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

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

Quote of Note #78: Training for a New Kingdom

"Yes, I believe that the kingdoms of this world, American, Venezuelan, and Chinese, will become the kingdom of our God and Christ, and I believe this new kingdom is already among us.  That is why I'm a pastor, to introduce people to the real world and train them to live in it.  I learned early … Continue reading Quote of Note #78: Training for a New Kingdom

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

Pastor Note #83 — God’s Toolbox

I love hand tools – old hand tools.  My workbench and toolboxes are stocked with a wide variety of old hammers of all sorts, wood plains of several different types, chisels, and draw knives, and hand saws.  I have a few very interesting old pipe wrenches, which I honestly hope I never have to use, … Continue reading Pastor Note #83 — God’s Toolbox

Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

In the 1960s it was the Age of Aquarius.  (If you’re much younger than I am, you probably don’t understand that reference.)  We are now in the Age of Offense.  Everybody is offended these days.  Everybody has become touchy.  We all tend to take everything personally.  We have begun to use the things that offend … Continue reading Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

Pastor Note #71: Loving Each Other in Words

Loving Each Other in Words The sad truth is that not all churches are places where people treat each other well.  Some churches can become notorious for the way their people are prone to fight and mistreat each other.  Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love … Continue reading Pastor Note #71: Loving Each Other in Words

Sermon #61 — Healing and the Mission of God: The Healing Purpose of God

Our natural and unashamed expectation should be that where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, healing -- miraculous, supernatural healing -- should be present.  Although it is the case that miraculous healings can and do serve as confirmation of the truthfulness of the preaching, that isn't the more important reason why gospel preaching and … Continue reading Sermon #61 — Healing and the Mission of God: The Healing Purpose of God

Pastor Note #65 — A Congregational Vision for Prayer and Healing

A Vision for Prayer & Healing in the Life of our Church The Ministry of Prayer in the Life of our Congregation             The presence of God is sought and found in a diligent and unremitting pursuit of God through prayer.  Prayer is not the work of a few.  It … Continue reading Pastor Note #65 — A Congregational Vision for Prayer and Healing

Pastor Note #63 — Mission Field America

Recently, I read about a church that had a sign at the exit from its parking lot, a sign that people read as they were leaving the church. The sign said, “You are now entering the mission field.” It’s a bracing thought and one that is more and more obviously true in North America. American … Continue reading Pastor Note #63 — Mission Field America