Pastor Note #31 — “Does God Ever Say, ‘Ooops!’?”

    The church of Jesus Christ does not mark time in years but in generations, in centuries.  One year in the eyes of God is but a fleeting moment.  That kind of long timeframe is not natural for human beings.  Few of us ever experience life over even one century, much less centuries.             This … Continue reading Pastor Note #31 — “Does God Ever Say, ‘Ooops!’?”

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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 #28 — Hear Us, O Lord — A Poem/Song

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 Sermons #6 — Sex and Loving God: Sin and Grace, Forgiveness and Righteousness

Bible Note #9 — 1 Timothy 1:12-17 — “the worst of sinners”

1 Timothy 1:12-17 New International Version (NIV) The Lord’s Grace to Paul 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I … Continue reading Bible Note #9 — 1 Timothy 1:12-17 — “the worst of sinners”

Sermon #5 — Sex and Loving God: Sexual Discipleship

Discipleship is the calling of every one who claims the name of Christ.  Discipleship extend to every portion of our lives without exception.  The third sermon in a four sermon series on sex and the Christian faith, I preached this on January 22, 2012 at North Presbyterian Church, Elmira, NY.  Prior to the beginning of … Continue reading Sermon #5 — Sex and Loving God: Sexual Discipleship

Pastor Note #30 — Death and the Embodiment of Love

Yesterday, I was looking over the annual report for my congregation for 2011.  I was surprised to see that only five of our members died during the year.  It was surprise to me, because I had done more than twice that many funeral in 2011.  Now that I've been here in the community for nine … Continue reading Pastor Note #30 — Death and the Embodiment of Love

Sermon #4 — Sex and Loving God: Brokenness and Redemption

The sermon linked to this post is the second sermon in a series on human sexuality and God.  This sermon was preached at North Presbyterian Church, Elmira, NY on Sunday, January 15, 2012.  Earlier in the service, we read responsively Isaiah 61:1-4.  Then on this recording of the sermon, I read from Romans 1:18-32. The … Continue reading Sermon #4 — Sex and Loving God: Brokenness and Redemption

Bible Note #8–Genesis 3:7–Loin Cloths, the Fall, & Sex

Genesis 3:7--"Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves." [HCSB] Maybe it's because I'm preaching about sex these days, but today as I read this verse during my devotions, I was struck by the fact that … Continue reading Bible Note #8–Genesis 3:7–Loin Cloths, the Fall, & Sex

Sermon #3–Sex and Loving God: Natures and Origins

This sermon was preached at North Presbyterian Church on January 8, 2012 at morning worship.  It's part of a series I preached on the topic of "Sex and Loving God."  During that worship service we read Matthew 2:1-12 ( because this was the Sunday nearest to Epiphany, the church holy day when we celebrate the … Continue reading Sermon #3–Sex and Loving God: Natures and Origins