Pastor Note #72 — Dealing With the Dangers of Money

          “You know, you can make a lot of money as a hospital administrator,” the man had said to me.  It was during one of my summer breaks from college, and I was working as a nursing assistant at a local hospital.  He had been chatting me up and had asked … Continue reading

Bible Note #20 — Deuteronomy 22:6-7 and Cruelty to the Vulnerable and Weak

Deuteronomy 22:6-7 [ESV] “If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young.  You shall let the mother go, but the young you may take for yourself, that it … Continue reading

Pastor Note #68 — Franklin Graham Has Abandoned Biblical Authority

The wholehearted embrace of the candidacy of Donald Trump by evangelical Christian leaders has troubled me deeply.  And in many respects, their embrace of Mr. Trump mystifies me.  He is precisely the sort of man whose character these evangelical leaders should have been expected to denounce out of hand. In light of how the genuine … Continue reading

Pastor’s Note #67 — An Evangelical Pastor’s Concerns about Donald Trump’s Effect on the Spiritual Life of Christians

In my judgment, this is an almost impossibly difficult presidential election for American Christian voters.  I do not believe there is any clearly acceptable candidate for Christian voters to support in 2016.  Christian voters can in good faith make different decisions about which candidate to vote for.  But as I have observed this election season … Continue reading

Quotes of Note #7 — Reason

“Oh, how greatly has the man advanced who has learned not to be his own, not to be governed by his own reason, but to surrender his mind to God.” John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2004, page 26.

Quotes of Note #3 Cooperating with God

“‘The first thing to do in responding to God’s presence and Word,’ Basil Pennington repeatedly told me, ‘is to notice what God is doing and to keep out of God’s way.  The second is to align ourselves with and participate in God’s transformational actions in the world.’  God is active and present in the world. … 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 #57 — The Act of Discipleship (A Good Friday Sermon)

“The Act of Discipleship” Pastor Gary A. Chorpenning Preached at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PAon Good Friday, April 3, 2015 Some of the most moving and powerful examples of discipleship found in the Bible are often not the “big names” but are rather “minor” players.  Two such people figure at the heart of … 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

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