Quote of Note #105: Satan’s Well-Tailored Temptations

"Satan loves to sail with the wind and to suit men's temptations to their conditions and inclination.  If they be in prosperity, he will tempt them to deny God (Prov. 30:9); it they be in adversity, he will tempt them to distrust God; if their knowledge be weak, he will tempt them to have low … Continue reading Quote of Note #105: Satan’s Well-Tailored Temptations

Pastor Note #98: Hearing Our Neighbors’ Cry of Distress: A White Pastor Talks to his White Congregation about Race

A Sermon Preached on June 7, 2020 These are very challenging times for our society.  We all like church to be a place of comfort, peace, and ease.  But sometimes it just can’t be like that.  Sometimes we have to wrestle with hard and uncomfortable things.  And that’s what we’re going to do today. If … Continue reading Pastor Note #98: Hearing Our Neighbors’ Cry of Distress: A White Pastor Talks to his White Congregation about Race

Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Medical experts widely agree that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is spread by minute droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of the mouth and nose of someone who is infected by the virus.  Those droplets contain the virus.  The viruses in those droplets find their way into the eyes, nose, or mouth of … Continue reading Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Quote of Note #98: In Life and in Death We Belong to God

Question #1:  What is your only comfort in life and in death? Answer:  That I am not my own, but belong--body and soul, in life and in death--to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.  He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the … Continue reading Quote of Note #98: In Life and in Death We Belong to God

Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus

Safety is a high priority for Americans.  And you might well be asking me right now, “What’s wrong with that?”  Well, I would say, “Nothing . . . . And everything.”  It depends on what sort of safety we’re insisting on. The right view of safety aims to avoid needless harm.  The wrong view of … Continue reading Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus

Quote of Note #95: The Cross-Shaped Life

"Jesus's cross-shaped life and death modeled the cruciform life that is our calling.  Like Him, we do not overcome imperial powers through earthly means.  Instead, we embody His 'revolutionary way of being revolutionary.'  Whether the world receives or rejects us will hold little weight if we are incarnating his way of being and doing, for … Continue reading Quote of Note #95: The Cross-Shaped Life

Pastor Note #93: Religious Liberty, Privileged Christianity, and the Art of the Deal

Religious liberty, if it is pure and principled, is a beautiful and precious thing.  It can also become a desperately dangerous concept if allowed to become conditional, qualified, or contingent in any way.  And that’s where this gets very tricky right away.  Everybody who wants to live in a humane and civilized society agrees that … Continue reading Pastor Note #93: Religious Liberty, Privileged Christianity, and the Art of the Deal

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