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

Sermon #59 — The Resurrection Mission

The Resurrection Mission John 20:19-23 A Sermon Preached on April 19, 2015 at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PA There is room for only one priority in the life of a disciple of Jesus: namely, loving Jesus by living our his calling on our lives.  This priority is quite imperialistic.  It will tolerate no … 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 #58 — The Body of Jesus, Bodies for Jesus

The Body of Jesus, Bodies for Jesus A Sermon Preached on John 20:19-23 (see also Revelation 21:1-5) at Venice Presbyterian Church in Cecil Township, PA on April 12, 2014 Are we serious about serving an incarnate, an embodied God?  Do we really mean it?  And if we do, what does it mean for us that … Continue reading

Sermon #56 — “The Mighty Power of God,” an Easter Sermon

“The Mighty Power of God” Ephesians 1:15-23 & Ezekiel 37:1-14A Sermon preached at Venice Presbyterian Church (EPC), Cecil Township, PA Easter Sunday April 5, 2015 What are we to say in the face of the brokenness and evil and suffering of our lives?  What does God say?  No, actually, what does he do?  Look at … Continue reading

Pastor Note #61 — Music, Worship, and Pleasing God

            Worship music – the music we use in Christian worship – has become a source of sometimes significant conflict in American churches. It is probably inexcusably foolhardy of me to do it, but I propose to wade into the rapids of this dangerous subject in the hope that we can come to a richer, … 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