Pastor Paul's Perspective

Questioning Hearts

How Faith Battles Doubt

As a kid growing up in church, I was introduced to a believing faith in Jesus Christ at an early age. I was surrounded by people of faith in my family, my friends, and certainly at my home church. So, faith became part of my life as I was exposed to these everyday influences. 

At eight years old I chose to believe in Jesus Christ and, by faith, accepted Him as my personal Savior, my Redeemer, my Messiah, my Lord. And this faith was real to me.

Enjoying the Christmas Story

Or is it the Christmas account??

Christmas is certainly in the air . . . along with all the stuff (good and bad) that accompanies the Christmas season.

The good (from my perspective):

  • Christmas cookies
  • Christmas lights
  • Smell of the Christmas tree
  • Chick-Fil-A peppermint milkshakes
  • Christmas carols
  • Staff/Deacon Christmas party and gift exchange
  • Presents
  • More presents
  • Time with family
  • Elf - The Movie
  • 24-7 Christmas music on radio

The bad (from my perspective):


By Brody Castle

Merry Christmas!


It’s your friendly neighborhood worship leader Brody guest-blogging today.  I want to invite you to our Children’s Christmas musical this Sunday at 10 AM.  It’s called “Crazy Busy Peaceful Holy Night”. I know you’ll be blessed by the singing and acting, so don’t miss it!


I can really relate to the first two words in this title - crazy & busy.  I’m sure you can too! It’s always crazy busy this time of year, with shopping, parties, traffic, visiting relatives, and the list goes on.  This Sunday, we’re going to look back at the FIRST Christmas, and realize that it was crazy busy for Mary, Joseph and Jesus as well! I think we often romanticize the Christmas story, and the carols we sing reinforce that fact.  Was it really a silent night?  Did the little Lord Jesus no crying he make? I don’t think so.




God-Reliance v. Self-Reliance

Stewardship Month 2018

Shhhhh . . . . don't let anyone know about our topic at West Pines for the next three weeks. (November 4, 11, 18) It's about money. But shhhhh . . . I don't want anybody taking a 3-week vacation from church and missing this vital subject. After all, you've heard it before . . . that "Jesus taught more about money than about heaven and hell."


Who Do You Say He Is?

Guest Blog by Pastor Jordan

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 
"But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Matthew 16:13-16

In Matthew 16, Jesus is asking his followers the crucial question, “Who do you say that I am?” This question is of upmost importance as the way one answers will dictate where they will spend eternity. As we see in the verses above, some have walked into the light of Jesus, while others are still in darkness. 

Choosing the Joyful Place

Instead of Just the Happy One

Are you in your happy place?
How'd you get there???
As I think of my "happy place" and how I get there, a few things become obvious to me:

  • I have a lot of happy places
  • I enjoy some happy places alone. (i.e. working on my '68 Cutlass, puttering in the man cave)

The Comparison Game

From Ballers to Apostles

Sometimes making comparisons can be dangerous and, oftentimes, humiliating.

During my time playing high school basketball in the late 1970's and early 80's, there were two players in the NBA that I attempted to "pattern my game after".  One was Dr. Julius Erving (Dr. J) of the Philadelphia 76ers. The other was Larry Bird (the original Larry Legend - sorry, Larry "The Legend" Castle) of the Boston Celtics.

Now, comparing my skill to that of these two Hall of Famers is certainly a bit of a joke, but in my mind as an 18-year-old, I had GAME . . . .

Great Expectations

From Principals and Apostles

Have you ever been called to the principal's office? Not surprisingly . . . . I was.

As a senior in high school, the principal, Mr. Ainsworth, wanted to have a chat with me. And I was kinda scared.


From Pastor Caleb

If you read the four gospel accounts of the life of Jesus, you will see several phrases that all state something like this: “An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest” (Luke 9:46).  On more than one occasion, Jesus had to break up arguments about which disciple would be the greatest.  James and John’s own mother even got in on the action (Matthew 20:20-21).  Surely her two sons would be the greatest in the kingdom!  

Encouragement & Expectation

An Apostle's Love Letter

The Apostle Paul would be described as more like a pitbull than a poodle. And yet, in Philippians chapter one, you can't help but notice the softer side of the sometime contentious Apostle. This softer side is seen in:
1:7 - "I have you in my heart . . . "
1:8 - "how greatly I long for you . . . "


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