Pastor's Blog

March 30, 2016

Yesterday my family and I were walking through a gift shop at the Getty Villa, waiting for a tour to begin.  A moment later I heard the sound you don’t want to hear.  One of our girls had just knocked over a glass jar filled with tea leaves.  A shop worker came over.  “We’ll pay for that,” I said confidently -- now that I knew it wasn’t that $300 replica of Aphrodite.  “Don’t worry about it.  This happens about once a week.”  Another employee came over with a broom as I bent down to look for shards of glass.  “Did you knock this over sir?” He sounded serious. “Well, actually my daughter did,” I mumbled.  “Are you sure you didn’t knock this over -- Steven H. Craig.”  Wait…how did this guy know ---?  I looked up and started laughing. The employee grinning down at me was a friend from St. John’s.   He was trying to think of a clever way to say hello when we didn’t see him behind the counter; and our little mishap was too good to be true.  Turns out, he had just told his wife that though h...

March 23, 2016

Tuesday morning I was sitting in my car as I read the sad news of yet another terrorist bombing, this time in Brussels where scores were killed or seriously wounded.  But that was after I had been reading a familiar passage from Luke 5 where Jesus heals a paralyzed man that had been lowered through the roof by his friends.  It was Jesus’ forgiveness that most upset the religious critics standing nearby: “Who can forgive sins except God alone?” they scoffed.  As I pondered Jesus’ forgiveness, which he extended even to those who were crucifying him, I thought of Jesus’ command that we must forgive and to even pray for those who persecute us.  Can I be honest?  I didn’t want a lesson in forgiveness after just reading about another act of terrorism!  But as I prayed, this thought came to mind: to forgive does not mean that we ignore injustice or abandon those who are suffering violence.  But to forgive does mean that I am letting go of hate, vengeance, and self-righteousness; that I intend...

March 16, 2016

Dear Friends, this week, I was feeling nostalgic!  A man whose walk with Christ inspired me in my college years came to stay and share his music in our home this past weekend. It was good to see him again and his wife. The next day, I was reading from Psalm 57 and my eyes fell across this verse: “Be exalted O God above the heavens, Let your glory be over all the earth” (v. 5).   That verse was the text of a favorite worship song that I often sang during those days at UC San Diego.  The melody immediately came back to me I found myself singing the verse quietly as I read David's words.  

What it reminded me of was God's faithfulness...across the years.  One of the benefits of "maturity" is seeing the truth of that play out!  "Your steadfast love is as high as the heavens; your faithfulness extends to the clouds" (v. 10) David continues.  So much has happened in my life since the day I first sang that song, both wonderful and painful, but through it all I can say that God...

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