How We Worshipped One Sunday in May

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I do so hoping they serve as a model of how one church attempts to worship the Lord in a distinctly biblical way. In this case I’m sharing a service in which we baptized four new believers. This service’s cast of characters included Paul as our service leader and preacher and Josh as our lead worshipper. Steve, our associate pastor, closed …

How Many Loves Have You Experienced Today?

“Love is a many splendored thing,” says the old song. Love has many hues, many shades, many facets. Love has many features to observe, many marvels to behold. There is so much to love that none of us can ever experience it in all its forms. Not even close. Yet while none of us can ever experience it in all its forms, we really do have the pleasure of experiencing it in many of its forms. Do you ever pause …

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I Love Parenting Teenagers!

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,” says Solomon, and “the fruit of the womb a reward.” But to hear it from others, you might think those words don’t apply to teenagers. “Just wait until they’re sixteen,” you often hear older parents say, with a knowing look in their eye. “You think parenting is hard now? Just you wait.” Ever since our children were born—the boy to some degree, but even more so the girls—we’ve been warned about the …

The Wonderful, Glorious Jesus

Some things are not only worth reading, but worth reading aloud. I stumbled upon just such a thing a short time ago and wanted to share it with you. This beautiful bit of writing comes from a Dr. William Plumer and what was apparently his inaugural address at Western Theological Seminary. Do yourself a favor and read it—out loud, of course. (Note: I took the liberty of editing it slightly to remove or replace some antiquated words and to just …

What Makes a Sermon Difficult To Listen To

I am closing in on my forty-third birthday and have been a churchgoer all my life. A bit of simple math shows that I’ve probably listened to somewhere around 4,000 sermons over the course of my life (which undoubtedly means I should have far more knowledge of the Bible than I do and should be far holier than I am!). I’ve also preached a few sermons of my own over the past 10 or 15 years. Recently, and largely for …

His Mercy Is More — Some Lyrics Last A Lifetime

Hymn Sunday is a collaboration with Getty Music, and in this post, my friend Keith shares why singing the Psalms is so very necessary for our hearts. You’ll also find a video of a favorite psalm along with downloadable sheet music. You don’t usually want your child to stand in a chair, but this time, I didn’t really mind. Each year, we travel with our daughters back to our homeland in Ireland. Their excitement is almost uncontainable. They love time …

No Squishy Love, No Brutal Truth

Sin has made our vision opaque and our minds dull. We do not see God for who he really is and ourselves for who we really are. We think far too little of God and far too highly of ourselves. On our own we are doomed to look blindly and think badly. But as our inner nature is renewed by the Word, our vision becomes progressively clearer. Our minds become sharp. We put aside the ugly lies we once believed …

If the Bible Is Wrong, I’m So, So Wrong

When it comes to the Bible, we’ve all got a choice to make. We can take the Bible on our terms, or on its terms. We can choose to follow it some of the way, or we can choose to follow it all the way. We can dabble in it, or we can dive deep into it. At some point we have to choose. Many people choose to relate to the Bible like a map that offers a route, but …

A Pastoral Prayer

Every now and again I like to share an example of a pastoral prayer from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this because there are few examples of pastoral prayers online and I thought these may serve to inspire themes, passages, or ideas as other pastors and elders prepare to lead their churches in prayer. Here is one pastor Paul Martin prayed before our church not too long ago (on a Sunday when we had the pleasure of ordaining three men …

Young People and the Hundred Pushup Challenge of Life

A few years ago, the “hundred pushup challenge” began to trend online. At a time when gyms were opening on every corner and roping people into increasingly expensive and complicated workouts, there was a call to the simplicity of the pushup. Those who could rattle off 100 were proving they had a solid baseline of strength, endurance, and health. As I read about these challenges, it occurred that I had never really done any pushups. For some reason, they were …