Quotes of Note #3 Cooperating with God

“‘The first thing to do in responding to God’s presence and Word,’ Basil Pennington repeatedly told me, ‘is to notice what God is doing and to keep out of God’s way.  The second is to align ourselves with and participate in God’s transformational actions in the world.’  God is active and present in the world. … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #2 Discipleship

“The gospel is not a doctrine of the tongue but of life.  It cannot be grasped by reason and memory only, but it is fully understood when it possesses the whole soul and penetrates to the inner recesses of the heart.”  John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life.  Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, … Continue reading

Sermon #61 — Healing and the Mission of God: The Healing Purpose of God

Our natural and unashamed expectation should be that where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, healing — miraculous, supernatural healing — should be present.  Although it is the case that miraculous healings can and do serve as confirmation of the truthfulness of the preaching, that isn’t the more important reason why gospel preaching and … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #1 Healing and Redemption

“. . .  Jesus is working to restore the original vision of creation.  Jesus starts from the innermost part of us, the seat of our relationship with God, and works outward to include our physical being.  This process is like what [C. S.] Lewis called ‘death working backwards,’ as the ravaging effects of the Fall … Continue reading

Pastor Note #65 — A Congregational Vision for Prayer and Healing

A Vision for Prayer & Healing in the Life of our Church The Ministry of Prayer in the Life of our Congregation             The presence of God is sought and found in a diligent and unremitting pursuit of God through prayer.  Prayer is not the work of a few.  It … Continue reading

Pastor Note #64 — Marriage: And Now for Something Completely Different

Marriage:  And Now for Something Completely Different Is there really a good reason why marriages of more than two people should be forbidden by law? Is sex a necessary part of marriage as it is now defined by the Supreme Court of the United States? Or is it now conceivable that an intentionally non-sexual relationship … Continue reading

Pastor Note #63 — Mission Field America

Recently, I read about a church that had a sign at the exit from its parking lot, a sign that people read as they were leaving the church. The sign said, “You are now entering the mission field.” It’s a bracing thought and one that is more and more obviously true in North America. American … Continue reading

Sermon #60 — Power to Change the World, a Pentecost Sermon

Pentecost, a holy day that Presbyterians, my clan, have work hard to trivialize over the centuries, ought to serve as an antidote to the demoralizing conception that the Christian faith is at its heart a set of ideas and a moral code.  Christianity is rather a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ through the … Continue reading

Sermon #59 — The Resurrection Mission

The Resurrection Mission John 20:19-23 A Sermon Preached on April 19, 2015 at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PA There is room for only one priority in the life of a disciple of Jesus: namely, loving Jesus by living our his calling on our lives.  This priority is quite imperialistic.  It will tolerate no … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #62 — The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Reason for Being

The Lordship of Jesus Christ and Your Church’s Purpose for Being What is your church’s purpose at this period of our history? What is its reason for being at this particular moment in its life as a congregation? These are important questions that churches can easily get out of the habit of asking. In fact, … Continue reading


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