We Don’t Just “Do Missions”

This has been a season of lasts for Carly and me. Tonight was our last congregational meeting on missions at Grace Chapel. We came so that I could serve as a pastor. We will be sent out as missionaries one month from today. To begin our meeting tonight, I set the context with three key biblical texts that are always bouncing around my mind. These texts show that we don’t just “do missions.” Missions is not one program of the church or something that a few people have a heart for. Mission is our main task. How do we know? For the earth will … Continue reading We Don’t Just “Do Missions”

Ash Wednesday at Grace Chapel

Wednesday, February 18, is Ash Wednesday. This marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 day period before Easter (46 including Sundays). The word Lent comes from a Latin word meaning “spring,” which comes from an earlier Germanic word meaning “lengthen” or “long” (since the days get longer in spring). At Grace Chapel (a non-denominational, Protestant Evangelical church), we’re encouraging our congregation to observe this season—not to merit favor with God or even because it’s hip to be ancient. We want to take advantage of these valuable observances so we can dive deeper into the gospel. That’s it. It’s really all … Continue reading Ash Wednesday at Grace Chapel

Civic Holidays and the Church

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. Churches all over the country are asking what they should do to honor veterans who have served in the U.S. military. Should we build the whole service around it? Should we give them a standing ovation? Should we say nothing? Let me share my perspective on how the gathered church should handle Memorial Day weekend and other civic holidays. I’m an old Millennial (born in 1984), so I probably have different thoughts on this than pastors and Christians in the Boomer and perhaps even Gen X generations. Much of my perspective is born out of this … Continue reading Civic Holidays and the Church

Quiet Time Confessions of a Pastor-Dad

What you see to the left is a picture of my nine month old daughter Hope and me from an early morning a couple weeks ago. This is characteristic of my morning “quiet time” (what I refer to as “personal worship”–I’ll use the terms interchangeably here). More often than not, early in the morning, I settle down with a Bible, a notebook, and a squirmy, noisy, giggly, grunty baby girl on my lap. I’m a pastor, but I’m mainly a dad, so that means my personal worship times look less like the shekhinah glory and more like grabbing fingers, laughs and … Continue reading Quiet Time Confessions of a Pastor-Dad

God Doesn’t Need Your Praise

Jonathan Edwards reminds us of this in his sermon on Zechariah 4:9. Here he speaks of God’s matchless grace after Adam’s sin and how God is, in himself, sufficient and complete without our praise (emphasis added): Now who but God of boundless grace, would not have been provoked, after this, to leave [Adam] as he was, in the miserable state into which he had brought himself by his disobedience; resolving to help him no more, leaving him to himself and to the punishment he had deserved, leaving him in the devil’s hands where he had thrown himself, not being contented … Continue reading God Doesn’t Need Your Praise