Beyond the Bulletin

Believing Is Seeing

Hunting elk, I spend most days sitting on a log near where four game trails intersect. An hour before dawn, a flashlight guides me through a mile of dark timber to that log before I turn it off and silently wait for daylight. Even at full moon, night in that forest is so dark I might as well be underground. »

In the Bleak Midwinter

Some folks have the self-control to withhold listening to Christmas music until December. Pop culture dictates an early diet starting the day after Halloween. As a music pastor, Christmas music listening and service planning starts in September. Besides the advantage of avoiding pop Christmas music for at least the first two months, what usually keeps me upbeat (and sane) in »

Gospel Centered Prayer

What do our typical prayer requests reveal about our personal faith? Do they reflect a love for the things of God and a heart that trusts in God’s good and gracious plan for the believer? Or do they reflect something more materialistic and a heart that is anxious? One of the greatest sources of encouragement and conviction when it »

Thanksgiving Hymns of Praise

I love to sing the Doxology. As in many churches, we sing it monthly at the close of Communion. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The Doxology is actually the shared, final stanza of three separate hymns all written by Anglican »

Man of Sorrows

As I put fingers to keyboard, millions of pumpkins are making their way to landfills and the airwaves are already beginning to chime with the sounds of Christmas (in particular, 24/7 Christmas radio). For those who would take a moment to step back and survey the landscape of our culture, the malaise that usually precedes cynicism might settle in. »

Books About God: Mere Christianity

David Wood liked kung fu and communism, and he hated America and Christianity, so China seemed like a logical destination. But he was hugely disappointed — nobody he met in China knew kung fu or believed in communism anymore. And the only other foreigners in town were American Christians! To make matters worse, he liked us. In four years, David and »

The Love of God

I have a fascination with the history of hymns. I'm sure it has something to do with my upbringing and memories of singing out of a hymn-book every Sunday, or listening to four-part harmonies wafting over me week after week. I cut my musical teeth on hymns - even before learning to read notes on a page my ears were »

Refugee Outreach Team

He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19) Imagine you had to flee your country because you and your family were in real danger. You are resettled in a new country but you don’ »

Books About God: Heaven

This book in my series of ‘Books About God’ may seem to be less about God Himself than about something He has made, but what He has made — especially Heaven — tells us a lot about His character. One of Scripture’s comforting teachings is that the sting of death is reduced by believing God’s many promises to us about »

Another Way to Give

How do you normally give to the church? Do you drop a check in the offering bag on Sunday morning? Maybe you mail it to the church? Or do you use the "Bill Pay" feature from your bank? You can also give to the church using CCB (Church Community Builder). Doing it this way means you don't need remember to »