Sermon #64–Death Defeated, Part 1: What is Death?

Death is all around us.  It is woven into the fabric of our world.  It’s not supposed to be like that.  But it is like that.  The Bible has a lot to say about death, because we need to understand death–its origins, its meaning, its consequences for us, and its remedy.  This message is the … Continue reading

Prayer Note #52 — To the God of Light

Lord, you are all glorious, and the light of your presence pierces the deepest darkness of sin, sorrow, evil, despair. There is no darkness so thick, so impenetrable, so oily that the Light, Life, Love of your Being cannot invade and evaporate it. That is the truth of who you are. And so I ask … Continue reading

Prayer Note #50 — Wandering

O my Lord and Father, I long for you. Year after year I have wandered after other food for my soul. But it was no food.  It was poison.  I could see that very clearly. I could see how it always diminished me. I withered. Yet, I persisted. But so did you.  You persisted with … 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

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

Sermon #48 — “Words from the Beloved Apostle: Love, Obedience, and Power” — 1 John 5:1-5

“So, without love, there can be no hearty submission to the will of God, and there can be no real and heartfelt trust and confidence in him.”  Jonathan Edwards In Christ, God has victoriously asserted this redeeming power over the fallen world to set it right, a work into which he calls us to be … Continue reading

Prayer Note #43 — Fleeing My Pursuing God in the Dark Before Dawn

Lord Jesus, I’m scared.  I’m far from you in my heart, and I persist in the things that will keep me far away from you.  And yet, I feel you pursuing me. Your pursuit both comforts me and scares me.  I know that because you still pursue me, you have not given up on me. … Continue reading

Sermon #25–Light and Life–1 John 1:5-10

From start to finish, the Scriptures leave no doubt that human beings are fatally broken by sin and evil.  Genesis 6:5 lays out the state of affairs in stark and thorough fashion — “every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  Jesus doesn’t depart from that assessment.  “And this is the … 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

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