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

Prayer Note #46 — A Channel of Blessing: a Pastor’s Prayer

[Although I have called this a “Pastor’s Prayer,” with a slight adjustment of the language, this prayer might well work as a prayer for any Christian who wants to be a channel of blessing to the people in their lives.  And what Christian wouldn’t want to be a channel of God’s blessing in the lives … 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

Sermon #9 — “I’m Afraid: Expecting Too Little” — Matthew 8:18-27

This sermon is a follow-up to “Sermon #8.”  In it, I explore some of the things that cause us to expect too little from God and so live with aching, paralyzing fears, which we could let go of in Christ.  Click here to see the text of Matthew 8:18-27.  Also, in the course of the … Continue reading

Sermon #8 — “I’m Afraid: Fear, Faith, Fulness” — Matthew 8:23-27

With this sermon I begin what I intend to be a three-part series dealing with fear and Jesus’ frequent statement “Don’t be afraid.”  In this sermon, I talk about Jesus’ act of stilling the storm on the Sea of Galilee.  During the worship service in which I preached this sermon, we read Psalm 27 responsively.  … Continue reading

Prayer Notes #13 — Casting Burdens

Dear Jesus, I am awake now more than an hour before I need to be.  My fears woke me up.  Or did you wake me up in order to deal with me about my fears? I feel as if I am living very randomly, driven by my impulses and whims.  And these impulses and whims, … Continue reading

Pastor Notes #7

[From a pastor’s notebook; the names and places have been changed to protect identities.] He is in the ICU at the local hospital.  His heart is failing.  He has a pacemaker, but it is not much help since the muscles of his heart are very weak.  Why?  I don’t know. Before I went up to … Continue reading