I am not a father. I do not have children. My wife and I would love to have children, but God has not permitted that for us in our first 9 years of marriage. Now because I am not a dad, my usual reaction to all books and sermons and being a dad or raising kids is one of checking out. “I am not in that stage of life,” I tell myself. “Therefore, I will move on to other things.” Like I said, this is my usual reaction ….. until a few weeks ago when my pastor preached a sermon on “What Every Dad Must Do” from Psalm 145.… Continue reading
Humans are weird. And most of us realize the added mix of total depravity explains some of our weirdness. Sin even affects believers and causes us to partake in irrational behaviors. One peculiar action we do is our inaction because someone else does it wrong. I’ve engaged many people who balk at the encouragement to love others because worldly people, some associated with that other political party, encourage the world to love others. The world has its own definition of love including characteristics like: lust, self-love, condone everyone else’s desires, don’t tell someone she is wrong, and of course tolerance (which ironically went away after the last presidential election).… Continue reading
A few months ago I visited a wonderful church in America’s heartland. I had been asked to assist their music ministry and consult on what it means to have a Pastor over Worship. It was encouraging to share in what was going on at their church and I was sharpened by their great questions. Of course, coming from hot and dry California, it was especially rejuvenating to be surrounded by endless fields and beautiful, big blue skies, but there was joy greater in serving and worshipping with this Church, even though I had only known them for a few days. While I came to serve them, they encouraged my soul and reminded me of the sweet fellowship we have in our bonds of Christ.… Continue reading
A few weeks ago I was blessed to be able to take in a major league baseball game in the most beautiful ballpark in America, Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. It has become somewhat of a tradition over the past few years for one of the men in the church and I to make the 3 ½ hour trip to Pittsburgh to take in a day game. So when the year’s schedule comes out I look at the season’s weekday day games and we pick one for the trip. When you are picking a baseball game to travel to one day from April to September in March, there is always a risk because there are variables, most notably the weather.… Continue reading
What is the greatest commandment? Jesus answers, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’” and “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” (Matthew 22:37 & 39). Although the Pharisees tried to box him into a situational answer, to set him up for failure,  Jesus both corrects and dodges them pointing out the foundational reason for every commandment: devotion to the Lord.
Jesus answer addresses the true reason for every commandment: worship. The use of ‘love’ in this text, conveys the idea of worship and devotion. To live is Christ.… Continue reading