Showing posts from April, 2017

May Events and a New Bible Study Opportunity

May is always a very busy month, from Mother's Day to graduations. And it seems like half of the population has a birthday, including Christy and James in our household! Here's a quick look at some of the upcoming Sundays at Grace, so you can stay ahead of your schedule:

April 30: Women's Sunday. Our guest preacher will be Dr. Sheron Patterson, an Elder in the North Texas Conference. After serving for many years as a local church pastor, Dr. Patterson became the Communications Officer for the NTC five or six years ago. She travels around the country giving lectures, seminars, and sermons on a variety of topics. She'll also lead a program for everyone during the Sunday school hour. You will not forget this Sunday!
May 7: Grillin', Chillin', and Fun! Following the 11:00 service, stick around for a picnic on the church lawn. Dress casually for worship! Hot dogs and burgers will be provided; bring a dessert or side to share.
May 14: Mother's Day. Always one of …

"Is He the One Who..."

My wife Christy and I have three boys. We live in the Dallas area, and only make a handful of trips down here each year, so the boys aren't as acquainted with extended members of our family. And sometimes names overlap, so it can be difficult to keep everyone straight. For example, I have two Kellys in my family, although they spell their names differently. Of course Christy also has aunts and uncles and cousins on her side of the family; in fact we both have Uncle Ronnies! All this is to say when we're sharing stories of relatives with the boys, it can be confusing. So a common response from them is, "Is that the one who..." When we told them my Uncle Donald died, one kid said, "Is that the one who had a part of his ear bitten off by a Marine?" Yup- that's my Uncle Donald, or as we called him, and he called us, "Chuck." Don't know where that came from.

Years from now you might remember snippets from today's service and think, "W…

The Holy Week That Was

There is a popular meme that runs through Facebook every week following Easter, shared by pastors or church staff. It says, "Jesus is risen!" and "The clergy is dead!"

It's very true. There is no tired like Easter tired (it's like jet lag, lasting for several days), and no nap like Easter Sunday naps! Reflecting on all of Holy Week, I am filled with a combination of exhaustion, gratitude, and joy. Here's a recap:

Monday night: Great worship with the Sherman Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. Joyful music and great preaching.

Thursday night: Holy Thursday. About 40 people gathered to remember the institution of the Lord's Supper. My favorite moment of this service was Linus reading the Gospel text.

Friday night: Good Friday. 100 people or so in attendance. The music was incredibly moving, and sixteen readers read the Passion of Jesus Christ. Very emotional.

Saturday afternoon: Egg hunt and walk through Holy Week. A great turnout of kids and famili…

Hidden. With Christ. In God.

The other day I went for my annual pre-Easter haircut. The days before Easter go at roughly 124 miles per hour, so I do not have time to think about setting appointments or anything else. So when I realized I needed my hair cut for today I visited several barber shops around town-- four, in fact. I couldn't get in to any of them. I finally settled on one-- two days ago, inbetween services on Thursday and Friday.

Barber shops are known for their conversations, and in this one the topic of the minute was the sorry state of education today (truthfully, there are only a handful of barbershop conversation subjects; they rotate round and round like a carousel. Education is one of them). They hit all the hits:

Teachers only teach to the testTeachers who don't teach to the test get firedStudents are learningKids don't want to work hard enoughParents aren't supporting the kidsNo one cares about the school board (And no, the school bond issue didn't come up.)
But then the con…

Easter 2017

This afternoon I was reading through Easter liturgies and I came across this prayer:

Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of death and sin to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit be praise and honor, glory and might, now and in all eternity. Amen.

That prayer sums up powerfully the whole point of Easter. It isn’t just about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, but ours. And not only at the end of our earthly lives; through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we are raised to new life and hope today. In this life. Death and sin no longer have dominion over us, and we are free to live in joy. This is good news for all of us, but particularly for those outside the walls of the church. Folk you know. You work with them, go to Bearcats football games with them, attend special events like the recent …

Spring Black Friday

Yesterday I was driving around town listening to a local radio station when my mind started to drift. When I refocused, I discovered I was in the middle of a commercial. Just as I was about to change the station I heard a term that was new to me:

Spring Black Friday.

My first thought was about Good Friday-- the day Jesus died on the cross (April 14). But no, this wasn't an ad for Holy Week services at a local church. This was an ad for one of the large home improvement stores in town, the orange one, and I was really taken aback. Just in time for Easter (not mentioned), you can get great deals today on mulch, lawn mowers, patio furniture, etc. It's an ongoing sales event for the first couple weeks of April, not necessarily tied to a specific date, like, you know, Good Friday.

I don't know what your outdoor needs are-- I have several myself-- but I do not have the time or energy to pursue them between today and April 16, Easter Sunday. It's another unnecessary layer of …