pastor's blog
Wednesday, 21 February 2018 16:30

Billy Graham

I was sad to hear of the death of Billy Graham this morning. I'm not sad for him, of course, but for us. His loving desire to see people come to Christ was an encouragement to the church, and a strong witness in the world. It seems like an important chapter has come to a close. It is hard to imagine that those shoes will ever be filled. Some leaders will continue to serve in positions of prominence and influence. All of us can serve wherever God has placed us, and lace up "shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." (Eph 6:15 ESV)

Justin Taylor posted this wonderful quote on the gospel coalition website: "Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God."

So he has. And he has joined in the glad reunion with the saints who have gone before. Many of those came forward at Billy's invitation, just as they were, and were redeemed by Jesus, our Savior, the Resurrection and the Life.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018 05:52

Study, Do, Teach

Ez 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.


Ezra’s priorities were amazingly simple, yet really helpful. He resolved to study the Word, to do it, and to teach it.

Study must come first. We have to read Scripture carefully and prayerfully so that we might understand what God is saying to us.


Knowledge of Scripture is not the end goal. We need to obey it; to be doers and not hearers only. Some of us love to study, and that’s good. If we are not careful, we will be slow about putting what we’ve learned in practice.


The last step is also crucial; to teach others. It sounds a bit like the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), doesn’t it. It’s discipling. It’s passing on what we have learned so that others can study, do, and teach as well.


It’s helpful to keep these three priorities from Ezra in mind, as of first importance, and in order. When Ezra did so, the good hand of his God was with him. May God’s good hand be upon us, as we study, do, and teach his Word.

Saturday, 20 January 2018 01:26

Praying for important conversations

What do we do when we know we are about to have an important conversations with someone? If we have to discuss something really important, then we will want to be well prepared. It would be wise to pray for God's help, but how should we pray?

The book of Nehemiah describes the time when God's people have begun to return to Jerusalem after their captivity in Babylon. The temple has been rebuilt, but Jerusalem still lies in ruins. Nehemiah is deeply moved and concerned when he hears the plight of his fellow Jews. He is serving as cupbearer to the king of Persia, and he prepares to ask the king for help. In chapter 1, Nehemiah prays to God. He considers the Lord's greatness, confesses his sins and the sins of his people, clings to God's promise, and asks for his help in his meeting with the king. "Give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man."

We can pray in just this way when we are getting ready for an important encounter. Perhaps we have to bring up a delicate issue. We might be looking for an opening to share the gospel. It could be that we are trying to find words to comfort  or encourage a friend who is going through a hard time. We can be like Nehemiah, and prepare by seeking the Lord's help. "Father, I have a weighty conversation coming up. Be with me, Lord. Grant me success and mercy a I speak."

We all face difficult and significant personal encounters. We do not face them alone, and we need not face them unprepared. The Lord is with us!

Friday, 12 January 2018 00:18

Psalm Study Schedule

Psalms 34-45: Heart Songs for the New Year


Sermon Text & Title



Jan 7

Ps 34 Taste and See that the Lord is Good

Jan 10

Ps 35

Jan 14

Ps 37 Be Patient and Don’t Worry

Jan 17

Ps 36

Jan 21

Ps 39 Shadows and Sojourners

Jan 24

Ps 38

Jan 28

Ps 40 God, Put a New Song in My Mouth

Jan 31

Ps 41

Feb 4

Ps 42-43 Thirsting for God

Feb 7

Ps 44

Feb 11

Ps 45 Royal Wedding




Tuesday, 02 January 2018 04:24

Digging Deeper in the Psalms

The Psalms have always been a favorite part of Scripture for God's people. Many of our most-loved and frequently sung Bible passages come from the book of Psalms. No matter how often we read them, there is always something new for us to see. I'll suggest two resources that you might find useful as you explore these rich passages.

Derek Kidner has written a wonderful commentary on the Psalms. For each Psalm, he helps describe the background and answer common questions. In a concise way, the major themes are outlined. His insights are helpful, sometimes profound, and often reveals how the Psalms relate to the person and work of Jesus.  Volume 1 and volume 2 are available from Amazon.

The second resource is not a book, but other Christians. We can learn a lot by studying Scripture with other believers. On Wednesday evening, we spend time opening God's word together, sharing our insights, raising our questions, and wrestling with applications. I encourage you to come and join in the study. 

May God help us to grow as we dig deeply into the riches of His word! 


Tuesday, 02 January 2018 04:23

A New Website Experiment

This year I am trying a new experiment. I am going to start a blog on our website where I can share some things with you. Sometimes, I come across an article that want to share. This is a place where I can post a link. Once in a while, someone asks about a quote that I use in a sermon. Here, I can cite that full quotation. We'll see if it is helpful, and if its something I can keep up with.

This is all new for me. The website was one of the things Jeff Delay handled so well. Now that he has moved on to his new teaching post, we are all adapting. Beth Naegele has done a great job with extra duties. The band and other musicians have stepped wonderfully into the breach! 

My part has been to figure out how to keep the website up to date. I have learned how to post new articles, and to deal with the audio recordings of sermons and worship services. This blog in another step. Hopefully, I will put something here weekly.  Let's see how it goes!

May God bless our experiments and endeavors that bring glory to His name and good things to his people!