Monthly Archives: August 2013

I had breakfast with Moses: No, really, I did.

Bill Riddle is a retired newspaper editor and political consultant who chucked it all away a decade ago to become a family therapist. He is still pretty new to the Portico family, but hopes his love for writing stories will help him connect with new friends here. Inspired by 1 Peter 4:10, Bill shares this story.

Moses is not a biscuit and gravy man. But he does like omelets, Spanish ones, with dry toast, as I recall. And he also enjoys a good, stout cup of Joe: “No creamer, just dark please.” And with that voice–yes, that voice—not a single server under the sun could have ever gotten the breakfast order wrong.

As we sat there at the Holiday Inn in Memphis, I was mesmerized by everything about this legend: his hair was perfect, especially for an old guy; there wasn’t a follicle out of line. And his teeth. My, what dentist was responsible for that gorgeous set, that gorgeous, full set of teeth: white as a new piano’s keys? Incredible, actually. And Moses’ voice: mighty as a raging river, deep as an Ozark valley. Yet mellow as a lovebird’s song. Authority. Confidence. Certainty. Control. And Pleasantness. No wonder the Pharaoh, let his people go!

We talked about the parting of the Red Sea that morning. About how incredibly it had all come to pass for the much of the world to see. He was not pretentious about how nervous he had sometimes been about the task he’d been handed. Humbly, he thundered, “Of all men, who was I to step into such a role?” He talked about the fears and the setbacks, about the negative naysayers who said it could never be done, about the challenge of trying to persuade everyone to just stay focused, to encourage one another, to not quit, to just…believe.

Thing is, he had me so convinced, persuaded, so mesmerized as he relived his Red Sea adventures (from the movie The Ten Commandments) that early Memphis morning that my newspaper photographer leaned in behind me, and reminded me that we were actually there to do a story on a certain Congressional candidate for that district. Some poor drab, milquetoast, non-descript fellow who thought he could make a difference in Washington. I don’t even remember his name.

But Moses: ah, I will never forget his name. Heston. Charlton Heston. The Hollywood legend who had captured the fascination of the entire world with his award-winning roles as Ben Hur, Michelangelo, Marc Antony and El Cid. Mighty movies like Midway, Airport, Earthquake and a little iconic something called Planet of the Apes.

But for me, he was and is, and shall forever be…Moses, the leader of the Exodus, the walk toward freedom.

What a guy! What a leader! Yes, both the real Moses, and…Chuck. Yes, he insisted on it. (I reminded the newspaper photographer that he was to call him Mr. Heston.)

Haven’t thought about that day in quite a while. But every time I’m in Memphis, I try to have breakfast at the Holiday Inn.

So, that’s my little story today. Thing is, all Christians, non-Christians, too, have a story to tell. So if stories are your gift, tell them. If listening is your gift, hear them.

Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others…” I Peter 4:10

~ Bill Riddle



August Portico Kids Newsletter!

Memory Verse:    Ephesians 2:10 NLT

  “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” 

 During the next few weeks, we will be focusing on Ephesians 2:10. This will be our main focus for the 2013-2014 school year! We will learn other verses but our main theme is “We are God’s masterpiece.”

 Our Portico Kids program is growing! We feel very blessed to have many new faces attending regularly! This being said, we would like to remind our parents of a few things.           

  1. The safety of your child is very important to us, so the doors to the childcare wing will be locked at 6:00 and will remain locked the rest of the evening. Our goal is to keep the doors closed and locked even after service is over. If you need in you may ring the doorbell or find Lindsey Eberts or Jason Strader.
  2. Please do not allow your child to run in the building, especially in the kids wing and the main room!
  3. If your child is sick or has been sick within the last 24hrs, please do not bring your child to church!

 If your child is older and would like to be a helper during childcare please let us know! We would love to have our younger children mentored by our school age children!

If you would like to help with snacks, please see Lindsey Eberts!

If you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact the Portico Kids Team!

 Upcoming Events:

August 24th Back to School Blessing over our children!

October: Fall Festival for all ages!

December 1- January 4th: There will be NO childcare!


Lindsey Eberts
The Portico Church

Meals for the Stokes

Here is how you can bless a growing family in our community!  Let’s welcome Andersyn into the world and ease the transition for her family by providing meals for them.  Click on the link below (or copy and paste it to your browser) to find out how to help.  Thanks!

Let’s live #lifetogether


Small Groups

As we study how God has called us to live life together, it is clear that community is something we must put into practice. But how, where, & when? Do we show up at our neighbor’s house with a casserole and invite ourselves in? Maybe.
The truth is that communal living or “life together” is should overflow into our whole life. Sometimes we just need a place for it to start. I think the perfect place is our small groups! Small groups meet weekly to share hurts, needs, and joys, and also to discuss what Christ is calling us to through scripture, and to spend time in prayer together. As we seek to have community spread throughout our lives, it starts with you and with me and our small groups this Fall.
Portico Small Groups start NEXT WEEK! Sign up now by emailing Dustin at or in the Palace lobby at our Sunday Gathering.
Small Groups:
Brandon McQuillin at the Shelby’s, 6pm on Thursday
Sara Heatherly at the Cameron’s, 6pm on Tuesday
Libby Gifford at the Mathew’s, 6pm on Wednesday (FULL)
Jarod Stokes at the Hendrix’s, 6:30pm on Thursday
Cody Bauman at the Eberts’s, 6pm on Tuesday
John Justice at the Strader’s, 6pm on Thursday
Randy Impson at the Impson’s, 6pm on Thursday (For those new to Portico)

A Challenge

We’ve officially made the dive into the New Testament’s “one another” passages. Brandon McQuillin got us started with a great intro at our Sunday gathering. Curtis Eberts asked us via the blog to check out the passages and inject them into our relationships.

That brings us to the next step, a One Another Challenge! It’s time to pair these great passages with intentional, tangible actions. Action is what breathes God’s words into life out in the world among people. Don’t just think “oh yeah, I’ll _______ others more.” Narrow those broad statements down to something specific you can do about it, and then do it.

One Another Challenge:
1. Portico Facebook & Twitter will post a “one another passage” each weekday during the “Life Together” series.
2. DO something about that passage. Yes, meditate on it and consider it’s implications, but also put some tangible, specific action to it. It can be as simple or as complicated as you deem appropriate.

Portico Church

Tagged , , , ,

Life Together – the way of the cross in relationship

The Christian ethic, the moral code that guides our interactions with others, is rooted in the love, which proceeds from the heart of the crucified and risen Lord.  When fully embraced, it is not based on any rational grounds. It is therefore not possible to articulate in advance all the details of conduct, which that love, requires.  To complicate matters, the mere outward observance of the Christian ethic, the way of the cross, is no guarantee that the heart has been conformed and brought into submission to the love of Christ.

So here we are in quite a quandary.  As we study the one another passages, we will explore with some specificity the manner in which we ought to externally express the inward workings of Christ’s love on our hearts and our genuine submission to the way of the cross in our relationships.  Our natural tendency may be to pervert the teachings of the one another passages by focusing on works, on the appearances of living in the way of the cross in relationships.  We may also become overwhelmed thinking that we might not ever be able to truly “submit to others out of reverence to Christ”– especially when things are really not going our way!  So how can we properly orient ourselves to get the most out of our study of the one another passages?

Well, here’s a thought or two… First of all, don’t allow yourself to get bogged down in the theoretical.  I don’t know that we need an exegesis from the Greek to understand what it means to “be patient with one another”, and honestly it’s not the understanding of patience that’s so difficult but the practice of extending patience when folks around us repeatedly upset us.  So move quickly from the theoretical to the practical by reading through the one another passages paying close attention to your conscience and Spirit’s prompting… be sensitive to this prompting and act in obedience.  Secondly, keep in mind that it is in our primary relationships that our true selves emerge.  For example, rarely will we lose our cool with a co-worker, but how about your spouse, your siblings, or that roommate who consistently depletes the hot water with those 30 minute showers!  In these primary relationships our real selves are manifest and this is the proving ground by which we discover the extent to which we have been crucified with Christ.  So throughout this study, ask those closest to you, perhaps that invest partner, or a member of your small group how you are doing.  Confess to others those things that God is teaching you, pray for one another, spur one another on toward good works… for that is what we were created to do.  And together may we all take small, incremental steps towards Christlikeness and live the way of the cross in our relationships with one another!


Tagged ,


For years I was bitter. Although I never changed my name, my life echoed the ancient words of Naomi: “Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The Lord has afflicted me the Almighty as brought misfortune upon me.”
I was a believer but I never let God get too close. I held Him at bay for years with religion then with Biblical scholarship, then with service and helping others. On the outside all seemed well but my heart was very hard. I had a vague notion that there was something more but the “more” scared me.
I remember sitting with good friends in grad school and admitting that I didn’t trust God. I didn’t cry there was no emotion but just hopelessness. They were quiet and then prayed over me. No amount of convincing would let me know that God could be trusted.
Then He began to change me. It was terrifying and amazing. I began to wrap my mind around the idea that He was not the one who had perpetrated the horrible events in my life. I began to wrap my heart around the idea that I could be known deeply and loved well. I began to wrap my actions around the idea that I could risk and be brave.
Coming to Monroe and joining Portico was yet another step in the long process. Here I learned that my small group of friends were not the only trustworthy people in the world. That I could risk on bigger levels. That I could grow and learn and lead.
This story focuses on Ruth but I wonder what Naomi felt when Boaz took them in? She did not gain a husband but I think she gained assurance that God had never forgotten her. That she mattered. She was redeemed as well. It may be uncomfortable, even terrifying, but we all are in deep need of redemption. Join us tomorrow night @6 as we discover redemption together.

Shannon Schalles

Tagged , ,

Laying at the Feet of Jesus

As I think about sitting at the feet of Jesus, I fear feeling vulnerable and exposed. When Ruth lay at Boaz’s feet, she did not cover herself with his cloak. She asked him to cover her, to protect her. I imagine her to have answered the question, “Who are you?” with courage and confidence. I think I would have answered the question with fear and trepidation after hoping that I would go unnoticed.

My yoke of slavery: fear.

I fear that I will be exposed, that I will not measure up to some standard placed on me by only me, that I will somehow be less worthy of God’s love. So, I busy myself to the point that I do not have time to sit at Jesus’ feet. I don’t have to wrestle with the question, “Does God love me?” When I allow myself to ask Him, I don’t really listen for the answer. It feels too risky.

And yet it seems that the best way to be protected and feel less exposed is to lie at the feet of Jesus, allowing Him to spread His wings over me and keep me safe. Boaz instructed Ruth, “Don’t be afraid.” I can hear my Redeemer telling me the same thing. I need to be delivered from fear. I want to be delivered from fear! I am looking forward to Sunday, anticipating what God is going to do in my life and yours.

Melissa Roose

Tagged , ,

More Than Just a Story

I’ve enjoyed our study of Ruth so far during the past three weeks. I think that’s due in part to the fact that I previously never gave Ruth much thought before now. I think I mentally filed it in the “Yeah, that’s a great story, but how does it affect me?” section of my brain. Through our study of Ruth I have come to see that it is in fact a very rich story of redemption filled with meaning and symbolism for how God redeems us from sin in our lives. Everything in the bible points back to this: we are separated from God because of our sin yet He has sent a Redeemer to make things right.

We are all in desperate need of the redemption that only Jesus can bring, but even those of us who call ourselves followers of Jesus can fall prey to sin. Recently God has been convicting me of the selfish way I tend to live my life.

I recently had the opportunity to take a mission trip to Ukraine to work with children in orphanages. It was incredibly humbling to see how some of these children have to live: bathing only every two weeks, sharing a toothbrush with 10 other kids, some with medical conditions that can’t be fully treated. Yet they all had such joy in their eyes as we played with them and shared the gospel. God has been using that experience to show me that I need to be less concerned with myself and more concerned about others. That may sound cliche and it’s kind of funny that I had to go half way around the world to figure that out, but I’m glad He’s shown me that.

We all have areas of our lives that we hold onto, thinking we can work out ourselves, areas where we think we don’t need redemption. I encourage you to search your heart before Sunday night and ask God to show you where you need redemption. Come with an open heart, receptive to what the Lord wants you to learn. See you there.

Adam McDonald