Pastor's Blog

Why do we celebrate the Lord’s Supper every single Sunday? It’s a question that comes up in almost every membership class, and I’m always happy to answer it!

Historically, our church has roots in the Plymouth Brethren tradition, and one of the distinctives of the Brethren is a weekly observance of Communion. Our continuation of that practice is, in the first place, a humble...

What’s the difference between a church and a gathering of random Christians? Could we call it “church” when we gather with others in a small group? Is the youth group sort of a little church? We could probably discuss these questions endlessly, but for the purpose of this column I want to use church history as my reference point. Christians throughout history have used two primary marks to...

What can we do as a church to make a difference in the ongoing struggle over race relations in our country? Last week I wrote that, first of all, we must pray. Second, we have to educate ourselves and think clearly. Oversimplified answers usually make things worse.

Third, we must answer the gospel’s call to sacrifice. To surrender. To move away from comfort and toward need. Most of us...

In prior weeks, I’ve suggested that the way forward in race relations will be found 1) when our country lives up to its own ideals and 2) through the presence and ministry of Christ’s church. We in the church have answers and resources that aren’t available anywhere else—the gospel, the Spirit, and the love of Christ. This is our time!

But what should we actually do to make a...

Since 1776, our country has professed certain truths to be self-evident, namely, “that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These are (some of) our country’s founding presuppositions. This has been our long-standing profession. These are our self-conscious values....

A Google search on Friday morning revealed that Ferguson is still making the news. Here are some of this week’s headlines: “Ferguson Authorities Look to Identify, Prosecute Looters”; “Faith leaders gather to discuss Ferguson going forward”; “Ferguson Police Begin Testing 'Less Lethal' Gun Attachment.” Obviously, the Ferguson story matters, and it doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon...

Two months ago in this column, I said I wanted to write something about Ferguson. Typically, I process information pretty quickly, formulate my own response, and let it rip. But this one took me a while, for several reasons.

For one, I’ve been blessed to have close friends on both sides of the story, and I needed some time to listen well. (By the way, I hope you do, too. I sincerely...

        All believers acknowledge that prayer is a central, necessary part of the Christian life. Most pray at least a little bit, some more than others. Yet almost all would admit that their prayer lives are less than what they should be, especially when they think about these examples:

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus...

Martin Luther suggested: “As it is the business of tailors to make clothes and of cobblers to mend shoes, so it is the business of Christians to pray.” He’s certainly right, judging from texts like: “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17) and “Be constant in prayer” (Rom 12:12). Many Christians find, however, that diligent prayer is one of the most difficult and least consistent disciplines in...

In a few weeks, Lord willing, we will install several new individuals to the office of deacon. But people often wonder: what exactly do deacons do? I believe Acts 6:1-7 gives us our fullest introduction to diaconal ministry. In this passage, certain needy widows in the Jerusalem church were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. The church responded by installing qualified men...

WHY PRAY TOGETHER?

The famous Puritan commentator Matthew Henry once said: “Whenever God is preparing to do something great in the earth, He first sets His people a-praying!” God must be preparing to do something great, because we’ve been experiencing a growing desire to pray together at Parker Hills. To stir up that desire even more, here are a few reasons praying...


 

Imagine you’re an astronaut involved in a mission to repair a critical satellite in space.  During your space walk—the time you’re outside the shuttle and totally dependent on the lines to the ship—your connection becomes severed. Yet you continue to apply yourself to the task: after all, this is a very important satellite and besides, your...

In reading through Matthew’s account of Jesus’ birth a while back, I noticed what appeared to be an embarrassing mistake he made in applying a verse from Isaiah to Jesus’ birth. Here’s the passage:

As Joseph considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife…. She will bear a son,...

Was Jesus born on December 25? Probably not. The Bible doesn’t specify a date or even a month, but what little evidence we have points to a time for Jesus’ birth sometime in the fall, not the winter.

Nonetheless, Christians have commemorated Jesus’ birth on December 25 for well over 1,000 years. The first recorded “Feast of the Nativity” on December 25 was held in Rome in AD 336....

I want to write something about Ferguson while it’s still pressing itself in on our national awareness, but I’ll just admit—I don’t quite have my own thoughts together yet on it. These are incredibly complex issues, and I don’t want to oversimplify either the issues themselves or the biblical response(s). So stay tuned. For today, I’m reissuing a column I wrote several months ago which...

Syndicate content