The Redemptive Wilderness

Sermon originally delivered to the Calvary Reformed Church of New Berlin, Wisconsin. Text: Luke 4:1-13.   The other day, I went out for a walk, as I often like to do in the winter, on the lake behind my house. It is shallow, and it freezes over quickly, solidly, and smoothly. For someone who cannotContinue reading “The Redemptive Wilderness”

Stepping Into the Unknown

My sermon from this past Sunday. Text was Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16.   Faith. Hope. Assurance. Christianity has its own language, its own vocabulary, and for those who are new to the Christian faith or new to the church, the vocabulary can be somewhat confusing, with terms that are used so often and so frequently andContinue reading “Stepping Into the Unknown”

Hump Day Hymns: Christian, Dost Thou See Them

Christian, dost thou see them On the holy ground, How the powers of darkness Rage thy steps around? Christian, up and smite them, Counting gain but loss, In the strength that cometh By the holy cross. Christian, dost thou feel them, How they work within, Striving, tempting, luring, Goading into sin? Christian, never tremble; NeverContinue reading “Hump Day Hymns: Christian, Dost Thou See Them”

Hump Day Hymns: Father, whate’er of earthly bliss

Father, whate’er of earthly bliss Thy sov’reign hand denies, Accepted at Thy throne of grace, Let this petition rise. Give me a calm, a thankful heart From every murmur free; The blessings of Thy grace impart, And let me live to Thee. Let the sweet hope that Thou art mine My path of life attend;Continue reading “Hump Day Hymns: Father, whate’er of earthly bliss”

Advent in Tension

Many of my parishioners walk to church, as most of my congregation does not own a car for financial reasons. One of these was walking the two blocks from her home to church. In that short distance she was struck by a car and died as a result of the impact. All of this whileContinue reading “Advent in Tension”

Being faithful with my little

I often find myself frustrated. I have been given very little.  I have very little in terms of number of people in my congregation, very little in terms of my facilities, exceptionally little in terms of financial resources, and little in terms of other resources in my congregation and community. I don’t want to haveContinue reading “Being faithful with my little”

Living with what used to be

It was a large square brick building painted grey, about six stories high. It used to be some sort of a manufacturing company, at least that is what I gathered from the remnants of the painted sign on the facade. The days for productivity for this building are over, at least that is what IContinue reading “Living with what used to be”

Marginalia of a Past Life

Formerly, I had a habit of making notes in the books that I was reading. This was a way for me to reflect on what I had read and would allow me the opportunity, in a way, to engage in a conversation with the author. It was also a time at which I was youngContinue reading “Marginalia of a Past Life”

“…With Sighs Too Deep for Words”

I had an out-of-town meeting yesterday, about an hour away.  On my way to this meeting, the distance provided me with one full hour of unstructured alone time.  I was not reading, I was not making telephone calls, I was not having people stop by my office, and I was not writing. I had anContinue reading ““…With Sighs Too Deep for Words””

How the Teacher Becomes the Student

The highest assembly of my denomination, the General Synod, meets annually in June. There are delegates which are elders and ministers, and there are corresponding delegates which can speak but not vote. Corresponding delegates are often people with particular expertise or particular experiences that make them valuable additions to General Synod and the denomination valuesContinue reading “How the Teacher Becomes the Student”