Safety is a high priority for Americans. And you might well be asking me right now, “What’s wrong with that?” Well, I would say, “Nothing . . . . And everything.” It depends on what sort of safety we’re insisting on. The right view of safety aims to avoid needless harm. The wrong view of … Continue reading Pastor Note #94: Safety and Love of Neighbor — Risk and Following Jesus
"Jesus's cross-shaped life and death modeled the cruciform life that is our calling. Like Him, we do not overcome imperial powers through earthly means. Instead, we embody His 'revolutionary way of being revolutionary.' Whether the world receives or rejects us will hold little weight if we are incarnating his way of being and doing, for … Continue reading Quote of Note #95: The Cross-Shaped Life
"If God is compassionate, then certainly those who love God should be compassionate as well. The God whom Jesus announces and in whose name he acts is the God of compassion, the God who offers himself as an example and model for all human behavior. "But there is more. Becoming like the heavenly Father is … Continue reading Quote of Note #91: Loving Others the Way Jesus Loves Us
"The Word of God is the seed out of which the divine nature springs up in the human soul." R. A. Torrey, Power-Filled Living: How to Receive God's Best for Your Life. New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1998, page 17.
"An appropriate response to the competing claims of pubic voices is to take these obligations personally. We have been 'called by name'--not every one of us to public speaking, political activism in the streets and on telephones, or investigative journalism, but all of us to seek truth and follow after it, to do justice, to … Continue reading Quote of Note #80: Public Speech and Truth
In the past few years, I’ve had some interesting conversations with folks who are involved with volunteer fire departments in various communities around where I live. All of those local departments are struggling. Funding is a challenge, to be sure. But the really difficult problem is getting enough volunteers to fill their ranks. People are … Continue reading Pastor Note #86: Consumers or Disciples?
"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
"The fact is, we are leaky vessels, and we have to keep right under the fountain all the time to keep full of Christ, and so have a fresh supply." Dwight L. Moody, Spiritual Power. Chicago: Moody Press, 1881/1997, page 49.
"The gospel that Paul preached was not a message about some private, interior transformation of the heart. It is a message about a new allegiance to a King-in-waiting. As such, there was something radically political about the gospel--which didn't mean, of course, that Christians sided with a particular political party. In fact, there was a … Continue reading Quote of Note #69 — Our Allegiance to our King not some Party
In his spiritual memoir, Surprised by Joy, the great Christian writer, C. S. Lewis, admits that from the days of his youth one of the things he disliked most in adults was their tendency to interfere with his life. “No word in my vocabulary expressed deeper hatred than the word Interference.” He notes that it … Continue reading Pastor Note #84 — Surrender to an “Interfering God”