Seat of Christ is for believers.

8d280c3c88e416c00f2684cce453d590As believers, we do not have to fear the judgment of our sins. Christ took our punishment upon Himself at the cross. John says we may have confidence for the Day of Judgment. OUR SERVICE will be evaluated at the judgment seat of Christ, not OUR SIN.

When we stand before Him, it will be for REWARD, not REPRIMAND. This believer’s payday is where we will receive the treasure Jesus taught about when he said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20).

The Crown of Righteousness, the Crown of Life, the Incorruptible Crown, the Crown of Rejoicing, and the Crown of Glory are five of the crowns of reward mentioned in the New Testament. Unlike the rewards we receive here in life on earth, the rewards we receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ for heaven are eternal and will never perish.

The thing that a person values most highly inevitably occupies the center of his or her heart. The heart is the center of the personality, and it controls the intellect, emotion, and will. What is your most valuable possession? Where is your most valuable possession? Are your valuables safe?

The body of missionary David Livingstone was buried in England, where he was born, but his heart was buried in the Africa he loved. At the foot of a tall tree in a small African village, the natives dug a hole and placed in it the heart of the missionary they loved and respected. If your heart were to be buried in the place you loved most during life, where would it be? In your pocketbook? Down in the office?

Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Where is your heart?

Jesus said, “Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

Are your valuables safe?

God Or Money. Make A Choice.

Who do you serve?

You can follow God or money, but not both.

Screen Shot 2020-03-05 at 6.59.22 AMOn March 31st, 1999, a movie titled The Matix released. Neo (Keanu Reeves) believes that Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) can answer his question — What is the Matrix? Neo is offered the choice between a red pill and a blue pill by this rebel leader, Morpheus. The red pill would free him from the enslaving control of the machine-generated dream world and allow him to escape into the real world. But living the “truth of reality” is harsher and more difficult.

Screen Shot 2020-03-05 at 6.59.42 AMOn the other hand, the blue pill represented a beautiful prison, which would lead him back to ignorance. He would live in confined comfort without want or fear within this simulated reality of the Matrix. Holding out a capsule on each of his palms, Morpheus describes the choice facing Neo. “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill—the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill—you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes. Remember, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.”

Screen Shot 2020-03-05 at 6.59.38 AM“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24

Make a choice. God or money.

You can follow God or money, but not both.

God has a lot to say about money in the Bible. There are more than 2,000 scriptures on tithing, money, and possessions in the Old and New Testaments. That’s double the number of references to faith and prayer combined. God has a good reason why he spends so much time talking about money. Money will be one of the fiercest idols you face in your relationship with God. When it comes to our relationship with God, all I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more.

You know what’s not exciting? Paying bills. You know what is exciting? Positioning your local church financially to accomplish what God is leading them to do in your community. In the words of the apostle Paul, “See that you also excel in this grace of giving” (2 Cor. 8:7, NIV).

The Bible teaches that Christian giving is an act of worship. Do you realize that giving is a part of worship? Is your worship in this area abundant or inhibited? I understand this topic is uncomfortable for many. But talking about money is essential to equipping us to live out our faith in Christ. Not talking about money is like not warning someone of impending danger.

Screen Shot 2020-03-04 at 5.57.28 AMThink about this. Ships don’t sink because of the water AROUND them, ships sink because of the water that gets IN them. Get in the habit of giving things away. Jesus is the most generous person who ever lived. In response to Jesus’ generosity, we are called to be generous. We can’t take it with us when we go. Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24). Christian giving must be willing and free.

Are you giving willingly?

Make a choice. God or money.

You can follow God or money, but not both.

ALL. (what God really wants)

Have you ever thought about what God really wants from you?

ALL. That’s what God really wants. ALL.

“All means all, and that is all that all means.” -Dr. Norman Geisler

allLet me explain. Christians are called to be great-commandment, great-commission, and great-commitment people. And all three of those are all-inclusive. They require an “everybody-in” as well as an “all-in” approach to following God. It is so easy to look cool when you have done nothing. But the Christian life is an “all-in” and “all-inclusive” deal.

“When the Creator of the universe tells us to do something, He expects us to do it — now. Delayed obedience is disobedience.” -Rick Warren

Dr. Wayne Bray illustrates it this way in his book, Inside Out.

Imagine a Navy Seal diving in dangerous waters to pull vulnerable victims from a threat of a raging storm. It is unfathomable to consider that such a sacrificial servant would stop to complain about how uncomfortable it was to get water in his ears. 

Screen Shot 2020-03-02 at 12.27.01 AMWhy? He is on a mission. It’s what he’s been prepared for, the purpose for his existence. What if the call for help came to the Navy Seal and he responded by saying he would head the victims’ direction immediately after the baseball game is over. “It’s just not a convenient time right now.”

This is a ludicrous scenario, but it’s because the man’s purpose demands a particular response. It’s why he exists, the reason he has trained and prepared. It’s not just a job; it’s the Seal’s identity. You too have been called to a sacrificial purpose. When someone is lost in sin, we don’t debate if it’s convenient or comfortable to attempt a rescue. Rescue is more than what we do; it’s who we are.

The Christian life is an “all-in” and “all-inclusive” deal in at least three ways.


  • MATTHEW 22: And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind.”


  • MATTHEW 28: And Jesus came and said to them, “ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe ALL that I have commanded you.”


  • 1 CORINTHIANS 9: “I have become ALL things to ALL people, that by ALL means, I might save some. I do it ALL for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them (ALL) in its blessings.”

Dvm5dFFXQAEY3Vr 2So let me ask you a question. What are you willing to become in order to keep a person out of hell? What is your church willing to become in order to keep a person out of hell? Charles Spurgeon said, “Consider how precious a soul must be when both God and the devil are after it.”

Disciples have moved from being a recipient of the church’s mission to being responsible for the church’s mission. But we must all work together. Remember, Judas had the best pastor, the best leader, the best adviser, and the best counselor. Yet he failed. We, too, live in a time where division is celebrated more than unity.

So, what about you?

Have you ever thought about what God really wants from you?

Is there something you need to let go of today so that you can give Him your all?

ALL. That’s what God really wants. ALL.

Afterthoughts | March 1, 2020

LISTEN NOW: March 1, 2020


SERMON TITLE: “Demonic Activity”

SCRIPTURE: Mark 5:1-20

On Sunday afternoons at the Cutchins’ home, we usually have some early afternoon coffee, and find ourselves discussing the morning message. “AFTERTHOUGHTS is our way of sharing the conversation and discussion with you. In each post, we will ask five questions to spark discussion over a cup of coffee.




  • What stood out to you?
  • What did you think needs more discussion?
  • What were your biggest takeaways?
  • What did you find most challenging?
  • Why did you think this message was important?

REVIEW: What Jesus can do changes your entire life and eternity

QUESTION: Have you ever wondered if demonic activity is real in your life?

THOUGHT: There is always spiritual resistance to God’s work in your life

QUOTE: “No good deed goes unpunished”

BIG IDEA: Jesus is more powerful than a legion of demons


  • Demonic activity is real
  • Demons are created beings with limitations
  • Demons are spiritual beings that meddle in the physical world
  • Satan can’t be everywhere like God, so demons do his work
  • Demons are fallen angels with no redemption plan
  • Demons have unique powers but are not all-powerful
  • Christians can be oppressed but not possessed by a demon
  • Jesus has divine power, authority, and command over demonic activity

Don’t Miss This: “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.” John 21:25


  • Demons know when Jesus is on the scene (v. 1)
  • Demons know how to torment a person (vs. 2-5)
  • Demons know the identity of Christ (v. 6)
  • Demons know the authority of Christ (v. 7-8)
  • Demons know how it ends for them (Matt. 8:29)
  • Demons know how to organize and work together (v. 9-12)
  • Demons know how to destroy things (v. 13)


  • The word starts to spread (vs. 14-15)
  • The people want to avoid further economic loss (v. 16)
  • The people fear what Jesus might do to them (v. 17)
  • The man who was demon-possessed proclaims the power of Jesus in his life (vs. 18-20)


  • I can tell my story of how much the Lord has done for me
  • I can expect spiritual resistance to God’s work in my life