Our mission leads us to be and to share the good news of Jesus Christ!

The Last Word

A Step of Faith

A few years ago, Travelers Insurance came out with a series of commercials that showed how what we think we see isn’t always the whole story. For instance, in one scene they showed a canoe being paddled across a calm lake. Underneath this peaceful image read the words, “This is not a canoe; it’s an…

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

Several years ago, at a family New Year’s Eve gathering, my brother shouted at midnight, “I claim this year as ‘the year of Brook!’” At first, we all thought it was pretty bold of him to claim a whole year just for himself. Since then, we’ve all taken turns claiming our own years, too! When…

Disciples Together

It’s hard to believe that September 7-8 will be our 7th annual Disciple Together Weekend. The number “7” is a significant one in our tradition. The ancient Israelites recognized that our God is One who is revealed in time. His story is history! And because they understood the importance of time, they also devoted days…

Homecoming!

There’s a scene in the Lion King in which Simba leaves his home because his evil Uncle Scar convinces him he’s something he’s not. Voices from inside and out tell Simba he doesn’t deserve to go home. Eventually, Simba has a vision of his father saying, “Remember who you are!” It reminds me of a…

Full Circle

Two weeks ago, I wrote my Last Word from the floor of the General Assembly at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. This week, I’m writing from a cabin at the Christian Conference Center while Cathie Courtois and her co-director lead my group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in a special activity (giving me…

Abide in Me

This week, I’m writing my newsletter article from the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines while attending the General Assembly of the Christian Church. As I write this on Monday morning, it’s already been a great time of worship, fellowship and learning. Keokuk is present and accounted for! Pastor Brian Nixon has been front and…

Jubilee is Coming!

“Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.” In a world that values productivity, work, and wealth above almost everything else – the command to stop working and look to God is a fairly radical thing. Eugene Peterson once wrote, “I don’t see any way out of it: If we are going to honor the Father,…

Bonfires and Illuminations!

A few years ago, Tammy and I started hosting a little family reunion at our house over the fourth of July. Just before the party our first year, I ran across a quote by John Adams about how Independence Day should be celebrated. He wrote, “It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with…

On Vacation this Week!

The other day I ran across a word I’d never seen before: “lifewithoutspacemakesnosense.” Of course, it didn’t take me long to realize the spaces had been left out. Add the spaces back in and you have the makings of a great sermon: “life without space makes no sense.” As we enter into the summer months,…

The River Rises

As I write this, the water in the Mississippi is rising once again. The road through Alexandria will soon be impassable – less than a week after being reopened from the last flood. One of our regular 8 a.m. service attenders, who lives in Missouri, said she’s just thankful she has an alternative route –…