Father

Father God,
I fall into Your arms today to be
cradled,
comforted,
protected,
soothed,
held,
listened to,
spoken to,
forgiven,
healed,
and lifted up.
I fall into Your arms today,
Father,
as my child runs to me in distress.
I fall into Your arms today,
Father,
as my child who simply wants to cuddle with daddy.
I fall into You arms today,
because,
well,
just because
YOU are my Father.
And so I fall into Your arms….
…Father.

Fall into Your heavenly Father’s arms and know that you are loved, beyond anything that you can imagine.

Sounding the Alarm

The following is something I wrote as part of the Great Thanksgiving for our Holy Communion liturgy. Themes from the Luke 13:1-9 and Ezekiel 33:7-20 can be found here.

REPENT, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand!

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God, King of the universe. You sent Jesus to die and rise for our sins and thus You have promised us eternal life through faith in him. May we speak boldly; sounding the alarm; the Good News, that Your Kingdom is at hand. You have called us to repent; to turn from our sinful ways, that Your holy name would be glorified. Oh God, Creator and Redeemer, You are worthy of all praise and worship. May we not hide behind our righteousness, but live in and through that righteousness that others would run to You. And so, because You are awesome and glorious, we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in signing Your unending praise…

Known by God

The following is tonight’s Liturgy of Repentance for our midweek Lenten worship service. The theme is the call of Jeremiah from Jeremiah 1:4-19. The very thought that God knew me before I knew myself is humbling and thus who am I to say, “God, You must have the wrong guy.” I am known.

I am known by You, for You formed me.
I am known by You, for You knit me together.
I am known by You, for You choose me before I knew myself.
I am known.
I am known by You, for You breathed life into my being.
I am known by You, for You appointed little ole me to serve You.
I am known by You…yet Jesus died for me, a sinner.
I am known.
And knowing me, You still have sent me, but yet I search for excuses.
I can’t speak.
I’m too young.
I’m too old.
I don’t know enough.
Are You sure You have the right person?
But YOU know me. You. God Almighty. Creator. Know…ME.
And You send me anyway.
You and You alone qualify me.
Oh God, I confess my faithlessness to You.
Oh God, I confess my fear to You.
Forgive me.
Oh Lord, my God, hear my cry: I repent…

God Chose Me

God knew me even before I was a twinkle in my parent’s eyes.
God loves me even though it is my destiny to lay down and die.
God chose me even before my beautifully knit body was born.
God chose me even though I am lost and pitiful and so forlorn.

How can this be
That God needs me
To speak for thee
Of being free?

Really God, me?
Little ole me?
Can you not see,
I’m not brainy?

But none of that matters for you’re always with me, going on before.
Oh God, my God, You’re wonderful and therefore I will always adore.
Many will ridicule me and tell me that I should not speak of You.
But You are my Rock and my Refuge, and through Christ I am made anew.

Light and Dark

The following is my most recent article that I wrote for the Tacoma News Tribune. A couple years ago, I was invited to submit articles twice a month (1st and 3rd Saturdays) for their church page. It has been a joy to do this and an amazing outreach opportunity. These articles are also linked on my congregation’s website which you can see on the left hand side of this page. To God be the glory.

One of my favorite activities as a child was playing night games with my friends. What this usually entailed was two teams of kids: the good guys and the bad guys. The premise was for the good guys to catch the bad guys and put them in jail. I loved being a bad guy. Maybe that’s because it speaks to our innate sinful nature to love the darkness. Whatever the case, as the bad guys, light was bad. We had to operate in the dark in order to conceal our motives. Whether it was hiding from the good guys or trying to break our fellow bad guys out of jail, we stayed in the shadows. The good guys, though, were not afraid of the light and thus they operated in the light. Funny, we had no idea then that we were living out a theological truth straight from the Word of God.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” [John 3:19–21 (ESV)]

Why do I share this story? Our world operates much in the same way. In order to conceal the truth, people have to operate in the darkness. Let’s use the abortion debate for an example. What we hear in the media or from those who are pro-choice is something along these lines: “It is alright to terminate/end the pregnancy of a woman in order to preserve/save her life.” When actually, what’s being said is, “It is alright to kill a baby for the sake of a woman’s health (physical or mental).” An unspeakable evil is being sanitized (kept in the dark) and equated with a medical procedure to promote the health of a woman. And who isn’t in favor of a medical procedure to save a life? But no one is going to talk about killing a baby because most people agree that killing is wrong. Therefore, abortion has to be sanitized because, consider this: The same people that support abortion also reject capital punishment.

Now, if you think I am getting too political, read these words from the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” [Isaiah 5:20 ESV]

I am not being political. I am being biblical. You see, we must speak the truth in the light, not in order to win an argument but to save the souls of those residing in the darkness. We need to speak the truth in love, not hate. We need to shine a light in order to snuff out sin. We need to turn the Light on through our words and deeds. I am not being political. I am shining a light. This is not about trying to catch the “bad guys”. This is about the Truth and the salvation of souls. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Your Wings

The follow is something I wrote for the Great Thanksgiving in our Holy Communion liturgy based loosely on the preaching text from Luke 13:31-35…

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God. For through Jesus Christ You spread Your wings over Your children to provde shelter and refuge. You have saved us from the forces of evil and have redeemed our lives from the pit. You give us hope in a hopeless world. You give us peace in a world filled with hate and death. You are our life and salvation. And so with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven we join in singing Your unending praise…

Amen and Amen!

The Pastor -|—

Mother Hen ~ A Sermon Teaser

The following is the opening paragraph for the sermon that God has placed on my heart…

The love of Jesus for sinners is communicated and shown in a number of ways throughout scripture. His commitment to the mission is put on display throughout scripture. (i.e. Jesus’ rebuke of Peter, his face set like flint). And his power has been made known over and over again. From the beginning, God’s plan has been in effect; a plan to redeem His fallen creation. (“He will crush your head, but you will bruise his heal”). God proclaimed the New Covenant through the prophet Jeremiah. God promised to raise up His chosen one; the Messiah – and He followed through. Scripture is replete with God’s promises. God has proven Himself faithful thus there is no reason to doubt that God will come through again. With all of this being said, nothing and no one can get in the way of God’s plan. Why? Well, God is God and His love will NOT be denied. Luke 13 displays this tenacious love through some mother hen feistiness in Jesus…

I can hardly wait to preach this sermon. To God be the glory.

The Pastor -|—