Quote of Note #37: Salvation as Transformation

"What men call 'salvation' is simply the first stage of God's plan for our lives, which is to conform us in character and power to the image of Jesus Christ.  If we fail to see our relationship to God as such, we will allow too many areas within us to remain unchanged.  Pulling down strongholds … Continue reading Quote of Note #37: Salvation as Transformation

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

Quote of Note #36: Being Forgiven and Being Forgiving

"If you are one who just cannot seem to forgive, let me ask you a few questions which might give you another perspective.  Have you received the forgiveness that God offers through a relationship with Jesus?  Have you personally experienced God's forgiveness of your sins?  If you haven't, then there is some credibility to the … Continue reading Quote of Note #36: Being Forgiven and Being Forgiving

Quote of Note #34: Self-Sacrificial Service

"At the height of the [Roman] persecution, a plague broke out.  Fearing contagion, pagans dumped members of their own families in the street when they got sick.  But Christians, Eusebius said, 'heedless of the danger, took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them. . . drawing on themselves the … Continue reading Quote of Note #34: Self-Sacrificial Service

Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

  After the experience of having Jesus walk up to them in the middle of the Sea of Galilee as they were struggling to row their boat across to the other side, Mark says this about the disciples, “They were completely astonished, because they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened” … Continue reading Bible Note #31: Expecting to Be Astonished by Jesus (Mark 6:45-52)

Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

In the 1960s it was the Age of Aquarius.  (If you’re much younger than I am, you probably don’t understand that reference.)  We are now in the Age of Offense.  Everybody is offended these days.  Everybody has become touchy.  We all tend to take everything personally.  We have begun to use the things that offend … Continue reading Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

Quote of Note #24: Showing Respect to All

"We should never insult others on account of their faults, for it is our duty to show charity and respect to everyone.  If we pay attention to the honor and reputation of others, whoever they may be, we shall conduct ourselves not only with moderation and good humor, but with politeness and friendship." John Calvin, … Continue reading Quote of Note #24: Showing Respect to All

Pastor Note #77: Funerals and the Growing Number of Non-believing Neighbors

Opportunities to represent my congregation in ministry in our community present themselves to me from time to time.  For example, along with the pastor of the local Christian and Missionary Alliance Church and I will be involved in the opening ceremonies for the local township fall festival later this month.  Although I was out of … Continue reading Pastor Note #77: Funerals and the Growing Number of Non-believing Neighbors

Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor

“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”  Proverbs 14:31 [NIV] We have here an antithetical parallelism.  The two halves of the couplet contrast with each other, and in that way the writer shows us one key truth by showing us both sides of the … Continue reading Bible Note #21: Proverbs 14:31–The Heart of God and the Poor