Pastor Note #120: James 1:27 & the Essence of the Christian Life

[Note: The text below is the script for a video/audio teaching I posted to my Facebook page and my YouTube channel.  If you’d like to see the video version, follow the instructions in the material below.] How can human beings live flourishing and authentic lives in this complicated and troubled world?  That’s the question that … Continue reading Pastor Note #120: James 1:27 & the Essence of the Christian Life

Quote of Note #125: Kindness and Gentleness

Photo by GAC "We were created for kind and gentle living. Indeed, kindness and gentleness are two of the fruit-of-the-Spirit characteristics that the apostle Paul mentions in Galatians 5. When Christians fail to measure up to the standards of kindness and gentleness, we are not the people God meant us to be." Richard Mouw, Uncommon … Continue reading Quote of Note #125: Kindness and Gentleness

Quote of Note #124: Mercy and Grace for Us

Stained glass from North Presbyterian Church, Elmira, NY; photo by GAC "[Christ] does not get flustered and frustrated when we come to him for fresh forgiveness, for renewed pardon, with distress and need and emptiness. That's the whole point. It's what he came to heal. He went down into the horror of death and plunged … Continue reading Quote of Note #124: Mercy and Grace for Us

Pastor Note #118: Advent Reflection #4

Okay, look out.  Gary, the curmudgeon, is in the house. I realized that it’s a terrible cliché of the Christmas season to complain about the way human beings observe the Christmas holiday.  And the Church has been doing that for centuries.  At least from the Middle Ages onward, you find examples of the Church trying … Continue reading Pastor Note #118: Advent Reflection #4

Pastor Note #117: Advent Reflection #3

So, here we are in the third week of Advent.  It’s really a terrible cliché to say that time seems to fly by as we come up on Christmas.  But cliché or not, somehow it seems to be true.  Maybe it’s because we crowd these weeks full of events and “to-do list” items and expectations, … Continue reading Pastor Note #117: Advent Reflection #3

Pastor Note #116: Advent Reflection #2

[Note: This post is the script for a video reflection that I posted to my YouTube channel. To view this particular video click here.] I first began making my “Pastor Gary’s Video Notebook” videos in March 2020 when the coronavirus shutdown came to my community and my church.  I had a number of goals for … Continue reading Pastor Note #116: Advent Reflection #2

Prayer Note #61: The Interference of God–A Prayer

Lord, there is in mea reluctance tosit quietly andattentively inyour presence.I want tobusy myself withthings that givethe appearance ofa devotional life, butwhich are,in fact,just externalactivity—busyness—withoutinternal reality.Yet it isthe internal reality ofintimacy withyouthat is the crucial element. Reading C. S. Lewis’s Surprised by Joy showed me something about myself.  He speaks of how, as a child, … Continue reading Prayer Note #61: The Interference of God–A Prayer

Pastor Note #115: Advent Reflections #1

I just did a quick online search for Advent calendars and discovered that you can buy Advent calendars at Target, Walmart, and on the Etsy site.  They’re everywhere.  I also noticed that almost all of them are incorrect.  All of the Advent calendars I looked at start on December 1, and five out of every … Continue reading Pastor Note #115: Advent Reflections #1

Pastor Note #114: Michael Flynn and One National Religion

“If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion.  One nation under God, and one religion under God." Michal Flynn, speaking at a “Reawaken America” event in San Antonio, TX on November 13, 2021 Washington County (Pennsylvania) Courthouse; photo by GAC It is hard to … Continue reading Pastor Note #114: Michael Flynn and One National Religion