All over the country, churches are wrestling with decisions about how to do ministry in the midst of a pandemic. This is an on-going challenge, because the circumstances of the pandemic are constantly shifting and changing. Yesterday’s decisions are called into doubt by today’s news. Over the years, I have always found that, … Continue reading Pastor Note #105: Ministry in a Time of Pandemic
"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength--carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow--it empties today of its strength. . . . Jesus is stronger than all of our problems." Corrie ten Boom, He Cares, He Comforts: In Sickness and In … Continue reading Quote of Note #99: Worry and God’s Strength for the Day
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
Question 26: What do you believe when you say, "I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth"? Answer: That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by his eternal counsel and providence, … Continue reading Quote of Note #97: Comfort in All Times of Need
"Endeavour to be patient in bearing with the defects and infirmities of others, of what sort soever they be; for that thyself also hast many failings which must be borne with by others. If thou canst not make thyself such an one as thou wouldest, how canst thou expect to have another in all things … Continue reading Quote of Note #96: Patience with the Failings of Others
There are many factors that help a church to be healthy and effective—biblical and theological faithfulness, creativity and boldness in outreach, members who are diligent and committed to growing in their faith. But few things can wreck a church faster than bad relational ethics. Relational ethics in a church are one of the most important … Continue reading Pastor Note #92: Living Out Love
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
"Moreover, a true Christian will not ascribe any prosperity to his own diligence, industry, or good fortune, but he will acknowledge that God is the author of it." John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2004, page 43.
What savoriness sin has! It is so hard to leave it alone, Even when I know it for what it is. I come back to it again and again. But behind the savoriness, There’s a coldness, a darkness. Savoring my sin keeps me Far from you, Lord. I can’t savor my sin In your presence. … Continue reading Prayer Note #59: Fleeing My Inescapable God
"The fact is, we are leaky vessels, and we have to keep right under the fountain all the time to keep full of Christ, and so have a fresh supply." Dwight L. Moody, Spiritual Power. Chicago: Moody Press, 1881/1997, page 49.