On the morning that I learned of the Russian army’s invasion of Ukraine, I was incensed. My sense of justice was offended. It was so simply and plainly and extravagantly wrong that I felt outraged. And so, I found myself hoping that bad things would happen to Vladimir Putin and all his forces attacking the … Continue reading Pastor Note #121: Praying for Justice without Praying for Revenge
Photo by GAC "A hard heart is a receptacle for Satan. As God has two places he dwells in, heaven and a humble heart, so the devil has two places he dwells in, hell and a hard heart." Thomas Watson, The Doctrine of Repentance. Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1987, page 62.
Just a little while ago, I did an internet search of the term “Lion of Judah,” and I searched images to see what sort of pictures my web browser would turn up. After looking through something over 250 images, I still hadn’t come across a single one that was biblically accurate. And the reason they … Continue reading Pastor Note #119: Jesus’ Way of Power
Okay, look out. Gary, the curmudgeon, is in the house. I realized that it’s a terrible cliché of the Christmas season to complain about the way human beings observe the Christmas holiday. And the Church has been doing that for centuries. At least from the Middle Ages onward, you find examples of the Church trying … Continue reading Pastor Note #118: Advent Reflection #4
A Litany for a Time of Election Forgive us for forgetting that the Lion of Judah is a lamb bearing the marks of slaughter.Give us gentle and humble hearts like yours. Forgive us for seeing other people’s sins while being blind to our own.Give us gentle and humble hearts like yours. Forgive us for defaming … Continue reading Prayer Note #60: A Litany for a Time of Election
In a recent e-mail to a friend, I described some of the challenges of church ministry in this time of pandemic, political divisiveness, and social unrest. I told him, “During the past six months, pastoring a church feels like jumping out of an airplane and trying to sew your parachute as you fall.” That experience … Continue reading Pastor Note #99: Following Jesus in a Time of Pandemic, Poisonous Politics, and Social Unrest
"The mother of all sin is pride. Those who are being harsh and critical think they are right. In fact, they are certain they are right. Fools are filled with pride. 'I don't really care about you and what you think,' the fool tells himself. 'It's my view or no view!' As Proverbs 18:2 puts … Continue reading Quote of Note #103: Pride and Sinning with Words
"Endeavour to be patient in bearing with the defects and infirmities of others, of what sort soever they be; for that thyself also hast many failings which must be borne with by others. If thou canst not make thyself such an one as thou wouldest, how canst thou expect to have another in all things … Continue reading Quote of Note #96: Patience with the Failings of Others
"Moreover, a true Christian will not ascribe any prosperity to his own diligence, industry, or good fortune, but he will acknowledge that God is the author of it." John Calvin, Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1952/2004, page 43.
"When Scripture commands us to conduct ourselves in such a manner toward men, as 'in honor to prefer others to ourselves,' and faithfully to devote our whole attention to the promotion of their advantage, it gives such commands as heart can by no means receive without being first cured of our sinful nature." John Calvin, … Continue reading Quote of Note #67 — “Prefer Others to Ourselves”