Subtle Influences?

Yesterday's post ended with a question: what seen and unseen influences might have led me to sense that God was moving me towards pastoral ministry?I've thought about that question for the last several days.As far as I know, there were not any pastors on either side...

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Reflections On Reflections On My Call To Preach

While in Lake Junaluska last week, I picked up and read a delightful little book by Fred Craddock called Reflections On My Call To Preach. Craddock is professor emeritus of preaching at the Candler School of Theology, the United Methodist Seminary at Emory University....

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Christians In A Bubble

Paul Simon sang about The Boy In The Bubble on his classic 1986 album Graceland.You can see and hear it here. It's well worth your time.The bubble in the image to the right and on the song is designed to protect and to insulate. Of course in the case of serious...

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Methodist Holy Land

For the next couple of days I am at Lake Junaluska, NC attending the 2009 meeting of the Western North Carolina Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church.That's a mouthful.It's the yearly gathering of every United Methodist pastor and one lay member per pastor...

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Churches & Money

You'll need your bible for this one.To find out how to pull off a church barbecue, check here: Acts 29:13.To read about the successful bake sale they had in Corinth, look here: II Corinthians 8:28-29.To get biblical instructions for a profitable yard sale, study...

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Quarter Century

The picture on the right comes from June 9, 1984.So today marks the 25th wedding anniversary for me and for Julie.Some reflections from that day 25 years ago:1. It was hot. 100 degrees hot. In Princeton, New Jersey. And the Princeton University Chapel, where we had...

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Flexibility

Ministry requires flexibility.Yesterday, something was slightly off in the flow of our service at 8:30. We were trying to teach the church a great new song, celebrate communion, and still leave enough time for a serious teaching on Homosexuality: The Elephant In The...

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The Elephant In The Room

It's there, but no one acknowledges it.It's there, everyone knows it's there, but no one talks about it.It's there, and some people believe if they ignore it long enough, it will simply go away.It's the elephant in the room.It's the subject of homosexuality and the...

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How Many Members Do You Have?

Every so often, someone will ask me, "How many members do you all have over there at Good Shepherd?"The truth is, I don't know.That's because membership is an inaccurate measure of church health. The typical church in United Methodism, for example, has about three...

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What Rafael Nadal Taught Me About Ministry

In spite of his shocking loss at the French Open on Sunday, Rafael Nadal has taught me something about ministry.I'm not even a great fan, but I've learned something nonetheless.It's this. Early in a match -- especially on clay -- Nadal will extend a point he could win...

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