Monthly Archives: August 2012

Courage or Desperation?

I came across a quote today which said, “Courage is what separates what a person may do from what a person does.”  In context, the point of the quote was that a person may have the aptitude or the capacity to accomplish a certain task but will often fail to do so because they lack courage. 

Without a doubt, fear is a great crippler.  But, in my experience, it is rarely courage that moves people beyond fear.  Rather, it seems to me that it is often desperation which separates what a person may do from what a person does. As I think of many the great stories of heroism, I imagine people who took desperate measures in desperate times.  Oh, that doesn’t mean they weren’t courageous.  I just think their heroic acts may have been initiated more from desperation than courage. 

Are there areas of your life where fear is ruling the day?  If so, maybe you’ve hoped and prayed for a bit more courage.  And, I’m certain, it is well to have done so.  But it may be desperation that ultimately moves us past fear.  The reason for that is simple (at least, in my mind):  When we become desperate we face the reality that the situation is hopeless based on our abilities and we come to rely completely on God.  Philippians 4:13 puts it this way, “For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”



Unveiled :: Worship

Tuesday, August 28/ 7:00PM / Palace Auditorium
Don’t miss this special night of worship and encouragement with our guest, Pat Domangue with On Fire Ministries.

Beth Moore Simulcast

Unveiled invites you to experience the Beth Moore Simulcast – Living Proof, a global, one-day simulcast that will inspire women to dig deep into God’s Word.

Join us for a day of worship and Bible teaching to refresh and recharge women spiritually!  For more details or RSVP, contact Patricia Cameron –

Saturday, September 15 / 8am / Palace Auditorium

Prayer Team

Have an interest in prayer or in praying with others during Portico services?  Let’s discuss ideas!  A meeting will take place on Sunday September 9th at 4:15pm in the Red Room at the Palace.
If you can’t attend, but would still be interested in praying for others during Sunday services or would like to help plan and pray for future prayer events at Portico, please contact Shannon Schalles –

School Supply Drive

**This is the last Sunday for collecting school supplies!  If you are planning to donate, please drop off supplies this Sunday night at Portico Church**

We are collecting school supplies to benefit the kids and teachers of Central Elementary School beginning Aug 5th.  Pick up a school supply list for Central Elementary at a local store or email for the list.  A collection box will be located in the Kiddo’s Lobby and collection will end Sunday, Aug 26th.

Kiddos Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Portico Kiddos Leadership invite you to join us for a celebration of “YOU,” our Volunteer Kiddos Team!!!

Kiddos Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
Date: Friday, August 24
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Where: The Palace
Childcare provided for those who don’t have other arrangements.

Contact Denise Impson – – to RSVP

Reflecting on Jeremiah….Again

The really cool thing about a chronological bible reading plan is the juxtaposition of time-related texts.  I find that it has given me things to consider that haven’t been evident to me before.  For instance, reading through Jeremiah one theme has unmistakable prominence.  Namely, the days of warning the people to turn from their sins has ended and judgement (through the Babylonians) is inevitable.  I mean verse after verse, chapter after chapter Jeremiah expounds that theme.  Then you read Psalm 74:1 (purported by the Reading Plan to be time-related to Jeremiah) which says, “Why have you rejected us forever, O God?  Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?”  Are you kidding me?!?  The Psalmist wants to know, “Why?”  Has he not been listening to Jeremiah (and the prophets who proceeded Jeremiah)?  How could the Psalmist dare to ask why given the clear and abundant warnings through the prophets?

I would suspect you’ve already guessed my reflection.  Life is sometimes very difficult and the causes of those difficulties are quite varied.  But, I find myself thinking that, perhaps, I should do an honest evaluation of my own life before besieging God with why questions.  Don’t get me wrong, I am confident God can easily handle it when I ask, “Why?”  But, sometimes (not always and, maybe, not even most often) life is tough because of my own sin.  And, in those cases, the right response is something other than questioning God.  At least, that is what I’m mulling over today.


Downtown Cinema @ Ouachita Grand Plaza



Ouachita Grand Plaza, 501 S. Grand St. Monroe, LA
This Saturday, August 18th @ 2PM

Downtown Cinema presents a special showing of “Singin’ In the Rain” for the residents of Ouachita Grand Plaza. Volunteers needed to help serve popcorn and to just fellowship with the residents. Movie starts at 2:00, so if you’re coming please come a little early. if you need directions or have any questions, call Adam at 282-1555.

Hope Amidst Despair

If Jeremiah were alive today, I feel certain he couldn’t earn living as a motivational speaker.  Apparently, Jeremiah didn’t get today’s popular message about the power of positive thinking.  Rather, he seemed to dwell on nothing but destruction and despair – for forty years!

Obviously, I am being silly in those statements as Jeremiah faithfully communicated precisely what God told him to say.  This is what I’ve noticed in Jeremiah, though; in nearly every chapter there are glimpes of hope and grace.  Yes, God was fed up with the rebellion of the people and, yes, his wrath was forthcoming.  But, among all that despair, Jeremiah faithfully shows us hope that exists because of God’s grace.

I wonder, is there despair in any area of your life?  Are you clinging desperately to the hope that God hasn’t forgotten you and that his grace is still sufficient for you?  If so, hear the word of the Lord to Israel through Jeremiah, “My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them.  I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” (Jeremiah 24:6-7)  Even in the loneliest, darkest seasons of despair there is always hope because our Great God dwells there, too!


ARCO says, “Thanks!”

As a part of the weekend-long celebration of Portico Church’s first anniversary of meeting in The Palace, there was a Sunday morning bike ride and pancake breakfast.  While no one was required to pay for those events, donations were accepted to benefit ARCO.  We received the following note from ARCO in the mail this week:

“Dear Portico Church:

Thank you so much for your recent fundraiser!  The dollars are so much appreciated, and even more, thank you for being aware and committed to supporting the families at ARCO.”

To ARCO’s “thank you,” let me add my own.  The missio Dei is unmeasurably larger than what happens at The Palace on Sunday nights.  Good job Portico Church for looking beyond our own walls to the needs of others!