This month: What is the Gospel
Exploring the Heart of Restoration

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Les Ferguson, Jr.

Les Ferguson, Jr. has been preaching since he was fifteen. He holds a B.A. in Bible from Magnolia Bible College and an M.A. in New Testament Preaching from Johnson University. His college years were separated by a six-year stint in the U.S. Navy where he worked in electronics and missile fire control systems. A portion of his service time was spent in the Persian Gulf during the US operations known as Desert Shield, the precursor to Desert Storm. After his military service, he spent three years as a youth minister in Vicksburg, MS, three years as a preaching minister in Laurel, MS, and fourteen years as the senior minister and an elder in Gulfport, MS. He was heavily involved in Honduras mission work with Torch Missions. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, he served as a point of contact and directed recovery work on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. After suffering a tragedy in the loss of his wife and handicapped son, Les stepped down from a full time preaching ministry. He has since married his childhood sweetheart, Becki. Together they are raising four boys, Conner (17), Michael (16), Max (13), and Casey (8). His oldest son, Kyle (28) is married and lives in Huntsville, AL. Les began working with the Lake Harbor Drive Church of Christ in Ridgeland, Mississippi as their Senior Minister in April 2014. Since the end of January 2013, Les has been writing a widely read blog, Desperately Wanting To Believe Again that explores faith, questions, doubt and pain from a Biblical/ real world perspective. He is currently writing a book while building a speaking career to encourage and help all who struggle with faith and doubt. You can also read him as a featured author for Wineskins.org.

Homepage: http://lesfergusonjr.com

In 1967, Jim Morrison and the Doors sang what would become a popular and enduring song: People Are Strange.

Indeed. I have met some of them. To some, I probably am one of them.

People are strange. Aren’t we all?

Aside from the debate over who is strange and why they are, the lyrics themselves are haunting. As you read them, I wonder if you hear the echoes of the Gospel?

People are strange…

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The Resurrection & Grace.

Grace & the Resurrection.

I am currently preaching through the letter to Galatians on Sunday mornings. A long time ago I was captivated by a series of messages by Rick Atchley called We Be Free. I was so captivated that I listened and transcribed every single one of them—and then developed my own sermon series with Rick’s as…

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Yes, I know this months theme for Wineskins is about Casting a Biblical Vision for Healthy Sexuality. Rebel that I am, I am not writing about sex… However, the following has something to say about a healthy spirituality and that does have an impact on every facet of life, including the sexuality God created…

It’s everybody’s favorite season, right?

Tax season. April 15th looms…

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Redeemed. Restored. Reconciled.

How I love those three words. Each is different. But each is fundamentally intertwined.

And when it comes to navigating change… honestly, I wonder how much heat the whole idea of changing anything would generate if we recognized the changes those three words spark in our walk with God (and his people too)…

For the greater part of my life, all three…

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I love learning.

I love books.

I love conversations, lectures, study groups that stretch my understanding and give voice to my own ideas and questions.

And if I could, were it possible to do so, I would start another degree program today.

I love school.

I love education.

That makes me a strange bird in some circles.

Knowing my fondness for all the things mentioned above, I have had family and friends who for years have…

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It is almost that time of year.

Candy apples, cotton candy, hot dogs, burgers, sausage, and anything you can imagine on a stick.

Music shows. Weight guessers. Games of chance. And rides.

Lots and lots of rides.

Rides that spin fast. Rides that twirl high. Rides that swing wide… Makes a fellow all dizzy just thinking about it.

It’s been a long time since I wasted my money at the State…

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In the beginning God.

We associate those first four verses in the Bible with the act of creation. And for good reason, that’s the story that most naturally and linguistically flows from or follows after.

In the beginning God.

To see this phrase as only the precursor to the creation account is to be just a bit shortsighted.

In the beginning God.

A broader view and one that takes in the full scope of…

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I just completed my first full month of preaching at the Lake Harbour Drive Church of Christ.

I still find it hard to imagine. After all the pain, hurt, anger, frustration, and humiliation, I find it so hard to believe my current situation is real. And yet here I am.

On the last Sunday of the month, June 29, 2014, I stood at the back doors of the auditorium to greet…

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Creating a Christ-like Culture?

Talk about that too much and the next thing you know, we might again start spouting initials everywhere!

Maybe you’ll remember WWJD?

What Would Jesus Do?

Indeed. A Christ-like culture kind of gets started when we do things like Jesus might have done them.

But changing a culture from the outside in is hard work. I can modify some of my…

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This winter has been colder than most.

Those who heat by electric or gas are probably seeing a big difference in their bills.

We see it in a mostly depleted fire wood shed because, we heat our house entirely by burning logs in a wood stove.

It puts out lots of heat, and some places like the balcony/ loft are extraordinarily warm.

But even though I said we heat our house with wood,…

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