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Showing posts from September, 2017

First Day of Fail?

This morning I came into the church hot. I know it's Texas, and it's September. It's also the first day of Fall (technically). But I walked into my office from my car, probably 50 feet away, sweating. I've had it with this awful, sticky weather. Anyway, I decided to go to the Celebration Center for my daily devotional time. I gathered up my tools:

The Book of Common PrayerMy prayer beadsMy weekly guide for prayerBibleDaily reader When I sat down on the front row, I glanced down at my new fitness tracker I purchased the other day. I wanted to re-focus on my fitness goals, and I thought a built-in accountability partner on my wrist might help. Yesterday I met my goal of 10,000+ steps. So far this morning, I saw, I was over 5,000. I also noticed my heart rate was around 100; it's usually closer to 70. Like I said, I was hot and sweaty. So I swiped to the right on the tracker a few times and found the Relax setting. I set it for five minutes of breathing exercises.

Breat…

Whatachurch??

I've been encouraging everyone to invite friends and neighbors without a church home to visit Grace for some time. Personal invitation is still, by far, the most effective way to bring new people to church. A few months ago I began to think that as a leader I could not in good nature encourage others to do something I was not doing. Being somewhat new in town, I do not have many non-church relationships, so I began to pray for a way to reach unchurched people to bring the gospel to them. As part of our Healthy Church Initiative work, I read about a pastor who set up shop at a local coffee house for a couple of hours each week. He only brought a sign with him that basically said, "I am a pastor. Stop by if you'd like to chat." I couldn't get this out of my mind; I even dreamed about it. But in my mind it didn't happen at a coffee shop. It happened here:


I knew this would be a radical thing for me to do, but I could not get it out of my mind. So a couple of mon…

The DACA Decision

The decision to end the DACA program grieves me to no end. It has me thinking of immigrant families and their struggles. If you'd like to learn more about the situations many of those families find themselves in, I'd recommend the following for your media consumption. They are all light hearted comedies, but with a real message for where our society finds itself:


Hasan Minhaj is a correspondent on The Daily Show. Homecoming King, his story of growing up in California with his immigrant father, is amazing. This show rocketed onto my Top-10 of the year. It is amazing, emotional.. It's on Netflix.


Master of Noneis one of the best series on TV. It's about living the single life in New York. There are two seasons on Netflix.

The Big Sick was one of my favorite movies of this summer. It's still in cinemas, and is now also available for streaming at iTunes or Amazon.
Immigration is an extremely complicated issue. I've preached about it for years. But we're not talkin…

The Cross and Harvey

Matthew 16:21-28
How many times have you used, or heard the cliche, "Well, it's my cross to bear!" Usually the person is describing an inconvenience they are enduring. For example, I drive a very gas-thirsty car. I filled it up on Wednesday, the day before the gas frenzy happened in North Texas, because our son James had a football game in Sulphur Springs Thursday night (90 minutes each way). I filled up at our local grocery store because I had amassed a significant discount: 80 cents/gallon. So I paid only $32 to fill up my tank. After the road trip and going to Dallas yesterday for a funeral, I needed to fill up again. This time it cost $50. Would you say paying the extra $18 was my cross to bear?
No. Well, you might, but you shouldn't. My task today is to eliminate that cliche from our common vocabulary. The Cross is not an inconvenience. It is not something that causes us frustration. It is a direction for our lives as followers of Jesus Christ. To say a slight i…