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

Pastor Note #57 — Worship: A Surprising Conversation with God?

We script them out carefully, planning each part of the service diligently and in detail, so that we know who will do each part of the service, when they will do it, what they will say while they are doing it, and how long it will take them to do it.  Then, we commit the … Continue reading

Sermon #49–“Then, Now, & Forever: Better Than Gold”

THEN, NOW, & FOREVER: BETTER THAN GOLD A Sermon from Acts 3:1-10 A human being simply cannot grasp a live electrical wire and remain unaffected by the encounter.  That is the simple nature of things.  A significant electric current passing through the human body will be an experience that the person cannot ignore.  So, also, … Continue reading

Pastor Note #38–A Prayer at the Closing of a Church

I was the second to the last installed pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Ohio.  On November 20, 2011, the last service of worship was held in that 151 year old building by that congregation that was founded in 1839.   I participated that service along with my successor and my predecessor pastors.  I prayed … Continue reading

Pastor Note #36–Beyond a Pentecost According to Robert’s Rules of Order

In 2012, two important Christian holy days occur in May – important Christian holy days that Presbyterian Christians have tended to be uncomfortable with.  I’ll explain that statement, shall I?  The two holy days are Ascension and Pentecost.  First the easy part, I say these holy days take place in May this year, because these … Continue reading

Prayer Note #33 — A Pastor’s Sunday Morning Prayer

Lord, nothing important will happen here this morning unless you are present . Holy Spirit, we cannot worship unless you make us able to worship. Our attempts at worship will be counterfeit unless you inhabit our worship in purposefulness and power. I ask, on behalf of my people for your directing, empowering presence. Grant that … Continue reading

Prayer Note #29 — “Thanks You, Heavenly Father” — a Communion Hymn

Thank You, Heavenly Father Gary A. Chorpenning   Thank you, Heav’nly Father, for this meal, broken body of your Son our Lord. Thank you, Holy God, for wine poured out, blood of Jesus spilled for our foul sins. Refrain: Life out of death, hope from despair, sacrificial cross to throne of grace, Bread of his … Continue reading

Prayer Note #28 — Hear Us, O Lord — A Poem/Song

  Hear us, O Lord, as we bring our prayers. We come to you with our needs and cares. Before your throne of grace and power, Transform the thorns into budding flowers. We wander far yet you’re ever near. There is no place where you cannot hear. Our long-ing hearts look to you alone. In … Continue reading

Prayer Note #27 — Lord of All

Lord of heaven, Lord of earth, Lord of all time, Lord of this moment, Lord of all things living and Lord of my own beating heart, I want you to be my Lord.  I want my fleeting thoughts to be from you and for you.  I want you to be the head waters of my … Continue reading

Prayer Note #26 — A Pastor’s Sunday Morning Prayer

Lord, my emotions are squirming around in me in a very uncomfortable way.  I know that that is caused by a wide range of pressures, stressors, foolish thoughts, genuine problems, and a real sense of overload, of having more things in my mind than I can keep track of.  Important matters are slipping through my … Continue reading