Showing posts from October, 2014

The Provision of Christ

Reading through the story of Jairus' daughter in Luke 8 this morning. What stands out to me? Jesus says "Child, arise" and the little girl's "spirit returned and she got up at once." Then this: "And he directed that something should be given her to eat." Miraculous life-giving. A salvation of sorts. But he doesn't stop there. He is concerned that she will be hungry. He instructs the family to feed the poor thing. I love this about Jesus. He cares about provision. You have seen it in feeding a bunch of other people. In healing. And ultimately in providing himself in our place on the cross. But even after our justification is accomplished in his resurrection, he gives the Spirit, because he knows we will be hungry and need constant nourishment. Jesus as the grace of God is not a one time deal. You don't claim belief in him and then set out to work to earn a better seat at the wedding feast. Jesus and his work for us is our constant provision.

Finding Christ-like Leaders

The first sermon in our "Parting Shots" series. Finding Christ-like Leaders. Acts 20:17-27. [soundcloud url="" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Grace is not the benefit of doubt

The Onion has a short article about a man coasting through life on entirely on the benefit of doubt. Not only is it funny, but it speaks rather loudly about our cultural mindset: "Despite a long list of intractable character flaws, local account executive Jeremy Gorstal has coasted through the first 32 years of his existence solely on the benefit of the doubt, sources reported this week. “Jeremy’s hit a rough patch, but he’ll turn it around soon,” Allied Advertising sales director Alice Crenshaw rationalized to reporters Monday after Gorstal mistakenly deleted crucial company data, an incident that came one month after he was forgiven for forgetting his father’s birthday and just days after his girlfriend declined to break up with him because “he wants to change.” “I’ve always believed Jeremy has a lot of potential and that we should just give him a little latitude to adjust to his role, which I’m sure will happen in due time.” When reminded that Gorstal has accomplished almost n

We are moving to San Diego!

Today the congregation of Grace Church North County in San Diego, CA affirmed my nomination to serve as their pastor. Stacy and I have been greatly encouraged through the several months leading up to this day and we look forward to doing life with an amazing group of people and to constantly proclaim the glory of Christ. The last three years at Bethel Church in the Tri-Cities has truly been the best years of our lives as we made life-long friends and shared the truly good news of Jesus and his accomplished work among people who preached the same right back to us. While it is never easy to say good-bye, we know that God has a great plan for his glory in Richland and San Diego. There is a lot to do as we look to move (join us in praying that our house sells quickly) and we promise there will be plenty of opportunities to get a few more hugs before we go.

When Your Best Plans Burn

The final sermon in our Fearless series. The fear of losing control. Thankfully, we know the One in control. Romans 8:28. [soundcloud url="" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The Gentle Elder. There is no other kind.

I have just started reading Jeramie Rinne's "Church Elders" a short book in the 9Marks  Building Healthy Churches series. In his treatment of what qualifications there are for elders, exemplifying godly character stood out. This is what Rinne says of being gentle. " Gentle .There is this famous Swahili proverbs that says, "When the elephants fight, the grass is trampled." Likewise, when a church's shepherds are combative and aggressive, the sheep get hurt. That's why Paul described the qualified elders as "not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome" (1 Tim. 3:3) and "not arrogant, not hot-tempered" (Titus 1:7). Egotistical, domineering, argumentative, pushy, gruff, hotheaded, explosive overseers crush church members." We don't have to look far to see this truth in action. Shepherds are put in place to protect, care for and guard the flock to maturity. May our churches have gentle elders. Lord, fix my heart on you, that I m

Fear of Suffering

We have all we need in Christ and can rejoice in no matter what life brings. Sermon on Romans 5:1-5. [soundcloud url="" params="color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

The Wife of My Youth

If the gospel is about  receiving something you could never deserve, my marriage is for sure a gospel marriage. Seven years ago I married the most amazing woman. I didn't deserve her before she said yes and I still don't deserve her. But for some reason, God has given me a partner that puts up with me, preaches the gospel to me and is an ever faithful wife and mother to my children. Stacy is more than the better half of our relationship. She is a blessing. She is the wife of my youth whom I love and will always.

Rejoiced Over

" the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you ." Isaiah 62:5. In Christ, this is yours now. God rejoices over you like an expectant groom. He is giddy that you are his! Now live!