How One Book Led To Another …

Back in 2014, I led a number of Good Shepherd LifeGroups through Sandy Richter’s Epic Of Eden study.

And here is a photo of notes I took from the reading assignment of Week 11, Day One:

That day’s reading involved an overview of the Old Testament book of Judges.  And Richter described the book as a series of descending cycles of sin, debauchery, and self-destruction.  In her video commentary for the same week, she concluded, “By the end of Judges, the Israelites are now officially worse than the Canaanites.”  I know she said that because I took notes on it as well.  Here ya go: read more

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Things I’d Do Differently

As a lot of you know, I’m 55.

That means I have 10-12 years left of full-time ministry.

(Ironically, I confessed to someone recently that ten years AGO I had befriended a guy who is a corporate speech coach, and somewhere in the back of my mind was the idea that I should move away from church work and into that field.  Then God intervened.) read more

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Bouncebackers, Week 3 — The “A Bouncebacker’s Best Friend” Sermon Rewind

Sunday’s messaage …

  • Concluded with a bit of textual analysis of ancient Hebrew manuscripts Huh?  Trust me, it worked and did so in a way that demonstrate how library-ish the bible is.
  • Had a moment in the manuscript where I used “purposeful” rather than “intentional” because Brian Sigmon prefers it.
  • Referenced the Carpenters, Cher, the return of Jesus, and my own Methodist tempter tantrum from days gone by.
  • Used “Nathan” as a verb … as in “to Nathan” someone.
  • Landed at this bottom line:  You will either stand corrected or fall convicted.

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In a little bit I am going to give you a choice between two options, and that choice is pretty stark, Option A and Option B, with not much gray space between them.  Black.  White.  And not to overpromise and under-deliver or anything, but I believe how you decide in this choice may well do more for your career, your classes, your marriage, your LifeGroup, your faith than just about any other choice you make.  Literally could make the difference between life & death, success & failure, favor & misery.  Not quite heaven & hell serious choice, but not far behind. read more

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Bouncebackers, Week 3 — “A Bouncebacker’s Best Friend”

Why would someone living life from this altitude …

… ever need a bounce back?

And what in the world would a best friend have to do with it?

Answers to those questions and more …

Sunday.

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

10, 11:30 on the Zoar Campus.

11:30 at the Spanish-speaking service. read more

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Guest Musician At Good Shepherd

During Sunday’s 11:30 worship gathering, I looked to my left and there saw this little boy, Jacob, along with his mother.

Jacob had to sit on the front row because he had to be able to see the guitarists and play along with them with the axe he brought.

So throughout each song, as the band led, Jacob played along. read more

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When You Meet The AUTHOR Of The Book You’re Reading

I am currently leading two LifeGroups through The Rewritten Life, a short-term bible study written by Jessica LaGrone.

Rev. LaGrone is the Dean Of The Chapel of Asbury Seminary (my alma mater) and has a way of writing that is simultaneously profound and approachable.

We’ve been exploring some of the biblical characters who received a name change, starting with Abraham & Sarah and then moving through Jacob, Naomi, Daniel, Peter, and ultimately the “unnamed woman” of John 8.  Both groups have thoroughly enjoyed the work we’re doing together as well as LaGrone’s contribution to it. read more

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Top Five Tuesday — My #NotMyTopFive Tuesday List

The following acts will not, by executive decree, ever make an appearance on this blog’s “Top Five Tuesday.”

Primarily because there is no way that I could five songs by all of them combined that I actually like.

Here they are:

5.  REO Speedwagon.  It’s time for them to fly.  Away.  For good. read more

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Bouncebackers, Week 2 — The “Horrible Bosses” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Hinged on an obscure detail from an already-obscure story in Jeremiah 38;
  • Continued my commitment in the Bouncebackers series to looking at characters and narratives that normally float under the biblical radar;
  • Covered work issues that, apparently, many people struggle with;
  • Landed at this bottom line:  Why be life’s pawn when you can be God’s partner?

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One way I KNOW we could get sidetracked for a good long time here is if we gathered you all in circles and threw a question up on the screen (do it!) that said:  TELL US ABOUT THE MOST HORRIBLE BOSS YOU’VE EVER HAD.  And you would launch right in!  It’s such a common subject, such a familiar feeling that they even made a movie with that title (AV)!  Now: two rules before we would actually do that: 1) NO ONE who works here at GS could participate; and 2) if you’ve never had a boss because you are still in school you could edit it to the most horrible teacher or counselor or even coach.  Yep, I know our discussion would be lively, animated, and lengthy. read more

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Bouncebackers, Week 2 — “Horrible Bosses”

Ever had one of these?

I daresay that most of us have.  Whether boss, coach, teacher, pastor, or politician, almost all of us have felt at the mercy of someone in a position of authority over us.

And what do you do if that authority is unpredictable or malevolent or both?  How do you bounce back from that? read more

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Most. Perfect. Gift.

A friend from Good Shepherd gave me this on Sunday.

I’m just going to leave this here and let you bask in its truth, wisdom, and beauty.

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