Showing posts from January, 2019

The Real Presence in Communion?

The real presence in communion is the real presence of the Body of Christ as believers are united together by faith. "Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry. I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf." (1 Corinthians 10:14-17 NIV84)

Visiting a friend, church member, or family member in the hospital can be a real challenge. What do I say? Can I or should I talk about Jesus? There's a lot to unpack! But here are two guiding foundation principles...

Should Christians Give to the Poor?

If people, even people in real need, are sometimes unappreciative, if we're going to get taken advantage of sometimes, why give at all? How do we give to the poor and those in need with a right heart? (Proverbs 19:17)

The Historical Reason for Christianity, II Corinthians 15:17

The Christian faith is not a blind leap in the dark. Our faith rests upon the historicity of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead!

What I think about Abortion? A Personal and Pastoral Response to NY Abortion Law.


Philippians 2:12-13. God Works in the Willing!


Sermon: Shelter from the Storms, John 16:33, January 20 2019.

Rooted 3 – “Peace in the Storm,” John 16:33
Introduction 6th grade camp lean-to story. Our self-built structures of safety will fail when the real storms of life hit. We need a great deal more than a lean-to!
CIT/CIS: The only lasting shelter is the power revealed in the Word of God.
Transition And what does God’s Word reveal about shelter from the real storms that blow into our lives? This morning I’m going to consider just three storms that we all face. (1) The Cyclone of Sin. (2) The Downpour of Disappointment. (3) The Hurricane of a lack of Hope.
Exposition: The Cyclone of Sin. The cyclone of sin is everybody’s problem. You think you’re fundamentally a good person and it doesn’t affect you? I think I’m essentially a good person because if judged on a scale I surely do more good than bad? If we’re to take God’s Word seriously, we better guess again!
We are not fundamentally “good” people when it comes to God’s Word but that’s not bad news. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world thr…

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Last summer, while in Haiti with a mission team, my family and other families and many of our friends and partners, I sat on the stage with a group of pastors in a packed church and heard a Haitian Pastor say, "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said he had a dream about children of every color playing together and living together. Today I have seen that dream fulfilled as I look around this church with people of every shade worshipping together."

Not until we go out of our way to get out of the way will God make these kinds of experiences commonplace in our lives; expanding the breadth and depth of our experiences in this world. It is to our benefit and to God's glory that we set aside fear, assumptions, and apprehensions and embrace the reality that there is but one human race. When we do, a myriad of possible experiences await us!

The Christian message is nothing if not that because Sam has been conquered so has our separation from God and from one another, in all the forms i…

Galatians 2:20 Devotion - Don't believe the hype!


Religion Gets in Jesus Way... Well. It can...


Dance! Deuteronomy 8:3


Sermon: “Spiritual Fruitfulness,” John 15:5, Sunday January 6, 2019

Rooted 1 – “Spiritual Fruitfulness,” John 15:5
Introduction John 15:5 is a – maybe the – discipleship passage. Here is how you follow Christ in the world. Here is how we get life as we pass along our pilgrimage.
It is wrapped in two warning passages. John 15:4 is a soft warning. If we don’t remain rooted in Christ, we won’t bear any fruit; we’ll have a fruitless faith and life. Ok. That’s not good but ok. John 15:6 is a hard warning. If we become fruitless branches, not properly abiding in Christ, eventually we’ll get cut off. If we live fruitless Christian lives, the gardener, our Lord will eventually grow weary with us wasting resources and we’ll get pruned.
Biblical warning passages like this, when considered through a discipleship lens, are not intended to spark debate about whether a person who expresses faith in Christ can lose salvation. That’s really not the point here.
*These passages are intended to call us back to or into s

New Year Sermon 2019: “A Resolution Worth Keeping,” Colossians 3:12-17, December 30 1018

“A Resolution Worth Keeping,” Colossians 3:12-17

What do the King of Pop and likely the most profound theologian every produced in America have in common? What does the late Michael Jackson and Congregational Pastor, Jonathan Edwards have in common? On the surface one may struggle even to find any, even one, similarity. They were born more than three centuries apart. I have no idea what Michael Jackson’s faith life was like but I know Edwards was a profound theologian and a passionate lover of God. They came from vastly different worlds and no doubt had vastly different perceptions of what mattered most in the world and in themselves. However, I know this one thing that they held in common in their lifetimes. They both knew that change in the world, while they certainly would have defined that change differently, as beginning with each person individually – change starts with me. They knew that.

Michael Jackson sang, “I'm starting with the man in the mirror.” Every tim…

Sermon: Rooted – “Answered Prayer,” John 15:7, January 13 2019

Rooted 2 – “Answered Prayer,” John 15:7
Introduction Mr. Marconi, famous for inventing radio technology, once constructed a receiver that would only respond to a special transmitter. If the transmitter radiated eight hundred thousand vibrations a second the receiver would only take from the same rate of vibration. In the same way, a tuning-fork will only respond to another tuning-fork of precisely the same musical tone. Resonance. This is the principle of assured answer to prayer. If I am right with God, tuned to his purposes and will, I cannot ask in vain. (John 15:7 / Psalm 37:4). Affinity of soul with God is assurance of His hearing us.[1]
CIT/CIS: God answers prayer consistent with His will.
Transition In other words, God's response to our petitions follows our response to His commands. That’s what I’m hoping you’ll consider this morning as we consider together what it means to bear fruit. Not only that, but fruit worthy of our calling. I’m saying two things really: (1) we’re invi…

Psalm 37:4 He gives us new desires!


Be Careful About Castles in Spain...


Happy New Year!