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#TBT — May, 1978, Austin, Texas

Here I am serving in the final round of the Texas State High School Doubles Championship. read more

Pastor Or Agitator?

So what’s the more profound role for a person in my role: pastor or agitator? read more

“God With Us,” Week 2 — The “When Will I Be Loved?” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Was one of those I felt good about from the moment I prepared it back in early October;
  • Used an analogy with a $20 bill that seemed to connect with people;
  • Was SUPPOSED to reference Linda Ronstadt (give the message title) … yet at all three hours that line completely escaped me;
  • This line, however, did not. The message’s bottom line was this: He became one of us because he adores all of us.

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Here’s something that I know is true, almost without exception: you hang out with people you like. It’s how you roll. Now: there may be exceptions, like if you’re in a large group and a person or two in that group wouldn’t make your list of favorites, they kind of annoy you. But by and large, if you have a smaller circle, a posse, your homies, it’s people you like. These are relationships you choose and time you spend because you want to. This is why for a lot of you the Thanksgiving you just had or the Christmas you’re gonna have has that bit – or a lot – of tension to it. Because you’re related to those people by BLOOD and not by CHOICE, and there’s a big difference between the two.
And for a lot of you, it’s not only why you got on vacation with that friend or why if you’re a Panther fan you “Panther” with those friends, it’s even why you go to the church you do, and even why you’re in the LifeGroup you’re in. And even more importantly, if you’re married, this is part of the reason why you married the person you did. You enjoy spending time with that person. If that’s not true – either you married someone you despised from the beginning or you’re friends with a bunch of folks you don’t like to spend time with – we have therapist numbers in the lobby. Because in general, you hang with people you like. You are fond of them & you enjoy the time.
You may be wondering why I spent any time at all telling you something that seems so obvious, especially since we have Xmas to get to. And the reason for that is, well, that we have Xmas to get to! Because at the beginning of the way Matthew tells the story – way before that baby was away in a manger in the little town of Bethlehem – Joseph of Mary N Joseph has an encounter with an angel. He’s already gotten the disturbing news that his fiancé Mary is in the family way, he also knows that her apparent irresponsibility is not his responsibility, and he further knows that because of all of this that she won’t be saying yes to the dress and he won’t be having a bachelor party and there is no pretty wedding in sight. Look at 1:18-19:

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[a]:
His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they
came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. 19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[b] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

CACOPHONY recording from Granger 07/08 that we did before where it builds and I cut through it with God adores you. read more

“God With Us,” Week 2 — “When Will I Be Loved?”

Linda Ronstadt famously asked, “I’ve been cheated, been mistreated, when will I be loved?” read more

You Say “Fresh Expression”; We Say “Expresion Fresca”

“Fresh Expressions” is a movement within church-land to take ministry TO THE COMMUNITY rather than asking the community to come TO THE CHURCH. It’s high touch, low threat evangelism that places a priority on the ministry of presence. read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Reflections From An “On The Border” Concert

This past Friday, I went with Julie and our Good Shepherd friend Jay Shennum to the Neighborhood Theater in the NoDa section of Charlotte to enjoy a concert by “On The Border,” an Eagles Tribute Band. read more