Thursday, September 30, 2010


I've been collecting questions for a sermon series we are doing called Text Message.  On Sunday, October 24th, I will start tackling some of those questions. 

It's been an interesting assortment.  Everything from life application questions to specifically Bible questions.  I'm loving it and I look forward to answering them.  I don't necessarily enjoy the research and background work, but I do enjoy what I get out of research and background work and I love sharing what I've learned with others. 

I'm getting ahead of myself, which is easy for me to do.  We still have two weeks of pre-determined messages and I think this Sunday's will create an "aha" moment for many people and I'm excited to share it.  It's something that created an "aha" moment for me while on staff here.

See you this Sunday!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Library

The Bible is not a book, it's a library.  I've known that a long time, but didn't have the language for it until Good Shepherd UMC did a sermon series called Text Message.  They stole the idea from Andy Stanley and I stole it from them. 

I hope the people of Catawba UMC will start referring to the Bible as a library.  I shared that with them this Sunday.  To hear the whole message from the first sermon in our Text Message series, you can go here.

Think about it: the Bible has over 40 authors, 66 different books that have been written over the span of thousands of years.  It is not in chronological order and it is full of different genres of writing.  The Bible is not just a book, it's a library.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Simplifying the Complicated

Methodists have something that their church's are responsible for every year called Charge Conference.  It basically involves meetings, paperwork and finding people to serve in various areas of the church.

It's not fun.

I was at a seminar earlier this week and I told another pastor whose been doing this longer than I have that I wasn't sure what I was doing.  He took out a sheet of paper and started writing on it.  He handed it to me.

He had simplified the entire process in 10 minutes.

I told my secretary that every new pastor needed that piece of paper. 

I think organizations often make things more complicated than they really are. 

This piece of paper would've helped much earlier in getting things ready for charge conference, but at least it doesn't seem as daunting as it did.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Moving On

Well, the last message in the "We are the Church" series was all about how we are pursued by God.  You can listen or download it here.

The new series starting next week will be called "Text Message."  

It will be all about the nature and design of the Bible.  

I'm excited about it and think God can and will use it to draw many people deeper into his word. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Last of the Church

This Sunday will be the last message in the series we've been doing at Catawba UMC about the Church.

I'm excited about the message, it involves tapping into a specifically Methodist understanding of grace.

I'm also really excited about the next series.  I think it's going to challenge people and open their eyes to new understanding.

I'm keeping it vague so it will be a surprise.  Come this Sunday if you want to know what the next series will be. 

I will post it after this Sunday services.

Monday, September 13, 2010


The main idea from the sermon this Sunday was: To be the church is to be consumed. 

The text was from Hebrews 12:18-29.  I recorded the entire service on DVD and I am going to submit it to the proper Methodist people as part of finishing my ordination.

If you're interested, you can listen or download it here.

To be consumed by God means we aren't consumed by anything else.  We aren't consumed by fear, worry, selfishness, pride, greed, lust or anything else that gets in the way of living the Christian life.

To be consumed by God means he is at the center of everything we do.  It's not about putting God first, family second, friends third, work fourth and recreation fifth.  It's about making God a part of everything we do.  Whether we are at work or with our family or having fun, God wants to be at the center of it.

To be consumed by God means we want to share the goodness and faithfulness of God with others.  Just as we have experienced something good, we want other to experience the same thing, so we invite them into a relationship with Christ.

May you be consumed!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Nines

There's a free online Christian leadership conference tomorrow called the Nines.  It will go all day and well into the evening.  If you want to learn more about it or log into it tomorrow, just go here.

The premise behind the conference is simple: they've asked Christian leaders from around the world to submit a video of what they would say about Christian leadership in 9 minutes or less.

So it is basically 9 minute videos from different leaders across the globe. 

Last year the content was excellent, add the part about it being free and I'm in.  I'll probably watch it for at least a couple of hours.  It starts at 11:30am.

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Refuge

I preached from Hebrews 4:14-16 yesterday.  My favorite part of the text is an invite to "approach the throne of grace with confidence." 

As the church, we are to extend that same invite to others.  And just as the invite is available to us before and after we've entered into a meaningful relationsihp with Christ, the church (not to state the obvious, but the church is the people, not the building) is to invite others into the church to taste that same grace.

So the main idea was: The church is to be a refuge for sinners not a social club for saints. 

For the entire message, you can go here.

May we be the kind of people that let the church be a refuge for sinners, not a social club for saints.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Expanding a Series

I'm in only the second sermon series that I've ever put together as a pastor.  It's going well, it's all about the church.  You can listen or download the messages here (the audio of this past Sunday's message was defective so that one will not be online).

Anyway, what I've discovered in these last two series' is that I think of new things during the series and want to add to them.

It's makes for more difficult planning, but hopefully it is Spirit led and what I'm supposed to be doing.

So for this series on the church, I've already added the titles Consumed and Pursued.  I thought about adding another one after Pursued, titled Victorious but that would get in the way of the next series, which will start September 26th. 

Besides Victorious is a great title for a series all on it's own.  I'll have to plan that one for next year.