01 July 2019

What is the purpose of prayer?

Houston: We have a Problem!

We live in a world of incredible overstimulation. 
  • For one example, it would take you 60,000 years of non-stop watching to watch each and every video on YouTube.
  • And that doesn't include a single video uploaded to YouTube during 2019, during which 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every single minute. 
  • Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day. You get my point. 

It is widely known that we live in a world of overwhelming distractions. Too many things compete against quiet time for prayer in our lives. 

Solution: Intentional time with God by means of Christian Prayer both Individually and with Others.

That’s right. We may intentionally create opportunities for growing our Relationship with God by praying alone and with others.

As we do, we come to realize God is present with us. 

That’s right. Especially when it doesn't feel like God is there at all.
That is when we are making the most progress.

Houston: We have a problem! Overstimulation overtakes us daily.

The solution is intentional time with God on a daily basis.

By using certain prayer systems, you will be able to practically pray without ceasing.

26 May 2019

How to Skin Your Fear and Grant the Peace of of Christ Permission to Com...

Here's my sermon at St. John's Presbyterian Church 

in Houston, Texas on May 26, 2019.

I talked about the peace of Christ, centering prayer, 

Caesar Augustus, the Pax Romano, Bowen systems theory

suggestion to maintain a "less anxious presence"

and Vital Congregations.

02 May 2019

Facebook: Well how do you LIKE that?

Our Facebook Page number of LIKES nearly doubled in size last week.

It's amazing what happens when you ask because when you ask you shall receive.

After asking 2,200 of my Facebook Friends to Like the St. John's Presbyterian Church Facebook Page, more than 125 of them took action. They Liked the Page.

Now, when someone who lives around the church searches for us on Facebook, they will have better social proof that here is a church that is alive and active. Therefore, they are more likely to want to find out more about us.

Put into theological language, how are we making disciples?

How are we sharing the good news of Jesus Christ?
Are there other ways we could share it in addition to the ways we share it now?

While we are not held responsible for their response to our invitation, we most certainly are held responsible by God for sharing the good news. That is a responsibility we dare not shirk or cast aside.

Ask somebody. Tell somebody.

Talk about Jesus more and more to people you love and may your circle of love safely expand.

Increase the frequency of your Jesus talk because actions speak louder than words and we are more likely to get the action right if we are speaking it into being.

25 March 2019

Are you business owner? Or would you like to be one?

The Lord be with you! 
Are you business owner?
Or would you like to be?

If you are or would like to be a business owner, reply to this email and let me know the name of your business or what your dream business would look like.

I would like to start a support group for business owners and when you reply to this email you will be the first one on my contact list. 

Then I will extend the invitation to the community around the church and invite them to join us. 
  • How can we support one another?
  • How can we encourage one another to grow in our Christian faith?
  • How can we accelerate our growth? 
I'm not an expert in business but I have extensive experience in facilitating group discussions. This will be an experiment I am conducting for a limited amount of time so if you are interested don't be shy, reply.

This is what the Lord is laying on my heart to do this Lenten season. So be on the lookout for an announcement about this soon. And by replying to this email and telling me a little about your business or your dream, you will be the first to hear about this forthcoming opportunity.

15 May 2018

Shelter from the Storm

Last weekend I had a good retreat at Austin Seminary.

I was there with a dozen or so other pastors from Houston. We were dealing with leadership issues after Hurricane Harvey and how that translates to healing for communities and congregations. The theme was "Shelter from the Storm."

I was surprised at how much better I felt at this retreat than I did at the previous retreat. So I asked one of the other pastors when was our last retreat? She said it was 3 months ago. I said it felt like 3 years ago.

We are all at different stages of grief or recovery after Hurricane Harvey. Our challenges are working with one another to move forward when each of us is at a different place in dealing with the crisis.

My sincere belief is that our sanctuary will come through this process much renewed and enlivened and ready to serve as a place of worship for the next 50 years. When we take that long of a Time Horizon, we realize that the most important thing is to get it done well and to get it done right. The least important thing is to get it done fast.

That's one of the reasons last Sunday I talked about patience as a fruit of the spirit. That thought is not original with me. The Apostle Paul mentions patience as a fruit of the spirit. Go read 1st Corinthians chapter 13 and you will see that the first thing Paul says about love is that love is patient. 

Let's bear the fruit of Spirit through patience even as we continue to make progress in the recovery of our sanctuary and continue the ministry we have to the community and this city as we naturally revel in our glorious vision of what God has in store for this church for the next 50 years.