James-Michael Smith

The man in this picture is James-Michael Smith, who has been the Disicpleship Pastor at Good Shepherd since 2004.Today is his last day on the job.Thankfully, it's not his last day as part of the Good Shepherd community.James-Michael is moving on from the staff so that...

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Wedding In Blowing Rock

Not ours, mind you. But last weekend, I did something I don't think I've ever done except for immediate family: an out-of-town wedding. Some friends/church members got married in Blowing Rock, NC, and I was only too glad to take Julie with me, make the hike up NC Rt....

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Confusing Preference For Strategy

In church leadership, it is quite tempting to confuse personal preference for effective church strategy.For example, I could come up with a different U2 song to go along with virtually every message I give. In fact, I would love doing that. It would suit me and my...

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Why It’s Fun To Work Here

We showed this as church opened yesterday:As you can imagine, people who come up with ideas like that -- and the wherewithal to make those ideas come to pass -- are fun to work with.I am blessed on this day after Sunday.

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2,000 Car Deodorizers

On Easter Sunday, we gave away about 2,000 Without Limit 2.0 Car Deodorizers.Why in the world would we do such a bizarre thing?Well, so people would come back.And so they would use the novelty to invite their friends to come.But primarily so that each time people...

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Methodism Is Really Pentecostal

The word "Pentecostal" conjures up all sorts of unsettling images for many of us: weird preachers who wear white suits and drive luxury cars, "staged" healing and deliverance services, people "falling out" in the spirit, or, worse, handling snakes. And then a sneaking...

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Don’t Fall For The Monthly Payment

If you've ever bought a car, you've had the sales person ask you, "So what kind of payments are you looking for?"As if the bottom line price of the car and its options doesn't matter, only what you have to shell out every month. Every month for the next four years. Or...

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Questions That Shake Your Faith

I have to admit that there are some days when I find my faith shaken to the core.Questions keep building and building. Questions without any easy answers.Questions like:Why does God allow mental illness?What redemptive purpose can you ever find in a suicide?Why is...

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The Day After Sunday

Preachers and Mondays. An interesting combination.A lot of pastors take Mondays off.But somewhere along the way, someone told me that pastors who do take Mondays off have a higher rate of clinical depression than those who don't. I have no way of verifying that claim,...

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Without Limit 2.0

Back in February we did a series called Without Limit. Based on John 3:34 -- "for God gives the Spirit without limit" -- it was four weeks of focus on the person and power of the Holy Spirit.In that series, I spoke and taught openly about praying in tongues, about...

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