Following Jesus

Prisoners Set Free!

From Charles Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Checkbook” From Fetters Free March 7 The Lord looseth the prisoner. (Psalm 146:7) He has done it. Remember Joseph, Israel in Egypt, Manasseh, Jeremiah, Peter, and many others. He can do it still. He breaks the bars of brass with a word and snaps the fetters of iron with a look. … Continue reading »

Categories: Faith, Following Jesus, God's love, God's Power, Undercover Pastor | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spurgeon on the challenges of ministry

This devotion was particularly timely as I contemplate the road out of burnout: From Charles Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Checkbook” Choice Men (women too, -ed.) August 27 I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10) This has long been the motto fixed before our eye upon the wall of our bedroom, and in many … Continue reading »

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Resiliency

I’m about halfway through a three-week vacation from my position as pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church.  After 5-1/2 years as pastor with no more than two weeks off at any one time (except to have kids!), I started to feel tired, and it was taking more and more to recover.  I later learned that psychologists … Continue reading »

Categories: Following Jesus, Leadership, Pastor to pastor, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

My Post-Christian Son

I’ve noticed a big difference between the assumptions my 6-year-old son makes and the ones I made at the same age. I used to assume that everyone went to some kind of church. Johnny is surprised to learn that someone goes to church. He realizes that he lives in a post-Christian world. I hadn’t realized … Continue reading »

Categories: Church Leaders, Daddy log - parenting, Following Jesus, Reaching Out, The World We Live In, Undercover Pastor | 1 Comment

Come, Labor On!

I have the week off from church so we were planning to worship at another church as we generally do.  but t his week, Lydia is sick with some kind of stomach flu.  Rather than leave Eleanor and Lydia at home alone, we decided to have “home church” today. I put on some recorded hymns … Continue reading »

Categories: Following Jesus, Undercover Pastor, Worship | 1 Comment

Crossing the Stormy Lake

During my vacation this year, I had the good fortune of being able to spend a week at my grandmother’s cabin at Donner Lake.  And this year, my aunt had left a kayak for us to use.  The previous night I had tried it out and taken my sons on a short loop in the … Continue reading »

Categories: Daddy log - parenting, Discipleship - learning from Jesus, Following Jesus, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

Put my crayons up high, Dad

Lately, my son Joshua has had some trouble with drawing on the floor, walls, furniture, and windows with crayons.  We’ve always had an understanding that crayons are only to be used on paper, and he can answer the question, “Where do we used crayons?”  “On paper, Dad.”  But temptation strikes, and our little artist feels … Continue reading »

Categories: Daddy log - parenting, Ethics and Holiness, Following Jesus, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

Thankfulness: Not So Obvious

Yesterday afternoon, my kids were starting to get a little bit of cabin fever. It was hot, and the air had been smoky for most of the day, but by late afternoon, the air had cleared a bit and a cool breeze was blowing. “Why don’t you go outside and play, Johnny?” I suggested. “There’s … Continue reading »

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Decisions, decisions!

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been troubled in my spirit…  Is that good Bible language for spiritually messed up? Our church has experienced a lot of growth lately and we’re having growing pains.  That’s partly because our building is way too small.  It was built in a time when a) churches didn’t have parking … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Church Transformation, Following Jesus, Smaller Church Ministry, Undercover Pastor | 2 Comments

Our God Is a Great Big God

My wife woke me up for morning prayer this morning and I went back to sleep.  This was a bad choice because there’s a lot going on in my life and the life of our church right now.   As a church grows, it can no longer connect everyone “automatically.”  It’s a much more conscious and … Continue reading »

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Agree with God and be at peace

I was just reading Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening devotional for this evening, and it referred to Job 22:21.  In the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version), it says, “Agree with God, and be at peace; in this way good will come to you.”  In the NIV (New International Version), it says, “Submit to God and be … Continue reading »

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The church and the needs of sexual assault survivors

Last week, I attended a “round table” of sexual assault survivors and members of the clergy. The honesty of the six women who had survived sexual assault was extraordinary – and extremely difficult to hear. But the hardest part of what they had to say was the part about how their churches had treated them. … Continue reading »

Categories: Church, Following Jesus, God's love, Justice, Undercover Pastor | Leave a comment

God works through difficult stuff

I preached on sex, lust, and divorce on Sunday.  Blech! 😛 I knew that I needed to do it, but I sure didn’t like the idea of standing in front of a whole group of people and talking about sex.  Heck, I don’t want to talk to a small group of people about sex.  And … Continue reading »

Categories: Ethics and Holiness, Following Jesus, Pastor to pastor, Preaching, Undercover Pastor | 1 Comment