What The Creed Says … And What It Doesn’t Say

I love the last line of the Apostles’ Creed:

[. . . I believe] in the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.

While the Creed may not have the same level of authority as inspired Scripture, it nevertheless represents the best of the collective wisdom of early Christians.

And they described our eternal hope as “the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” read more

Guest Blogger Chris Thayer — The “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part” Sermon Rewind

Julie and I took off on Christmas Day for several days away, and so Chris Thayer, our Zoar Campus Pastor, preached “live” at Moss and via hologram to Zoar.

I gave Chris some unusually specific direction for this message — he knew he was concluding the series Wait For It, and he knew his message needed to connect Jesus’ first coming at Christmas with his second coming at the end of all days. read more

Wait For It, Week 5 — “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part” This Sunday

Well, you could hardly have a Good Shepherd series called Wait For It and NOT title one of the Sundays “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part,” could you?

So this Sunday both the sermon series AND 2018 wind up with a message called exactly that.

We have our NORMAL Sunday time schedule this week … read more

Christmas And The End Of Tactility (And Is That Even A Word?)

This Christmas made me think of the one when I was 16, in Dallas, and ALL I wanted was the cassette tape of Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy album.  That was IT.

(Unfortunately, in a behavior pattern that continues in many respects to this very day, I didn’t tell anyone what I wanted and then got secretly angry with them for not getting it for me.) read more

Two Sermon Rewinds In One Week?! Yep! The “The Wait Is Over” Sermon Rewind (Christmas Eve)

This is an unusual preaching week, which means it is also an unusual blogging week.

Sunday’s message in the Wait For It series was called Worth The Wait and I was delighted to see the impact it at on so many lives in our church.

Then for Christmas Eve the series went to The Wait Is Over.  Drawing from Luke 2 with support from Romans 8, and then meandering through our move to Kentucky in 1987 and touching on those times when you KNOW people are talking about you, the message arrived at one of my favorite Christmas Eve bottom lines: read more

“Wait For It” Week 4 — The “Worth The Wait” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Came from Galatians 4:1-7, not a section of Scripture normally associated with Christmas;
  • Celebrated how Paul reveals that family as much as forgiveness is at the heart of faith;
  • Led to this bottom line:  You can stop fighting for approval and start living from it.
  • That bottom line led to a closing worship moment where people received an “Approved” stamp on the back of their hands.  It went exactly how we envisioned it would.  People used the stamps as conversation starters and church connectors throughout our area on Sunday afternoon.

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Some of you may know this and others don’t, but there is one stat that I find especially interesting. It’s this:  in raising kids, it takes nine positive affirmations to offset one negative in the mind of your child.  I’m not saying it’s FAIR, moms and dads, I’m just saying it IS.  Now when some of you parents hear that stat, it’s like a punch in the gut and you want to race out because you KNOW you’ve got a lot of affirming to do; you’ve got quite a bit of ground to make up.  Others here who are a bit older, you know realize why your child-rearing years were such a strain and there are still so many scars:  you were trying to be helpful, you wanted your criticism to be constructive, but now you know that what was RECEIVED was more than what was intended.   It’s all so tricky … like the mom who finished a frankly nerve-wracking drive w/ her daughter behind the wheel w/ learner’s permit.  Mom got out of the care and said, “thank you!” Daughter answered:  “anytime.”  Mom replied: “I wasn’t talking to you.” read more

HOW JOHN THE EVANGELIST WAS LIKE JOHN THE NOVELIST

One of my favorite novelists is John Irving.

He’s the author of books that are both critically acclaimed and wildly popular, such as The Word According To Garp, A Prayer For Owen Meany, and The Cider House Rules.

Most Irving novels blend high hilarity, deep pathos, and improbable plot twists to craft narratives that are both entertaining and enriching. read more

A Christmas Tree Ornament From Someone Who GETS Me

I found this ornament on my desk this week.

And I thought:  “There’s someone who understands what makes me tick.”

It’s an ornament based on the Wait For It Series.

And it has my Sunday morning Breakfast Of Champions.

What more could I want?

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Things I’d Want To Do If I Didn’t Preach

When I went to college, ministry was not on my mind.  I had headed up north for school, recognizing that pro tennis was likely not going to work out, and therefore I should get a top notch education.  After that?

Law school is what I figured.  My father had been a law professor, an older brother was an attorney (now a judge), and it seemed to be in the genes. read more