The Chick-Fil-A-Ing of the Church – Leading in Repentance

November 18, 2019 9:35 pm

One of the responsibilities of Pastors is to lead in repentance. A friend of mine recently pointed out to me that what I wrote below was uncharacteristically uncharitable and censorious. He was right. I’m sorry. And here’s the deal. I’ve deleted a large portion of this, not because I think what I wrote is incorrect but because even if it is correct, this isn’t the way to express disagreement or even offer a reproof. This kind of approach simply causes distress and offers no appeal to our better angels. I apologize. Pray I’ll do better. When I wrote it, I... Read this post

Smokin’ Worship

September 29, 2019 10:38 pm

The aesthetics of worship are always a source of both inspiration and conflict. From sound, light, color, and clothing to bread, wine, oil, and water the elements that constitute the look and feel of worship are massively important and even defining of what a church is all about. Think about it. If a Pastor stands on a large platform behind a plexiglass pulpit wearing a Hawaiian print shirt and skinny jeans, and is surrounded by guitar stands, his image broadcast on large screens in a room without windows and illuminated by theater lights, you know that’s a particular kind of... Read this post

Healer of Hearts and Homes

September 8, 2019 12:17 pm

These are the sermon outline notes from September 8, 2019 Scandalous Savior Healer of Hearts and Homes Mark 10:1-16/Matthew 19:1-15 Sept 8, 2019 The ‘jagged stones…’ – David Brooks We’ve all been impacted by divorce. There is no one here who has not been wounded through divorce, unhealthy marriages, and family brokenness. Pastors sense the need to navigate a minefield when they approach this issue. Why? Christians and non-Christians alike are impacted by these issues in very painful ways People here who are going through a divorce Want a divorce or fear a divorce Single people who can feel left... Read this post

1 Corinthians Notes – Lesson One

September 7, 2019 2:35 am

Paul’s Big, Wild, Loving, Punch in Gut Letter to the Corinthians “I do not want to appear to be frightening you with my letters…” – 2 Corinthians 10:9 Lesson One: The Big Picture Suppose you overheard a conversation about a big church in a major city that was having problems with divisions in their fellowship rooted in the powerful preachers they preferred, the place of spiritual gifts, how women were supposed to function in ministry, marriage, divorce, and celibacy, the way the wealthy handled the poor, and whether or not they were being too accommodating to the prevailing culture on... Read this post

College Football Week One Review

September 2, 2019 9:03 pm

College Football Week One Review I love this crazy, wild, silly, fantastic game. The joy and heartbreak and unpredictability of college football are just entirely wonderful. Week one did not disappoint. Filled with shocking upsets, last-minute drama, and eye-popping performances, this past Thursday through Monday night came through with compelling and exciting viewing for the rabid college football fan to enjoy… or bemoan. Prediction Results for Week One 20-6 Big Hits: Auburn over Oregon; Boise State over Florida State; Utah over BYU; Memphis over Ole Miss Missed it bad: OK, who saw Tennessee losing to Georgia State? Not me. That’s... Read this post

Week One College Football Predictions

August 28, 2019 8:59 pm

Time for Week One College Football Predictions!! Last week: 1-0. Florida beat Miami 24-20 (I had Florida 28-24) Here we go with this week’s crazy predictions for the games beginning Thursday night. I don’t predict a score for every game. I am SOOOOO HAPPY College Football is BACK! Thursday Utah over BYU by 7, 35-28. In Provo, and a rivalry game. ‘Holy War’ will be close, but Utah has the muscle to win on the road. Cincinnati over UCLA by 3, 31-28. In Cincy, and the Bearcats are just better than UCLA… again. Clemson beats Georgia Tech by a fistful.... Read this post

On the Fortieth Anniversary of My Ordination

August 25, 2019 3:10 am

Tomorrow will mark the 40th anniversary of my ordination to the Christian ministry. I’m grateful and repentant and amazed and tired and exhilarated. * I’m grateful to God for calling me – and I recall it very clearly when I was a small boy at tiny Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kokomo, Indiana. Pastor Youngdale was preaching on the dangers of neo-orthodoxy and the need for fidelity to the Gospel. I was ten, and I heard Jesus say, ‘You will contend for and preach the Gospel too.’ I was not surprised or shocked. It seemed as natural as anything. I’d... Read this post

2019 College Football Predictions

August 24, 2019 6:11 pm

Time for some College Football Predictions as the season kicks off this weekend. The first thing to remember about all preseason college football predictions is to know the ‘Three Key Words’: “No One Knows”. Last season I bought into the preseason hype over Wisconsin – and they were awful. Washington was supposed to be good. Wasn’t. No team could stop Bama. Well, actually… Clemson did and in style at that. The second thing to remember: whatever happens in week one doesn’t tell you much. Texas lost to Maryland (Maryland!) in week one last year – and finished by beating Georgia... Read this post

Identity, Language, and Human Sexuality – Part Two

July 16, 2019 4:14 pm

“If I were to switch sides and  become a Christian, I wouldn’t be Gay anymore. But that is who I am and always will be. It’s who I AM, not something I do.” That was a response from a friend who was telling me why he could not begin to even think of becoming a Christian. He added more reasons, but this objection was primary. His identity was tethered to his sexual desires and he saw no way around that. That’s not surprising. His view is also at the core of many conversations within the Christian community about the issue... Read this post

Identity, Language, and Human Sexuality – Part One

July 10, 2019 7:24 pm

I flew into London last Saturday for a week of ministry and drove right into the largest Gay Pride Parade in history (or so the organizers claimed). Traffic was snarled, cab drivers riled, business owners thankful, and the Pride participants thrilled. Some 1.5 million people gathered from around the world for the event, and thirty-five thousand people marched. Number Ten Downing Street was festooned with a rainbow arc, and virtually every business and all government buildings in sight displayed signs and flags supporting the marchers and ‘Pride’. The rainbow was ubiquitous. The newspapers carried glowing stories of the events with... Read this post