Pastor's Blog

Palm Sunday: the day Christians remember the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on the Sunday before His death and resurrection. As He rode along, the festive crowd shouted: “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Lk 19:38 NLT) For Jesus, it was the deliberate and self-conscious fulfillment of a five-hundred year old prophecy from Zechariah: “Rejoice greatly, O...

Over 250 years ago today, John Newton found God. Better said, God found him. Early in the morning hours of March 21, 1748, a violent sea woke Newton from sleep. Fearing that his ship was sinking, he attempted to rush up the ladder onto the deck but was met by the captain commanding him to go back and get a knife. Horrified, Newton watched as the crewman who climbed the ladder in his place was...

Benefit #10 that the Lord brought into my life through the burglary at our house: I’ve developed a much deeper appreciation for how my sin affects God. Here’s what I mean. One afternoon I was complaining to God about how violated I felt by this crime—someone breaking into MY house, taking MY things, creating significant inconvenience for ME. And suddenly I realized how ironic this whole...

Another installment of benefits the Lord has brought my way through the burglary at our house:

8. I’ve developed a new appreciation for God’s providence. Numerous little circumstances demonstrate that He was in complete control the whole time. For example, the weekend the break-in occurred, a friend had borrowed one of my shotguns—the far nicer one, the one that’s been in our...

Continuing the list of benefits the Lord has brought my way through the burglary at our house:

6.   We have noticed a growing sense of commitment developing within the Parker Hills family, and it seems God often uses trials in the community to draw people even closer together. Of course, we are hardly the only family in the church who have faced a trial recently, nor is ours...

Last week I began listing ten of the benefits the Lord has brought into my life as a direct result of the burglary at our house last month. Here’s more:

3.   God dealt with the idol in my heart of false treasure. Jesus expressly warns: “Do not lay up treasures on earth, …where thieves break in and steal” (Mt 6:19); but I’ll be doggoned if I hadn’t gone and done just that! The...

As most all of you know, five weeks ago today one of our vehicles and our house were burglarized. We’re grateful for the encouragement you’ve given and the love you’ve shown to us in our small trial, and we want to thank you for that. But the main reason I’m bringing it up is to share with you TEN specific benefits the Lord has brought into our lives through this incident. (We’ll see how many...

One of my frequent prayer requests for the PHBF family is that we would be a church filled with people who deliberately apply the word. Not just hearers but doers. Changing our lives, not just filling our heads. Jesus’ brother James was also deeply concerned that Christians apply the word, and he suggested three practical tests to see how well we are doing. Read James 1:26-27 and then ask...

Drawing on James 1:22-25, last week’s column reminded us to approach the word expecting to change. But it can feel depressing and burdensome to look at our problems all the time and add stuff to our spiritual “to do” list! Just in case that’s how you feel, notice how James describes the Bible in verse 25: “the perfect law, the law of liberty.” Applying the Bible, rather than being restrictive...

The point of James 1:22-25 is abundantly clear. If you’re not familiar with it, take a sec and look it up. We don’t impress God by how much of the Bible we’ve heard. He’s looking for what we’ve done with it. We’re duped if we think our knowledge of the Bible—or our daily reading of the Bible—proves much of anything. (But do keep reading every day!!)

James uses a mirror analogy to make...

If there is one key to getting more out of your Bible reading, it’s asking the right questions of the passage you're reading. This practice gets our minds working, pondering, thinking. If we don’t ask questions, we have the tendency to see only what we expect to see in the Bible. But if we read more slowly and look hard at what we find, questions will start to form in our mind. For example, is...

Do you have a goal when you read your Bible? Is there something in particular that you are looking for—some additional duty, an intriguing factoid, an inspiring verse? Or do you just read to get your reading done? Here’s a suggestion from George Mueller, the great man of prayer and faith:

The first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my...

I don't know about you, but I love New Year's Eve. Part of it is the host of special memories I associate with December 31: Harlem Globetrotters’ games, my first adolescent crush, my first sermon in Aundrea’s church… But backward-looking memories aren’t my main attraction to New Year’s Eve. Forward-looking aspirations are.

One of the best things about New Year's Eve is the promise of a...

Last week I wrote about the many details of Christmas that show up again at Easter: exceptional humiliation, special announcements, fulfilled prophecies, and odd details about how He was clothed and where He was laid. Is there a point to these little similarities? I think so. It seems to me that these details are hints that we ought to see the birth of Christ in light of the death of Christ....

          Have you ever noticed the many parallel details between Jesus’ birth and His death? Both are marked by stunning humiliation. The humiliations of His birth—namely, the social status of His family, the tedious journey to Bethlehem, the rejection at the inn, the manger-bed—these details seem warm and wonderful to us now, all wrapped up in the...

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