The JCBC Staff Blog

At dawn one morning, Jesus was teaching in the temple courts. People gathered around him. He taught them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught in the very act of adultery. There seems to be no question about it. It was against the law. There seems to be no question about that either. The punishment for such an act was death by stoning. There doesn’t seem to be any question about that. They said to Jesus, what would you do? Jesus said nothing. He simply bent down to write in the...

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin's name was Mary. - Luke 1:26-27 God loves to surprise people: giving Abraham a baby at one hundred, appearing to Moses in a burning bush, telling Hosea to marry a harlot, a free lunch for 5,000. God loves doing things we don’t expect! For more than 2,000 years God’s people had been promised a Messiah. They knew He would be born of...

As early as the 4th and 5th centuries, Christians in Gaul and Spain celebrated a season of spiritual preparation and prayer known as Advent. The word Advent means “the coming.” It is from the Latin “adventus,” meaning “anticipation.” In the very beginning Advent was not a preparation or anticipation of the birth of Jesus. It was actually more of a preparation for the season of Epiphany, which takes place in January. THAT season was a time of renewal and an opportunity to welcome new members into the church, all culminating in a glorious day of baptisms. (Spoiler...

We all know the story of Christmas. And for the most part, we know it well. After all, it’s the greatest story ever told; the cosmic drama of divine love coming so near that it is seen, heard, felt, known. It’s the story of God’s own life and presence and essence breaking into humanity; being born among and within the least likely. And for the most part, we know the major players on stage. There are carpenters and virgins, magi and mangers. But in all the years that we have celebrated and rehearsed the Christmas drama, I wonder if we have looked...

Then the Lord said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of crafts. Exodus 31:1-5 I get to have fun every Sunday at 11 a.m. in the gym. At that hour, kids ranging in ages from Kindergarten to 5th grade...

I’m a fan of Steven Curtis Chapman. Always have been. In the early years, it was just because he was edgy and contemporary, and his music invoked a raw sense of joy about loving Jesus. These days, it’s still about all of that, but more. Fact is, by all contemporary artists standards, he’s an old guy. I mean it. He was one of the first. And now, while he may still attempt the rare stage jump at the end of his hit “Dive,” many of his concerts are performed sitting from a stool. And I dig it. Recently, in a staff...

Someone once said, “Too many people confine their exercise to jumping to conclusions, running up bills, sidestepping responsibility, pushing their luck, and stretching the truth.” :) While we don’t want to stretch the truth, it is a good idea to stretch your muscles. Stretch before exercise. Stretch in the middle of the day. Get up from you desk and stretch. Some of the benefits of stretching are said to be increased circulation, flexibility, increased range of motion (which reduces the risk of injury), and reduced stress. Think about what is involved in stretching a muscle. ...

I am one of that odd lot that actually enjoys running, especially long distances. That said, I can’t run even short distances any longer after running my knees into the proverbial ground, so I exist mainly on memories these days. My love affair with running began late in my freshman year of high school, although I began running very early in that school year. There’s a backstory: Our new basketball coach held tryouts in August, which is about the oddest time possible for a winter sport, but we soon found he had an ulterior motive. Turns out he didn’t have...

For the first time in a long time, I am seriously considering the word “generous.” I have, of course, been paying attention in big church. I have accepted Shaun’s invitation to join the generous conversation. I have known the definition of the word for years. I can use it correctly in a sentence. I even know how to spell it without depending on spell check. I understand the concept of generosity. Or...

Most of you know that we are a little crazy (ok, more than a little crazy) at our house. We put the Christmas tree up in the living room in mid- September. Yes, it’s true and no it’s not a real tree. All through their early years, our children had their Halloween pictures made in their fun costumes in front of the Christmas tree. We love the spirit and attitude of Christmas. I am amazed at how that spirit seems to transform most folks into kinder and gentler people (except on the roadways of Atlanta). We don’t splurge a lot...