Quote of Note #141: The Power of Love

Western Pennsylvania Woodland Scene; photo by GAC "[L]ove is the only force that can transform an enemy into a friend. We never get rid of an enemy by meeting hate with hate; we get rid of an enemy by getting rid of enmity. By its very nature, hate destroys and tears down; by its very … Continue reading Quote of Note #141: The Power of Love

Quote of Note #140: My Resurrection

Lilac buds; photo by GAC "Thou wilt come to raise my body from the dust, and re-unite it to my soul, by a wonderful work of infinite power and love, greater than that which bounds the ocean's waters, ebbs and flows the tides, keeps the stars in their courses, and gives life to all creatures." … Continue reading Quote of Note #140: My Resurrection

Quote of Note #139: Christ’s Last Words for Us

Photo by GAC "Alas! it was also for me that Thou didst pray, 'Forgive them!' Forgive my soul whatever it has done against Thee! For me Thou didst cry: 'My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?' in order that I might never be forsaken, not in the hour of death, not in my … Continue reading Quote of Note #139: Christ’s Last Words for Us

Quote of Note #138: Hope and Help in Christ

photo by GAC "In [Christ] the enslaved find redemption, the guilty pardon, the unholy renovation; in him are everlasting strength for the weak, unsearchable riches for the needy, treasures of wisdom and knowledge for the ignorant, fullness for the empty." Arthur Bennett, The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions. Carlisle, PA: … Continue reading Quote of Note #138: Hope and Help in 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

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 #116: Advent Reflection #2

[Note: This post is the script for a video reflection that I posted to my YouTube channel. To view this particular video click here.] I first began making my “Pastor Gary’s Video Notebook” videos in March 2020 when the coronavirus shutdown came to my community and my church.  I had a number of goals for … Continue reading Pastor Note #116: Advent Reflection #2

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