“It’s time for him to be all-in or all-out.”

That was the ultimatum Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock announced Sunday in the wake of repeated protests and walkouts by Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown.

The issue? Brown wants to keep the helmet he’s been using for 10 years instead of moving to a new helmet, one required by safety standards that weren’t in place when Brown entered the league. There’s a chance he’ll retire from the game rather than make the change.

The whole affair is both sad and enlightening to me, and that’s why I’m writing this week.

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Trevor DeVageComment

Has anyone ever evaluated you by how you look without stopping to know who you are?

It has happened to me. Years ago, in the Nashville area, I stopped by a little Baptist church for mid-week worship, and they kicked me out. One look at my my tats, my earrings, and my haircut, and the minister said, “We don’t want your type here.”

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Trevor DeVage Comments

The church I attended as a kid hosted the most wonderful treat you can imagine: pie socials! Every woman in the church brought her best creation for a sweet feast of fruit, sugar, meringue, and whipped cream, all inside homemade flaky crusts. I can still remember some of my favorite delicacies.

This year the leaders of the church where I preach have decided we should sponsor a pie feast, too. But our plan will offer something better than desserts. Our approach is no fat and calorie free, and the sweet tastes it promises will last for eternity.

We’ve chosen the acronym PIE to summarize our strategy for achieving our church’s mission, “Redeeming us back to God”:

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Trevor DeVageComment

Today I’m thinking about last week’s sermon and I’m remembering so many in our church who have lived out its truth. The theme was “You Are an Overcomer.” The texts told the remarkable account of the apostle Peter’s threefold denial of Christ (Luke ) and threefold offer of forgiveness and mission from Christ (John ).

Like so many stories in the Bible, this one has lost its meaning for some of us who have heard it repeated through the years. But for the person encountering Jesus for the first time, the fact of Peter’s redemption offers a fresh breeze of hope. And since even experienced Christians also face obstacles, burdens, and failures, Peter’s story is one for all of us to hold on to. That’s what I was saying when I made the following points this week.

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Trevor DeVageComment
Why THE Church Must Be Bigger Than YOUR Church

Sitting this week at the first board meeting of the Shine Like Sable Foundation, I was struck by a fact I don’t remember often enough.

The church must be bigger than my church.

That is, God’s work through his people is larger than God’s work through my congregation. All of us would admit this as we thought about church plants on the other side of town or missions established the other side of the globe. But I’m thinking about something sometimes more difficult to embrace: The work of the church in my community must be bigger than the work of my congregation here.

Shine Like Sable is the foundation started by Scott and Holly Gibson after the tragic death of their 10-year-old daughter, Sable, this February. Her spirit of seeking to help others will be continued and multiplied as the foundation finds ways to help other children in need.

As I thought about the work of the foundation, I jotted down several conclusions.

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Trevor DeVageComment