Samson's fall and rise is a strong warning to God's people to take sin seriously or risk the consequences. This post was originally sent out as part of my weekly email to Park Community Church (Forest Glen). Isn’t Samson fascinating? On the one hand he is an incredibly strong, conquering hero. This is a man… Continue reading Some Further Reflections on Samson (Judges 16)
Scripture shows us that God has authority over everything, including evil spirits. He will use the most unexpected of means to accomplish his good purposes, and will not let anything or anyone prevent his plans from working out. God uses unexpected methods to accomplish his purposes, doesn’t he? Now, when the staff meets on Thursday… Continue reading Of Abimelech and Evil Spirits (Some Further Reflections on Judges 9)
Sometimes at Park Community Church (Forest Glen) worship gatherings, we take text-in questions from the congregation. It is one of my favorite things to do and a practice I recommend. Back before I went on paternity leave (Aliza and Baby Josephine are both wonderful and healthy, thanks for asking), I taught on James 2:1-13. My big idea… Continue reading Is Predestination the Same as Favoritism? (Some Further Reflections on James 2:1-13)
On Tuesday, January 2, Dan Osborn and I did a Facebook live video to talk about some of the tools we like for studying the Bible. Without any further ado, here are some links to get your hands on some of the tools we recommended (with a couple of others thrown in for good measure).… Continue reading Recommendations: Bible Study Tools
Sunday at Park Community Church (Forest Glen), Pastoral Resident Ryan Goble taught us from John 15:4-5. I was struck by how this passage, which conveys the words of Jesus to his disciples, revealed to me my own inner leaning toward that faulty belief that, somehow, my activity does something to actually increase my godliness or,… Continue reading Some Further Reflections on “Abiding” (John 15:4-5)
On Sunday, I preached on Matthew 28:18-20, the passage in which Jesus gives to His 11 remaining disciples the "Great Commission." And the big thing Jesus wants His church to be pursuing is discipleship--making people into followers of Him. Of course, evangelism--the announcing of the evangel or "good news" about Jesus, is bound up with discipleship. Below… Continue reading Some Further Reflections on the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)
I have been studying through the Acts of the Apostles, which is all about the early years of the Church, so I've got churches on my mind--specifically, new churches. In ecclesiological nomenclature, new churches are called "plants." So I have got church plants on my mind. Five or six years ago, I participated in… Continue reading How Did the Greatest Church Planter of All Time Plant Churches?
Over the last several weeks at Park Community Church, we have been hearing the stories from the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) that point to the greatest story of all--God's plan to redeem His people through Jesus Christ. As the most recent "episode" of the "Great Stories" series at the Forest Glen church, we heard… Continue reading Some Further Reflections on Joseph’s Story (Genesis 37-50)
Since I started in ministry back in 2011, I have been a student of church outreach methods and practices. What is outreach? Outreach is simply the activity of extending one's attention beyond one's church community in order to bring the Gospel to outsiders, and to bring outsiders to faith in Christ and into the church.… Continue reading What Kind of Church Outreach Works?
Before we begin, join me, for the sake of argument, in assuming two things: You have a spirit. Your spirit could be healthier. Your spirit is the deepest core of who you are. It's the truest essence of "self" that you have. It's your very life. When your spirit departs your body (i.e. when you… Continue reading One Sure-Fire Way to Grow in Spiritual Health this Summer