The CHF Articles: Grace Is Waiting

I often dance around the idea of denominations. I’ve been Pentecostal and I guess Evangelical. I was practically dipping a toe in the waters of reformed theology before I landed in the area of Lutheranism. The passage above is one of the reasons I feel I fit best here in Lutheranism (though some may accuse me of being “Lutheran-ish“), and I’ll try to explain that a little further down. Continue reading “The CHF Articles: Grace Is Waiting”

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The CHF Articles: The Other Criminal’s Demand: “Save Us!”

There was another criminal next to Christ the day he died. He was aware of who Jesus was, and why he was there. Unlike the other criminal who seemed to accept his fate and cry out for mercy, this one had a different plan. He knew this innocent man hanging next to him was alleged to be more than just a good Rabbi with followers that sat under his teachings. Continue reading “The CHF Articles: The Other Criminal’s Demand: “Save Us!””

The CHF Articles: The Criminal’s Prayer: “Remember Me!”

I’m afraid of dying.

I am a Christian and I am horribly afraid of falling bridges, crashing planes, turned over cars and anything else that you can think of that would include my body being mangled into a mess of bones and flesh. Please don’t comfort me with, “If a plane crashes, you’ll die quick” and other little catchy things like that. I don’t walk around overly pre-occupied with it. It doesn’t stop me from driving …over bridges …to an airport. It might make me uncomfortable and irritable on a flight, which I admit I try to do as little as possible. But on occasion, I’ll still board a plane. Can I be a Christian and be afraid of dying? I hope so.

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Source: The Criminal’s Prayer: “Remember Me!” (9/28/16)

The CHF Articles: Today, I Almost Died

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”

The CHF Articles: Make Sure You’re Right With God!

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!”

The CHF Articles: Baptism’s Promise

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”

The CHF Articles: Understanding Grace

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!

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Source: Understanding Grace (5/9/16)

Church Plant Memoirs: In The Beginning…

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…”

The CHF Articles: Repentant Enough?

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?”