Saturday, December 29, 2012

At the End of Our Life


At the end of our life,
we're likely to hear 
one or the other,
or both:

Well done good and faithful servant.

or

Come on in.
I see that you've had a rough time of it.

At the end of our life.
Something good and kind awaits.

Death is hard.
Always will be.
And harder for some.

And maybe there's nothing
At the end.
Maybe
Nothing.
Could be.

But there's a piece of me that yearns
For a welcome home sort of word.
At the end of the game.
When the doors of life are shut.
Lights turned off.
Good Night Irene, Good Night.

A light.
A nightlight?
I don't know.

Jesus hints at it.
I like his hints.

Paul believes in it.
I like his faith.

At the end.

If nothing, then nothing.
If something, then good.
If good, then God.

Well done ...

Come on in ...

Welcome ...

© Tom Eggebeen, December 29, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Officer Training, Nov 2012 - Calvary


Officer Training … Calvary Presbyterian Church, Hawthorne November, 2012

Biblical Foundations

  1. Our LORD Jesus called disciples, transforming them during three years of intensive experience, into apostles – those sent to the world to proclaim the gospel and lead the church.
    1. As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him (Matthew 4:18-22).
    2. Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 2816-20.
  2. The Book of Acts: distinction between Deacons and Apostles, and the first description of elders:
    1. Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith (Acts 6:1-7).
    2. From Miletus he sent a message to Ephesus, asking the elders of the church to meet him. When they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the entire time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears, enduring the trials that came to me through the plots of the Jews. I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message to you and teaching you publicly and from house to house, as I testified to both Jews and Greeks about repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus. And now, as a captive to the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and persecutions are waiting for me. But I do not count my life of any value to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace 
“And now I know that none of you, among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom, will ever see my face again. 26Therefore I declare to you this day that I am not responsible for the blood of any of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God. Keep watch over yourselves and over all the flock, of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after I have gone, savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to warn everyone with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the message of his grace, a message that is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all who are sanctified. I coveted no one’s silver or gold or clothing. You know for yourselves that I worked with my own hands to support myself and my companions. In all this I have given you an example that by such work we must support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed. There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again. Then they brought him to the ship (Acts 20:17-38).
  • Qualifications of bishops – 1 Timothy – a later document indicating the development of local leadership; at this time, it’s likely that the words for elder (presbuteros – presbuteros) and bishop (episkopos - episkopos) are interchangeable … though by the second century, the offices were growing distinct – the elder leading the local congregation and the bishop a regional leader.
    1. The saying is sure: whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task. Now a bishop must be above reproach, married only once, temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, and not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil.
    2. I left you behind in Crete for this reason, so that you should put in order what remained to be done, and should appoint elders in every town, as I directed you: someone who is blameless, married only once, whose children are believers, not accused of debauchery and not rebellious. 7For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or addicted to wine or violent or greedy for gain; 8but he must be hospitable, a lover of goodness, prudent, upright, devout, and self-controlled. He must have a firm grasp of the word that is trustworthy in accordance with the teaching, so that he may be able both to preach with sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it (Titus 1:5-9).

Book of Order

F-1.0304 The Great Ends of the Church
The great ends of the Church are:
the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;
the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God;
the maintenance of divine worship;
the preservation of the truth;
the promotion of social righteousness; and
the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.

G-2.02 DEACONS: THE MINISTRY OF COMPASSION AND SERVICE
G-2.0201 Deacon Defined

The ministry of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and
service, sharing in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, those burdened by unjust policies or structures, or anyone in distress. Persons of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, sincere compassion, and sound judgment should be chosen for this ministry.

G-2.0202 Under Authority of the Session
Deacons may be individually commissioned or organized as a board of deacons. In
either case, their ministry is under the supervision and authority of the session. Deacons may also be given special assignments in the congregation, such as caring for members in need, handling educational tasks, cultivating liberality in giving, collecting and disbursing monies to specific persons or causes, or overseeing the buildings and property of the congregation. Deacons shall assume other duties as may be delegated to them by the session, including assisting with the Lord’s Supper. (W-3.3616). A congregation by a majority vote may choose not to utilize the ordered ministry of deacons. If the congregation has neither a board of deacons nor individually commissioned deacons, the function of this ordered ministry shall be the responsibility of the ruling elders and the session.

G-2.03 RULING ELDERS: THE MINISTRY OF DISCERNMENT AND GOVERNANCE
G-2.0301 Ruling Elder Defined

As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the
New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God’s Spirit and governance of God’s people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they “lord it over” the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with teaching elders, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships. When elected by the congregation, they shall serve faithfully as members of the session. When elected as commissioners to higher councils, ruling elders participate and vote with the same authority as teaching elders, and they are eligible for any office.

G-2.04 GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR RULING ELDERS AND DEACONS
G-2.0401 Election of Ruling Elders and Deacons

Ruling elders and deacons are men and women elected by the congregation from among its members. The nomination and election of ruling elders and deacons shall express the rich diversity of the congregation’s membership and shall guarantee participation and inclusiveness (F-1.0403). Ruling elders and deacons shall be nominated by a committee elected by the congregation, drawn from and representative of its membership. Congregations may provide by their own rule for a congregational nominating committee, provided that the committee shall consist of at least three active members of the congregation, and shall include at least one ruling elder who is currently serving on the session. The pastor shall serve ex officio and without vote. When elections are held, full opportunity shall always be given to the congregation for nomination from the floor of

G-2.0402 Preparation for Ministry as a Ruling Elder or Deacon

When persons have been elected to the ordered ministry of ruling elder or deacon, the session shall provide a period of study and preparation, after which the session shall examine them as to their personal faith; knowledge of the doctrine, government, and discipline contained in the Constitution of the church; and the duties of the ministry. The session shall also confer with them as to their willingness to undertake the ministry appropriate to the order. If the examination is approved, the session shall appoint a day for the service of ordination and installation.

G-2.0404 Terms of Service
Ruling elders and deacons shall be elected to serve terms of no more than three years on the session or board of deacons, and may be eligible for reelection according to congregational rule. However, no ruling elder or deacon shall be eligible to serve more than six consecutive years, and a ruling elder or deacon who has served six consecutive years shall be ineligible for election to the same board for at least one year. Election shall be to classes as nearly equal in number as possible, with the term of only one class ending each year.

The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church consists of two parts: The Book of Confessions and the Book of Order. The sequence of these two parts illustrates the heart and soul of our Presbyterian tradition: the way we govern ourselves is derived from and energized by our faith in God: creator, redeemer and living presence; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Questions for Ordination/Installation.

Please note: once ordained, always ordained, but upon reelection, installation is always required for a new term of office.

Questions to Ruling Elders & Deacons
a. Do you trust in Jesus Christ your Savior, acknowledge him Lord of all and Head of the Church, and through him believe in one God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
I Do!

b. Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be, by the Holy Spirit, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ in the Church universal, and God’s Word to you?
I Do!

c. Do you sincerely receive and adopt the essential tenets of the Reformed faith as expressed in the confessions of our church as authentic and reliable expositions of what Scripture leads us to believe and do, and will you be instructed and led by those confessions as you lead the people of God? 
I Do and I Will!

d. Will you fulfill your office in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions? 
I Will!

e. Will you be governed by our church's polity, and will you abide by its discipline? Will you be a friend among your colleagues in ministry, working with them, subject to the ordering of God's Word and Spirit?
I Will!

f. Will you in your own life seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ, love your neighbors, and work for the reconciliation of the world?
I Will!

g. Do you promise to further the peace, unity, and purity of the church?
I Do!

h. Will you seek to serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love?
I Will!

i. 

  1. For Ruling Elders: Will you be a faithful elder, watching over the people, providing for their worship, nurture, and service? Will you share in government and discipline, serving in governing bodies of the church, and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?

  1. For Deacons: Will you be a faithful deacon, teaching charity, urging concern, and directing the people’s help to the friendless and those in need and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?

  1. For minister of the Word and Sacrament: Will you be a faithful minister, proclaiming the good news in Word and Sacrament, teaching faith and caring for people? Will you be active in government and discipline, serving in the governing bodies of the church; and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?

  1. For commissioned lay pastor: Will you be a faithful commissioned lay pastor, serving the people by proclaiming the good news, teaching faith and caring for the people, and in your ministry will you try to show the love and justice of Jesus Christ?

  1. For certified Christian educator: Will you be a faithful certified Christian educator, teaching faith and caring for people, and will you in your ministry try to show
I Will!

Basic practices:

  1. Attend all board meetings, and if unable to attend, notify the Clerk of Session or the Chair of the Deacons, so that your absence may be recorded as excused. 
  2. If you’re responsible for a committee, be sure your committee members gather regularly: have someone take notes/minutes, so that reporting out to the Session/Board of Deacons can be done accurately, and, at the end of the year, if responsible for a report in The Annual Report, to have that in to Kathee in a timely manner.
  3. If uncertain about something, check with the Clerk of Session or the Chair of the Deacons; check with Kathee (she knows everything!). Ask for help. 
  4. Be proactive - think ahead if you’re chairing a committee. Be a good planner, and have things in order, as best you can.
  5. Pray regularly for one another.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"A Classmate Went Missing" - Poet Bob Dahl

From my dear friend, the Rev. Dr. Robert Dahl, a fine writer and delightful poet.


A Classmate Went Missing


A classmate went missing from his class
reunion only to be discovered later dead.

A response from a classmate reflecting on
the dead who he hadn’t seen in let’s say around

fifty years, in part, “A handful of us always seemed to be
competing. Good practice for the next 40 years.

The only competition left is who will outlive the other…..
and of course, who has the

brightest and best looking grandchildren……….need I
say more.”  (He must have forgotten in his

old age that that was a question requiring a question mark
and there were way too many ellipses.) —- hmmmm,

probably written jokingly, but hmmmm…so…does shallower than a
kiddy pool in a drought  come to mind,

and after fifty years no less?  And when the last person living
reflects on his situation and what he has won

what will he  have?  Oh, yeah, loneliness.
Good Lord.

Fifty years and still counting… still competing.
“Hey, guess what?  I beat so and so and so

and so and so and so and so and old
whatshisface… and ….”

So what?

And if that classmate is the only one left standing
and cries, “Hey, I won!” into the void

will there be the sound of victory or just the sound of silence
from back in the 60’s? Oh, yeah, the most

beautiful  and brightest grandkids:  “Bye, bye
Grandpa,” as they go off to their futures without

much as a thought of him as he sits by himself
surrounded by all of his trophies.

Need he say more into the void (leaving only the question mark
he forgot the first time around),

about that shallow-as-a-kiddy-pool comment
on the death an old high school

classmate? Oh, yeah, in all fairness, he said it brought a tear
to his eye, too.

Friday, November 2, 2012

St. Andrew and Scotland

From Wikipedia:


Scotland

The Saltire (or "St. Andrew's Cross") is the national flag of Scotland
St. Andrew carving c.1500 in the National Museum of Scotland
About the middle of the 10th century, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland. Several legends state that the relics of Andrew were brought by divine guidance from Constantinople to the place where the modern town of St Andrews stands today (GaelicCill Rìmhinn).
The oldest surviving manuscripts are two: one is among the manuscripts collected by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and willed toLouis XIV of France, now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, the other in the Harleian Mss in the British Library, London. They state that the relics of Andrew were brought by one Regulus to the Pictish king Óengus mac Fergusa (729–761). The only historical Regulus (Riagail or Rule) (whose name is preserved in the tower of St Rule was an Irish monk expelled fromIreland with Saint Columba; his dates, however, are c 573 – 600. There are good reasons for supposing that the relics were originally in the collection of Acca, bishop of Hexham, who took them into Pictish country when he was driven from Hexham (c. 732), and founded a see, not, according to tradition, in Galloway, but on the site of St Andrews. The connection made with Regulus is, therefore, due in all probability to the desire to date the foundation of the church at St Andrews as early as possible.
According to legend, in 832 AD, Óengus II led an army of Picts and Scots into battle against the Angles, led by Æthelstan, near modern-day AthelstanefordEast Lothian. The legend states that he was heavily outnumbered and hence whilst engaged in prayer on the eve of battle, Óengus vowed that if granted victory he would appoint Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. On the morning of battle white clouds forming an X shape in the sky were said to have appeared. Óengus and his combined force, emboldened by this apparent divine intervention, took to the field and despite being inferior in terms of numbers were victorious. Having interpreted the cloud phenomenon as representing the crux decussataupon which Saint Andrew was crucified, Óengus honoured his pre-battle pledge and duly appointed Saint Andrew as the Patron Saint of Scotland. The white saltire set against a celestial blue background is said to have been adopted as the design of the flag of Scotland on the basis of this legend.[16] However, there is evidence Andrew was venerated in Scotland before this.
Andrew's connection with Scotland may have been reinforced following the Synod of Whitby, when the Celtic Church felt that Columba had been "outranked" by Peter and that Peter's brother would make a higher ranking patron. The 1320Declaration of Arbroath cites Scotland's conversion to Christianity by Andrew, "the first to be an Apostle". Numerous parish churches in the Church of Scotland and congregations of other Christian churches in Scotland are named after Andrew. The national church of the Scottish people in RomeSant'Andrea degli Scozzesi is dedicated to St Andrew.
St. Andrew's cross carved in fireplace to prevent witches from entering a house
A local superstition uses the cross of Saint Andrew as a hex sign on the fireplaces in northern England and Scotland to prevent witches from flying down the chimney and entering the house to do mischief. By placing the St Andrew's cross on one of the fireplace posts or lintels, witches are prevented from entering through this opening. In this case, it is similar to the use of a witch ball, although the cross will activily prevent witches from entering, and the witch ball will passively delay or entice the witch, and perhaps entrap it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Frederick Buechner on All Saints' Day


Tomorrow, Nov. 1, 2012, All Saints' Day - a time to remember; Buechner, in his inimitable fashion, says it well:

"On All Saints' Day, it is not just the saints of the church that we should remember in our prayers, but all the foolish ones and wise ones, the shy ones and overbearing ones, the broken ones and the whole ones, the despots and tosspots and crackpots of our lives, who, one way or another, have been our particular fathers and mothers and saints, and whom we loved without knowing we loved them and by whom we were helped to whatever little we have, or ever hope to have, of some kind of seedy sainthood of our own." 

Oct. 30 devotional reading, Listening to Your Life, p.290 - excerpted from The Sacred Journey.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frederick Buechner on Grace

No one has said it better than Buechner!

After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have become so shopworn nobody’s much interested any more. Not so with grace, for some reason. Mysteriously, even derivatives like gracious and graceful still have some of the bloom left.

Grace is something you can never get but only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.

A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace. Somebody loving you is grace. Loving somebody is grace. Have you ever tried to love somebody?

A crucial eccentricity of the Christian faith is the assertion that people are saved by grace. There’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to do. There’s nothing you have to do.

The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can ever separate us. It’s for you I created the universe. I love you.

There’s only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can be yours only if you’ll reach out and take it.

Maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.

Frederick Buechner, October 30 devotional reading, Listening to Your Life, p.288 - an except taken from his Wishful Thinking.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ontological and Existential


To be a Christian … 

To become a Christian …

We are both at the same time.

In the mind of God, we are Christians.

In the reality of time, we are becoming Christians.

In technical terms, this is the Ontological view of God - that is, our essential ontos, our being, our status in God’s mind, our being in Christ.

And the Existential view of life - that is, the incompleteness of our transformation - for we realize God’s love and live a life of love only partially, in bits and pieces.

When our Existential reality becomes troubled and sad, we take refuge in the Ontological - God’s view of things.

The Ontological is grounded in Romans 8.38-39: there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God in Christ.

The Existential struggle is grounded in Romans 7.21-25: the good I want to do, I don’t do; the evil I don’t want to do, I do.

The Existential keeps us humble, and humility is the key to authentic spirituality.

The Ontological keeps us secure, the security of faith that relies, not upon the self, but upon God, and the wideness of God’s mercy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

This World IS My Home ...

When anyone has to sing, "This world is not my home," something is terribly wrong. Not with the singer, but with others who have allowed conditions to grow so bad that someone can only see hope in a way out. 

God intended that everyone sing, "This world is my home" ... and the saints with God, under the altar, wait for the day of resurrection, so they can go home again, where they belong - a new earth, with heaven and earth bonded together in the new creation, heralded by Jesus and his resurrection. He goes away, but only for a time, and will come again. Jerusalem comes down from safekeeping to be with us, here in our world. 

This world is our home, as God intended. Let us strive with all our might to make it so for everyone, all of God's creatures, great and small.

Monday, August 6, 2012

There Is Little to Say - a poem

There is little to say.
Little to offer.
Little more to think.

Either we love all.
Or we cannot love at all.

The struggle to be fair.
Begins with God.
Who blesses with abundance.
To see what we shall we do with it.

Will we claim it as our own?
How foolish.
Or see it as a gift.
And a tool.
How wise.
How godly.

To improve the lot of others.
And quit asking why -
Others should be in need.
And quit blaming them.
While secretly congratulating ourselves.

Our shit stinks alike.
Body oder is common to all.
Frailty and tears belong to the powerful, too.
And death comes to all.

So quite bashing the poor.
Quit bragging about your power.
You don't have it.
It's not yours.
Never, ever, ever, never.

Just grow up and be kind.
Give like crazy.
Enjoy what's yours.
And share the rest.
Because very little is yours.
It's all a gift.

August 6, 2012
Tom Eggebeen



Saturday, July 28, 2012

Funeral Poem: "His Heart Stopped"


His heart stopped.
This brave heart.
Strong and resilient.
Said in the early morning hours.
To him:
Our work is done.
The race is won.
We've crossed the finish line.
Now take a rest m'boy.
Take a rest.
Enjoy some time off.
This brave man who worked so hard.
Who loved so much.
Who made things with his hands.
And told stories to hold everyone's attention.
Who wheeled around and put ---- on his lap.
The best seat in church, it was said.
A father.
A husband.
A human being.
The world is better because of him.
And today, we cry because it's over.
But we smile because it was.
A good life.
A good man.
A brave heart.
Now at rest.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vision, Voting Booths and Faith


Written for the August newsletter of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Hawthorne, CA

As the Presidential Campaign heats up, both parties are offering their vision for America.
What’s our vision for America?
And more importantly, could we explain to someone how our vision for America correlates with our faith?
Our vision is shaped by all sorts of things:
  1. How we were raised and how our parents saw the world.
  2. Our schooling, what we majored in and our favorite professors.
  3. Our work history - good jobs and bad jobs.
  4. Our personal lives - joys and our sorrows, wins and losses.
  5. How we feel about ourselves, how we see our lives and our place in the world.
  6. Newspapers and magazines and books.
  7. TV and radio.
  8. Obviously, the internet - from the ridiculous to the sublime.
  9. Our religious background and spiritual proclivities.
  10. And our DNA.
In high school and college, I was formally introduced to Calvinism, a “world and life view” - a faith perspective into which I was born, with many a fine pastor proclaiming the gospel with Reformed Style! For me, as a person and a pastor, such breadth and depth captures the heart of the Christian Faith, the sweep of Scripture and the vision of the Saints and Leaders of the last 2000 years.
Everyone has a tradition, even those who claim to be “non-denominational” have a tradition behind them, and it’s called Anabaptist. 
Anyway, as Christians of the Calvinist, or Reformed, persuasion, our world and life faith is big; big enough for the world, and small enough for every-day life. Including the candidates we support and our vision of America. So we pray: O God, may our convictions correlate with Jesus, the Bible and our Reformed Tradition.”
So, we rightly ask, “What are the elements of a Calvinist, or Reformed, faith”? 
  1. This world belongs to God, and God yearns for the world to know and live this liberating truth. This is God’s Sovereignty!
  2. God is at work in all things to restore creation to health and wholeness for all God’s creatures, great and small. At the heart of this work is forgiveness, or atonement. This is God’s Grace!
  3. The object of the Christian is not to simply go to heaven (though that’s part of the deal, God be praised), but to live well here, as a child of God, a friend of Jesus. This is God’s Sanctification of God’s People.
  4. The prophets of the Old Testament offer tremendous insights into the mind of God and provide the foundation for Jesus and the New Testament. This is God’s Instruction.
  5. The Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount describe specifically the world envisioned by Jesus. This is God with Us!
  6. Paul the Apostle writes about the effort of God to persuade us, lead us, guide us, command us, through Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit, to be, as Jesus says, the salt of the earth and the light of the world. This is God’s Call to Follow Christ!
We shall serve Christ well when we take his life and love, and the whole counsel of God, into our hearts and minds, and our hearts and minds into the voting booth.
To God be the glory!
Interim Pastor Tom Eggebeen