Prayer Note #47–A Prayer for Pure Pleasure

Lord, my Shepherd, shepherd my wayward will.  Keep prodding me back onto the right path.  You see my mind — how it wanders after pretty, poisonous pleasures.  I beg your help.  Keep me from pursuing those enticing, envenomed enchantments Capture my heart with visions of your true joy, the powerfully pure pleasures of your kingdom.  … 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

Pastor Note #43 — Blood on the Pew (A day in March 2000)

It was Tuesday noontime.  I had gone into the big, dark Romanesque sanctuary of my church in downtown Columbus, Ohio for a weekly prayer meeting with a handful or so of people, mostly not members of my congregation but rather folks who worked downtown and constituted part of my weekday ancillary congregation. As I sat … Continue reading

Prayer Note #38 — The Voice

Oh, Lord, how I long to be intimately familiar with your voice. Your voice is full of power — whether you speak with rock-breaking loudness or whether you whisper quietly in my ear.  Your voice is full of soul-transforming power.  Let that powerful voice pierce to the center of my mind, to the core of my … 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

Bible Note #16 — By the River Jabbok

The tinkling of sheep bells was the last sound audible to him fading away up the path and over th hill on the other side of the small river.  The crunch of foot and hoof on the sandy gravel of the path had been lost to him fist, washed away by the splash and rush … Continue reading

Prayer Note #36 — The Time of my Life

Here I am, Lord.  It’s a little before 5:00 A.M., and I’ve been awake for a half an hour or so, lying in bed, my mind wandering from thought to thought.  I seem to be done sleeping, though the clock tells me that I shouldn’t be.  Have you wakened me for some reason?  Or is … Continue reading

Prayer Note #35 — A Prayer for Artists and Artisans

Thanks you, Lord, that you have led me to discover the pleasures of making things with my hands — durable things that last, things that can be appealing to the eye, things that show the natural beauties of the wood and stone that you have made and the metals you have shown us how to … 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

Prayer Note #34 — Refreshment from the Suffocation of Sin

Though I am mired in sin, yet still have mercy on me, O Father and Lord of my life.  Capture my every thought and all the impulses of my being.  Make me yours in every facet of my life, so that I might have peace and full redemption in every branch and twig and leaf … Continue reading