Quotes of Note #5 — Baptism with the Holy Spirit

“I take it that that is abundantly clear — you cannot be a Christian without having the Holy Spirit in you.  But — and here is the point — I am asserting at the same time that you can be a believer, that you can have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you, and still not … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #1 Healing and Redemption

“. . .  Jesus is working to restore the original vision of creation.  Jesus starts from the innermost part of us, the seat of our relationship with God, and works outward to include our physical being.  This process is like what [C. S.] Lewis called ‘death working backwards,’ as the ravaging effects of the Fall … Continue reading

Pastor Note #65 — A Congregational Vision for Prayer and Healing

A Vision for Prayer & Healing in the Life of our Church The Ministry of Prayer in the Life of our Congregation             The presence of God is sought and found in a diligent and unremitting pursuit of God through prayer.  Prayer is not the work of a few.  It … Continue reading

Pastor Note #63 — Mission Field America

Recently, I read about a church that had a sign at the exit from its parking lot, a sign that people read as they were leaving the church. The sign said, “You are now entering the mission field.” It’s a bracing thought and one that is more and more obviously true in North America. American … Continue reading

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

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

Sermon #54 — Famine in the Land, Part 1

God made us to live purposefully in communion with him, and so when human creatures are out of communion with God, they live with an anxious, aimless urgency which is destructive to them. This is a fundamental truth of human existence and a reality of human experience that I know well personally.  It seems that … Continue reading

Pastor Note #60 — One Church, One Pastor, and a Festival of Evangelism

I had lunch with Franklin Graham a few weeks ago. . . . All right, there were about 500 other people at the lunch. . . . Okay, yes, Franklin was sitting at a table on the other side of the room from me. . . .No, it’s true I couldn’t actually see him, so … 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 #48 — A Preachers Prayer to Be Used Rightly by the Word of God

[Yes, that’s what I meant to say: “to be used rightly by the word of God.”] Your word, Lord, is alive and powerful in the ears of faith. Grant me believing ears, so that I will hear your word clearly and welcome your word warmly into my mind, my heart, and my life. My calling … Continue reading