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A Parched Church

September 26, 2013

He said “church sucks.” The surprise isn’t the off-color phrase he used; no doubt, many others have said it before. The surprise is who said it. He’s the pastor of the One Love Church in Eugene. He and his church are in the midst of their “Church Sucks” campaign, sending out mailers to hundreds of homes promising they are a different kind of church. They are that. Their “worship” services are about 30 minutes long and use music by Katy Perry and Maroon 5. Feel free to Google but trust me, Perry and the Maroon’s are no Newton and Wesley.…

What’s Your Kid’s Name?

September 19, 2013

My parents knew a Harry Butts; I knew an April Showers—really. What were you thinking Mr. and Mrs. Butts?—you, too, Mr. and Mrs. Showers? A few days ago in Slate.com, Joseph Norwood wrote an article entitled A Boy Named ‘Humiliation’: Some Wacky, Cruel, and Bizarre Puritan Names (September 13). Norwood doesn’t strike me as a fan of the Puritans. He describes them as a movement that “argued amongst themselves, schismed, predicted the end of the world, and still found time to fight the English Civil War.” I wouldn’t describe them that way. Norwood adds “perhaps their greatest gift to history…is…

Dark Mornings

September 12, 2013

There is no way around it; Psalm 88 is a dark psalm. Life is hard at the beginning. “My soul is full of troubles and my life draws near to Sheol [death]” (v. 3). Life is hard in the middle. “I am shut in so that I cannot escape; my eye grows dim through sorrow” (v. 9). Life is still hard at the end of the psalm. “You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness” (v. 18). Whereas most of the Psalter’s laments end well; working their way to hope and praise—this…

Just Two Things

September 5, 2013

“Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck,” cries David the beginning of Psalm 69. It has been a difficult week; death tragically and unexpectedly descended upon our church. “I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold,” continued the king. We know what that feels like; some of us are there. “I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me,” David said echoing our feelings. “I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched,” David admits and we know exactly what he is saying. “My eyes grow dim…

All Things are Ready, Come (Luke 14:17)

August 23, 2013

delivered by C. H. Spurgeon on May 13, 1877 (condensed and edited for clarity) This invitation was first of all made to the Jews, but it seems to me to have a peculiar appropriateness to ourselves. It is later in the day than when first the Lord was here, and therefore the supper time is evidently closer at hand. The shadows lengthen, the sun of the present dispensation is nearing its setting. The fullness of time for the marriage supper of the Lamb must speedily arrive, and therefore it behooves us to be more than ever earnest in delivering the…

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