The JCBC Staff Blog

You are marked, you know. Soul-marked…by the love of God. But that can be so hard to remember; given all the other marks we bear. Marks of our own making. Marks of our unmaking. Sin, brokenness, folly, regret. They all, in their own ways, leave marks. And with blemished hearts and smudged souls, we can forget who marked us first. And perhaps the most sinister of all marks are the ones without fingerprints. Tarnishes left with no one to blame. Disease, trauma, depression, loss. They too, smear our sensibilities and blur our perspectives. What we need is a new mark. Or perhaps an old one, re-traced. Is it any wonder why the mark...

As early as the fourth century, Christians have set aside the forty-six days preceding Easter as a time of reflection, confession, repentance, and spiritual renewal. With the joyful anticipation of Easter resurrection, believers commit to disciplines and practices that are intended to deepen their faith in, and widen their love for the crucified and risen Christ. We call this season “Lent.” While Lenten disciplines vary across the church’s many traditions and denominations, and while there are multiple ways for individual Christians to exercise personal faith in meaningful ways, one of the most powerful practices during this season is the gathering of...

Our church has reached a missional milestone. We have been a presence in Presidio, Texas for ten years and we are proud to announce that we are poised to carry on for another decade. Scott Miles and a team of Presidio-focused supporters who provide an annual trip to Texas and host a number of Presidio students every other summer lead our missional ministry. The video above will give you a glimpse of what a Presidio trip entails. If you’d like more information about what we do and how you might become involved feel free to contact Scott or me. You’ll...

So, Monday is a pretty big day. Monday morning, January 29th, I will defend my doctoral dissertation. It’s been quite a ride, these past 3 ½ years. The journey has been challenging, inspiring, frustrating and fulfilling all at once. The course work, seminars, papers, research, project proposals, interviews and thesis writing (along with this little day job I have) have all served to confirm my belief in, and deepen my reliance upon, the all-sufficient and sustaining Grace of a God who is more than enough. “More-than-enough” is not a bad way to think of God, you know. According to Galatians 3:20, “...

It’s been cold. The recent snow has brought its wintery mix of chills and thrills. Teachers and students, grateful for the forced sabbatical, complete their “online learning” assignments in time for some hoped for rest, play, or binge-watching on Netflix. For some JCBC members, however, the mid-week weather provided a unique opportunity to demonstrate what we are all about. One of our greatest missional partners is No Longer Bound. NLB is a 12-month addiction recovery program for men. Their mission is to recruit addicts, regenerate men, and reconcile families that have been shattered by the devastating impact of addiction. Twice per month (every month) various...

There is an alternative to a life of chaos, isolation, fear, and self-destruction. Despite all evidence to the contrary, we didn’t begin as lost or abandoned as we sometimes feel. The Bible begins with a vision of what life with God, and in God, and for God is intended to be. We begin with the potential for extraordinary freedom, love, intimacy, community, beauty. Yet that vision is frequently blurred by the stark realities of our lived experiences. With reckless abandon of our hoped-for design, we chart paths of our own undoing; or, perhaps better said, own “un-being.” For a world grown weary from its...

The 20th Anniversary Celebration of Christmas at Johns Creek left me simply gobsmacked! Yes. Gobsmacked. gob·smackedˈɡäbˌsmakt/ adjective BRITISH informal -utterly astonished; astounded. My cup continues to overflow from the joy we shared this past weekend. With performances on Saturday and Sunday, our church hosted more than 3000 worshippers for the event.  It was an extraordinary night of worship and celebration. God was glorified, Christ was exalted, and hearts were filled. There were many highlights, to be sure. One such moment was the parade of baby Jesuses throughout the years. Seeing the cascade of ages and stages walk across the platform served as a poignant reminder...

Advent is about preparing for the coming of the Christ. If that is so, the truth is it takes a little work preparing for that preparation. That’s exactly what has been underway at JCBC for the past week. At Christmas, one of the simple gifts we enjoy at JCBC is the beauty of our campus. It is simply stunning. Within the span of one week, the campus is transformed. Trees, garland, lights, and wreaths signal the season of Christ’s birth is at hand. But here’s the thing. It doesn’t get that way on its own. As I walked the halls of our campus last week, I was struck by...

There are some mysteries too profound for words. Some encounters defy simple explanations… and require more. That’s why we sing. We sing because when we do, our highest hope and our deepest longing take flight… so we can see them, hear them, feel them… And marvel. Nowhere is that more true than in the carols we sing at Christmas. Deeply imbedded in the lyrics of the carols we sing each year are profound and provocative declarations of hope, peace, joy and love. Sometimes haunting, sometimes exuberant. And most, a sojourn in-between. The carols of Christmas call believers to enter once more into the mystery of our Lord’s birth, and marvel...