From the Pastors' Desks

From the Pastors' Desks

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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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From Grumbling to Gratitude for the the Great Commission

It’s striking that one important preparation for being a compelling witness to the world is gratitude. In Philippians 2, Paul connects putting away our grumbling with becoming a compelling, shining light of the Gospel to the world. Christians are contented people who joyfully thank God in all circumstances and, because of this, present a striking contrast against the lan...

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West Michigan Culture: A User’s Guide

A few weeks ago, in my sermon on Ephesians 5:1-2, I spent a little time talking about culture – specifically how Dutch West Michigan culture is defined by lots of good things – like family and apple pie, but also by some not-so-good-things, like a lack of humility and love. Cultures come with blind spots because we assume that “the-way-we-do-life” is normative and...

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From Community to Culture

In case you missed it, this previous Sunday we hosted four different outreach ministries during our Sunday School presentation. The vision driving this is simple -- a desire to connect Harvest members to outreach efforts that are already happening in our community and beyond. Paul explains to the Ephesians in chapter 4, verses 5-6, that there is only one Lord, and this one...

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