Quote of Note #135: The Redemptive Impulse of Jesus

Teasel against a Gray Sky; photo by GAC "And if the actions of Jesus are reflective of who he most deeply is, we cannot avoid the conclusion that it is the very fallenness which he came to undo that is most irresistibly attractive to him. "This is deeper than saying Jesus is loving or merciful … Continue reading Quote of Note #135: The Redemptive Impulse of Jesus

Quote of Note #134: Leaving the Past Behind

Photo by GAC "[God] wants us first to acknowledge our full responsibility, without excuse or extenuation. Then he says in effect: 'Now put all that behind you; I will take responsibility for it' (and he can take responsibility for the evil we have done: as we have seen, he has provided in Christ the effective … Continue reading Quote of Note #134: Leaving the Past Behind

Pastor Note #120: James 1:27 & the Essence of the Christian Life

[Note: The text below is the script for a video/audio teaching I posted to my Facebook page and my YouTube channel.  If you’d like to see the video version, follow the instructions in the material below.] How can human beings live flourishing and authentic lives in this complicated and troubled world?  That’s the question that … Continue reading Pastor Note #120: James 1:27 & the Essence of the Christian Life

Quote of Note #124: Mercy and Grace for Us

Stained glass from North Presbyterian Church, Elmira, NY; photo by GAC "[Christ] does not get flustered and frustrated when we come to him for fresh forgiveness, for renewed pardon, with distress and need and emptiness. That's the whole point. It's what he came to heal. He went down into the horror of death and plunged … Continue reading Quote of Note #124: Mercy and Grace for Us

Pastor Note #117: Advent Reflection #3

So, here we are in the third week of Advent.  It’s really a terrible cliché to say that time seems to fly by as we come up on Christmas.  But cliché or not, somehow it seems to be true.  Maybe it’s because we crowd these weeks full of events and “to-do list” items and expectations, … Continue reading Pastor Note #117: Advent Reflection #3

Pastor Note #115: Advent Reflections #1

I just did a quick online search for Advent calendars and discovered that you can buy Advent calendars at Target, Walmart, and on the Etsy site.  They’re everywhere.  I also noticed that almost all of them are incorrect.  All of the Advent calendars I looked at start on December 1, and five out of every … Continue reading Pastor Note #115: Advent Reflections #1

Bible Note #48: Justice for the Weak–Ezekiel 34:11-22

Here God proclaims his love.  God proclaims the bias of his heart.  God proclaims the direction of movement of his heart. photo by GAC Above all, he is for the weak.  Above all, he is for the vulnerable, the wounded, the broken, the lost.  (Does this sound familiar?  “For the Son of Man came to … Continue reading Bible Note #48: Justice for the Weak–Ezekiel 34:11-22

Quote of Note #115: God, Who Is Rich in Mercy

The Spokane River in downtown Spokane, WA; photo by GAC "Perhaps you have difficulty receiving the rich mercy of God in Christ not because of what others have done to you but because of what you've done to torpedo your life, maybe through one, big, stupid decision or maybe through ten thousand little ones. You … Continue reading Quote of Note #115: God, Who Is Rich in Mercy

Quote of Note #114: “The Friend of Sinners”

Photo by GAC "Time and again it is the morally disgusting, the socially reviled, the inexcusable and undeserving, who do not simply receive Christ but to whom Christ most naturally gravitates. He is, by his enemies' testimony, the 'friend of sinners.' (Luke 7:34)." Dane Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and … Continue reading Quote of Note #114: “The Friend of Sinners”