"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
"To live happily the evils of false ambition and self-love must be plucked from our hearts by the roots." John Calvin, The Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2005, page 33.
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
“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
"The Bible's standard for speech is incredibly high. Every word that comes across a Christian's lips must be infused with grace in order to build up the people who hear. There are no vacations or even coffee breaks permitted in order to unleash harsh, critical, unkind, or harmful speech--a believer's mouth must always be on … Continue reading Quotes of Note #18: Christian Speech
"Joy and resentment cannot coexist." Henri Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming. New York:Image/Doubleday, 1992, page 73.
"The Lord commands us to do good unto all men without exception, though the majority are very undeserving when judged according to their own merits. But Scripture here helps us out with an excellent argument when it teaches us that we must not think of man's real value, but only of his creation in the … Continue reading Quote of Note #16 — Honoring and Respecting Others
Father of my hope: in life and in death I belong to you; in righteousness and sin, in the light and in the darkness, in all times and in all places, I am yours. I want the fullness of your Spirit. I want to be filled to overflowing. I want to know you, not as … Continue reading Prayer Note #58–Burnishing my Clay
"Regardless of all the reasons why we might not want to forgive, the bottom line is that forgiveness is the best way to bring you into freedom. . . ." "The devil blinds us with the lie: I'm punishing my offender by not forgiving them. It is as if we think by our refusal to … Continue reading Quotes of Note #15 — Forgiveness and Freedom
I am utterly and in every way dependent on your mercy and grace. My life my salvation, my well-being all of it hangs by the thread of your merciful, kind, gracious disposition toward me. Your love and desire for my well-being is the only bulwark for me against catastrophe of every sort in my life. … Continue reading Prayer Note #57 — Relying on God vs. Presuming upon God: A Prayer