Prayer Note #56 — A Prayer for First Responders

A Prayer for First Responders “You must not go about as a slanderer among your people.  You must not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is at stake. I am the Lord.  You must not hate your brother in your heart.  You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #7 — Reason

“Oh, how greatly has the man advanced who has learned not to be his own, not to be governed by his own reason, but to surrender his mind to God.” John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2004, page 26.

Prayer Note #55 — Prayers for Memorial Day

Invocation for a Memorial Day Ceremony God of heaven and earth, in life and in death we belong to you.  Our lives and the life of our nation are in your hands.  You are the foundation of all that is right and good and just. Today especially we gather to remember with gratitude those who have … Continue reading

Bible Note #19 — Palm Sunday, Mark 11:1-11

I am always torn by this story—by the inherent social tension in the story.  This passage and the accounts in the other Synoptic Gospels (Matthew/Mark/Luke) see this event as taking place on the first day of the same week in which Jesus would be crucified.  And I see no good reason to argue with that … Continue reading

Sermon #62 — “Our King: An Ash Wednesday Sermon”

All of the gospel writers note that Pontius Pilate, the military governor of the Roman province of Judea, posted a placard over Jesus’ head on his cross.  This practice was quite normal and usual for a Roman execution.  On that placard, called in Latin a titulus, the Romans would write out the crime for which … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #6 — Humility, Self-Examination, and the Grace of God

“It is only our exaggerated sense of self-righteousness that prevents us from looking honestly at ourselves.  As Christians we know that the Holy Spirit dwells within us, but we must also become aware of where we are tolerating sin if we will be successful in our war against the devil.  Therefore, be specific when you … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #5 — Baptism with the Holy Spirit

“I take it that that is abundantly clear — you cannot be a Christian without having the Holy Spirit in you.  But — and here is the point — I am asserting at the same time that you can be a believer, that you can have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and still not … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #4 — The Devil

“Meanwhile, the devil also does his work, endeavoring to ruin sound doctrine by indirect means, working as it were underground, forasmuch as he could not openly attain his end.” John Calvin, Letters of John Calvin:  Selected from the Bonnet Edition.  Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1980, p. 90.

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

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