Pastor's Blog

What are the values that unite us in our corporate worship? For what are we aiming when we gather together on Sunday morning?

For the last couple weeks, I’ve been answering these questions, one value at a time. Two weeks ago I described the primary value that unites us—namely, we want everything we do to be God-centered. Last week I discussed our intention to be consistently and...

What are the values that unite us in corporate worship? And what are we aiming for when we gather together on Sunday morning?

Last week I described the primary value that unites us on Sunday and every day—namely, we want our worship gatherings to be deliberately and manifestly God-centered. But there’s much more that unites us and gives direction to what we do on Sunday morning.

In...

Last week’s column was a meditation on the fact that, according to the New Testament, all of life is worship. Yet it remains true that our Sunday gathering is uniquely devoted to activities and attitudes of worship in a corporate sense. So how do we put those meetings together? What qualities characterize our worship services?

First and foremost, we want our Sunday gatherings to be God-...

Worship involves all of life. We worship when we desire or praise or surrender or obey or thank or serve or trust or rejoice or regret or love. Every one of these is an expression of worship because each of these indicates that something has value to us. In this sense, all of life is worship—not potential worship but actual worship of someone or something.

There is no...

God is not surprised to learn you have a brain. The opportunity to broaden your mind, enhance your skills, and increase your learning is a gift from God. Which is to say, school is a gift from God. I hope you’ll approach it that way this year.

Paul wrote, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” That little two-syllable word “whatever” sets the bar for...

Why is it so difficult to experience God as a personal reality in our daily lives?

Noise and distraction. It is utterly impossible to engage with God on the run. For thousands of years, Christians have testified from experience that intimacy with the Almighty requires solitude and silence—experiences that are all too hard to come by in the age of technology. Daily meditation on Scripture...

Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was reminded one day of a vicious deed that someone had done to her years before; but she acted as if she had never heard of the incident. “Don’t you remember it?” her friend asked. “No,” came Barton’s reply, “I distinctly remember forgetting it.”

The Apostle Peter assumes the need for such an attitude in the church when he writes: “Above...

There’s a discussion underway in the Christian world which is forcing churches to make a choice. Will we accept the authority of the word of God, or will we proceed under some other authority like personal experience, psychological interpretation, or subjective feelings?

The subject under discussion is same sex marriage, and the choice is ours. For my part, I am going to bank everything...

We claim to be a Bible based church, and I believe that is the genuine desire on most of our hearts. But are we willing to let the Bible be our basis for what we do with our body in our worship meetings?

Most of us respond to God’s worth with our bodies by standing, sitting, singing, listening, eating, and drinking at various times throughout our Sunday gathering. But what about the...

Last week I made an appeal for our whole congregation to respond to God in worship with every part of their being—mind, heart, and body—with an unapologetic emphasis on the body. My appeal was grounded on clear statements from the Bible and on our self-professed intention to base our church practice on its teaching. Here are a couple other reasons for physical expressiveness in corporate...

Imagine two unchurched guests named Zach and Nikki drop in on Parker Hills one random Sunday morning. Mildly curious about the Bible, they’re attracted by the inscription on the church sign: “Bible based, Christ centered.” They conclude that an easy way to learn what the Bible says about Jesus would be to watch how people worship Him at PHBF.

Now at lunch, Zach and Nikki are processing...

On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space and orbit the earth. The blow to the American psyche at losing this leg of the Space Race was deepened when reports began to circulate that, during his flight, Gagarin had commented: “I don’t see any God up here.”

Sometimes Christians are displeased by God’s apparent willingness to be ridiculed...

How do you know God exists? Part Three: GOODNESS

Atheists often attack Christianity because of all the evil and suffering in the world: “If there is a God, why is my life so hard?” It’s the so-called “problem of evil.” But there is an equal and opposite problem for atheism that we might call “the problem of good.” People everywhere have strong moral convictions...

How do you know God exists? Part Two: DESIGN

David’s meditation in Psalm 19 draws our attention to the finely tuned movements of the stars, particularly our own sun as it arcs across the sky: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. …In them he has set a tent for the sun,  which comes out like a bridegroom...

How do you know there is a God? Over the next three weeks, I’ll lay out three arguments in this column that are fairly easy to understand, easy to remember, and powerfully convincing: Origins, Design, and Goodness (= ODG or… GOD!). This week: ORIGINS.

For as long as Christians have engaged their critics, they have pointed to the existence of the universe as...

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