Politics of the Kingdom

Pastoral Reflections As we have watched a deepening rift threaten the social fabric of the nation, propelled by political dichotomy – not just among politicians but the people, some are asking, “Can we come together again?”   Even more worrisome for me recently, is the stealth with which this rift creeps into Christian communities and

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Raw Faith

Pastoral Reflections Raw Faith. Being already close to the area, a friend and I drove to the village that suffered the first in a series of terrorist bomb attacks at churches in recent Nigeria. It happened on Christmas Day, 2011. So much water has since passed under the bridge. (This is far from my part

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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 9)

Pastoral Reflections Bringing It Home. We have been hiking the trails of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. This coming Sunday, we conclude the hike. Well, for this time. I am sure we will come back another time. Ephesians has spoken to me personally and pastorally. As we conclude on Sunday, we will reflect on how

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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 8)

Pastoral Reflections Imitators. Children are often known to mimic their parents. I remember, as a little boy, how hard my parents laughed as I frequently tried to talk, walk, lounge or gesture like my dad. After Paul writes the Ephesians about putting off the old self and putting on the new, he sums it up

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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 7)

Pastoral Reflections A Kind of Gratitude. When conquerors of the day returned victorious from battles, they took captives with them and brought back spoil. In short; you conquer, you take. In Eph. 4:7-11, Paul offers us some insight into how Christ as conqueror reversed this narrative in the church’s story. Paul draws from the picture

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The Anchor

Reflections on faith through my daughter’s VSD diagnosis and open-heart surgery this summer. The older I get, and the more I experience, the more I realize that there are times in life when words really, truly fall short… Perhaps there is a vantage point in the distance by which I can look back and find

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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 5)

Pastoral Reflections By Grace. Twice in last Sunday’s passage (Eph. 1:1-10), Paul used the phrase, “By grace.” The word, grace, appears 3 times within this short passage alone. Grace is a familiar word in the English language, and common in Christian circles. In everyday life though, I wonder if we have become calloused to its

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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 4)

Pastoral Reflections Saints. We just came to the end of Ephesians 1 in the sermon series. By the time we got there, Paul had already used the word, saints, three times. In 1:1 he began, “Paul… to the saints in Ephesus.” In 1:15, he continues, “[H]aving heard of… your love for all the saints…” And,

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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 3)

Pastoral Reflections God’s Actions (part II) Last week, we began a review of seven action words from Paul’s thanksgiving (Eph. 1:1-10). We looked at four of them: The God who blessed, chose, (pre)destined and bestowed. To catch up on those, please click on Part I. The remaining three continue on the same trajectory – verbs

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