Showing posts from July, 2016

Guaranteed Investments

4:45 a.m. That’s what time I awoke this morning. It hurts to think about it. Christy and James had to be in Plano by 6:15 or so to join another nearly 100 middle schoolers and parents going on choir tour. Custer Road UMC is well known for its choir tours. They’ll spend five days on charter buses to parts of Louisiana, Arkansas, and East Texas. Today, they performed at a Baptist Youth mission in Waxahachie, and Baylor University. The tour ends Sunday night with a home show at Custer Road. Of course you are welcome to attend!
As many of you know, I spent last week at Camp Bridgeport with my boys and another 200+ kiddos. Well, many of the “adult” counselors-- probably six or more-- were seniors or college aged students from Custer Road. One of the first exposures Christy and I had to Custer Road students was on Youth Sunday, the first Sunday of August 2013, just before the graduated seniors took off for college. Several of those seniors lead worship on that Sunday every year. They were so…

The Work We Are Called to Do

Amos 8:4-12 Luke 10:38-42 Colossians 1:15-28
It occurred to me the other day that I never bothered to introduce the idea and themes of the sermon series we started two weeks ago. I’m making excuses here, but maybe I was too freaked out on that first Sunday; and maybe last week I was too focused on the sensitive material of the sermon that it didn’t seem appropriate. Who knows. I like to think of myself as a relatively unconventional pastor so how’s this: three weeks in, I’ll say a little about the aims of the sermon series. Here goes.
“Living a Jesus Life” is about seeking answers to the question, “How do I live out my faith as a disciple of Jesus?” Put another way: “What does Jesus call us to?” “Do this and you will live,” Jesus says to the lawyer from last week’s text. What is the “Do this…” for us today? So the first week we talked about the disciple’s call to go out and share the good news of Christ- regardless of how we are received. Last week we talked about the disciple’s need to d…

Training Days

Yesterday Christy and I signed up at a local gym. We were members of the Cooper Fitness Center in McKinney for the last year. After a year or so of personal training, spin classes and general working out I had a net loss of weight-- not huge numbers, but I lost several pounds of fat and gained several pounds of muscle. How do I know this? Because part of the routine at Cooper is follow-up. When you first sign up a trainer does measurements. After a month, after six months, and a year they take other measurements, all of which help to assess whether one is making good progress toward one’s goals. Hopefully I’ll see good results here too. It’ll help that our supply of desserts from Mom’s Bakery has run out!
Our son James, who will be a freshman at the high school, started a physical training class with other athletes this week. Every day he has diligently, and with a great attitude, woken himself up at 6:00 and been ready to go to the facility by 6:30. I seriously doubt this commitment …

Things I Already Miss from Collin County

We closed on our Allen house yesterday-- hooray! What a relief after 50 days on the market, nearly 90 showings, and two open houses. Thanks to everyone who offered advice (solicited and not), a breadmaker, and words of prayer and encouragement. Thanks to you too, St Joseph. Here are a few things, in no particular order after the first, I'll miss about living in Collin County:

1. Custer Road UMC. Just amazing people. Love you
2. Henry's ice cream
3. Madness Comic Book store (although their Pez offerings have greatly been reduced over the last few months)
4. Just across the street from Madness, and a late discovery: The Latin Pig. Incredible food, but the iced coffee is the real winner
5. Cooper Fitness Center in Craig Ranch. I don't have any recent stats, but I did have a net loss of weight, even as I gained several pounds of muscle. Not Mr Universe worthy, but still. Thank you for the clergy discount! And Tammie is the best if you are looking for training
6. Trader Joe'…

A Measured Life

Preached at Grace UMC this morning. An audio recording will be available for listening tomorrow.

“A Measured Life” Amos 7:7-17 Luke 10:25-37
Last Monday I spent several hours working in the garage, unloading boxes and trying to organize it. While I worked I listened to podcasts. One recent favorite of mine is from Malcolm Gladwell, author of books like David and Goliath  and Outliers. His podcast is called Revisionist History. The episode I listened to the other day was recorded a couple of weeks ago- it was called “The Big Man Can’t Shoot.” Wilt Chamberlain was one of the greatest basketball players of all time. On March 2, 1962 he scored 100 points in a game, the most ever in a professional game. One of the amazing stats of that game, recounted by Gladwell, was that Wilt went 28/32 from the free throw line. Normally he was a 40% free throw shooter; but on that night he changed his technique and shot nearly 100%. What was the difference? He shot the free throws underhanded.
That episode o…

I Love Dallas.

Last night our family did as we have the last several days. We ate dinner together and watched a few episodes of The Flash. We all went to bed around 9:30. I woke up this morning around 6:00, and found Christy already up. She was reading on her phone. She told me about the shootings in downtown Dallas. I knew from earlier in the day that a protest was happening. I was to speak to some Project Transformation interns last night at Austin College, but their leader called to say they had decided to attend the protest rally instead. Christy and I were immediately filled with grief and anger about the shooting of police officers and civilians in our city.

I am not from Dallas; I grew up in Bay City, along the Gulf Coast of Texas, near Houston. In fact, I grew up hating Dallas. I never watched the TV show-- I couldn't care less who shot JR. I was a Houston Oilers/Rockets/Astros fan, so seeing any Dallas area team lose filled me with joy. When I felt called to pursue ordained ministry, I…

Living a Jesus Life

Note: This was my first sermon preached at Grace UMC. Normally the sermons are recorded and available on Mondays by visiting here. To see an outline of the entire "Living a Jesus Life" sermon series, check out yesterday's blogpost.

2 Kings 5:1-14
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

So the other day I was walking my dog #Rowdy through the neighborhood and I was checking everything out. Lots of folk had their houses decorated with flags and bunting for the Fourth. Very nice. But I noticed lots of yardsigns around the neighborhood. They were for things like roofing or window companies, you know the kind that say, "Another satisfied customer." But two caught my eye, and they were right next to each other. I hope those homeowners aren't here today because I am going to pick on you a little!

The first sign said, "Clayton Williams for Governor." Now, Clayton Williams ran against Ann Richards in 1990-- that's an old sign-- and it looked brand new! This is a…