August 18, 2017

Our 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting emphasis is going fantastic.  Thank you to all who continue to join in and pray and fast for our church, our new church plant, and for our nation. Our Tuesday noon prayer meetings are very well attended and that hour goes by so quickly.  We have four more, so put it on your calendars and join us each Tuesday in the worship center.  We will close the 40 […]

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August 11, 2017

Summer is coming to a close and soon everyone will return from vacations and be back to a more normal schedule.  God has blessed us with a fruitful summer at GHBC.  I am grateful for the ministries in which our church has been able to participate―from camps to VBS to mission trips and many other effective ministries.  We are having an end-of-summer church-wide fellowship and I want to make sure you know about it, especially those families with […]

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August 4, 2017

Greetings, church family. I hope this note finds you doing well.  My family and I are on a few days of vacation and are enjoying being together.  We will all be in church on Sunday as it will be a special day for our family.  Our son, Bryant, will be preaching during the morning worship service.  He is the Minister of Junior High Students at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.  I am looking forward to hearing […]

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July 28, 2017

I have been blessed and encouraged by the positive responses from our church regarding the 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting beginning Tuesday, August 8.  For 40 days we will pray each day for our church and every seventh day we will do some fasting.  Also, on the Fast Days, which are all on Tuesdays, we will meet in the sanctuary for a time of praise and prayer.  Every day during the 40 days I or one of our pastors will send you […]

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July 14, 2017

Thank You LORD for a great day last Sunday!  Some of the highlights for me were looking again at Nehemiah 8:1-12, baptizing twelve people, and praying over our business owners.  I appreciate all who came and for your patience in staying late.  I especially thank our preschool worship care volunteers.  You were probably thinking that the parents had actually forgotten their kids!  To all those who serve in this vital ministry, please know how much […]

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July 7, 2017

Sunday will be a bit different so I am giving you a heads up today.  I just cannot get past Nehemiah 8:1-12 so we will revisit this amazing biblical text on Sunday.  The four truths we studied last week are the same ones we will look into further.  We will hear stirring stories of God’s power, celebrate with those being baptized, and at the end of the service I will ask all our business owners to […]

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June 23, 2017

Sunday will be an exciting day for us as we worship the Lord and also give God praise for our nation.  Rear Admiral Endel Lee will bring the message from Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance.” His wife, Kathy Lee, will sing before he preaches.  Our worship ministry has been preparing some special patriotic tunes that will inspire us all.  During […]

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June 16, 2017

What a great week God has given us at GHBC as we have had a fantastic Vacation Bible School.  Each day we have had over 800 preschoolers, grade school children, and volunteers.  God is working and many are surrendering their lives to Christ. I am so proud of our church family–radiant, welcoming, and committed to helping people know Jesus. Let me ask you a question–If you were God, to which church would you send people? […]

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June 9, 2017

Thanks for your prayers for me this past week as I had a pretty bad spill on my bike while riding Sunday after church.  Some good Samaritans stopped and picked us up and took me to the ER.  Tests showed no broken bones and for that I am so very grateful.  It has been a tough week of slow recovery, but it is all good!  Besides some sore ribs and nasty road rash on my […]

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June 2, 2017

Thank you for your prayers for our family as we vacationed in Alabama last week with our extended families.  God blessed us with a nice and relaxing time, and I literally ate seafood every single night!  It is always nice to get away, but also good to be back home. Our Executive and Worship Pastor, Terry Hurt, had major neck surgery on Tuesday, and he is now healing and resting at home.  God truly blessed the […]

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May 26, 2017

Greetings and Happy Friday! I am writing today as Pastor Danny and his family are on vacation and enjoying some much deserved downtime on the coast of Alabama.  Please join me in praying for them that they are getting some much needed rest and for their trip home this weekend. Sunday our Student Pastor, Daniel VanCleave, will be preaching in Danny’s absence.  It is Senior Recognition Sunday when we will be honoring our High School […]

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May 19, 2017

God continues to bless us at Great Hills, and I am so very grateful for His provisions and grace.  I hope this weekly newsletter finds you doing well and concluding a blessed week.  As your pastor, one of the privileges of my calling is to pray for you and I do that daily.  Thank you for your prayers for Ashley and me and our family. On Sunday we will get back into our study of […]

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May 12, 2017

On Sunday we will have a great day in the Lord.  We will dedicate six babies; three of them are triplets!  I will preach a message for all our moms and ladies from Genesis 16 entitled “God Sees.”  Just as God saw Hagar in her distress and blessed her, God desires to bless you and meet you at your point of pain and need.  Take a moment this weekend to read Genesis 16:7-13.  Before and after Sunday’s […]

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May 5, 2017

I feel led to share some of my devotional thoughts that I gave to our men’s Proverbs study on Thursday.  Our focal text was Proverbs 4:23, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”  The heart is the hidden depths of who we really are, what we value, or― simply stated―the inner man or woman.  When our hearts are twisted or just not guarded, we, as men especially, can […]

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April 28, 2017

Greetings once again from Germany.  By the time you read this update we should be close to landing in Austin. God has been so good to us on this mission trip as we have had many divine appointments.  Andy and Kathy, along with Ashley and I, have been busy, but it has been wonderful. We were able to meet refugees from Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, and spent a couple of hours hanging out with them […]

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April 21, 2017

Hello and greetings from Frankfurt, Germany.  Ashley and I are in Germany serving the Lord and representing GHBC with Andy and Kathy Spencer.  As the Lord would work it out, I have a brief break before our next assignment and therefore have some time to write this update.  We flew out of Austin on Easter Sunday night and had a safe trip to Berlin.  We were given a brief tour of the capital city by Ingo and Capri, a sweet couple serving the Lord as biblical […]

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April 14, 2017

It is Good Friday.  Thank You, Jesus, for dying on the cross for my sins and rising from the dead on the third day!  Tonight many in Austin will be gathering for the annual Good Friday service at the Erwin Center.  I will be one of the pastors participating in the service and Terry Hurt will lead the combined choirs.  I am honored to serve and to minister to our city.  However, I am saddened that many […]

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March 31, 2017

Compassion International has come to Austin.  We are hosting what is called the Compassion Experience where you can “visit” another country to see firsthand the work and ministry that Compassion does all over the world.  They will have their mobile exhibit set up in our parking lot beginning today and running through Monday.  I encourage you to sign up and walk through an experience that will bless and challenge you.  Two thousand people from across […]

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March 24, 2017

This has been a tough week, but God has once again been very faithful to my family and me.  Ashley has to have cataract surgery in both eyes and she had the first surgery this week.  I have been in bed since Sunday night with the flu.  My coughing during the sermon on Sunday was a precursor of what was to come.  Fortunately, Hannah drove up from San Antonio to help us get through this week.  Scripture […]

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March 17, 2017

I hope you are able to enjoy some downtime during Spring Break.  Many of our church members are traveling, and I’m praying for you and your safety. On Sunday we will continue our study entitled “Let’s Build Something.”  Our text is Nehemiah 4:10-23 and the title of the message is “Dealing with Discouragement.” Also on Sunday I will show you some architectural renderings of our New Garden of Hope.  The size of the new Greystar […]

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March 10, 2017

Earlier this week I sent out an update on the completion of the land deal with Greystar Corporation.  God has truly blessed us and answered our prayers.  One of my primary objectives when I became pastor in June 2010 was to help our church get out of debt.  This ground lease and subsequent sale of the 3.75 acres on the corner of Jollyville and Morado Cove will make this dream of being debt-free a definite […]

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March 3, 2017

“The Lord is gracious and slow to anger, rich in love and good to all.”  These lyrics, based on Psalm 51, are what I am listening to as I type this article.  I love this CD by Shane & Shane, as it is filled with harmony and great lyrics straight from the Psalms.  “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and teach me wisdom in the secret heart.”  Amen, thank You, Lord. Speaking of […]

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February 24, 2017

Thank you for the prayers and encouragement in my running the Austin Marathon.  God blessed, and I finished with my best time and no injuries!  I was also able to raise money to help serve and bless refugees.  Again, thank you to all who helped me through prayer and support.  We had several members of our church run either the half or the full marathon.  Our own Kayleigh Williamson was the first person with Down […]

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February 17, 2017

I am looking forward to sharing a sermon with you from Nehemiah 2:11-20 on Sunday.  The message is entitled “Moving Ahead” and details how Nehemiah travels to Jerusalem and looks at the destroyed wall around the city.  Ever the excellent leader, Nehemiah takes a small group of men with him and inspects the wall while making plans and preparations to one day rebuild it.  After his planning phase, he then motivates the people to get the […]

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February 10, 2017

This week Ashley and I got to see our sons in Dallas, and we had a blessed time.  On Wednesday Leighton helped lead worship at Dallas Baptist University chapel and we were able to hear my good friend Dr. Mark Howell preach in chapel.  That afternoon we visited with Bryant and saw his new office.  He was recently asked to be the Minister to Junior High Students at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano.  We are […]

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February 3, 2017

Lauren Daigle is one of my favorite Christian artists.  As I sit here typing this article, I am listening to her new song, “Come Alive.” But we know that you are God Yours is the victory We know there is more to come That we may not yet see So with the faith you’ve given us We’ll step into the valley unafraid, yeah As we call out to dry bones Come alive, come alive We […]

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January 27, 2017

God continues to grow His church and I am grateful.  Thank you, as so many of you are inviting and investing in others, and God is rewarding your labor.  I do have a request for help if you would kindly assist me.  This is something that all of us as members of our church can do.  While at a restaurant this week a lady approached my table and complained to me that when her daughter […]

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January 20, 2017

We are off and running in a New Year!  Today our 45th President of the United States will be inaugurated and record crowds are expected in our nation’s capital.  I am praying for our new president, Donald Trump.  And I am praying for our nation as we have so many divisions and difficulties facing us.  May God send revival and times of refreshing from His presence among us (Acts 3:19). The Lord is moving and blessing […]

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January 13, 2017

Our pastoral staff had a nice time away at our staff retreat for a few days this week.  We are blessed to have wonderful servant leaders who love the Lord and the people they serve.  On this retreat we prayed, planned, and played.  Part of the play was shooting a wide variety of guns and doing some skeet shooting.  I was introduced to a new phenomenon called tannerite which involves setting up a target, shooting it and […]

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January 6, 2017

I hope you were able to enjoy some time with your loved ones over the Christmas break.  Ashley and I enjoyed a nice time in Orange Beach, Alabama, with our family.  Eleven of us shared a condo; we all got along great and really had a blessed time.  I did learn a valuable lesson on Saturday of last week.  Do not run 10 miles in 100% humidity without proper hydration.  You would think I would […]

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December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas.  I pray that you are having a blessed Christmas Season with your loved ones. Ashley and I look forward to worshipping with our church family Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  We will then travel to Alabama to spend some time next week with our families.  This will be my last newsletter for 2016.  It is hard to believe that this year is coming to a close.  Time indeed flies. Our annual Christmas Eve […]

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December 9, 2016

It’s beginning to look and feel a lot like Christmas!  What a grand time for the Church of Jesus Christ to give praise to God; fellowship with one another; and share the good news of the Messiah’s birth, life, death, and resurrection.  I pray that God blesses you and your loved ones during this most wonderful time of the year. God is blessing our church and is enabling us to finish 2016 in a strong way. […]

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December 2, 2016

Can you believe that it is already December?  This year has flown by!  God has been so good to us as a church in 2016 and I am so very grateful.  I pray that He blesses you with a wonderful Christmas and that 2017 is your best year ever! Thank you for the response to the message last Sunday on the subject of making disciples.  What a blessing to hear how God spoke to you […]

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November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to you!  We have so very much to be thankful for and to give God praise for. Ashley and I wish you a blessed time with your family and loved ones. God continues to pour out His favor and blessings upon our church family and for that I am especially grateful.  Thank you for your love for God and your church.  We had a great Harvest Offering last week and with a solid […]

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November 17, 2016

Thank you so much, church family, for being a wonderful host church to the Southern Baptists of Texas.  I have heard numerous comments expressing heartfelt thanks for your generous hospitality. It really could not have gone any better.  So many of those who attended were pastors from small churches, and I am so glad we were able to bless them.  Praise the Lord!  Again, thank you to each person who helped serve in any capacity.  And […]

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November 11, 2016

Hello, church family.  We have been praying and planning, and the big day is upon us.  On Sunday, the Southern Baptists of Texas Bible Conference and Annual Meeting begin.  Many of you have signed up to volunteer and I am grateful for you.  The theme of the conference and meeting is the Holy Spirit.  My prayer is that the Holy Spirit will be acknowledged and worshipped and that He speaks to all who attend.  My […]

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November 4, 2016

God has given me a message for our church and I look forward to preaching it on the Lord’s Day as we continue our CROSSFIT series. Our text is Romans 12:3-13, and the title of the sermon is “Find Your Place.” God loves our church and He has placed each person here to be blessed and also to be a blessing. Pray for me as I preach what God has put on my heart for […]

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October 28, 2016

God is working in and through His Church, and I am grateful for Him working in and through our church.  As I type this article I am listening to David Crowder’s new song, “My Victory.” My favorite line in this song is “The cross meant to kill is my victory.”  Praise God for Jesus who died on the cross so we could be forgiven and live.  The gospel never gets old.  I cherish it and […]

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October 21, 2016

We are getting close to hosting the Southern Baptists of Texas Bible Conference and Annual Meeting November 13-15.  Church family, please take note of two very important items related to this event: We still need more volunteers.  If you can help, please contact Diane Eppler at 512-343-7763 ext 662 or deppler@ghbc.org. You are invited to attend both the Bible Conference and the Annual Meeting. The Bible Conference begins Sunday evening, November 14, at 5:40pm and […]

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October 14, 2017

Getting Ready for Company Church family, we will have many guests on our campus November 13-15, for the Southern Baptists of Texas 2016 Bible Conference and Annual Meeting.  We have been diligently planning and preparing for people from all over the state to come to our church.  As a member of our church you are invited to come. I would encourage you to mark November 13th on your calendar.  The Bible Conference starts at 5:40pm and it […]

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October 7, 2016

Psalm 16:11 states, “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”  I am grateful to God for His good hand of favor and blessing upon our Great Hills family.  Our town hall meeting went very well Sunday evening.  We had a good turnout and many expressed various opinions on a number of matters.  Most of the discussion centered around the changing of […]

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September 30, 2016

On Sunday we are looking forward to beginning our new eight-week sermon and Connect Group study entitled CROSSFIT. We will focus on our Lord’s command to make disciples and will look at both evangelism and discipleship.  Our aim is to help equip you as a disciple or follower of Jesus so you can go and make more disciples.  Disciples making disciples–what a grand concept!   Our sermon text is Mark 8:34-37 and the sermon title […]

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September 23, 2016

Many good things and many challenges face our church family.  I am grateful to God for so many men, women, and students who are making disciples or being discipled.  We have many women participating in our Bible studies on campus, and we had about 30 men show up Thursday morning for our Proverbs Bible study and small group accountability time.  Our LifeBridge ESL is off to a fantastic start.  Our North Africa mission team leaves […]

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September 16, 2016

We had a great meeting yesterday with pastors from central Texas regarding the 2016 SBTC Annual Bible Conference and Meeting.  Our church is hosting this event November 13-15.  We are trusting God to use our church to be a tremendous blessing to all who come and praying that the Holy Spirit moves powerfully.  Our planning team met Wednesday night and they, too, are excited about all that God will do.  Please help us by praying and […]

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September 9, 2016

Sunday is September 11 and is the 15th anniversary of 9-11, a day that all Americans will remember.  Three thousand people died in the horrific terrorist attack on our soil.  Recently I was in New York City and passed by a fire station that displayed a list of the brave men from that station who had perished on that infamous day.  Our nation mourns the loss of those who lost their lives, but as followers […]

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September 2, 2016

Sunday we will observe the Lord’s Supper during the worship service.  This is always a special time for the follower of Christ.  We will take note of biblical texts in Genesis and the Gospels as we compare “Joseph and Jesus.”  We have noticed in our study of the Old Testament patriarch, Joseph, many similarities to the Lord Jesus.  Please take some time this weekend to pray and ask God to prepare your heart to hear […]

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August 26, 2016

There’s much happening in and around our church.  We are making great progress on our new coffee shop, library, flooring, and painting. You will notice on Sunday how far the work has progressed. It is beginning to take shape, and we still have a ways to go, but you will be very pleased with our new look, I do believe.  We are $93,000 away from reaching our goal of $1.2 million for all the Building […]

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August 19, 2016

This week I spent a couple of days with ten Austin pastors as we prayed and planned on how best to reach our city with the good news of Jesus Christ.  I enjoyed the fellowship and the time of vision-casting and evaluating.  God is working in the city of Austin and while there is much darkness, like there is in every city, the light of the gospel is shining brightly.  I am so glad that our […]

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August 12, 2016

When you arrive on campus Sunday, you will notice many new things.  Throughout our Ministry Mall the carpet is being replaced with stained, polished concrete and the walls are being painted. Everything looks so much brighter and more inviting. I think you will be so very pleased with what you see.  Also, if all goes according to plan, we should have all our new audio and video equipment installed in the worship center.  It is […]

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August 5, 2106

Greetings, church family, from Arequipa, Peru.  Leighton and I are part of a team serving on mission this week and we are grateful to God for using us here.  I am preaching to pastors and wives, while Leighton works with orphans.  Another team is serving the people through medical treatment.  We are here with Finny Matthews, the president of AIM, one of our GHBC mission partners. I am grateful to God for the work He […]

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July 29, 2016

I am grateful to God for the numerous ways He is blessing our church and using us to reach many with the grace gospel of Jesus.  It is a good problem when you cannot keep up with all the great things God is doing!  We are sending mission teams all over the world.  Our students had a great week on mission in Houston this week as Daniel led about 50 people on this endeavor.  Ross […]

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July 22, 2016

What is God telling you as you walk daily with Him?  God loves His children and loves to speak to us and give direction for our lives.  The most important part of my day is first thing in the morning when I read God’s Word and talk to Him in prayer.  My son Leighton and I were talking about daily devotions this week and the importance of having quiet times with the Lord in the […]

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July 15, 2016

I sent a very important communication piece yesterday to our church members.  I shared in more detail about our church’s finance.  I do not go into as much detail here in the newsletter because this newsletter goes out all over the world via the Internet, as this is posted on our church’s website.  But suffice it to say, the information I shared in the update is outstanding news!  God is blessing our church as we […]

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July 8, 2016

We are still rejoicing over our daughter Hannah’s wedding to Jeffrey Samplaski on July 2.  Thank you to all who attended, and thanks also to so many who helped us with the numerous facets related to weddings!  We are grateful to God for all His blessings and especially the many ways He continues to demonstrate His favor on our church family and on our immediate family.  We have heard from the newlyweds who are having a […]

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July 1, 2016

We are still rejoicing over an outstanding VBS.  Thank you again to all our leadership and the many volunteers who worked tirelessly to make our 2016 VBS one of the best we have ever had!  Last Sunday we had numerous guests on our campus and they all enjoyed seeing their children have such a great time.  On an upcoming KBVO broadcast we will show the message I preached entitled “The Five Crosses.”  I will also […]

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June 23, 2016

God has richly blessed our 2016 VBS.  We have had hundreds of people on our campus this week and such a sweet spirit among all our volunteers.  Thank you to all who have served in our Submerged VBS.  A special thank-you to Teresa Smith, Sharon Irwin, and Teal Neighbors for your tireless efforts. On Sunday, the kids will lead out in worship and will share with us what they have learned during the week.  I will share […]

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June 17, 2016

Happy Friday, church family!  I trust you have had a wonderful week and are looking forward to a great day in worship on Sunday.  Let me encourage you to invite someone over the weekend to join you this coming Lord’s day.  The next new member at Great Hills could be because of your influence in their life! Pastor Danny is away this week with Jason Mann and a group of men from our church.  Jason and […]

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June 10, 2016

We are in full wedding-planning mode at the Forshee house!  We are looking forward to Hannah and Jeffrey’s big day on July 2, in the Worship Center at GHBC.  As a member of our church family, please know you are invited to come to the wedding.  Please do not feel obligated in any way to buy a gift; we would just love for you to come celebrate with us.  It will be a time of worshiping […]

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June 3, 2016

In just a few weeks (June 20-24) we will kick off another fantastic VBS. The theme this year is Submerged: Finding Truth Beneath the Surface – Psalm 139:23-24. It will be a great time for the children in our church and community.  VBS will finish Sunday June 26, with our Family Celebration Sunday. The children will sing some of the songs they learned in VBS and I will bring a gospel message for the many […]

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May 27, 2016

I come to you today on behalf of Pastor Danny while he and Ashley are enjoying some much deserved time away on an Alaskan cruise.  They are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary as well as a very significant birthday for Ashley.  Pastor Danny recently mentioned how many, but I dare not venture into that conversation except only to say Happy Birthday, Ashley!! God is working tremendously in our church, for which we are very grateful.  […]

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May 20, 2016

As I type this article I am listening to the rain fall, and I am reminded of Ryan Stevenson’s new song, “Eye of the Storm.”  The song states, “In the eye of the storm, You remain in control, and in the middle of the war, You guard my soul; You alone are the anchor when my sails are torn; Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm.”  Be encouraged today by the powerful […]

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May 13, 2016

Terry Hurt’s mom, Fran, is 80 years old and is quite amazing.  Recently she posted on Facebook that she loves the new song “God Is on the Move,” an upbeat new Christian contemporary song by 7eventh Time Down. It is a song that I find myself referring to as I ruminate on GHBC, our radiant church here in Austin, Texas.  On Tuesday night I attended the Life Bridge ESL Celebration with about 150 people from all over […]

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May 6, 2016

Sunday will be a big day for us.  Our second largest attendance for the year is Mother’s Day, second only to Easter.  Some will come because it is the Lord’s Day and they will be here to worship; others will come because grandma and/or mom told them they were going to church.  Whatever the reasons for coming, I am glad that they will be with us.  We will begin with a powerful video followed by […]

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April 28, 2016

I praise the Lord Jesus for His radiant bride that gathers at 10500 Jollyville and then scatters throughout the world.  As I sit here typing my article for this week, I think of many in our church who are doing a wonderful work of ministry–Cindy Asmussen at the capitol taking a stand for righteousness; Larry and Becky Lofton loving people from all over the world through Life Bridge (Chris Rowley’s wonderful ministry); Bud Bruner and […]

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April 22, 2016

God is working in many ways in and through our radiant church.  I am so proud of the way so many of you are serving our Lord by using the gifts and talents you have to meet people’s needs.  On Sunday, I visited a brand new Connect Group class led by Larry and Becky Lofton and Tom and Jan Cammack. They had 20 people from all over the world in the class!  God is literally bringing […]

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April 15, 2016

I am grateful to God for the many ways He continues to bless our radiant church as we strive to shine brightly for our Lord. I heard today about one of our college students who invited someone thirteen times to visit our church. That person came to one of our student ministry events and gave her life to Christ. It used to be that it took seven invitations before someone came to church, but now […]

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April 8, 2016

Thank you for your prayers for our team that traveled to South Asia to minister to our Unengaged Unreached People Group.  One grand day we will refer to this people group as both engaged and reached!  God is working and yet there is much work to be done.  Mike Mericle, Ken Farmer, and I were truly blessed to go serve on behalf of our church as we seek to fulfill our Lord’s command to make […]

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April 1, 2016

Greetings, church family!  I am writing today since Pastor Danny is in South Asia serving our UUPG.  I have received several updates from him indicating the week is going very well.  Danny, Mike Mericle and Ken Farmer are doing well and are enjoying teaching pastors and church leaders about discipleship and local church ministry.  They will teach for another day and then hit the road traveling in the area to meet and share with more […]

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March 25, 2016

What a wonderful week for the follower of Jesus Christ!  Today is Good Friday, the day we remember and celebrate the greatest act of love ever demonstrated, when the Son of God died on the cross for the sins of the world.  Tonight at 6:00pm many Austin churches will come together for an evening of worship, communion, and a concert by Michael W. Smith.  For those planning to attend, I encourage you to get to […]

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March 18, 2016

I hope you are having a good week.  Many of our church family are enjoying some days of vacation with their families during Spring Break.  We were able to make a visit to see Ashley’s family in Alabama. On Sunday we will continue our sermon series HELP!  Stuart Smithson will speak on the subject of helping raise and influence our children.  It is going to be a great day and I am looking forward to being in our church […]

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March 11, 2016

God is working powerfully in and through our church family and I am most grateful.  Sunday was a great day in the life of our church.  Our Student Pastor, Daniel VanCleave, encouraged all of us who are married to love, honor, serve, and pray with our spouses.  This Sunday I will preach a message entitled “HELP! My Emotional Life Is a Wreck.”  This sermon took me a long time to prepare.  How long?  It has taken 51 years.  I am truly looking forward to sharing with […]

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March 4, 2016

This week I was interviewed by a writer who has been covering the progression of House Bill 2 which originated in Texas and was heard by the Supreme Court in Washington DC on Wednesday. The reporter is a Christian and she expressed concern that this pro-life legislation may not be approved by the SCOTUS.  She then asked me an interesting question—do I have any words of hope to offer?  And I told her yes indeed. […]

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February 26, 2016

God continues to pour out His favor upon our church.  We had seven more people give their lives to Christ on Sunday!  Jesus commanded us in the Great Commission to go and make disciples, baptize, and teach them (Matthew 28:19-20).  I am grateful for our church being a missional church that takes making disciples most seriously. Around a dozen people came Monday night for the Warriors on the Wall prayer meeting. I have heard wonderful […]

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February 19, 2016

God is working in our church and I am so grateful.  Praise the Lord for the many decisions for Christ on Sunday!  We are following up with those who committed their lives to Christ.  In fact, I have the blessing and privilege of discipling one of the men starting next week.  This Sunday we have the largest class ever of people who have signed up for our church@greathills new member class. (If you know someone […]

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February 12, 2016

Our vision and passion at GHBC is to be a radiant church that shines brightly for our Lord Jesus.  We become radiant when we glorify God in all we do, grow in Christ by studying the Scriptures, and share our faith with the nations as well as our neighbors.  In short, in order to be a radiant church we will need to make disciples who will go and make more disciples until Jesus comes again! […]

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February 5, 2016

Praise the Lord for His blessings and power manifested in our worship service last Sunday.  Many have commented on how they felt the Lord’s presence during our time of worship.  I am grateful to God for His favor upon our church as we seek to be a radiant body of believers taking the gospel to the ends of the earth.  I met a man after the worship service who told me that he awoke at 7:30am and somehow […]

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January 29, 2016

I am looking forward to worship on Sunday at GHBC.  Let me ask you to please help us by getting out of your Connect Class in time to make it to the worship center a few minutes before 11:00am.  We will begin our worship service with a call to prayer. I will ask all our staff, deacons, Connect Group leadership, and other church leaders to come to the altar and join me for a time […]

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January 22, 2016

Sunday morning I will teach an evangelism seminar for all Connect Groups from middle school through adult at 9:30 in the Worship Center. The primary topics I will address are the role of the Holy Spirit and prayer, and how to share your faith. We are blessed to have Dr. Steven Smith preach on Sunday.  He is a very gifted preacher of the Word of God and our people always enjoy having him come and […]

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January 15, 2016

We are off to a good start in 2016 with many ministries happening on our campus.  On Wednesday evening there was much excitement with the kick-off of another semester of various events.  I am grateful to God for our church family and how we gather on Sundays and Wednesdays for worship, teaching, and fellowship, and how we are scattered throughout our city during the week.  The Christian life is much more about being the church […]

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January 8, 2016

It is always good to get away for a break and always good to be back home.  Ashley, the kids, and I had a very nice holiday season with the highlight being Hannah getting engaged to Jeffry Samplaski on Christmas Eve.  We are grateful to God for His work in their lives, and now we are gearing up to plan a summer wedding.  Thank you for praying for us while we visited Ashley’s family in […]

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January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!!  I hope you have a great day watching parades and football…lots and lots of football! May your favorite teams win as you celebrate the beginning of a brand new year with family and friends. I am excited about all the opportunities that lie before us as the Radiant Church this year.  I encourage you to dream big as you consider what you will do in the ministry of Great Hills in 2016! […]

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December 23, 2015

Our Christmas Eve service starts at 5:00pm. I want to encourage you to come and invite others to join you.  I have had good opportunities to share with people during this holiday season and have used this service as an occasion to invite people to GHBC.  People are very open to spiritual conversations during this most wonderful time of the year.  During the Christmas Eve service we will sing Christmas carols and I will share […]

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December 18, 2015

What a great time of the year to share Christ with people, as Christmas is, after all, named for Him and is all about Him. On Sunday I will preach a message entitled “Watch the Child” from Luke 2:40-52.  I have enjoyed researching and writing this sermon this week and I look forward to sharing it with you.  Invite someone to join you for worship at Great Hills.  God is working in our church. What […]

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December 11, 2015

Christmas is just around the corner.  On Sunday I am preaching a message entitled “Watch the Baby” from Luke 2:1-40.  I am looking forward to sharing this message with you. I believe God is going to use it for His glory, and my prayer is that God will draw many into a personal relationship with Him through His Son, Jesus.  Will you pray for Sunday?  Will you come? After our worship service we will have […]

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December 4, 2015

Sunday will be a great day of worship and celebration as we hear testimonies from those who have gone on mission in 2015.  Mike Mericle will interview our mission team leaders, and I will close with a brief message for our church.  I encourage all who have made a mission trip this year to wear some indigenous clothing that reflects the country to which you traveled and served this past year.  Mike will also give […]

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November 27, 2015

I hope you are enjoying this Thanksgiving holiday.  We do indeed have so much for which to be thankful to God, for His blessings abound to us overflowing.  Psalm 105:1 tells us, “Oh, give thanks unto the LORD!  Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!”  We are commanded to give God thanks, call upon Him, and bear witness for Him.  He is a worthy King, having created us and given us […]

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November 20, 2015

I pray that God blesses you and your loved ones and that you have a great Thanksgiving next week. Ninety-nine percent of our people voted and approved the lease and subsequent sale of our corner property, and we are surely moving forward!  We should start seeing monetary relief by 2017, but until then we will have to tighten our financial belts even more and greatly increase our giving.  On Sunday, we have the opportunity to […]

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November 13, 2015

I attended the Southern Baptists of Texas annual Bible Conference and meeting the first part of this week, and it was a blessing.  Our church is a part of a vital and growing state convention being led by Dr. Jim Richards who is doing an outstanding job of keeping us focused on reaching a lost state with the good news of Jesus.  During the Bible Conference, the messengers elected me as the new president for 2016. GHBC will be the host church for the Bible Conference and annual meeting […]

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November 6, 2015

There is much happening in and through our church.  I am grateful to God for the privilege of serving a radiant church like ours, a church committed to worshipping God, teaching His Word, and making disciples of all nations.  Our South Asia team arrived home safely on Tuesday. God used them in powerful ways to assist one of our ministry partners, Finny Matthews.  Pray that they get rested up and completely restored to health. On […]

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October 30, 2015

God is blessing our church family and sending many on mission to share Jesus. I am so proud of the way our church is loving the lost whether they live on the other side of the world or across the street. Jesus tells His church that we are to be His witnesses all over the globe. Acts 1:8 states: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall […]

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October 30, 2015

You will not want to miss Sunday at GHBC.  Dr. Gary Frazier will preach a message entitled “The Isis Crisis and You.”  He has preached this sermon in other places like Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. It is very eye-opening and powerful.  Gary is a good friend of mine whose company, Discovery Tours, leads trips to the Holy Land.  Our Israel trip is scheduled for June 27–July 6, 2016.  Immediately after the morning worship service, […]

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October 23, 2015

You will not want to miss Sunday at GHBC.  Dr. Gary Frazier will preach a message entitled “The Isis Crisis and You.”  He has preached this sermon in other places like Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. It is very eye-opening and powerful.  Gary is a good friend of mine whose company, Discovery Tours, leads trips to the Holy Land.  Our Israel trip is scheduled for June 27–July 6, 2016.  Immediately after the morning worship service, […]

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October 16, 2015

I wish everyone in our church could have been at the Patio Café on Tuesday to see the room overflowing with international participants in our Life Bridge ESL class (English as a Second Language).  Nancy Gibbs has a small army of GHBC volunteers who love on these people from all over the world, teach them English, and share the Word of God with them.  In the classroom right next to the Patio Café we had […]

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October 9, 2015

I am looking forward to hearing about the ways we are able to bless our neighbors on Halloween night, October 31. Our goal is not to have one Fall Fest at church, but 200 of them scattered throughout the greater Austin area. In our sermon series on the Art of Neighboring–Love Where You Live, we have noted that Jesus said all the Law and Prophets can be summarized with this statement: love God and love […]

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October 2, 2015

It was a blessing to walk through our church campus on Wednesday night and see all the ministry and discipleship taking place.  So many of our people are participating by volunteering their time and spiritual gifts to serve our church.  Thank you very much, and may God bless you and all you do for Him and our church family. We will conclude our three-part series of messages on the Art of Neighboring on Sunday. Pastor […]

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September 25, 2015

  This week Ashley and I watched a powerful movie called Captive, the true story of how a killer took a young lady captive and how God used Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose Driven Life, to intervene in a powerful way.  It is an intense show, but I do recommend it.  Pastor Warren is shown at the end of the movie on the Oprah Winfrey Show and he states that everyone needs hope.  That is so […]

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September 18, 2015

On Wednesday night Rich Carney with Austin Bridge Builders Alliance (ABBA) spoke to our men on the importance of work.  He shared that work was not a curse but a gift from God, and that we are to give our best at the job God gives us. He also reminded us to live for Christ, to share Christ as God gives us opportunities, and to influence others so they will come to know Jesus.  I […]

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September 11, 2015

God is working in and through GHBC.  I am grateful for how He is growing us and using us to literally touch the world with the saving message of Jesus Christ.  We continue to have Great Hills teams going out on mission.  Our South Asia team had a wonderful time serving among our people group.  Thank you again for the prayers and encouragement as we continue to make much progress in reaching them with the gospel of […]

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September 4, 2015

It has been a blessed ten days as our team of four has been in South Asia ministering to our UUPG. I am thrilled to share with you that while on this mission trip I was able to baptize 15 of those within our adopted people group! After nearly four years of praying, going, and strategizing we are beginning to see the fruit of our labor. Thank you GHBC for being a radiant church that […]

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August 28, 2015

I write to you today while Pastor Danny is in South Asia.  Please join me and our staff in praying for Danny, Mike and Claudia Mericle, and Corey Hatch as they are serving our people group and witnessing the baptisms of the first converts to Christ.  It must be an exciting thing to watch and I look forward to seeing the story via video when they return home. Sunday is going to be an exciting […]

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August 21, 2015

Ashley, our children, and I are enjoying a few days of vacation before Bryant and Leighton head back to college.  God has blessed me with a wonderful wife and children, and I am very grateful.  It has been nice having the boys home for the summer. Many of you have children going back to school, or perhaps you are going back or work in some way in education.  On Sunday, I will ask all those […]

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English as a Second Language Classes

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August 14, 2015

God blessed us with a great night of worship last Sunday evening.  The service lasted for three and a half hours, but time went by very quickly.  There was much praise, prayer, Scripture reading, and confession as well as a baptism and impromptu love offering for one of our members to go on a mission trip.  Many of our people came to the altar to pray for one another for jobs and for physical healing.  God continues […]

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August 7, 2015

I continue to hear wonderful reports of God’s blessings and how He spoke to you and gave you strength on our day of fasting and prayer on Wednesday.  Thank you to all who were able to participate.  It makes me very hopeful and optimistic for our Building Vision Campaign and for our gathering on Sunday evening at 6:00.  If you are in town on Sunday, please make a strong effort to be here for this […]

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July 31, 2015

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is already August 1.  Summer has come and is nearly gone.  I hope you have had and are still having a nice summer and have been able to take some time away and relax and recharge.  It’s also hard to believe that on August 2 Ashley and I will have been married for 29 years.  Time has gone by so very quickly.  Thank you for your prayers for Ashley as she is […]

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July 24, 2015

God blessed us last Sunday as each person who completed our new member class joined our church—all 29 of them!  We will be presenting these newest GHBC members to you by introducing them over the next few weeks.  It is a blessing to see how God is working in Great Hills and even more exciting to see how He is working through Great Hills!  God is making Sea-of-Galilee followers of Christ—they are those who receive […]

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July 17, 2015

What a wonderful Sunday God blessed us with last week.  The Holy Spirit was working in powerful ways using the testimonies of our students and missionaries to inspire us all.  Thank you for your generous giving to the urgent housing needs in Nepal for those whose homes were destroyed by the earthquakes.  As of today, we have been able to collect $37,295.37!   That is amazing.  Thank you for being so generous and responding to this […]

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July 10, 2015

I have pulled over just north of Waco to write my weekly newsletter update after being with our students at Camp Wild Week.  God is working powerfully in this camp. As of today I know of 146 students who have committed their lives to Christ including eight from GHBC!  There are hundreds of students, and Great Hills has the largest–and I believe the best–group of students at camp.  I appreciate Daniel VanCleave and all the […]

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July 3, 2015

God blessed our church in numerous ways last week through VBS.  We saw many children give their hearts to Christ, and Sunday was a great day of worship and celebration.  We had our second largest attendance of the year.  Only on Easter Sunday did we have more people on our campus.  Thank you again to Teresa Smith and Jennifer Angle, and the host of volunteers who worked tirelessly to make this year’s VBS a tremendous […]

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June 26, 2015

Thank you, church family, for your gracious gifts to Ashley and me on our five-year anniversary at Great Hills Baptist Church.  And thank you, Deacon Chairman Tom Collier, for your kind and encouraging comments spoken to me during our worship service.  We are grateful to God for His blessings and favor upon our church and for all the great ministry God has in store for Great Hills in the days and years ahead. This week […]

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June 19, 2015

The summer months are fun times of relaxing and taking some time off.  I hope you and your loved ones are having a blessed summer. Here at GHBC we are moving full-steam ahead, with much planned for the summer!  On Sunday I will pray over all our VBS volunteers and on Monday our Journey off the Map 2015 VBS begins.  I believe it will be another great year of ministering to hundreds of children.  Thank […]

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June 12, 2015

I continue to hear positive reports of GHBC being a radiant church in our city and beyond.  A team of Great Hills members has already been serving at Jollyville Elementary School, and another team of staff and deacons are going tomorrow morning to help with various campus projects.  I love servant evangelism; it is a simple and very effective tool of sharing Jesus in a practical way.  So many of you are praying, caring, sharing, […]

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June 5, 2015

As I write today’s article, Pastor Danny and the Forshee family are enjoying some much deserved time away and rest.  Please join me in praying that God would grant them a great time together as a family, as well as a relaxing and refreshing time in the sun! Caps, gowns, and Pomp and Circumstance remind us that school has finished for the year and summer is upon us.  Congratulations to all of our graduates!  Summer […]

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May 29, 2015

This Sunday is Graduate Recognition Sunday and our Student Pastor, Daniel Van Cleave, will preach.  His sermon is entitled “Light of the World;” the text is John 8:12.  A lunch will be provided for all the graduating seniors and their families immediately following the morning worship service.  Also, please note that immediately following the worship service Sunday morning, we will have a special-called business meeting to vote to approve the new GHBC Sexual Morality Policy […]

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May 22, 2015

I am so grateful for the many ways our church family is a radiant church, how so many of you continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Many prayers continue to ascend to heaven on behalf of little Greyson Braune, the 18-month old son of Austin and Brittany Braune, who suffers from a rare disease. Brittany’s dad, Allan Nichols, expressed how much he appreciates the way his church family has reached out to […]

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May 15, 2015

Pray. Care. Share. Celebrate.  These are the four words the Lord gave me recently in prayer for GHBC.  I shared these in my message on Sunday and want to reiterate them to you in this newsletter. Pray – I know many do, but let me ask all of us to pray fervently and daily for our church.  God is working in mighty ways and we need His continued power, favor, and protection.  Philippians 4:6 says […]

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May 8, 2015

Sunday will be a great day of worshipping Jesus and celebrating our mothers on Mother’s Day. I’m looking forward to preaching a sermon entitled “It Is Well” from Psalm 42. It is a message of hope and encouragement not only for our moms, but for all who attend. Our worship ministry will lead us in a new song by the same title, “It Is Well.” There is a powerful line in the song that says, […]

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May 1, 2015

God blessed our ALL IN Sunday; we had a great morning and sweet fellowship after the service.  I want to thank Dallas Hendrix for generously providing lunch for everyone!  Also, thank you to Cindy West and all her volunteers who worked so hard to make ALL IN a wonderful day for our church family.  I just love our church and what God is doing here. Many are following with keen interest the case that is […]

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April 17, 2015

God hears us when we pray and He answers.  On Easter Sunday I asked people to stand who were seeking God for a blessing and miracle in their lives.  Many stood and I am now receiving reports from them. It is amazing to hear how God has blessed and intervened in their lives.  Thank You, Lord, for always answering our prayers.  At times His answer is a swift yes of blessing, but at other times […]

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April 10, 2015

Our 2015 Global Impact Celebration is off to a fantastic start. Wednesday night Joseph Hovsepian shared his powerful story about his father’s martyrdom in Iran.  He predicted that persecution would indeed come to America and that we need to be prepared.  Dr. David Curry, the CEO of Open Doors, USA, a ministry to the persecuted church, shared similarly that persecution is coming to the USA. He said we should befriend persecuted believers to pray for […]

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April 3, 2015

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April 3, 2015

Tonight at 6:00 we will have the Good Friday service where we will observe the Lord’s Supper. The service will last about 45 minutes and will be a special time of remembering the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins.  We will have many tables prepared to allow you to observe the Lord’s Supper as families.  If you see someone alone, please invite them to join you. Our Easter Eggstravaganza is Saturday morning, April 4.  It will be a fun-filled time, especially for […]

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March 27, 2015

Next weekend will be a packed one for GHBC.  On Friday evening at 6:00 we will have the Good Friday service where we will observe the Lord’s Supper. The service will last only about 45 minutes, but will be a special time of remembering the death of Jesus on the cross for our sins.  Our Easter Eggstravaganza is Saturday morning, April 4.  It will be a fun-filled time, especially for young families. After the kids […]

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March 20, 2015

Resurrection Weekend 2015 at GHBC will be a tremendous time of worship, fellowship, and outreach. Friday, April 3 – Good Friday service at 6:00pm Saturday, April 4 – Eggstravaganza at 10:00am Easter Sunday, April 5 Bible Life at 9:30am A brunch for guests in the Great Hall at 10:00am Worship service at 11:00am This Sunday, we will hand out business cards and door hangers for you to use to invite everyone you meet to participate […]

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March 13, 2015

God continues to bless our church family, and I am so grateful for His hand of favor upon us.  Today one of our Great Hills senior saints told me to buckle up because we are in for a wonderful ride at GHBC!  Many of our people are becoming 24/7 worshippers of Jesus as they center their lives on Christ and the Word of God.  Many are in discipleship groups where they are growing in Christ, […]

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March 6, 2015

God richly blessed our mission to South Asia.  Mike and Claudia Mericle and I have seen so very much over these last few days that we are still processing all that we have beheld.  God is working in powerful ways and we are so very grateful that He has allowed GHBC to reach out in faith in a noble effort to take the gospel to a people group that has so very little exposure to the good news […]

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February 27, 2015

TGIF! I pray you have had a great week and are looking forward to a great day of worship this coming Lord’s Day. There are so many great things happening at Great Hills, and God continues to bless. I am writing today by request from Pastor Danny as he is in Southeast Asia with Mike and Claudia Mericle. They are well and having a productive trip. I received this text from him just moments ago […]

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February 20, 2015

God continues to work in and through our church and I am grateful.  There are many exciting ministries taking place.  On Sunday we will have our monthly Children’s Worship in the Children’s Worship Room on the second floor of Building C.  Our kids love this time, and I appreciate Jennifer Angle and all the adult volunteers who make this ministry possible. When we get enough adult volunteers we will be able to offer this ministry […]

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February 13, 2015

I am looking forward to Sunday as we gather for Bible Study at 9:30am and worship at 11:00am.  We will observe the Lord’s Supper which is always a wonderful time of worship.  I will share briefly before we observe the elements. Our new Young Adult Pastor, Stuart Smithson, will give his testimony.  Stu and his wife, Sarah, will also be speaking to all of our young adult classes during Bible Life in Building C.  The […]

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January 6, 2015

We will continue our study in the Book of Revelation on Sunday as I preach on chapter 11:3-14, the account of the two witnesses.  One of the encouraging messages we receive from these two men and their faithfulness to God is that when we are walking with the Lord we are invincible until He completes His purpose in us.  As the gospel song says it: “When we walk with the Lord in the light of […]

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January 30, 2015

On Sunday I will preach on Revelation 11:1-14 as we continue our study in this amazing book of prophecy.  This text deals with two prophets in the last days who will preach three and a half years in Jerusalem and then be killed by the Antichrist.  God will raise them from the dead and they will ascend to heaven, and everyone watching the news will see it!  Pray, read the text before Sunday, and invite […]

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April 24, 2015

Sunday will be a great day.  It is our ALL IN high attendance day and I am looking forward to both the worship and the fellowship afterward.  One of our church members is graciously providing lunch for everyone.  Thank you, Dallas Hendrix, for your act of generosity!  Our Lead Team of pastors (Terry, Mike, Ross, and I) will be singing a foot-tapping southern gospel song entitled “Getting Ready to Leave This World” in the Great […]

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January 23, 2015

Sitting here at Corner Bakery and watching the rainfall and grateful to God for the wet and even the cold weather.  Just as the sunshine will follow the rain, so God will bless and honor His people after days of trial and hardship.  Serving as a pastor brings you up close to much hurt in people’s lives—grief, despair, hopelessness, divorce, unfaithfulness, deep searching, disappointment, depression, and the list goes on and on.  We live in […]

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January 16, 2015

Thank you for your attention and interest in the State-of-the-Church message I preached last Sunday.  We rejoice in all God has done in 2014, what He is currently doing, and the future that awaits us.  We will be sharing many more details regarding our Building Vision campaign as we undertake the updates and remodels to our church campus in the future. We will resume our study in the book of Revelation on Sunday.  Our text is Revelation 10:1-11 and the title […]

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January 9, 2015

I pray God’s blessings on you as you start the New Year in 2015.  We have so very much to be grateful for, as God is so gracious to us, His children.  On Sunday, I will share my annual state-of-the-church message, and we will look back on 2014 and give God praise for His numerous blessings.  We will also look forward to 2015 and talk about some of the exciting ministries and opportunities before us.  […]

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January 2, 2015

Happy and blessed New Year to you! My prayer for our GHBC family is that God would bless and prosper us so that we can be a blessing to others. God has been so gracious toward us as a church in 2014, and I am looking forward to all He will do in and through us as a radiant church in 2015. My family and I have enjoyed a few days in Alabama visiting our […]

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December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our GHBC family!  I wanted to send our newsletter early this week to wish you a Merry Christmas and invite you to our annual Christmas Eve candlelight service tomorrow night at 5:00pm.  We will sing Christmas carols and have a special message for all our children followed by a brief message I will share on the “Songs of Christmas.”  The service will only last about 40 minutes, […]

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December 19, 2014

Christmas is only a few days away and what a wonderful time of year it is! I pray that you and your family have a blessed holiday season. I am looking forward to Sunday and to preaching a message I have written over the last two weeks entitled “The Characters of the First Christmas,” based on Matthew 2:1-12. Take some time this weekend to read over Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus and how […]

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December 12, 2014

Thank you for your love for our Lord and our church family.  God continues to work in and through GHBC and it is a blessing to behold.  Last Sunday’s Mission Service was amazing.  What a joy to hear the testimonies of so many of our people who have served Christ locally and around the world.  We began receiving our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and have already received over $13,000 toward our church goal of $100,000. […]

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December 5, 2014

There are so many good things happening in and through our church that I am not sure where to begin. God continues to bless us in numerous ways and I am so very grateful. We have caught up with our 2014 budget expenses and put money toward our Building Vision campaign. We were able to support all the children through the Angel Tree ministry, and through Operation Christmas Child we collected almost 5,000 shoeboxes for […]

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November 28, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! We have so very much to be thankful for. Thank you, church family, for your love and prayers on my family’s behalf during these difficult days of my mother’s passing. We were blessed that all five of us were able to travel to Alabama and attend the funeral service on Saturday. It is always painful when a loved one dies, but I am so grateful to God that […]

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November 21, 2014

Pastor Danny’s mother, Susie Nabors, passed away Tuesday in Alabama.  She had had Alzheimer’s for several years.  Her funeral service is scheduled for 1:00pm, Saturday, at Patterson-Forest Grove Funeral Home, 1498 5th Ave., Pleasant Grove, Alabama. At the time of this writing on Thursday, Pastor Danny and his family are traveling to Alabama.  Please pray for comfort for the Forshee family and for travel safety as they travel to and from Alabama. On Sunday we […]

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November 14, 2014

How about these cold temperatures! We are having January weather in November. I enjoy the changing of the seasons and the break from the hot weather in the summer. I was told when I moved to Austin that if you can make it through the hot summers, you would love living here. That is true, and my family and I enjoy living in Austin. Lots happening in and around our radiant church! Construction began this […]

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November 7, 2014

Thank you for your prayers for our mission trip to India last week. God richly blessed and we are so grateful for all the prayers of our church family. I will share a little about the trip in my sermon on Sunday. I will give a more thorough report Wednesday, November 12 at 7:00pm in room A166 if you would like to hear more. I love our church. GHBC is a multigenerational, multi-ethnic body of […]

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October 31, 2014

Hello, Great Hills Family.  I am writing to you from Asia in the great country of India.  God is blessing our mission trip in wonderful ways.  Please continue to pray for us that we would finish well. Sunday will be a great day of worship and preaching the Scriptures.  Brandon Kiesling will be with us Sunday morning. He is a dynamic young preacher who will both bless us and challenge us. Corey Hatch will lead […]

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October 24, 2014

The Christian band, for King and Country has a popular song entitled, “Fix My Eyes,” and it has a powerful message. We are to do many things for Christ, but preeminently we are to fix our eyes on Him, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). And as another Christian song puts it, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim […]

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October 17, 2014

Last Sunday evening we had a great time of worship followed by a town hall meeting to present “Building Vision” and allow our church family to ask questions. On Sunday morning, October 19, immediately following our worship service, we will have a special called business meeting to discuss and vote on only one item—the ground lease. I am very grateful for the wisdom and insight from those who serve on our Fiscal and Future Team. […]

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October 10, 2014

On Sunday we will study Revelation 7:9-17 as we peer into the scene of where a multitude of people are converted to Christ during the Great Tribulation. These future events that we are studying in the book of Revelation remind us of a truth that is comforting to us today, and that is that no matter how bad things get, God is always in control, and God always wins! I hope you are encouraged by […]

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October 3, 2014

God’s Word is powerful. It convicts us of sin, points us to Jesus for salvation, and comforts those in distress. I am so honored to be able to preach God’s Word at Great Hills. On Sunday, we will study Revelation 7:1-8 where God in His wrath, remembers mercy and seals 144,000 Jewish witnesses during the Great Tribulation. I will preach the Gospel to the lost, encourage Christ-followers, and seek to glorify the Lord in this […]

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September 26, 2014

On Sunday, October 12, we will have a special night of praise and worship at 6:00pm in the worship center followed by a church town hall meeting. Over the last year I have been praying and thinking much about GHBC and our future. I have been meeting with a group of sharp laymen in our church in what we have called the Fiscal and Future Team at GHBC. These men, our Lead Team of pastors, […]

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September 19, 2014

We had a great turnout on Wednesday night as we kicked off many of our fall ministries. Our choir, orchestra, band, and praise team had their rehearsals; our student ministry had a packed house for Elevate with a full student-led band; our children’s choirs and Awana had a fantastic first night; and our adult classes got off to a great start as well. I am grateful that Great Hills is able to provide the following […]

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September 12, 2014

God is working mightily in and through our radiant church and I am eternally grateful. I learned this week that we have 39 students in our Life Bridge ESL classes at Great Hills. These students represent the following countries: Iran, Mexico, China, Algeria, Belarus, Korea, Puerto Rico, and India! We have some amazing volunteers in our church who use their spiritual gifts for the glory of God and building up of our church. There are […]

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September 5, 2014

There are many tragedies and crises all over our world, from nations invading other nations to militant terrorists bent on shedding blood.  Jesus told us in Matthew 24 that times would get worse before He comes again.  And when He comes it will be a time of rejoicing for those who know Him and a time of wrath for those who do not.  On Sunday we will study Revelation 6:1-8 where the four horsemen of […]

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August 29, 2014

We have a wonderful staff serving at our church.  It is a blessing to serve Jesus and you with them.  On Monday we met and had the best meeting we have had in my four years here on staff.   What made it so special was the prayer time.  Literally each one of us was in tears as we prayed for our church family.  We especially prayed for the Sunday morning worship service.  We prayed that God would […]

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August 22, 2014

I just cannot thank you enough, church family, for the very kind and gracious birthday gifts you gave to me for my big 5-0 birthday. I am very blessed and want to express my gratitude to you. We got our sons off to college this week. We are excited for them, but we already miss them. Bryant is a second-semester junior and Leighton is an incoming freshman. They will play tennis for the DBU Patriots, […]

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August 15, 2014

“I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the LORD.” (Psalm 122:1) God is amazing. He continues to bless in powerful ways as we worship Him together at Great Hills. It was a blessing to pray over our recent graduates on Sunday. For those not able to be with us, I prayed that they remain faithful to Jesus during their college years. I also gave them my cell […]

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August 8, 2014

What a wonderful time we had Sunday as many came to pray for various needs at the altar. I look forward to this Sunday as we will worship the King and study Revelation 4:6b-11; the title of our message is “Heavenly Worship.” We will peer into who these four living creatures are. Immediately after our morning worship we will have lunch and a time of training for all our Bible Life leadership. The training will […]

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August 1, 2014

Sunday morning we will have a time of corporate prayer at the altar. We will sing and preach less than normal and pray more than normal. God is working powerfully in our church. There are many needs in our church family and I feel led to call us to pray for these three needs in particular: engaged and newlywed couples, physical healings, and financial miracles. I will invite you to the altar for prayer. Sunday […]

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July 25, 2014

What interesting days in which we live. Like so many of you, I am watching with much interest the crisis events all over the world. It is heartbreaking to hear of the 298 people murdered on Flight 17 which was shot down over eastern Ukraine. There is an international outcry over this tragedy and the nations of the world are looking for an answer from Russia’s President Putin. Israel and Gaza continue their bloody fight. […]

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July 18, 2014

There are so many good things happening in and through our church during these summer months. Many of you are going on mission trips and God is using you in powerful ways. Ashley and I joined 56 of our students and adults on Thursday during their weeklong trip to San Antonio. I am so proud of our bold and compassionate students. They are on fire for the Lord and sharing the good news of Jesus […]

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July 11, 2014

Many of you are plugged into social media—Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Today I read Erica Villarreal’s Facebook post which stated, “I absolutely love, love, love, LOVE my GHBC family…LOVE!!” Some reading this may say, “Well, I am too old to do that kind of stuff.” But I disagree. Winn Pinkston is 93 years young and he posts on Facebook! If you use these media outlets, let me encourage you to do what Erica did and […]

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July 4, 2014

Last Sunday was one of the best Sundays that I have seen in my four years as pastor at Great Hills. Our VBS children did a fantastic job leading us in worship. The kids’ choir and the drama team were absolutely amazing. A small army of volunteers made the Agency D3 VBS 2014 the best I have ever been a part of. So many people worked behind the scenes. Our drama team held up a […]

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June 27, 2014

Vacation Bible School is going strong! We have seen kids commit their lives to Christ and well over 500 people have been on our church campus each day of VBS. Our volunteers have been amazing! I am so grateful to those in leadership like Teresa Smith, Jennifer Angle, and Kristin Miller. They have worked tirelessly. On Sunday our church will get to see firsthand all the hard work our radiant kids have put into the […]

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June 20, 2014

Thank you for your help in distributing VBS door hangers and inviting our neighbors in the 78759 zip code to attend our VBS. Doug Peterson and I spent a couple of hours placing the door hangers and we had a blessed time. One guy, however, was not too happy with us and told us to take our trash with us! Seldom do you have someone who is rude, but it should never deter us from […]

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June 13, 2014

Ashley and I had a very nice time in Baltimore, Maryland, this week serving as messengers to the annual SBC meeting. We heard some great preaching and were able to fellowship with friends that we get to see only a couple of times a year. Our friend, Dr. Ronnie Floyd, was elected the new president of our convention. Let us pray for God to use him in a mighty way as the leader of the […]

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June 6, 2014

God blessed our church last Sunday; I appreciate Daniel preaching and Corey leading in worship. It was a meaningful time, especially for our graduates. Ashley and I were able to watch the service online, and it was excellent. I am so grateful to God for all the ways He continues to bless our church. Lives are being changed for eternity, marriages are being strengthened, and many of our people are going out on mission with […]

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Today I Met a Man

A couple of weeks ago I called AT&T and scheduled a service call to make some wiring changes at the house.  The only thing available in the near future was the morning of June 3 so I confirmed the appointment.  I worked from home this morning until the doorbell rang about 9:00 AM and I met Raul, the service tech.  After discussions of the need and optional solutions the conversation turned toward spiritual things.  I […]

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May 30, 2014

This will be a much briefer newsletter as my family and I are on vacation in Alabama visiting with family and having a nice time. It is always a blessing to take some time and get away to recharge and refresh. This Sunday we will recognize our many graduates. Daniel VanCleave, our Student Pastor, will share a message for all our church family and especially for those graduating. We are grateful to God for sending […]

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May 23, 2014

I pray that God blesses you during this Memorial Day Weekend. Take some time to reflect and to express thanksgiving to God for all those who have served and are currently serving in our Armed Forces. What a tremendous blessing and favor it is to be born in and to live in the greatest country in the world. I have no doubt that America is great because God made her great. Like so many of […]

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May 16, 2014

Wednesday night at Great Hills was a happening place. There were many exciting ministries taking place including the AWANA Awards Night and the Open House for the Elevate Student Ministry. I am grateful to God for all the good things He is doing in our church family. I posted some photos of the Wednesday night events on my Facebook page. If you follow me, you can easily find them. What a blessing this past Sunday, […]

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May 9, 2014

God blessed us with a wonderful weekend with the Ripkens.  So many of you have made comments on how you were blessed and challenged as a result of hearing them.  I pray that God continues to use them powerfully as they speak all over the world regarding the persecuted church.  And what a great job our Radiant Kids choirs did on Splash Kingdom.  Thank you to Tonya Hartsfield and all the children’s choir directors.  Our […]

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May 2, 2014

I have this song, “Open Up the Heavens” by Meredith Andrews, in my mind and heart.  Some of the lyrics are:  “We’ve waited for this day, we’re gathered in Your name calling out to you.  Your glory like a fire awakening desire will burn our hearts with truth.  You’re the reason we’re here; You’re the reason we’re singing.  Open up the heavens we want to see You, open up the floodgates a mighty river flowing […]

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April 25, 2014

What an amazing day God blessed us with on Resurrection Sunday!  Our worship ministry was just off the charts; I mean they did an incredible job of leading us in worship.  Thank you, Terry Hurt and all our committed, gifted worship leaders.  And what a blessing it was to baptize 12 people!  We had so many people here and also had 143 online units join us in cyber world.  That means another 300-400 people worshiped […]

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The Church

I love the local church.  I have given almost 35 years of my almost 55 years to serving the local church in full time ministry.  That sounds waaay too sacrificial…”given,” like I have made some kind of personal sacrifice in choosing my life’s work or ministry or that I gave up something significant in my life to follow God’s call to serve the local church. Take a couple of minutes and watch this clip from […]

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April 18, 2014

Tonight at 6:00 we will have a special Good Friday service.  This is going to be a time of praise, reflection, observing the Lord’s Supper, and focusing on the greatest act of love ever demonstrated—the death of Jesus Christ for the sins of the world.  Invite someone to join you as we celebrate Jesus and His love for us. Pray for Ashley and me as we will knock on every door of the 55 homes […]

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April 11, 2014

This Sunday we will study Revelation 2:12-17 with a message entitled “The Compromising Church.”  The church at Pergamos had many stellar qualities, but she also had some areas in which she compromised, and the Lord Jesus brought them to the church’s attention.  Pray for our worship team as they lead us in praise and pray for me as I preach God’s Word.  I am looking forward to sharing with you this message that the Lord […]

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April 4, 2014

Good, full, busy days here at GHBC.  God is working in and through our church and for this I am very grateful.  So many in our church are serving, giving, witnessing, loving, and ministering in Jesus’ name and I just want you to know how grateful I am for you.  Last Sunday, 22 people completed our new member class and united with our church family!  God continues to draw people to Himself and that is […]

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March 28, 2014

Our Lord moved in the service last Sunday, and what a great day we had.  People were saved, others came forward to be baptized, some united with our church, and others surrendered to a calling God has on their lives.  It was a wonderful time with the Lord.  God is working at GHBC.  He is changing lives and creating a radiant church that is passionate for worshipping Jesus, studying His Word, and reaching the lost […]

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March 21, 2014

We will continue our study in the great book of Revelation on Sunday morning.  This week we will look into the persecuted church at Smyrna (Revelation 2:8-11).  Since the time of Christ, His people have suffered at the hands of those who do not believe in Jesus.  Many of our brothers and sisters in places like North Korea and Somalia are suffering for the cause of Christ.  Take a look at the Open Door website […]

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Fred Phelps has Died

You may not recognize the name Fred Phelps but I am pretty sure you would recognize his church…Westboro Baptist Church.  He died today at the age of 84.  You would know he and his church from the hate they have preached since 1955.  The church is located in Topeka, Kansas. I have watched news coverage of the churches members, made up of mostly family members, as the picketed the funerals of fallen heroes.  I have […]

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March 14, 2014

As I type this newsletter article, I am flying back from Raleigh, North Carolina, after preaching the funeral of my friend Phil Sharitz.  I was the interim pastor at Green Pines in North Carolina while teaching at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest.  Phil would come to church with his wife, Mary, but really did not want to be there.  He would sit in the pew, fold his arms, and just stare at me.  Over time, […]

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We Are Family

I, like many of you, have been looking forward to the arrival new pictorial directory.  I received mine yesterday!  I sat down and began to flip through it and smiled as I thumbed through the pages of Great Hills people and families. I couldn’t help but think what a difference it was from the first time I looked through a Great Hills directory.  I sat down with the first book in July, 2010.  I was […]

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March 7, 2014

What a fantastic Sunday we had on March 2 with our ALL IN emphasis. We had great attendance, people were saved, others came forward to unite with our church family, and everyone enjoyed the lunch and fellowship afterward.  Some of our Bible Life classes were overflowing with people.  Congratulations to Tom Collier, director of the Work in Progress class which won the competition. Thank you to all who worked so hard to make this an […]

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February 28, 2014

God blessed us in wonderful ways at the IMB missionary commissioning service on Wednesday night.  What a special sight to behold these men and women who have accepted the call of God on their lives to be totally His.  Thank you, worship ministry, for leading us in worship.  And thank you to all who made the IMB feel so welcome.  Many told me what a great job you guys did in being such a gracious […]

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February 21, 2014

We are going to have a great day in the Lord on Sunday. The IMB missionary appointees will be teaching in our Bible Life classes and then joining us for worship. I am looking forward to preaching on Revelation 1:9-11 as we look at the second message entitled “Alpha and Omega.” If you know someone who is struggling with various trials in their life, please invite them to join you for worship as the beloved […]

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February 14, 2014

I hope this newsletter finds you doing well and thawing out from the cold wintry weather.  It is good to be back home from our trip to India.  I’m so grateful to God for all that He did on this mission trip and all that He is doing.  In all my years of ministry I have never been a part of something so important as our church reaching out to an unengaged, unreached people group.  […]

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February 7, 2014

Our team should arrive from India back to Austin tonight.  Thank you for your prayers for us as we have served the Lord and labored among our UUPG.  On Thursday there was an amazing breakthrough in the process of our reaching our UUPG and we are very grateful to God.  I will share more details with you on Sunday. It is always a great blessing to be able to go overseas and serve on a […]

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January 24, 2014

Upward.  Inward.  Outward.  We hear a lot about our Radiant Church core values, and what a blessing it is to see our church embracing these foundational elements of a local church—worship, discipleship, and missions/evangelism.  Last week I taught our new member class and God added another 14 people to our church!  God continues to bless and grow us numerically, financially, and spiritually.  Thank you for your faithfulness in serving, praying, and tithing.  Great Hills is […]

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January 17, 2014

Sam Berns passed away this week in Foxborough, Massachusetts.  He was only 17 years old, but suffered from Progeria, a disease that brings on rapid aging.  Sam weighed 50 pounds and looked like someone dozens of years older than he was.  I listened online to a speech he gave at a TEDx conference and he made some statements that were pretty remarkable.  He said one of his keys to living a happy life was to […]

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January 10, 2014

I am grateful to God for the year He gave us in 2013 at Great Hills Baptist Church.  I appreciate all those who served, gave, and ministered in so many capacities.  Because many of you gave your tithes and offerings, we were able to finish the fiscal year in the black, meaning, we took in more money than we spent, and that is a very good thing!  We have collected almost $80,000 for the Lottie […]

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January 3, 2014

My family and I had a nice visit with our families in Alabama for Christmas, and we are glad to be back in the great state of Texas.  It is always nice to get away and also nice to get back home.  Thank you for praying for us and for all the support and encouragement that you give to my family and me as I serve as your pastor. I also thank you for your […]

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December 27, 2013

I hope you are enjoying a wonderful Christmas Season with your family and friends.  It was a blessing to see so many come out for our annual Christmas Eve service.  There is a special bond that we share as members of the body of Christ, and times like Tuesday night remind me of how blessed we are to participate in Christian fellowship and worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Ashley and our kids and […]

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December 20, 2013

Christmas is only a few days away. These are blessed and busy days for sure! Ashley and the kids and I are like so many of you going wide open and very busy with work, school, family and life! We wish you a blessed and merry Christmas and pray for a safe time with your loved ones and friends. On Sunday we will focus on 2 Peter 3:14-18 with a message entitled “Growing in Grace.” […]

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December 13, 2013

What a wonderful day of worship God blessed us with last Sunday!  The praise and worship, the mission testimonies, and the Great Hills Christmas Sunday evening were simply outstanding.  The stage was literally packed with singers and musicians leading us in worship as we celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ.  I simply cannot say enough to thank Terry Hurt and all our worship team for the great job they did.  This week Terry told me […]

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December 6, 2013

Sunday will be a special day for our church family.  We are having our Missions Sunday service where we get to hear from those who went out from GHBC to minister locally, nationally, and internationally.  It is one of the highlights of the year.  Terry will lead us in worship and Mike will conduct interviews with some of those who made these trips.  I will close the service with a brief challenge to our church […]

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November 29, 2013

I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.  We have so very much to be grateful for and this is a wonderful time of the year to express our appreciation to those we love. Thank you for the generous Harvest Sunday Offering that you gave.  The total amount given to date is $145,317.44.  We are still overspent by approximately $83,000 for 2013, but I am hoping for a strong end-of-year […]

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November 22, 2013

Thank you so very much for giving to our annual Harvest Sunday Offering. The total given was $130,510 and we are most grateful. With a solid year-end giving we should be able to catch up on our budget expenditures and finish in the black. I am very grateful to those who faithfully give their tithes and offerings for the ministries of our dear church. We simply could not do what we are able to do […]

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November 15, 2013

After our theology class this week, I was sharing about the ministries of Great Hills Baptist Church and how proud I am of our church. Whether it is disasters in our own city like the south Austin floods, or a catastrophic typhoon like the one that devastated the Philippines this week, our church reaches out to help. I am very blessed to pastor such a church, one that is growing in unity and people, one […]

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November 8, 2013

God continues to bless Great Hills Baptist Church in numerous ways.  Our Fall Festival last week was outstanding.  We had people literally from all over the world come and they all had a blast.  Thank you to the many who came out and helped.  We had numerous guests and it was such a success in every way!  And Sunday, wow, what a blessing to have Ken Ham speak.  God used him in powerful ways as […]

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Still Small Voice

The envelope with our tithe check stayed in my back pocket all day Sunday.  It happens often.  I am busy during the time the plate is passed and if I don’t think ahead and give it to Debbie it ends up in my pocket.  I drop it off first thing Monday morning when I get the office at that point. It was cool Monday morning so I put on a fleece jacket, a black Columbia, […]

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November 1, 2013

I am grateful to God for many reasons.  My life revolves around three relationships—Christ, my family, and church family.  I am honored and blessed to serve all three.  God has richly blessed me and I am filled with gratitude.  Ashley is a Proverbs 31 lady who loves God, our three children, and me.  Hannah, Bryant and Leighton are such a joy to us and it is so wonderful to see them continue to walk with […]

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October 25, 2013

Much is happening at Great Hills this fall season!  We are grateful to God for His favor and blessings upon our church family.  We are nearing the end of our Explore God series, but this Sunday will be a special day for us.  Many of our Great Hills members are participating in the My Hope with Billy Graham outreach.  The strategy is based on Luke 5:27-32 where Matthew, the tax-collector-turned-disciple-of-Jesus, has a party and invites […]

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October 18, 2013

On Sunday we will continue our Explore God series and I will preach from John 7:14-18. The title of the message is “Can I Know God Personally?” The following Sunday I will wrap up my portion of the series and I am considering doing something a bit different that I have never done before. We will complete our Explore God study on Sunday, November 3 when Ken Ham comes to preach both in the morning […]

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October 11, 2013

On Sunday we continue our study in the Explore God series with a message entitled “Is the Bible Reliable?”  Our primary biblical texts are 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews 4:12.  Also Sunday morning, we will have our parent/child dedication.  We are blessed to dedicate seven new parents and babies to Christ.  Please pray and come anticipating meeting God in worship.  I know I say this frequently, but let me remind you again of the importance […]

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October 4, 2013

“God is with us, always, always, He is with us.”  I keep singing this new song by Love & the Outcome.  What a blessed thought to know that God loves His people and He will never leave or forsake us.  Our God is with us!  I hope you are encouraged today by knowing how much God loves you, is for you, and has only the best in store for you.  This week I had the […]

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September 26, 2013

I am sending the newsletter a day early to share some important news with you—news that our Student Pastor, Chad Hampton, shared with the students last night at Elevate.  Chad is leaving GHBC to purse God’s call on his life to serve in another church and state.  I am happy for Chad because he is being obedient and following God’s call on his life, but, yes, I am sad because I/we hate to see him […]

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September 20, 2013

I am enjoying teaching systematic theology in the Great Hall on Thursday mornings.  The hour goes by pretty quickly.  Some are unable to attend physically, but watch us online.  To watch online, do the following: Go to GHBC website (www.ghbc.org). Hover over Sermons. Click on Live Worship. I am encouraged by your interest, and I’m excited to see so many growing inwardly in their relationship with God.  One of the core values of our radiant […]

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September 13, 2013

We are off to a great start with our Explore God initiative. Many pastors in Austin are preaching messages that help give answers to the questions that seekers are asking. There are also many who are meeting in small discussion groups and engaging in spiritual conversations throughout the city. Last Thursday night was a bit of heaven on earth. What a wonderful time of prayer and worship. Thank you, Great Hills, for being such gracious […]

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September 6, 2013

You will notice a new name and look for this weekly publication.  We think this new graphic and title better represents the purpose of this email.  It will continue to be the same Friday email with the same information but under a new name.  That’s all. We are off to a great start with the Explore God campaign.  Many of you came to the city-wide prayer meeting last night.  We are trusting God to do […]

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Family Ministry Reflections

Debbie and I have been adjusting to the “empty nest syndrome” for 4 or 5 years.  There are many things we miss about not having the kids around but among the top is not doing ministry and worship together.  We love having Katie involved in the GH worship ministry.  But once upon a time we were a family that served in ministry together. Josh, our oldest who lives in Nashville, was on staff at First […]

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What a Day!

You have heard it said, “You never know what a day will bring.”  Well, we had one of those yesterday.  I will spare you from the “play by play” but it was just one of those days that you shake your head at and laugh. The day started out badly when I sliced a finger open while moving a washer/dryer set to Katie’s apartment.  Danny Lacey helped me move them from our house to hers. […]

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Camp Collide

What a great camp 2013! Chad and the gang worked so hard and God richly blessed their efforts. Sunday we will see the students in their blue shirts and they will lead us in worship. We will watch the camp baptism video. Sunday will be a wonderful day in the Lord.

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VBS

Great week at VBS here at GHBC. Thank you to all teens and adults who made it possible! Sunday at 11 the kids will lead out in worship. See you there.

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Audio Upgrade

I have been looking forward to this for almost 3 years. We have made significant changes and upgrades to the sound system at Great Hills over the past 3 months. We have lowered the speakers in the PA and placed the subs on the floor. We have replaced both the worship center sound console and the studio console with Soundcraft Vi6 digital boards. The install of the digital system has allowed us to clean up […]

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Burgerlicious Night

The choir and orchestra are taking a break from the weekly rehearsal schedule for the summer weeks.  It is a well deserved break!  They faithfully attend weekly rehearsals throughout the year in preparation for leading us in worship each week.  But they will not be taking a break from leading worship each week…just rehearsal.  Last night we had an abbreviated time of rehearsal and ended with a burger fellowship. While we were in rehearsal Tom […]

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VBS

June 24-28 will be an awesome week here at GHBC! VBS is one of our best outreach ministries to our community. So many of our people have volunteered to serve. Ashley and I are looking forward to being here and helping. On June 30 the VBS children will lead us in worship as they sing the songs they learned and perform the drama they rehearsed. Then immediately following the worship service we will have a […]

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Buckets of Hope

So neat to see the Summers here at the SBC in Houston. They delivered 20 buckets of hope, a wonderful ministry. Bill and Mary Dean Philipps are a vital part of this ministry.

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Never Once

On Sunday I am preaching a message on how to respond to suffering.  Scripture commands us to rejoice in our time of difficulty and we are actually blessed when we are reproached for the name of Christ (1 Peter 4:13-14).  God is worthy of our positive attitude in the face of adversity.  I listened to my son Bryant preach last night at Elevate and he did a great job.  One of the songs the students […]

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Outward in Missions

On June 12 we will have an important meeting for all GHBC that is interested in our UUPG (Unengaged Unreached People Group).  The meeting is at 7:00 pm in Building A Room 158.  Our missions pastor, Mike Mericle, and an IMB missionary from South Asia, will lead the meeting.  I will be in Houston at the annual SBC meeting and wish I could be here with you.  It was a historic moment when we signed […]

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Memorial Day Reflections

It’s been a quiet Memorial Day at the Hurt house.  Debbie pulled a muscle in her lower back Friday night after a drive home from Dallas so she’s been taking it easy for the past couple of days.  Outside of a mowing the yard and a quick trip to the Apple Store with Katie, I’ve been laying low with DJ. But it has given me time to consider the significance of the day in which […]

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Deep Roots

While on a trail hike in Yosemite from Vernal Falls, Bryant and Leighton and I saw this interesting site– a huge boulder leaning securely upon a tree. How could a smaller tree hold such a massive rock? Deep roots. Life will get heavy and circumstances and hardships will lean into us but with our roots deeply imbedded in the Word and character of our great God, we can withstand the weight. What a blessing to […]

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Oklahoma Support

Here is a very reputable ministry that you can give donations that will help those hurting in Oklahoma. 3 leading relief agencies in the USA are Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and Southern Baptist Convention. We gave tonight through this website: www.namb.net

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Good Man

Here is a picture of Winn Pinkston. We ate lunch together last week and Winn is 91 years young! He and Virginia are members of our church family and such a blessing and encouragement. Winn serves as an usher and if God allows me to live to my 90s I want to be a winner like my friend Winn!

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Children are a blessing!

It is a blessing to see children grow in the grace and knowledge of our Savior.  I am grateful for our GHBC Radiant Kids’ ministry.  Here is a picture of Emily daughter of James and Tara Balandran at the Pre-K class O’Chester Learning Center Graduation.  Matthew 19:14 states, “But Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’”

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Unexpected

“Bad weather here for the next hour.  Already had a tornado touchdown a couple of counties over. We are prepared.  I highly doubt anything will hit my area.”  That was the text said from my daughter in Fort Worth at 8:30 pm on Wednesday night. I immediately prayed, “Lord, protect her.”  The only other thing I could do was call her and make sure that she was taking every precaution.  The storm brought lots of […]

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Parablelooza

I recently had the great privilege of being a part of the Children’s Choir musical at Great Hills.  Parablelooza was a game show and musical all wrapped up into one.  It was high energy with kids playing games on stage for points.  “Orange Crush” edged out “The Green Machine” by 7 points.  There were no real prizes…only bragging rights!  But everyone was a winner because it was an awesome night.  What an incredible job they […]

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