Tag Archives: intentions

There’s Still Work to Do

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                       Luke 3:7 – 18

Humans are masters of self-deception. We can convince ourselves of all sorts of things that aren’t really true, especially if these things are about ourselves. Continue reading

What Kind of King?

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                        John 18:33 – 37

As we wind up each year on the church calendar – and today is the final Sunday on that particular calendar – we generally turn to a consideration of Jesus as king. To some extent, this is quite ironic, because Jesus never referred to himself as a king. Continue reading

A Good Place to Begin

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                   Exodus 20:1-17

One of my favorite quotes, which I stumbled onto only a few years ago, comes from Martin Luther, the renegade German priest who kick-started the Protestant Reformation.  In a letter to a friend he laments the concept that people are simply supposed to accept, with blind devotion, whatever the Mother Church teaches them, without questioning anything.  He finds it difficult to believe in a God who would bless us with intellect, reason, and the capacity for rational thought, and then ask us to forego the use or exercise of these gifts.  It’s a wonderful insight.

All too often we stop at the words of the Scriptures, telling ourselves that everything which God wants us to know is contained there.  Continue reading

A Fresh Start

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                       Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

 Last week we heard of God making a fresh start with Noah and his family, following the great flood.  In the following chapters of Genesis, we learn how the descendants of Noah spread over all the earth and developed cultures and languages of their own.  In time, the world is as diverse and as varied as it had been before the flood. . . . and just as corrupt.

As was the case with Noah, God looks around and finds that not everyone in the human race is corrupt.  There are pockets of virtue.  There are still those who try to be faithful.  Among them is a gentleman from a distant land, named Abram.  One day, out of the blue, God taps Abram on the shoulder and asks him, “How would you feel about moving?”    Continue reading

The Leadership Portal

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                                                     John 10:1-10

One of the catchphrases which we hear batted around in our churches in recent years is “Servant Leadership”. Supposedly, it’s leadership based upon the model of Jesus Christ’s life and example, who by his own admission came to serve and not to be served. Unfortunately, for as much as we hear this phrase voiced over and over, I don’t see it being modeled very much among our denominational hierarchy. It reminds me of a conversation which I had with our District Superintendent not long ago, in which he was reflecting upon some of our churches where there is a lot of activity. He noted that a lot may be going on, but he couldn’t help wondering aloud, “is it being done in the name of Jesus Christ, or is it just a country club pretending to be a church?” Continue reading

Going Beyond Actions

Pastor Dale E. Austin                                                               Matthew 5:21-37 

We’re fond of giving names to things so that we have a quick reference.  Ever since the early 70s and the Watergate break-in, everything has been “Something-gate” so that we know what we’re discussing, without having to go into great details.  It’s a convenient shorthand which gets everyone on board with the discussion quickly. Continue reading