Prayer Note #57 — Relying on God vs. Presuming upon God: A Prayer

I am utterly and in every way dependent on your mercy and grace.  My life my salvation, my well-being all of it hangs by the thread of your merciful, kind, gracious disposition toward me.  Your love and desire for my well-being is the only bulwark for me against catastrophe of every sort in my life.  … Continue reading

Quote of Note #11 — Dealing with People Who Disagree with Us

“We ought to  endeavor to live in peace with those who are of different opinions from us.  ‘Tis a most unreasonable thing to take the liberty of contending with men because they cannot see with our eyes.  If this were granted, we would be at war with the greatest part of the world.  ‘Tis as … 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

Pastor Note #58 — One Pastor’s Annual Report to his Congregation in Pursuit of God’s Presence

WHO ARE WE? As I mentioned in a recent sermon, I have been listening to a recording of a series of lectures given by one of my former seminary professors, Dr. Gordon Fee, who has written a great number of wonderfully helpful and insightful books and articles, especially on the New Testament.  In one of … Continue reading

Prayer Note #44 — Longings

    Lord Jesus, you are King and Lord.  There is life nowhere except in you.  Apart from you is the abyss, the nightmare, the acid fog that corrodes my flesh and my spirit and my life itself. In you, Good Savior, is freshness.  In you is soothing sunshine and richness and life overflowing.  In … Continue reading

Prayer Note #42 — A Prayer from Matthew 4:12-23

Read:  Matthew 4:12-23            It must have been really hard, Lord, for Peter and Andrew, James and John to get up, leave their stuff behind, and follow you.  I say that because I know how hard it would be for me to do that.  But, Lord Jesus, why do I say … 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 #24 — The God Who Makes Himself Known: 1 John 1:1-4

If “religion” is humanity’s effort to know God, then Christianity is not a “religion.”  The heart of the Christian faith is not our endeavor to know God, but rather God’s determination to make himself known to us.  Here in 1 John 1, the apostle points us to the God who “reveals” himself, the God who … Continue reading

Sermon 18: Burning Hearts–Hearing Jesus: Luke 24 :28-35

I remember asking a seminary friend once, “So, where are all the prophets these day?”  It sounds like a pretty dopey question now.  But his almost instantaneous answer still makes me chuckle with a bit of chagrin.  “So, where are all the prophets these day?”  My friend: “In mental hospitals mostly.” Of course, that’s a … Continue reading

Bible Note #15 — Exodus 34:29-35

Exodus 34:29-35 There is, in this passage, an interesting small but important detail that I have never really noticed before.  It lies behind the widely recognized, though certainly bizarre, fact that Moses’ face acquired an intense radiance as a result of close time spent in the physical presence of God.  The people were quite terrified … Continue reading