• Gary

Sermon #55 — The Victor’s Battle Cry and our Easter Victory Gift

AN AUDIO SERMON [see link below] By rising from the dead — raising us up with him — Jesus Christ has won the great victory and has, thus, restored to us our eternal significance which death had stripped us of. Death is a powerful and ever-present reality for human beings.  And for us death doesn’t … Continue reading

Prayer Note #51 — A Prayer of Longing for a Spiritual Springtime

Lord of Life, you are turning the ground green around me. The warming sun and the nourishing rain are renewing the life of the soil. The birds of the warm months are all returning — the alien starlings in their noisy multitudes, the fierce-eyed, raucous grackles, too. Even the nighthawks, the dark-sky hunters are in … Continue reading

Sermon #54 — Famine in the Land, Part 1

God made us to live purposefully in communion with him, and so when human creatures are out of communion with God, they live with an anxious, aimless urgency which is destructive to them. This is a fundamental truth of human existence and a reality of human experience that I know well personally.  It seems that … Continue reading

Prayer Note #50 — Wandering

O my Lord and Father, I long for you. Year after year I have wandered after other food for my soul. But it was no food.  It was poison.  I could see that very clearly. I could see how it always diminished me. I withered. Yet, I persisted. But so did you.  You persisted with … Continue reading

Pastor Note #60 — One Church, One Pastor, and a Festival of Evangelism

I had lunch with Franklin Graham a few weeks ago. . . . All right, there were about 500 other people at the lunch. . . . Okay, yes, Franklin was sitting at a table on the other side of the room from me. . . .No, it’s true I couldn’t actually see him, so … Continue reading

Pastor Note #59–Honestly, It’s Really Kind of Scary!

As some of your know by now, I will be traveling to the city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in May.  I’ll be going as part of a team sent out by Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International to conduct a week-long training event for pastors and church leaders there.  I’m excited … Continue reading

Sermon #53–The Fullness of God: Alive in Christ

The Core Idea Behind this Sermon:  Because Jesus Christ is “the fullness of God in bodily form,” and because we are “in Christ,” the transforming power of Christ’s presence and identity is applied to our lives, making us genuinely new beings, who are forgiven in Christ, made alive in Christ, and who triumph in Christ … Continue reading

Pastor Note #58 — One Pastor’s Annual Report to his Congregation in Pursuit of God’s Presence

WHO ARE WE? As I mentioned in a recent sermon, I have been listening to a recording of a series of lectures given by one of my former seminary professors, Dr. Gordon Fee, who has written a great number of wonderfully helpful and insightful books and articles, especially on the New Testament.  In one of … Continue reading

Prayer Note #49 — A Prayer for Those Who Know Their Sins Well

Without your mercy, I will die. Apart from your forgiveness, you will consume me in the fires of your holy judgment. How can I live apart from you? I would be lost entirely! Yet, how can I live in your presence? I should be devoured by your holy wrath! I will hide in Jesus. In … Continue reading

Sermon #52–The People of the Presence of God

  “The People of the Presence of God: a Christmas Sermon” Human beings are made for God.  That isn’t a widely acknowledged truth.  It certainly isn’t the mainstream view in Western culture, but it’s the truth just the same.  We’re designed for relationship with God, and that truth is nowhere more clearly expressed than in … Continue reading

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