Thank God For Science, Week 3 — Navel Gazing

In Week One of Thank God For Science, we discovered together that although we ask Genesis 1 “how” and “when,” it answers back with “who” and “why.”

Then last week, we went both interstellar and intergalactic and saw the many ways that a finely tuned universe demands a Fine Tuner. read more

#TBT — Menendez Brothers, 1985

While cleaning out some of our file cabinets recently, I came across a file containing many of my old Trentonian columns, including this one on a pair of brothers you may have heard of: Erik and Lyle Menendez.

Say WHAT?!

At the time, the Menendezes lived in Hopewell, New Jersey, and the brothers trained at an indoor club where I taught tennis for a year after college. I worked a good deal with Eric, the younger brother, and was a practice partner (not instructor) with Lyle, the elder. During that time, I also gave tennis lessons to their mother, Kitty Menendez. read more

Simplify The Message, Multiply The Impact Workshop Starts

Yesterday, sixteen United Methodist clergy from the Western North Carolina Conference began an eight month journey with me into Simplifying The Message And Mulitplying The Impact.

This is the second year that I have been able to lead this project and as a lot of you know, the contents of the teaching will become a book released by Abingdon in February of 2020. (Yes, I’ll be pregnant for about a year.) read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Places My Dad Took Me

This past Saturday, Julie and I traveled over to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to join our son Riley and his wife Natalie for the UNC-Miami overtime thriller.

Being there as father & son got me remembering some of unique places my dad took me when I was growing up. This list will not include all the tennis tournaments he took me to and gently coached me, tournaments that often ended in tears or in euphoria. But here are five others: read more

Thank God For Science, Week 2 — The “Do The Math” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

Began with a Guns-N-Roses shoutout & demonstration;

Contained three more science “experiments”;

Included a very brief “I pray in tongues” confession (something I’ve done at church several times before);

An almost hidden Don Henley lyric reference (read closely!); read more

“Thank God For Science,” Week 2 — “Do The Math”

I think every pastor longs for those Sundays when you set the table, sit back, and watch God work.

It seems like that’s what happened LAST Sunday as we opened up “Thank God For Science” by looking at “The Wrong Question.” Many of you were alternately tearful and euphoric as you heard God’s emphatic “VERY GOOD” pronounced over you. read more

The Background Music Of Life

Over the last couple of months, my Men’s LifeGroup and I have been reading through the letters of Paul. We all read the same chapter each day — at least, we’re supposed to! — and then I send an email with some thoughts and guidance on context, history, and genre. If it has been good for THEM, it has been great for ME: the combination of daily discipline and the fact that I process my thoughts best by writing them has been a real boon to my living relationship with Jesus Christ. read more

How You Know A Church “Gets” You

A Good Shepherd friend recently took a trip out west and brought this back as a memento for me.

It’s nice to serve a church filled with people who “get” how you think, talk, and live.

Top Five Tuesday — A Random List Of GOATS

Sunday’s message began and ended with the subject of GOATS — Greatest Of All Time. I explained that just because Genesis 1 is the GOAT of creation hymns, that doesn’t mean it is the GOAT of scientific explanations of the universe’s origins. That’s not its intent. GOAT in one area of life doesn’t mean go to in another area of life. read more

Thank God For Science, Week 1 — The “The Wrong Question” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Revolved around genre, history, library, and art in its understanding of Genesis 1;
  • Acknowledged that many people hearing it had left the faith or were considering leaving the faith because of a perceived conflict between Genesis and science;
  • Hinged on a massively small shift in Genesis 1:31;
  • Led to this bottom line:  We want to know HOW and WHEN. Genesis gives us WHO and WHY.
  • Led to our band leading a breathtaking version of So Will I, a musical and visual moment that complemented the message perfectly.  Here it is:

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I don’t know if you’ve ever thought of it this way or not, but just because someone is an expert, great, super, the GOAT (you know that, don’t you?  Greatest Of All Time) in one area of life that doesn’t mean they are experts in everything?  Just because they have mastered THEIR FIELD doesn’t make them masters of all fields.  It’s not in their design, not in their wiring.  Like you wouldn’t ask Adele – who, even if she’s not your style, you have to admit she has a pretty smashing voice – to tell you how to design a city storm water system.  Brilliance here doesn’t mean expertise here.  Or you don’t go to Bill Gates – the GOAT of any software not related to Apple – and say, “hey, buddy, I need a new carburetor.  Can you give me hand?”  GOAT over here, a goat over there. read more