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Real Presence and the Ark of the Covenant

This weekend Pastor Mike walked us through the story of David bringing the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem. There's a lot going on in this episode: Uzzah's death, David's dance, Michal's mockery. But this week I was thinking mostly about what the ark of the covenant represented to the people of Israel....

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Through Many Dangers Toils and Snares

Amazing Grace was written by John Newton as a New Year's song. It's original title, which I like quite a bit better, was "Faith's Review and Expectation." The idea was to sing out the previous year by looking back at all that God had led you through (that's faith's review); and to look ahead to the next year with hope for more of God's grace (that's faith's expectation). I...

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Introducing... Our New Pavilion!

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You may have recently noticed that wehave constructed a new pavilion in the land next to our church building. As we wait to move forward with our facilities master plan and in light COVID-19, we wanted to create an open air space for folks at our church and in our neighborhood to gather. The outdoor pavilion was approved by the city building and zoning and is available fo...

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With Gratitude for New City Kids

None of our ministries have been altered more significantly during covid19 than New City Kids. I'm so proud of our New City Kids staff, for all the content they created for children in weekly home church lessons, virtual VBS, and Youtube stories and songs. This is definitely not what they had in mind when thinking about our spring and summer ministry, but they've adapted w...

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Moments of Deep Unrest

I go under the knife again this week for my sixth eye surgery. At least, I think it's the sixth; to be honest, I've kind of lost count. Truth be told, I'm not too worried about it -- I am an old pro, after all. But those first few surgeries were "moments of deep unrest" for me, to borrow a phrase from the 19th century song writer, George Matheson. Matheson was well acquain...

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Thinking About Yourself LESS

I was reading a book recently that makes that case that traditional cultures have always believed that too high a view of yourself is the real root cause of most evil in the world. Crime, violence and abuse all stem from people having too high a view of themselves. So what is the remedy? You clamp down. You modify external behavior. You tell people they’re bad....

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A Gentle Answer

My dad turns 81 today. Sadly, Parkinson’s Disease has robbed much of his latter years of what he and my mom hoped they would be. And yet, my dad has described this terrible disease as a kind of “severe mercy” for him. For the first 55 years of his life, my dad saw little need for God, at least not a personal God. We were connected to a church community, but that was ...

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The Deadliness of Pride

In 1 Corinthians 4:6 Paul says, I don't want you to be "puffed up." Some translations say, “I don’t want you to be proud. I don’t want you to be arrogant.” But here Paul doesn’t use the normal for hubris, or pride. The Greek word is physioo. It’s an unusual word. Paul uses it 6 times here in 1 Corinthians, and then once in Colossians; and then it’s not found ...

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Houses on Floral Avenue

Over the past 18 months, we've been working on a Master Plan to create a comprehensive plan for our facilities that aligns with the ways we believe God is calling us as a church. A part of that plan includes the homes we own adjacent to the church on Floral Avenue. The dilapidation of the buildings and the many code issues make it cost prohibitive to keep those structures...

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More on Kindness

On Sunday we continued our Love series, meditating on Paul's phrase, "Love is kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4). We may tend to think of kindness as a slender virtue (nice and all, but not that big a deal). However, not only does Paul mention kindness as an attribute of love, it is also a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). This means that kindness is not an optional add-on to ...

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