“Pruning leads to new growth.” That’s what my horticulturist neighbor once told me (with vigor). In pruning, you cut away what may be weak or fruitless but “It allows a plant to fill out with what is healthy.” ...Keep Reading
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Training to become a pilot (in what seems like another lifetime ago) I was quickly taught that you cannot control what is outside the cockpit. You can only prepare on how you could respond. Metaphorically it has proven to be an outstanding life lesson if you substitute “your heart” for “cockpit.”...
Many years ago, an older pastor, Dick Kaufmann, spent time with me, helping me grasp Grace. Counterintuitive does not even begin to capture my experience. Many of our natural instincts are put totally out of sorts by the LORD’s ways, especially our motivations for performance and earning. ...
What is the earliest motivation you can recall in your life? When can you remember being really motivated (or deeply frustrated if you had failed) toward a goal or an outcome?...
After being assigned to teach the book of Romans to illiterate monks in his monastery, Martin discovered the Gospel of Grace by faith alone. What reverberated from this work of God in his heart has literally transformed all of Western history and much of the known world....
In school, I was never a fan of having to do book reports. The reading I never minded, but the effort to summarize what I read was always an enormous struggle. Now I’ve grown appreciative of a helpful summary – which is all I want to do for you today....
Some of you may not know that for the 2 weeks prior to Easter, I was in Israel. It was the trip of a lifetime – with my son Tyler, my best friend Timo Strawbridge and about 20 other people from Trinity and our daughter churches....Keep Reading
Have you ever thought something (an event, an outcome, a goal) was impossible? We humans live in the realm of our own experiences. And because our experiences are limited to our own singular life events and surroundings, there are many things that seem impossible to us....Keep Reading
The run-up to Easter is full of historic beliefs as we rehearse the centerpiece of our faith. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus resolutely “set His face to go to Jerusalem.” And as He did so, He soberly foretold how He would suffer, be put to death but also be raised from the dead....Keep Reading
The first mention of violence in the Scriptures is not in Genesis 4, when Cain murdered his brother Abel. That is the first murder. But the first violence was in the prior chapter when Adam and Eve violated God’s good design. To do violence is “to damage or adversely affect.” It’s behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or someth...Keep Reading
We have exciting news to share with you on our Grace Abounding Maintenance Campaign! Thanks to your continued generosity the renovations continue, and we are moving forward with the projects on our list....Keep Reading
One of our core values as a church is that we want to be outward-faced. It’s the biblical (and Gospel) practice of hospitality. This means that we want to work, think, speak and act as if outsiders are genuinely welcome with us. After all, if you see yourself as a Christian, how did all of us start? We were outsiders worthy of condemnation and death. But God welcomed us ...Keep Reading
I’ve just returned from our denomination’s annual church planter training conference in Orlando. It was a privilege to go in the early years of Trinity’s existence, and now I go as a trainer....Keep Reading
In today’s Bible reading, in 2 Samuel 23, King David thinks out loud as it were in the middle of a fight with the Philistines. He longingly said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem.” So being the LORD’s Anointed, and being surrounded by loyal warriors, three of them broke through the Philistine lines and (of all things!) drew w...Keep Reading
Last weekend we spent an evening with our daughter and granddaughter churches, united in singing and in celebrating what God has done and continues to do by His spirit and through His people in Polk County. It was an amazing time of fellowship and worshipping together with one voice lifted to our Maker. ...Keep Reading