Ashton-Lewis - Home For A Few Weeks


Branches Of The Same Poisonous Tree

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared his country's recent bombing campaign in Gaza to the US-led strikes against militants in Iraq and Syria, saying Hamas and the Islamic State group share the same goal of world domination.

Should Christians Pray in Public or Not?


The “Problem”

A couple passages in Scripture regarding prayer have been cited as a contradiction. Here are the verses in question:

I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Timothy 2:8)

And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. (Matthew 6:5–8)

Does the passage in Matthew command we should not pray in public whereas the passage in 1 Timothy exhorts us to pray everywhere? If one were to quickly read over these passages without further study, I could see why one would come to this conclusion. When reading the Bible, closely studying God’s Word is necessary to gain a proper understanding. This can be as simple as prayerfully reading Scripture while thinking about what the passage means. Upon a closer reading and study, we will find these verses do not contradict each other at all.

The Solution

First, we will take an in-depth look at 1 Timothy 2:8. In order to better understand this verse, we should start in the Old Testament.

Psalm 141:2 discusses the offering up of evening prayers, which was a custom among Israelites. Hezekiah prayed from what he thought was his deathbed, and the Lord heard his prayer and healed him (2 Kings 20:1–5). Many Jews, like Daniel in Babylon, prayed multiple times a day (Daniel 6:10; 9:3, 23).

However, by the time of Christ’s ministry, some Israelites believed that God could only be worshipped (or prayed to) in Jerusalem. Yet Jesus corrected this type of thinking when speaking with the woman at the well.

[The woman said,] “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:20–24).

Furthermore, in 1 Timothy 2:8 , Paul’s desire for men to pray everywhere may have been in response to the idea that the Temple was the only place to worship God. Since Jesus died on the Cross and was raised up, the Holy Spirit now lives in each and every believer. We are now the temple of God (2 Corinthians 6:16) and can pray anywhere with the help of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:26 ). Praying in every place fulfills the words of Christ in John 4.

In Matthew 6:5–8, Jesus taught His disciples about prayer in light of a general principle set forth later in the chapter:

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19–20)

We are not to do things for earthly rewards or treasures—getting immediate results from our actions. Instead, we should do things for Christ and lay up treasures in heaven. We may not get results right away, but everything good done for Christ will eventually be rewarded. Should we be satisfied with earthly rewards, or should we desire rewards in heaven for the cause of Christ?

Now let us apply this principle to what Jesus said about prayer. Should we pray to be seen and praised by people who will be amazed at how “spiritual” we sound? Or should we pray to praise God and let our requests be known? Obviously, praying for the sake of being seen by others focuses on earthly rewards.

Matthew 6:5–8 has nothing to do with whether we should pray in public or not. This passage is related to the reason we are praying. When Jesus contrasted praying publicly versus praying privately, He showed how we should not be selfish but selfless. We should be praying selflessly and glorifying God for His many blessings—while laying up treasures in heaven.


Prayer is a vital aspect of Christian living. We are to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18). We should work toward a continual state of prayer unto God—praying constantly and always being mentally prepared to pray. Furthermore, we should “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). We rely upon God to meet all our needs. We have no reason to worry when we have a God who cares about His people.

We can, indeed, pray everywhere, as long as we are praying for the right reasons. Praying for prideful reasons only receives earthly rewards. In everything we do, our focus should be on Christ, not ourselves. Jesus Christ has done so much for us, and the proper response for the gift of salvation is to show our love to Him and put Him first in our lives. As an added benefit, focusing on Christ will lay up treasures in heaven.

Following the biblical example and looking toward heavenly things is worth so much more than earthly rewards. Sadly, many believe in the exact opposite, and we should pray they might receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Also, we should thank God for what He has given us in Jesus Christ.

by Jeremy Ham  on August 2, 2011

Be More...

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being content; unless you miss opportunity to make it better! Surprise yourself today... BE MORE!!!


Fun After A Long Day!!!

Looks like I was faster but truth is that the slide on the right is just a faster slide!  My big old butt makes for a lot of surface area for a good water push too, but I am sticking with faster slide!  LOL… this is a great time with Brooks & Jackson!  Good times going to do a lot of work over the next couple of weeks.  Why not have a little fun getting there!!!

My Trio & Me...


Khari & Fred

Don’t Accept Wrong Doing


What’s Discernment?


Hebrews 10:35-36

"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

Big Pond Bound




Andy Andrews - Parenting Seminar


Football, Food & Family




Haiti / Camp-Mary 9/11 - 9/18


A fan of Christ watches the game but a disciple of Christ gets in the game. Wiregrass gets in the game. Team Wiregrass served with all heart, mind, strength and soul.They were completely exhausted everyday doing God's work. This week I saw relationships built, lives changed and God's love shared. Thank you, Wiregrass! ~ Khari Manual


His Purpose


Never Forget


Psalm 97:10

Let those who love the Lord hate evil,

    for he guards the lives of his faithful ones

    and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

Happy Monday!


Stay On Fire


Wanna Do Something This Morning?

Sunday will be a super awesome great day for you to come out and check out Wiregrass Church.  We are starting a new series titled “Starting Point”.  It’s going to be a really great day, and I just want to invite as many as I can.  

The entire place has been designed with you in mind. Our mission at Wiregrass is very simple – we exist to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. We hope to do this by creating environments that are easy for you to come to and bring others. We are not going to try to change you but rather our desire is to create a place where you can meet an amazing, loving, merciful God who is in the life changing business.

This is the way it goes down, so you don’t have to worry or be nervous about coming.  Services are at 9:30am and at 11am.  If you have kids, 5th grade and below, we have amazing kid environments at both service times.  There is a special service for 6th-8th grade at 9:30am called Transit, and 9th-12th at 11am called InsideOut.  All the environments are safe and fun.  

Both the 9:30am and 11am services will have some awesome opening music.  Typically about 3 songs, followed by a message that last about 45 minutes.  There is great coffee, and nobody is going to feel out of place if you come in a suit and tie or shorts and flip flops.  It’s usually pretty busy so you can slip in and out without being noticed, or you can hang around and ask questions and chat; if that is what you enjoy.  You will be out before most other local churches, and you will be glad you came. 

For more informations, check out the site online:


Let’s Go To A Game - Troy vs. Duke


Haiti Bound This Week!

The Unity Globe is one of the first things that I remember seeing when we left the airport in Port-au-Prince back in September 2012. A couple years and a bunch of service trips later, Wiregrass Church and 410 Bridge are still WITH Haiti. From Wiregrass Dothan to Bainbridge to Fond Baptiste and now Camp-Marie... I am so excited about the opportunities and friendships, as we continue to partner with communities all over the world in Jesus' name! Feeling blessed to serve.


For our team:

It's almost time and I am so excited to serve with all of you guys in Haiti.  Just preparing my heart for this experience, the new friendships, and just overall praying for God to use us all in new and amazing ways; that will rock our world forever.   

Last night I was asked who all was going on this journey with Wiregrass... I quickly rattled off a few names but fell short of knowing the lot of us.  As I sat there pondering all of the new faces and stories, I kinda laughed because I know in a week you guys will be so etched into my heart that I will never forget you.  

Khari shared Matthew 7:24 with me a few days ago and it's just been a verse that has continued to come into my thoughts over and over.  "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock."  We are all about to have such an amazing opportunity to put Jesus' words into practice without the daily distractions of our current situations.  My hope is that our world view is impacted in such a way during the next few weeks, that our daily walk never looks the same.  I hope our hearts are changed in ways that we can't imagine.  

You are all in my thoughts and prayers and I hope everyone is as excited as I am about this opportunity.  We are blessed for sure!!!  

I love you guys and wish you a very happy Saturday. 

Camp-Marie Haiti - July 2014 Wiregrass Church

Northview Game 9/5/14

Where we are:


Why we are here:


Any questions?

A Message to President Obama from a former Muslim

Daddy & Tobi Date Night 9-4-14

Tonight my sweet Daddy and Tobi had a date night.  Two of the most amazing and precious people that I have ever met in my entire life.  You won’t find them much sweeter than these.  I am blessed to have shared so many moments with both, and I am happy that they had this time tonight together.  I love you guys so very very much!  


Proverbs 22:1-10

22 A good name is more desirable than great riches;

    to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

2 Rich and poor have this in common:

    The Lord is the Maker of them all.

3 The prudent see danger and take refuge,

    but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

4 Humility is the fear of the Lord;

    its wages are riches and honor and life.

5 In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls,

    but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

6 Start children off on the way they should go,

    and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

7 The rich rule over the poor,

    and the borrower is slave to the lender.

8 Whoever sows injustice reaps calamity,

    and the rod they wield in fury will be broken.

9 The generous will themselves be blessed,

    for they share their food with the poor.

10 Drive out the mocker, and out goes strife;

    quarrels and insults are ended.

Evaluated Experience

Howard Hendricks

“Experience doesn’t make you better. 

Only evaluated experience makes you better.”

-Howard Hendricks, Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary

This quote was referred to in Communicating for a Change and I really liked it. I like a lot of what Howard Hendricks has had to say over the years and there are few people I’ve enjoyed listening to more in person.

We like to take comfort that time or experience is by itself a positive component in growth and transformation. The phrase “God’s using this to make me (or you) stronger” often assumes that experience alone is somehow transformational. I agree that it’s transformational – but it’s not clear as to what one is being transformed into.

Experience can lead us towards negative or positive transformation depending on how we go through that experience and whether we assess our experience accurately and make appropriate changes. Some experiences I’ve had have led to great personal growth and to new levels of responsiveness to God and other people. Some of my experiences produced within me more of a hardened heart towards God and other people. Some experiences almost automatically have produced new skills and things that helped me later in life. Other experiences I’ve had to have over and over again before I made the slightest change or adjustment in how I was approaching something.

Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend in How People Grow have called this the difference between “good time” and “bad time.” Bad time is unredeemed time – time spent outside of the ongoing presence of grace and truth. Good time is redeemed time because grace and truth are actively doing its work over time to produce change in our lives. I think this is a helpful way of looking at experience. Our experience can either be a good time experience or a bad time experience. Our capacity or willingness to face the truth of our realities and be learners in community will dictate whether our experiences are transformational in a positive way.

This is what I think Hendricks is talking about when he says that only evaluated experience makes us better. We don’t change and grow by denying reality and repeating the same mistakes, but we change and grow by working to see our reality for what it is and accepting responsibility to learn from those experiences for the sake of the future.

by Beav

Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson takes on ISIS: Convert Them or Kill Them

My Foot Is OUCH!!!


Matthew 25:31-46

The Sheep and the Goats

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Hope To Continue On

The solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse can fly day and night without fuel. Inventors Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg hope to fly it around the world in 2015. While the plane flies all day by solar power, it gathers enough energy to be able to fly all night. When the sun rises, Piccard says, “It brings the hope again that you can continue.”

Test flight Pilot equipement

The idea of sunrise bringing us hope makes me think of Lamentations 3 from our Bible reading for today: “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning” (vv.21-23). Even when God’s people were in the depths of despair while the city of Jerusalem was being invaded by the Babylonians, the prophet Jeremiah said they had reason to hope—they still had the Lord’s mercies and compassions.

Sometimes our struggles seem worse at night, but when sunrise comes it brings hope again that we can continue. “Weeping may endure for a night,” the psalmist says, “but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5).

Thank You, Lord, for the hope You send with each sunrise. Your mercies and compassions are new every morning!

By Anne Cetas (

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning. —Lamentations 3:22-23

Think Before You Speak


A Little Morning Mix… Enjoy!

Something brilliant happens when you mix Rick Astley with Avicii 

Persecution in the Middle East

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. (NIV) ( Philippians 4:8 ) 


When you think positive thoughts, you see the glass as half full. It may sound simple, but that attitude can make all the difference in your approach to people, situations and environments. The most difficult part is keeping it top of mind. Try remembering this verse and reciting it to yourself throughout the day. Set alarms on your phone if it helps to remind you that it's time to think positive again. 

Shared from daily devotional app… check it out!

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Now I Know How To Smile! :)


A Wretch Like Me...

A Time For Choosing

US Armed Forces "A Time For Choosing" Speech By 40th President of the United States of America Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 -- June 5, 2004) 

Muslim Jihadist Met Jesus and Became Christian

Kamal Saleem was born in Lebanon and trained as a Jihadist. He came to USA for the cultural Jihad at age of 20. He went to Bible belt to convert people to Islam. One day, he got involved in car wreck and he started to meet Christians.


I haven’t been able to put this book down.  In just 10 days we are leaving for Haiti again, and this book was given to our team by the amazing staff at Wiregrass, for pre-mission trip reading.  I had hung on to it for a couple of weeks and wasn’t even sure that I would get around to reading it.  This morning I picked it up instead of my devotional and I haven’t been able to put it down for more than a few minutes to process my thoughts along the way.  I am only about 1/3 of the way through it, but with confidence I am adding this one to my recommended reading list.  It’s challenged me so much already...


What Is Your Anything?


"How Deep The Fathers Love For Us"