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Archives for December 2016

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2016 Writing in Review

A number of years ago, I started cataloguing all that I have written over the course of the year. I decided to do this mainly for the congregation that the Lord has called me to pastor. However, I also do it for those who read my blog on a regular basis. To that end, it is my sincere desire that a compilation of what I wrote in 2016 will, in some small way, serve as a ben...

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The Future of Emptiness

2016 has come and gone. As the Steve Miller Band so mesmerizingly reminded us in 1976, "Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin' into the future." We are, in many respects, now living in George and Judy's world. What was once considered impossible (or, was only dreamed of as being possible) is now part of the very fabric of the everyday experience of those living in th...

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The Minister's Grit

You discovered his music years before any of your friends or the mainstream media had ever heard of him. You saw him perform in a venue that held 50-100 people. You were excited the first time you heard one of his songs playing on a commercial or being covered by someone on a national performance show. Then he sold out. The gritty voice, guitar playing and lyrics slow...

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Sinful Anger: Its Cause and Cure

Pride fuels self-righteousness, self-righteousness fuels sinful anger and sinful anger fuels destructive thoughts, words and actions. Who among us has not known what it is to have sinful anger in our hearts? Who among us has not harbored a sinful longing for ill-will or revenge toward one who has hurt us--even if only momentarily? This sinful desire for retaliation is o...

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Joseph Did You Know?

I recently spent some time driving around our community in order to see the way in which Joseph was portrayed in the various nativity scenes that people set up in their front yards. There was everything from cartoon bug eyed Joseph to haloed Joseph to--and this was most interesting--a nativity scene in which Joseph was noticeably absent. The reason why the latter capture...

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Keeping Our Church Vows

When we examine and receive members in our local churches in the Presbyterian Church in America, we ask those coming for membership to take five vows: 1. Do you acknowledge yourselves to be sinners in the sight of God, justly deserving His displeasure, and without hope save in His sovereign mercy? 2. Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and Savior of ...

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Low Expectations...

"I really like the music;" "the community is wonderful;" "there are so many ways to get involved;" "their children's ministry is great;" "God really seems to be moving here." These are among the most common reasons that I hear when people explain why they have joined a particular church. In fact, I have rarely heard people say, "We joined our church because it had the most...

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