Cultivating a Movement: Surrender!

As I wrote previously, I just started a sermon series at Centre Grove on Cultivating a Movement. The series began with a focus on surrender. The word “surrender” has mostly negative connotations—on the battlefield, in the political arena, on the sports field, and in life, in general. But in the spiritual life, surrender is essential. … Read more

Cultivating a Movement

I just started a new sermon series called, “Cultivating a Movement.” A few weeks ago, I wrote in an email to church leaders and prayer partners, “I don’t just want to pastor a church; I want to lead a movement!” Now, that may not be the most theologically-accurate statement. By nature, a church is a … Read more

God is Always With Us, Fighting for Us!

Why is there a Christmas? I believe there’s a Christmas because “God’s faithful love endures forever!” That’s a phrase that appears over and over in the Old Testament (mainly in the Psalms). It includes the Hebrew word, hesed (appears 248 times in the Old Testament), which describes God’s faithful love, loyalty, and devotion. God’s faithful … Read more

Nothing Kept Jesus From the Cross

Today, I spoke at our local ministerium’s weekly Lenten Lunch service (services last from 12:05 to 12:30, followed by lunch in a different church each week during Lent). Today, we were at West Side UMC, where my wife is the pastor. It was a rare opportunity for the two of us to serve together. This … Read more

Christmas is God’s Rescue Mission!

John 3.16-17 sums up the purpose of Christmas … God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life. God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. … Read more

Take Up Your Washbasin and Towel!

Last night, at the combined Holy Thursday service of the Centre Grove and Curwensville UMCs, my sermon was on the example of Jesus in washing the feet of his disciples, hours before his betrayal. The story in John 13 is loaded with topics and lessons but I chose to focus on Jesus’ example. Jesus’ example … Read more

4 Ways We Limit God

At the beginning of my sermon this past Sunday, I said that we limit God (that is, we, the hands and feet of Jesus, limit God’s work in the world). That’s a sobering reality. I’m sure there are many ways we limit God’s work in the world. I talked about four ways in my introduction … Read more

Surrender: The Answer is Yes!

I am currently doing a sermon series on “Life in the Wilderness.” The wilderness represents those times when life doesn’t go according to plan, when something happens that we aren’t expecting. Everyone goes through the wilderness; no one is exempt. And the wilderness changes us — no one comes out on the other side unchanged … Read more

Stuck at the Surface

One of the biggest problems that I’ve tried to confront throughout my ministry is complacency. From the beginning of my journey as a Christ-follower, I have said that complacency is one of the biggest problems we face! Complacency is a temptation for all of us and perhaps the temptation only gets stronger as we grow … Read more

Faith and Action Go Hand in Hand!

I preached at the final service in the Clearfield Community Lenten Lunch series today. Here’s the gist of my message … Joleen, who hosted today’s service at West Side, read the Scripture. I hope people caught the contrasting points of the two writers. Romans 4.1-5 (NLT) Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish … Read more