February 2, 2020
O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
Continue reading “Lessons in Bible Study – CRC Sunday Sermon”
1Ki 18:17-18 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is it you, you troubler of Israel?” (18) And he answered, “I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father’s house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals.
When I arrived as a new pastor at Christ Reformation Church here in Tillamook (back then it was called Idaville Bible Church), I had a real mess confronting me. What had paraded as a fine, loving, Christian church when I came to candidate as a pastoral applicant, turned out to be anything but. There were a few genuine Christians in the mix, most of whom are still with us. But the majority were unregenerate people who had been assured in years past that they were surely saved and that, after all, Christians are just sinners who we have to be patient with no matter how ornery they might be. Yeah.
There was a lady in the congregation who was a skilled pianist and she had risen to the positions of pianist and choir director. The music minister if you like (though informally). This lady was impossible to work with and she made that plain right from the start. “I don’t go to committee meetings. The music is my area and I don’t need any help.” Boom. In other words, here was a person who was designing a significant part of the worship services but who refused to work together with anyone, including and perhaps especially the pastor.
It wasn’t long before I learned that she was a very nasty person and she had a reputation for that nastiness. Her own adult son took me aside once, trying to get me to “just be patient with her” because, as he said, “we all know that my mother is a bitter person.” It wouldn’t be long before he hated me as well.
Continue reading “How I Learned About Abuse Victims being Blamed Instead of the Abuser”
January 26, 2020
(Links to hymns and sermon are in blue font)
Psalm 97 (Trinity #820)
The Lord reigns, let the nations tremble;
he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake.
Great is the Lord in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations.
Let them praise your great and awesome name – he is holy.
The King is might, he loves justice –
you have established equity;
in Jacob you have done what is just and right.
Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy.
Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name;
they call on the Lord and he answered them.
He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud;
they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them.
O Lord our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.
Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy.
Continue reading “Who is Man to Question God? – CRC Sunday Sermon”