Quote of Note #78: Training for a New Kingdom

"Yes, I believe that the kingdoms of this world, American, Venezuelan, and Chinese, will become the kingdom of our God and Christ, and I believe this new kingdom is already among us.  That is why I'm a pastor, to introduce people to the real world and train them to live in it.  I learned early … Continue reading Quote of Note #78: Training for a New Kingdom

Quote of Note #66 — A Pastor’s Vision

"I’m one hundred times more passionate about creating Christians and churches that will be faithful, biblical, countercultural, and spiritually minded in a socialist America, in a Muslim America, in a communist America, than I am in preventing a Muslim America or a communist America. That puts me in a very different ballpark than many public … Continue reading Quote of Note #66 — A Pastor’s Vision

Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

In the 1960s it was the Age of Aquarius.  (If you’re much younger than I am, you probably don’t understand that reference.)  We are now in the Age of Offense.  Everybody is offended these days.  Everybody has become touchy.  We all tend to take everything personally.  We have begun to use the things that offend … Continue reading Pastor Note #78: Christian Witness in an Age of Offense

Pastor Note #69: Death and the Victory of Christ

DEATH AND THE VICTORY OF CHRIST: Living and Dying Well You are going to die.  So am I.  This is a fundamental and unavoidable truth for all human beings, and how we deal with that great truth can have a profound impact on how well we live and on how well we die.  Sadly, many … Continue reading Pastor Note #69: Death and the Victory of Christ

Sermon #61 — Healing and the Mission of God: The Healing Purpose of God

Our natural and unashamed expectation should be that where the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, healing -- miraculous, supernatural healing -- should be present.  Although it is the case that miraculous healings can and do serve as confirmation of the truthfulness of the preaching, that isn't the more important reason why gospel preaching and … Continue reading Sermon #61 — Healing and the Mission of God: The Healing Purpose of God

Pastor Note #58 — One Pastor’s Annual Report to his Congregation in Pursuit of God’s Presence

WHO ARE WE? As I mentioned in a recent sermon, I have been listening to a recording of a series of lectures given by one of my former seminary professors, Dr. Gordon Fee, who has written a great number of wonderfully helpful and insightful books and articles, especially on the New Testament.  In one of … Continue reading Pastor Note #58 — One Pastor’s Annual Report to his Congregation in Pursuit of God’s Presence

Prayer Note #48 — A Preachers Prayer to Be Used Rightly by the Word of God

[Yes, that's what I meant to say: "to be used rightly by the word of God."] Your word, Lord, is alive and powerful in the ears of faith. Grant me believing ears, so that I will hear your word clearly and welcome your word warmly into my mind, my heart, and my life. My calling … Continue reading Prayer Note #48 — A Preachers Prayer to Be Used Rightly by the Word of God

Prayer Note #46 — A Channel of Blessing: a Pastor’s Prayer

[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

Pastor Note #55 — The Joy and Humility of Pastoral Ministry

  Last Fall, I passed my thirtieth anniversary in pastoral ministry.  At one of its meetings around that time, our presbytery recognized those of us who were marking anniversaries in multiples of five –tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, etc.  They started with the smaller anniversaries and worked up.  It took them a little while to get to … Continue reading Pastor Note #55 — The Joy and Humility of Pastoral Ministry