Are these hopeful times or are they fearful times? I write these words on a warm day, after a hard winter of snow and ice. The daffodils are poking up through the leaf litter in my flowerbeds. The crocuses have already begun to bloom. In fact, there are several dandelions in their yellow perkiness smiling … Continue reading Pastor Note #109: Living as Hopeful People in Fearful Times
"Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength--carrying two days at once. It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time. Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow--it empties today of its strength. . . . Jesus is stronger than all of our problems." Corrie ten Boom, He Cares, He Comforts: In Sickness and In … Continue reading Quote of Note #99: Worry and God’s Strength for the Day
Fear can be a distressingly common feature of church life across America. The Bible is quite clear on this point. The only proper source of fear for Christians should be God. Nothing else in all creation should cause us fear. Of course, I know what it is to feel fear and anxiety. As do, I … Continue reading Pastor Note #90: The Fearless Church
What savoriness sin has! It is so hard to leave it alone, Even when I know it for what it is. I come back to it again and again. But behind the savoriness, There’s a coldness, a darkness. Savoring my sin keeps me Far from you, Lord. I can’t savor my sin In your presence. … Continue reading Prayer Note #59: Fleeing My Inescapable God
"Fear was a profound motivator for evangelicals. We carried a vestigial memory of being the little ramshackle clapboard church from across the tracks whose congregation couldn't pay its minister. We collectively carried a chip on our shoulders for being marginalized. Fear and revenge were far from the teachings of Christ, but we had practiced them … Continue reading Quote of Note #33: Evangelical Fear
"As people whose prophetic paradigm is shaped by the radical hope of the gospel, they would reject conspiracy theories, sensationalism, and fear-mongers." Mark Chironna, The Dead Prophets Society: The Significance of Prophetic Function in the 21st Century. Self-published, 2018, page 40.
"When peace is the agreed-upon value of a community of believers who are contending for 'on earth as it is in heaven,' they will not use fear to control or influence others. This is so deeply rooted in our culture that people often seem unaware of using this tool to manipulate others to their need … Continue reading Quote of Note #27: Fear-mongering and Christian Engagement
The U.S. presidential election of 2016 is surely one of the most spiritually destructive of the ten presidential elections in my voting experience. I have been deeply troubled by the extent to which many prominent evangelical leaders have stirred up and played on the fears of their people. This has not been American evangelicalism's finest … Continue reading Sermon #63 — A Troubling Election and A People of Hope
As some of your know by now, I will be traveling to the city of Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in May. I’ll be going as part of a team sent out by Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International to conduct a week-long training event for pastors and church leaders there. I’m excited … Continue reading Pastor Note #59–Honestly, It’s Really Kind of Scary!
[Although I have called this a "Pastor's Prayer," with a slight adjustment of the language, this prayer might well work as a prayer for any Christian who wants to be a channel of blessing to the people in their lives. And what Christian wouldn't want to be a channel of God's blessing in the lives … Continue reading Prayer Note #46 — A Channel of Blessing: a Pastor’s Prayer