No matter what work you have been called to today, Martin Luther has a word for you: "God could easily give you grain and fruit without your plowing and planting. But He does not want to do so. . . . What else is all our work to Godwhether in the fields, in the garden, in the city, in the house, in war, or in governmentbut just such a child's performance, by which He want...Keep Reading
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How can God justly forgive you? The theological answer: it’s not the relative badness of one’s sins that matters, but the worth of the sacrifice given by God, for the forgiveness of sins. Leave in place the badness of what Bundy, Duch and you have done. Do not minimize it for a moment. But Jesus, the perfect Son of God, God in flesh, was an even greater, infinitely more valuable sacrifice, more valuable than even the worth destroyed by all the murders of the whole world. ...
There are three common characteristics of Community or Discipleship Groups or friendships that are faithful and useful and healthy over the long-term: • Deliberately Gospeled • Attentive Friendship • Consistently Missional:...
In our church we want to make space for children to be in church with their parents, almost regardless of age. The purpose is not to fawn over children, or to make our worship kid-centric instead of God-centered. It is instead to raise up young adults who are authentic worshipers of God. Reflecting on this endeavor, and without repeating what was shared in last week's semi...Keep Reading
Our modern, technological age speeds us up. In many respects, this is good: we get more good things done in less time. But one downfall is that we forget ourselves, and we forget God. In this sense, it's true: speed kills. Actually, that's not quite right. To quote an old comedian, it's not the speed that kills you - it's the sudden stop. We don't realize how fast we're g...Keep Reading
We have just spent the last few months or days sorting through claims and counterclaims, of the worth of this or that candidate or referendum. We're tried to be wise and discerning, to make the right voting decisions for our country. It would seem then that we can rest, but today the real important work begins for us, as Christians. The last chapter of Hosea points the way...Keep Reading
I recently had a conversation with Josh Hix about the gifts that God gives each one of us, from 1 Corinthians 12. All references below come from that chapter. I appreciated and was encouraged by his thoughts, and asked him to write them for a Pastor's Note. Here they are: It is the Spirit of God who "apportions [spiritual gifts] to each one individually as he wills" (v11)...Keep Reading
Two events in the life of our church passed by this week, that are deeply connected, though not at all on the surface: the introduction of a "white paper" by our elders, on our changed understanding of the Bible's teaching on divorce and remarriage, and Halloween. Divorce and Halloween? Yes, when we consider what Christians were experiencing on October 31st, 500 years ago...Keep Reading