Pastors' Notes

Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  • Featured Posts
  • All Posts

The Right to Not Be Disagreed With

Today's "Pastor's Note" is a guest post, by Fred Larsen, one of our members. Fred wrote the following for no one but himself, for the sole purpose of getting his own thinking straight on this subject. However, he let its existence slip out; I read it; I thought its quality and clarity demanded a wider audience; Fred relented; and now I share it with you. I'm thankful for t...

Keep Reading

Hospitality, Friendship and God

There has been a groundswell of interest in our church lately for connecting with one's neighbors in an authentic, useful way. This groundswell wraps three cords into one rope: the desire to live "outwardly" (you can find our "Outwards Living Plan" here); the desire to talk about God and his gospel in ways that are intelligent to the culture but do not dilute the truth; an...

Keep Reading

A Sandwich for Fear

Every writer in the Bible is Spirit-inspired yet still has a characteristic style. Here is one example of how grasping a writer's style can point you to his intended, rich meaning. Mark characteristically writes in "sandwiches" - two slices of bread, with the meat in the middle. The first "bread" sets up a problem; the "meat" often puts forth some kind of example that pre...

Keep Reading

Sports and Hikes on the Sabbath

Thinking about this past Sunday's sermon, and questions and comments that either I did not anticipate or left on the cutting room floor, about the Sabbath: 1. My kids [play a sport, do this activity, etc.] on Sunday's. I can't change the schedule. What do I do about that? First things first: the important thing is to carve out time with God, to encounter Him, in unhurried...

Keep Reading

Bettering the Netflix Solution

The CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, told the Wall Street Journal in 2016, "Fundamentally, we're about eliminating loneliness and boredom."⁠1 What is lost, when the "solution" to loneliness and boredom is entrusted to entertainment? Reed Hastings is right: solitary confinement, for us humans, is torture, because we are more than rational beings: below our reflective, rati...

Keep Reading

Kennedy and the Kingdom

The news that the President will add another Justice to the Supreme Court shocked everyone. Many on the conservative side cheer, hoping that this might bring new advances for the kingdom in our nation. On the one hand, we should rejoice and thank God when it seems He is rolling back injustice, through the means of human leaders. On the other hand, our perpetual temptation...

Keep Reading

Bleak Kids

With the end of the school year and summer, it seems good to reflect on the state of kids, and our kids. Recently a CDC report labeled teenagers' inner lives in America as "bleak"⁠1 - beyond the normal ups and downs of adolescence. Experts point to a handful of culprits: perfectionism - that life is not worth living if perfection cannot be achieved; performancism - that...

Keep Reading

A Big Deal

Sometimes our care for each other sucks. (There, you made me use that word that Momma told me never to use. But it's true. Sometimes we suck.) We don't mean to suck. But therein lies a big part of the problem: we don't know what lands on each other like an anvil, for two major reasons: those afflicted don't say so, and the afflictors assume that their words are at worst ne...

Keep Reading

Failure to Flourishing

The measure of our faith shows itself as much in the aftermath of failure as in the glow of attainment. Post-failure, Satan weaves his "best" lies. In these times the boots of faith must gain gritty traction, and hold. How? I offer a few thoughts from 1 Corinthians 1: Look to Jesus to regain hope. In 1 Cor. 1:4-9, Paul confidently states, about the seriously-messed-up-sin...

Keep Reading

When Serpents Bite Your Granny

Sometimes a post on some blog sticks with you, for your own good and the repeated good of others. I share one with you this week, from Mike Leake, written in 2012: "Perhaps the most offensive claim of the gospel is that a hate-filled cannibalistic child molester finds the same redemption and has an equal status in the eyes of God as your dear old church lovin', bake-sale ...

Keep Reading