Pastor Note #56 — On Marriage and Redemption

        I’ve been married now for almost twenty-nine years.  So has my wife.  We got married at the same time.  I think I can say without much hesitation that my wife and I have a good marriage.  It has been a tremendous blessing to my life.  Nothing in my life has quite equaled it, except … Continue reading

Sermon #35 — Getting Ready for Jesus: Turning toward Life — Matthew 3:1-12

Who am I?  How do I measure myself?  Do I have the courage — or the faith — to look at myself as I really am in light of who I was meant to be?  Why would I want to do that? “Repentence” sounds like such an old-fashioned notion — a word uttered by a … Continue reading

Sermon #34 — Learning Love from Jesus — 1 John 3:18-24

For the Christian, love is not a feeling; it is an active endeavor to work toward the well-being of another person.  But our world presents us with many competing definitions of what makes for human well-being.  How are we to seek the well-being of another person?  We can’t unless we have some clear sense of … Continue reading

Pastor Note #45 — Living in Time, Living with God: Part 1–Introduction

  Living in Time, Living with God             I do not have a good natural sense of the passage of time.  Some people are very good at estimating how long an activity will take to complete.  Some folks almost never lose track of how much time has passed between when they sit down to work … Continue reading

Sermon #28 — Getting Rooted and Grounded in “Forever”– 1 John 2:12-17

How we interact with the “world” is a theme that is regularly addressed in the Bible.  The apostle John digs into that matter here in this passage of his first letter.  I explore a little bit of how the term “world” is used in the Bible.  It is presented in both a positive and a … Continue reading

Pastor Note #41–From the Earliest Days

             From my earliest days, I have been part of a Presbyterian church.  Much of my extended family was actively involved in the life and ministry of that church.  Although the congregation of my youth was biblically grounded, it was not especially remarkable compared to other churches in the community.             About the time … Continue reading

Bible Note #9 — 1 Timothy 1:12-17 — “the worst of sinners”

1 Timothy 1:12-17 New International Version (NIV) The Lord’s Grace to Paul 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I … Continue reading

Pastor Note #30 — Death and the Embodiment of Love

Yesterday, I was looking over the annual report for my congregation for 2011.  I was surprised to see that only five of our members died during the year.  It was surprise to me, because I had done more than twice that many funeral in 2011.  Now that I’ve been here in the community for nine … Continue reading

Pastor Note #27 — Are You Ready?

ARE YOU READY? Rev. Gary Chorpenning It isn’t really supposed to be a happy season – Advent isn’t.  But we have tended to make it that way.  Well, who can blame us?  Our world has been feeling rather grim lately.  Who could blame us for grabbing hold of any little occasion for happiness we … Continue reading

Sermon #2 — Exodus 16:1-35

This is now the second sermon in a series on the manna and quail of the wilderness journey.  In this sermon, I explore how the values and priorities of ancient paganism aren’t all that far away from the modern, westerner’s wrestling with faith. Here’s a link to the text of Exodus 16:1-35. Here’s the link … Continue reading