Quote of Note #92: The Idea of America

"China is a nation in the classic sense.  It is blood and soil.  It's a great wall, a fascinating people, an extraordinarily long-lived culture.  But America is something different.  America is an idea -- it is a creed.  The American idea is a commitment to the universal dignity of persons everywhere.  That's what America is.  … Continue reading Quote of Note #92: The Idea of America

Quote of Note #91: Loving Others the Way Jesus Loves Us

"If God is compassionate, then certainly those who love God should be compassionate as well.  The God whom Jesus announces and in whose name he acts is the God of compassion, the God who offers himself as an example and model for all human behavior. "But there is more.  Becoming like the heavenly Father is … Continue reading Quote of Note #91: Loving Others the Way Jesus Loves Us

Quote of Note #90: Grace for Neighbors. . . and Enemies

"To be people of amazing grace is to see ourselves as recipients of kindness and understanding not owed to us, and if we really believe it's been lavished upon us undeservedly, maybe we can lavish a little upon the people we find ourselves least inclined to view generously.  If we're showering only the people we … Continue reading Quote of Note #90: Grace for Neighbors. . . and Enemies

Pastor Note #89: God’s Love–Undeserved and Uncomfortable

The love of God is a rich, warm, comforting promise that he assures us of in his word repeatedly.  For example, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (ESV)  What makes that promise of his love … Continue reading Pastor Note #89: God’s Love–Undeserved and Uncomfortable

Quote of Note #89: Christian Discipleship as Love

"Being a disciple of Jesus is not primarily a matter of getting the right ideas and doctrines and beliefs into our heads in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it's a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly -- who loves God and neighbor and is oriented to the world by the … Continue reading Quote of Note #89: Christian Discipleship as Love

Quote of Note #88: Sin as Self-Destruction

[In reference to sin as a "dangerous, predatory animal" in Genesis 4:7--"If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it." NIV] "God is saying . . . … Continue reading Quote of Note #88: Sin as Self-Destruction

Bible Note #40: Conversation with the Angel–Luke 1:5-25

He was an old man, and his back ached with the day’s work.  Some of the younger priests did the heavy lifting required by the work.  But still, the old priest had spent most of the day on his feet.  And so, there was a sharp, grinding ache in the small of his back, stabbing … Continue reading Bible Note #40: Conversation with the Angel–Luke 1:5-25

Pastor Note #87: Christmas — A Peasant King and the Foolishness of God

Christmas as a holiday in America is in many ways sacrosanct.  I’m not referring to the Christian holiday.  Most American, including Christian Americans, don’t really celebrate Christmas as a biblical holiday.  We love the warm, cozy sweetness of the “traditional” Christmas holiday.  In order to preserve that warm, cozy sweetness, we have to gloss over … Continue reading Pastor Note #87: Christmas — A Peasant King and the Foolishness of God

Quote of Note #85: Forgiving, Caring, Healing Heart of God

"The question is not:  How many people take you seriously?  How much are you going to accomplish?  Can you show some results?  But: Are you in love with Jesus?  Perhaps another way to put the question would be: Do you know the incarnate God?  In our world of loneliness and despair, there is an enormous … Continue reading Quote of Note #85: Forgiving, Caring, Healing Heart of God