Present & Pleased Devotional DAY FORTY
May 23rd, 2021
As we end this forty day fast, I pray we are both spiritually stronger as individuals AND unified as church family. Thanks for dedicating this time for asking God to reveal more of His power and presence at Central.One final note. I whole-heartedly believe I’ve learned more about God’s view of us, His family, in the 10 years I’ve been a parent than in the 30 years before that. Even through days of...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYNINE
May 22nd, 2021
"The people of Israel mourned for Moses on the plains of Moab for thirty days, until the customary period of mourning was over. Now Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him. So the people of Israel obeyed him, doing just as the Lord had commanded Moses." Deuteronomy 34:8 – 9I’m certainly not Moses. But when I leave Central on May 23, I hope you have a...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYEIGHT
May 21st, 2021
ONE GOOD THING"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24When times are tough, it can be especially difficult to maintain an optimistic perspective. With so many events cancelled or changed due to the COVID pandemic, 2020 was downright depressing at times. And it wasn’t just adults who felt that way; children felt it too.Encouragement is one of the best...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYSEVEN
May 20th, 2021
It’s day 37! I hope your excitement is growing for what God wants to do through you, His church and through Central with each passing day of this fast. Just the thought of our church family fasting together for now 37 days just fires me up and I hope it does the same for you!Speaking of being fired up these verses from 1 Corinthians have me fired up!1 Corinthians 15:55-58, “O death, where is your ...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYSIX
May 19th, 2021
I have a toddler who loves remotes. He doesn’t only love pressing the buttons…he also loves to remove the battery cover and take the batteries out. Send help!One day, I was trying to turn the tv on and it wasn’t registering. I thought, “Oh boy, here we go again…another battery hunt!” But when I opened the battery cover, I was surprised to see both of the batteries there. Then I noticed the problem...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYFIVE
May 18th, 2021
God’s house: His community, His church, His family.God’s house is not just a great house, it is THE Great House, the most glorious house the world has ever seen. In His house, one can find truth, love, forgiveness, peace, and purpose. Yes, there are imperfections in His family, but there are also opportunities for change, growth, acceptance, restoration, and renewal.It is truly a privilege to be p...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYFOUR
May 17th, 2021
Deuteronomy 31:7 "Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched,he said to him, 'Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors He would give them.'"We are so very thankful for the many years of great leadership that Jamie has provided Central Christian Church. God has blessed Central through Jamie’s knowledge and wisdom. Tod...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYTHREE
May 16th, 2021
Lamentations 3:22-23 "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning."Ever messed up? I have. Ever found yourself in need of a fresh start? Ditto. That’s one of the amazing things about the Bible, it tells story after story of people we can all identify with.Just like Paul, all too many times the very things I sho...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYTWO
May 15th, 2021
How do you write a great devotion in roughly 200 words? How do I relateto everyone reading it? Will they critique mine harder because I’m young, or since I’m about to become a pastor? I’m not good at writing. I’m not creative. I have nothing to offer that the readers don’t already know.These are all thoughts going through my head as I type this. Pretty sad right? Satan wants for me to not even att...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTYONE
May 14th, 2021
For all of you that know about the Enneagram personality test, my personality is type 9:The Peacemaker.Struggles with conflict- check!Can see multiple sides of a situation- check!Worries about what others think- check!Can I be vulnerable and honest with you for a moment? Making decisions as a parent and pastor during a season of uncertainty has weighed heavily on my heart, and I have been too conc...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY THIRTY
May 13th, 2021
Fore! That’s what you yell when your golf shot is headed towards other people and they could be in danger. Hopefully you never have to yell it after one of your shots on the golf course, but if you do, it’s because something in your shot has gone wrong.The annual Central Missions Open is happening again. This has always been a fun day for golfers to get together and have a great time while also ra...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYNINE
May 12th, 2021
GOD, OPEN MY EYES TO ONE PERSON WHO NEEDSYOUR LOVE TODAY AND GIVE ME THE COURAGE TO SHARE IT.God is working in a mighty way here at Central. I'm so excited to be a part of it! People are experiencing God like never before. God is planting seeds all across Southern Illinois as over 9,000 people watch our service Sunday mornings on WSIL TV. Revival, jubilee, transformation is soaking into the hearts...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYEIGHT
May 11th, 2021
But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him that way.  For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”  John 4:23-24Spirit and truth. Heart and mind. We need both.Many of us naturally bend a little more toward worshiping in spirit or worshiping...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYSEVEN
May 10th, 2021
Is it just me, or do you also always seem to be tired? It seems the older I get, the sleepier I become, and I don’t even have kids! Old age is going to stink.When Jesus went to pray in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42), He told some of His disciples to sit and keep watch. Jesus went off to pray for the first time, and when He returned, they were asleep (I guess they were a lot like us! lol)...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYSIX
May 9th, 2021
In Matthew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him? Seven times? Jesus replied, “not seven times, but seventy times seven”.To be honest with you, when I read that I think “Wow Jesus! That’s a lot of forgiving! I’ll see what I can do but I’m not promising anything”.The problem with that? I’m thinking about me doing the forgiving, not the other way ar...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYFIVE
May 8th, 2021
About ten years ago, a book titled Not a Fan, by Kyle Idleman was released. The key message behind this book is that God calls us to be more than just “fans” watching church happen. We are to be in the game and participating. We are to be actively worshipping, serving, caring for each other, and telling others about Jesus.This is a good reminder for all of us as we enter a new era of leadership at...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYFOUR
May 7th, 2021
Years ago, a pilot crossing the Atlantic saw a rat chewing on some wires in the cockpit. The pilot suspected the rat was a stowaway in a box loaded before takeoff. The pilot was worried, not knowing what wires those sharp teeth might be cutting. It was two hours back to the airport.But then the pilot remembered rats couldn’t survive in higher altitudes where oxygen is low. A rat is not made for th...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYTHREE
May 6th, 2021
The song WE YOUR PEOPLE comes from a story found in 2 Kings.The prophet Elisha and his servant are trapped. The city they are staying in is surrounded by an enemy army sent specifically to capture them.2 Kings 6:15 "When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cri...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYTWO
May 5th, 2021
GO WITH THE STRENGTH YOU HAVEThen the Lord turned to him and said "Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!" Judges 6:14God chose Gideon to lead a measly army of 300 men to fight against their enemies, the Midianites. There was nothing significant about Gideon. He was not an experienced army commander. He was a wheat-thresher! “What if the strength I h...
Present & Pleased Devotional DAY TWENTYONE
May 4th, 2021
Something we should look at often is our journey from the past to the present. Reflecting on the past, what was, helps guide us into a new future. Reflecting on the past gives us wisdom, courage, and motivation to keep moving forward into the future.Central Christian Church is 168 years old. God has lived in the lives of thousands of people who found their relationship with Jesus at this church. T...