Message from the Pastors

Message from the Pastors

Then Sings My Soul

The hymn “How Great Thou Art” is a treasured favorite for many of us at PBCC. It’s introduction to the church in America came by way of the Billy Graham crusade in the late fifties. The themes of the hymn speak of the wonders of creation and the joys of salvation, culminating in the refrain “Then Sings My Soul”.  Those four words can have different meanings for many of us. As a worship leader and especially with the new orders…

Seeing What’s Really There

These last few months have been difficult for so many people at so many different levels.  Our conversations invariably turn to cancelled events from the spring, something we had hoped to do this summer but can’t, and plans we may have had for the fall that are now in doubt.  This week I was supposed to be at Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast, where we’ve met with family and friends every summer for literally decades – not that the…

To Take a Step Back

For the past 12 weeks I’ve been immersed in some of my final theology courses to finish up my master’s degree, and it has been so good (I wasn’t sure I would ever say that about theology classes, but I can now!).  I have been pushed to think deeply about aspects of my faith that I had previously pushed aside or hadn’t even been aware of.  I’ve reflected on the incredible depth of what the scriptures say, of who our…

Hopescrolling

Doomscrolling is a new term that has come to fore during these Covid times. It refers to our tendency to continue to scroll through news articles full of bad news, despite how saddening, disheartening or depressing the news is. This Doomscrolling is not limited to Covid-related news but it seems that Covid is one of the main culprits! It’s no surprise then that many of us are functioning as people of despair instead of people of Hope. I think many…

Our Great God

1 Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 5 The sea is his,…

One Mind

I’ve been reading Philippians over and over again, and a verse keeps coming to mind. Paul says in Philippians 2:2, “make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” What does it mean to be like-minded, to be of one mind? If you’re like me, you’ve thought about this question in the context of current racial tensions and in the context of your personal life. I was going to write…

Faithful Co-Laborers

Jerry Tu will be continuing our series in Philippians this week focusing on the character of Paul’s colleagues, Timothy and Epaphroditus. Here is his message to us. In our journey through Paul’s letter to the Philippians, we explored the glorious Christ Hymn in Phil 2:5-11 that illustrated Jesus’ divinity and humanity. This week, we look at two faithful servants of the Lord that truly followed the example of Jesus from the Christ Hymn.  They were compassionate and committed, submissive and…

Shining Like Stars

This week we’ll see Paul call the Philippian church to shine like stars in the midst of a twisted and broken world. It seems an overwhelming task until we realize that it is God at work in us who provides both the desire and the ability to do so. The call is, therefore, to participate in the work that God is doing in and through us. So what would it look like for us to shine like stars in our…

Blind Like Me

When I was in high school I read a book called “Black Like Me”. The book is about a white journalist who temporarily has his skin darkened to experience the realities of what it was like to live a black man’s life in the segregated South. The book resonated with me recalling experiences I had as a young boy moving from a South Texas Hispanic community to the Bay Area. Looking back as a grown man, I can now see…

A Day to Remember

What comes up for you as you think about Father’s Day? Do you think about your relationship with your dad? As a father yourself, do you reflect on your relationships with your kids? As a wife, do you think about the kind of dad your kids have? Do you have someone you consider a spiritual father? Do you wonder who your biological father is, if you haven’t met him? There is much reason to celebrate on Father’s Day, and it’s…

A Different Kind of God

We continue our studies this Sunday in the book of Philippians. And, we come to holy ground. In this text, known as a hymn to Christ, we find a different kind of God. Into a world where “gods” are expected to use absolute power, power to advance themselves and power to exploit others, we find these extraordinary words. Here, we find a God who seeks to not advantage himself, but to humble himself in obedient servanthood. This God becomes defined by a cradle, a cloth…

This Jesus

Light can devour the darkness but darkness cannot consume the light. Lately the world has been on fire. Darkness, sadness, pain is all around. Maybe God is just revealing what has always been? Maybe we have been lulled into believing, things are better; life is better; we are better. Not! Right now all is awry. The curtain is drawn, and we are seeing reality: a broken, fragile, hurting world. Pain, injustice and tragedy are front and center. You can’t escape…