HELL OR HIGH WATER LAUNCH — “What The”

Hell.

There.  We said it.

So … is it a swear word?  A place?  An idea?  A threat? A relic? A metaphor? A destination?

And if it is in any sense real, who goes there?  Why do they go there?  And how do we make sure its number never includes any of us?

Hell Or High Water. A series that will start out on fire but end up in the refreshing waters of baptism. read more

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Creating A LifeGroup Culture

We’re more than a church “with some LifeGroups.”

We’re less than a church “of LifeGroups”  (a claim I’ve usually taken as somewhat hyperbolic anyway).

I guess you could say we are a church whose culture revolves around LifeGroups.

(By the way, the term “LifeGroups,” also known as “small groups” or “cell groups,” are intentional gatherings of 8-15 people who meet together weekly or bi-weekly for bible study, conversation, and prayer.) read more

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Guest Blogger Diana Setter: Though A Staffer Departs, Phrases Remain . . .

Diana Setter has served on our staff in the Student & Family Ministry Department since 2014.  Her final day on the job was July 31, as she is moving back home to family and community in Wisconsin.  We will miss her greatly.

And, unknown to me, Diana punctuated her final day at work with this Facebook post listing some Good Shepherd phrases that will stick with her.  She could not have penned a better epilogue and tribute to what this place and its people are about. read more

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five (Or Six) Reflections On A Week In New Jersey

As you know if you follow this blog, I spent last week as the guest teacher for the Daily Bible Hour at the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.  This video gives you a sense of that place, its people, its purposes, and its hymnic history:

Having lived in New Jersey for seven years (four as an undergraduate and then three as a newlywed), this trip was something of a homecoming for me.  Here are five reflections on Ocean Grove, the Garden State as a whole, and the role I realized it played in the life of my family. read more

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Unhappy Campers, Week 4 — The “Wildwood” Sermon Rewind

Below you will find my sermon from July 23, the final message in the Unhappy Campers series called “Wildwood.”

Due to Sunday travel, unfamiliarity with a new laptop, and lack of time, I did not post this last week.  So, with Ron Dozier preaching at Good Shepherd yesterday (July 30), this gives me a chance to do what I didn’t do previously. Got that? read more

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Talks & The Talking Talkers Who Give Them

I spent both Monday and Wednesday afternoons in Ocean Grove, NJ with this group of student ministry interns.

In between their programming, counseling, and shepherding of the teenagers who are part of this Jersey Shore based camp meeting, they gave several hours of continuing education time to me, their continuing educator. read more

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Some Time With A Benevolent Czar

On Tuesday night, I had dinner with David Benjamin, who was my tennis coach at Princeton University from 1980-1984.  Here we are at a local Princeton eatery:

As I shared in an earlier post, I am in the Garden State this week preaching and teaching at the Ocean Grove Campground.  So after I completed my teaching duties on Tuesday, I hopped in a car and drove a hour due west to re-visit my old college haunts and to see some old college-era friends. read more

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GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, NEW JERSEY (Well, Close Enough)

GREETINGS FROM ASBURY PARK, NJ (well, close enough)

A small handful of you will get the rock reference in the post’s title. The rest of you will lament your lack of education.

I don’t normally post “on location” when I am out of town, but this is too much fun.

I am at the Jersey Shore … not on the show (is it still on?) but teaching the daily Bible Hour at the historic Ocean Grove Camp Meeting. read more

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Sovereignty & Money

John Piper said it this way:
“He (Jesus) said more about money than he did about heaven and hell because where your treasure is there will your heart be also. So why do we have money? Money is God’s idea, what’s it for? Here’s the reason we have money: we have money to use it in such a way that we show that money is not our God, but God is our God. That’s why we have money. Money is given to us to use it in such a way to show the world that money is not our treasure but Christ is our treasure. That’s why we have money.”
Brilliant. read more

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TOP FIVE TUESDAY — Top Five Reflections From A Carolina Cross Connection Trip

TOP FIVE TUESDAY — Top Five Reflections From A Carolina Cross Connection Inc. Student Mission Trip

I spent last week at Camp Loy White in rural Cleveland County, NC as part of a Good Shepherd Church Student Mission Team who in turn joined the larger Carolina Cross Connection Project.

The mission of CCC is to forge Christian community while empowering students to make a difference in the lives of under-resourced people through ministries of home repair, yard work, and spiritual comfort. This was my NINTH CCC week — seven while at Mt. Carmel Church in Monroe and now the last two years at Good Shepherd. read more

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