Pastors' Notes

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Led by a King, Living Like Kings

In the past few weeks we've heard from the pulpit the characteristics and roles of leaders in the church (1 Tim. 3:1-7; 5:17-25). These ancient words map back on to yet still-more ancient words. For instance, Deuteronomy 17:14-20. When Israel anoints a king, he needs to do one thing negatively (put in three parts), and one thing positively. The negative: he is to keep him...

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Privileging the Living

The disease of our age: to think that we are morally superior to every other generation that's ever lived. "I would never have allowed _________ if I had lived then." To paraphrase Chesterton, we are open-minded to everything and everyone except those who happen to be dead. But is there anything in our culture, or worse yet, among Christians, that we might be ashamed to ow...

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Millennial Primer

A Premillennial Primer (orWhat we are NOT voting about in the special congregational meeting after church this Sunday) This Sunday after church we will be holding a special congregational meeting to discuss and vote on one issue: "Should our church vote 'yes' on the proposed amendment to our denomination's Statement of Faith at the upcoming national conference?" You alr...

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Our New Redemption Group

Beginning in June, we will be providing a "Redemption Group". I want to share more of what this is all about. It is not a Community Group, and not a Discipleship Group. But as you will see, it feeds into both. It is not group therapy; we are not licensed for that in Utah. It is not, per se, group counseling. So what is it? It is a small group where participants tell thei...

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Our Response to the Culture Wars

A statistic, and an observation. First, the statistic. Most Christians, in 2060, will live in a) United States, and b) Africa.⁠1 If it proves to be true, the reality in Corinth in the first century will exist across the globe: "the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you...

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e·thos: the characteristic spirit of a community.

In our church, we employ two different types of groups. One of them is likely meeting in your area on Sunday: Community Groups. These groups are meant to possess the ethos of a "love feast". It's the same ethos that everyone wants in a family: to be welcomed, to be known, to be safe, to be connected, to be part of something bigger than ourselves. On Sunday, that "bigger t...

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Easter and Oktoberfest

What shall we do with Easter, after Easter is over? To ask such a question is a good sign; it means Easter had its intended effect on us. But the question remains. There are many threats to "keeping Easter". But one of the most dangerous, and the most pernicious, because it is so subtle, is the threat of "trends". Fads are different. For pastors to have or have not facial...

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The Scandalous Invitation

(See Luke 19:1-10). Zacchaeus never saw him coming. Literally - the "wee little man" was probably kept from seeing Jesus deliberately by the crowds, out of spite, and hatred. Zacchaeus was the boss of tax collectors - a legalized pimp of professional extortioners, all with authority from Rome to fleece their own people in order to return taxes due to Caesar. Zacchaeus was...

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Why Kids in Church

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. Psalm 119:18 The thorniest issues, once sorted out, always reveal profitable truths. One such issue is whether to include younger children in corporate worship. Several competing interests and questions intersect here: the desire for parents and those nearby the kids to listen to a sermon uninterrupted; ...

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"I'll pray for you."

"OK, wow, I'll pray for you." Fewer words are more powerful, and are spoken more often so tritely. "I'll pray for you." What do we mean by "for"? I'll pray FOR you? Our default is to think that praying FOR another means praying ALONGSIDE them - essentially repeating what the other person has asked for, longing for, etc. This is not wrong, in and of itself. But the most po...

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