Pastor's Blog

 

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...

This is the eighth (and final!) column in a series I’m writing to describe our goals and values for corporate worship. So far, I’ve said that we want our worship gatherings to be God-centered, cross-centered, and Scripture-saturated. We also value congregational engagement, cultural sensitivity, creative excellence, personal expressiveness, and musical variety. Our final value is ...

This is the seventh column in a series I’m writing to describe our goals and values for corporate worship. If you’ve not noticed by now, let me point out how these explanations are structured. Each value discussion begins with a series of “we believe” statements, followed by several practical implications. Beliefs first, behaviors second. Makes sense, right? What we believe always gives rise...

Newsflash: The election season is over. Mercifully, the ads have disappeared, the mud has stopped flying, and the pressure on voters has eased, at least for a little while. I don’t know if Tuesday’s results left you pleased, concerned, or somewhere in between. But I do know that the gospel has something important to say about what Christians expect from their government and how they pray about...

I’ll continue the “worship values” series next week. Today, I need to interrupt that theme to report on our search for a Minister for Middle School and High School Students. As most of you know, Tom Benedict served as our Minister for HS Students for almost 6 years; but he recently resigned to join the Air National Guard. (Let me encourage you to be praying for Tom and Crystal while he is in...

 

This is the sixth in a series of columns I’m writing to describe our goals and values for corporate worship. So far, I’ve said that we want our worship gatherings to be God-centered, cross-centered, and Scripture-saturated. We also value congregational engagement and cultural sensitivity. Two more this week: creative excellence and expressiveness.

Regarding ...

I’m writing an extended series of columns describing our goals and values for corporate worship. So far, I’ve said that we want our worship gatherings to be God-centered, cross-centered, and Scripture-saturated. Last week, I wrote about congregational engagement. Some churches want their predominant sound to be a gritty, cutting-edge musical style. Other churches like a resounding pipe organ....

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 several weeks, I’ve been answering these questions, one value at a time. So far, I’ve explained that we want our worship gatherings to be God-centered, cross-centered, and Scripture saturated.

Our fourth value for corporate worship is...

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....

    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...

    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...

    Professor Timothy Wilson ran a study indicating that spending 15 minutes alone with our thoughts is so difficult that half of people cheat by doing something else.  When given the option, half choose to give themselves a painful electric shock as a distraction.
    What does Jesus call on his followers to be like?  Should we be reflective or...

    Our age is a marvel.  Earlier generations worked very hard just to get food, much less a balanced diet; but we easily and inexpensively buy fresh out of season food from around the world.
    What is still difficult, and perhaps more difficult since we’re used to getting things we want quickly and easily, is love.  Being rich in goods but poor...

  Is someone with fifty million dollars rich?  What if he borrowed it overnight and now owes thousands in interest? 
    The book, “The Millionaire Next Door”, systematically demolishes stereotypes of what a rich person looks like and acts like.  They don’t tend to have inherited their wealth, own fancy cars, buy the latest fashions, or collect...

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