ReGroup, Week 4 — The “When You Believe Your Own Headlines” Sermon Rewind

Yes, a sermon rewind post on Wednesday, not Monday. I took Labor Day off. Not that I am believing my own headlines, mind you. Because Sunday’s sermon was about the dangers of doing exactly that. It touched on why prosperity is so much more dangerous than adversity. And it landed at a bottom line that seemed to speak to many people: You will SUSTAIN success when you MAINTAIN desperation. read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Reasons To Attend Good Shepherd’s “Leader Gathering” On Sept. 8 At 5 P.M.

This Sunday, Sept. 8, we have a Leader Gathering from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Why should you come? Here’s five reasons:

It’s not a Leadership Gathering but a Leader Gathering because leadership is a principle and leaders are people. If you are reading this, you are a person.

People who love THE Good Shepherd through the specific community OF Good Shepherd will be there — people from all campuses, venues, and languages in one place at one time. Something tells me we’ll sing in more than one language. read more

ReGroup, Week 4 — When You Believe Your Own Headlines

The ReGroup series concludes with a close look at the closing scenes of Josiah’s life from 2 Kings 23.

Josiah has an incredible list of accomplishments. He’s a Rock Star. His name is in lights. He’s on top of the world a looking down on creation.

And he begins to believe his own headlines. read more

Some (More) Questions For Paul

A friend and I have been reading the book of Ephesians together.

For over a year.

We go down a lot of rabbit trails during our time together, but when we zero in on Ephesians, the rewards are rich indeed.

Spending that much time on that short a book, however, also raises some questions.

In fact, I have a whole lot of them that I would like to ask Paul himself. read more

A Clear And Obvious Danger

Many times in speaking or in writing people try to reinforce the strength of their points by adding the words clear and obvious.

As in, “it’s obvious from the context that John 3:16 means . . . “

Or:  “this is clearly the direction our church needs to follow . . . “

The problem is that by using those words we actually undermine our argument. read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Random Songs That Always Sound Good Even If I’m Not A Big Fan Of The Artist

How’s that for a title?

Five songs sung by artists for whom I have no special, enduring fondness.

Yet songs which, no matter when I hear them, I listen all the way through as if they were from the Eagles themselves.

So there they are. Five songs of random greatness:

(Skateaway) Making Movies — Dire Straits. Not as well known as “Sultans Of Swing” or “Money For Nothin” but a whole lot better than both. read more

If Something Is Worth Doing, It’s Worth Doing ON SUNDAY MORNING

Yesterday’s worship gathering at Good Shepherd led to a LifeGroup Launch event on Sunday morning.

In previous years, we have held these events on either a Monday or Tuesday night.

That was even my tentative plan for ReGroup.

But then several staffers came up with a much better idea and voila! The breezeway at Moss and the front lawn at Zoar became scenes for connection and community. read more

Triple D: Diversity, Dallas, (Mic) Drop

During a recent address in Dallas, Texas, Dr. Jason Byassee, professor of homiletics at Vancouver School of Theology and a clergy member of the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church, shared this thought:

In the mainline we have pushed tolerance for a generation or two and gotten whiter and older, less diverse. So if you want more aging white liberals, preach diversity. If you want more diverse people, preach Jesus, and see what diverse people he draws to himself. read more

Good Advice For A Wednesday Or Any Other Day That Ends In “Y”

This came across my desk recently, having been written by a Good Shepherd young adult on the back of a Comment Card.

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Reflections On Freshman Orientation Week

This week, a large number of students who have grown up at Good Shepherd ventured off to college.

Many of them headed to Clemson, others to UNC or NC State, a few to USC (the one in Columbia, South Carolina, not Los Angeles, California) and still others stayed in the greater Charlotte area.

Nevertheless, all these departures and subsequent conversations with parents gave me pause — as most things do in my nostalgia-filled mind — to go back 39 years to my own Freshman Orienation Week at Princeton University. (I know it’s probably called “First Year Orientation” now, but please for the love of God …) read more