Some last words

We are now down to TWO DAYS before movers show up and haul out the last of our worldly possessions.

Tomorrow… Sunday… I get the privilege of preaching one last time at Heights Church.

I have talked about how I have loved the city where I was able to live the past 20 years. But to pastor this church for almost 20 years… I need a book to explain how I love this church! The change that has happened in that time period… and all that is possible in the days ahead as they ready a transition to their next pastor… my heart is full.

All that God has done in the lives of these incredible people, and what that will mean in Columbia Heights for years to come, creates thankfulness in my heart.

Thank you, Heights Church.

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Politics and the Pulpit

May 4 being the National Day of Prayer, President Trump signed an Executive Order loosening control of what has been called the “Johnson Amendment.” Under the Johnson Amendment, it was to disallow direct political endorsements from the pulpit of particular candidates. If violated, the IRS could look into pulling the tax exemption status from a religious organization.  Continue reading “Politics and the Pulpit”

The JOY of preaching the Word of God

One of my great joys came when I got up from a chair to walk to the podium and the Lord said to me, “Now remember, it’s what I do with the word between your lips and their hearts that matters.” That is a tremendous lesson. If you do not trust God to do that, then will let you do what you’re going to do, and it’s not going to come to much. But once you turn it loose and recognize we are always inadequate but our inadequacy is not the issue, you are able to lay that burden down. Then the satisfaction you have in Christ spills over into everything you do. — Dallas Willard, Renewing the Christian Mind

 

The Kingdoms of This World

I am still baffled by the news out of Houston, TX that the mayor wanted sermons subpoenaed from local churches!

Allan Bevere hit it on this head with his post.

There is a COST to following Christ and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we may begin to feel that pressure a bit here. At this point, it’s silliness.

But the declaration Bevere makes bears repeating:

As I have said before, the church is my nation; the church is my politic. God’s kingdom holds my citizenship. But the reality is that what I say from the pulpit I have no trouble saying out on the streets. In my preaching, I am accountable to God and to the church. I am not accountable to the emperor or his or her minions in state government. If they want to scrutinize what I say in the pulpit they are welcome to read every sermon I’ve ever preached.

This is a time to be reminded that we need the Body of Christ. It is far past time to give up our “rugged individualism” as believers and learn the necessity of the Church. Let us hear this call of allegiance in our own lives. It is about HIS Kingdom come… not any other Kingdom

The preaching of the Word

The priority needs to be given to the public reading of Scripture. We need to systematically read the Scripture in public. The story needs to be impressed into our collective memories.

“If the sermon follows some form of lectio divina (in which the whole of Scripture is read over a period of time), we are more likely to avoid the habit of reading from a few favorite books (usually the Epistles) and preaching from our favorite texts… What we call the ‘exposition of the Scriptures’ should be the clarification of the Story so we can listen to it more attentively and relate to the events more fully.” — Simon Chan, Spiritual Theology