Pastor’s Pen
 

To Be Like Christ?

October 31, 2017
 
     Years ago, I officiated a wedding where the bride was from my church and the groom was a doctor from India.  His father was Hindu.  During a dinner one evening with the family, the groom’s dad asked me what I saw as the purpose of the Christian religion.  I said to tell the Jesus story around the world.  His response was to say, “Are you saying that the purpose of your church is to take over the world for Jesus, and make Christians of everyone?”  I said, “No, I don’t see it as taking over the world for Jesus.  It’s telling the Jesus story for anyone who wishes to listen.”  He said, “You may say it’s just about telling the story, but for many of us from other religions, it comes across like you want to take over the world in Jesus name; and make everyone saved, just like you.”

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Witness without Words

October 24th, 2017
 
       The other night my wife and I had dinner at the Harbor House in Johnson City.  Yes, the seafood is pretty good and the price just can’t be beat, but while we we’re there we noticed a sign they had which read, “Children don’t listen to what you preach, they follow what you do.”  Being a preacher by calling, I can tell you that this sign obviously caught my attention.  As I paused to reflect on its meaning, what I like about this sign is the hidden calling for a bridge that connects words and actions.

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The Power of Words

October 17th, 2017

          Words are powerful,

but how we use words is what gives them their power.  Do you use words to help or to hinder, to hurt or to heal?  There are smooth talkers who use words to manipulate people’s actions and behavior, and there are trash talkers who use words to insult their opponent as a way to lift themselves up at another person’s expense.
         

Words are dangerous, and in today’s political climate we see civility and politics growing further apart.  We should heed the warning in James 3:9-10 … “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men (women), who have been made in God’s likeness. 


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Better or Different?

October 10th, 2017

         Many years ago I conversed with a pastor from another denomination who preaches in a modern style contemporary church.  He said to me, “What I love about my church is no pulpit, no robe, and no stole.  I just love being in my street clothes, standing on stage with the praise band, just wearing my jeans and t-shirt, like everyone else sitting in the audience.  If I had to put on a robe and stole, dressing up like it’s a peacock parade, I would feel like it’s all about me, and not about God.  Being on stage, dressed in jeans, with no pulpit between me and the people makes me feel it’s all about God.”

            My response was to say, “Interesting, because what I love


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Why?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Why?

          He was 64 years old, white, wealthy, and did not have a name that included the word, Muhammed.   He had no ties with any terror or hate group, and was not a person who used religion or race as an excuse for practicing hate and violence against others.  And yet, he was the man who shot and killed 59 people at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas, NV, as well as injuring several hundred other people.

 Why?


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Did Jesus Really Need to Die?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

As Christians, we have a short answer to a question that has been asked many times over many centuries.  Why did Jesus have to die?  Jesus died to forgive our sin.  But such a reply doesn’t always answer all the questions and concern we have about why a Father God would go and send his only Son to die such a wretched death on a cross?  Could not God have found a more humane way?


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