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The Order of Worship: Worship According to Scripture

The subject of worship and how to conduct it is too often a contentious one. In recent decades, it has even given us the term "worship wars." Many Christians choose their church home based more on the style of worship than the doctrine that is believed and taught. Nonetheless, each church must make a decision about how it will conduct its worship. As we read Scripture, we ...

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The Order of Worship: The Call to Worship (and announcements)

One of the principles of worship I mentioned last week is the dialogical principleworship is a dialogue between God and his people. We see this in the worship described in Exodus 1924, for example. Appropriately, the dialogue begins with God calling his people to worship and only then do his people respond.This principle has two practical impacts on our worship. First, our...

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The Order of Worship: Psalm Reading and the Hymn of Response

Last week we considered the call to worship, which signals the beginning of worship, being God's call from his Word to his people to gather together and worship him. It is the beginning of a dialogue between God and his people that continues throughout the service.Before we move on, it is important to consider the real effect of the call to worship. In a very real way it u...

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The Order of Worship: The Prayer of Invocation

In previous weeks,we've considered the Call to Worship, the Reading of the Psalm, and the Hymn or Psalm we sing in response to God's call. This week we are going to consider briefly the Prayer of Invocation.In this prayer, our primary concern is to call upon God to be present in our midst and work amongst us during our worship. It is an admission that nothing we do can cha...

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The Order of Worship: Scripture Reading

Of all the things we do in worship each Sunday, reading God's Word may be among the greatest. As we have said before, in corporate worship we are in dialogue with God. He speaks to his people,and we respond. And in no purer way does God speak than in the very words he inspired. For this reason, our worship is filled with the reading of God's Word. We've already considered ...

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The Order of Worship: The Sermon

So much could be said about the sermon! We approach the preaching of the Word liturgically by praying and reading the text. We pray because we are coming before God's Holy Word,and prayer is an act of humility. In the prayer, the minister acknowledges his own weakness and both the need of the Holy Spirit in order for the preaching of the Word to be effective and the promis...

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The Order of Worship: The Prayer of Intercession

When we have finished the preaching of the Word of God in worshipeach week,we close that portion of the service in prayer. In this case, it is a prayer of intercession. We bring our requests to God. We pray that the Word that has just been preached will be effective to do its work in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We then pray for the missionary or missions organizati...

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I Miss You

I, a lazy introvert, am nevertheless missing a lot of people and things these days. I miss gathering on Sundays. I miss moving tables around and sweeping the cafeteria. I miss making sure the chairs are all parallel in the gym. I miss Jonah faithfully saying to me, "You look handsome!" while I examine the chairs. I miss Todd messing up my perfectly-aligned chairs almost ...

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Back to the Future

During the past six weeks,the leadership at All Saintsyour staff, session, and diaconatehave been hard at work figuring out how best to continue the ministry of the church in this season of pandemic and quarantine. We've even managed, by God's grace, to increase our ministry in some areas. As this strange season continues, I want to take a moment to reassure you that the l...

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Not Wasting the Crisis - Part 2

Last week, we considered the biblical understanding we are to have when faced with trials of any kind. In his sovereignty, God allows his people to experience suffering, and he intends it for our good. He is like a master at the potter's wheel who shapes and works the clay until it is formed according to his intended purpose. He removes the debris that weakens the vessel a...

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Not Wasting the Crisis - Part 1

In the midst of a crisis, myfirst inclination is probably not far from yours"God, when will this be over so that I can return to my normal routine?" Discomfort is not the norm for the American church. We are quite unfamiliar with prolonged suffering. It is in times like these that the Spirit begins to stretch us as believers. During times where the rubber meets the road, w...

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The Main Thing

In the midst of all the turmoil, the greatest desire of the leadership of All Saints is to maintain our mission focus. Our mission is given to us by God in his Word. In our own words, expressed as the vision of the church, here's how it reads:"Our vision is that All Saints Presbyterian Church would be a local expression of the body of Christ in Brentwood that is: always gr...

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Because We Are Loved

Christmas is culturally a time of joy and nostalgia; a time when far-flung families gather and enjoy a brief respite and time together before they have to go back to their cities and homes and jobs. Many of us look forward to this season and eagerly embrace it. With respect to our faith, it is a time to rejoice in the first coming of our Savior and the love that the Father...

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race

When it comes to the Christian life there are so many questions that may be askedquestions about ethics and morality, growth in Christ-likeness, repentance and forgiveness, loving our neighbor, using our gifts, suffering well,and enduring crises. There are, however, a few principles to which the answers to all these questions must conform. Some of these principles are wort...

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Refuge in the Storm

"In life, you are either in a storm, coming out of a storm, or headed into a storm." Google couldn't quickly tell me who originally said this, so I'll have to chalk it up to an anonymous proverb of sorts. Of course, it's not quite that simple. This side of glory, our lives ebb and flow without the predictability of just one single storm that is either ahead, behind, or amo...

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The Coming of Christ

Welcome to the season of Advent! Advent is the last four Sundays before Christmas, but it marks the first four Sundays in the Christian calendar. Advent is from the Latin "adventus," meaning "arrival." It's a season of anticipationas we recall the hope of Israel in the coming of the Messiah; a hope fulfilled by the birth of Christ! We also are reminded, though, of our own ...

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On the Road

Scripture is full of images to help us understand the important truths it reveals. One of my favorite images for pastoral ministry is that of the shepherd. This is the image Christ uses to describe his own loving care of us, his sheep. It's also an image used to describe the work of pastors (in fact, the title "pastor" reflects this shepherding nature of the work). Another...

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Membership Matters

Once again, we are in the process of receiving new members into our fellowship at All Saints. The idea of church membership isn't one that the modern church made upbut one we find in Scripture. It is true enough that we don't have a verse we can quote that commands, "Thou shalt be a member of a church!" However, it is quite clear when we read Scripture as a whole that chur...

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Pray for Kanye

"Jesus is King" indeed, and if he is able to rescue and redeem those of us worshipping at All Saints in Brentwood, he is equally capable of bringing Kanye West from death to life. Praise God for this profession of faith!Are you skeptical? That's fair. As I think of my own spiritual walk, I can think of many who could rightfully be skeptical of my personal testimony of fait...

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Home

Unlike my wife,Alex, I am not prone to nostalgia. However, she knows that our roles reverse periodically. On Christmas Eve and Christmas morning, times of long-standing traditions in my family growing up, she expects the mild bouts of melancholy that regularly arrive. Why? Likely homesickness.Home. We long to get home after long trips or busy days at work. Our childhood ho...

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What Makes a Good Elder or Deacon?

As we come to that time of year when we ask the congregation to nominate elder and deacon candidates, I thought it would be helpful to remind you of a few things. The PCA understands that the right to nominate ruling elders and deacons is in the hands of the members of the church. It's an important function you perform when you nominate men to serve in these offices. Those...

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Remembering God's Faithfulness - Part 4

It hangs above my mantle. I see it every time I leave my house or enter my living room. I need to see it. I need to be reminded. The word is seared into the old barn woodtetelestai.The full reality of this Greek word can't be expressed in the English language. What Christ announced in his final breaths has everlasting implications for mankind. We read it in the English, "i...

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Remembering God's Faithfulness - Part 3

My father is a repetitive man. He owns the dad jokes. He loves to tell the same jokes over and over, and his enthusiasm does not wane with each repetition. He laughs at each joke as if it's the first time it has ever been told. He has other repetitive statements that we love to poke fun at him for. "Son, be careful on this road, it is a speed trap." This particular stateme...

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Remembering God's Faithfulness - Part 2

Those who know me wellknow that my memory is a fickle thing.Ask my wife what transpires in the secondsprior to placing our order at a drive through.All the orders of the family are clearly stated in the car, and as soonas I arrive at the the squawk box to place the order, all I can manage is a blank stare. In one moment, I forget every orderand can barely remember what it ...

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Remembering God's Faithfulness

I remember well the morning of February 5, 2010. The nurse practitioner came in around 6:30and woke my wife up. She walked us through a list I will never forget. She told us that Jonah, born the day before, had a high bilirubin count and would need to remain in the NICU. She went on to say that he had an irregularity that would need minor surgery in a couple of months. Her...

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God's Love for His Church

What a joy to bring two more men onto our diaconate this past Sunday!The office of deacon is an office marked first and foremost by service. Godly men are called by God and gifted to fill this office. We first see the office in the New Testament churchin Acts 6. Men were selected from among the members of the church"men of good repute, full of the Spirit and wisdom" (Acts ...

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Love Your Neighbor

From time to time in the history of the Church, and especially for the American Church in the past century, the question has arisen: What is the mission of the Church? This is a vital question for us to answersince it will drive our focus as an outward facing church. Ordinarily, the opposing sides in the discussion wrestle between seeing the Church's mission in the world a...

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Why So Much Scripture?

One of the most common reflections we hear on our worship from visitors is how much Scripture is read. Most of the time this is said with a sense of happy surprise. We have a first reading that takes us through a book of the Bible (what is called lectio continuareading), a Psalm or two as we work through the Psalter once every three years, and the sermon text as we preach ...

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Remembering Your Baptism

Many worship styles exist in modern Christianity, even within conservative, Bible-believing congregations. Reformed worship, however, tends to bedialogical, meaning that our service is structured as a back-and-forth dialogue between God and his people. God speaks to us through his Word, our pastors, and the sacraments. We collectively speak to him through our songs and pra...

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Assurance

I don't know Joshua Harris. I've never read his book I Kissed Dating Goodbyeeither, but I amsad that a man whoclaimed to be a follower of Christ and who was seen as a Christian thought-leader has now renounced the faith and fallen away.Those at our men's retreat in late July may remember that we discussed the "thorns" of this world, which are a result of the Fall,and how t...

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The Beautiful Privilege of Corporate Worship

Too often, the society in which we live affects our spiritual life without us realizing it. In America, we struggle to keep our individualism from altering our view of the local body of Christ and our relationship to it. While any patriotic American will explain why our national character of "pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps" makes us who we are, we need to recog...

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PCA Membership Vows, Part 6

The fifth membership vow asks, "Do you submit yourselves to the government and discipline of the Church, and promise to study its purity and peace?" There is no doubt thatsubmissionanddisciplinehave negative connotations in our current culture. Two images pop into my mind when I hear those words. One is of a bully holding your arm behind your back and demanding submission ...

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PCA Membership Vows, Part 5

We arrive at the fourth vow having gone through a series of building blocks. Each vow reveals basic tenants of the Gospel. We covered the sinfulness of man in the first vow, and it is in our sinfulness that we are made aware of our own inability to save ourselves. We should despair if it weren't for sovereign mercy that takes us from sinfulness to salvation. The second vow...

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PCA Membership Vows, Part 4

In the year 1776, the United States was changed forever. We would no longer be a group of colonies, for in the stroke of signatures at the gathering of the 2ndContinental Congress, a nation was born. What began as insurrection in 1775, was codified by declaration in 1776. Men were called to arms, and in doing so, soldiers had to take an oath swearing "to be true to the Uni...

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PCA Membership Vows, Part 3

The first vow leaves us in a state of extreme vulnerability as sinners who justly deserve God's wrath and who are without hope save in his sovereign mercy. Jonathan Edwards knew this perilous position of sinners when he penned these words in his famous sermon,Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, "There is nothing that keeps wicked men at any one moment, out of Hell, but t...

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PCA Membership Vows, Part 2

The Church is made up of all kinds of people. There are those who have been Christians their entire lives and those who are brand new to the faith. There are those who feel as if they are barely hanging on and those with vibrant faith, who are in a season of deep growth. In any given congregation, all of these people live together in community. It is God's design for his C...

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PCA Membership Vows, Part 1

I once had the privilege of waiting at the airport with a group of friends for the arrival of three special people. Two had left for China, but three were on the return flight. And their friends and family members stood around in anticipation of greeting the newest family member who had been recently adopted. Not only did this family grow in number, but a new member would ...

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Pastoral Letter on Racism

Pastoral Letter on Racism...

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Worship Details, Sunday, July 16, 2017

Helpful information about this coming Sunday's worship service.......

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Worship Details, Sunday, June 4, 2017

Helpful information about this coming Sunday's worship service.......

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Cross Collaboration Update!

An update from our Peru missionary team!...

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Worship Details, Sunday, April 23, 2017

Helpful information about this coming Sunday's worship service.......

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Worship Details, Sunday, March 26, 2017

Helpful information about this coming Sunday's worship service.......

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Worship Details, Sunday, March 5, 2017

Helpful information about this coming Sunday's worship service.......

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Worship Details, Sunday, December 4, 2016

Helpful information about this coming Sunday's worship service.......

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