Bible Note #51: James 2:1-4 & Valuing What Jesus Values

I enjoy fishing.  I’m not very good at it, but I do enjoy going out to the water and trying to catch fish.  As I share this with you, we are a day away from the opening of trout season in Pennsylvania.  Opening day can be a pretty crowded time on the water around here.  … Continue reading Bible Note #51: James 2:1-4 & Valuing What Jesus Values

Bible Note #50: James 2:1 and “Us vs. Them” Thinking

There is no question that our Christian faith can become corrupted.  And, of course, one of the ways that our faith can become corrupted is when we adopt bad or wrong doctrines.  That’s why it’s important for us to learn our theology carefully and well. The base of an abandoned steel-making blast furnace; photo by … Continue reading Bible Note #50: James 2:1 and “Us vs. Them” Thinking

Quote of Note #130: Hungering for the Living God

photo by GAC "I often ask myself the question of when and why we pastors began to believe that our primary calling was to build the church. How did we come to believe that the people we encounter are primarily in the market for a church? How did we forget that they are probably more … Continue reading Quote of Note #130: Hungering for the Living God

Pastor Note #111: All Types of Pastor

Sedona, AZ; photo by GAC Pastoral ministry involves a dizzying variety of tasks and activities.  Some days I go from counseling someone in a difficult personal crisis to untangling some issue in the church’s financial management and bookkeeping, from researching the best interpretation of the Greek of some passage in the New Testament to meeting … Continue reading Pastor Note #111: All Types of Pastor

Pastor Note #110: Nothing But Love–A Sermon for the Installation of a Pastor, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

        I suppose you all may be wondering if I had to get a special dispensation from the Commissariat of Public Bible Reading in order to be allowed to read 1 Corinthians 13 at an event that is NOT a wedding.  The answer to that question is, “No, I did not.”  I’m one of those … Continue reading Pastor Note #110: Nothing But Love–A Sermon for the Installation of a Pastor, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Pastor Note #108: Busyness, Rights, Responsibilities, & Church Life in 2020

Over the past two millennia, the Church of Jesus has survived brutal persecutions, the chaos of invasions and wars, plagues, famines, revolutions, and, perhaps the most dangerous of all social conditions, the church has even survived economic prosperity.  Nothing that has happened in America or the world in 2020 will prove to be a deadly … Continue reading Pastor Note #108: Busyness, Rights, Responsibilities, & Church Life in 2020

Pastor Note #105: Ministry in a Time of Pandemic

            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

Quote of Note #102: Living by Faith and Not by Sight

"This kind of living ["living by faith rather than by sight"] invites opposition.  It will come first in the form of those who insist on living within the budget, thereby restricting the ability of God to reach the community.  The easiest answer to a leap of faith is 'No!'  The church that I now pastor … Continue reading Quote of Note #102: Living by Faith and Not by Sight

Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Medical experts widely agree that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is spread by minute droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of the mouth and nose of someone who is infected by the virus.  Those droplets contain the virus.  The viruses in those droplets find their way into the eyes, nose, or mouth of … Continue reading Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic