Showing posts from January, 2018

Living the Father's Grand Story

Living the Father’s Grand Story Sermon on Ephesians 1:3-14  “In matters of God’s grace, hyperboles are understatements.” Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection (63)

You take after your Father…
I was fortunate to have a good father and I’m grateful for the legacy that he gave me.  Typical of his generation, he didn’t spend a lot of time with me – for him, nurturing the kids was my mom’s job.  But he modeled faithfulness, hard work, kindness and an appreciation for beauty that I have inherited.  He taught us how to do things – to not be afraid to get our hands dirty.  When he was happy, he would dance, sing silly songs or say things in a language that he made up himself.  (His father did the same thing.)
My father’s hobby was building boats, which was his father’s vocation.  When my day died several years ago, I built a model boat to affirm my connection to him and to mourn my loss – a hobby that I have continued to today.  I miss my dad; but I’m thankful for the legacy that he gave to me and…

God's Masterpiece

Introduction What a terrific and moving time this has been together!  I have had the privilege of serving many different congregations.  Each has had their own unique traditions that have been deeply meaningful.  What you have established in this service of remembering, commissioning, and recommitment is truly a rich expression of what it means to be a church – the Family of God on mission.
This year has been a very significant season in the life of our church as we transitioned in the senior leadership role.  And God, indeed, has been with us.  Diane and I both feel affirmed in our calling here.  There is a sense that we are beginning to work well together as a staff and as a church.  Good things are happening and opportunities for engagement in the community are beginning to emerge.  One of those, the question of whether or not we should partner with the Knox Prairie Community Kitchen, will be addressed in conversation and a forum during our meal that follows this service.  I hope tha…

Pastoral Letter from Pastor Bob

January, 2018

One of the factors that really excited me about our church when I first began to explore the possibility of being your senior pastor was the fact that some of our leaders had worked their way through a very important book entitled, Pursuing God’s Will Together.  I had read and digested the book a few years before and it profoundly influenced my philosophy and practice of spiritual leadership.  Now that I have been with you for over six months, I know that some of the principles of spiritual discernment have taken root in our church’s culture and that is very encouraging to me. 

Now, we have an opportunity to test our ability to hear God’s voice together.  Earlier this week, I published a piece in our monthly newsletter detailing an opportunity that has emerged to partner with the Knox Prairie Community Kitchen (KPCK  Here’s a portion of that letter:

During the Summer of 2017, our facility served as the preparation and distribution hub…

Epiphany 2018

The Long Road Home Matthew 2:1-12

Introduction I think everyone likes a little adventure in their life.I’m not talking extreme sports or anything crazy like that.Those folks are a breed apart.But most people, I think, are searching for something in their lives.I know that bug afflicts me all the time.I think I was always that way.If you ask my mom, she would tell you that I was always doing something.Not always good – but I was always doing something.I’m still that way.Hard for me to sit still.
If I could afford it, I’d go back to school.  I just love school!  (Diane winces whenever I bring this up.)  I love to learn.  I remember for years after I finished my master’s degree being frustrated because there seemed to be no path forward in education for me.  There were no terminal degree programs (don’t you just love that phrase “terminal degree?”  You can interpret it any way you like!)  that I could do.  I was qualified to do doctoral work in music, but music didn’t fully satisfy my life’s…

A Poem and a Point - O Holy Night

For the past several years, I have unpacked a Christmas carol for my message at Christmastide.  I don't teach from a manuscript as when I deliver my weekly sermons but, rather, from notes like these that follow below.  Several folks have asked me to post them as I usually do my sermons.
Christmastide December 31, 2017 A Poem and a Point:  O Holy Night Colossians 3:16
Introduction Favorite Carol?  My favorites… ·Theologically:  Hark! The Herald Angels Sing or O Little Town of Bethlehem ·Melody – Wexford Carol – Celtic carol telling the story ·Mystery – Of the Father’s Love Begotten or Let All Earth Keep Silence ·Majesty of “O Come, All Ye Faithful”
Obviously, when Christmas comes, we want to sing our favorite carols.  It’s a time of the year when feelings run very deep and we feel that we are alive when those feelings are stirred.  That’s OK.  It’s good and it’s wholesome.  But when it comes to the music that we sing as believers, the criteria for selection must run deeper than personal pre…