Pastor’s Note #67 — An Evangelical Pastor’s Concerns about Donald Trump’s Effect on the Spiritual Life of Christians

In my judgment, this is an almost impossibly difficult presidential election for American Christian voters.  I do not believe there is any clearly acceptable candidate for Christian voters to support in 2016.  Christian voters can in good faith make different decisions about which candidate to vote for.  But as I have observed this election season … Continue reading

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

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.

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

Sermon #58 — The Body of Jesus, Bodies for Jesus

The Body of Jesus, Bodies for Jesus A Sermon Preached on John 20:19-23 (see also Revelation 21:1-5) at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PA on April 12, 2014 Are we serious about serving an incarnate, an embodied God?  Do we really mean it?  And if we do, what does it mean for us that … Continue reading

Sermon #57 — The Act of Discipleship (A Good Friday Sermon)

“The Act of Discipleship” Pastor Gary A. Chorpenning Preached at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PAon Good Friday, April 3, 2015 Some of the most moving and powerful examples of discipleship found in the Bible are often not the “big names” but are rather “minor” players.  Two such people figure at the heart of … Continue reading

Pastor Note #61 — Music, Worship, and Pleasing God

            Worship music – the music we use in Christian worship – has become a source of sometimes significant conflict in American churches. It is probably inexcusably foolhardy of me to do it, but I propose to wade into the rapids of this dangerous subject in the hope that we can come to a richer, … Continue reading

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