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What Do I Do With John Piper? by Pastor Kevin Feder

Many Christians are dismissing John Piper and cutting ties with him over his recent article on the 2020 elections. I think this is a mistake.  For the record, I also think his article was problematic for a number of reasons. As much as I found myself disagreeing with his counsel it has left me wrestling with a much bigger question: what do I do with John Piper? Should I, like many other Christians, tune him out in protest to his political views?  My answer is no, I shouldn’t. And I don’t think you should either. John Piper started teaching at Bethel Seminary in the mid 1970’s. At minimum he has 45 years of ministry under his belt. Let’s not forget, this is faithful, fruitful ministry. The average stay of a pastor in a church is around 3 years. John Piper served Bethlehem Baptist church for 33 years, that’s 30 years longer than the average stay. Piper has always remained humble, he has battled sin and the temptation to self-glorification. I was at Bethlehem to see the inner workings of
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Parenting A Difficult Child by Pastor Kevin

Maybe the title is superfluous. Maybe it should just read, “Parenting a Child” and it should be assumed that parenting all children is difficult. Yet, if you have done any parenting or any volunteering with any number of children anywhere at any time you probably know that one size does not fit all. Not all children are created equal, some are easier while others are not. Some are more obedient while others push the limits. Some learn quickly while other do not. Some are compliant while other challenge everything. Some are motivated and self-directed while others can spend their entire day being distracted and get nothing of value accomplished.   In other words, some children are difficult, and yes, more difficult than others.  This can be true in seasons, as well. It may not be so that a chile is always difficult. It may just be they are going through a challenging stage of development or a difficult transition that requires extra wisdom, extra patience, extra grace, extra extra!

Was Vashti A Submissive Wife? by Pastor Kevin Feder

In our first sermon in our series on Esther we covered chapter 1 and the tremendous party King Xerxes threw. The party lasted six months for his army and officials and governors. After this period of 180 days was over Xerxes threw a party for seven more days that the entire city of Susa was invited to. Xerxes was showing off his wealth and showing off his glory to everyone far and wide. This “showing off” climaxed when, in his drunken state, decided to summon his beautiful wife who was also Queen Vashti so that he could impress his guests with her beauty.  You are probably familiar with the story as it unfolds. Vashti isn’t impressed. She isn’t flattered that her husband is still attracted to her, even after all these years. She refuses him and it brings him great embarrassment when the King isn’t able to parade his catch in front of the drunken crowd that is hungry for some entertainment. So it seems to beg the question, should she have submitted to the king or was she justified in

Are You Quietly Bragging? by Pastor Kevin Feder

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. -Psalm 131 Short and sweet, but not short and shallow is this Psalm. It addresses a common human tendency and gently diagnoses some heart motivations that need to be addressed. The apex of the Psalm is perhaps in verse 2 where it says that I do not occupy myself with things too marvelous for me. What does this mean?  After getting a little help from David Powlison in his book Seeing with New Eyes, I can say that the propensity to occupy oneself with things “too marvelous for me” is the propensity to occupy oneself with things a person shouldn’t. We recently got a dog. It’s a wonderful dog. Every morning Rosie comes to wake me up at quarter to six by walking to the sid

An Election Day Prayer by Pastor Kevin

As I was walking away from casting my vote at St. Michael High School over lunchtime I found myself wanting to crawl in a hole and wake up after this whole thing is over. If this goes the way some are suggesting, I might be looking at a season of hibernation. That is only half way funny, I suppose.  What I really need is to calibrate my heart with the truth of Scripture. I wonder, is it possible to be joyful in Christ on the day of a very contentious election? An election for which many possible outcomes have been speculated?  Here is a prayer that I wrote out that is designed to shepherd my own heart and hopefully, yours too.  For our collective joy in Christ, Pastor Kevin -------------------------- Father in heaven,  We give you all the praise and all the glory for who you are and how you have worked throughout history to save a people through Jesus for your glory.  -We praise you for being the God who sits enthroned in the heavens and does all that he pleases.  - We praise you for b

Your Way Was Through The Sea by Pastor Kevin Feder

Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples. - Psalm 77:13-14 This is our Fighter Verse this week and I would like to help explain how this verse helps us to fight the fight of faith. There are four basic assertions these verses make. Let me list them.  The first thing we are told is that God’s way is holy. Holy is a word that describes the way God is completely separate from us. God is separate from sin, he is utterly pure. This assertion draws attention to the ways of God and not necessarily the being of God. The Psalmist is saying that God has his own ways of doing things, which alerts us to the fact that the way man approaches life and the way God does are often at odds. This verse helps us to fight by setting our expectations right, allowing us to take comfort in the very different ways God operates from the way we would.  Second, God is uniquely great. God’s holy ways make him comple

God Works in Seasons by Pastor Kevin Feder

There is no doubt that 2020 keeps getting more and more unpredictable. By the time we hit April no one would have disputed that what we were experiencing is something no one would ever have seen coming. Now that GCF is pushing into November we can say the same thing, we couldn’t have seen this coming and our situation keeps getting further and further from normal.  I want to extend a heartfelt thanks to everyone who has faithfully been walking with us through this season of life at GCF. It has been a corporate season of affliction but it has been more than that. As I make my rounds within the church and visit with people I can see many people are burdened. They are burdened with church, with life, with family, with big decisions about their careers, with bosses who are lacking compassion, even deaths of loved ones.  It has led me to the conclusion that God does his work in seasons. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 tells us that “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under hea