Sermon #13 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 4: The Image

Our own identity is tied intimately into the identity of God. We bear the image of the living God.  In the person of God, we see the root and origin of our own identity -- broken and distorted though it may be because of our fall in to sin.  In ourselves, we see the imperfect … Continue reading Sermon #13 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 4: The Image

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Pastor Note #35 — Ministry in the Tangle of a Complicated, Broken World

"Gary, I thought maybe you should know that there's someone passed out on the front steps of the church," he said as he sat down with his bag lunch at the table in the fellowship hall.  We were gathering for our regular mid-week, lunch-time Bible study.  Folks were gathering around the table with their various … Continue reading Pastor Note #35 — Ministry in the Tangle of a Complicated, Broken World

Sermon #12 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 3 — The One Who Holds Space and Time

I continue in this sermon to set out some more of the core truths about the nature and character of God.  In this sermon, we work through Isaiah 40:12-31.  We can easily take the on-going existence of the universe for granted.  Here through Isaiah, God impresses on us the truth that it is his constant … Continue reading Sermon #12 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 3 — The One Who Holds Space and Time

Bible Note #13 — 1 Peter 1:23-25

"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.  For, 'All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.' (Isaiah 40:6-8)" 1 … Continue reading Bible Note #13 — 1 Peter 1:23-25

Sermon #11 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 2: Creator and Maker, Psalm 104

Here I continue to explore the doctrine of God.  Who is God?  What is his nature and character?  In this sermon, I work from Psalm 104 to lay out some of the basic truths about God as Creator and Maker of everything.  There are, as I say often, two kinds of things in the world: … Continue reading Sermon #11 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 2: Creator and Maker, Psalm 104

Pastor Note #34–A Pastoral Letter to Someone Who Had Suffered a Debilitating Accident

Dear "L," It was really good to see you at the church yesterday.  It was very brave of you, because I could see that you were suffering a lot of pain.  I don't understand why you have had to suffer so much in the last few months.   I wish I did. I do know that … Continue reading Pastor Note #34–A Pastoral Letter to Someone Who Had Suffered a Debilitating Accident

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 #33 — A Pastor’s Sunday Morning Prayer

Bible Note #12 — Exodus 25:1-9

In this passage (Exodus 25:1-9), God calls on Moses to receive an offering from the people for the purpose of building and furnishing the tabernacle.  He emphasizes that the offering is to be strictly voluntary -- "from everyone whose heart stirs him to give." (v. 2; HCSB) What follows then is a list of the … Continue reading Bible Note #12 — Exodus 25:1-9

Bible Note #11 — Exodus 3: The Call of Moses

God routinely goes out of his way to incorporate human partnership in the accomplishing of his purposes in the world.  The fact is so plain that it is regularly overlooked by most of us as we read Bible stories about God's dealing with human beings. Here in Exodus 3 in the story of God's calling … Continue reading Bible Note #11 — Exodus 3: The Call of Moses

Sermon #10 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 1: God in Himself

This sermon is the first in a series of seven sermons in which we delve into the big -- well, really, infinite -- topic of who God is.  This particular sermon, preached at North Presbyterian Church in Elmira, NY on September 11, 2011, explores Moses encounter with the burning bush in the desert of the … Continue reading Sermon #10 — The Doctrine of God, Pt. 1: God in Himself