ThanksLiving, Week 3 — The “What A Privilege To Carry” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Began with a tug of war demonstration;
  • Explored Paul’s use of jealousy to motivate the Corinthians to generosity;
  • Paved the way for the people of Good Shepherd to offer prayerful pledges of their support in 2019;
  • Landed at this bottom line:  When you see that giving is a privilege, the gift becomes a pleasure.


The subject of money & church – giving & congregation – is usually fraught with frustration and anxiety.  On the part of both preacher and preached.  It’s one of the few subjects about which IT IS ASSUMED that pastor and congregation start out on the same team (maybe) but on different sides (certainly).    And the reason people make these kind of assumptions – that preacher starts HERE and preached over HERE (demonstrate) – is the thought (conscious or not) that I & other preachers are up here trying to GET from you something that you don’t want to GIVE.  Or GIVE UP.  It is a great big Tug Of War like I want to show you with my friend Jacob Hay, a DEFENSIVE END / BEAST / FOOTBALL PLAYER.
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ThanksLiving, Week 3 — What A Privilege To Carry

This Sunday, I will begin my message in a way I have never begun a message before.


But I can’t tell you what it is.

You’ll need to be there in person.

It’s ThanksLiving, Week 3, and it’s called What A Privilege To Carry.


8:30, 10, 11:30 at the Moss Campus.

9, 10:30 at the Zoar Campus. read more

#TBT — What? ANOTHER Racket Sport?

This comes from my high school yearbook (called “The Highlander”) when I was a senior in 1980.


I won the Intramural Ping Pong — er, table tennis — Championship.  I know adidas was super glad to get the free publicity.

A Case Study In Uncovering A Bottom Line

Last Sunday (November 11) was my first message in 2018’s ThanksLiving series.  The bottom line I eventually uncovered/discovered has some real “stickiness” to it, but the process of arriving there was anything but simple.  Here’s what I mean.

I first had the Scripture — the story from Luke 17 of Jesus healing ten men with leprosy.  Only one returns to give thanks … and he is a Samaritan, an outsider, doubly rejected due to his disease and his enthnicity.  Here’s the biblical text: read more

From An “Eye Roll” To A “To Die For”: The Top Five Benefits Of A Strong Mission Statement

I have a confession:  earlier in my ministerial career I treated any conversation about church mission statements with the dreaded eye roll.

“Not again,” I thought.  “There goes someone pontificating about mission and vision, which if you ask me is just a lot of talk that compensates for not doing much work.” read more

ThanksLiving, Week 2 — The “The Loud Silence” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Led to a nerve-wracking yet liberating “open mic” time;
  • Raised the possibility that the nine people with with leprosy who DIDN’T come back in Luke 17 might not have had healing that endures;
  • Taught that nothing happens by accident in Luke because he is no accidental writer; he is a certifiable genius;
  • Led to this bottom line:  Real healing comes when your ‘Thank You Lord!’ is as loud as your ‘Help Me God!’


I suspect that all of us in this place have at one time or another heard that phrase So Help Me God come off our lips.  Or we have heard it come out of other people’s mouths.  For sure, anyone who has ever been on jury duty or served as a witness in a court case or a deposition or even been installed into elected office taken your vow with one hand on the bible and the other raised in the air and the phrase so help me God wrapping it all up.  read more

How The Four Gospels Begin … And Where They End

As we anticipate the Christmas season and its nativity stories, I have found myself in a couple of different settings explaining how each Gospel begins.

Because I believe that how each begins also shapes how each one ends.  Let me show you what I mean.

Matthew begins with a trip through Jesus’ family graveyard — a genealogy that begins with Abraham, traces God’s covenant with the Jews and includes just enough non-covenantal Gentiles to prepare you for the Gospel’s final command:  Go into all nations and make disciples . . . read more

Tennessee Weekend (Part 2) — Catching Up With Life-Altering Encounter Guy

Yesterday, I posted about the Weekend Wedding of our daughter Taylor to Nate Underwood in Nashville, Tennessee.

As part of our trip to Nashville, Julie and I dropped by the United Methodist Publishing House, to meet Brian Sigmon, a young man twenty years my junior (!) who, it’s fair to say, had a pivotal role in changing the trajectory of my life. read more

Top “Five” Tuesday — A “By The Numbers” Look At A Weekend Wedding

Julie and I spent last weekend in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, where our daughter Taylor married Nate Underwood.  After a honeymoon in Cancun, the couple will reside in the Crieve Hall section of Nashville.

But here’s an illustrated look at a wedding by the numbers.

About 160 guests gathered at the stunningly beautiful Covey Rise venue … read more

Guest Blogger Ron Dozier — The “Yours, Mine, And Ours” Sermon Rewind

As a lot of you know, I am seldom away from the Good Shepherd pulpit.

Yesterday was one of those days.

I felt my daughter’s wedding in Nashville, Tennessee, was a good reason to miss.

So I asked Ron Dozier, our Pastor Of Missions & Community Impact, to open up our ThanksLiving 2018 series.

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