The Christian Life Means More Than Minimum Code

             I have talked about Mike Holmes from the HGTV series Holmes on Homes in sermons before.  Mike is a burley man who is most often seen in a pair of simple overalls.  His exterior image is very different from what you find out about him by watching the show, for he is in fact a caring and almost soft-hearted individual.  The premise of the show is that he goes into homes of people that have experienced either poor building practices or unscrupulous renovation contractors.  Continue reading

Eagles Fly High!

      This past week I was once again drawn down memory lane.  On Sunday, Ben Nelson and eight other Boy Scouts were awarded their Eagle Scout rank.  It was truly an honor to be witness to such an occasion.  Ben and another Scout had completed their projects at the Church building and I was able to be part of the process with them.  I have to be honest, I am not an easy person to deal with when it comes to Eagle projects.  As an Eagle, I hold the rank in high esteem and want to make sure that the “value” of an Eagle is protected.  Four out of every one hundred boys who join Scouts will attain the highest rank. While in recent years The Boy Scouts of America has fallen under scrutiny for their standards and some feel they unfairly discriminate (this article is not about this discussion), I find great value in the accomplishment of these boys.   Continue reading

The Power of Pentecost

    This past Sunday we celebrated Pentecost.  Often we tout Pentecost as the “birthday of the church.” This is a great image and an easy way to connect kids with the concept that the coming of the Holy Spirit marked a special event in the life of those who follow Christ.  On the other hand, this birthday image can fall short.  There is more to Pentecost than what our contemporary birthday celebrations mean.

    I have heard more than one person say at the occasion of a birthday, “Congratulations, you survived another year.”  Birthdays mark a chronological advancement, but Pentecost is more than the fact that the Church has made it through another year of Christmas, Easter, Sunday School and all the rest of the things we do in our life together.  Continue reading

Six ways to help your Pastor (and other worship leaders) worship

    In a conversation last week, I was told by someone who is a recent addition to a church choir how much they appreciated being “upfront” during Easter.  This person had discovered that as a worship leader you must reorient your approach to worship in order to be both participant and leader.  It is easy for those who are in worship leadership to become doers of worship.  By that I mean that a leader can often find themselves in a place of making sure worship is right for everyone else and miss their own opportunity to worship.  Continue reading

Christ Presbyterian Joins the Acts 16:5 Initative of the National Capital Presbytery

    At last night’s Session meeting, the Session endorsed Christ Presbyterian’s participation in the Acts 16:5 Initiative.  In previous Tidbits I have given some insight into the content of the Initiative and shared some of my esteem for its leader, Stan Ott.  I believe that our participation in this program will assist our congregation in developing a solid vision of what God is leading us to.  Stan affirms that, “the Acts 15:6 Initiative does not propose a simple checklist of things to do.  Rather, it suggests a wide variety of practices and practical “next steps” that a congregation may take.”  I’m excited to see how God works through this program to address our unique issues and achieve our congregation’s specific God-given mission.

I’m sure that most of you are wondering what this entails.  Here is an outline of the Acts 16:5 Initiative. Continue reading

Spiritual Growth… A Journey of Faith and Fun

Today, I have been thinking about the continual need for spiritual growth. This is partially due to the fact that the word “journey” comes to mind when we are talking about Lent. We are not people who live in a journey culture. We live in a destination culture. Our lives are not spent appreciating the view, but are fully focused on the road ahead as we seek to achieve our final destination. Of course, this often leads us to miss opportunities to witness beauty and wonder.

This is not a new problem. The human condition of sin has skewed our view of the world since the fall. Adam and Eve couldn’t see the garden for the tree. The people of Israel couldn’t see the blessings of God in the midst of the wilderness, all they wanted was to get to the promised land. Perhaps spending some time appreciating the view, may pay off dividends in our spiritual life.

So just how can we begin to reorient out lives from destination thinking to sojourners on a wonderful journey? I think there are a few specific things we can do that just might help. Continue reading

Stewardship for the Common Good

Last night the Session, which is the governing body of Christ Presbyterian Church, met for its stated monthly meeting. I remember times in my ministry that I used to dread going to session meetings. Even when I was an Elder in my home church, going to session meetings seemed more like a punishment rather than a blessing. I have been through session meetings that seemed more like struggling business meetings than a church council. I have to admit that last night I wasn’t feeling up to a session meeting. The cold, or whatever I have, sucked any energy for such a meeting out of me. Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to postpone the meeting. I know that people’s schedules are such that I need to do my best to honor their time. So I loaded up on medicine and tissues and went off to session. Continue reading

The Power of a Mustard Seed

cialis×104.jpg” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”104″ /> This past Sunday we heard testimonials from two members about their experience of stewardship. Reflected in these testimonials I heard common themes that are often expressed in conversations about stewardship. Struggle, disappointment, encouragement, and blessings are just a few of the words that came to mind as I listened to the testimonials. Continue reading

Stewardship Emphasis and Renewing Our Commitment

This past Sunday at Christ Presbyterian Church we began our Stewardship emphasis. Each year we set aside time in worship to focus ourselves on the reality of our stewardship and in pa

rticular our financial stewardship. This year our theme verse for our emphasis is Matthew 13:31-32, the Parable of the Mustard Seed. In the next few days you will receive a mailing with more information on the specifics of our Stewardship emphasis and our Commitment Sunday which will be held on November 13, 2011.

In future Tidbits and sermons I will speak more in depth about the stewardship implications of the theme verse. This week I would like to talk about two words that have appeared in this article multiple times. Why do we say “emphasis” and “commitment,” instead of “campaign” and “pledge.” Continue reading

Celebrating Life (Lessons learned from Ed McFadden)


    Last week I was honored to help lead a “memorial service” for a friend’s father.  I had never met Ed McFadden nor the bulk of his family.  Nevertheless, I was asked to speak the Word during a time of memorial and celebration.  This was not a memorial like most would expect.  While many believe that funerals and memorials are to be times of somber reflection and sadness, the McFadden family wanted to make sure that this was different.  Continue reading