I spent most of this week with Christians I disagree with. It was great. The annual gathering of our denomination took place over the last few days, and as the new pastor of our church, I got to attend for the first time. I say "got to attend," not "had to attend." Because it really … Continue reading And in This I Rejoice
One of the challenges of old hymns is understanding what the words mean. I don't mean the old-fashioned words that we just don't use anymore, like "thou" or "surety" or "foe." Those we can recognize as not part of our regular vocabulary. So we take a moment to figure out or look up or learn … Continue reading How Do You Plead?
The work of Christ is finished. And it never stops. At it's heart, the message of Christianity is good news. Unlike other religions which claim to instruct us in the best way to save ourselves, the gospel offers us a salvation which we cannot achieve on our own, which comes to us as a gift … Continue reading Once and Always
In my last post, I cautioned against using the biblical titles of Prophet, Priest, and King to describe the role of a pastor. My goal is not to quibble over terminology; I know most pastors who use those terms intend them to express the genuine pastoral tasks of teaching, caring, and leading. But I am … Continue reading Not a Prophet, Priest, or King (Part 2)
There’s a lot of confusion out there about what it means to be a pastor. Pile up two thousand years of church history and add our distinctively American love for religious experimentation, and you will wind up with a vast array of different models, theories, and paradigms for pastoral ministry. Because I’ve only been a … Continue reading Not a Prophet, Priest, or King
I wrote this meditation a few years ago. May it bless you this season as we remember the messy, marvelous humility and love of the one who came "not in water only, but in water and in blood" (1 John 5:6). Blood and water outward burst a sudden stab – … Continue reading Blood and Water
This week, my family celebrated our last Thanksgiving here in Illinois. A few weeks ago, I accepted a call to pastor a church in New Hampshire. We'll be moving the first weekend in December, and I'll be in the pulpit in January. I can't begin to say how excited and grateful I am for this … Continue reading The Tie that Binds