“How Much More” Starts Sunday — First Sermon Is “OOOPS I Did It Again.” Yes, That’s Really Its Name

A lot of us settle in life.

We settle for less than our best when it comes to our relationships, our professions, our hobbies, and even our faith.

But why settle when you can savor? Why be content with less when more is not only desirable but available?

Throughout the New Testament we find an oft-repeated yet frequently ignored phase: HOW MUCH MORE. Over and over again, it is the biblical writers’ way of reminding readers that we don’t follow a God of scarcity. We don’t worship a God of mediocrity. We follow a God of abundance. And we worship a God of excellence. read more

#TBT — Fall, 1975, A Rare Good Attitude, And An Adventure In “Captaincy”

This photo comes from an event in the fall of 1975 called the “InterZone Championships,” a Texas tournament in which our team from Dallas played against teams from Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and, presumably, Amarillo.

I was 14 and in the photo am surrounded by older players like Reid Freeman who went on to play for Texas A&M, John Low who played for Princeton (he was a senior when I arrived as a freshman), Jeff Turpin, who played for SMU and on the pro tour.  Coach Bobby Hagerman had played for LSU and became a regular practice partner of mine in the coming years (once I got old enough and good enough to play with him, that is). read more

Kids Listen To Sermons. They REALLY Do.

Earlier this week,  I received this note from a Good Shepherd friend:

I was reading to the kids from our new book on the human body and told them that the oldest human for whom we have modern records  lived to be 122 years old.

My nine year old daughter piped up: “oh I thought the oldest human was Talbot’s mom”.
read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Moments & Memories That Always Bring A Tear To My Eye

I’m not usually very “weepy” until I am.

So below are five moments/memories/music pieces that almost always get me.  Now: no family stuff here … y’all have seen me tear up while preaching about various people in my family of origin and then again in my little nuclear family now. read more

House Arrest, Week 2 — The “Are We Done Yet?” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Was, for the second week in a row, prepared and delivered in the same week.  Very unusual for me; but then again, I don’t need to tell you that these are unusual times;
  • Drew again from Paul’s letter to the Philippians, a letter written while under house arrest;
  • Attempted to rescue Philippians 4:13 from its role as a cliche but returning it to its context and restoring its awesomeness.
  • Landed at this bottom line:  You’ll endure as long as he empowers. 

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We’ve all had times when people pull us aside during a time of crisis or uncertainty and say with a reassuring voice, “We’ll get through this.” Lord, I know when I was in fetal position during a church crisis or two in yesteryear, convinced that not only had I dug the pit but I’d put the church corpse in the vault, some people just like you said words just like that to me: “We’ll get through this.” read more

Spiritually Connected While Socially Distanced — Student Ministry Style

My Good Shepherd friend Eric Matras sent me this photo on Sunday evening.

What is it?

It’s a virtual meeting of a Good Shepherd Middle School Boys’ LifeGroup, meeting via an app called “House Party.”

Yes.  All that is true.

I am a bit grateful for the technology that helps to connect us spiritually while this virus distances us socially. read more

What A Photo And Its Caption Taught Me About Leadership

Some of you know that I have an uneasy relationship with leadership.

In some ways I think I lead well.  In a lot of others, I know I don’t.

Nevertheless, in this ongoing life tutorial about leadership, I learned a valuable lesson last week.  And that lesson stemmed from this photo that Devin Tharp took of his kids raising their bibles during last week’s livestreamed service at Good Shepherd. read more

Chip’s Tips

Chip Sigmon is a published author, former strength coach for the Charlotte Hornets (anyone remember the Allen Bristow era?), long time Good Shepherd member, and personal friend.

During this unusual season of life, he is also helping me stay as fit as possible, mentally and physically.

I love these “tips” he has put together.  Number One is my favorite:  Blame moves things backwards / Responsibility moves things forwards. read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five New Phrases In Our Common Language

Have you noticed that over the last few weeks our world has changed?

Not only that, but our language has changed with it.

There are five words/phrases that barely existed three weeks ago, and now they govern our conversations.  They have their own hashtags.  Many of us regard ourselves as experts on them, even though we rarely know what we’re talking about. read more

The “House Arrest” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Was delivered to a “studio audience” of 10 but a digital one of many more than that;
  • Had a title inspired by something Ron Dozier mentioned during a quick video devotion last week;
  • Was propelled by a lingering question:  “what if you don’t get better when things do?”
  • Had a bottom line borrowed liberally from Luke Mitchell … a case of student becoming sensei!;
  • Concluded with digital congregants declaring the Apostles’ Creed;
  • Had this bottom line:  My circumstances can’t destroy me when my Savior defines me.

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So as I have been thinking about this emergency we’re in and then this livestream gathering we are having and this message I’m giving, there’s one question that has really been haunting me.

But you’ll have to wait for it for just a minute or two. read more