Recent Posts and Messenger Articles

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How To Avoid Church Conflict

by Webmaster

Recently I met the Pastor of a new church in our community, which is renting meeting space from an older, established congregation. There are so many of these popping up around town, and the mortality rate is so high, that I was curious about how this one would be different. I checked out the website […]

How Far We’ve Come (Not!)

by Webmaster

On the occasion of poet Walt Whitman’s 70th birthday, Mark Twain wrote this letter to give perspective to the great poet’s lifetime: You have lived just the seventy years which are the greatest in the world’s history and richest in benefit and advancement to its peoples. These seventy years have done much more to widen […]

Vacation Bible School: Worth the Effort?

by Webmaster

An email exchange began last Sunday when I received this message: Rev. George:¬† I met the Lord at your Church–in the old church on the corner, in 1957 or 1958 when I attended there. I came as a result of the church’s outreach program at Altadena Elementary School. Thank you Lord, for that influence on […]

Sign-Stealing, Card-Counting, and Religious “Cheating”

by Webmaster

Last week there was a big brouhaha at a LA Dodgers game. Dodger manager Dave Roberts accused the San Diego Padres players of “stealing signs,” and this began a heated argument involving all the players of both teams. In the process, the normally laid-back Roberts became so aggressive that he was punished with a day’s […]

Down With Vacant Vacations!

by Webmaster

“I’m on vacation.“ Have you ever thought about what a funny idea that is? We work or study hard all year, just so that for a couple of weeks we can . . . . vacate? Leave our house, our desk, our work station empty? That’s what we’re looking forward to, emptiness? You’d think we’d […]

The New Song from God

by Webmaster

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, And set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will […]

It’s Not About You!

by Webmaster

I was not much into pop music in 1972, but a Carly Simon song that came out that year really grabbed me, for some reason. The chorus was: You’re so vain You probably think this song is about you, Don’t you? Don’t you? It’s been a mystery since then whom Carly had in mind when […]

‘Til Death Do Us Part

by Webmaster

Those of you who are married most likely said those words, or some modern equivalent of them, during your wedding ceremony. You probably also meant them. But the truth is, in spite of our best intentions, marriages in America today only last an average of eleven years. So an objective observer would probably recommend changing […]

Life and Dying Confessio

by Webmaster

In the Pasadena Public Library you will find a book entitled Van Alstine Family History.* It outlines the generations of this Dutch settler family from before 1655, the time when Jan Martense Van Alstine built a homestead at Fort Orange, in the Hudson River Valley near what is now Albany, NY. On page 439 of […]

The Immortal, Invisible God

by Webmaster

Dr. Walter Chalmer Smith was a respected minister in the Free Church of Scotland when he published¬† his book of hymns in 1876. The only one that is still regularly sung in churches today seems to have been his favorite. He took his cue from a spontaneous doxology expressed by the Apostle Paul in his […]