Pastor's Blog

Mind Reader

O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar. – Psalm 139: 1-2 I was talking to a fellow last Monday at the gym about his work and mine. He knows that I’m a pastor, and so when I told him that it was my “day off” he smiled: “Your day off? I guess that means you don’t have to save any souls today!” “Oh, saving souls is not my job,” I said, “being a pastor is my job. Caring about souls is my calling.” To be more theologically precise, I should have said, “Saving souls is God’s job” but that seemed too complicated to explain at the moment. What made his comment noteworthy was the fact that he had just told me

Speaking in Polite Company

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver” (Proverbs 25:11). In Richard Mouw’s insightful book, Uncommon Decency – Christian Civility in an Uncivil World, he discusses the ugly rhetoric that often marks our public and private conversations. The fiery presidential race we are all living through is simply a reflection of what’s already happening around the water cooler, on social media and, dare I say, even in the church. Mouw cites the angry 17th century debates between Puritans and Quakers as evidence that this is nothing new. Richard Baxter, the great Puritan preacher, lumped Quakers with “drunkards, swearers, whore mongers, and sensual wretches” and “other miser

Ambassadors for Christ

When I was 17 years old, I traveled to the Dominican Republic on a youth mission trip. I have to admit that I signed up for that trip with selfish motivations. I had been attending Crosswinds church and the church’s youth group for almost a year by that point, thanks to an invitation from a good friend of mine, another high school student named Denny. At that time in my life I would have considered myself a Christian; but my understanding of what that meant was that I believed in a higher power and was supposed to be a decent person. When I signed up for that trip, I did so because I thought I’d be spending a couple of weeks on the beach with my friends. I knew some work would have to be

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