Category: Charlie Dunn

Upside Down Blessing

I was meeting yesterday with some longtime elders in our church, and one of them asked me: “Why is the sermon series on the Beatitudes called Upside Down? What does that mean?” In an effort to answer this question, we started to rewrite Jesus’ blessings in a way that our world might more quickly recognize as #blessed. Blessed are the self-confident, for they can build their own kingdom. Blessed are those don’t take life too seriously, for they have a lot more fun.... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 8/30/18
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The Storybook Bible

Have you ever wondered why the Bible is filled with far more stories than instructions? Why instead of offering bullet point directions on how to find God, the Bible recounts the lives of those who have actually encountered God’s presence?  We’re given Moses’ life-altering detour at the burning bush rather than just an instruction to “turn aside and draw near;” Joshua’s shocking encounter with the commander of the Lord’s army rather than only a... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 8/9/18
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Whose Side Are You On?

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved epic The Lord of the Rings , two hobbits named Pippin and Merry suddenly find themselves in a conversation with a walking, talking, and enormous “Ent” named Treebeard. Given the war that is raging in the world around them, Pippin and Merry are anxious to know if this giant tree will fight on their side. Will he enlist in their army and help advance their worthy cause? We might be tempted to approach God in a similar way. We may come to God... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 7/12/18
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A Burning Bush

A burning bush. In itself, it’s not particularly unusual. The smallest spark can set a bush, a tree, even an entire forest ablaze, as we’ve sadly seen this summer in Durango. And yet the courageous Colorado firefighters still expect that when this fire runs out of fuel, it will burn out. But that’s what made the bush at Mt. Horeb so remarkable. Though the bush was on fire, it did not burn out ( Exodus 3:2 ). It defied the typical categories of explanation. This past... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 6/27/18
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You Are Not Your Own

One of my mentors in college was a history professor and country church pastor named Allen Koop. The son of the former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Professor Koop taught an amazing class on the history of healthcare. One afternoon, he shared with our discussion group about all of the health issues and associated treatment costs that can arise from smoking. One of my classmates raised his hand and said, “With all due respect, I could care less about any of this. I like smoking.... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 6/7/18
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Spring Break & God's Wrath

Spring – that short season of amazing weather that soon gives way to sweltering heat – is finally here. Some of you are spring breaking to beaches or mountains. Others are staying in Dallas to enjoy the cooler temps and the end of the flood. Many of us are eager to fill out March Madness brackets and hoping our favorite team will still be playing next week (fingers crossed for the Longhorns). It’s the one season in which new life literally grows up around us (I’ve never... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 3/8/18
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Courageous Calling

A lot has changed in America since our nation’s birth. In 1787, almost every state constitution required public officials to affirm that the Bible was the inspired Word of God. Today, in 2017, the halls of government, education, media, and the arts that were once officially or at least informally supportive of Christian belief may now be indifferent or even hostile to the teachings and values of Jesus. I say this not to bemoan or lament a loss of “the good old days.” As... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 7/6/17
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You're Invited … To Yield Control

Control. It may be the deepest idol of all. Ever since Satan first lured Adam and Eve with the promise “to be like God,” we have longed to throw off our creaturely limitations and dependence in exchange for a God-like power over our lives. We can treat many good things as though they were God, but this idol promises to make us like God. Yet as Bryan pointed out throughout this series, idols always promise more than they provide. This giant leap upward always leads to a great... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 4/6/17
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A Servant Christmas

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.   Matthew 6:1 . This past Sunday, Bryan encouraged us to discover the spiritual freedom that arises from practicing our acts of virtue for the pleasure of God rather than the praise of men. Nothing steals our “calm” by inducing anxiety, inciting envy, and instigating anger like engaging in good deeds to win the approval,... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 12/15/16
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Paul All Fall

The Apostle Paul could be identified in many ways: convert; missionary; pastor; church-planter; theologian; martyr. But the identifier that Paul cherished more than any other was that he was a man who was “in Christ.” More than 160 times Paul speaks of being “in Christ,” expressing that his deepest identity and his highest privilege is to be united to Jesus. Over the course of his 13 New Testament letters, Paul describes both the glorious benefits of what it means to be... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 8/18/16
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New Student Ministry Staff

Over the last three months, several parents have asked me the following questions: “What steps will we take to improve our ministry to middle and high school girls? How can we help our young ladies to discover their identity as beloved daughters of God and to grow as committed followers of Jesus Christ?" I’m thrilled to announce that our church has taken a very important step in that direction. Beginning Sunday, May 1, Katie Woodley will join our staff team, as the Associate Director of High... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 4/19/16
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Why Transform Dallas?

Some people may look at what our church will be doing this coming Saturday, and ask, “What lasting difference will this really make?” If we help paint some homes, mow some lawns, package meals, clean up neighborhoods, refurbish schools, write notes of encouragement, and pray for city blocks all the while humbly sharing the hope of the crucified and risen Jesus, what lasting impact can these works of renewal really have? If you believe that our world will one day burn up into nothingness or... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 4/11/16
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First Mission Trip

I went on my first mission trip in the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. Up until the day before the trip departed, I wasn’t expecting to go. I had signed up late (still a risk today…), and by this point, I’d forgotten that my name was on a waiting list that was far from my mind. But when my phone rang at 2 pm, that all changed. A girl had unexpectedly dropped off the trip due to mono, and provided I could get my shot record and packing list together in time, I’d be... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 3/23/16
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HPPC Men's Retreat

A pastor once decided to call in sick on a Sunday so that he could enjoy a cool October morning on the golf course (probably Pine Dunes, Golf Week's #1 public course in Texas). On the first hole - a par 3 - he hit a high and beautiful fade that landed somewhere close to the pin. When he approached the green, however, he couldn't find his ball. Low and behold, he had hit a hole-in-one! He was ecstatic, but then a feeling of guilt came over him. He said to God, "Why would you let me... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 9/29/15
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Minor Prophet, Major Wisdom

What could we possibly learn from Habakkuk? Up until a few weeks ago, some of us may have even double-checked that this book was in the Bible. When stacked up against the majestic message of Isaiah, the courageous call of Jeremiah or the redeeming love of Hosea, Habakkuk doesn’t typically make the prophetic cut. And yet as one of our members recently said to me, “Who would have thought that such a minor prophet could offer such major wisdom?” As our study draws to a close, I... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 7/22/15
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Better or Worse?

In 1946, the Federal Reserve conducted a survey that began with this question: “A year from now, financially speaking, do you think you will be better off or worse off?” And with the responses to that question, the Consumer Sentiment Index was born. It’s always an interesting question to ask. As you look at the world around you, do you think that things are getting better or getting worse? Are we approaching good times or bad times? I’ve been asking that question of some of our... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 6/25/15
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What to Wear Today

Am I my brother’s keeper? Many Americans would answer no. If someone wants to care for the poor, the homeless, the oppressed, the disadvantaged that is certainly charitable, perhaps even commendable. But surely we are not responsible to do so. We’re not responsible for anyone other than ourselves. Or are we? In the pages of Scripture, we encounter a very different perspective. All throughout the Bible – as I’ve grown to realize even in these last few weeks – God expects that his people... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 4/16/15
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You Can’t Take the Bible Literally

“You can’t take the Bible literally.” Have you ever heard that? Have you ever said that? If you think about it, it’s a bit of a strange expression. What does that really mean?   Does it mean that we are saying that the Bible shouldn’t be read as literature? That we shouldn’t pay attention to the conventions of language and genre as we seek to understand a Biblical passage according to its intended meaning? Probably not. Rather, when people say, “You can’t take the Bible... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 2/5/15
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Not A Fairy Tale Christmas

The Christmas story does not begin with “once upon a time.” That’s the opening cue for fairy tales, legends, and Star Wars. Once upon a time says, “this is a compelling, even inspiring story, but we all know it didn’t really happen.” But that’s not how the first Gospel begins… We turn to the first page of the New Testament and we read: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham” (Matt. 1:1). The hero of Matthew’s story emerges not from the stuff of... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 12/10/14
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Only One Gave Thanks

“Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Maybe you know the story. Jesus is making his way to Jerusalem and as he passes a village, ten lepers cry out for Jesus to heal them. As Jesus sends them on their way, they are cleansed. But then one of them, when he sees that he is healed, turns back and falls at Jesus' feet giving him thanks. And then Jesus poses this question. “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 11/26/14
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