Quote of Note #144: Success & Power

Photo by GAC "You could say I was successful, but success is such a fleeting, arbitrary notion. Who decides what it is? Who determines whether you've achieved it? Does being crucified on a dung heap outside the walls of Jerusalem, cursed as someone lower than the beasts, spat upon, and mocked as he cried out … Continue reading Quote of Note #144: Success & Power

Bible Note #53: Colossians 3 Series–Raised with Christ

There is richness and deep truth to be found everywhere in the Bible, often in passages that might seem mundane and unremarkable at first glance.  In fact, that sounds like an interesting challenge.  So, maybe someday I’ll do a series of studies on some of those seemingly uninspiring passages of the Bible.  But for now, … Continue reading Bible Note #53: Colossians 3 Series–Raised with Christ

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