Mike & Grace

“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk. 14:26). For some reason this hasn’t been a very popular Scripture for wedding homilies. But I want to argue that it…

Why I Discourage Making the Sign of the Cross

So I need to say a few words to my congregation about making the sign of the cross, but it’s the kind encouragement and exhortation that I don’t mind others listening in to and applying to their own situations with wisdom, so I’m posting it here. Anyone who attends Trinity Reformed Church knows that we…

An Armory for Modern Christians #9

The Beautiful Power of Motherhood Introduction The Bible teaches that every woman is created for motherhood, and this is not because every woman marries and bears biological children. Rather, there is something intrinsic about being made female in the image of God that gifts a woman with the beautiful power of motherhood that is deeper…

Ash Wednesday 2017

  One of the striking elements of our Ash Wednesday service is the recitation of the curses of the covenant found in Deuteronomy 27. This was included in Thomas Cranmer’s original Ash Wednesday service, and Martin Bucer – John Calvin’s mentor – said it was a “particularly wholesome ceremony” and went so far as to…

When You Must Not Pity: Loving Enemies & False Accusations

In the Old Testament law, everything was to be confirmed by the mouth of two or three witnesses (Dt. 17:6). Paul says in the New Covenant that we must not receive an accusation against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19). The same standard applies to church discipline…

An Armory for Modern Christians #8

Between the Mountain and Me Introduction The transfiguration occurs in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and marks a significant transition in the gospels, functioning as a key hinge of the life of Jesus, the end of his ministry of signs and the beginning of his ministry of suffering. The signs point to who Jesus is, but…

An Armory for Modern Christians #7

A Walk Through a Christian Wedding Introduction If the world is busy seeking to press us into their mold, it should not come as a surprise that they are running plays in less obvious ways all around the celebration of marriage. On the flip side, since Christian marriage is one of the significant ways we…

The Dignity of Guilt

One of the most loving and dignifying things God does for human beings is insist that they take responsibility for their sin. This is one of the fundamental meanings of the words of Christ: If anyone tries to save his life, he will lose it, but if he loses it for my sake, he will…

The Feminine Duty of Discouragement

In Ezekiel 13, the Lord sends Ezekiel to condemn the many false prophets in Israel, and he specifically identifies the many false “daughters” who prophesy out of their own hearts (Ez. 13:17). Turns out, women emotionally bloviating is nothing unique to Facebook. In those days, “magic bands” and “veils” were all the rage, along with…

An Armory for Modern Christians #5

How You are Being Groomed Introduction As we continue to ask God to search our hearts and minds and entire lives so that every thought may be taken captive to obey Jesus, we need to see and understand how the forces of unbelief are arrayed against us and specifically how the world is grooming us…