Friday, July 6, 2018

Appreciating Feminine Freedom Fighters

By: Topher
                Independence Day has come and gone.  Grandiose firework displays have filled your sight.  Delicious grilled meats have filled you belly.  Family & friends have filled your memories.  Now is a good time to ask the question, “What has filled your gratitude?” 
                In the midst of July 4th busyness, we often forget to spend time in gratitude for the freedom we’ve been given.  Here are two of nine women I’ve been studying that had a profound impact on our freedom in America and in Christ.  Study them and thank God for female freedom fighters. 
Priscilla, the wife of Aquilla, is mentioned 7 times in the Bible.  Five times she is mentioned before her husband, which usually denotes priority, authority, or focus.  After living in Rome, she traveled with Aquilla & Paul to Ephesus to encourage the fledgling church.  In total, Paul lived with Priscilla & Aquilla for 18 months.  In Acts 18:26, she is mentioned first again when they took aside an eloquent & educated preacher named Apollos and “explained to him the way of God more accurately.”  Apollos following would later be compared to Paul (1 Cor 3:4) and I suspect he may have been the true author of the wonderfully deep book of Hebrews.  Thank God for Priscilla who, along with her husband, helped further the freedom given in Jesus Christ in the spiritual battle against sin & darkness.
Molly Ludwig Hays may be often known by a different name, Molly Pitcher.  Folklore has it that in June 1778, she scanned the battlefield looking for her husband John as his regiment of Colonial soldiers under George Stirling withstood the forces of dreaded imperial general Clinton. Cannon blasts shook the ground on this scorching hot day as she spotted her husband working the ramrod of a colonial cannon.  As she repeatedly carried her pitcher of water from creek to soldiers, the wounded would yell, “Molly, PITCHER!”  Then, she spotted the signs of heatstroke when John slumped over his cannon, crumpling before the approaching redcoats.  Molly jumped up to “man” the cannon in her husband’s stead, thus aiding General Stirling in the battle and preserving the colonial push for freedom in the Revolutionary War.  General George Washington personally commended her bravery and post-war congress voted to pay her $40 annually for the rest of her life for her services in the Revolutionary War.  Thank God for Molly who, along with her husband, helped further the freedom given in the Revolutionary War in the battle against imperialism.
Neither Priscilla nor Molly were looking for fame when they served in their respective battles.  Instead, they were simply serving with their husbands in marvelous ways.  May we remember, appreciate, and model our lives after these feminine freedom fighters.
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” – Proverbs 31:10

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Prayer List Upgrade

Image result for prayer child     The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective!  James drops this motivating morsel at the end of his letter to Christians in trouble (James 5:16).  If prayer is such a potent force, why do we often feel as if we’re stuck in a rut uttering mindless repetition before the almighty Father?  Have no fear, scripture is here!  I encourage you to put this helpful list from scripture near your primary prayer place.  Whether it’s a kneeling bench, a closet, a bathroom, the office, or the car, posting this prayer list in a prominent location can help you pray for the same things early Christians did in a fresh and exciting way! Here are some things you can pray for starting today.

·   Pray that God would exalt His name in the world. – Matt 6:9
·   Pray that God would extend His kingdom in the world. – Matt 6:10
·   Pray that the gospel would speed ahead and be honored. – 2 Thess 3:1
·   Pray that God would give justice to His people in their cause. – Luke 18:7
·   Pray that God would save unbelievers. – Romans 10:1
·   Pray that God would direct the use of the Sword. – Eph 6:17-18
·   Pray for words to boldly proclaim the good news. – Eph 6:18-19
·   Pray for the healing of wounded brothers & sisters. – James 5:14-15
·   Pray that God would supply his troops with necessities. – Matt 6:11
·   Pray for God’s wisdom. – James 1:5
·   Pray that God would establish His leadership in the mission field. – Acts 14:23
·   Pray for unity and harmony in God’s Kingdom. – John 17:20-21
·   Pray for a knowledge of God’s will. – Colossians 1:9
·   Pray for power to comprehend the love of Christ. – Ephesians 3:14-19
·   Pray for strength and endurance. – Colossians 1:9-11
·   Pray for the forgiveness of your sins. – Matt 6:12

Other People to Pray for in the Bible
·   One another (Jam 5:16)
·   All people (1 Tim 2:1)
·   Friends (Job 42:10)
·   The Saints (Eph 6:18)
·   Governing Authorities (1 Tim 2:2)
·   Church Leaders (Heb 13:17-18)

“May He (God) give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed!” – Psalm 20:4

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Bow of the Beginning and End

The Bow of the Beginning and End 
by: Topher Wiles

     “It’s not the destination but the journey that matters.” That sounds like a great old adage to follow, yet we need more to keep us afloat along till we reach our destination.  We need reminders of the beginning and the end.
     Noah steps off that grand ole ark to God’s artistic lightshow in form of the amazing rainbow.  Imagine being a 601 years old adult seeing it for the first time!  Noah had a wonderful fresh start to the journey as we often do in our Christian walk.  Do you remember the time, like Noah, you were “saved through water?”(1 Pet 3:20)  It was an amazing fresh start, wasn’t it!?
For many of us, that fresh start gets muddied & mired with trouble along the way, much like the calamity Noah & Ham found just after the flood. (Gen 9:22)  How many times have we seen Christians on fire with a fresh start only for that blaze to die to a barely visible glowing ember through the rest of their lives?   Yet, the Christian walk doesn’t have to be this way.  We can continue to travel with a brightened and enlightened life filled by focusing on two major points, the beginning and the end.   
     God gives us a view of the Alpha & Omega, beginning & end, in the book of Genesis and Revelation.  To sum up both, you need only remember His rainbow.    
  1. Remember the rainbow as God’s as a fresh start in the first book of the Bible in Genesis 9:13.
  2. Remember that we will see God’s rainbow in all its glory again in Revelation 4:3. 

     That’s right, the rainbow doesn’t show up again in the Bible until John’s vision of heaven where that beautiful bow encircles God’s throne.  How exciting it will be to see that rainbow again with God in the middle of it!   
      “At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne.” – Revelation 4:2-3
     From these two rainbows in scripture, we are reminded of our beautiful fresh start and our glorious hope to come when we finally see Jesus.  God purposefully puts His rainbow only in the beginning and end of the Bible to give us sweet reminders of where we’ve come from as well as our coming hope to give us motivation along the way.  May God bless you with sweet remembrances on your journey. 

    May the hope of heaven help you to live today for Jesus!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Memorial, Mess, & Mystery

     Memorial Day has been one of my favorite holidays over the last few years.  Our tradition has been to wake up early each Memorial Day to go fishing with a veteran at church; then cap the day off with a fish fry with church family.  For some, however, conversation of Memorial Day has become a mess of a moral dilemma.
     Pacifists argue that Christians should be about peace citing Jesus' words in John 16:33, "in me you may have peace" and Matthew 5:39 "turn the other cheek."  Militarists counter with Jesus words in Matthew 10:34, "I did not come to bring peace but the sword" and Romans 13:4 "For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer."  Our generations aren't the first to struggle with these moral messes.
     How do we wrestle with living in a fallen world in light of this dilema?  How do we deal with Memorial Day, a day as old as the Civil War, that honors the sacrifice of soldiers? 
     For me, on Memorial Day, I simply strive to honor the words of Jesus in John 15:13, "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends."  For anyone who has sacrificed life for your freedom, you can rest assured that honor is due them.  Whatever your hand finds to do on Memorial Day, at least spend time honoring the greatest soldier in the Lord's Army to lay down His life for you, Jesus Christ.

by: Topher Wiles

Sunday, May 20, 2018

A President with Pluck

A President With Pluck
by: Topher Wiles
As we begin our conversations of elders and deacons within the growing church, we would be remiss if we ignored the prominent (yet humble) church and national leader, James A. Garfield.  Garfield began his service as the 20th president of the United States in 1881.   
Garfield left us with many inspiring quotes including:
     “If wrinkles must be written upon our brows, let them not be written upon the heart. The spirit should not grow old.”
     “A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck.” 
     “Man does not live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.”
While I am joined with President Garfield in my love of peanut butter, his noteworthy servitude in the church gives me the most respect for this man.  

Image result for james a garfield
The first week after his inauguration as President of the United States, a member of his cabinet insisted on an urgent meeting at 10:00 Sunday morning to handle a threatened national crisis.  Garfield refused to attend because he had a more important appointment.  The cabinet member demanded to know what it was.  The president replied, “I will be as frank as you are.  My engagement is with the Lord to meet Him in His house at His table at 10:00 tomorrow, and I shall be there.”

James A. Garfield resigned as an elder of the church of Christ in 1881 to take office as President.  It is reported on that occasion he said, “I resign the highest office in the land to become President of the United States.”

Possessing a youthful spirit, a taste for peanut butter, and service as elder in the Lord’s church, President Garfield’s efforts are an inspiration to those who would follow in his footsteps.  May you be inspired as we continue our conversations of the God ordained servant leadership in our church.
History primarily from

Friday, May 18, 2018

Warriors Baseball 2018 Slideshow Video

Here's our highlight video of the Warriors Baseball 2018 season. You can watch it on Youtube or Vimeo (if you don't like ads, thanks Central Church of Christ).
The video begins a little calmer to give senior photos a bit of time, then at the 3 minute mark it really picks up it's pace. Enjoy!
0:14 - Seniors
3:06 - Sunglasses
3:22 - The Fans
3:41 - Team Life
6:02 - Team Photos
6:49 - Coaches
7:15 - Coach Floyd's 100th Win
7:22 - Pitching
8:33 - Fielding
11:05 - Base Running
11:35 - Batting
13:10 - Mental Training

It is also embedded on the Baseball Website homepage.

Baseball families, thank you for the kind gifts and words at the banquet last night. I'm honored to be a part of the Warrior Baseball family. Thanks also for asking me to make the video. It was fun to relive some of these great moments in our season! I hope you enjoy remembering them too.
Here are some of my final thoughts from 2018 season:
1) Don't snort wasabi, not even for $20.
2) If you want some girl's phone number, ask me to help, not Coach JP.
3) It's a great day to play baseball!
4) Remember the 7 P's. Always put People as a Priority over Prestige, Possessions, Properties, Policies, & Politics.
We hope to see you next season!
"I thank my God every time I remember you." - Philippians 1:3

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Baseball Team Video Analysis

Harness the power of frame by frame video analysis!  The coaching staff has worked out some ways that our players, parents, and coaching staff can have more success analyzing our batting and pitching.  Thanks to Coach Floyd working on some recordings, our tools for growth are increasing.  We now have options such as 1/8th slow motion and frame by frame forward/reverse will help up improve in our mechanics through video analysis.

Here are the 3 items you need.

  1. A tablet/cell phone.
  2. The downloaded video of the baseball team. 
  3. The free downloaded video analysis app. 
  4. A willingness to improve. 
Here are a few steps to get you started.  
  • First, on your mobile device, download our video of the team's swings on Monday, April 2nd against Warren County.  You can download it directly from my Google Drive HERE.  Download it to a location on your mobile device that you can remember. (A pitching video will come soon.) 
  • Third, open the app and import the video It will take several minutes to import into the app, so be patient.  It will be worth the wait!
  • Fourth, Change the frame rate, scroll forward and backward through swings, draw lines on the screen, and, collaborate about how to continue improving!  
We will upload a shortened pitcher's video soon.  You can also use this to take footage with your mobile device and analyze the footage all from the comfort of your cell phone. 

Here's a couple of my tips of how to get the most effective change from the software. 

1)  Use the power of collaboration.  Do you see a hitch in your swing?  Is your weight off balance?  Is your bat path struggling to match the ball path?  Once you see a problem, ask someone else's input with solutions.  The coaching staff is here to help.  You may have experienced hitting friends or professional lesson coaches that can also prescribe some drills.  Let's work together to get better. 

2)  Drill, drill, drill in PRACTICE.  Don't step into a game thinking you will fix 5 things about your swing.  Drill in practice so that it comes natural in the game.  We don't want to analyze and change mechanics mid-game.  We want the game performance to be the natural result of productive and positive practice.

3)  Constructive Criticism should be Constructive.  Remember, we are trying to build or construct a better team performance.  If you see a mechanical issue in someone else's swing, remember to offer constructive suggestions, not destructive comments.  Always offer solutions, not complaints.  How you approach someone, and how someone approaches you, makes all the difference in how effective the criticism affects positive change.  

4)  Remember, baseball is a game, let's have fun! 

You might ask why I didn't post this on our baseball team's website.  Good question.  I'd rather not give our opponents a scouting advantage!  Keep this one shared privately between our Warrior team please.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.  We're happy to help facilitate improvement!

"Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified." - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27  

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Warrior Core Principals

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday: Christ and the Cross

Good Friday is the most difficult day of Passion Week. Christ's journey turned treacherous and acutely painful in these final hours leading to his death.
According to Scripture, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, was overcome with remorse and hanged himself early Friday morning. (Matt 27:3-10)
Meanwhile, before the third hour (9 a.m.), Jesus endured the shame of false accusations, condemnation, mockery, beatings, and abandonment.   After multiple unlawful trials, (Luke 23)  He was sentenced to death by crucifixion, one of the most horrible and disgraceful methods of capital punishment.
Before Christ was led away, soldiers spit on him, tormented and mocked him, and pierced him with a crown of thorns. (Matt 27:27-31)  Then Jesus carried his own cross to Calvary where, again, he was mocked and insulted as Roman soldiers nailed him to the wooden cross. (John 19:16-18)
Jesus spoke seven final statements from the cross. His first words were, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34, NIV). His last were, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." (Luke 23:46, NIV)
Then, about the ninth hour (3 p.m.), Jesus breathed his last and died.
By 6 p.m. Friday evening, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, took Jesus' body down from the cross and lay it in a tomb.
  • Friday's events are recorded in Matthew 27:1-62, Mark 15:1-47, Luke 22:63-23:56, and John 18:28-19:37.
reposted with edits from:

Note: Many of the actual times of these events are not recorded in Scripture.
The following timeline represents an approximate sequence of events.
  • Good Friday Events
6 a.m.
  • Jesus Stands Trial Before Pilate(Matthew 27:11-14; Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:1-5; John 18:28-37)
  • Jesus Sent to Herod(Luke 23:6-12)
7 a.m.
  • Jesus Returned to Pilate(Luke 23:11)
  • Jesus Is Sentenced to Death(Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; Luke 23:23-24; John 19:16)
8 a.m.
  • Jesus Is Led Away to Calvary(Matthew 27:32-34; Mark 15:21-24; Luke 23:26-31; John 19:16-17)

    The Crucifixion

    9 a.m. - "The Third Hour"
    • Jesus Is Crucified on the Cross
    Mark 15: 25 - It was the third hour when they crucified him. (NIV). (The third hour in Jewish time would have been 9 a.m.)
    Luke 23:34 - Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (NIV)
    • The Soldiers Cast Lots for Jesus' Clothing(Mark 15:24)
      10 a.m.
      • Jesus Is Insulted and Mocked
      Matthew 27:39-40 - And the people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. "So! You can destroy the Temple and build it again in three days, can you? Well then, if you are the Son of God, save yourself and come down from the cross!"(NLT)
      Mark 15:31 - The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. "He saved others," they scoffed, "but he can't save himself!" (NLT)
      Luke 23:36-37 - The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. They called out to him, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" (NLT)
      Luke 23:39 - One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!" (NIV)
      11 a.m.
      • Jesus and the Criminal
      Luke 23:40-43 - But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."
      Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
      Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (NIV)
      • Jesus Speaks to Mary and John
      John 19:26-27 - When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, "Woman, he is your son." And he said to this disciple, "She is your mother." And from then on this disciple took her into his home. (NLT)
      Noon - "The Sixth Hour"
      • Darkness Covers the Land
      Mark 15:33 - At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.(NLT)
      1 p.m.
      • Jesus Cries Out to the Father
      Matthew 27:46 - And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (NKJV)
      • Jesus is Thirsty
      John 19:28-29 - Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty."A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. (NLT)
      2 p.m.
      • It Is Finished
      John 19:30a - When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" (NLT)
      Luke 23:46 - Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last. (NIV)
      3 p.m. - "The Ninth Hour"

      Events Following Jesus' Death

      • The Earthquake
      Matthew 27:51-52 - At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. (NIV)

      • The Centurion - "Surely he was the Son of God!"(Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:47)
      • The Soldiers Break the Thieves' Legs(John 19:31-33)
      • The Soldier Pierces Jesus Side(John 19:34)
      • Jesus is Laid in the Tomb(Matthew 27:57-61; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42)
      • Jesus Rises from the Dead(Matthew 28:1-7; Mark 16:1; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-9)

      Thursday, March 29, 2018

      Holy Week - Thursday

      Holy Week takes a somber turn on Thursday.
      From Bethany Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast. That evening after sunset, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples as they prepared to share in the Passover. By performing this humble act of service, Jesus demonstrated by example how believers are to love one another.
      John 13:1-17

      Then Jesus shared the feast of Passover with his disciples saying, "I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won't eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God." (Luke 22:15-16, NLT)
      As the Lamb of God, Jesus was about to fulfill the meaning of the Passover by giving his body to be broken and his blood to be shed in sacrifice, freeing us from sin and death. During this Last Supper, Jesus established the Lord's Supper, or Communion, instructing his followers to continually remember his sacrifice by sharing in the elements of bread and wine (Luke 22:19-20).
      Later Jesus and the disciples left the Upper Room and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed in agony to God the Father. Luke's Gospel says "his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground." (Luke 22:44, ESV)
      Late that evening in Gethsemane, Jesus was betrayed with a kiss by Judas Iscariot and arrested by the Sanhedrin. He was taken to the home of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where the whole council had gathered to begin making their case against Jesus.
      • Thursday's events are recorded in Matthew 26:17–75, Mark 14:12-72, Luke 22:7-62, and John 13:1-38.

        Content reposted from

      Thursday, March 22, 2018

      Moses Song

      Last night I shared 4 songs in Scripture that are attributed to Moses. I showed some contemporary attempts of people putting the words to music. I'd love to see more Acapella efforts. Do we have any takers?

      Here's a Prezi Link to find all the videos in one place.

      Song of Moses at the Sea

      Song of Moses before he Dies

      Prayerful Song of Moses

      Song of Moses & the Lamb