Tim Keller on the Decline and Renewal of the American Church

Tim Keller, who I respect very much, has written an extensive article on the decline of the American church. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/tim-keller-decline-renewal-american-church/

It is, in fact, part of a yet larger work. Fuller article here.

I am one who does believe in the virgin birth, life, death, physical resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, ongoing need for our confession of our selfishness, and a trustworthy Bible. As one who has attended mainline protestant churches (born, in fact, in the 1950s) all my life, this article is like a punch in the stomach and makes me sad.

I’ve also recently attended churches that Keller, I believe, would label as conservative Protestant. They are growing. They are teaching about a biblical Jesus Christ, the trustworthiness of the Bible, and the compassion and service that Jesus taught (while trying not to succumb to modern secular thought).

I love my church and pray that there is hope.

Notes for January 2023

2 Wonderful Hymn/songs

Creator God, Our Sovereign Lord,  by Nathan Clark George.  Lyrics are included. Spotify link.

Jesus, Saviour,   by Joyful Noise. Lyrics are included.

The Soul

Three questions one asks oneself to define their soul

        1. Who am I?
        2. Whose am I?  Suggestions: Psalm 100:3 Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.
        3. Why am I here?

Seven Practices for Developing the Soul

        1. Praise God.
        2. Be contrite.
        3. Practice gratefulness.
        4. Leverage grace’s strength.
        5. Abide in Christ – guidance.
        6. Seek growth. Grow in Christ. Sanctifying grace.
        7. Develop humility.




The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires.

The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires.
Online from a poem by Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) the very influential Persian mathematician, philosopher, & poet.

Follow this link for an insightful analysis of the poem.

He was certainly not Hebrew or Christian.

God is Working For Us, In Us, and Through Us

God is Working For Us, Providence, Prevenient Grace

The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. – Acts 17:24-25

11 Ways God Works for Us

In Us, salvation, growth mindset, fruit of the spirit.

“Work out your own salvation, for it is God who works in you, to will and to work.” (Philippians 2:12–13) “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.” (1 Corinthians 3:6–7). More

and Through Us, co-agents with God. Second great commandment. We are created in gods image.

In and thru us

The Parable of the Broken Door

Good story. Explanation in meaning of the parable are also included.


(May need to scroll down a bit.)

January 6 (‘21), Brazil recently (Jan. 2023), The American Revolution, and the French Revolution

Good reflection and perspective on January 6, Brazil recently, The American Revolution (which was fundamentally Christian), and the French Revolution (which was fundamentally atheist).
The Briefing: Wed., January 11, 2023



Christmas 2022

On Dec. 18, 2022 I’ll be preaching on Flowers of Providence. This is also my Christmas box for this year.

Flowers of Providence: Notice them and Share them


This page (and many others on the internet) provide the meaning of Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide.

George Washington

Information about the book, The Ways of Providence, Religion and George Washington, by Frank E Grizzard, Jr. can be found here.  The book can be can be borrowed online here.

The 10 George Washington Quotes Pointing to God’s Providence can be found here.

The Philanthropist’s Christmas

For the children’s message I’ll be sharing the wonderful story The Philanthropist’s Christmas. I like this short story of a rich man, rather parallel to Ebenezer Scrooge (from A Christmas Carol), but the the Philanthropist is is not as completely cruel as Scrooge, and the story does not have ghosts, but a dog ☺️.

In fact, this is a story of divine providence.

Notes for August 2022 – The Second 3 Reasons: Love, Co-Agency, and Free Will

This month the title of my sermon this month is

The Second 3 Reasons: Love, Co-Agency, and Free Will

I’ve compiled a list of 20 Reasons to Have Faith in God. These are reasons for everyone, but I’m thinking about the non-believer. They are foundational. My long-term goal is to preach on all 20 reason, each discussing 2 or 3 of the reasons.

This sermon is on reasons #4-#6.

  1. God seeks our love. God wants a two-way loving relationship with each of us. We engage with God in various ways, including prayer. The first commandment is to love God.
    Bible verses: Deuteronomy 7:9; John 1:10-13; Revelation 3:20.
    Song: How To Be Yours by Chris Renzema – lyrics
  2. We are co-agents with God. God makes us co-agents in the world. God wants the best for his people. God gives us responsibility for both taking care of the earth’s resources and the people of the earth. When we care for other people we do it on God’s behalf.
    Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 13:16; 1 Peter 2:9-10
    Songs: He Who Began a Good Work in You by Steve Green – lyrics
    Do Something by Matthew West – lyrics
  3. Free will. God created us with the free will and the power to choose between good, apathy, and evil. There are choices that are beneficial for us and the world and there are choices that are detrimental to ourselves and others. We should choose the former, but often we do not.
    Joshua 24:15; Proverbs 16:9; Galatians 5:13.
    Songs: (there’s Gotta Be) More to Life by Stacie Orrico – lyrics



Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House

On our mission trip to Granite City, IL we toured and worked for the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House in East St. Louis, IL.

Information about the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House can be found at https://lessiebatesdavis.org/.  This is part of the Golden Cross ministries of our UMC Conference.





Possible books for 2023

I I’m looking for a devotional book for daily reading for 2023. In 2022 I worked through the book life under God the kingdom agenda by Tony Evans. It has been excellent.

One possibility is Devoted to God by Sinclair Ferguson.


Cory Booker is being inspirational and we need that.

Cory Booker gives an inspirational speech to supreme court justice nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson (see here*) and here.

Cory Booker is being:

  • hopeful
  • respectful
  • historical
  • poetic
  • realistic (for all have sinned and fall short)
  • forward thinking
  • inspirational
  • encouraging.

We need this sometimes (actually, we need this more often than not). I applaud him.

He is not providing practical steps to build a business, solve a problem, or raise our children. He is being inspirational and we need that.

* The full Langston Hughes poem is here. (It is a poem.  In a similar manner to Cory Booker’s words, I believe it is designed to be inspirational. It too is not providing statistics or practical steps.)