Pastor's Blog

April 27, 2018

For the next few weeks I am zeroing in on the theme of service, because it is so critical to the life and witness of Christ’s Body and because “Sharing Christ by Serving Others” is St. John’s current vision focus.  Last week we saw that to be part of the Body of Christ is to serve others even when they are difficult or demanding, and to be served all the same even when weare.  This week I want to answer a question: Is it OK to get something out of serving others? 

On the one hand, the Bible warns against making a performance out of our good deeds.  Take Matthew 6:1-4 for example, where Jesus gives us this admonition: “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Years ago, a major network e...

April 21, 2018

As Lisa and I were sitting around a table last night celebrating with a group of recently “retired” elders and deacons, I was feeling especially grateful for their friendship, their example, and for their witness as servant leaders.  I thought about the challenges they had faced over the past three years, from the exciting to the mundane to the downright nasty – from teaching small groups to cleaning dirty dishes, picking up trash and visiting the deathly sick, working with temperamental office equipment, and dealing with difficult people.  For the next few weeks I want to zero in on this theme of service again, because it is so critical to the life and witness of Christ’s Body and because “Sharing Christ by Serving Others” has been St. John’s “vision milestone” for the past two years.

After a nasty argument about which of them was the greatest, Jesus said to his disciples, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over...

April 14, 2018

I hesitate to talk about pain because I know that many reading this have gone to places of pain that I have never experienced.  Even so, I’ll share that as I was getting out of bed this morning, I felt a familiar ache that I thought would put me flat on my back for the next week. The first time this happened to me I was in college, coming back from (you guessed it) the gym.  I had been using a leg curl machine, which required lying face down on a flattable on which you curled and tightened the back of your legs. Exercise physiologists later found that an angled tableachieves better results, and keeps people from injuring their backs the way I did that day.  

That being said, “the damage was done.”  I got an MRI and was told that I had a compressed disk.  My Dad shares this same injury and I learned from him early in life that consistent exercise is the key to avoiding surgery.  Since then I’ve tried to keep my core muscles strong, and in particula...

April 7, 2018

Beginning this Sunday, April 8th, our small groups will be taking a grand tour through the Book of James. James, as we will learn, was the brother of Jesus – a man who did notbelieve that Jesus was the Messiah until after his crucifixion, when Jesus appeared to him alive from the dead.  Paul makes special mention of James in his list of Easter eyewitnesses, which he recounts in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-10.  This is the James who became pastor of the church in Jerusalem, a church that was very poor and threatened by persecution.  For this reason, he was passionate about a religion that is real and relevant in the hard times…a faith that works and makes a difference in people’s lives.    

The Danish existentialist philosopher and Christian theologian Søren Kierkegaard once said, “What I really need is to get clear about what I must do, not [simply] what I must know, except insofar as knowledge must precede every act.” Hedistinguished betwe...

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11000 National Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90064

(310) 477-2513