Pastor Note #99: Following Jesus in a Time of Pandemic, Poisonous Politics, and Social Unrest

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

Pastor Note #98: Hearing Our Neighbors’ Cry of Distress: A White Pastor Talks to his White Congregation about Race

A Sermon Preached on June 7, 2020 These are very challenging times for our society.  We all like church to be a place of comfort, peace, and ease.  But sometimes it just can’t be like that.  Sometimes we have to wrestle with hard and uncomfortable things.  And that’s what we’re going to do today. If … Continue reading Pastor Note #98: Hearing Our Neighbors’ Cry of Distress: A White Pastor Talks to his White Congregation about Race

Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Medical experts widely agree that the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is spread by minute droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of the mouth and nose of someone who is infected by the virus.  Those droplets contain the virus.  The viruses in those droplets find their way into the eyes, nose, or mouth of … Continue reading Pastor Note #97: A Christian Rationale for Social Distancing in a Time of Pandemic

Pastor Note #96: Why I Wear a Mask, My Badge of Love

For me it is quite simple.  I wear a mask because I don’t want to make anyone else sick.  I wear a mask to protect the people around me. The Covid-19 virus, like most other respiratory viruses, is spread mostly by tiny droplets of saliva and mucus that come out of our mouths and noses … Continue reading Pastor Note #96: Why I Wear a Mask, My Badge of Love

Pastor Note #92: Living Out Love

There are many factors that help a church to be healthy and effective—biblical and theological faithfulness, creativity and boldness in outreach, members who are diligent and committed to growing in their faith.  But few things can wreck a church faster than bad relational ethics.  Relational ethics in a church are one of the most important … Continue reading Pastor Note #92: Living Out Love

Quote of Note #93: Loving with our Words

"Love's virtues are described as patient and kind, and not arrogant, rude, or irritable.  The opposite of loving others is selfishness, or the love of self.  So if you hear words funneling out of your mouth that are unkind, ungracious, and condemning, you can know that those words are not showing love to the person … Continue reading Quote of Note #93: Loving with our Words

Quote of Note #89: Christian Discipleship as Love

"Being a disciple of Jesus is not primarily a matter of getting the right ideas and doctrines and beliefs into our heads in order to guarantee proper behavior; rather, it's a matter of being the kind of person who loves rightly -- who loves God and neighbor and is oriented to the world by the … Continue reading Quote of Note #89: Christian Discipleship as Love

Quote of Note #67 — “Prefer Others to Ourselves”

"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”

Quote of Note #41: Love

"If you ask twenty good men today what they thought the highest of virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness.  But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love.  You see what has happened?  A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of … Continue reading Quote of Note #41: Love

Quote of Note #34: Self-Sacrificial Service

"At the height of the [Roman] persecution, a plague broke out.  Fearing contagion, pagans dumped members of their own families in the street when they got sick.  But Christians, Eusebius said, 'heedless of the danger, took charge of the sick, attending to their every need and ministering to them. . . drawing on themselves the … Continue reading Quote of Note #34: Self-Sacrificial Service