Unintended Consequences

When this tennis racket …

the Original Prince Pro (Green) … was released in the late 1970s, it was revolutionary.

Those of you who played back in that day remember thinking, “that’s it.  Tennis will always and forever be played ONLY AT THE NET.  With a big racket like that, EVERYONE can volley well and no one will ever be able to hit a passing shot again.” read more

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Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Reflections From A Weekend Just Past

In reflecting over the last several days, I realized that this past weekend was an unusual one.

Some of it filled with mirth, other parts of it loaded with majesty, all of it making a testimony to the goodness of God.  Here are the five highlights (and you must read to the end):

5. On Friday night, our Room In The Inn ServeTeam treated our neighbors who are homeless to a movie night — the premiere (at Ayrsley theater) of “I Can Only Imagine.”  One of our volunteers conceived of the plan — or received it from God — pitched it to us and we said yes.  Am I glad we did. The movie tells the story behind the MercyMe song of the same name … and does so in a way that put a lump in my throat ten minutes in and never let go. read more

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A King’s Ransom, Week 2 — The “Fit For A King” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Started right with the Scripture, pointing out that Mark 15:15-20 is an OLD story with a MODERN sensibility;
  • Noted that irony, sarcasm, and mockery dominate every moment of the scene;
  • Gave a quick shout out to mega church pastors who cause many other pastors to ridicule what they cannot attain;
  • Led to an invitation to acknowledge Jesus is King;
  • Had this bottom line:  We reserve our deepest mockery for our greatest need.

—————————————————————-

We are getting ready today to look at an OLD story with a very MODERN sensibility.  An ancient tale that’s dominated by a current attitude.  And best of, all, it’s a story that for all the times I’ve read Scripture and loved Mark’s contribution to it, I’ve never thought about much.  And WOAH, have I been missing a bunch. read more

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A King’s Ransom, Week 2 — “Fit For A King”

Scripture is a never-ending reservoir of truth, power, and beauty.

Here’s why I say that today.  I have been reading the bible regularly for 39 years now.  That includes the four Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

And of those four Gospels, I have both read and loved Mark the most. read more

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#TBT — San Antonio, June 16, 1979

Continuing a nostalgia theme for this week’s post, here is an article from a San Antonio newspaper (The Light?  The Express?  The Light-Express?) on June 16, 1979:

Oh the Jack Kramer racket.  The adidas clothes.  The slice backhand return of serve.  Those days are gone forever … I should just let them go … read more

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Half Of 56 Is 28

I realized something with a jolt the other day:  I have been a pastor for over half of my life.

I graduated from seminary and started work at Mt. Carmel & Midway United Methodist Churches in Monroe, NC, in 1990 at the age of 28.  I am now 56, so you do the math.

Here’s what we looked like back in that day: read more

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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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