Beyond the Bulletin

Messiah Before the Manger

The Christmas season is a time to reflect on great themes relating to the incarnation: The coming of Christ into the world The second Person of the Trinity taking on true and permanent human form The sacrifice of Christ at Calvary which necessitated the incarnation The great redemption which the Son of God accomplished through His sacrifice The Presence of »

Giving In Disappointment

Throughout the Bible, giving is an expression of faith. One account that illustrates this principle is King David’s contribution to the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. David had lived his whole life in service to the Lord and in expectation of the day when he would be able to build a permanent house for the Ark of the »

Now I Get It!

A farrier once made me a very cool puzzle. He looped and welded three horseshoes together in such a way that they couldn’t be separated unless they were twisted just right. It was easy once he showed me how to solve it; otherwise, there was just no way. I felt like a fool before he showed me--but afterward, I »

Dull of Hearing

“I’m sorry honey, could you back up please? I was thinking about something else.” I don’t know how many times I’ve had to ask this of my dear wife, but it’s more than I can count, and certainly more than it should be. She’s been pouring out her heart to me, and I’ve missed »

Building the Body of Christ

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you »

Reformation Anniversary

Earlier this year, I wrote a blog post commemorating the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation (October 31, 1517) and encouraging everyone to grow in the knowledge of this important event by recommending some key resources. New research recently released by the Pew Research Center has underscored just how great this need is and how unaware most »

Reformation Song

We are inching closer and closer to October 31, 2017, the day that marks five hundred years since Martin Luther sparked off the Protestant Reformation in Wittenburg, Germany. If you've not been able to get up to speed on the what and why of this formative event in church history, take the opportunity now to read the previous post Reformation »

Devotions: Praying Through Scripture

Years ago, when my wife and I worked with a small church youth group in California, I picked up a small-sized paperback book for kids called something like “Pocket Prayers.” The book was so simple, but the concept inside was brilliant, leaving a lasting impact on my life. Inside were paraphrases of Scripture verses with blanks left for the reader »

The (Im)Possible Job

It's been said that song-leaders ("worship" leaders/pastors) in the church are subjected to the most impossible of jobs. It's not having to perform flawlessly in front of a large group. Its not having to work and lead fastidious musicians. Its not even having to choose the "right" songs. Above all of these, the most impossible of all jobs is »

A Willing Heart

A wonderful model for what biblical giving looks like is found in the person of Boaz. In the book of Ruth, Boaz is a man of valor and respected as a prominent citizen of Bethlehem. When Ruth, a foreigner and a widow in need, goes to glean in the fields of Bethlehem, she happens upon the piece of land belonging »