Quote of Note #48: Finding Happiness

"Happiness is the great question confronting mankind.  The whole world is longing for happiness and it is tragic to observe the ways in which people are seeking it.  The vast majority, alas, are doing so in a way that is bound to produce misery.  Anything which, by evading the difficulties, merely makes people happy for … Continue reading Quote of Note #48: Finding Happiness

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Quote of Note #47: Being Part of What God Is Doing

"'The first thing to do in responding to God's presence and Word,' [Basil Pennington] repeatedly told me, 'is to notice what God is doing and to keep out of God's way.  The second is to align ourselves with and participate in God's transformational actions in the world.'  God is active and present in the world.  … Continue reading Quote of Note #47: Being Part of What God Is Doing

Bible Note #33: The Hairy Arms of Esau and the Embrace of God’s Grace — Genesis 33

This event – the reconciliation of Esau and Jacob – has long captured my imagination.  The rupturing of their relationship was overflowing with emotion.  So, it should be no surprise that the reconciliation here is also full of emotion.  There is also a large measure of raw, burly physicality in the reconciliation of these two … Continue reading Bible Note #33: The Hairy Arms of Esau and the Embrace of God’s Grace — Genesis 33

Pastor Note #82: Learning to Hear God’s Voice

From Digital Camera to Bird Songs When I got my first digital camera, photography opened up for me in a new and exciting way.  In the old days of film photography, every time you took a picture, it cost you half a dollar for the film and the processing.  That could run into money pretty … Continue reading Pastor Note #82: Learning to Hear God’s Voice

Pastor Note #81: The Problem with Hymns

Recently, in an on-line discussion forum for pastors in the Reformed tradition, I read a complaint by one of the participants that he could not comprehend the appeal of what are sometimes called “7-11” songs – praise choruses that, it is claimed, are seven words long and are repeated over and over eleven times.  He … Continue reading Pastor Note #81: The Problem with Hymns

Bible Note #32: Righteousness, Perseverance, and God’s Grace — Proverbs 24:16

“[F]or the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”  Proverbs 24:16 [ESV] I’ve been coming back to this verse a lot in the past couple of weeks.  It’s helped me a lot in thinking about grace, sanctification, and the life of following Jesus.  To fallen people living in … Continue reading Bible Note #32: Righteousness, Perseverance, and God’s Grace — Proverbs 24:16

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 #40: Humility and the Defeat of Demonic Strongholds

"Satan fears virtue.  He is terrified of humility; he hates it.  He sees a humble person, and it sends chills down his back.  His hair stands up when Christians kneel down, for humility is the surrender of the soul to God.  The devil trembles before the meek because, in the very areas where he once … Continue reading Quote of Note #40: Humility and the Defeat of Demonic Strongholds

Quote of Note #37: Salvation as Transformation

"What men call 'salvation' is simply the first stage of God's plan for our lives, which is to conform us in character and power to the image of Jesus Christ.  If we fail to see our relationship to God as such, we will allow too many areas within us to remain unchanged.  Pulling down strongholds … Continue reading Quote of Note #37: Salvation as Transformation

Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)

Jesus has come to redeem us from our oppression under and participation in the evil of a fallen world and to give us the calling of following in his footsteps. I have a friend whom I see from time to time. He’s involved in the life of a church, though I’ve never really talked to … Continue reading Bible Note #30: Making the World Good Again, through the Redeeming Love of Jesus (Mark 5:1-20)