The Red Sox and the Yankees. Tom and Jerry. UCLA and USC. Batman and the Joker. Coke and Pepsi. The Hatfields and the McCoys. Classic rivalries are all around us. Here's one you may have never thought of: 9am Classic and 10:45am Modern...Keep Reading
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Next Saturday, August 25th, our elders are meeting for a bi-annual retreat day. We do so every January and August, and they have become two of my absolute favorite days of the entire year, not only because we have a lot of fun together, but also because I learn so much from each one of the leaders on the team....
My family and I live on a quaint little street near El Dorado park. It’s common on weekends to drive by epic birthday parties and large family reunions sprawled out in the vast open space of the historic park. My children, 4 and 7, always feel left out of playing on the...
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...
The truth is, every church needs young people. Their passion enriches the soil around them. The curiosity they bring to Scripture and the authenticity they bring to relationships keep your church’s teaching fresh and fellowship fruitful....
An amazing thing happened on the way to Jerusalem. The first half of our gospel accounts depict Jesus ministering in and around Galilee. He calls disciples, tells parables, and performs healings on behalf of fascinated crowds. But about halfway through the...
I am cast upon a horrible, desolate island, void of all hope of recovery. I am singled out and separated, as it were, from all the world, to be miserable. I am divided from mankind – a solitaire; one banished from human society… I have no soul to speak to or relieve me....
It’s been said that “words create worlds.” And it’s difficult to argue with that statement. Think, for instance, of the outset of the Scriptures, where God declares “Let there be light.” And, sure enough, there’s light! The next day God creates the sky. The next day...
Erwin Rommel was a genius, no doubt about it. The problem was that he put his efforts to use working for the Nazi regime. And yet, despite his evil intent, we can learn something from Rommel to be put to use for God’s mission in the world. And in our church....
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...
After two weeks in Charlotte, North Carolina, at a second-year residency for my Doctorate in Ministry, it is good to be back! And no, I don't miss the humidity! I am grateful for how Josh and Paul kicked off our summer series, The Stories Jesus Told....
This week our church family suffered a very difficult loss as the 26-year old son of Julie Varley, Alex Bradley, was killed in a car crash. A couple of days later Julie pulled from the wreck a photocopy of the hymn “It is Well with My Soul,” which Alex had played on...
Have you ever clicked onto Ancestry.com or another genealogy site to learn more about your family’s history? My mother has done so, tracing Bronzan family roots on one side through Yugoslavia and on the other side through the family of Abraham Lincoln! ...
Southern California doesn't really have seasons, per se. And most of us probably like it that way. It's a bit colder in the winter months, but nothing worth bundling up for. Where I grew up in the Central Valley, seasons were more pronounced. August afternoons were...
A strange thing happens in Luke 9. We learn at the outset of the chapter that after Jesus called his disciples, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and...
It happens in movies all the time. Two characters are engaged in some surprising conversation or activity when a third character reacts incredulously. That third character can’t believe what they’re seeing or hearing. And in so doing, they model for us - the viewer...
A juxtaposition is defined as "two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect." I’m sure there are a few in this weekend’s movie release, Rogue One, which continues the Star Wars franchise. There’s certainly one in this week’s...
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go! And I suppose it's time. A few weeks ago, I lamented how quickly our society jumped from Halloween to Christmas, skipping right over Thanksgiving. I wrote: This year I noticed, more than...
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."...
A strange thing happened this week. No, it doesn’t have to do with the Presidential Election. And no, it isn’t the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series for the first time since 1908. Though that was fun (for them!). It has to do with Halloween - or, better yet,...
"How's the running going, Curtis?" It was a simple question. And it deserved a simple answer. "Great!" I could've said, responding succinctly. Or, "Really well, actually, I'm running five days a week, three miles each day," if I wanted to give more details....
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...
I’ve told my friends, I don’t really go to retreats to get sleep - although some manage to. Mostly, it’s a much needed break from the usual routine, a time to gain a sense of renewal - renewing old friendships, finding new ones, and recharging our intimacy...
As we transition from summer into a busy fall, one particular passage has been on my mind. In chapter 3 of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, the Apostle to the Gentiles writes, I want to know Christ - yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation...
I like to have a plan. What I don’t like is when reality does not quite match up with my planned expectation! I am quickly getting used to this being a part of life that I cannot control. I have found myself in a situation where my “perfect” plan has been altered....
On Thursday night, my wife Cassie and I attended a concert at the Greek Theater. The band isn't her favorite musical act, but I had been looking forward to this show since I got tickets back in December. With work commitments and a busy family life, it had...
My family and I live on a quaint little street near El Dorado park. It’s common on weekends to drive by epic birthday parties and large family reunions sprawled out in the vast open space of the historic park. My children, 4 and 7, always feel left out of playing on the...Keep Reading
In the movie Million Dollar Baby Clint Eastwood’s character likes to torment his priest by asking him questions that are incredibly difficult to answer. One question he asks is about the Trinity......Keep Reading
Sunday we began a new series we’re calling Who Is This Man? Despite the new series title, we’re continuing in the Gospel of Luke, which we began for Advent in December and will continue until Easter in April! “Who is this man?” It’s a question that...Keep Reading
One of my favorite parts of preaching is words. Which isn’t all that surprising. I use a couple thousand of them in each sermon (though sometimes one or two of them are repeats). It’s not the amount of words I like (surprise though it may be)...Keep Reading
This fall we engaged the call to create Christian community in our series One Another. Our bulletin cover and PowerPoint background was a serene forest of trees, deep in some secluded forest. The inspiration for that image came from aspen trees,...Keep Reading
Our goal this year at Good Shepherd is to go deeper into community so that we can go further out in faith. If you haven't heard about that, learn more here. The desire to go deeper into community has prompted us to explore the "one anothers" found...Keep Reading
This week is Mission Sunday (remember to come early 2nd service folks!) and also marks the anniversary of an important moment in church history. 500 years ago, on October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted a copy of his Ninety-five Theses...Keep Reading
I am cast upon a horrible, desolate island, void of all hope of recovery. I am singled out and separated, as it were, from all the world, to be miserable. I am divided from mankind – a solitaire; one banished from human society… I have no soul to speak to or relieve me....Keep Reading
Did you know our sanctuary is equipped with a high-tech device to meet the needs of those with reduced ranges of hearing? Well, it is! Last summer we installed “audio-frequency induction loops” - better known as a “hearing loop.” This device is a...Keep Reading
This summer we've been engaging the parables in our series The Stories Jesus Told. You may recall how, a couple months ago, I invited anyone in our community to “tell us what to preach on.” Any story Jesus tells, we'll preach on it. Your favorite parable?...Keep Reading
I'm not sure God intended us to have favorite passages in the Bible, but, I suppose it's only human to be drawn to certain parts of God's Word that speak to us in a special way. One of my "favorites" (if that's okay!?), is Psalm 150:...Keep Reading
After two weeks in Charlotte, North Carolina, at a second-year residency for my Doctorate in Ministry, it is good to be back! And no, I don't miss the humidity! I am grateful for how Josh and Paul kicked off our summer series, The Stories Jesus Told....Keep Reading
Sunday we continue our series They Will Know Us By Our Fruit, inspired by Jesus’ teaching in Luke 6: No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from...Keep Reading
The season of Lent is the 40-day period that culminates with the celebration of Jesus’ victory over death on Easter Sunday. Lent has traditionally focused on self-reflection, repentance, and a re-awakening of our commitment to follow the way of Jesus. ...Keep Reading
It’s important to remember. Imagine forgetting your wedding anniversary or your best friend’s birthday! If you’ve ever forgotten an important date - or had an important date of yours forgotten - you know firsthand how important remembering is....Keep Reading
The first Sunday of every month we celebrate Communion. And our worship attendance is always highest on those days - probably for that very reason. But what happens when the first Sunday of the month is the first Sunday of the year and that first Sunday...Keep Reading
It happens in movies all the time. Two characters are engaged in some surprising conversation or activity when a third character reacts incredulously. That third character can’t believe what they’re seeing or hearing. And in so doing, they model for us - the viewer...Keep Reading
A juxtaposition is defined as "two things being seen or placed close together with contrasting effect." I’m sure there are a few in this weekend’s movie release, Rogue One, which continues the Star Wars franchise. There’s certainly one in this week’s...Keep Reading
It’s time for your Greek lesson! (I know what you’re thinking: “Don’t we get enough Greek in your sermons on Sundays!?” And, fair enough. Maybe so. But this one will be short. I promise.) Good Shepherd is a Presbyterian church. This describes not only our...Keep Reading
The past few weeks, I've been trying something new: running. Well, it's not entirely new, since I used to run cross country and track in Junior High and High School. But it's been a while! Trying to run again has been challenging and uncomfortable. The day after...Keep Reading
Growing up, most aspects of life came pretty easily to me. I aced my classwork, starred in sports, made others laugh and—as a bonus—the girls didn’t think I was too ugly, either. It was a recipe for disaster. Boy, did I get a big head. My head was so big...Keep Reading
"He is Risen!" "He is Risen, indeed!" These words will begin Easter Sunday gatherings around the world tomorrow, with over 2 billion Christians gathering together to declare their faith in the Risen One. And for good reason: Jesus' resurrection is no mere...Keep Reading
This week we continue our series of notes where members of our leadership team report back from the ECO National Gathering. This week, Director of Administration Thea Walker and Director of Children's Ministries Michelle Heath share their thoughts:...Keep Reading
How can Good Shepherd support and equip families to be the primary spiritual caregiver for their children? Youth group activities, missions trips, devotionals and intentional discipleship of youth are all important to give kids the best chance to be life-long followers...Keep Reading
This morning we begin a series of posts where members of our leadership team report back from the ECO National Gathering, which took place at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Newport Beach, January 26th-28th. This week, Associate Pastor...Keep Reading
10 Reasons to Attend the Annual Congregational Meeting Instead of Watching the Broncos-Patriots Game
The rumors are true. We actually scheduled our Annual Congregational Meeting for this Sunday, January 24th at 12pm, in the final weeks of the NFL season. And yes, that will interfere with watching the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos football game...Keep Reading
If you’ve ever been trapped in a hotel room and a man named Gideon had been there first and you opened the book he left behind, you would find on the first page these words: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was...Keep Reading
This season gets a little crazy. I only have 2.5 kids (the new baby is due in early April!). Huds and Harry have different schools. That’s 2 Christmas parties, 2 mornings drop offs and pick ups (I am so thankful for my wife being a full time stay at home mom!...Keep Reading
A few weeks ago, special guest Steve Stiles joined us on campus with his video camera, documenting our worship gatherings, classrooms, and life together. He did so as a part of an ongoing series sponsored by the Southern California Presbytery of ECO....Keep Reading
Hello Good Shepherd families, I came across this Article written by Charles Larry Stines. Parents please keep bringing your children into worship, they are his children and we need to be more like them, joyfully worshiping The Lord! You and your...Keep Reading
On Sunday, July 26th at both our 9 & 10:45 gatherings, we welcomed four new members to the family of Good Shepherd, baptizing and confirming them in their faith in Jesus. If you missed it, here's the video!...Keep Reading
In the midst of declining religious commitment in America, one thing remains constant: prayer! Commenting on a recent study by the University of Chicago, the Washington Post reports: “American religion is on the ropes, but is has a prayer.” Author Scott...Keep Reading
I am looking forward to our worship services this weekend at which we will be focusing on Ephesians 3.14-21. This is because Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesus is written out in these verses and it is a prayer that reflects the heart of the Apostle for those...Keep Reading
This morning in worship I mentioned the role of Mission Affinity Groups in the life of every ECO congregation. The narrative questions we will be held accountable for are included below. If you'd like to learn more about Mission Affinity Groups, click onto ECO's website...Keep Reading
Gather at Good Shepherd this Holy Week to rejoice in Palm Sunday, reflect upon Maundy Thursday, remember Good Friday, and celebrate Easter Sunday! As always, children are welcome in each gathering. Nursery, childcare, and children's classes...Keep Reading
Join us to celebrate Christmas on Wednesday, December 24th at 4, 7 or 9pm! Our 4pm Family Gathering will feature children from our congregation who will retell the Christmas Story, with an opportunity for us to sing our favorite carols. Our 7 & 9pm...Keep Reading
Monday, August 18th through Wednesday, August 20th, I, Pastor Jim, Elders Roberta Ramont and Sue Nelson Brown attended the 2014 National Gathering of ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians in Dallas, Texas. I know - Dallas, Texas...Keep Reading
Getting to the heart of Godâ€™s Story! â€œGod goes to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about - the story of the Bible, Godâ€™s great love affair with...Keep Reading
David and Goliath. What's the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear a reference to this epic encounter? The giant Goliath who embodies the threat of the Philistine army as it...Keep Reading
Our 3 year old, Moses, is on our church campus at least three times each week: Sunday mornings for worship, Wednesday mornings for Mom's Connect, and Wednesday evenings...Keep Reading
What are the chances!? It was a mere couple of hours after we thought together about "Eating Together" last weekend that I saw it. Since my wife, Cassie, was still up north visiting family with...Keep Reading
Dear Parents, Grandparents and Guardians, At Good Shepherd, nothing is more important to us than the safety and security of your children. Thatâ€™s why we partner with KidCheck...Keep Reading
After giving - and receiving! - presents Christmas morning, after eating Christmas dinner that night (with that extra slice of pie, because, "Why not? It's Christmas!"), after ringing...Keep Reading
Greetings from Pastor Jim, I am writing on behalf of our Session and its Worship Team with a very important report from our Session meeting last evening. For some time we have...Keep Reading
For the past few weeks we have been engaging the roots of biblical Christianity in a series we're calling Rooted: In the Soil of a Vibrant, Growing Faith. Each week in our sermon...Keep Reading
Hi friends, I was so sorry to miss gathering for worship this weekend, especially as we began our new series. I was unable to join you as I am currently in Springfield, Missouri, ...Keep Reading
It's been said that teachers teach what they need to learn. I've come to believe the same is true for preachers' preaching. Or, at least, it is for me. Last weekend we engaged...Keep Reading
John Calvin, father of the Reformed tradition, once wrote that "human nature, so to speak, is a perpetual factory of idols." Now, remember, idols are inherently good things that are...Keep Reading
Ash Wednesday is one of my favorite days in the church calendar. Now, that may seem rather morbid, considering that it's a day to remember our mortality. But my appreciation doesn't...Keep Reading
The Annual Congregational Celebration and Business Meeting is set for January 29th at 7pm in the Sanctuary of Good Shepherd. I hope you will plan to attend this event to give thanks to God...Keep Reading
On Saturday, December 3rd, our Chancel, Bell and Children's Choirs with orchestra presented our annual Festival of Carols. If you missed it, look no further!...Keep Reading
Tuesday, Novmber 6th is election day. It's a day filled with hopes and dreams for the future of our country, a day that presidential candidates and political parties have been...Keep Reading
This weekend we thought together about Jesus' words in Matthew 6.19-43, including His commandment that we not "treasure up treasures on earth," but instead respond...Keep Reading
This past weekend, we thought together about Jesus' invitation to life a live free of revenge, instead seeking to counterculturally love our enemies and pray for those who persecute...Keep Reading
This weekend we looked at Jonah 1.11-17. Here's some questions from our study guide to guide reflecting on the passage and message: Are there things you feel you have to do...Keep Reading
This weekend we continued our teaching series on the Book of Jonah. After hearing the message, here are some questions from our small group study guide to help you and...Keep Reading
This weekend we began a number of new opportunities to connect with God, grow in faith and serve in love, including a new teaching series on the Book of Jonah. After hearing...Keep Reading
After months of dreaming and praying, planning and preparing, on Saturday, April 14th at 5pm, we're kicking off a brand new worship gathering opportunity for our congregation...Keep Reading
Whenever we celebrate the Lord's Supper in each of our three worship gatherings, we remember the words of Jesus, which are commonly referred to as "The Words of Institution"...Keep Reading
Hello Good Shepherd Family, There are many things taking place during this Advent Season that are for your edification: The Festival of Carols choir concert is this Saturday, December...Keep Reading
Dear GSPC families, Itâ€™s hard to believe that the school year is speedily coming to a close. With that, we want to keep you informed with what that means for your children. On June 12th...Keep Reading
Ah yes, Easter. The one day out of the year children look for brightly colored plastic eggs filled with candy and lunch with the family is mandatory. And that's it. Or is it? Could there be more...Keep Reading
Hi friends, I hope this finds you well in this Lenten season, as we journey toward the Resurrection! I encourage you to be thinking about those you know who need to hear the good news...Keep Reading
Greetings Good Shepherd Family, We are approaching a special season of the Church year - the season of Lent that leads us once again to the events of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection...Keep Reading
As in years past, Good Shepherd is offering three different Christmas Eve gatherings this Friday night: Our 4pm Family Gathering is specifically designed for parents and their little ones...Keep Reading
Beginning this Sunday, November 28th at all three worship gatherings, we will be taking a break from our Gospel of Mark series to prepare for advent. The advent series, When the ...Keep Reading