Planting Category

Resident Aliens

Stanley Hauerwas and Will Willamon’s book Resident Aliens opens with these words: Sometime between 1960 and 1980, an old, inadequately conceived world ended, and a fresh, new world began. We do not mean to be overly dramatic....Read More

Counter Culture

In 1926, the United States Supreme Court made a well-intentioned ruling that affects our everyday lives - perhaps for the worst. The justices ruled that the town of Euclid, Ohio could bar the development of land which had been slated for an industrial-use...Read More

The Same Sermon

The story has been told of a pastor who began his ministry at a new church with a brilliant sermon. Everyone loved it. The next week, however, he preached the same sermon. The exact same sermon. Same text, same illustrations, same application....Read More

Stay Forth!

Our current sermon series is inspired by the prayer Jesus taught us, a prayer we pray together every week: “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”...Read More

Next Door As It Is In Heaven

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter...Read More

Knocking On Heaven's Door

The story has been told of a Christian college here in Southern California that once sent its students door to door to talk with people about spiritual issues. Can you imagine how difficult that would be!? I hope that these students, by merely attempting...Read More

Hidden Christmas

In his book Hidden Christmas, Tim Keller writes that every December there are two very different celebrations going on - each observed by millions of people at the same time. Around the world there are those of us who see in Christmas an opportunity to...Read More

Reflections on Charlottesville

The events that took place last weekend in Charlottesville have deeply troubled me to the core. But now, a week later, it is not only the events themselves, but the response - across our country - which reveals how deeply fallen and divided America is. I have sought...Read More

It Takes a Village

An African proverb states: “It takes a village to raise a child,” acknowledging the need for community that stretches beyond the bounds of the nuclear family. Today more than ever dual-income, busy parents need a network of grandmas and grandpas...Read More

The Parable of the Sower

The above fresco, titled The Parable of the Sower, is the centerpiece of the chapel at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina. Painted by artist Gerald Steinmeyer, the work measures 17x20 feet, towering over gathered worshippers...Read More

From Your Pastor's Inbox

If you think about it, e-mail is a strange communication medium. Instead of speaking with someone face to face, or talking over the telephone, where we can at least hear their voice, in e-mail, our brains think up words that our fingers type...Read More

Inviting All People...

The mission of Good Shepherd is to “Invite all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in God’s family.” This is the clear and concise statement that describes what we are all supposed to be doing together. Easter is a vital opportunity for us to...Read More

A Dangerous Thing to Do

Apparently teaching through the Book of Acts is a dangerous thing for a preacher to do. Now I know. This fall we've been engaging this book of early church history, as we live into our mission, "Inviting all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in God's family."...Read More

As If I Were A Lobster

Last week we engaged the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, who, following his transformation, became the Apostle to the Gentiles, sharing the good news of God's love all over the world. In my message, I noted how God is the author of...Read More

A Pumpkin in a Jar

It’s fall (though the weather might not seem like it). If you don’t believe me, stop by Starbucks. You’ll see: Pumpkin Spiced Lattes are on the menu! The season’s change reminded me a powerful metaphor in the book Church Unique used by our Staff and Session...Read More

Homogenous Unit Principle

I'm 35 years old (believe it or not). I'm married, with two kids. We live near El Dorado Park in a little fixer upper (that, in five years, we haven't fixed up all that much!). I like reading philosophy and listening to indie rock and drinking strong coffee and rooting for...Read More

Let the Little Children Come To Me...

Last month, I attended the first of three two-week intensives required for my Doctorate in Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. One of the first assignments was a paper chronicling my faith journey, especially as it related to leaders in churches I attended...Read More

Going Viral... In Such a Time as This

I’m grateful to be married to Cassie, a thoughtful and deeply committed Christian woman. Who has an incredible amount of patience. Here’s proof: She puts up with me! Earlier this week she had an interesting insight. But first, the back story... We live near...Read More

Morning Cartoons

Like all kids, my two little rascals love cartoons. What’s not to love!? They feature happy little characters in a story that always works out for the best in just a half hour. If only real life was like that! Okay, I’ll admit it: I, too, enjoy watching cartoons with...Read More

Women's Interfaith Dialogue

On April 18th, thirty women from our women's ministry and the Islamic Institute of Orange County met to promote friendship and peace building. They had lunch, talked and talked and talked. Because they all wanted to do more than just get acquainted or...Read More

Preschool Open House

Thursday night was Open House at my son's preschool. I know what you're thinking: "Open house!? At a preschool!?" Yes, Open House. At a preschool. But it wasn’t all bad - there were free cookies and powdered donuts and lemonade! Cassie and I loved it...Read More