Welcome to my blog site! I am thankful you are here and hopeful you will find the content engaging. 

That word life says it all. I realize it is broad but if we place the adjective real ahead of the noun life it really can change the conversation. 

So, let’s try to do just that and let’s invite others to join in the discussion with us. 

You and me, we can make a difference, real life awaits!


4th Sunday in October

Greetings all,

Last week we spent some time sharing how to get the most out of our Holy Communion services @ Life Community with those who were online Sunday morning live and those who joined us later through our Facebook page. I received some encouraging responses to what we talked about and how helpful it was in understanding the importance of this Sacrament which we observe twice a month @ LCC. 

Many of you guys know how much Communion means to this church. Without it, we would miss the  opportunity to Receive what God longs to Provide. So I wanted to remind all of us to recall two words that can make a difference in experiencing a more power filled memory in Communion. Those words: Adapt and Accommodate. Jesus said in John’s Gospel: The Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. Jesus’ point here redounds to you and me. God has, inside of Communion, given us the possibility of a new life (even with this pandemic) which we can fully see through the Sacrament of Holy Communion. 

This Sunday we have Pastor Thomas back in the spotlight and I’m looking forward to his message as I know you guys are as well. 

And I’m going to take a few minutes to introduce our November speaking series on Conversations With God. As a part of that series, you’ll get to hear from some of the people who have been a part of our Wednesday Prayer Component gathering!

One last important item and I’ll let you go. During this Pandemic we have missed the opportunity to connect with one another in person, in real time, with real people. This coming week I will be sending out an update on where we are currently as we look at the options of reopening @ MTC. Once you receive this email I would appreciate each of you responding with your own feelings and questions. You are a part of LCC and your opinion is always welcome in this church.

Have a blessed weekend and we hope to see you online this Sunday beginning at 10:15 am.

Pastor Mike

3rd Sunday in October

Greetings all,

About seven years ago I wrote an article in which I shared this sentence:

“All that is worthy of our being and our doing begins with our Attention and moves forward through God’s Intention.”Consider those two words. First, the word 

Attention which requires consideration – which is driven by our mindfulness. Second, the word Intention reminds us of a God who is constantly scheming, designing, putting together the best plan for his creation.

Proverbs 16:9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.Think about this, How often have we been ready to Receive what God is ready to Provide? This Sunday we will once again be Celebrating Communion together even while we’re apart! Ahead of that Sacrament I’ll be sharing a message on How and Why Communion is so much more than we have yet to consider and imagine. So get your Bread and Wine ready for a dynamic experience together.

Pastor Thomas and Vanessa are celebrating her birthday and their anniversary down in Hilton Head and if they have had enough celebrating before next Sunday we’ll get to hear Thomas as we close out October! (Just kidding…Thomas is definitely speaking a week from Sunday.)
In November there will be a 5 Sunday series entitled Conversations With God. We’ll kick that off on November 1st by talking about the 14 most DANGEROUS words you’ll ever speak.

Also, right now I’m writing four blog posts entitled First Things First. The opening post is already on my blog site mikecooke.life By this evening I hope to have the second installment. I’d love for even more of you to read and comment as some of you already have. The feedback and engagement really helps and leads to great conversation!

It is, in my opinion, critical that we engage in conversations as a church which can connect us in community with others who may be looking for exactly who we are here at Life Community. These upcoming posts between now and the end of the year can make a real difference when shared with others in your concentric circle of influence. So, please share the link from above to my blog site via an email to a friend OR by sharing the it on Facebook with your circle of friends. 

I’m looking forward to this Sunday and hopeful that you choose to join us online @ 10:15

God’s peace to each of you.

Pastor Mike


There are 6 great questions you and I undertake as we wrestle with the development of our lives; Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why.

Last week I opened a new thread entitled; First Things First. In that post I suggested there seems to be an intentional way for you and me to live our lives. An order, if you will, to discover our deliberate design.

Now before you pushback on this working theory of mine, allow me to share several thoughts for our consideration. 

The FIRST one is a question. Is life more about WHAT you DO or more about WHO you ARE? Doing vs. Being has been a question every generation has to deal with. And in America, doing usually prevails. Because in America what we have, what we accomplish, and what we desire defines life. While that is true of many Western countries, there is little argument that Americans matriculate summa cum laud!

The SECOND thought I have is that we believe our Being (we’ll define this word shortly) will change as we grow… so in the first half of life, we gotta get all we can. There’s a great book by David Brooks of the New York Times entitled The Second Mountain. I’ll be using some out takes from Brooks in the next couple of posts so stay tuned. You will want to follow this guy’s voice on finding life.

Now, I have to admit that in my twenties I bought into the, “gotta get all you can.” In fact I may have added to that a secondary warning; “before someone else gets it all”. Material STUFF mattered to me just as it mattered to almost everyone I was hanging out with. If you had the STUFF you would make it in life. If you didn’t, you lost at life. 

Finally, the THIRD idea is a compilation taken from the FIRST question and the SECOND thought.  

WHAT IF we’ve answered the first question wrong and the STUFF we amassed never really brought us LIFE itself.

Is it possible that we can DO a lot of things in life and gather lots of stuff in life while at the same time be empty as a person? From my perspective, the answer is YES!

From the book – The Seasons of Life by Chuck Swindoll :

“DOING is usually connected with a vocation or career – how we make a living. BEING is much deeper. It relates to character – who we are and how we make a life. DOING is tied in closely with activity, accomplishments, and tangible things like salary, prestige, involvements, roles, and trophies. BEING, on the other hand, has more to do with intangibles – the kind of people we become inside, much of which we cannot measure by objective yardsticks and immersive awards. But of the two, BEING will ultimately outdistance DOING every time. It may take half a lifetime to perfect, but ends down, it’s far more valuable. And lasting. And inspiring.”

WHO ARE YOU? You’re a lot more than you probably have imagined. Finding the courage to place First Things First each day will soon begin to change WHO YOU ARE!

Check back in mid week for the third installment along with some wisdom from David Brooks.

And please share your opinion through any and all comments you might have. I look froward to reading them.



I have, for some time now, been working out in my own life what many may call; first things first or the cart before the horse.

Truth be told, we all have some type of flavor of this human desire to comport our lives so that we may become who we are created to be. I mean everyone wants that don’t they?

Over the course of these last two decades, I have been deeply interested in this dualistic life where we seem so often to be moving between “Who We Are”, which we we’ll label our BEING and “What We Do”, which we’ll label our DOING. 

This practice of moving betwixt and between we assume is helpful, and while that may at times be true, it will also keep us from our quest. Does that word quest make you think of Medieval times? It does me. Anyway, my point here is that we are in deep need of a conversation around LIFE and how a LIFE that is vibrant and flourishing can be lived. 

To that end, there are a number of differing views, and I would love to in some way be helpful in moderating the truth around these dissimilar ideas about LIFE itself. I believe it all begins with

first things first

You and I, along with all of humanity, have vacillated between the two primary options of living LIFE; Being vs Doing, Who We Are and What We Do. These two words aren’t at odds. They are simpatico. Always have been, always will be.

In my next post, we’ll look at why one must lead the other. And why the other must prove the one.

Hope you’ll keep close with this series of three to four posts. As always, your comments are needed and appreciated.



Greetings all. I’ve been a wee bit absent these past several weeks. Like the pretentious Priest, Father Guido Sarduci on Saturday Night Live used to say, “I blame-a myself.” The pen (keyboard) has been silent and difficult to approach. I attempted more than once, maybe twice, I don’t know, by now it doesn’t matter. My attempt to write the final blog in this series, numero cinco, in What About Faith, well, let me be honest here, it just wasn’t happening. 

Now having apologized, then making fun of that apology, and then adding in another excuse, I recalled the famous quote attributed to almost every writer:  “No one wants to write, everyone wants to have written.”

That was my problem these last several weeks. And I am looking forward to feeling much better once I finish this conclusion!

In the last blog which few will remember from 22 days ago, I suggested that Jesus, from what I can tell, invited people who were interested into Proximity and Participation. Proximity meaning to move in close in order to be present. Wherever you are, be all there! To be close is to be adjacent… to be near one another. This is a position that makes sense to people who are devoted.

That second word, Participation, is a fitting word for us to use in the conclusion of this series centered around a practical definition of living out a life of exceptional faith. Without participating in the faith that one admits to, one is left unwilling to pursue their faith. America is full of Christians whose participation is of little importance to them.

Religion is more an event we attend than a Faith we Follow. That has become an inconvenient truth for many who have been overcome by some kind of situational amnesia from church itself. Inside of these WAF posts, I have tried to present an anciently new way of pursuing one’s faith. It has been here all along. Ever since Jesus challenged us to have eyes to see and ears to hear. What would you call that? I call it Practical Theology.

We have people these days in the Church who love to talk about “the Word.” Seven times in Matthew 23, Jesus, who according to John’s Gospel was the Word, had this to say regarding people who believe they have the power and position to tell others what they have to believe: Woe to you…hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones…

Wow Jesus, why don’t you just tell us how you feel!  

I know a little about hypocrisy. It results in being a hypocrite, which I once was in order to elevate my importance in the eyes of others unschooled in theology. It was as they say a fool’s errand. So, back to Practical Theology if you will.

Participation, that second word I brought up is critical for those of us who are pursuing the life God has called us to. Proximity without Participation is useless to us as we seek to explore, discover and live a life of exceptional faith.

Participation, defined for this post means – embracing and engaging the life of faith. It’s a purposeful act one is compelled into because they want to center their life around their faith, trusting that once there they will find a deeper life driven by the Spirit of God residing inside us. 

What keeps most professing Christians from a deepening faith? It may be as simple as this: 

  1. They have yet to allow themselves to move into the Proximity of the God who longs to welcome them into a new and unending life.
  1. Without proximity they may be unable to define what it means to take the next step into the act of Participation with others in community. 
  1. And finally, without proximity and participation, Faith itself seems to have been mostly ignored.  As G.K. Chesterton noted in this quote: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult, and left untried.”

So, What About Faith?

In the end, when it comes to faith, no one can appeal to another as their proxy. While it is not private, it is nonetheless by definition, personal in so much as you and I have or have not come to a conclusion on faith’s significance for our own lives. 

So, What About Faith?

It’s between you and God and eventually it is between the both of you and the community of others who in spite of their frailty of faith, nonetheless do not give up hope.

So, What About Faith?

Hang on wherever you are with faith. And never forget, God is for you not against you. 

Thanks again for stopping by long enough to read this post. I pray this post has read you as well.



Hey you Blog Post people. I’m glad you’ve latched onto this 3rd post in the What About Faith series where we are pushing forward to unpack the importance of faith. We set out to write five posts which might help us consider the import and impact of faith in anyone’s life regardless of whether you are religious or not.

These posts are coming straight from talks and conversations I have been having with friends of mine @ Life Community here in Mt. Pleasant, SC as together we explore how one’s Faith can Transition us to a new step into what faith actually is about.

I have to give kudos to Brian McLaren and his writing in the book – A Search For What Makes Sense. He is an awesome writer whom I was introduced to by friends who thought I might find in McLaren a kindred spirit. And, I did! McLaren is a writer who has the credentials to help all of us work through this ever present pursuit of faith. 

So, let’s start with a point McLaren reveals; in a world where there are Good and Bad Choices, it’s quite likely that there must also be Good and Bad Faith “options” for my faith.

Jesus says in the Gospel accounts; Come and see or Come and follow. What I believe Jesus meant here is that Good Faith begins with Proximity and leads to Participation. The capital “P’s” assume significant importance which we’ll return to shortly.

Choosing a path to travel on as one explores, discovers, responds, and embraces an exceptional faith for one’s life is representative of someone who believes that faith itself is worth our time. And, in fact, isn’t it true, that time, the time we commit to a person, a project, a plan or a purpose is always a factor for a good or a bad outcome regardless of what one might be pursuing. By the way, go back to the top of this paragraph and read those four underlined words. Don’t each of those words sound inviting? They seem to me to be the scope and sequence for an individual whose intent is on giving faith its rightful place in their life.

Looking back over three decades in ministry, I recall having a sense that many people I’ve known who attend church, get baptized, pursue God, or “find religion” (whatever that means), spend little of their time exploring, discovering, responding, and embracing faith especially in these days of distraction. 

Time plays a huge part here and we have to be honest with ourselves as to the allocation of our time, because faith, as it turns out, requires a lot of one’s time. This is precisely why in the Gospels Jesus calls all of us first to the concept of Proximity. That word means to move close to in order to be present. When someone says to me; “Hey Mike, I’d like for you to come see something I have been working on. I’d love to hear what you think about it.” That’s an invitation to Proximity. And there is a bonus attached to Proximity. When one is near to others in faith, one becomes closer to exceptional faith… if that is what you are looking to find.

Immediately following the 4 Gospels in the New Testament we find The Book of Acts which is the beginning of the Church. Today, you, me, and others may see church as “our church.” It’s the church that I go to, the church I give to, the church that fits who I am, the church where I feel more at home in my faith. There are a lot of things you can identify as a reason for the church you choose and yes, the faith you are pursuing should be a major factor in where you are pursuing the Life that God has offered you.

Jesus’ church (if we can call it that) was actually a community, a fellowship of sojourners who because of their Proximity understood why Jesus was calling them to Participation. Without it (Proximity), there would be an even smaller number of people who are sharing their life with others (Participation), pursuing an exceptional faith. 

How do we Participate in the life of an exceptional faith? That’s where we’ll pick up inside of the 5th post in this series next week…



Welcome to my blog. If you are new, I am in a series of posts focused on the action of faith in our lives. This is the 3rd installment so check out the first two before you read this post… Oh, and we are glad to have you join us!

“Hello, is there anyone out there?” Does that sound like a question you have asked God when you can’t seem to locate where God might be… or if God even IS? 

I’ve asked it and I think many of us have asked it when we are wondering, where is God when we need God? Inside of that popular question put to God in a moment of despair or uncertainty or just plain anger, lies the initial problem humanity has been wrestling with when it comes to connecting with God.

Okay, well here’s a great place to begin part 3 of our What About Faith? blog post. I’m hoping we can move this conversation down the road by the end of this post. We’re not leaving WAF? behind, but these first three posts should put us in a position to move forward with some level of fluency in this matter of faith. 

I happen to believe that God has set us up. I know that statement (set us up) is often used in a negative way. But, what if there was a Creator God who created you with a purpose for your life? That is certainly the assumption which many confess to have, even though only a few live out their lives as if they actually believe it. 

Now, if you were born with a purpose and for a reason, how would you discover what those were? Most do it on their own and that of course is assumed to be the reasonable way to do this. You know, pick yourself up by the bootstraps and all that. Or, be a self made woman or man, (whatever that means) I’m not making fun here, I am simply stating that this is the way most of us, if not all of us, are inclined. 

Attempting to be our own arbiter as to our purpose and reason for living this life is, to me, a scary proposition especially when we can’t see or predict the future. This Pandemic has revealed that for us common folk. It may have been predicted, but even medical science is largely incapable of predicting mankind’s response to the virus. And as we have seen, mankind, at least in America, has proven it doesn’t want to pick itself up by the bootstraps now. We have shown we do not have the will to do what we do not want to do. We have shown that we value our independence well above an offer of interdependence.

So bear with me and let’s go back to this idea that if God has set us up, that could be a very positive thought. It doesn’t cut us out of discovery. It may give us an even better chance to discover who we were made to be. It may challenge us; in fact, it should challenge each of us because interdependence will require at the very least some level of faith. 

Couple of weeks ago in our series Faith Transitions I spoke on this topic of Faith In 25 Words Or Less. 

First 5 words – Faith is a dynamic state. 

Meaning faith is alive, fluid, innate. For faith to survive it must continually be upgrading and transitioning. 

Next 6 words – Faith is lived in relative certainty

Meaning faith is a gift given to imperfect people like you and me. Dr. Peter Enns in his book, The Sin of Certainty, writes, “Struggling with uncertainty transforms faith in ways nothing else can.” 

Next 7 words – Faith is about matters of ultimate importance

Meaning it is significant, meaningful, and substantial. It is about orienting oneself to what is universally true. It isn’t departing from reality, it is closing in on reality. Faith deals with how we conduct our lives, make our decisions, cope with suffering or pain, and establish our values.

Final 6 words – Faith is a catalyst for action. 

Meaning if my faith doesn’t result in action on my part then my faith is only an opinion. Anyone can recite a creed but to say that God exists without pursuing the life God offers… is not faith. It is merely an idea which I am not committed to. 

Faith matters. I remain convinced that every human being has faith in their lives. Whether it is active or dormant, dynamic or static… it is there. We are all at the very least responsible for considering and exploring faith’s possibilities.

Let me close with a couple of thoughts. First, I write this blog because I am deeply invested in being a part of the conversation that is shaping this culture. I honor who you are and where you are on faith right now.  At the same time, I share what I have come to believe about faith. Second, I do this because I have come to see faith as the leading edge of my life and in the lives of many others whom I have the privilege to journey with. As always, I am grateful that anyone would give me a listen, so thank you for reading. Now, how about responding? Your voice matters, make it known. 

We’ll have another post up by this weekend so please check back. And finally, I want to thank my awesome wife Lynda who is taking her time every day making contacts and building a following for this blog site. It’s great to have someone in your corner; it’s even greater for that someone to have known you for 50 years.



Greetings all. Thanks for finding this blog and hopefully reading the contents of this post as well as the posts which found their way in earlier this year and back to our initial posting on August 2, 2019. Wow, we’re almost a year old! 

In our initial post on What About Faith? I wrote this statement; I believe everyone has faith…We practice faith in our own way. Faith is needed to navigate our way through life and life will give us many opportunities to prove our faith to be; right or wrong, good or bad, helpful or harmful, etc., etc. All of us, without exception, know this to be true simply because all of us have experienced the dual outcomes which are in play whenever we choose to exercise faith. It is one thing to speak of faith as a noun. It is much different to speak of faith as a verb when we define itas being the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Complete, is a scary word to most of us and that alone can become a stumbling block for us attempting to move from faith as a noun to faith as a verb. 

Now, I need to be up front here. I realize there are people and there are causes. There are ideas and there are institutions. And there are churches and there are companies whom we have placed our faith in; you know like Pepsi or Coke, Hellmans or Dukes where it is not just about faith, it’s also about taste. Stay with me here.

Taste, as it turns out, can be applied in a broad sense within the English language. It is about more than just flavor. We use this word to speak of our discernment, our inclinations, our judgements and predilections. Ain’t the English language awesome! 

It’s interesting to note that the word taste was used in both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. David, the young shepherd who bravely walked into a fight with a giant of a man named Goliath, won that battle and ultimately became the King of Israel. No doubt that earlier event in his young life was on his resume’ that led to being crowned a King. I bring in David because he wasn’t only a warrior and a king, he was also a poet who wrote a number of chapters in the Book of Psalms. 

In the 34th Psalm David writes: Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is he who takes refuge in him! David is by this time speaking out of his heart not just his mind. He is using poetry which we see throughout the Psalms. By the way, do you ever read the Psalms? Scroll through that Old Testament book and here are ten I recommend in just the first third of that book. 

(Psalm 8,9,16,18,23,27,30,34,46,47)

What’s the point here in this second post on What About Faith? When it comes to faith, to taste is to act. A lot of people will say that they believe in God. Belief has become a word for many people which equals faith. Belief is good, it’s a start, it gets us in the door. But faith, or more specifically a faith that has tasted (think tested) now that’s a faith that is headed somewhere, that’s a faith that is moving, influencing, and beginning to transition one’s life onto a larger platform for living. 

I’ll be back on Monday with a new post, but for now I am curious as to what you are reading in these posts that you may have a question or comment about. As always, would love to hear from you so send me your thoughts and let’s begin a conversation on FAITH!



Are you a person of faith? At Life Community we are having a conversation right now centered on what we are calling Faith Transitions. We’re committed to spending a minimum of four Sundays developing an understanding of what faith is and why faith matters. It’s a start as we consider what life can become when and if one’s faith begins to transition, to grow, to transform one’s life.

Are you a person of faith? My first thought would be of course you are! I believe everyone has faith, it’s part of a person’s worldview. Without it life would be an improbable if not impossible journey to undertake. We all practice faith in our own way. 

Merriam-Webster is of some help when it comes to a basic description of faith; Faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. How does that fit with you? I like it as a baseline, a place to start. I hope that is okay with you as well. Stay with me, it’s going to get deeper.

Are you a person of faith who lives as if you have complete trust in someone you’d call “God”? At Life Community we have always begun our pursuit of God through a Conversation which leads to a Connection, which invites us into a Community. Those 3 steps are always being recycled in our lives because when it comes to FAITH, we all have a lot to experience. And for some reason, God has chosen to draw us together in community so that we can encourage one another as we wrestle with faith itself.

I have attended churches that have a list (sometimes a very long list) of things you have to DO in order to maintain your Christian faith. 

Jesus seems to have had a different perspective. He called people to follow him in order to experience 

Who he is, 

How he roles, 

Why he is focused (not on lists to DO) but on How God has created you to BE so that you can come fully alive to Who you are. 

When was the last time you felt this way about WHO YOU ARE?

Now, I’ve been following Jesus for over 50 years. During this journey here’s one thing I am certain of. Becoming who I was made to BE is the only way for me (or you) to ever DO what I (or you) need to be doing. When DOING overwhelms BEING in the Church (which it has in many churches) Christianity loses people who know better. I’ll get into WHY that makes sense in an upcoming blog, but for now I’ve got a conclusion to write.

Most of the people I hang out with are:

  1. Not Christians
  2. Christians who have left the Church because of Rules and Regs
  3. Christians following Jesus in order to discover life to the full
  4. Friends I have made who are interested in knowing more about why I am following Jesus.

After 30 years of ministry in the Church I have never felt so free to BE me. And having walked in this way with others @ Life Community Church, I am convinced beyond everything else that this is WHY LCC is still here in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Hopefully, you’ll give me some time to make this case. My goal is to post twice a week during this June /July series. Before I close, I’d like to invite you to join us on a Sunday morning during this current series on FAITH TRANSITIONS. We stream to Facebook live every Sunday at 10:15. Like our page Life Community Church for the service to show up in your feed. 

Don’t forget to leave a comment and/or share this blog site with a friend.



Hey guys,

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted on my blog site. A number of you already know that my brother Donnie had a stroke in the early morning hours of Monday, June 1st and was rushed to a hospital in Charlotte. 

These past two weeks we have been back and forth to the Queen City in North Carolina to be with Donnie’s wife Pam and daughter Laura. It has been what you might expect – days that ebb and flow with hope followed by despair. Currently we are feeling the former – HOPE! While pushing back against despair that hijacks your minutes and hours as if you have no other choice. You do, we all do.

As a Pastor I decided a long time ago to share with my friends at Life Community this truth; there are times when despair seems to have my phone on speed dial. (Just made myself a note to spend two or three posts on why that can happen to a pastor or anyone else and why it makes perfect sense.)

This past weekend has been one of HOPE! I love hope. I crave hope. I am ME when hope comes knockin. Just as you are you when hope knocks at your door.

Permission to speak frankly? Thanks. Donnie’s stroke, which has about three medical science words attached to it, came as many of these matters of life do – UNEXPECTED. Living in the midst of a pandemic and a nation filled with hate following the killing of George Floyd already had me, and perhaps you too, unavailable for anything else being dropped into my LIFE.

Stuff happens. Things pile on. That’s life. Where do we find the ability to juggle multiple crises while maintaining some degree of sanity? The Psalmist gave an answer to this much asked question in his 121st chapter. The poet writes; I lift my eyes up to the hills – where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Help can come from a variety of outlets. According to the writer, the psalmist insists that it comes from the Lord. The Hebrew counterpart being Jehovah, or for us, God. At times of hope or despair this is where help comes from, where help is brought into our lives. It’s where someone beyond us steps into our life in order to overcome the latest uninvited guest that has taken refuge in and around us.

I like the sound of that. Help being brought into my life. Over these past several years I hav learned the real value in trusting my stuff with the Lord. Recently our family was gifted a book entitled Guerrillas of Grace with this sub-title:  Prayers For The Battle. It was written by Ted Loder whom I believe to be one of the most imaginative writers in this genre that I have ever read.

This past Sunday at Life Community I read this poetic prayer in my opening comments. I recommend it to all who happen upon it, with hope that can pull you out of despair. Find it below.

Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you.