Hi friends, This weekend we're studing 1st John 2.7-11. In this passage, John engages what the church is supposed to look like, as it reflects Jesus not only to the outside world...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...
I was sitting in my office while one of our Good Shepherd family was reading John 15.1-8 out loud in preparation for reading it in our worship service at 10:30am yesterday...Keep Reading
Greetings, We are entering into the Summer of Love - thatâ€™s the name of the series of teaching and messages drawn from the Letter of 1st John that began last weekend. With great...Keep Reading
Hi friends, In all three worship gatherings this weekend we're kicking off a brand new series we're calling the Summer of Love! No, we're not discussing social phenomenon of 1967...Keep Reading
The School year is coming to a close and Summer is right around the corner. This means new opportunities for Connecting with God, Growing in Faith, and Serving in Love! It all begins...Keep Reading
Greetings, Hereâ€™s the study guide for this weekend. Our focus is on growing in faith - rooted in the community of faith in which we find encouragement and mentors who help us...Keep Reading
Parents of Graduating Students, Greetings from the Childrenâ€™s Ministry! I canâ€™t believe how fast this year went! Iâ€™m sure it is equally hard to believe how fast your little one is growing!...Keep Reading
On many occasions I've referred to the rear yard re-landscaping project Connie and I undertook five years ago. After demolition of over 70 tons (that is correct, 70 tons) of concrete...Keep Reading
Hi friends, This is week six of our series Rooted: In the Soil of a Vibrant, Growing Faith, which may strike you as odd, since there are only five solas. What, then, are we going to talk...Keep Reading
Our world is not what it used to be. In recent years we have seen some astronomical shifts in worldviews and in adherence to the Christian faith in America. Consider the...Keep Reading
Greetings Good Shepherd Family, We are continuing in a Season of Discernment regarding the denominational affiliation that best enables us to live out our call to make disciples who...Keep Reading
Hi friends, We continue our Rooted series in this week's study guide and at all three worship gatherings this weekend. Glory to God Alone, or Soli Deo Gloria, as the Reformers would 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
Why do you come to The Open Table Tuesdays at Good Shepherd? When we conceived of this ministry we determined that there were so many reasons why members of Good Shepherd...Keep Reading
Hello Good Shepherd Friend, In recent weeks we have begun a process of discerning the denominational affiliation that would best support the ministry of Good Shepherd...Keep Reading
Greetings, This week we continue engaging the central doctrines of the Protestant Reformation in a series we're calling Rooted: In the Soil of a Vibrant, Growing Faith. As we have...Keep Reading
The 2013 Annual Spring Gathering of the Presbyterian Men of Los Ranchos will be a breakfast featuring Emad Samir as the speaker. Emad is a noted Egyptologist and Scholar...Keep Reading
It's no surprise that our world is changing rapidly. Among the effects of rapid social change is the fact that the Christian church is no longer widely appreciated, understood, and influential...Keep Reading
This week we continue engaging the central doctrines of the Protestant Reformation in a series we're calling Rooted: In the Soil of a Vibrant, Growing Faith. Thus far in our quest...Keep Reading
I've been reflecting upon the wonder and blessing of Christian community this past week, prompted by all the ways I have been - and continue to be - blessed by the Good Shepherd...Keep Reading
Lasting faith for our children! Research shows that almost half of graduating high school seniors struggle deeply with their faith. Recognizing the ramifications of that statistic...Keep Reading
The 20th century theologian Karl Barth was once asked what was the greatest theological statement he'd ever heard. His response was Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible...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
Hi Friends, We start a new series this weekend, Rooted: In the Soil of a Vibrant and Growing Faith. This six-week series will take a look at the theological essentials that emerged from...Keep Reading
Hi friends, A blessed holy week to you and yours. It was an honor to join with many of you who were able to attend our Maundy Thursday gathering this evening. This weekend...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
Hi friends, This weekend - on Saturday at 5pm and Sunday morning at 8:45 & 10:30am - we continue our Lenten series Not A Fan: Becoming Completely Committed Followers...Keep Reading
Greetings, Hereâ€™s the study guide for our weekend focus on Matthew 23.1-12. We will see that Jesus is very harsh with those who opt to rely on external appearances and religiosity...Keep Reading
When spring break roll around students around the country are excited about the opportunity to relax, hit the beach, and simply hang out. Who can blame them? High School is a...Keep Reading
We will be presenting a series of small group opportunities Friday through Sunday, March 15th-17th, for you to hear more about the issues facing our denomination. These small...Keep Reading
We're mid-way through the season of Lent, a time during which we take on new disciplines. For some it is fasting in which we voluntarily do without food or certain foods in order to...Keep Reading
Hello Fellow Sheep! As we continue our Lenten series, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus, yours truly has the preaching duties this weekend, so that...Keep Reading
Hi friends, Grace and Peace be with you. I write from the Serra Retreat Center in Malibu, where I - alongside Pastors Jim and Paul - am attending a retreat of the Los Ranchos...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
This week we began the season of Lent, journeying toward Holy Week. If you were unable to be at our gathering for Ash Wednesday and would like to think through the beginning...Keep Reading
Greetings, Here is our study guide on Colossians 3.12-15 for the final message in our series on work, Every Good Endeavor. Also, let me remind you of the Town Hall Meeting this Sunday...Keep Reading
Hi friends, Greetings from Orlando! Pastor Paul and I are currently attending the Fellowship of Presbyterians and Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians national gathering...Keep Reading
Hi friends, Have you ever heard the phrase "Make a name for yourself"? How was it used? Positively or negatively? This week, we continue our series Every Good Endeavor...Keep Reading
The past two weeks we have been discussing God's good creation - and His call on us to continuing tilling, working, and cultivating the garden He created in our series, Every Good Endeavor...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
As we continue in our study of work entitled Every Good Endeavor we take a look at Godâ€™s invitation given to Adam, and to all human beings, to take on a role as co-creators...Keep Reading
Did you increase your pledge for the 2013 calendar year!? If so, thank you! If you give automatically through your PayPal account on our website, however, changing the amount...Keep Reading
This past weekend we kicked off a brand new series for a brand new year we're calling Every Good Endeavor, a title we've borrowed from Pastor Timothy Keller's book of the same name...Keep Reading
This past weekend, January 4th-6th, our Junior and Middle School students travelled up the hill to Forset Home for a weekend of fun and learning about God! Here's a sneak peek of what...Keep Reading
Hi friends, Happy New Year! I hope and pray your holiday season allowed time to celebrate with family and friends. And yet, after the holidays, it's back to work! It's been estimated...Keep Reading
This weekend Pastor Paul will help us conclude our Christmas series "Singing the Songs of the Season" with one final rousing chorus from a righteous man who was waiting for...Keep Reading
Hi friends, This weekend we continue our Advent series, Singing the Songs of the Season, humming along with Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, in Luke 1.57-80. Last week...Keep Reading
Greetings Good Shepherd Friends, Here's the study guide for our first message in the Advent Season. We are Singing the Songs of the Season sung buy those to whom God revealed...Keep Reading
Hi friends, Grace and Peace be with you this busy and hectic Thanksgiving / Black Friday weekend! It's rather fitting that we conclude our series Joy on the Journey...Keep Reading
Greetings, What an appropriate week to be looking at a passage that says â€œour citizenship is in heavenâ€ not in the kingdoms of this world! We continue through the book of Philippians...Keep Reading
Hi friends, Despite what your favorite coffee shop says, it's not yet the Christmas season (though I'm sure their holiday blend is delicious!). We continue in our study of Philippians...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
Here's this week's study guide on Philippians 3.1-11. In this passage, Paul discusses the good things upon which he used to hang his hat, declaring that he now considers them...Keep Reading
Greetings, Attached is the study guide for Philippians 2.1-11, a significant passage on an important character quality - humility. God bless you in your study. May you...Keep Reading
Wednesday Greetings, This week weâ€™re looking at only three verses - but what great content in just three verses. I was challenged to whittle it down. May God continue to give us the...Keep Reading
Hi friends, This week we continue in our Joy on the Journey fall series on Paul's letter to the Philippians. Last week we addressed Paul's chains and critics; this week, his crisis...Keep Reading