Reflections On Turning 49

So I turned 49 yesterday.Sunday birthdays are always a bit odd for me as a preacher since I'm secretly glad that people know and remember but want to make sure that we don't make too big a deal of it.But here are some interesting nuggets from yesterday . . .A little...

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Life After Success

John McEnroe always said that attaining the number one ranking in the world was easier than maintaining it.In other words, life after success was harder than life before.You may not be #1 in the world in anything, but you've probably had a measure of success in some...

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Venues For Pastoral Care

I've been thinking this week about the where of pastoral care.Here's where some of it has happened for the pastoral care givers at our church just in the past few months:In hospital rooms;By a lakeshore;In the church lobby;At the county jail;In the Worship Center;At...

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Napkin Sketch

At staff meeting today, we did a napkin sketch exercise.It's something I learned from a new friend.We handed each staffer a napkin, a pen, and an assignment: imagine you're in a coffee shop and want to explain what our church is all about to someone you meet there....

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five U2 Songs

I admit it: I'm a fan.I remember first hearing U2 on the Philadelphia station WMMR (93.3 on your dial)in 1984. It seemed like that station played "Bad" every 30 minutes or so.Three things have always stood out for me in U2's music: 1) The sonic power of Bono's voice;...

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A Sunday WOOOPS!

Something pretty funny happened at yesterday's 8:30 service.I think I was the only one who got it, though.I was giving a message called Life After Loss. It was one of those messages about which I felt especially good -- good theology, good bible study, and an...

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The Privilege Of Preaching

As I think about what's coming this Sunday, it all serves as another reminder of what a privilege it is to preach in general and to preach at Good Shepherd in particular.For example, just this Sunday I get to . . .Correct a common misunderstanding of a frequently...

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Provision & Obedience

While trying to help someone navigate some particularly difficult terrain in life this week, the following truth occurred to me:Provision follows obedience.The provision of God generally follows obedience to God.Usually, we want it to happen the other way around....

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Therapeutic Vs. Theocentric

As we continue to navigate what we want Good Shepherd to do and be and how we want it to feel, the following distinction keeps roaming around in my head: Are our experiences therapeutic or theocentric? Now those are big sounding words but they actually communicate...

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Top Five Tuesday — Happy Birthday Brad Stoffel

I always remember that November 2 is Brad Stoffel's birthday.Who is Brad Stoffel and why do I remember his birthday?Brad was my chief rival for the top ranking in Texas tennis between the ages of 12 and 16.And he beat me fifteen times in a row.Most of the time, his...

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