Pastor's Blog

“The Cross is Central”

August 4, 2017

Phoenix is hot this time of year. My parents recently moved to “The Valley” to spend their retirement years in a place that has benefits for my mother’s COPD. She recently told me in an excited voice “there have only been 18 days over 110 so far this year.” Sounds like 18 reasons to cross that off my summer vacation list. A couple of weeks ago, a major Christian group had their annual meeting in Phoenix and the heat was generated from a different place. This group was wrestling with a recommendation that would publicly define the centrality of the... View Article

“I did it”

July 28, 2017

“I did it” These words summarize a text from a friend that resulted in a minor celebration. They had been able to accomplish a goal and excitedly shared the news of completion. The good news was that I had been praying for them and the quest. The not so good news is that I hadn’t told them I was praying in case it didn’t work out. So the text came as a relief but also a rebuke. And then my mind went to James 1:5-8 where there is an admonition to pray expectantly. I hadn’t done that. I spent the... View Article

“Staying Sky Aware”

July 21, 2017

The radio station weatherman sounded an ominous warning on the way to work this morning. He reiterated that the atmospheric conditions here in Eastern Iowa are volatile and all that is needed for an explosive storm is something to ignite the “fuel” in our sky. And then he put it in perspective and said, “the trigger we dread is lurking right over Nebraska.” His call was for the listeners to stay sky aware and ready to take action. The ominous clouds off on the horizon seem to back up the observations of the friendly voice on the radio. 2 Timothy... View Article

“Why did I say that?”

July 18, 2017

“Why did I say that?” If you are normal, that question has spent some time top of mind. It might center on a secret that a friend asked you to keep confidential. Or perhaps an exaggeration that was designed to make you look and feel better is revealed as untrue. There are any number of times that our words can get us into trouble, and these times we wonder why we haven’t been able to put these things behind us. Philippians 1 presents a framework for evaluating the work of God in our life. Paul opens this letter to his... View Article

The Sight of Faith

July 7, 2017

Do you remember the question from your youth that inquired, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The answers are often filled with hope and a little bit of naiveté. My firm conviction in my youth was that I would be an astronaut. I rehearsed that answer often and talked about it more. (For fair disclosure, I am not and astronaut, nor have I ever played one on TV.) Somewhere in those years, space lost its allure and I poured my passions into other pursuits. There are a lot of Christ Followers that might echo the same... View Article

They got it right!

June 30, 2017

Monday morning started off with several Supreme Court decisions that will have long lasting implications. For those that watch The Courts calendar, there was some expectation and hesitation going in to today. Perhaps the biggest question mark is the possible retirement of a long serving Justice, the Honorable Anthony Kennedy. This retirement would set the course of the court for the foreseeable future. And as this is written, there has been no announcement yet. A well-respected lawyer posted a video summary regarding the decisions made this morning. I was surprised at how fast the response came and took the two... View Article

“I Almost Cried”

June 23, 2017

This statement was made to me in the midst of a fairly routine conversation and took me by surprise. The item being described is commonly noted for its magnificent beauty and charm, but to be so impressed that it almost elicited that level of response really struck me. Partly because my raising afforded little appreciation for crying and secondly, it’s been some time since I’ve been impressed enough to offer tears of appreciation. As I sat and contemplated, a couple of questions raced through my mind. “Have I built up that much cynicism that very little can reach my emotional... View Article

The Best Father’s Day Gift

June 17, 2017

That was easy. A Google search for “The Best Father’s Day Gift” returned over 6 million solutions, narrowing it down pretty quick! This weekend celebration turns to all things dad. The hardware store has a selection of grills on sale and the anchor store at the mall has great deals on rugged watches and colognes. These stores are hoping your feeling of love, appreciation, or guilt will compel you to purchase larger items to express your feelings. While you might not have the time to peruse all 6 million websites, most Americans still feel a pressing desire to get dad... View Article

Wonder Woman’s Theology

June 9, 2017

I know exactly when it happened. I was in seminary and a professor required us to watch a movie and “interact” with the characters about their prejudices and worldview. (The arguing is easy when the character’s honor can’t be defended.) Throughout the class, this movie interaction exercise was frequent and my family will argue that I’m not near as fun at movies anymore. I don’t know if my Prof intended us to utilize this discipline after the class, but I have been unable to disconnect. As my family and I watched the latest installment of a comic book “hero” (in... View Article

Commitment or Fulfillment

June 2, 2017

Which is more important in a relationship – commitment or fulfillment? Although it’s nice when both ingredients are present, past history tells us there are times when that utopia isn’t available. So which is it? Would you agree it depends on your point of view? We want our relationships to offer us fulfillment but also realize a big part of that is found in commitment. It works well when our friends are committed to us and we reap a benefit. Issues arise when the desire for fulfillment trumps the required foundation of commitment. Every relationship moves through seasons where doldrums... View Article