Sermon #63 — A Troubling Election and A People of Hope

The U.S. presidential election of 2016 is surely one of the most spiritually destructive of the ten presidential elections in my voting experience. I have been deeply troubled by the extent to which many prominent evangelical leaders have stirred up and played on the fears of their people.  This has not been American evangelicalism’s finest … 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

BIBLE NOTE #18–Matthew14:22-33: Adventures in Water-walking with Jesus

ADVENTURES IN WATER-WALKING WITH JESUS   I love this passage – Matthew 14:22-32. But I’m still not sure I understand what Peter had in mind (v.28). It all happened one dark, windy night out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee. It’s typically called a “sea,” but really it’s a large, freshwater lake. Still, … Continue reading

Bible Note #17 — Matthew 6:25-34 — God’s Orientation Toward Us

Some of the great truths of Scripture are not so much great doctrinal concepts as they are simple relational realities concerning God’s orientation toward us.  What Calvin says of the Lord’s Supper can, I’m convinced, be applied to this whole category of truth.  “I rather experience than understand it.” [Inst. IV. xvii. 32]  Grasping these … Continue reading

Prayer Note #40 — On Dangerous, Desperate Prayers — Nehemiah 1:1-2:9

On Dangerous, Desperate Prayers Nehemiah 1:1-2:9  Nehemiah presents us with a picture of a practical, detail-oriented, can-do sort of man who is also a man of deep, dangerous, desperate prayer.  For some reason, we can sometimes think that the practical and the prayerful can’t function in the same heart.  Nehemiah demonstrates that that kind of … Continue reading

Pastor Note #29 — Looking Around the Corner

So, we’ve come to the beginning of a new year, and those seem lately to come flying around more often than once a year.  The idea that time seems to move more quickly as we get older is not a novel idea.  Conventional wisdom says it’s true.  And who am I to argue with conventional … Continue reading

Prayer Note #26 — A Pastor’s Sunday Morning Prayer

Lord, my emotions are squirming around in me in a very uncomfortable way.  I know that that is caused by a wide range of pressures, stressors, foolish thoughts, genuine problems, and a real sense of overload, of having more things in my mind than I can keep track of.  Important matters are slipping through my … Continue reading

Prayer Note #23 — A Bible Study on Prayer, Psalm 84:1-12

The Bible has a lot to say about prayer.  Some of the places where we find wisdom and instruction on prayer don’t actually use the word much or even at all.  In Psalm 84, the word, “prayer,” appears once, yet the entire psalm is about communing with God.  And communing with God is certainly the … Continue reading

Prayer Note #22 — The God of All Things

My Lord, you are the brightness of light warming the darkness and gloom.  You are the great sweeping vista, when I feel stifled and suffocated and trapped.  You are the verdant, well-forested hills that embrace me and hide me, when I fell exposed and vulnerable.  You are the bubbling spring in the desert, the firm, … Continue reading

Prayer Note #17 — Heavy Burdens

What heavy burdens life seems to lay on me, Lord!  Is it because the burdens are heavy or because my shoulders are weak?  Is it because I needlessly toss burdens on my back that you haven’t given me?  Is it because I am prone to name as burdens things that you name as gifts and … Continue reading