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)

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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?”

The CHF Articles: The Prosperity Of The Gospel

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.

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Source: The Prosperity Of The Gospel (4/20/16)

Church Plant Memoirs: The Left-Over Gospel

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”

Jesus: Higher than the Angels

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.
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Jesus: Better Than The Prophets

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”

Hebrews: Beginnings

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”

The Performance Trap!

I was thinking back to an old devotional I read (and probably never finished), Holiness: Day by Day, by Jerry Bridges  I really liked reading his works, and this was no different. He has a way of focusing everything on the Gospel and the cross, as well as God’s mercy and grace in such a way, I sometimes wonder if he isn’t snatching the thoughts right from my head so he can speak directly and exclusively to me. Continue reading “The Performance Trap!”

Rejecting God

This is a story from my past:

This was a crazy week.

There were so many things happening at that time, that it would waste way too much of your time explaining it. My emotions were bouncing back and forth from anger to despair, and then eventually to pity(for myself). To be honest, I had myself to blame. Whether anyone else was at fault in any of what was going on, frankly didn’t matter, and neither does my opinion of that moment in time. I do have an opinion, but its best to keep it to myself. Continue reading “Rejecting God”