From the Pastor’s Desk:
April 2019 Spire
What do the items on the following list have in common?
- Hot Air Balloons
- My blood pressure driving through Boston during rush hour
This little list is an odd collection, containing things that have very
little to do with one another. The commonality is that these things all
Now I know that hot air balloons fall, that yeast has it’s limits, and that blood pressures can return to normal when I remember that I am not the most important person on the highway. I also know that Jesus is still risen. Scripture tells us that He sits at the right hand of God the father, after his ascension as witnessed by the disciples.
We serve a risen Savior! One who defeated death so that all may live. One who chose to be obedient while facing the unbearable weight of the world’s sin. One who loves us while fully knowing our triumphs and our embarrassments. One who wants us to follow Him more closely every day.
Today is a day that you have also risen. Not only are you moving and carrying out your daily activities, but you have risen over the chasm of sin and are sustained by our risen Savior. Our God is always with us! Recall these words from Psalm 139:7-10,
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Throughout this life’s rises and falls, God’s hands guide. God’s hands hold us. God’s hands were pierced out of love for us. God’s hands pick us up from the murkiness of sin and cleanse us.
This Easter, as we remind ourselves of God’s redemptive love and our need for it, rise to our Savior’s expectations. Love God with our entire being and love our neighbors as ourselves.
I love you all,
From the Pastor’s Desk:
February 2019 Spire
“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” 1 Corinthians 13:1
I enjoy meeting people. Every new interaction might result in learning, service, or even friendship. Within a few moments of conversation, one can usually calculate the similarities and differences that exist between souls. Typically, a conversation between strangers will turn to the topic of employment, and for me, that point is always transforming. My business card says “Pastor”. To me, it means certain things. But to the partner in a new conversation however, it may mean very different things. Upon the discovery of my vocation, often the other person apologizes for the language they have used prior to my disclosure. “For what?” Is my usual response. I want to help people be at ease, and share a bit of grace quickly. It isn’t as if I’m offended when people who don’t follow Jesus use salty language. They are just demonstrating the condition of their heart. I don’t expect others to sit up, present with better table manners and straighten their clothes just because we’re conversing. My desire is that they’ll be themselves, and I’ll do the same. But for my friends who do follow Jesus, I have different hopes and expectations. Our little tongues are capable of such a huge vocabulary. Be reminded, dear brothers and sisters, of the caution we receive in James:
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.” James 3:9-12 NIV
As we roam the halls of our church facility, sit in conference rooms and the sanctuary together, work alongside one another in the kitchen, etc… Let us strive not to cleanse our tongues from bad language, but prayerfully examine our hearts, because according to Jesus;
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45 NIV
I love you all,
December 2018 Spire
From the Pastor’s Desk:
Our recent sermon series involved music, that our God uses rhythm, melody, harmony and voice for our good and perhaps as tools for us to understand more about faith. As I’ve been hearing Christmas music this year reminded about the familiar melodies may transport me back a few decades to simpler seasons of life, to favorite family gatherings or to unique gift exchanges. The music triggers happy memories for me.
Here are a few familiar texts from the songs that evoke feelings:
“Have a holly-jolly Christmas, it’s the best time of the year.”
“Jingle bell time is a swell time, to go gliding in a one-horse sleigh.”
“Everybody knows, a turkey and some mistletoe, help to make the season bright.”
Sometimes, however, I get a little confused:
Did Bing Crosby sing outside baby Jesus’ manger walls?
Was Frosty one of the original Wisemen?
Was it Donner or Blitzen that Mary rode to Bethlehem on?
Hopefully, the feelings we experience from our Christmas memories are significant and pleasurable. While there is nothing wrong with them, at the end of the day, they are simply feelings. Here are a few texts from snags that remind us of Jesus’ unlikely, but highly anticipated arrival:
“Silent night, holy night, Shepherds quake at the sight! Glories stream from heaven afar; Heavenly hosts sing alleluia, Christ the savior is born, Christ the savior is born!”
“O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appear Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel, Shall come to thee, O Israel.”
I hope that these sets of lyrics are a reminder to us to use our precious time wisely. As with most situations in life, we have the opportunity to either worship God and remind ourselves of his faithfulness, or to simply entertain and serve ourselves. Please don’t get me wrong, I’ll be belting out all of the lyrics to Rudolph alongside my kids in the car! As well, I’ll be reminding them that Jesus entered the world as he remains now, an innocent servant, beautiful and full of grace.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:8-14 NIV
Merry Christmas, I love you all