The Reason for Christmas

Holy Father,
As we inch ever closer to Christmas,
we are reminded that the point of all our preparations is
to worship our Savior,
who was born to die for us.
Many have suggested that Christmas has nothing to do with death,
but without the death and resurrection of Jesus,
we are left with nothing;
no hope,
no peace,
no JOY.
May the JOY of the Advent season fill our lives
so much so,
that Jesus radiates from us
and therefore brings You glory.
In Jesus name I pray,

The Pastor -|—


Holy God,
we are ever reminded that
the JOY of this season is not found in
or food
or decorating.
Our JOY is not in
or vacations
or even in our families.
True and unending
JOY is found only in
something that can not be taken away
by anything
or anyone
of this world.
May that JOY overflow in abundance
that you may be glorified through our lives.
In Jesus’ name we pray,

The Pastor -|—


Holy God,
Yours is the glory and honor and praise.
Yours is the Kingdom forever more.
You said a word and creation sprang forth.
You breathed breath and life sprang up.
And therefore, oh God, I ascribe all worship onto You,
oh sovereign King and Lord.

And so it is with great joy that I appeal to You this day.
It is with great joy that I fall into Your hands.
It is with great joy that I hope in You.
Bless my words and deeds
that everything about me points to You.
May I not seek advise from men but rather call out to You.
May I not worry and fret but rather find peace in You.
May Your Kingdom come.
In Jesus name I pray,

The Pastor -|—

Christmas, Enough Said

Fellowship with family and friends



What are you waiting for?
What are you anticipating?
Why are you excited?
What is causing your joy?
What and why are you celebrating?
Why are you in fellowship?
Who/what do you worship?

You see…

The answers to the above questions vary for some. For some Christmas is about the wrong answers. For some Christmas is about the wrong reasons. For some Christmas is about worshiping false gods. For some Christmas is nothing more than a holiday for which you get time off from work or school.


Christmas is about Jesus; born for you, who later died for you, and then rose from the dead for you. Christmas is about hope, peace, love and joy. Without Jesus, Christmas is not Christmas.

Enough said.

The Pastor -|—


Hey all,

The Heart of a Pastor is now the owner of  I decided to streamline my blog address as the new .blog domain names just became available. This shouldn’t mess people up (too much). I believe my old (and longer) address will redirect you to my site.

In any case, nothing is changing with this site, just the shorter address. So to close, I am not going to leave with you just an administrative update but rather with the Word of God:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

Have a great day 🙂

The Pastor -|—

Joy, Peace and Hope

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. [Romans 15:13]

This is the reason I publish posts on this blog.
This is what motivates me to preach week in and week out.
This is what is on my mind and heart when I prepare a lesson plan or Bible study.
This is why I can get feisty, at times, on Facebook and Twitter.


This should be what guides all our interactions with people day in and day out.

You see…

People are desperately looking for joy and peace and therefore will place their hope in almost anything in order to find said joy and peace.

[Maybe this describes you. In a way it describes all people.]

Often times that hope is greatly misplaced. It might be through diving yourself into an activity or living vicariously through your children; carting them around to every and any athletic competition. This joy and peace seeking may be through a relationship that is anything but God-glorifying. Maybe joy and peace for you are found through financial means or through physical pleasure. But none of these hope place keepers will fulfill what a person is looking for. It will ALWAYS leave you lacking and simply (and dangerously) lead you down a path of destruction; away from THE God of hope.

So when I see this it saddens my heart.

But if the God of Hope has filled you with HIS joy and peace in believing that Jesus Christ has died and risen for you, that your sins may be forgiven, then that hope should drive you to reach out to others.

And be feisty, if necessary (and in a God-loving way of course)

If you have not been filled with this joy and peace (and even if you have been), then hear (I mean, read this):
You are a sinner without hope.
Without Jesus you WILL die and stay dead.
Jesus Christ died FOR YOU.
Jesus Christ rose FOR YOU.
And through faith in him your sins (all your sins) are forgiven.
you will not stay dead but live with him forever.

That is, of course, if you have placed your faith in Jesus.


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing this Good News, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Stop you futile search of joy and peace in this world and seek the God of hope through Jesus Christ. Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Promises and Joy

I experienced a first this past Saturday…

…I got the privilege to perform an adult baptism.  She is a 20 year old woman (Samantha) who a member of my congregation has been mentoring for the past few months.  This member (Dave) lives at a local nursing home and the young woman is a nurse’s aid at that nursing home.  This woman knew of Dave’s strong faith and went to him with questions.  Through the course of their conversations she mentioned that she wanted to be baptized.  Since she wasn’t currently connected to a church Dave said “I think I can help you with that“, and contacted me.

I joyful agreed to baptize her.

I met with this young woman (and Dave) and we chatted for awhile, but left the bulk of the discipling up to Dave since he had already established a relationship with her.  From the time Dave first started talking with Samantha he would call me and tell me some of the questions she had and how he responded.  We would discuss those questions and I would encourage Dave.

He was doing a great job.

The day of the baptism finally arrived.  The service was performed in the family room at the nursing home.  Samantha invited her family, friends and residents of the nursing home.  As we began, Samantha had to step away to get a tissue.  She was starting to get emotional (and so was I).  I read from Romans 6 and talked about what GOD is doing in baptism.  We went through the confession of faith and when I eventually announced the promises of baptism to Samantha and poured the water over Samantha’s head in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…

…tears were flowing down her face (and down many other faces in that room).

I laid my hands on her head, prayed over her and made the sign of the cross on her forehead.  I also invited her sponsors to make the sign of the cross on her forehead.

Tears were still flowing.

Salem Lutheran Church (the congregation I serve) presented Samantha a quilt and a study Bible.

Tears were still flowing.

For me this whole experience was very powerful.  For my first time I got to experience a baptism where the person was aware of what was going on, what the promises being made to them meant and was showing pure joy as those promises were being announced.  Now don’t get me wrong…I still love performing baptisms for infants (baptisms are the favorite thing I get to do as a pastor), but to see the recipient express that joy was…well…awesome.

Praise be to God!

And here’s the other cool part of all of this…

…Dave is currently in conversations with another nursing home staff member about getting her three older children baptized.  Wow…God is awesome!

And I can hardly wait 🙂

edh -|—