Pastor’s Blog

Freedom From Offense, Part 1

»Posted on Feb 14, 2018 in Pastor's Blog

The Syrophoenician Woman The danger of offense Jesus said that we would encounter stumbling blocks in life. He warned those who created stumbling blocks to faith, but He also warned his disciples who lived by faith to be on their guard against unforgiveness. Those who cause offense certainly have reason to fear, but those who are offended are also in danger of living their lives in the bondage of offense and instead of the freedom of forgiveness. The king and the slave In the story of the king and the slave in Matthew 18:21-35 Jesus illustrates this. In the story, the king has forgiven him a debt that he could never repay in a lifetime, but he later demands repayment of a day’s wage from a fellow servant. The king throws the slave into prison because he refuses...

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The Value of a Man Questions

»Posted on Jul 29, 2017 in Pastor's Blog

These questions were asked by the congregation on Father’s Day 2017. Since I could only reply to a few then, I answered these in a little more detail.  (Speaking of men) What makes you tick? This a great question. What does make a man tick? What motivates a man? Of course, every man has his unique make-up and follows his own course. Nevertheless, there are things that are common among men which are reflective of the way God made men. When God created man he gave him the responsibility to cultivate and keep the Garden. In essence, God gave him a stewardship over earth, a responsibility. Carrying responsibility is what makes a man out of a boy. I remember when my father gave me the responsibility to take the last few hours of the family business every day. At 17...

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Adam Norton

»Posted on Jun 5, 2015 in Pastor's Blog

(February 9, 1975 – February 6, 2014) Last February we lost Adam Norton, Ed and Peggy Norton’s son, Lisa’s husband, Nick, Warren and Brianna’s father, Melissa, Emilie, Bethany, John, and Joy’s brother, and our friend. His death was an awful thing, the result of a long struggle with a mysterious illness. Death is an enemy, but this death was especially cruel. Adam began to suffer blinding and debilitating headaches that eventually cost him his job. Doctors could not find a cause or a cure. People prayed for healing, and eventually the headaches went away, and he began to work again. But the headaches returned with a vengeance and then seizures and weakness. He gradually lost strength in his muscles and had frequent muscle spasms that caused dangerous...

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Untangling the Knots

»Posted on Nov 6, 2014 in Pastor's Blog

Psalm 103 is a poet’s and songwriter’s look back at the exodus. The psalmist tells the people of Israel that they can have confidence in God’s love for them by remembering what God revealed about Himself by what He did then and what He said. They had come to a low point in the early part of their journey. They had come out from the most powerful military nation of the time. God miraculously provided both food and water. The Egyptians loaded them with valuables. God healed them, and to top it off, He Himself came with them! He met personally with them and spoke with them at Sinai. Yet when Moses did not come down from the mountain when they expected him, they decided to make themselves a god—a golden calf. That did not go over well with the Lord. When Moses...

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What about Suffering and Evil?

»Posted on Oct 10, 2014 in Pastor's Blog

Yesterday I listened to some horrible accounts of the evil that people do to each other and was reminded of the awful suffering that plagues life on earth. We all know people suffering from some illness, we know the effects of war on our own, and we can only imagine the horrors that people caught in the middle of the current conflicts experience. How do we make sense of these things when we have also experienced God’s goodness? Thomas Oden wrote a book for pastors to help them speak of God to suffering people. He writes: “Theodicy means to speak justly of God amid the awesome fact of suffering. Its task is to vindicate the divine attributes, especially justice, mercy, and love, in relation to the continuing existence of evil.” When we suffer, we want to know...

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