A Follow-Up F-260 Thought (and Pastoral Application)

I wrote on Monday on some of my observations about going through a reading plan, memory plan, and preaching plan as a church. I forgot to mention another area where we aligned: our small group discussion. Our groups that meet throughout the week do not have to do a discussion guide that is synced up with the sermon text, but it is provided for them should they want to.

But that isn’t why I’m writing today. Today I wanted to write about a follow-up thought that shows another angle of this aligned approach. This whole plan has been a great discipline for me in how I think about preaching, and I believe it has been good for our church, but there is another side to pursuing corporate disciplines like this and then how to apply it pastorally:

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The Technology-Free Zone

Last week I shared about my no Netflix resolution for 2018. This resolution wasn’t about movies, or Amazon video, or Watch ESPN, or anything like that; the resolution was specifically about too much of one specific source of media consumption. However, this resolution did not come about in isolation. No, this resolution has a fraternal twin:

No technology in the bedroom.

You might think this resolution came from a desire to be a better husband and devote more time to Courtney, but it didn’t. You might think that this resolution came about through careful examination of my heart and my habits, but it didn’t.

No, this resolution came about from a random conversation with one of my kids. Continue reading “The Technology-Free Zone”

No Netflix 2018

This Sunday, we’ll be in week 3 of our series Resolved. If you’ve been at The Chapel for any amount of time, you’ll see that we’ll do a run for several months through a book, then we’ll run through a topic. As you will see right now, this series focuses on a topic—resolutions.

So, here’s a resolution of mine: No Netflix.

A lot of resolutions are general—be nice, do more good things, give more, etc. I try (and often fail) to make my resolutions specific and, to one degree or another, annoying for me.  Continue reading “No Netflix 2018”

What’s With Quiet Times?

Evangelical Christians teach the “Quiet Time” as an essential element to their faith. What is it, you ask? Well, it is a daily, intentional time to get away in quiet with God—read the Bible, pray, and meditate. Why should we do it? Simple, Mark 1:35 reads, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Thus, because of Mark 1:35, Jesus has a daily quiet time.


Last night I tweeted out my thought that saying “Jesus had a quiet time” is anachronistic. Now, lest the boo birds come out to get me, I wanted to take a moment and better explain my reasoning.  Continue reading “What’s With Quiet Times?”

Diagnosing the Casual Christian Life

There’s this part of me that I can’t quite get rid of. I’m almost to the point of naming them; they’re family to me. Some call them love handles, I just call them the Googer Hips. The result of years (at least a decade, now) of over-eating, under-moving, and general laziness.

(No hips were harmed in the writing of this blog entry.)

The result of a sedentary lifestyle sitting right there on my body for the world to see–only hidden by baggy shirts and a well-developed constant suck-in. Seven months of pretty intense exercising and four to five months of better eating and that thing is no closer to leaving.

Nobody ever really seemed to be bothered by my laziness, terrible diet, and growing waist. Louisiana certainly didn’t care (“Let the good times roll,” she’d say). Courtney just loved me like I was (“I mean, it wouldn’t hurt you to lose weight but I don’t care.”) and my friends? We all look alike, so why rock the boat?

As long as everyone is excessive nobody is, right? . . .

Continue reading “Diagnosing the Casual Christian Life”

Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, and–Why, Exactly?

The Chapel (where I pastor) has historically been a church that does not join in with the Christian calendar. There is certainly no rule requiring it (and, in fact, there are semi-reasonable arguments not to in certain instances). However, these things are all linked; and being in South Louisiana (as just about all readers of this blog are), it is helpful to know how they are linked.

So what is this all about? (Note, you can Google most of this stuff, or watch Chuck above, so here’s just a BRIEF run-down.)

Continue reading “Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Lent, and–Why, Exactly?”