Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Times What Felt Like PUNISHMENT Was Actually PREPARATION

I wish that my foresight was as accurate as my hindsight.  I bet you’re the same way.

We have seasons in life that, as we head in to them, feel like seasons of punishment.  They involve duty, training, re-education, and orders from on high.  Then once that particular season is complete, we recognize the “punishment” for what it was: indispensable preparation for the next season. read more

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A King’s Ransom Launch: The “All The King’s Men” Sermon Rewind

It’s not just the verses that are inspired.

It’s the whole process — compilation, composition, design — that bear the marks of divine authority behind the Scriptural gift.

Nowhere is that more true than with Mark’s treatment of all the failures of Jesus’ disciplines.  Mark is meticulous, detailed, and sometimes even hilarious as he records all the foul ups of Peter, James, John, and the rest. read more

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“A King’s Ransom” Launch — “All The King’s Men”

Our journey to Easter will go through the Gospel of Mark and just how it is he presents the betrayal, suffering, abandonment, and triumph of King Jesus.  Here’s the sermon bumper video will says it all:

We begin this Sunday with “All The King’s Men.”  That’s because out of all four Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), Mark devotes the most time and attention and wit to the stories of Jesus’ twelve disciples.  His inner circle.  His entourage.  His posse.  We’ll learn something remarkable from that portrayal on Sunday. read more

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What A Collection Of Young Adults Says About … Sex

Our One Sixty Seven series has been one in which the sermons were merely appetizers for the small group conversations to follow.

And such was the case last night, when I gathered with a Young Adult LifeGroup I am privileged to lead in order to discuss the sermon-based content of You Give Love A Bad Name. read more

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When You Can’t Articulate …

Several years ago I came across a startling statistic:

Vocabulary of a three year old in a professional home: 1,116 words Vocabulary of an adult in an under-resourced home: 974 words As mind-bending as that statistic is, its implications are even more troubling. When adults can’t articulate what they feel, they DO. So when adults with limited vocabularies cannot give verbal expression to feelings of rage, grief, passion, and despair, they act out in unhealthy ways: drugs, violence, promiscuity, and self-destruction. (By the way, this is why we believe funerals are such vitally important events at Good Shepherd — they provide space and language for grieving people to “feel” their feelings in healthy ways.) So what will I do with this statistic that won’t leave my head? I haven’t figured that out yet. It certainly gives insight into people’s behavior. It also makes me ever-more committed to help young parents see that their children need a lot less screen-based entertainment and a lot more text-based interaction. How are you passing on vocabulary to the young ones in your life?
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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Songs I Listen To While Working

It was Snow White who taught us to whistle while you work, wasn’t it?

Yet I’m not much of one for whistling.

On the other hand, some music while I’m working — in particular while I am either writing a sermon or writing notes to first time guests — often provides just the background I’m looking for.  Usually mellow, sometimes inspirational, and all the time a way to block out the world and hone in on the task. read more

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One Sixty-Seven, Week Four — The “You Give Love A Bad Name” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message, which concluded the One Sixty Seven series, also ….

  • got its title from a Bon Jovi song;
  • began with a shout out to Star Wars as the names of celebrities caught up in the Reckoning that followed the #MeToo movement scrolled on the screens, complete with musical accompaniment;
  • shared the biblical bookends that I first learned from Matt O’Reilly;
  • showed people that when Jesus COULD HAVE redefined marriage, he reinforced it instead;
  • emphasized the global, historic teaching of celibacy in singleness and faithfulness in heterosexual marriage;
  • landed at this bottom line:  You’ll give love a good name when your desires yield to his design.

—————————————-

This: Either LIST OF NAMES, hopefully on a moving screen like Star Wars OR pics of the people … will decide  Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Charlie Rose, Tavis Smiley, Matt Lauer, Al Franken,  Judge Roy Moore, Mr. Richardson, even a president or two … read more

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#OneSixtySeven, Week 4 — You Give Love A Bad Name

It was 1986 and Bon Jovi told us this:

And that video has had 184 million views!

Anyway, our 21st Century American culture has taken giving love a bad name to a entirely new level, hasn’t it?

A toxic combination of power, lust, and entitlement has resulted in what we call the #MeToo movement.

So since that is our cultural context for love, romance, and intimacy, how can we give love a good name? read more

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The Whimsical And The Weighty

A collection of thoughts and observations ranging from from the personal to the political and from the light-hearted to the heavy-handed …

  • The most exciting thing in my life over the past week has been working with a new contact lens specialist to locate a new brand and a prescription so that I am not HELPLESS WITHOUT MY READERS!
  • Just as Jesus is not ours to re-imagine, marriage is not ours to re-define.
  • I am excited that the much hoped for Palisades High School will open in Steele Creek by 2022.
  • God’s design for intimacy points to his beauty and leads to your wholeness.
  • We are citizens of the Kingdom and merely residents on the earth.
  • If I were relying only on my natural skill set and wiring, I’d like to be the PREACHER at Good Shepherd and the PASTOR at Mt. Carmel.  Ponder that for a minute and you might figure it out.
  • I continue to be stunned that people in my own Methodist tribe believe that Judges 21:25 is any way to carve out a life together.
  • Colossians 1:15-20 thrills me every time I read it.
  • Our G3 LifeGroup process during #OneSixtySeven has been so different and so rewarding that we’re going to do it again in the fall.
  • When I get tired of listening to Jason Isbell, I put in Don Henley.  Then when I get tired of listening to Don Henley, I put in Jason Isbell.
  • When Jesus could have redefined marriage in Matthew 19, he reinforced it instead.
  • I am claiming the truth that revival is impossible without God & inevitable with him.
  • My personal resolution for #OneSixtySeven has been to avoid/boycott those social media sites that I visit only to make me mad.  I can’t get frustrated at our collective outrage addiction while I’m participating in it.
  • Newer is not better and younger is not smarter.
  • I want to write a post on denominational countertransference but not sure I can pull it off.
  • For the last two weeks, I have cut my daily chocolate intake by more than one half.
  • read more

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    When My Life Suddenly Snapped Into Focus

    It happened when I saw this:

    Between 13 and 16, the biggest songs were:

    Hotel California

    Take It To The Limit

    Over The Hills & Far Away

    Brown Sugar

    More Than A Feeling

    Stayin’ Alive  (OK, there are exceptions to every rule.)

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