"Being baptized with the Holy Spirit begins with recognizing our need and earnestly desiring whatever our heavenly Father is pleased to give." Brad Long, Paul Stokes, and Cindy Strickler. Growing the Church in the Power of the Holy Spirit: Seven Principles of Dynamic Cooperation. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2009, page 67.
Recently, in an on-line discussion forum for pastors in the Reformed tradition, I read a complaint by one of the participants that he could not comprehend the appeal of what are sometimes called “7-11” songs – praise choruses that, it is claimed, are seven words long and are repeated over and over eleven times. He … Continue reading Pastor Note #81: The Problem with Hymns
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)
Jesus has come to redeem us from our oppression under and participation in the evil of a fallen world and to give us the calling of following in his footsteps. I have a friend whom I see from time to time. He’s involved in the life of a church, though I’ve never really talked to … Continue reading Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)
"Ministry is fertile ground for failure, and failure is fertile ground for ministry." J. R. Briggs, Fail: Finding Hope and Grace in the Midst of Ministry Failure. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2014, p. 22
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