From the Pastors' Desks

From the Pastors' Desks

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Joy Comes with the Morning

Perspective is so hard to come by when you’re walking through a trial. Sickness, sin, and all kinds of misery can seem eternal, and heaven can become microscopic in our heart and imagination. In my last sermon from James 1, I was very moved by our confidence that “various trials” should be counted as “all joy” because of what they are producing in us: endurance....

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Who Among You is Wise?

Clearly, the needs for wise care within the church far exceed the capacity of any pastor, and clearly, the solution is to multiply wise helpers within the church through training. “How?” is the million-dollar question! The Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF) is a biblical counseling ministry that God is using worldwide to help pastors like me answer th...

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Memento Mori

I have been thinking about death lately. Not morbidly. I know death is a conquered foe. But it is still an inevitable reality. And the Bible says that there is something about “numbering our days” that produces wisdom (Ps 90:12). What is the wisdom of remembering our own mortality?...

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5 Roadblocks to Service

Sacrificing for others is hard... almost impossible. Serving the needs of others is like a summer road trip. We pull our car out on the road of interest and compassion for others but immediately something falls......

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Frets, Fretting, and Faithfulness

One of my favorite videos on YouTube is of Tommy Emmanuel—a personal favorite guitarist—playing his rendition of “Classical Gas.” The original version is difficult as is, but......

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MidSummer Musings

I’m making my way through Ecclesiastes recently in my devotions. It reads like a lament: a man with “eternity in his heart” grieving the fleeting nature of life in this world. How can things matter when nothing lasts?...

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Some Good News

During the original COVID lockdown, John Krasinski cheered many hearts with “Some Good News”, a series of short videos dedicated to sharing good news. I’d also like to celebrate some good news with you, three things in particular....

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Living to Tell the Tale

In one of the most captivating stories in the Bible, a prophet is held up, not as an example of the faithful messenger and mouthpiece of God, but as one who opposed the mercy of God to sinful rebels. In Jonah 4:1-4, the prophet explains why he ran from God when told to preach to Nineveh and call them to repentance. “I knew you were a gracious God and merciful, slow to an...

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The Heart Wags the Tongue

Here’s inviting you to join me in assessing and redressing a small but important slice of daily life: the words we speak to the people around us. But first some context to orient you. Two weeks ago, I preached from Proverbs 9. In the preceding chapters, we overhear a father counseling his young, soon-to-be-launched-into-the-world son by means of a series of ten father...

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When Plans Fail

It was a great plan. As you know, I was scheduled to speak this past weekend, near Yosemite, for the Family Camp of the Presbytery of Northern California. I spoke there about 10 years ago and greatly enjoyed the people there and I was really looking forward to being with them again. The plan was to speak on the book of Job. It was hard work trying to capture the...

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