Where Apples Fall, Week 4 — “Falling Alone”

Is it possible to have the people you love the most pay a steep price for your pursuit of good things?

Huh?

You saw that right.  Do the people you love the most have to pay a price for the time you spend pursuing things which are good, noble, and right.

That’s one of the areas we’ll explore as we dig deep into Where Apples Fall. read more

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Raising Funds Without Ever Fund Raising

Occasionally when I speak to groups of people within this church or beyond it, the subject of fund raisers comes up.  And that’s when I most love the conversation.

Because at Good Shepherd we have a very simple policy towards fund raisers: we don’t have them.

That’s right. No bake sales. No raffles. No car washes. No barbecues. No pumpkin patches. Most of the groups I tell about this policy breathe a sigh of relief, saying, “thank you Jesus!” read more

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A Book Launch. In An Art Studio. With Real Live Dummies.

The best part about last night’s launch were my three assistants.  To my left is Crash, and to my right, in order are Test and Dummy.

They spent some time indoors but more time outdoors, welcoming guests, posing for pictures, and even drumming up business.

They even persuaded a Baptist pastor who was eating dinner at a RiverGate restaurant to come in, browse around, and pick up a book.  That was in addition to the Presbyterian pastor’s family who were among our earliest shoppers. read more

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On A #CrashTestDummies Day, An Unexpected Appearance By #Solve

So today is the day that Crash Test Dummies drops.  Releases.  Publishes.  Whatever.  It’s book #5 (whoda thunk?) and I hope my Charlotte area friends can make it to the Book Launch Event tonight from 7-9 pm at RiverGate Shopping Center’s Art Space Studio.

Yet while my mind is all Crash Test Dummies, I recently received some unexpected — and, frankly, mind-blowing news about Solve (book #4, adapted from the sermon series Solutionists.) read more

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“Where Apples Fall, Week 3” — The “When The Apple Falls A Little Too Close For Comfort” Sermon Rewind

Like father, like son.

In the worst sense of the word.

That’s what Week 3 of Where Apples Fall featured, with a close look at one of the top five “ick” stories in Scripture: the “meet my sister” pattern that Abraham starts and passes on to Isaac.

After that noxious beginning, however, the message found redemption in both Genesis 50:20 and the genealogy of Jesus and landed here:’ read more

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Where Apples Fall, Week 3 — “Falling Too Close For Comfort”

In the message for this upcoming Sunday, you’ll get …

  • references to Brattonsville and Brittany Spears;
  • a video about walking you’ll have to see to believe;
  • a close exploration of one of the Top Five ICK Stories in the bible.

All in all, it will lead to Falling Too Close For Comfort, and it’s a message that has me genuinely excited.  I believe it will make a difference in our patterns, our households, and our spirits.

Sunday.

8:30, 10, 11:30 on Moss Road. read more

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#TBT — Summer, 1978, The Texas Junior Davis Cup Team, and A Co-Captaincy

This past week I was Facebook-tagged in this photo below.  I have no memory — zip, zero, nada — of it being taken.

But I know the year: 1978.  I know my age: 16 (Hey!  Hold on to 16 as long as you can, right?!).  I know the place: the steps of the T Bar M racket club in Dallas.  And I know my ranking that year (see below). read more

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A Requiem For Last Words

Years ago, I had a District Superintendent in the United Methodist Church — a position which functions, more or less, as a pastor to the pastors — tell a group of us assembled clergy:  “When you want to get the last word in . . . don’t.”

And I was thinking, “But I have so many good last words!  You’re quenching my spirit!  Cramping my style!” read more

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Storm Stories In Scripture

In the wake of Harvey and Irma, and in anticipation of Jose and Katia, today seems like an appropriate time to take stock of the storm stories that dot the biblical landscape.  And seascape, for that matter.

Here are my five favorite:

  1. Jesus’ contrast of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27.  At the conclusion of the Sermon On The Mount (ever considered what you’d do for an encore after delivering that?), Jesus makes the remarkable claim that if you put into practice what you have just heard your life will weather life’s inevitable storms, much like a man who builds his house on rock. If you decline to put his words into your practice, then your house will fall, much like one with a foundation of sand, and great will be the fall of it.

2.  Jesus sleeping on the boat with his panicked disciples in Mark 4:35-41.  I love this story because not only does it demonstrate that Jesus has authority over the forces of nature, it also shows that the disciples are more frightened of his power than they ever were of the storm. read more

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Where Apples Fall, Week 2 — The “Falling Apart” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Referenced Julie’s career in the health care industry;
  • Spoke openly regarding the fact that most of us are motivated by forces about which we are unaware;
  • Described Genesis 25-50 as a “mini-series”;
  • Arrived at this bottom line:  The wounds you ignore become the pain you inflict.

—————————————————–

I want to talk to you this morning for a couple of minutes about Wound Care.  Mostly because my wife Julie is a VP of sales for a med device company & for many years was with a firm that specialized in wound care. Ergo, I’m an expert.  But wounds, as you may or may not know, go from the routine to the gruesome; from paper cuts in my office to shrapnel on the strees of Kabul.  But one thing all these wounds have in common (well, maybe a couple of levels UP from a paper cut) is that if they are left untreated & untended, if they are IGNORED, then they become infected.  read more

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