Quote of Note #76: A Contrast Community

"If we hope to experience transformation, we need to develop a culture in the congregation that encourages people to live in the world for the sake of the world, without being of the world.  Gerhard Lohfink, in Jesus and Community, makes a strong case that it has always been God's intention to work through a … Continue reading Quote of Note #76: A Contrast Community

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Quote of Note #73: Word AND Spirit

"The secret of effective Christian living is know the power of the Spirit through the Word.  The secret of effective Christian service is using the Word in the power of the Spirit.  Some believers magnify the Spirit but neglect the Word.  This will not do because fanaticism and groundless enthusiasm are the result.  Others seek … Continue reading Quote of Note #73: Word AND Spirit

Quote of Note #57–Need and Blessing

"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.

Pastor Note #81: The Problem with Hymns

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

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)

Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

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)

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