No, that is not a typo. I am telling you to put your trust in this Old Testament prophet. I want you to look at him and be assured of God’s love for you. Continue reading “The CHF Articles: Put Your Trust In Jonah”
Today, I almost died several times.
The first time it happened I was at home doing the regular morning routine, except for the fact that I WAS RUNNING LATE! I was so sure that the world was against me that day. I couldn’t get dressed, and out the door fast enough. But then, I couldn’t find my car keys. The soft voice of my wife across the room told me that she hung them up for me. NO WONDER I COULDN’T FIND THEM! My temper was short, and my words were quick. Continue reading “The CHF Articles: Today, I Almost Died”
To the Pastors and Preachers whose only word for me and others seem to be, “make sure you’re right with God!” and then proceed to remind us of all our possible sinful behaviors. Continue reading “The CHF Articles: Make Sure You’re Right With God!”
A promise was made to my older brother roughly 50 years ago. He was just an infant and had no idea that this promise was being set upon him. It was a promise that wasn’t his to fulfill. It carried with it no stipulations or loopholes that could void it. It was a one-sided agreement to protect and keep him. The most he could ever do was reject it, but even that would be difficult to do. When the water poured out down over his infant head at baptism, the promise was sealed. God would call this child-my brother-His own. Continue reading “The CHF Articles: Baptism’s Promise”
I came across a “deep commentary” in the form of a Facebook meme, extolling the frustrations of the natural man’s inability to understand the things of God. It starts by quoting (or mocking) someone saying, “I’ve tried to read the bible, but I just can’t understand it.” They related the problem as to someone being born spiritually, like a person being born to a specific culture. They are then raised in that culture, so that they can understand the language of that culture. They say once you’re born again with God’s Spirit in you, then the Bible makes sense!
Source: Understanding Grace (5/9/16)
Though I didn’t publish it until now, this was the first article I ever wrote about our church plant. As I reviewed it, I’m astonished at how much has changed in just a few short months. We have tweaked and re-tweaked our service during that time to what flows best, and we’ve settled on a worship leader who’s helped us put in place a solid team of musicians. Most of all, the church has been growing slowly but steadily, and we can say that as of September 2017, we have a solid stream of consistent attendees that have, either by verbal proclamation, or by their weekly appearance, made Epiphany their home church. Because of that, relationships have blossomed, and are continuing to grow. We even have more weekly community groups popping up. Finally, the Gospel continues to be poured out to all, in word, song, and sacrament. I am extremely thankful to be a part of this mission, and look forward to the future. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into our recent past, and that it encourages you to see that God still builds His church:
It was utterly glorious. Continue reading “Church Plant Memoirs: In The Beginning…”
If you’ve been in church long enough, you might have seen the worst of someone’s unrepentant sin get them kicked out, cast out, excommunicated or “handed over to Satan so their flesh might die and their soul might live.” Maybe, you’ve been the one cast out or you quietly “pumped a fist” (at least in your head), happy to see someone, “get what they deserve.” This casting out may have even been a leader or a pastor who fell into grave misconduct. Whatever the case and however it’s done within the local church body, once judgement rightly falls, and the person, now confronted and broken by their sin, repents, what next? Continue reading “The CHF Articles: Repentant Enough?”
I started writing this article about a friend, her struggles through cancer, and the pain of an unfortunate and severe fall that landed her in a hospital, requiring months of rehabilitation. I also wanted to tell you in detail about the estranged relationship between her and her husband, and their adult daughter. A relationship so broken that both her daughter and their grandchildren are no longer in their lives.
Source: The Prosperity Of The Gospel (4/20/16)
Every week since our church launched, I, along with others, have been charged with various jobs in relation to the smooth running of the church service. Whether its setting up worship equipment, placing inserts in bulletins, preparing after service coffee, or making ready the elements of communion. There’s an encouraging hope in doing those things week after week. There is burgeoning anticipation of seeing our small group of regulars, and we do have regulars, praise God, that return every Sunday evening, along with a few new faces that seem to stumble upon these old church doors each week. For me, it’s never enough. We have far too much left-over Gospel at the end of our service each Sunday night. Continue reading “Church Plant Memoirs: The Left-Over Gospel”
The world’s obsessed with angels.
I don’t know if there has ever been a time where so many people of various spiritual backgrounds claim a belief in some ethereal supernatural helper that’s looking down on you. Those are the people that are, “spiritual, but not religious.” Some people take comfort believing these angels are passed on loved ones, who because of their death have been promoted to watch over the family they left behind. Others believe you can openly converse with your guardian angels as they direct you in matters of love, money and other things. Just google “talking with angels” and you’ll get 31 million hits, from web-sites to books, all on talking to angels or cataloguing other’s experiences in talking to them.
Continue reading “Jesus: Higher than the Angels”