Consider This Christmas Eve…
Before the festivities start tonight, consider:
Consider your failings. Consider your doubts and struggles to be good parents, spouses and even adult children. Consider how you feel in those moments when you wonder if you haven’t screwed it up beyond repair. Continue reading “Consider This Christmas Eve…”
As of this writing, New York City has once again become the target of a terrorist attack. By God’s great mercy, no one was hurt severely. With that thought in mind, New Yorkers, in a kind of defiance to those who would seek to strike fear into this great metropolitan city, got back to being about their business rather quickly. This attack, unlike others, will end up as nothing more than a historical footnote, but we also know this probably won’t be the last attack. Still, we move on, living our lives, going to work, shopping, etc… Continue reading “Church Plant Memoirs: Terror and Vulnerability”
I’m about to write something that will be probably be unpopular. Amid a great cloud of witnesses that get the grace of God that I am fortunate to count myself lucky to be a part of, I’ve decided to write a little about works. In fact, a specific work. Yes, I said it. I’m going to write about law, the “imperatives”, the “do” in light of the “done”. If I’m lucky, I’ll annoy people on both sides of the argument in regards to doing the law vs resting in grace. Take it for what it is.
I wish I was better at seeing the bigger picture. Or maybe, I wish I was simply better at seeing the larger scope of its beauty.
My wife took a trip with her sister to San Francisco, and while there, she had the opportunity to visit Muir Woods. She was amazed at the size and age of the trees there. She showed me pictures of it all, and they were majestic, but all I could see were trees. Maybe my wife has a child-like wonder about these things that I don’t have. I don’t know. My default mode is to see a picture, but it’s not very often that I see the grander scale of what that picture represents. I’m guilty of that in many areas, including what I see and read in scripture.
The Sixth Sense is a suspenseful and scary movie where a little boy is born with the strange gift of seeing dead people. He gets some unusual help, but with that help, determines that these dead people aren’t there to terrorize him, but want his assistance. They know he can see them, and they want him to right wrongs in their past lives, or wish a loved one goodbye. Eventually, the unusual help he gets comes to understand the child is there to help him move on as well. This is an excellent movie, and I highly recommend it.
Now, why am I talking about this?
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…”
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”
I’ve been reading through the book of Hebrews, trying to grasp the truths that are there, and thought I’d share what I found. Your input is always appreciated and even more, your grace is coveted for my mistakes, both in style AND substance. Continue reading “Jesus: Better Than The Prophets”
As I begin, please know that these are just my thoughts as I begin to read through the book of Hebrews and try to understand it. They will not be theologically perfect, meaning, I may not be saying everything right, though I will strive to. I am writing as lay person, so you probably wont get big, lofty, theological thoughts or phrases, but if by chance you do, it will hopefully come by way of small and simple-sounding explanations that are easy to grasp, because that’s what I’m trying to do, even if only for myself as I try to understand. So feel free to join me on this journey whether in simply reading along, or commenting here, or on Facebook or Twitter. Continue reading “Hebrews: Beginnings”