Psalm 57 – Are You Steadfast?

Church family,

David and his mighty men were on the run. A jealous Saul was after them and wanted David’s life. I’d say that it was a pretty stressful time for David and his men. 1 Samuel 24 records this account of them hiding from Saul in a cave. What seemed like a safe place, for a moment, became a place of potential danger.

This morning I read Psalm 57. This Psalm corresponds with 1 Samuel 24. What I find interesting is that in this moment of potential danger and uncertainty, David writes these words in verse 7, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! Awake my glory!” (ESV)

Having read through the Psalms over the years, I recall reading about the “steadfast love of the Lord.” Steadfast means ‘loyal, faithful, unchanging.’ The Lord’s steadfastness is always reassuring and comforting to me. No matter the situation I am facing, the Lord will be steadfast and faithful. Always there. Never changing.

But this morning when I was reading Psalm 57, verse 7 jumped off the page, My heart is steadfast, O God…” Lest you think the scene was not that threatening, David includes these words, “My soul is in the midst of lions; I lie down amid fiery beasts— the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows, whose tongues are sharp swords” (v. 4).  

Pastor and author, Dane Ortlund makes this observation. David’s prayer in this Psalm “testifies that God is his cave: ‘In you my soul takes refuge'” (v. 1). Isn’t that a great picture? David and his men were not simply in the cave. God was their refuge. God was their cave.

If you continue reading in the Psalm, you will see that David chose to be steadfast in the Lord. He began calling on the Lord but as the Psalm goes on, he looked to and praised the Lord. He gives God the praise that He is due. Even in the moment of danger. He chooses to remain steadfast in God who he knows is greater than the enemy that may threaten him.

Reflect on these scriptures. Take comfort and praise our Father who is always faithful. As a child of God, you are in Christ! Let your heart be steadfast in Him.

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian


I wanted to share with you some informative articles that give insight to “the state of things” in our country and world. Many of you have spoken with me over the past couple of years concerning the many changes we are seeing and experiencing all around us. We realize that nothing in this world seems to stay the same. Food choices change, prices change, methods change, and values change. One thing that I am thankful that doesn’t change is this… “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8 ESV). Who He is, what He taught, His gospel, and His plans will never change.

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV) tells us, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” As a child of God, I am grateful for the steadfastness of our Lord!

I recently listened to a couple of podcasts by James Dobson interviewing Charlie Kirk that are very insightful. They were recorded back in October 2022. I encourage you to take the time to listen to both.

America Is at a Turning Point – part 1

America Is at a Turning Point – part 2

Going beyond our borders, did you know that the Abrahamic Family House has been completed? You may ask, “Pastor, what is the Abrahamic Family House?” Take a few minutes to read this news article.  It will explain more clearly. I believe this is a very significant occurrence in these “last days”.

I share these pieces of information with you to stir your hearts to prayer. To stir your hearts to preparedness. To challenge each of you to persevere and to remain faithful to our Lord. God has called us to be faithful to Him and His Word even when times are interesting, challenging, and changing. Yes, we know that God and the truth of His Word are unchangeable. But we also know that we are living in “the last days”. The number of days since Christ’s death/resurrection/ascension has been over 727,450 days (almost 2000 years) and yet scripture calls this time in history, “the last days” (Jude 1:18; 1 Peter 1:20; 1 Corinthians 10:11). And each passing day brings us closer to Christ’s promised return!

Clearly, much of the change and unrest in this world that we are seeing and hearing about is leading to something significant. Yes, we rejoice in the work of God around the world, bringing many to Himself. Praise His name! But we also know that the days before “the last day” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11) will be full of turmoil and change. Let me leave you with Paul’s words to the church in Corinth, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58 ESV).

Soli Deo Gloria,

Pastor Brian


Sunday in our worship service, I shared some of the highlights from the ministry in 2022. I am sure there were many other ways that God worked in and through our church as well.

Following the report, I transitioned to the idea of “All for Jesus”.  If you are a born-again Christian, you were bought with a price and have become a child of God! You have a new identity. You are ‘in Christ’! You are, as they say, now “in union” with Christ. Because of that new identity, you also can commune with God, your Father! And life can be lived as God intended, for His glory alone!

But let’s be honest, even though we know our new identity, we can be tempted by the things of the world. Some of those things are not sinful in and of themselves. They can be beneficial and enjoyable. But those ‘good things’ can tempt and lure us away from living how God has called us to live.

Let’s use your pastor’s favorite ‘sport to play’ as an example. Many of you know I enjoy golfing. I am probably average at best. For some reason, I enjoy trying to hit a little white ball around large, carefully mowed fields for three or four hours at a time. Some of you see no enjoyment in that. I get it. At the same time, I may not see the point of some of your leisurely activities either! We all enjoy different activities. While these ‘good things’ aren’t ‘bad things’, they can become sinful things. Let me explain. If I am not careful to remember that my identity is in Christ and that He matters more than anything, I could find myself compromising and slowly drifting from that truth. What God desires and asks of me gradually takes a ‘back seat’ to golf. My growing love for golf soon becomes what repositions the priorities God would desire of me. I could justify the change by thinking to myself, “I still love the Lord. After all, He made those green pastures and blue skies that I enjoy while I’m playing!”

Now some of you are chuckling right now. It is easy to see others rationalize their choices. The greater challenge though is recognizing it in ourselves. We often get caught in the sin of self-righteousness that makes us think we are better than we really are. But if we are honest, we all have ‘good things’ that we do that are not ‘bad things’. But when those ‘good things’ become the ‘determining things’ of our decisions, priorities, and life path, they become sinful things.

Maybe this gives you some insight to the statement I put in front of you on Sunday – ‘All for Jesus’.  I exhorted you to ask yourself the question, “What needs to change in your life for that to be true – Jesus at the center or the top priority of your life?” The obstacles for each of us are different. It could be an inherently sinful attitude or behavior that you really need to admit, let go of, and repent of. It could be a ‘good thing’ that has become a ‘determining thing’ that you really need to admit and put in its proper place.

“Ok, Pastor Brian, now it really feels like you are simply ‘preaching the law’.” Yep, God is a jealous God. He will share His glory with no other. And we know the law was given to show us our sin. But God doesn’t just park and stay there – nope. Titus 2:11-14 (NLT), For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

Ah-ha! The good news. The gospel! He has a plan to help reposition our lives so that our priorities and purpose are rightly aligned. In Christ, that provision is made! All for Jesus!

As I conclude this exhortation, I want to give clarity to some of my closing words from Sunday. Specifically, my words about my future at Perrysburg Alliance. I would not be a good leader if I did not embrace the truth I preach. In the context of “All for Jesus”, I believe in order for that to once again be the case in my life, I have to “lay myself on the altar” for whatever the Lord wills. Whether He adds another pastor to join me, or if He has other plans for me, I believe that is the right posture I, as your pastor, should take. I can’t challenge you to “go there” if I am not willing myself.

Soli Deo gloria,

Pastor Brian

February 19 message, “All for Jesus


Another year has gone by and 2023 has begun. This year will bring all kinds of experiences our way. Some experiences will be wonderful. Some will be challenging. But not knowing specifically what we will face, let me remind you what the Lord wants from each of us.

Micah 6:8 (ESV) He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

What is good? As His children in relationship with the Lord, He wants us to “do justice”, “love kindness”, and to “walk humbly” with Him. What does it mean to “do justice”? To treat others fairly as people made in the image of God, regardless of who they are. What does it mean to “love kindness”? Are you willing to meet the needs of others from the heart? It is a fruit of the Spirit that should be obvious in our lives in how we respond to others. What does “walk humbly” look like? When we are doing “good”, are we wanting others to notice our goodness? Don’t be boastful and arrogant about your efforts. Or as Jesus would say, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30, 31 ESV)

Regardless of what comes your way this year, would you ask the Lord to make these “good” characteristics evident in your life? I am more and more convinced that what others need to see in our lives is evidence of whose we are. Afterall, the gospel has changed our lives and we are children of the King!

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian


As of August 1st, about 150 people from the area have signed up in support of establishing a LifeWise Academy ministry in Perrysburg Schools. While this is enough to get things moving, we still need many more to sign up in support.

You may ask, “Why are more names needed?” A simple answer is this: having more names shows there is greater interest in this program being established in our schools. Currently, a Steering Committee is being put together here in Perrysburg to begin the process of establishing this ministry. Part of what is needed is to show the school administration that there is wide support for LifeWise Academy. Wouldn’t it be great to have 500, or maybe 1000 names of people to show evidence of community support?

Let me encourage you, if have not already done so, to sign up on the “interest list” to have LifeWise Academy begin in 2023 in our schools. Let’s do our part to help make this a reality by signing the list and encouraging others to do so as well!

Take a moment to check out these LifeWise Academy ministry videos:

LifeWise Academy, This Is Our Future

New Albany LifeWise Academy 

Christian’s Story 

Let’s be a part of changing the children, families, schools, and the future of Perrysburg for the sake of the gospel!

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian


It is the last day of May 2022. I have had a lot to reflect on recently. As most of you know, my father passed away on May 20th. It was the day after my mother’s birthday. One of my father’s goals in the past couple of years was “to reach the age of 80 and 60 years of marriage”. Well, the Lord granted him those goals for both he and my mother.

A couple of days ago my mother called and shared some of her thoughts concerning the memorial service for my father. She thought of some folks that she wanted to include in the service and also expressed the desire for simplicity. She then asked me if I would “give the talk”.  You know, the message. I was honored that mom would ask me. I was hoping to be asked. But with many in the family involved in Christian ministry, she had more than one choice.

In the past couple of years while reminiscing with my parents, my mother shared with me the details of my birth. I was probably told the story in the past, but the details had faded from my memory. When my mother was ready to deliver me, there were unexpected complications. My life was in jeopardy. In a decisive moment, the doctor had to change the plan and I was delivered cesarean. The unexpected in life called for a decision that saved my life.

Back in February when I was in Florida with my parents, my father shared with me the title of his funeral message. He didn’t have it written out or even outlined, but I knew what he wanted. Afterall, we had MANY conversations over the years.

Looking back, it seemed every conversation included sharing the ‘unanticipated or unexpected’ events of our lives. It included the joy of the often unexpected success of the Red Sox, the unplanned crisis in ministry or the country, and unexpected difficult happenings in the lives of others. Each of these conversations included a fair amount of emotion. With the Red Sox, four World Series titles in the past 18 years brought great joy! In the other 14 years, our conversations centered around the unexpected that contributed to their lack of success.

When it came to talking about the country or ministry, there were times of encouragement. We talked about what God was doing. At the same time, we talked about the challenges facing the world and the church. Family members and friends often faced unexpected difficulties as well. The end of our conversations often left me wondering, “What would we do without Jesus?”

I am reminded of God’s Word.
Job 12:10 (ESV) In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind. 
Proverbs 16:9 (ESV) The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.  
Colossians 1:15-20 (ESV) He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

These truths about the greatness of our God are comforting to me. God is not inferior, untrustworthy, or incapable. He is great, all-powerful, all-knowing, and everywhere always. He is also holy. He is ultimate purity and righteousness. He is loving, kind, merciful, gracious, and good. God is also just. He is Savior. I can trust Him in all things, no matter what comes my way.

As children and as a singing family, we heard dad and mom sing one song often. That song was, My Father Planned It All.

1 – What tho’ the way be lonely
And dark the shadows fall;
I know wheree’er it leadeth,
My Father planned it all.

I sing thru the shade and the sunshine,
I’ll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent–
My Father planned it all.

2 – There may be sunshine tomorrow,
Shadows may break and flee;
‘Twill be the way He chooses,
The Father’s plan for me.

3 – He guides my faltering footsteps
Along the weary way,
For well He knows the pathway
Will lead to endless day.

4 – A day of light and gladness
On which no shade will fall;
‘Tis this at last awaits me–
My Father planned it all.

The title of the sermon my father wanted for his funeral was Life Is a Journey. Over the past few years, he frequently used a couple of phrases. One was, “Your choices now will impact your future.”

Our lives are comprised of thousands of small decisions. On occasion, a major decision comes our way. Sometimes we are prepared. Sometimes life surprises us and we have to react to the unexpected challenges. What I can say is that on this ‘journey of life’, in the “sunshine” or “along the weary way” we will trust someone. Either ourselves or God.

Our lives are filled with lessons, hardships, heartaches, joys, and celebrations. There are moments we would rather erase from our memories and moments that we wished would last a lifetime. We know this for sure, the road of our lives will not always be smooth. Along that journey we will encounter many challenges. Those challenges will test our courage, strength, weakness, and our faith.

My father was a sinner. He knew that, because he confessed it and placed His trust in Jesus to be his Savior in his early teens. He became a child of God! Prior to that, the early days of his life were characterized by uncertainty in his family. You see, Jesus was not a part of his home life. Then one day, a knock on the door of their home brought hope. The unexpected in life called for a decision that saved his life.

My father wasn’t a perfect man, and he would be the first to admit that. But when he trusted Christ as his Savior, his life changed. He then began to trust the One who ‘who planned it all’. Not only the One who planned it all, but the One who sustains it all, and who can be trusted in it all. No matter what planned or unplanned events came into his life, Dad had someone above it all he could call on, trust in, and hold on to. A heavenly Father.

For those who are children of God, we are given new life with Christ and the promise of heaven. Not because of anything we have done, but because “God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which he loved us.” (Ephesians 2:4 ESV)

Paul goes on to tell us why in verse 7, “…so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Dane Ortlund writes in the closing chapter of his book Gentle and Lowly these remarks on Ephesians 2:7:

Ephesians 2:7 is telling you that your death is not an end but a beginning. Not a wall, but a door. Not an exit, but an entrance. The point of all human history and eternity itself is to show what cannot be fully shown. To demonstrate what cannot be adequately demonstrated. In the coming age we will descend ever deeper into God’s grace in kindness, into his very heart, and the more we understand of it, the more we will see it to be beyond understanding. It is immeasurable.

For those not in Christ, this life is the best it will ever get. For those in Christ, for whom Ephesians 2:7 is the eternal vista just around the next bend in the road, this life is the worst it will ever get. In that resurrection morning, when the Sun of Righteousness shall appear in the heavens, shining in all his brightness and glory, he will come forth as a bridegroom; he shall come in the glory of his Father, with all his holy angels.

On the journey, in the time of life’s biggest decision, Dad chose well, and it changed his future. Along the journey, in the expected and unexpected times of life he had someone he could depend on and hold on to. My Dad chose rightly, and he will enjoy the immeasurable riches of God’s grace and kindness forever!

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian


As you look back on this past year, are you saying to yourself “That was the roughest year of my life.” or “I am glad to end that year.”?  Whether you faced unexpected personal trials and challenges or struggled with what happened to the country that our forefathers had worked so hard to establish, we all hope that this new year brings hope of better days.

Hope is powerful. We all need it in sight, in our hearts and minds. Hope of rescue can give us the fuel and fortitude to remain faithful and not give up! Let me give you a challenge for 2022. A challenge to never give up! A Challenge to Remain Faithful!

This past Sunday was the first Sunday of 2022. Some of you began the year with the unexpected challenge of Covid-19. Some of you transitioned to a ‘warmer land’ down south. Some of you rested up from the busy holidays to get ready for a new year. Today, I want to highlight the message I preached this past Sunday.

My message was from Hebrews. In this book (actually, more of a sermon), the writer of Hebrews presents Jesus as supreme. Jesus as greater. The audience is made up of new Jewish converts to Christianity. Making the transition was a bit of a challenge for some, and the writer of Hebrews was assuring them that Jesus was greater than any of the leaders, prophets, and priests who had gone before them. The writer states that Jesus was God’s Son, even greater than the angels!

With that said, chapter 3 looks specifically at Moses, the great leader of the Israelites. God did many mighty acts through Moses to deliver the people from Egypt and to make them a nation – a people set apart for God’s purposes. Regardless of Moses’ greatness, Jesus was greater! Jesus had been counted worthy of more glory than Moses and was worth their allegiance.

From Hebrews 3, I presented three considerations for you as well, to remain faithful to Jesus. Three things to keep in mind when the trials and challenges of life come your way this year.

  1. Consider Jesus (vs. 1-6) – As he is writing to the Jewish believers, the author tells them not to lose focus on Jesus as He is central to life – especially when times are difficult. Pay attention to the gospel message you were given. Yes, it saved you, but as they say, “Preach the gospel to yourself every day.” Also, focus on the truths and realities of who Jesus is. It is essential to helping you remain faithful!

Why does it matter? Hebrews 2:1 (ESV) Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

  1. Consider your heart (vs.7-11) – “Today when you hear His voice, don’t harden your hearts.” When you are hearing God’s Word and His Spirit speaking, do not ignore Him. Don’t grow indifferent, cold, or distracted. Embrace His Word.

Remember what was done because of your selfishness and rebellion. Remember what was done for your salvation. Just like the people of Israel, God had done so much to deliver them from their captivity to the Egyptians. Yet, in the process, when things were hard, they complained and questioned God.

If we are not careful, the same can happen to us. Do not become consumed with the troubles you are facing and even seeing around you. Stay intentionally focused on the truth of His Word. Spend less time listening to news that is ‘spun’ and social media that is simply opinion. What is healthier food for your soul? Remember who God is and what God has done so your heart does not harden.

  1. Consider one another (vs. 12-19) – The last verses of the chapter take on a different tone. Not just considering how our heart can be unbelieving, evil, and grow hard toward the Lord. But when we lose sight of Jesus and let our circumstances ‘harden our heart’, our response from a hardened heart can negatively impact others in the church. Our heart can also become desensitized toward the needs and cares of others. Compassion, love, and grace will not be evident.

Instead, what we should be doing is encouraging and exhorting one another. “We have Christ! Let’s keep going and trusting!” We must care for one another, love one another, and keep pointing our brothers and sisters to Christ!  

As you face the coming days and year, be reminded of these three considerations from Hebrews 3. Remain faithful to Christ. Why? The consequences are serious, and Jesus is Greater!

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian


In reading through the Bible, I am currently in the Gospel of John. I was recently reading through chapter nine, which contains the story of Jesus’ encounter with the man born blind. Take a moment to read about the encounter.

John 9:1-7 (ESV) As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

There are several truths from this passage we could consider here, like Jesus being the light of the world or Jesus’ method of restoring the man’s eyesight. But I want us to focus on Jesus’ response to the disciples’ question of “who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Now at first we may find this an odd question. You and I know that some people are born blind. It is unfortunate. But I find it interesting that the disciples conclude that it had to be because he sinned, or his parents did.

Now let’s not be too hard on the disciples. I mean after all, they seemed sincere about their question. The truth is, we can be like the disciples from time to time as well. Let me explain. When an unexpected hardship interrupts our life, how often have we said, “Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?” What we are saying is that our good behavior should keep us from experiencing personal hardship.

We all believe that if we ‘obey the rules’ God has for us that we will not have to suffer the consequences of disobedience. I would agree with that. Not living a life obeying God will have its consequences. But does that mean we will never ever suffer? Does that mean our good behavior will always keep our lives free from hardship? No.

We must remember, we live in a fallen world. We know that living in a world of sin (rebellion against God) will bring many challenges and difficulties for everyone. If we fail to remember that then we will end up seeing hardship like the disciples did – from a legalist perspective. The Exalting Jesus Commentary explains it like this,

Legalism is the attempt to earn God’s favor through our own righteous works. A legalist operates under the (usually unspoken) assumption that people earn or keep God’s favor through righteous deeds, so legalists begin to view themselves as deserving of certain blessings. In other words, if I can earn God’s favor by my good works, then the more good works I do, the more God becomes indebted to me. He must reward my good deeds with blessings. If something “bad” happens to me, it must be because I did something bad.Even though we may not consciously think that we are trying to earn God’s favor, our reaction to the unexpected hardships of life indicates otherwise. For some reason we believe that our good behavior has made us exempt from hardship. We believe our good behavior has earned us a ‘free pass’ from suffering.

What I want you to see is Jesus’ response to the disciples in verse 3. Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” That is a different perspective, isn’t it? Instead of asking, “Why did this happen to me?” or trying to find out who is to blame, Jesus is telling us we should have a different perspective. We should be asking, “What is God trying to do in this situation? How will God’s glory be displayed in this hardship?”

Personally, I am often reminded that God is more concerned with our holiness than our happiness. He desires to transform our hearts and minds to look more like His Son’s. Sure, we will have our time of happiness in life, but your personal happiness is not God’s number one objective. He is doing something much greater that has more eternal value than we know. Not just for us, but far beyond what we could ever imagine!

So the next time an unexpected hardship interrupts your life, receive it and know that God is wanting to be glorified in all things in your life. He IS up to something greater!

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian


The past two Sundays I have preached on the two key issues that the apostle John states are the evidence of a person’s salvation. The first one has to do with our obedience to Christ. John states that whoever practices righteousness is born of Him. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil (1 John 2:29; 3:4 ESV). We obey because we confess we are sinners in need of a Savior. We obey because we come to realize the great salvation that has graciously been provided for us in Christ. We obey because we have been loved by God and He is worthy of our praise. This obedience looks like a pursuit of holiness in our lives because He is holy. Simply put, our obedience to Christ looks like a life lived in pursuit of Christ (Philippians 3).

If someone has been loved by God, then the second result ought to be that they love others. John emphasizes a love for the body of Christ in 1 John 3:14 (ESV), We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death.” This love is displayed not simply by words, but in our actions.

John states that this kind of love is Christlike. It is laying down our life for others in the body of Christ. Look at what John writes in verse 17, but if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Love for the body of Christ looks like giving from one’s own possessions to meet the needs of another Christian.

This past Sunday I shared the obstacle of a Christian loving well: “Love of self still gets in the way of love for God and one another” (Paul Tripp, Wednesday Word, August 25, 2021). Knowing this obstacle is of great importance. Why? When we are in that moment debating if we should respond in love, we can remember our problem and choose to love well.

All that said, knowing these biblical truths and intentionally abiding in Christ will give our lives ultimate meaning and purpose. As the apostle Paul says in Philippians 1:21, for to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Christ is all in all, in life or in death!

I shared this overview for various reasons. One being in response to an article that I read, “How to Believe against Your Feelings” by Michael Kruger. Take a few minutes to read and reflect. Perhaps you have been in the place the author describes.

There were two things that stood out to me when I read the article. First, when we interpret the purpose of Christianity as “What’s in it for me?” we miss the point. Yes, there are wonderful provisions for us in Christ! But the benefits are enjoyed when a person confesses their sinfulness, repents, and believes the gospel. Too often people believe that Jesus is like a “genie in a bottle”. They see Him as their servant who is there to make ‘my life better’ in the here and now. Of course, this ‘better life’ is defined in our terms. When people see Jesus this way, He can then seem less satisfying.

The second comment that caught my attention was “Christianity is able to provide our lives with real meaning and purpose.” When understood from the biblical perspective (as we have noted the past two weeks), knowing and submitting ourselves to the love of Christ confirms this comment to be true. He and He alone, gives our life true meaning. When we find our life in Him, His purposes for our life begin to become very clear. We were created to love God and love others, for His glory alone!

Take some time to reflect on the truth of the Word of God. Be honest with God and confess that you have times when you tend to care more about yourself rather than God’s purposes. John gives us a great promise in 1:9 (ESV), if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Thank God for His love and grace!

Walking with you,

Pastor Brian


As you well know, your pastor loves to read. Along with always working through a book or two, I enjoy good articles that challenge, expand, and reinforce my thinking. I do want you to know that this is not at the expense of also spending regular time in God’s Word. It is truth and it often refreshes my soul in the craziness of life. But often reading various books and articles gives a different perspective and can expand my knowledge and understanding. Sometimes reading materials I do not completely adhere to will also reinforce and remind me of what I know to be true.

This week I have three articles I would challenge you to take time to read and reflect on:

Lessons from London for a Divided American Church by Joey Tomassoni

How to ‘Disciple’ Your Kids into Church Dropout Status by Jared C. Wilson

An Open Letter to the Hesitant Church-Goer by David Gundersen

In HIS hands,

Pastor Brian