Showing posts from December, 2014

Fantastic Quotes and mini Book Review: The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen was a Catholic priest who died in 1996. I love reading his books. I recently finished reading The Way of the Heart.

Nouwen's writing always stirs something up in me with regard to developing a deeper love of Jesus and love for others. His books have a simple spirituality about them that is humble, intimate, authentic, and understandable. In all his writing and public ministry Nouwen's love for Jesus and for the church are clearly evident. I would recommend to all Christians that they should spend a little time reading Nouwen. Beyond being very wise, his books are both short and accessible for all reading levels.

In The Way of the Heart Nouwen examines the ministry, the lives and the example of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the 4th Century. These were men and women who left contemporary society and moved into the desert in order to grow closer with Christ and serve him more single-mindedly. Nouwen takes the example, the teaching and the anecdotes from this pur…

Notes and Quotes from my Sermon "Set Free by a Baby" - from Isaiah 61 and Luke 4:16-21

Yesterday I preached a sermon called "Set Free by a Baby" at Main Street Moravian Church in Northfield, MN. It was a meaningful time of looking the promises of the coming Messiah in Isaiah 61 and then examining the implications of Jesus declaration of fulfillment in Luke 4:16-21.

Here's some notes, quotes and anecdotes from the sermon.....

Have you ever had high expectations for something only to find out the thing you were expecting wasn’t even close to the real thing at all?

Read Isaiah 61. It’s easy to understand why the Jews were so excited about the coming Messiah. This man who was promised by God to come, was going to come and change Israel’s entire existence.

In this prophecy Isaiah declares that when the day of the Lord comes, when the time of His favor returns, it will bring with it complete restoration for the people of Israel.

The restoration declared in Isaiah is the kind of restoration God does in the lives of people who love him! He takes people who ar…

Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on

Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand I am tired, I am weak, I am worn
Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear Precious Lord linger near
When my life is almost gone Hear my cry, hear my call Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the darkness appears And the night draws near And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand Guide my feet, hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, let me stand I'm tired, I'm weak, I'm lone
Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.

Prayer written by Thomas Dorsey, one of the grandfathers of Black Gospel Music, written after the death of his wife and child during childbirth.

Life Group: A Place to Celebrate and Be Celebrated

Last night at my life group we celebrated one of the member’s birthday. Her husband brought a cake, I brought ice cream, and the host family had hot coffee ready to go. Once all the kids gathered in the kitchen we sang “Happy Birthday” and, blushing, she blew out the lone candle on her cake. It was a really neat moment to come together and surprise her with a birthday celebration.

What happened after the cake and coffee was really cool. It just sort of naturally happened that the kids went downstairs, the wives went to the living room couches, and the men stood around in the kitchen. It was neat to look around and see how God was leading all of these groups of people into relationship with one another. I have no idea what the girls talked about (besides obviously talking about their husbands), but do I know that as men we stood there drinking coffee, laughing, and mixing the conversation up with stories about our lives, our beards, and all what God has been leading and teaching us. F…

Notes, Quotes and Anecdotes from My Sermon on Mark 13:32-37

Yesterday I preached a sermon called "Stay Awake, Stay Alert" at Main Street Moravian Church in Northfield, MN. We had a great time looking at Jesus words in Mark 13:32-37. What made it even more special was having my 10 year old daughter Isabelle playing piano and leading the church in a couple of Christmas carols.

Here's a few notes, quotes and anecdotes from the sermon.....

At its most simplistic, Advent is a time for Christians to re-focus their hearts and minds on Jesus. Here’s the irony though. If your experience is anything like mine the four weeks of Advent are some of the busiest and most difficult times for people to keep Christ at the center of their lives.

When Jesus talks about God bringing the world to a close he does not do so with gentle ideas. And yet interwoven into his prophecies of destruction and persecution, are hopeful promises that God’s elect (those whom he has foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified - c.f. - Romans 8:28-30) will…