Pastor's Blog

How would you like to get outfitted for a 10-day hike through Yellowstone National Park, have all your maps and routes and campsites lined up, get dropped off at your trailhead, pull out your compass, and suddenly realize that this vital piece of wilderness equipment is broken. (Don’t tell me you always bring a backup. I’m the one writing this story, not you!) In that situation, nobody would...

Most of the biggest decisions in my life were determined by single, casual conversations along the way. Moments that appeared to be completely ordinary turned out to be life changing. Talks I hadn’t even planned turned to topics I hadn’t considered, and everything changed.

For example, one afternoon during my senior year of college, I stopped by the registrar’s office to confirm that I...

If we lost the Old Testament, would we lose anything in our understanding of Jesus Christ and the gospel? If the Romans Road is all we really need to know, why bother with all that other stuff like manna, the tabernacle, the Promised Land, genealogies, laws, kings, and prophets?

Apparently, Jesus Himself thought the OT was pretty helpful for knowing Him: “Beginning with Moses and all the...

I remember one particularly disturbing family dinner from years ago, when our kids were much younger. Not that it was disturbing to me. No, I was fine. It was the kids who were bothered. They couldn’t sit still. They kept turning away from their plates, twisting around in their chairs, and looking across the room behind them. They were utterly obsessed and perplexed by something over on the...

Last week, our elders published the draft of a new church constitution and asked all of you to examine it, pray over it, and prepare to discuss it with the elders over the next couple weeks before we (Lord willing) vote to adopt it.

A constitution is, of course, an extremely important document in the life of any church. It helps the church maintain order and preserve unity. It offers...

Today our elders are publishing a new church constitution for our members and friends to examine, pray over, and discuss with the elders over the next couple months. If this new governing document meets with strong approval from our congregation, on March 6 the elders will bring a formal vote to adopt it; and, if the Lord wills, we will begin to function under it on May 15. All of this (and...

Last week I wrote that the church exists to display the glory of God. I quoted Charles Bridges, the 19th century Anglican pastor, who wrote: “[The church] is the grand scene in which the perfections of Jehovah are displayed to the universe.”

Bridges goes on to mention another, equally important purpose of the church. He argues that the church and its ministers exist for, as he...

 

“THE Church is the mirror that reflects the whole effulgence [i.e., brilliant radiance] of the Divine character. It is the grand scene in which the perfections of Jehovah are displayed to the universe.” So begins Charles Bridges’ classic book The Christian Ministry—with an emphatic statement on the purpose of the local church.

Before you read...

The Heidelberg Catechism, written in Germany in 1563 as a tool to promote instruction and unity in the Christian faith, opens with this question: “What is your only comfort in life and in death?”

The answer: “That I am not my own, but belong body and soul, in life and in death to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ. Christ has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood and has set...

Getting together with family this Christmas? Here’s a tip:

Don’t be a Satanist.

I’m not joking, and I’m not exaggerating. I guarantee things will go better for everyone if you don’t follow Satan this Christmas. Let me explain…

Satan’s sin was, of course, pride. He was too jealous of God to enjoy heaven, and too full of himself to remain a citizen there. Satan’s theme song isn...

I love Luke 2:10. It’s a quote from the angel to the shepherds on that first Christmas night: “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy!” Just moments ago, the shepherds were utterly terrified. But now, great fear is replaced with great joy. How? Because of good news. What makes the angel’s statement particularly interesting is that he uses the verb often used for preaching the...

How did the angel say it that night? “Unto you is born this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” In that one sentence, we have the heart and soul of Christianity. It’s volumes of doctrine in one line. It’s the gospel in miniature.

If He is “the Lord,” this child was somehow supreme over all, their King, their Sovereign. Not Caesar, not Herod, but Jesus. The meaning of Christmas...

One of our yearly traditions at Parker Hills is to observe Advent for the four Sundays leading to Christmas. Short readings, candle lightings, and a Christmas-themed sermon series are the central features of our tradition. It’s a special time, but we don’t do it just because it’s nice. There are bigger reasons.

First, it provides us with a unique opportunity to demonstrate our unity with...

What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

I love the pairing of this answer with this question. The psalmist asks: “What can I give God in return for the favor He has shown to me?” Potential answers tumble into my mind by the...

Why do we endeavor to memorize the Scriptures together, and why do we feature an “SOS verse” in our worship service every week? Here are a few reasons.

The Bible is the most stabilizing, clarifying, life-changing force God has given us. When the Spirit wields the word, it’s a devastating weapon against unbelief, fear, pride, lust, greed, anger, laziness, self-pity, foolishness,...

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