Palmer St. Podcast: The Great Commission Psalm

Logo 1world mapAbraham was blessed in order to be a blessing to all nations.  The psalmist prays that Israel would be blessed for the same reason.  We can pray a similar prayer.

Psalm 67.mp3

Psalm 67,pdf

Psalm 67.pptx

Palmer St. Podcast: Lead Me to the Rock

Logo 1high rockJesus leads us to a place that is beyond our reach.  He is the Rock that is higher than us and far more solid and stable than we can ever be.

Psalm 61.mp3

Psalm 61.pdf

Psalm 61.pptx

Honest Q & A: Church (1) – Liturgy, or Not?

A few of the questions submitted in Honest Q & A have fallen within the very general category of church. Here’s the first question in this category:

What is the appropriate balance between the conflicting trends in the church of the return to tradition (“liturgy is hip,” etc.) and the disillusionment with any kind of structure at all (“church is just people”)?

To give a short, pithy answer, we might say that the appropriate balance is to “make sure we are striving for balance.” Period. For those with the patience for something far less succinct, that answer can be explained. It hinges on the fact that both sides in this discussion have strengths and weaknesses to keep in mind.

In one sense, liturgy, meaning “a prescribed form or set of forms for public religious worship” (Houghton-Mifflin), or the lack thereof, is a neutral issue. We might suppose, therefore, that we can do whatever we want. The Bible doesn’t demand a great deal of liturgy or any particular type. This can be deceiving. Self-deceiving, in fact.

The problem rests in our motivation. Some people are prompted to exquisite heights of worshipful delight via more formal practices and surroundings. Others, in the same setting, feel inauthentic. They need something considerably more “homey” to get the same vibe.   It’s when liturgy turns into “mere” formality that it becomes a cover for hypocrisy. And, let’s face it, saying “church is just people” can be misleading, since church also includes God and the awe we should rightly have in his presence.

We may find the answer to our question in Acts 2:42, “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (ESV). The worship and practice of the earliest church was admittedly not very formal, but it was not “without form and void.” If these things mentioned are in place and are sincerely practiced, infused with the power of the Holy Spirit, then all should be well. It’s when we cast off all restraint in the name of authenticity, or adopt liturgy to create a religious feel and then confuse that with an actual love of God that we get into trouble.

Palmer St. Podcast: The Unveiling of Jesus Christ

I began reading the book of Revelation almost 40 years ago.  We had a large, old, fancy Bible in the house and I began reading it, prompted by some music I was listening to that had a few biblical references. This book, more than any other, led me to the Lord, so it has a gigantic place in my personal story of faith.

Rev 01.mp3

Rev 01.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: Blessed Assurance

For many people, when we claim that we have eternal life and we know it, it seems like the height of arrogance.  Further, we are all plagued by doubts at some level.  Despite all of this we should not lose heart.

1 John 5.13-21.mp3

1 John 5.13-21.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: What does it mean to be born again?

Admittedly it sounds kind of cheesy. The phrase has been so overused, misused and misrepresented that few of us are really sure any more what being “born again” even means. Our best evidence indicates that Jesus made it up. So, it seems we’re stuck with it.

1 John 5.01-12.mp3

1 John 5.01-12.pdf

Palmer St. Podcast: Love One Another

God is love. Some people can’t believe it. If God is love, how can he allow all of this suffering and murder and violence and corruption? If God exists, is love even one of God’s attributes? Others misunderstand this statement and would have it mean that God always and everywhere radiates a sentimental positive vibe toward all that we say and do.

1 John 4.07-21.mp3

1 John 4.07-21.pdf