Quote of Note #136: The Real Nature of True Freedom

photo by GAC "However, I think it is important to note that another trajectory in the Christian tradition argues that we should not understand freedom in libertarian terms. Augustine, for instance, emphasized a 'positive' understanding of freedom as empowerment: I am free insofar as I am able to achieve the good. On this score, freedom … Continue reading Quote of Note #136: The Real Nature of True Freedom

Bible Note #51: James 2:1-4 & Valuing What Jesus Values

I enjoy fishing.  I’m not very good at it, but I do enjoy going out to the water and trying to catch fish.  As I share this with you, we are a day away from the opening of trout season in Pennsylvania.  Opening day can be a pretty crowded time on the water around here.  … Continue reading Bible Note #51: James 2:1-4 & Valuing What Jesus Values

Pastor Note #121: Praying for Justice without Praying for Revenge

On the morning that I learned of the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine, I was incensed.  My sense of justice was offended.  It was so simply and plainly and extravagantly wrong that I felt outraged.  And so, I found myself hoping that bad things would happen to Vladimir Putin and all his forces attacking the … Continue reading Pastor Note #121: Praying for Justice without Praying for Revenge

Prayer Note #61: The Interference of God–A Prayer

Lord, there is in mea reluctance tosit quietly andattentively inyour presence.I want tobusy myself withthings that givethe appearance ofa devotional life, butwhich are,in fact,just externalactivity—busyness—withoutinternal reality.Yet it isthe internal reality ofintimacy withyouthat is the crucial element. Reading C. S. Lewis’s Surprised by Joy showed me something about myself.  He speaks of how, as a child, … Continue reading Prayer Note #61: The Interference of God–A Prayer

Quote of Note #119: The Grace and Hope of Prayer

photo by GAC "Our hope depends not on the right technique or the proper phrase or gesture, which borders on magic, but on the promise of God to look with favor on those who throw themselves on his mercy and who acknowledge the efficacy of the atoning sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ, for their … Continue reading Quote of Note #119: The Grace and Hope of Prayer

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

Quote of Note #118: The Truth of the Resurrection

photo by GAC "I contend that the historicity [of the Gospels] does matter, and I do not see why we, who live nearly two thousand years later, should call into question an Event for which there were many eye-witnesses still living at the time when most of the New Testament was written. It is no … Continue reading Quote of Note #118: The Truth of the Resurrection

Bible Note #47: Mary Magdalene–A Holy Week Meditation

Mary Magdalene—A Narrative Meditation In an earlier time, the anguish and grief that she had endured on that Friday and Saturday would have unhinged her.  Yet in the midst of this agony, she discovered that the Teacher had so healed and restored her that even this crushing sorrow could not undo his work. photo by … Continue reading Bible Note #47: Mary Magdalene–A Holy Week Meditation

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