A plea for reasonableness

I write this first and foremost to my church, to those I know and love, to those who claim Christ and display it with their lives. While I would love to extend this plea to Christians more broadly, my responsibility and my heart go first to the health, love and...

Reflections on a new year

Closing off one year and beginning a new year provides a good time for reflection. As I reflect on our life together as a church at this moment, there are so many things that come to mind. The story of a church is always a complex picture that includes the individual...

Shame and guilt

Both the Bible and our contemporary, western culture have much to say about human identity. And central to both the Bible’s and our culture’s understanding of identity are the issues of guilt and shame, and specifically how to overcome guilt and shame. But the ways...

Prioritizing the gospel, because of the gospel

This past Sunday, I preached from Mark 13, where Jesus is warning his disciples of suffering and persecution to come. At one point, he tells them, But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will...

Dependent on God’s word

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4) This past Sunday I preached on Mark 12:35-37, and briefly pointed out something Jesus says almost as an aside, but something that...

Navigating new restrictions

As you likely know, Governor Inslee issued a host of new restrictions Sunday (11/15). The context for these is a surge in coronavirus cases around the state. Locally, cases are also surging, with another outbreak at Josephine Caring Community. The restrictions are,...

The discipline of difficulty

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. 4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses...

Missing the forest

You’ve heard the saying: missing the forest for the trees. It means being so focused on the details that you miss the big picture. It means one can be right about many small details—about a project, issue, or task—but miss what matters most. This is not to say that...

Prayer challenge, and guidance

A couple of weeks ago, I preached on prayer from Mark 11:22-26. The text begins: “And Jesus answered them, ‘Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but...