Category Archives: Pastor’s Blog

Reflections on Freedom

galatians-5-13

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then,
and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
-Galatians 5:1

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
-John 8:36

It is Monday, July 4, as I write this – Independence Day 2016.   Festival of the Bells has left town, the fireworks are over, the cookouts and parties complete (or nearly so), and the flags will soon be put away.

We say that it is “freedom” we celebrate, but I wonder . . .  Continue reading

Shadow & Darkness

Valley of the Shadow of DeathEven though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil, for You are with me.
-Psalm 23:4

Several years ago I went on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. My friends Daryl and Frank invited me to join them on an elk hunt in the Colorado Rockies—on horseback no less. On that particular morning we got up long before the light of day in order to reach the spot in the mountains where Daryl and Frank’s scouting expeditions indicated we had the best chance of bagging the large bull elk they had been tracking. The huge elk’s predictable pattern brought him through a particular pass at nearly the same time every morning on his way from the National Forest to the National Park. Continue reading

Because I Said So

[Jesus] said to Simon,
“Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

  Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.
But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
-Luke 5:4-5

We’ve all heard it. We’ve all hated hearing it. Yet if you are a parent, an employer, or in any other position of real, or supposed, authority, you have played this trump card: “Because I said so.”

“Take out thebecause i said so garbage please.”
“Why?”
“Because I said so.”

“Missy, clean up your room.”
“Why?”
“Because I said so.”

“Joe, you need to finish your homework before you go over to Steve’s.”
“Why?”
“Because I said so.”

“Frank, you need to have those signed reports on my desk by 10:00 tomorrow morning.”
“Why?”
“Because I said so.”

Don’t you just hate that? Continue reading

Unexpected Surprise & Big Dreams

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power,
together with all the Lord’s holy people,
to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—
that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in
Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

-Ephesians 3:17-21

I know—unexpected surprise sounds a little redundant. After all isn’t any surprise unexpected? But there are surprises, and then there are SURPRISES! Continue reading

Teamwork

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work
we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
-Acts 20:35

Late Sunday afternoon, September 27, fourteen cyclists and half a dozen or so support staff from Ends of the Earth Cycling rolled into town and spent the night in our building. They were on a quest to raise funds for two housing units for an orphanage fMWBR2015_Riders & Crewor the disabled in Kherson, Ukraine. This is the same city I was privileged to serve in Jesus’ name and visit on three separate occasions in the 1990’s. It was an honor to host Ends of the Earth Cycling, and also to ride with them on Monday, the third day of their journey, from Hillsboro to Grove City.

When I arrived at the church building on Monday morning at 7:30 our guests were up, packed, breakfasted and ready to roll. Taking a vacation day to ride with them, I was ready (for the most part) but apprehensive. This would be a relatively long ride (64 miles) with a good bit of time spent riding on U.S. 62 (not my favorite thing to do). The cyclists split themselves into two groups; one that would travel at a rather brisk pace and one that would travel at what I would call a more sensible pace.

Which group would I ride with . . . hmm? Continue reading

For Such a Time as This

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight . . .
for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty
and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
-Isaiah 5:20-21, 24b

The bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was, as FDR declared, “a day that will live in infamy.” Since that time there are other such days for our nation. Continue reading

I Can See

EyesDo you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?
And don’t you remember?
-Mark 8:18

Sitting in the examination chair I said, “I have had such an unrelenting headache directly behind my left eye for three days that I’m afraid I may have a tumor.”

“Let’s take a look,” Dr. Leah said.

After studying with intense scrutiny and piercing light through special optical instruments, Dr. Leah leaned back and said, “No. You don’t have a tumor. I believe you have Shingles.” Continue reading