Month: July 2015

Heresy on Vacation

This to me says “Vacation!”

“The only answer is abortion.”

On this particular vacation, I made it my aim to read. I brought a bevy of books with me to a secluded location, cut myself off from the internet, and simply enjoyed life.

I only read one of the books I brought with.

One day while on vacation, my Bride and I ventured to the local Goodwill. We had taken our family to a place… well, not known for books. I wanted to browse the bookshelves here, and didn’t expect to find a whole lot. We returned to our vacation home with ten new volumes.

We’d found some little treasures. A hardback French translation of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, purchased to use as a gift for a friend who delights in French. My Father’s Dragon, a delight of a children’s book, for my Bride’s mother. For me, Me, Myself, and Bob, Phil Vischer’s autobiography. I ripped through that one in about twenty-four hours; it’s a great account of how chasing your dream or your ministry is not chasing after Jesus. Vischer was brought to recognize this and writes about it at length near the end. I recommend the last few chapters all by themselves for some sobering and well-grounded thoughts.

Well worth it if you find this hanging around somewhere.


Because of You — check it out if you don’t know it

Praise our God, who gives sorrow and pain.
Give thanks to our God, who grants relief.
Lift up your hands to the God who brings joy
And lift up your voices to the God who pours out grace.

“My daughter’s looking for a church to join,” says the man on the other end of the phone. He doesn’t sound pleased. I know he wanted his daughter to join us.

“I thought she was visiting here…?” I venture, not expecting this. He and his daughter are prospects. She just moved into town. She’s been with us a few weeks visiting. Usually if someone doesn’t like us for one reason or another, they simply leave – they don’t say, “Well, I’m looking for a church” and leave.

“It’ll be just me tonight. I’ll – I’ll talk to you more then.” And dad hangs up.

And feel my chest empty and hollow. Yes, I know that prospects leave often. The seed falls on all sorts of soil.

I think I know why they’re leaving. She’s living with her boyfriend. Last week as we talked about the virgin birth I mentioned how Mary and Joseph had kept away from sexual sin by not having sex before they were married. If the law offended them, there’s not much I can do. This is God’s Word, not mine.

It still stings. (more…)

I can’t do this job.

When I went to seminary, I never imagined I’d be planting a new church.

Please understand, I’d longed to serve as a pastor for a long time, but evangelism has never been my strong suit. I’m not good at starting conversations and then turning them to Jesus. Put me in an established congregation, please! Don’t give me a mission start!

…and then, after years of laboring here, I’m basically planting a new church within the old one.

We’ve started a new evening service. It was aimed at reaching people who aren’t served well by our traditional morning worship. I had dreamed years ago of serving our teens better this way, and letting them help design worship that worked well for them, along with me using God’s Word to guide. Now the old idea has a new lease.

We’ve been at it for just over a month now. We’re simply reading through Luke. Tonight we finally got to Luke 2 – Christmas. (more…)