Good News for A Lonely World: The Message of Exodus 21-40

Good News for a Lonely World

Good News for a Lonely World: The Message of Exodus 21-40 A recent headline from an article by Dr. Keith Ablow declared, “Loneliness is Now More Deadly than Obesity.  And We Don’t Have a Plan to Reduce it.”[1]  He cites findings presented at the recent American Psychological Association conference asserting that, “social isolation, loneliness or […]

Life in Transition: Looking Back and Looking Forward on Ministry Together

Wilks Family

Life in Transition: Looking Back and Looking Forward on Ministry Together at Calvary Last night our family attended a “meet the teacher” event at my son, Hayden’s, new school.  Tomorrow, my wife will drop off our oldest child, Kayleigh, at the building where she will begin her middle school experience, so she can meet her […]

A Call To Repentance in the Wake of Charlottesville

A Call to Repentance in the Wake of Charlottesville. If you’re like me you have been horrified, deeply disturbed, and even self-reflective at the events of violence and hatred on display at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA this weekend. In light of these events, we led the congregation of Calvary Presbyterian Church in […]

Ordinary to Extraordinary

Photo Credit: Ryan Hatton

Ordinary to Extraordinary: Giving thanks for the Fruit of Ordinary Life and Ministry We live in an Instagram society.  Snap a photo, post it, and display what appears to be an extraordinary moment in the midst of ordinary life.  This often makes us assume that life should be full of the incredible, the fanciful, the […]

From Danger to Praise

From Danger to Praise

From Danger to Praise! “Warning!  Serious Injuries and deaths have occurred beyond this point.”  These are the “welcome” signs that awaited Bethany and me this week, as we hiked at Hanging Rock State Park together in celebration of 14 years of marriage.  I both chuckled and cringed at these signs of warning, knowing they portend […]

Do Your Want Your Usual?

Do You Want Your Usual

Do You Want Your Usual? “Good morning.  Do you want your usual?”  These were the words I recently heard spoken by a local barista to two coffee-shop patrons.  Consistent.  Thoughtful.  Familiar.  Welcoming.  Comforting.  That’s what these words represent.  How long does one have to regularly patronize an establishment before they are known by employees to […]

Whom Should I Invite?


Whom Should I Invite? Whom should I invite?  This was the question my wife Bethany had to answer leading into her 10th-birthday sleepover some years ago.  As she pondered this question, she couldn’t fathom leaving any of the girls from her 4th-grade class out of the opportunity to gather for her party, so her parents […]

Calvary PCA Week of Prayer and Fasting

CALVARY PCA WEEK OF PRAYER AND FASTING – July 3-8, 2017  The elders of Calvary PCA have called for a week of prayer and fasting July 3-8, leading into the congregational vote on July 9 to determine whether or not the Lord would have us move forward with the expansion and renovation of Calvary’s building […]

Changing Lives Through Gospel Hospitality

Gospel Hospitality

Changing Lives Through Gospel Hospitality Excited, Scared, Disconnected, Hopeful, Confused, Alone.  These words describe well the mixed bag of emotions that was 22-year-old me in February 2001.  I completed my college course-work a semester early, and moved to Augusta, GA to begin my first career as a Minor League Baseball Broadcaster.  Although no one else […]

Ducks Out of Row

Ducks Out of Row

DUCKS OUT OF ROW Just over a year ago, my family found out that we would need to move from the house we had rented for three years and find a new home here in Raleigh.  Once we got over the initial shock of discovering we would be searching for another place to live at […]

Why Praying For “Good” Is Less Than Great

Praying for Good

Why Praying For “Good” Is Less Than Great On many mornings, I have the privilege of driving my children to school.  On each drive, I ask them the same question, “How can I pray for you today?”  Most days, I get the same reply: “For me to have a good day.”  My response, likewise, is […]

Moving Forward Together on Unsure Footing

Unsure Footing

Moving Forward Together on Unsure Footing In the summer of 2011, I had the privilege of serving on a mission trip in Honduras.  After a week of service, the long-term missionaries scheduled a day for our team to explore the rain forest just outside of the town of La Ceiba.  We enjoyed a hike rife […]

When Knowing the Answer Is Not Enough

When Knowing the Answer Is Not Enough We’ve all known that student in class.  You know, the one who has all the answers any time a question is asked.  Hand raised, answer given, but often in reality, the person is completely unmoved and unchanged by the information so readily available to the mind. As a […]

Events that Changed the Trajectory of Life

Events that Changed the Trajectory of Life “Surgery.”  I still remember that day as vividly as if it were yesterday.  21 years ago next month, I sat on the table in a cardiologist’s office, and heard one word come out of his mouth – surgery.  Oh, he said a lot more, some of which I […]

Missing and Moving the Mark: The Recipe for Growing Guilt

Missing the Mark

Missing and Moving the Mark: The Recipe for Growing Guilt Over the weekend, David Brooks wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times, exploring the strange dimension of guilt in a largely amoral society.  Brooks postulates that in a society bereft of absolutes, guilt remains, because “society has become a free-form demolition derby of […]

God’s Plans Are Better Than Mine

Mexico Missions Team + Vida Nueva

God’s Plans are Better than Mine Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.”  I experienced this truth first-hand, while traveling for our recent mission trip to Mexico.  Here’s what I wrote on Calvary’s short-term mission’s blog about this experience: On Tuesday, July 5, sitting on […]

Pray for Calvary’s Summer Missions Team July 5-12

Calvary’s Summer Missions Team will be serving in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, July 5-12, 2016.  We will be joining long-term mission’s partners Guillermo and Jennie Salinas, who have been serving as church planters in the 4th largest city in the Mexican state of Guerrero since 1996.  Please pray daily for the team through the list below and keep up […]

Youth Basketball and Maundy Thursday

Recently, I helped coach the final game of my son Hayden’s basketball season. I have served as the assistant coach for this team of nine 6 and 7-year-old boys, and a week prior to the season’s penultimate game, I was called upon to lead practice in the coach’s stead. One thing became evident in those 60-minutes of […]

9-11 And the Eternity in Our Hearts

    Today is a day when many of us remember where we were 14 years ago.  9-11 is etched into our collective memories in a way that very few days in our lives are.  I remember getting to work around 9:10 that morning – about 10 minutes later than I was supposed to, and […]

Is Life Really Meaningless?

Recently, while getting a cup of coffee at a local establishment, the barista, who knew I was a pastor, asked me what I was studying to preach in the fall?  “Ecclesiastes,” I said, curious as to her response.  “Oh.  That’s easy,” she said.  “Life is meaningless…Next!”  Her answer endeared her to me, because sarcasm is […]

Why is Grace So Difficult to Receive?


Why is grace so difficult to receive?  Early this summer, I was challenged with this question in a profound way. As a pastor, I often challenge people from the pulpit to care for their neighbors and strangers, to demonstrate the love and grace of God that has been shown to them.  There are people all […]