Pastoral Reflections

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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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 6)

Daring to Inhabit. Walking through Ephesians has felt, for me, like riding into scenic lands. A territory rich with beauty and thick with life. As we cross over from chapter 3 to 4, it is going to feel more like stepping off the train and touching foot on the soil, breathing the air and reaching

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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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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 2)

Pastoral Reflections God’s Actions (I) This past Sunday we began our series on the Book of Ephesians. Paul’s prayer of thanksgiving (1:3-14) sets the stage for what he will seek to guide us into understanding through this letter. It is a prayer of thanksgiving, literally. One in which Paul recounts God’s story; His actions from

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A People Called: The Story of Church from Ephesians (week 1)

Pastoral Reflections Each New Testament letter that was addressed to a church is unique. So much of that uniqueness is shaped by the specific contexts of that church. First and Second Corinthians were written to address specific situations within the Corinthian church of the time. So was Philippians. But, it is this very point that

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