A Pastoral Word

The “Dunkings” of Life

In his book, Walking With God Through Suffering, Timothy Keller writes that British shepherds, such as the ones in this picture, often take sheep and rams and throw them into a dipping trough, a huge vat filled with an antiseptic liquid. The shepherd must completely submerge each animal, holding its ears, eyes, and nose under the surface. It is, […]

The Pain of Social Rejection

When we experience relational hurts (whether through actions, words, or lack of encouragement), we often use phrases such as “She broke my heart,” or “He hurt my feelings,” or it was like getting “punched in the gut.” In an article in Atlantic magazine last year, Emily Smith shared the findings of researcher and neuroscientist Matthew […]

Live By Law or By Grace?

No matter how hard we try, we just can’t seem to shed our need to live by law rather than grace. This week, I came across an excerpt from an article written by Geoffrey A. Fowler and Shira Ovide.  It appeared in The Wall Street Journal last April and was entitled “Sit Up Straight, and […]

Unlikely People

One of the most beloved Christmas songs started out as an advertising gimmick. In 1939, Montgomery Ward tapped advertising executive Robert May to write a poem for their store Santa Claus to give to children who came to visit him. The result was “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and the first time it appeared was in […]

Thankful Hearts

The words “law” and “command” tend to have a negative connotation to most people.  When independent-minded humans, such as you and me, think of rules and regulations, we think of burdens. We believe that by their very nature God’s laws are restrictive limits to our freedom. Actually, nothing could be further from the truth. As […]

Kids Come First

One of the blessings of a sabbatical is that it gives a pastor, such as me, the chance to experience being a congregant. These two months provided the opportunity to worship without the responsibilities that come with leading worship. Don’t get me wrong; I LOVE to worship with you at Redland! It’s a great joy […]

Holy Land Trip part 2

As I write this, Sue and I are recovering from jet lag after our trip to the Holy Land. While we were in Israel, a famous Jewish Rabbi, Ovadia Yosef, died at the age of 93. His funeral was held on our last day in Jerusalem. By police estimates, 700,000 people, almost one-tenth of the […]

Holy Land Trip part 1

As I write this, Sue and I are just getting over jet lag after our trip to the Holy Land. We both kept a daily journal of our experiences and I’ve been going over my notes as a way of consolidating the lessons/insights God gave during those precious days when we walked where Jesus walked. […]

Tithing to Meet Needs

In January 2012, CNN gave a positive report about young Christians who are fighting human trafficking. Over 42,000 young people, mostly college students, gathered in Atlanta for an event focused on worship and the abolition of sex trafficking. CNN seemed impressed that these young Christians didn’t just sing praise songs; they also gave money to […]

God is Truth

In Preaching Today, Matt Woodley writes about the astronomer Allan Sandage, who was hailed as “the most influential astronomer” of the 20th century. For six decades, Dr. Sandage played a key role in increasing our understanding of the universe and determining the Hubble Constant, which describes the universe’s expansion. He was awarded the Crafoord Prize, […]

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