Pastor Note #71: Loving Each Other in Words

Loving Each Other in Words The sad truth is that not all churches are places where people treat each other well.  Some churches can become notorious for the way their people are prone to fight and mistreat each other.  Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love … Continue reading

Prayer Note #49 — A Prayer for Those Who Know Their Sins Well

Without your mercy, I will die. Apart from your forgiveness, you will consume me in the fires of your holy judgment. How can I live apart from you? I would be lost entirely! Yet, how can I live in your presence? I should be devoured by your holy wrath! I will hide in Jesus. In … Continue reading

Sermon #46 — “Our Pilgrimage to Grace: Looking for Home” — Luke 15:11-32, Pt. 4

“Is it not the very essence of the Christian hope,  that we shall be changed from much bad to all good?” George MacDonald, 19th century Scottish Preacher and Writer. By taking upon himself the painful, humiliating consequences of our sin, God breaks our self-centered pride, plants the true humility of repentance in us, ans so … Continue reading

Sermon #43 — Our Pilgrimage to Grace: Itching for Something Else — Luke 15:11-32

“Nearly everyone who wrestles seriously with this [parable of the “Prodigal Son”] ends up with a sense of awe at its inexhaustible content.”  Kenneth Bailey Who is the Father that Jesus talks so much about?  What is he like and what does that mean for us?  This is the first of a series of sermons … Continue reading

Sermon #23 — Forgiveness and Reconciliation — Colossians 3:12-17

Forgiving and reconciling are both crucially important aspects of the Christian life.  They are closely and intimately related to each other, and yet they are both distinct and separate actions of the heart.  In this sermon, I examine these two elements of the life of discipleship. Read Colossians 3:12-17. Then listen to Forgiveness and Reconciliation. … Continue reading

Sermon #22 — Forgiveness: The Pathway to Healing

Forgiveness is the God-created, God-empowered process by which we are healed from the bitterness that infects our hearts when they get wounded and by which we are set free from the bondage that bitterness produces in us.  Sometimes we can convince ourselves that we can somehow get back at a person who has hurt us … Continue reading

Sermon #21 — Choosing to Forgive — Matthew 6:14-15 & Colossians 3:12-17

God doe not command our feelings.  He commands our choices.  He commands acts of the will.  Much of the time our emotions, our feelings are things that happen to us not things that we do.  That’s why I say that God does not command our feelings.  We human beings do not really have control of … Continue reading

Sermon #19 — Forgiven Forgivers — Matthew 18:21-35 & Colossians 3:12-17

  Forgiving is at the very core of the Christian faith.  Apart from the forgiveness of God, there would be not Christian faith.  But, as we see in this parable from Matthew 18, forgiving is not only something that God does.  It is something that Jesus expects to mark the character of his forgiving people. … Continue reading

Pastor Note #32 — “Forgive Me!”

Forgive Me!   Forgiving is not one of the easier parts of the Christian faith.  In fact, it’s something that I myself struggle with from time to time.             I know, I know.  You’re saying, “Not you!  Surely not you!  You are such a nice guy, such a nice, easy-tempered guy.  I simply can’t believe … Continue reading

Sermons #6 — Sex and Loving God: Sin and Grace, Forgiveness and Righteousness

Part 4 of my “Sex and Loving God” series, here I explore John 8:2-11 and the notion of a community of brokenness–a community of redemption.   Earlier in the service, the congregation read Psalm 32 responsively, and that psalm served as a part of the biblical context for this sermon. “Sex and Loving God:  Sin and … Continue reading