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

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

Pastor Note #86: Consumers or Disciples?

In the past few years, I’ve had some interesting conversations with folks who are involved with volunteer fire departments in various communities around where I live.  All of those local departments are struggling.  Funding is a challenge, to be sure.  But the really difficult problem is getting enough volunteers to fill their ranks. People are … Continue reading Pastor Note #86: Consumers or Disciples?

Pastor Note #85 — The Demonic Heresy of Christian White Nationalism

There is heresy finding foothold in America and in some other parts of the world.  It is not new.  The devil is not remarkably inventive.  He recycles old poison wherever he thinks it will work.  In America this heresy is arising under labels such as “Christian white nationalism” and “Christian Identity.” As a pastor and … Continue reading Pastor Note #85 — The Demonic Heresy of Christian White Nationalism

Pastor Note #84 — Surrender to an “Interfering God”

In his spiritual memoir, Surprised by Joy, the great Christian writer, C. S. Lewis, admits that from the days of his youth one of the things he disliked most in adults was their tendency to interfere with his life.  “No word in my vocabulary expressed deeper hatred than the word Interference.”  He notes that it … Continue reading Pastor Note #84 — Surrender to an “Interfering God”

Pastor Note #83 — God’s Toolbox

I love hand tools – old hand tools.  My workbench and toolboxes are stocked with a wide variety of old hammers of all sorts, wood plains of several different types, chisels, and draw knives, and hand saws.  I have a few very interesting old pipe wrenches, which I honestly hope I never have to use, … Continue reading Pastor Note #83 — God’s Toolbox

Pastor Note #82: Learning to Hear God’s Voice

From Digital Camera to Bird Songs When I got my first digital camera, photography opened up for me in a new and exciting way.  In the old days of film photography, every time you took a picture, it cost you half a dollar for the film and the processing.  That could run into money pretty … Continue reading Pastor Note #82: Learning to Hear God’s Voice

Pastor Note #81: The Problem with Hymns

Recently, in an on-line discussion forum for pastors in the Reformed tradition, I read a complaint by one of the participants that he could not comprehend the appeal of what are sometimes called “7-11” songs – praise choruses that, it is claimed, are seven words long and are repeated over and over eleven times.  He … Continue reading Pastor Note #81: The Problem with Hymns

Pastor Note #80: Conversation with an Angry World

A few days ago, I received a message on Facebook from an acquaintance of mine.  He had sent the message to a bunch of people.  In my opinion, it was quite a politically inflammatory message.  Accompanying the statement was the challenge, “If you don’t share this message on Facebook, you aren’t a true America.”  This … Continue reading Pastor Note #80: Conversation with an Angry World

Pastor Note #79: Families in the Holiday Crucible

Families are paradoxes.  On the one hand, family relationships can be the source of the greatest comfort, strength, and stability in our lives.  On the other hand, -- who doesn’t know what’s coming next – family relationships can be the source of the greatest heartbreak, sadness, and anxiety of anything in our lives.  No other … Continue reading Pastor Note #79: Families in the Holiday Crucible