Pastors' Study

Your pastors are always learning and growing in their faith as well.  Feel free to check in on this page from time-to-time to see what's been helping to shape them as disciples of Jesus lately.

Pastor Otto

 

Pastor Andrews

  • Currently reading:
    • Meant for More: In, With, and Under the Ordinary – Rev. Dr. John Nunes
    • Foxe’s Book of Martyrs – John Fox
    • Talk Them into It: The Truth about Making Christians – Rev. Jonathan Fisk
  • Recently finished reading:
    • Without Flesh: Why the Church is Dying Even though Jesus is Still Alive – Rev. Jonathan Fisk - See my review in the church newsletter on the "Newsletter/Resources" page. This one is worth reading for all who love the Lord's Supper.
  • Great sermons I've heard recently:
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  • A letter from Martin Luther to Jerome Weller in 1530, updated and tweaked by Rev. John Nunes (pg. 136 of the above-referenced book):
    • Dear Jerome (and reader),
      When the despair comes and kicks you in the backside, know that you are being attacked demonically because you belong to God.  The devil doesn't attack those he already owns or can control. 
      The best defense is to laugh in the devil's face.  Why would you argue with a thing that loves arguing and twisting the truth?  Don't dwell on it.  Just laugh mockingly, show him the hand, remember you are baptized, tell him to scram, make the sign of the cross, and keep on walking because the devil is already defeated. 
      Beware of being alone, detached from the Body of Christ. There is strength in numbers, encouragement in the fellowship.  The devil waits to attack when we are hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.  
      When the devil throws your sins in your face and reminds you that you have a bad past and says you don't deserve God's love, just say, 'That's true, I probably deserved death and hell.  But so what?  May I introduce you to my great future in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who died for me, gives me a forgiveness you wouldn't understand, and lives that I might live with Him forever.'
      Yours truly,
      Martin Luther
      and his twenty-first-century protégé
      John Arthur Nunes"
  • I've been mentioning lately that persecution of Christians is growing in our land, and that we need to be preparing ourselves for it.  Here's an article on that topic from Rev. Andrew Brunson, who spent time in prison in Turkey for being a missionary.
  • A related, brief note on that topic about preparing and raising our children from Titus Berndt, spokesmen for the recently formed Christian men's group, Sons of Solomon:

Preparing for Battle
by Titus "I am Athanasius" Berndt, face and spokesman of Sons of Solomon

When you send your children away from home, wherever they go they go to war.

I was homeschooled, then attended public high school and a 4-year public university. One of the great benefits of this was that it shattered any illusion that the world agreed with or supported my Christian values. My secular friends had limited contact with confessional Christians, so we often conversed on various points of disagreement. The preparation my father gave me to enter the world of the heathens was biblical catechesis, good discipline, and the ability to think. These tools were sufficient. From the solid foundation of Christian truth, I discovered that my secular opponents had no such preparation, no foundation, no hope, and no defense but denial of the truth.

It's not the school that matters. What matters is the values of the student and their proximity to a place those values are reinforced. No matter the folly occurring elsewhere, a library still holds knowledge, a choir still sings, an engineer still studies math, and a business student still learns management. An economically-capable Christian can obtain a quality education at a public school. But they must have the wisdom to know what is good, the conviction to do what is good, and a church to feed and support them in this fight.

Before you despise public schools as a heathen and unacceptable option, consider why your children need a “higher education” at all. Consider the debt. Consider the community. Consider that no matter where they go, they must be equipped for spiritual resistance against an increasingly hostile world. Consider that you have had many years to prepare them for this fight, and they must carry on after you are gone. And consider that the appearance of a battlefield can help the warrior remember his calling.

 

 

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