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

Quote of Note #123: Christianity & Coercion

Photo by GAC "Christian civility takes human freedom seriously. I may want people to believe as I do about some basic matters--but what I want is for them to choose to see things that way. This means that I must rely on testimony and persuasion in presenting my views to them. Civil Christians will be … Continue reading Quote of Note #123: Christianity & Coercion

Pastor Note #111: All Types of Pastor

Sedona, AZ; photo by GAC Pastoral ministry involves a dizzying variety of tasks and activities.  Some days I go from counseling someone in a difficult personal crisis to untangling some issue in the church’s financial management and bookkeeping, from researching the best interpretation of the Greek of some passage in the New Testament to meeting … Continue reading Pastor Note #111: All Types of Pastor

Bible Note #46: Simon of Cyrene–A Lenten Meditation

The old man stood among the group of worshipers, a part of the church at Rome.  He had moved to the imperial city years earlier, raised his family there.  He had joined others there in sharing the news of Jesus the Christ.  His two grown sons stood beside him, Alexander and Rufus, both now leaders … Continue reading Bible Note #46: Simon of Cyrene–A Lenten Meditation

Pastor Note #109: Living as Hopeful People in Fearful Times

Are these hopeful times or are they fearful times?  I write these words on a warm day, after a hard winter of snow and ice.  The daffodils are poking up through the leaf litter in my flowerbeds.  The crocuses have already begun to bloom.  In fact, there are several dandelions in their yellow perkiness smiling … Continue reading Pastor Note #109: Living as Hopeful People in Fearful Times

Bible Note #45: Nicodemus & Joseph of Arimathea at the Cross–A Lenten Meditation

His old bones ached under the weight of his burden.  Still, he thought, his pain was nothing compared to the pain of dragging a cross through the streets especially in that appalling condition.  The weight of that rough wood grinding on the shredded flesh of the man’s back must have been near unbearable. Stained Glass … Continue reading Bible Note #45: Nicodemus & Joseph of Arimathea at the Cross–A Lenten Meditation

Bible Note #43: Peter’s Denial & Following Jesus–A Lenten Meditation

Peter’s Denial and Following JesusDrawn from Mark 14 Peter was standing by a fire in the middle of the courtyard of the high priest’s compound.  He was standing among a group of men.  He was trying to be inconspicuous, trying to sort of blend in.     He was chilled to the core, so that the … Continue reading Bible Note #43: Peter’s Denial & Following Jesus–A Lenten Meditation

Pastor Note #108: Busyness, Rights, Responsibilities, & Church Life in 2020

Over the past two millennia, the Church of Jesus has survived brutal persecutions, the chaos of invasions and wars, plagues, famines, revolutions, and, perhaps the most dangerous of all social conditions, the church has even survived economic prosperity.  Nothing that has happened in America or the world in 2020 will prove to be a deadly … Continue reading Pastor Note #108: Busyness, Rights, Responsibilities, & Church Life in 2020

Pastor Note #106: The Right Kind of Christmas Busyness

Winter in Flagstaff, AZ; photo by GAC What a strange Christmas season this is for us all, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced.  I don’t suppose I really need to point that out to anyone, but I mention it just the same.  I don’t know whether this Christmas this year has been busier for you than … Continue reading Pastor Note #106: The Right Kind of Christmas Busyness