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Departing in Peace--Book Brief

She received her diagnosis in August of 2010. Lung cancer. Now what? She was presented with a number of treatment options with varying degrees of side effects. None of the treatment options would cure her, the cancer was too advanced. But each would extend her life. Whether it would be weeks or months, even a year or two, nobody knew.
We know our birth date.
Only God knows our death date.
My mom chose “none of the above” when it came to treating her for lung cancer. She was determined to live her final days, weeks, months or years to their fullest, as much as she was able. She died within two months of her diagnosis. But those final two months, with the exception of the last few days, she lived fully. She worked in retail, kept her house clean, prepared her meals, read and, most importantly for her participated in worship at her local church. This was how she defined “quality of life”.

Bill Davis is a philosophy professor at our denominational college, Covenant College.  He teaches …

My Teachers, Part II

I wrote a blog post a few days back out of gratitude for those who taught me at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. What prompted me to write the first post were the recent deaths of pastors/teachers/theologians and reading those who wrote tributes to them. And then a former student from WTS wrote a nasty, "victimy" blog post about the culture, faculty and student body of WTS when he was there.
If you want, take a look at the previous post on what I wrote there.

Below are five more professors God gave me to help prepare me for pastoral ministry. I continue to be grateful for them.

As in the last post, I've linked to a book they've written. Some of these men have written many books and I encourage you to take a look at all of them.


Winston Smith--I had the opportunity to worship in the same church as Winston and his wife Kim and their then small children. He led our small group. Winston's passion for equipping future pastors in the counseling classes…

My Teachers

Ephesians 4:11-14

And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. (ESV)

In the last couple of months, I've heard of the death of a couple of influential professors. The tributes I read reminded me of how God has blessed His church with these men. I began to think about the teachers and professors who have influenced me.

And then I read a post recently from someone who graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary (WTS). What he wrote about WTS was foreign to me. He admitted it was based on "his experience" but it was full of char…

Children, Pray for your Parents

Uber-blogger Tim Challies recently posted a very helpful piece on teaching our children to pray. Please check it out and note the helpful resources he provides.

Last week I posted brief thoughts on how we can encourage children to pray for their parents.




Ask them to pray that you would be wise and gracious in raising them. Ask them to pray that you would have a spirit of humility when raising and loving them. Ask them to pray that you would be quick to confess and quick to seek forgiveness when you sin against them. Ask them to pray that your discipline of them would not be primarily punitive, but a gracious and restorative corrective. Ask them to pray that you would model repentance for them. Ask them to pray that you would not forget that you are one of God's means of sanctification in their lives, so you want to encourage their obedience with the aim of growing Christlikeness in them. I hope this is a complimenting post to what Tim has offered.
I do know I wish I had done this w…

Rhythm and Rest

I was captivated by the election returns in November.

When I got home Tuesday night, November 8, I predicted to my family that the election would be over by 10pm, with the winner declared and a concession speech given no later than 11:00. I assumed Mrs. Clinton had it in the bag.

Ha!  I'm an idiot.

By 11:00pm my wife was in bed, my 17 year old daughter was fast asleep and my 14 year old daughter had fallen asleep on the couch (trying to stay up with me).  I couldn't peel myself away from the coverage.

As the night eased into the early morning hours, the rhythm of the night was favoring Donald Trump. I was captured. I had to see how it ended.

After watching Donald Trump give his first speech as President-elect I climbed into bed around 2:40 early that Wednesday morning. I'm 54 years old. I haven't seen 2:40am (on purpose) in years!

The day of work on Wednesday wouldn't wait.
I was up at 6:30.

I tackled the day in a fairly sluggish way.

The wacked out rhythm of elec…

Election or Not, We Are United

I've probably lost my ever-loving mind posting on such an issue.

This has been, for many, a very contentious and discouraging election season. Families have been at odds, friends find themselves in pitched battles with one another and Facebook comments between Christians have seen an exceeding number of exclamation points and angry face emoticons.
However, regardless of the vote you cast and for whom, we should not be divided as friends, families and fellow Christians. Let me make my case by laying out four categories of voters (there are probably more, but work with me). These categories, in my view, are legitimate reasons to cast your vote (or not) for whoever you think you should cast your vote for.
If that is the case, Christian charity (patience, grace, love) compels us to understand one another.
It is an opportunity to listen to one another with humility. We may disagree, but that disagreement should not be a barrier in our relationship (or, even worse, destroy them).

I wi…

YouTube and Worship

We believe that corporate worship is the most important gathering we take part in each week. So we want to encourage the members of Grace Community Presbyterian Church to prepare to worship together every week.

In a previous post I gave the reasons why we want to make our order of service available a few days before we gather on the Lord's Day to worship. We provide links to our order of service on Facebook and Twitter and those links take you to this page, where a pdf of our bulletin can be accessed.

A member of our church had the genius idea of taking each week's order of service and building a playlist of the hymns we will be singing that week. The response has been very encouraging. Families are playing the playlist while they eat dinner, it becomes the music they play as they are running errands or exercising. One mom told me that her children look forward to the playlist each week.  These playlists are available on YouTube and we also provide links to each playlist each …