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Showing posts from July, 2010

Random act of BUSTED!

This morning C-man (one of my boys) and I had a plan.  Our neighbor, James, has been out of town for a couple of weeks on his job.  He works for the Forestry Service and has been rescuing birds in the Gulf of Mexico... but that's not what this is about.  My son and I thought it would be a great idea to do a random act of kindness and mow our neighbor's yard on this Saturday morning, as he is supposed to be home Monday.  I know I would be super-happy to come home after a trip away and find my jungle of a yard freshly mowed.

So about 20 minutes into our anonymous good deed, our neighbor's garage door open and he emerges from within his house.  He had a really confused look on his face... like you do.  After my explanation of attempting to just be a good neighbor, and his explanation that he got sent home early due to the approaching Tropical Storm Bonnie (is it weird that I REALLY miss tropical storms?), my neighbor said, "Well, thanks for the thought!" To which C-…

Keeping score

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Some of my favorite moments as a pastor have been baptisms.  12 years in this pastor gig, and I still get a rush every time I celebrate another person's life transformation.

On July 4th weekend, one of our sister churches in Hot Springs, LakePointe Church, had their annual Baptism Bash during the holiday fireworks display at the lake Saturday night.  On Sunday morning, I talked about this during my sermon, and we celebrated with LakePointe that they had baptized 56 new followers of Jesus!  (My good friend, Pastor Greg Bearss has since texted me with an update that they actually baptized 63!)  I continued by announcing we would be baptizing 4 new followers of Jesus right here at Oaklawn church the very next week.

Later, someone approached me and said, "Pastor... wouldn't it be great if we could baptize 56 people?"  I was caught a little off guard, I admit it.  I didn't realize we were keeping score, or that this could in any way be seen as a competition.  My reply …

Grace & Peace

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As I'm finishing up the final sermon that wraps up a 5 1/2 month journey through 2 Thessalonians, I am caught up and fascinated once again by the writing style of Paul (the main letter writer of the New Testament).  I've been going through the openings and closings of all the letters attributed to his authorship, and I've noticed something that is moving me deep in my spirit.  Every letter begins with "grace and peace to you."  Every letter ends with "Peace to you" or "Grace to you."  With Paul, everything begins with Grace and Peace... and Grace and Peace have the final word!

The word for peace in Hebrew is Shalom, and was (and still is) a regular greeting.  Shalom is much more than greeting, though.  Shalom is more than the absence of conflict or war.  Shalom is a way living and being, and means "every kind of good!"  At the beginning and closing of every letter of Paul is "may every kind of good be yours."
In the original …