Category: Pastor

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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Growth Pathway

I need to confess. I’m one of those people so proud of having 20/20 vision. I can read signs from a far distance. I gloat over reading 8-point font. But this summer, my vision started getting a little blurry. Am I getting old? Naaah. Most of us drop by the eye doctor periodically to get our eyes examined. Most of us need a little correction, or perhaps a lot, from time to time. Whether you wear contacts, glasses, or both, you know how wonderful it is to get some help with... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 8/2/18
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The God Who is God

One of my favorite parts of helping lead Starting Point , our three-week-course for getting connected at and becoming a Covenant Partner of HP Pres, is when we have people share their story of God's work in their life. Now, some of you might be getting sweaty palms and dry mouth just thinking about this! “You have to share what?” So let me reassure you a little: we give everyone a week to think through and write out their story on their own first. We tell them it’s... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 7/26/18
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The True King Has Landed: A Renewed Vision For Church Planting

In his classic introduction to the Christian Faith, C.S. Lewis makes this bold claim: “Christianity is the true story of how the rightful King has landed, you might say in disguise, and is calling us all to take part in his great campaign of sabotage.” I love that. At the heart of our faith is this proclamation that Jesus Christ came not to strut in power but to serve in humility and to give his life as a ransom for many ( Mark 10:45 ). As a result the Apostle Paul... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 7/19/18
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Unveiled Faces

I hope you can join us at Highland Park Pres this weekend as we begin our updated Sunday schedule , with worship gatherings at 8:45, 10, and 11:15 am. 8:45 and 11:15 am in the Sanctuary will be a more classical form of worship with music led by our choir. 10 am in the Sanctuary will be more contemporary in style, with music led by our Hall worship band. All Nations  worship will gather at 11:15 am in Alexander Hall, on the second floor of the Alexander building to the east of the... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 7/5/18
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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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New Sunday Schedule Update

It is an exciting time in the life of Highland Park Presbyterian Church. This fall, dirt will start flying on our Transform renovation project, which will enable our church family to better live out our vision for years to come. Since the beginning of April, we have been communicating what the nearly two-year rebuild of the Hunt building will mean for our Sunday morning worship schedule, beginning Sunday, July 8. Yes, that is less than two months away! If you have yet to see Bryan’s... Read More
at 5/24/18
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Waking Up To The Whole Gospel

We just finished a month-long journey into and through the most amazing story Jesus ever told, about a father and two lost sons (Luke 15:11-32) . There's a little detail in the parable where the prodigal son returns home and his father gives him the family ring (Luke 15:22) . This ring wasn't just a precious heirloom. It was the family signature ring, used to seal official documents. In giving him this ring, the Father is giving authority to his younger son to manage the rest of his... Read More
at 5/3/18
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Uncle Billy

This week our church family joins with so many in grieving the loss of Billy Graham, a beloved man who helped point millions of people towards a flourishing life of loving Jesus. His nephew, our pastor Nelson Bell, had this to say about his Uncle Billy: “The news of his death couldn’t be more wrong, Billy Graham is more alive and well than ever today in heaven! Uncle Billy was a great servant, with wonderful integrity, and a commitment to proclaiming the gospel. He leaves... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 2/22/18
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The True King Has Landed

“Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.” C.S. Lewis Christmas is the great declaration to the whole world that the True King has landed. In the words of Isaac Watts (circ. 1719): “Joy to the world. The Lord is come. Let earth receive her king.” The reason this announcement is such good news is because the Rightful King, whose name is Jesus, is... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 12/14/17
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Canoes, Lifeboats, and Kitesurfing

I'd like for you to consider three approaches to the spiritual life. The first is like a canoe with a paddle. This is the person who says, "I'm going to paddle my way to spiritual maturity, by sheer will power. It's up to me to paddle my way to please God and to show everybody how holy I can become." A second approach to spiritual growth is like a life raft. Picture yourself drifting along, no paddle or oar, just waiting for someone or something to come along and help... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 6/22/17
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Christmas Eve at Highland Park Pres

As you make your plans for Christmas Eve, I hope you will join us at one of our seven services: noon, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 pm (Mandarin worship is at 6 pm in the Bell Center). We will have live nativity animals on the front lawn all day, and if you aren't able to be here physically, you can watch all of our services live online . Near the end of every service, we will light our candles and sing Silent Night . Written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr (and put to music two years later by Franz... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 12/22/16
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Work Matters

When my stay-at-home mom went back work it meant that dad, a pastor with a more flexible schedule, started driving me and my brother to school. These were our middle school years and we thought that everything about our parents was utterly and totally embarrassing. Some parents would have dealt with this by humoring us and graciously fading into the background. Not mine. In situations where they’d catch us none-too-subtley rolling our eyes, turning our heads as if in annoyance, or... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 11/17/16
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The Church on Election Wednesday

The above image is the view from my favorite prayer spot at Highland Park Pres. Looking up from the pews of Wynne Chapel (where people have gathered for worship and prayer for over 64 years) you see this beautiful stained glass rose window. During our election day prayer vigil earlier this week, this window was a steady reminder that the lamb of God sits on the throne of this world—yesterday, today and tomorrow.  The events of this week have prompted emotions that run the spectrum... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 11/10/16
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Thousands of Beautiful Feet

Earlier today we had a gathering of the past and present elders of Highland Park Presbyterian Church. One of the questions we asked these 100 spiritual leaders was, If our church could be known for one thing in the city of Dallas, what would you hope for that to be?   I wonder how you might answer that question… One of my prayers for our church is that we would be known more for the beauty of the family that lives here than the beautiful house in which we meet; that Dallas... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 11/3/16
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Fight the Good Fight

Last week Cameron Beaty shared in his blog about the redemptive edge of suffering in the life of a Christian. His profound words have echoed into this week as I’ve watched our church come around a number of families grieving various kinds of loss. In a stretch of eight days, we have said goodbye and held memorials for eight members of this church who have gone to be with the Lord. It has been one of those seasons where as a church family we are confronted with the reality of suffering... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 10/27/16
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The Normalcy of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God

It’s a strange idea, isn’t it? In a sense, there’s nothing normal about suffering. It’s painful. It’s difficult. It's often despairing. It shouldn’t be normative, right? Suffering is a sensitive subject because all of us are enduring or will endure seasons of trial ( John 16:33 ). Over this last week, I’ve been thinking about those within our own community who are suffering as a result of hurricanes and infertility, cancer and costly decisions... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 10/20/16
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Hurricane Matthew and Our Partners in Haiti

As hurricane Matthew approaches Florida and the Southeast coast, please pray for all those in the path of the storm, and especially for emergency responders who will be called on to serve. On Tuesday the hurricane made landfall in Haiti, causing widespread devastation to a nation still rebuilding from the horrific earthquake six years ago. Our mission partner and sister church in Port au Prince, Haiti Outreach Ministries (HOM), has opened their doors to care for those seeking... Read More
Posted by Communications Ministry at 10/6/16
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