Making Princeton … Proud?

Look who’s there in this month’s Princeton Alumni Weekly in the Class  of 1984’s “News & Notes” section.

I think the class editor, a very nice guy named Stephen Ban, whom I did not know while we were undergrads, accurately interprets my expression on the PR photo. read more

Those Kids Are Listening REALLY, REALLY Closely

A Good Shepherd mom sent me this photo of her seven year old son …

… with the following explanatory note with it:

Hi! I just wanted to share with you something that happened at home today. During his free time, [my son] took a Bible and found the book of Hebrews. He brought it to me and asked if we could read some verses. I said sure, but asked him why he wanted to read from Hebrews. He said, “Because that is what we were reading yesterday when Mr. Talbot was talking.” Even the little ones are listening! read more

Top Five Tuesday — Top Five Biblical Patterns For Prayer In A Pandemic

One of the joyful byproducts of a melancholy time like the present is that people are motivated to pray.

And often, they’re prompted to pray based on certain Scriptures they know or have been taught.  These days, two that people repeat to me most often are the confident, protective prayers of Psalm 91:1-2: read more

“How Much More” Week One — The “OOOOPS I Did It Again” Sermon Rewind

Yesterday’s message …

  • Was designed to be the second in the series but due to all the upheaval with Coronavirus, was delivered first;
  • Dug deeply into Hebrews 9, not a typical “Palm Sunday” text;
  • Mentioned Brittney Spearks, Whitesnake, and Led Zeppelin;
  • Was a message in the Wesleyan “holiness” tradition … without using either of those words;
  • Landed at this bottom line:  We settle for forgiveness OF sin while Jesus offers freedom FROM it.

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So here is something that I’m pretty sure I know about a whole lot of you. Here it is. You have these things you do, these habits you have, these patterns you’ve developed … and they drive you crazy. But you keep doing them anyway. You remember that Britney Spears’ song from yesteryear, OOOPS I DID IT AGAIN?? And there you go … you DID IT AGAIN. You didn’t WANT to, you don’t LIKE it, but there you are again. Ooops! read more

“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