The blessing of mourning – Matthew 5:4


#5 in the Sermon on the Mount Series Jesus said this about mourning: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (NIV) In the introduction to his book The Problem of Pain, C. S. Lewis writes: “When Mr. Ashley Sampson suggested to me the writing of this book, I asked leave […]

On the difference between a hireling and a shepherd


In John 10:12–13 Jesus is quoted as saying the following about the difference between a hired hand and a shepherd: “The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The […]

What the Church can learn from Penn State


Something went horribly wrong at Penn State, that much is clear from all the dialog on the news and sports radio in the last week. The evidence points to the fact that evil was being perpetrated and nothing was done to stop it. If people were ignorant that something bad was happening, it seems as […]

When Church Becomes a Battle Ground – James 4:1-3


Put two humans together and there is bound to be conflict. As a result of the Fall, conflict is in our DNA. If you put a whole bunch of humans together in a local church the potential for conflict greatly increases. If the conflict escalates, the church can experience an internal battle that should not […]

The blessing of being poor (in spirit) – Matthew 5:3


Matthew 5:3 reads: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (NASB) One must assume that Jesus knew what he was doing when he put this Beatitude first in the list. Blessed are the poor in Spirit. Luke’s record shortens this saying to simply, “blessed are you who are poor” […]

Life on the wheel – 5 reasons why your church calendar is out of control and what to do about it


A pastor friend recently referred to the sum of all the activities at his church as “the wheel.” Hearing him say this, a vision of a large hamster wheel came to mind. There often is a sense in a church body that things need to happen and that everyone needs to pitch in to keep […]