Pastor's Blog

“Sorry, not Sorry”

September 1, 2017

“#Sorry, Not Sorry” This term has become part of the cultural lingua franca in the last few years. It can leave one confused as you try to decipher if this is an apology or not. (Hint- it’s only an apology for not being apologetic.) This recently played out on a national stage when a cultural commentator retracted a previous apology. She had been called out by all sides of the political class for a picture she was in. Initially her attitude could be described as contrite and humble. But something happened in the last few weeks that made her decide... View Article

Back To School

August 25, 2017

The return to school brought many mixed emotions last week here in Muscatine. Some students were dreading the new routine of early mornings, homework, and regular bedtimes. But on the other hand, many parents were excited to get back to the school year norms that provide a break in planning and preparing activities so the charges don’t get “bored”. A recent cartoon strip captured this sentiment by depicting a mom trying to pry her son off a tree to push him on the school bus. In honor of the students going back to school, consider some things in your life... View Article

“The Time is Now”

August 18, 2017

The news for the last several days has introduced us to Charlottesville Virginia. Two weeks ago, this town of less than 50,000 residents was best known as the home of Thomas Jefferson’s beloved Monticello. It wouldn’t be a stretch to think that most residents long for those days to quickly return. That is unlikely to happen as the clash involving “alt-right” protestors placed a permanent stain on their history. In response to the events and dialogue coming out of this melee, I offer some actions to consider. The time is now to seek God’s face for the healing of our... View Article

“Tough Call”

August 11, 2017

The dread of making the phone call overwhelmed any desire to have it checked off the “to-do” list. It was going to a difficult conversation even if the person on the other end was in a great mood. And yet the dialogue had to begin. As I waited for the “hello” to greet me, I was repeatedly and silently praying, “Lord, give me wisdom.” After a few rings, the answering machine picked up and I was off the hook- until I had to try again. There are some of you that know that scenario well. Perhaps you’ve recently had to... View Article

“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