this went thru my mind


American history: ‘Historical fact differs from myth,’ said historian Lambert by John Pierce

“‘Most countries construct myths of their origins … and speak of those myths in divine hues,’ said Franklin T. Lambert, professor of history at Purdue University, during an April 18 lecture at Mercer University. The United States is no different …”

Church & fellowship: 10 Insights About Your Church’s Fellowship by Joe McKeever

“Fellowship may not be why people are drawn to your church, but it’s why they stay.”

Churches of Christ & decline: Jay Guin’s review of Flavil R. Yeakley, Jr.’s book, Why They Left: Listening to Those Who Have Left Churches of Christ [required reading]

Here are links to parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen.

Ministry: It’s a Strange Thing Being a Pastor by Julian Freeman

“Ultimately we labour and long for results that we can never achieve. Being a pastor is a lifelong journey to a place of utter dependence.”

Preaching: No Small Matter

“It is no small matter to stand up in the face of a congregation, and deliver a message of salvation or damnation, as from the living God, in the name of our Redeemer. It is no easy matter to speak so plain, that the ignorant may understand us; and so seriously that the deadest hearts may feel us; and so convincingly, that contradicting cavillers may be silenced.” (Richard Baxter)

Statistics: Poodwaddle World Clock

not a flake; part of the flock (3)


NOTE: Following is a copy of the discussion guide that will be used in MoSt Church’s LIFE groups tomorrow, Sun., Apr. 29. This guide will enable your follow-up of the third (and final) installment in the sermon mini-series on some of what it means to be a sheep in God’s flock (Not a Flake; Part of the Flock). The primary texts for tomorrow morning’s sermon, and this discussion, are John 10:7-8,10,27-28 and John 21:15-17,19. You’ll find these LIFE group discussion guides categorized each week here on my site under the category title “LIFE group guides.”


To lay down a basic understanding of the life and role of a person who is one of God’s sheep.


… Jesus spoke again, “I assure you that I am the gate of the sheep. … Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. … I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest. …

My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life. They will never die, and no one will snatch them from my hand. (John 10.7-8,10,27-28 CEB)

When they finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.”

He asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was sad that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. … After saying this, Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me.” (John 21.15-17,19 CEB)


Icebreaker questions are meant to help us all start talking. Choose one of the following to discuss as a group.

1. Complete this sentence: “I believe I’m the most useful and productive whenever I ______?”

2. What songs or movies, not specifically religious, reinforce the need to live a selfless life?


These questions are meant to help us grapple with Scripture related to this morning’s sermon. Choose some.

1. In John 21-15-17,19, what does Jesus specifically call for Peter to do?

2. Let the two texts above spark your recall of other Scriptures that speak clearly for us to live useful lives for the Master. What passages come to your mind? Why?


These questions facilitate our sharing what we sense God’s Spirit is doing with us thru his word. Choose some.

1. What other animals convey to you a sense of “we’re here for the sake of others?”

2. What would a “full life” be like for a sheep?

3. What are some of the greatest hurdles you have to regularly clear in giving your life in service to others? What do you find helps you clear them?

4. Create a moment of specific affirmation and encouragement for each group member. As a group, affirm and verbalize something of the contributions you are aware of in each group member that honor’s God’s name and promotes the health of God’s flock. Afterward, pray.

5. With or without question # 3 in view, is there anything in particular you can tell us about that we can pray for in regard to you laying down your life more fully in service to others?