Unexpected Abundance

With the economy in such turmoil and so many people uncertain about their own jobs, we almost didn't do any kind of stewardship campaign this fall.I'm glad we did.Oddballs built to that Sunday in which we asked people to make estimates of their giving to God through...

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Cool Church . . . or Spirit-Filled?

A friend told me not long ago that he feels Good Shepherd is trying really hard to be a "cool" church.Ouch. With love, but ouch.It probably hurts so much because there is more than a grain of truth in it. The language we use, the songs we sing, the visuals we display...

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Here I Raise Mine Ebenezer

The hymn Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing has this puzzling line: "Here I raise mine Ebenezer, hither by thy help I'm come . . ."What in the world is an Ebenzer? And how do you raise it?The men on our Into The Wild retreat at Camp Harrison found out this past...

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Loved

This will be a good series.It will be good because it's way out of my comfort zone.It will be good because you'll hear an amazing song done four different ways in four different weeks.It will be good because you'll have some moments in our church you've never had...

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Michael Crichton 1942-2008

One of my favorite authors died yesterday.I didn't even know Michael Crichton was sick. But he died of lung cancer at the age of 66.None of his books will ever be taught in the English Departments of certain high brow universities. But could he tell a story. He mixed...

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A Funeral At Serenity

I went to a funeral today. Not as the preacher, but as a pastor and family friend of the man who died, Harold Darling.And the funeral was at the Serenity Church here in Charlotte, which is a fascinating congregation focused on recovery from all kinds of addictions.The...

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Election Day Memories

Since it's Election Day today, I thought it was a good time to connect with some election memories. I was raised in a family that had (and has) a great interest in politics; in fact, some of my earliest memories revolve around sitting at the dinner table with...

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Much More Goes Out Than What You Put In

So we wrapped up Oddballs yesterday.The series built to the point where we invited the people of the church to make their 2009 Estimates Of Giving -- a financial pledge, to use an older phrase.Giving to God is the sort of thing that oddballs do while the rest of the...

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Why Did I Ever Stop?

Each Thursday morning this fall, I teach a class called Invitation To Genesis to fifteen or so very animated people from Good Shepherd.I taught this kind of class religiously in my early years at Good Shepherd. But for the last three years -- citing "scheduling...

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Cable’s Out

I got home last night and the cable was out.And it's not an area-wide outage, which means crews couldn't fix the problem last night; they'll have to stop by some time today.But what did that mean for last night? No TV. No computer. No internet access. It's all tied in...

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