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  • Created on Monday, 18 June 2018
    RENEWAL LEAVE UPDATE #6 The “veterans” of the 11th PA Reserves at the monument of the original regiment in Gettysburg – Rick Grossman, Bob Kaylor, Mike Cobb, and Chuck Cubbison I spent the past week of my renewal leave in Gettysburg, PA, doing some research on long-term pastorates at the Lutheran Seminary and, later in the week, having a...
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  • Created on Monday, 11 June 2018
    RENEWAL LEAVE UPDATE #5 I had the privilege of preaching at the Tunnelton Presbyterian Church in Tunnelton, PA, on Sunday morning. This was my grandparents’ church and the church where I was baptized. In many ways, this was like coming full circle—coming back to the church where my spiritual journey began. For this week’s update, I’m pos...
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  • Created on Tuesday, 05 June 2018
    RENEWAL LEAVE UPDATE #4 Joel Kershaw and I taking a break near Copeland Falls at Rocky Mountain National Park I have been in Estes Park, Colorado, this week enjoying some time for retreat thanks to the generosity of Linda Aldrich and Felipe Rodriguez who graciously let me use their beautiful cabin for a few days. Estes and Rocky Mountain...
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  • Created on Tuesday, 29 May 2018
    RENEWAL LEAVE UPDATE #3 “ Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.” – Han Solo, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. This weekend, I went into a screening of the new Han Solo biopic, the latest installment in Disney’s, well, “Disney-fication” of the Star Wars saga , with few expectations. After ...
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  • Created on Wednesday, 23 May 2018
    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go! One of the keys themes of my renewal leave is transition, and certainly one of the most profoun...
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  • Created on Wednesday, 16 May 2018
    It’s been a little over a week since the congregation and I bade farewell to one another as I embarked on a 15-week renewal leave, the first extended leave I have ever taken in nearly 30 years of full-time ministry. This time is a tremendous gift and I’m grateful to the congregation and our leadership for the opportunity to renew, retool...
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  • Created on Monday, 26 March 2018
    CONCLUSION OF THE LENT SERIES “THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS” MARK 15:16-39 We began today’s Palm Sunday service by reading about the parade that took place in Jerusalem when Jesus came into the city But some historians believe that there were actually two parades that day. There was the procession of the Roman cohort, led by Pontius Pilate, ...
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  • Created on Monday, 19 March 2018
    PART 5 OF “THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS” ROMANS 6:1-14 So far in this series, we’ve been looking at the cross and the meaning of Jesus’ death through the lens of history and the message of the whole Bible. In the first sermon, we looked at the scandalous nature of crucifixion in the ancient world and, in the second, we talked about how the m...
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  • Created on Monday, 12 March 2018
    PART 4 OF THE SERIES “THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS” MARK 8:27-9:1 During this series, we’ve been dealing with the question, “Why did Jesus die?” That’s certainly a vital question, but it often causes us to fail to ask an equally important question: “Why did Jesus live?” If we paid attention only to the atonement theories that the church has ...
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  • Created on Monday, 05 March 2018
    PART 3 OF THE SERIES “THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS” GENESIS 15; I CORINTHIANS 15:1-4 "I passed on to you as most important what I also received: Christ died for our sins in line with the Scriptures; he was buried and raised on the third day in line with the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4). This is Paul’s concise way of describing the gospel—the ...
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  • Created on Tuesday, 27 February 2018
    PART 2 OF THE SERIES “THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS” 2 CORINTHIANS 5:13-6:2; JOHN 8:31-36 WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE? That’s a question I’ve been hearing a lot these days. Looking at the news, watching people’s behavior, seeing the ways in which humans seem bent on destroying one another and themselves, it’s a question that many people are ask...
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  • Created on Monday, 19 February 2018
    PART 1 OF THE LENTEN SERIES “THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS” 1 CORINTHIANS 1:18-25 In 1857, archaeologists working on the Palatine Hill in the city of Rome unearthed a home that once belonged to the Emperor Caligula and, after his death, became a boarding school for imperial page boys. While they were sifting through the rubble, they came upon...
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  • Created on Monday, 12 February 2018
    JEREMIAH 31:31-34; GALATIANS 1:1-12 We have reached the conclusion of our series on Reform, but as with most things related to reformation, the end is really only the beginning. Once we learn the cycle of reform, we begin to look for the new future God wants to bring to his people and we anticipate what life might look like within it. Th...
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  • Created on Tuesday, 06 February 2018
    2 KINGS 23:21-23; 1 CORINTHIANS 11:23-26 We have come to the fourth stage of King Josiah’s reform this week, which we read about in 2 Kings 23:21-23. It’s a few short verses but some of the most powerful in the story. In this stage, Josiah re-institutes the Passover festival as an ongoing practice for the whole nation of Israel. It’s an ...
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  • Created on Monday, 29 January 2018
    Part 4 of the “Reform” series, in which we look at the third stage of Josiah’s reformation and discuss ideas and worldviews we need to challenge and purge in our own day. TEXTS: 2 KINGS 23:4-20; ROMANS 1:18-25 In this series we’ve been talking about the fact that every so often in history, the people of God have what we might call a rumm...
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  • Created on Sunday, 21 January 2018
    2 KINGS 23:1-13; 2 TIMOTHY 3:15-17 One of the things I’m most excited about for my renewal leave this summer is the chance to spend two weeks studying theology at Christ Church College in Oxford—the very same college where John Wesley studied. I’ll be taking courses in the Psalms, the theology of St. Paul, on baptism, and reading the ear...
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  • Created on Friday, 19 January 2018
    2 KINGS 22:1-13 We began this series last Sunday with a little introduction to reform and revival, and we said that every 500 years the church has a rummage sale when it puts everything out into the driveway and decides what to keep and what to get rid of in terms of theology, practice, and church life. Reformation is a way of going back...
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  • Created on Tuesday, 09 January 2018
    FIRST IN THE SERIES “RE-FORM: DISCOVERING THE ONCE AND FUTURE CHURCH” One of the things I’ve noticed about living in Monument, and particularly in our Jackson Creek neighborhood, is that people tend to go crazy for yard sales. It’s not the season for them right now, but come spring everyone will be looking to do a little house cleaning a...
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  • Created on Sunday, 24 December 2017
    A SERMON FOR CHRISTMAS EVE AND THE CONCLUSION TO THE “WONDER WOMEN OF ADVENT” SERIES. LUKE 1, 2 When I was in seminary I served as a youth pastor at a little church in Ohio that had a tradition of doing a live outdoor nativity scene during the Christmas season. The deal was that the kids would volunteer for half hour shifts sitting out i...
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  • Created on Sunday, 24 December 2017
    FOURTH IN THE SERIES “WONDER WOMEN OF ADVENT” 2 SAMUEL 11 We have come to the fourth Sunday in Advent and the fourth of our “Wonder Women” from Jesus’ genealogy. So far, we’ve looked at the troubling story of Tamar, who went around the law in order to obey the law and get justice for herself and her family; we’ve looked at Rahab, who dem...
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