NCC Mortgage Burning 2017: Our Journey of Faith and God's Faithfulness

Philippians 1:6, Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

On Sunday, September 10 the members, leaders, and friends of New Covenant Church burned the mortgage on our church facility after paying off the mortgage on August 14 and becoming a debt free ministry!

It was a exciting and fulfilling occasion for our ministry, but it was much more! Paying off and burning the mortgage was both an encouragement and a prophetic declaration to everyone connected with New Covenant Church. When we give to God, support His work, and empower His kingdom, it is evidence of His provision and empowerment towards us. Watch this video excerpt from the "Free Indeed" mortgage burning celebration.

Watch below part of the celebration where made declarations and burned the mortgage document:

Here is a video I created telling part of our story, "Our Journey of Faith and God's Faithfulness."

Join us this Sunday for a Mortgage Burning and "Free Indeed" Worship Celebration

Join us this Sunday at 10:30am and 5:30pm for a Mortgage Burning and "Free Indeed" Worship Celebration! New Covenant Church, 4625 N. Keystone Avenue.


The Eclipse Declared The Glory of God…and His Care for You!

On August 21, 2017, I traveled from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee to experience the total eclipse. As a photographer and having a life-long interest in astronomy, it was a marvelous experience and a reminder of God’s favor on our lives!

This was, by far, the greatest thing I have ever seen in nature. 

Scattered clouds obscured the sun for parts of this celestial event. As the eclipse neared 100% a large cloud completely blocked our view. It looked like we were going to miss the best part of the eclipse. My heart sank and I considered going a couple of miles north of our location which was clear, but there was not enough time. Total eclipse was only five minutes away. I then decided to PRAY and ask God to open the clouds!

I’m not a big fan of selfish prayers and I’m always prepared for some things not to go my way, but I really wanted to see and photograph this total eclipse! I traveled 300 hundred miles to see it and brought my best photography equipment. I prayed, “Lord move these clouds in Jesus’ name.” Then I said, “Clouds move!”

With two minutes left before total eclipse, the clouds moved to reveal the sun in a clear portion of the sky. The people in a downtown grassy area in Nashville called Public Square let out a big cheer. I began taking photos while also looking up and around to experience the event with my eyes. In answer to prayer, and others in the area like prayed as well, the clouds parted to reveal the total eclipse. The sky turned darker, building and street lights came on, the hot 93 degree summer air cooled, the brighter stars became visible, the first “Diamond Ring” phenomenon appeared as the final bit of sunlight slipped behind the moon.

Then the magnificent solar corona appeared! This is the amazing sight that is only possible during a total eclipse. The corona is normally invisible because of the vastly greater brightness of the sun’s main disc. I could also see solar flares bursting from the surface of the sun within the corona. The crowd roared and I thanked God for the experience! I also reflected on August 21 as the day my dear mother passed 14 years earlier. I rejoiced in remembering how she taught me to appreciate nature’s beauty and God’s power.

Looking at the photos, I realized that the clouds provided the setting for capturing much more dramatic photographs than had the sky been clear. Sometimes our challenges, in the end, yield the best results! (Romans 8:28)

My photos of the “Diamond Ring” are among the best I have ever taken. Some of my friends remarked these were among the best photos of the eclipse they had seen. A second diamond ring phenomenon occurs as the moon moves away from covering the sun. Notice in the sequence of photos above that sun becomes “swallowed” by the clouds….but not before putting on the greatest show of light I have ever seen!

If the Lord can arrange such a thing as the moon, which is 400 times smaller than the sun, to appear to be the same size in our sky, perfectly mask our sun to allow the normally invisible solar corona to be seen, and reveal the incredible Diamond Ring effect, God can surely order our lives, empower us, and care for us through the grace provided by Jesus Christ!

To see the complete collection of photos, visit my Inspiration Images online gallery:

Watch brief montage video of solar eclipse photos and video clips set to music from 2001: A Space Odessey

Is the Solar Eclipse a "Sign" of Impending Doom or Trouble?

Let's be clear about something: The solar eclipse, like the lunar eclipse is not a supernatural event. It is natural and predictable, though it testifies to God's power, precision, and provision. Bible prophecies about the sun and moon turning "dark" are entirely something different because: 

1. The moon doesn't darken the sun. The darkness of a solar eclipse is the shadow of the moon. A "blood moon" color occurs when the moon is within the "penumbral" shadow of the earth (Google it). For a solar eclipse, unless you're in the 60 mile wide zone of totality, it never gets dark. If you're in the zone, it's only dark for a few minutes. 

2. Only a very small percentage of people in the world can see a solar eclipse when it happens.

3. During an eclipse event, the sun and moon are not both affected at the same time (as predicted in prophecy). Lunar and solar eclipses are always (obviously) separate events.

4. The whole eclipse event is temporary--you could take a nap and miss the whole thing. When God does something intended to be seen, you won't nap through it!

5. Jesus said that a wicked ("twisted") generation seeks signs (Matthew 12:39)

6. We know the exact time, location, and duration of every eclipse. God's miraculous work is not predictable.

7. We are not motivated by "fear and loathing" or looking for disasters. We are motivated by faith in God.

8. We got much bigger prophetic issues to be concerned about such as "wars, and rumors of wars," hatred, betrayal, ethnic conflicts with "nation against nation" ("nation" meaning "ethnos"), disease, natural disasters, etc. (Matthew 24:6-14)

9. When the sun and moon are somehow darkened in appearance AND STAY THAT WAY, then you should be concerned. Until then, don't be deep and heavy! Just ENJOY IT and worship God like David did: 

"I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works." (Psalm 145:5)

Should Every Church Congregation Be Racially Diverse?

Here is my response to the often cited concern that every local church should be racially diverse:

It's a good idea, but it is an idealistic and impractical notion. It is something which is not feasible for all congregations. 13% of our Black population cannot equally bear this burden with 65% of our White population. 

Jesus said, “For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."  If racial diversity within congregations is the stated objective and if diversity is the standard by which churches will be measured, White believers should disperse into Black and Latino congregations. Presently, nearly all of the diversity is being accomplished by minorities attending majority congregations. 

For minority populations, congregational "diversity" (as it relates to reflecting the composition of the population, excluding tokenism) may equal diminishing influence, and ultimately cultural marginalization. Taken to its logical conclusion, white folks end up in charge of everything.

Segregation is something very specific in our history. When Dr. King spoke of it on "Sunday morning," he was talking about injustice. To use his quote today is out of context and disingenuous. Where you choose to worship and serve is not segregation.

Diversity in fellowship, partnership and service to our community is a practical idea from which everyone benefits.