The Driven Alexander Hamilton

I am late to the game on this, but I finally read the Alexander Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow. While I detected some bias, it was still an enjoyable read, and I learned much about my country and myself. One of the lines I identify with is when Chernow wrote:

He (Alexander Hamilton) always had to fight the residual sadness of the driven man.

Through Christ, this sadness does not remain. However, it does creep in on the ambitious.

Happy birthday, America. You are exceptional.

Happy birthday, America! I am proud of my country and grateful to be a citizen.

I am educated enough to understand our sins.
I am theological enough to understand the trappings of nationalism.
I am cynical enough to recognize the market forces that exploit patriotism.

But I am wise enough to know this country is exceptional!

The American experiment changed the world. We are not finished. We are learning to be a great country, and I pray we have the humility and resolve to ascend.

The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.” – George Washington, January 9, 1790

Ash Wednesday on March 2

The season of Lent has become an important part of my yearly rhythm as I join the global church in preparing for Easter. This season in the church calendar begins on Ash Wednesday, which this year falls on March 2. 

CIL Church will have an Ash Wednesday service at Noon, which includes live worship, communion, and the imposition of ashes. Also, we will open the sanctuary for a come-and-go prayer and imposition of ashes for an hour, beginning at 7 am

Join us for either or both of these times as we dedicate our hearts anew to Jesus.

Roe vs Wade ends, the Abortion challenge continues

For those who are anti-abortion, a positive trend in preserving life has developed since 2021. Many states are functionally overriding the Roe vs. Wade decision by legislating drastic abortion obstructions. These state laws make it impossible to get an abortion in such a state. Recent United States Supreme Court decisions have protected these drastic state measures.

As the Supreme Court upholds these laws, Roe vs. Wade becomes ineffective as a federal precedent. The future is this: one could still get an abortion in states like California and New York but could not in states with restrictive laws, like Texas and Louisiana.

So, you probably know something about what I have just written. As I warned on this blog a couple of years ago, the overturn of Roe vs. Wade would not stop abortion in America, and it would only limit it regionally.

So, Christians cannot hide behind Roe vs. Wade as a distant cultural argument. Now, our stand for life is more consequential state by state, community by community, vote by vote, and conversation by conversation.

Sunday Summary – October 31, 2021 – All Saints Sunday and the Reformation

On Sunday, we acknowledged All Saint Sunday since All Saints Day is November 1. This annual recognition continues to increase in meaning as I see more clearly the “cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1)” that surrounds me. Each year, my list of deceased Christian friends grows, so I also want my heart for heaven to grow. The cloud also includes Christians in the past whose stories, songs, and writings point me to Christ today. Our service on Sunday exalted Jesus, the supreme one whom all saints worship.

You can watch the service by clicking below:

October 31 reminds us of all the good things since the Protestant reformation. I have gratitude for access to Scripture, understanding the priesthood of each believer, and a richer grasp of grace. The courage of Martin Luther and other reformers calls us to seek God’s truth continually

Sunday Summary – September 26, 2021 – We Gather

My heart is full from Sunday’s services. Seven were baptized, and we had a special baby dedication at 9:00 AM. I am so grateful for the church and the weekly gathering for worship. It is what God’s people have always done, and the remnant will continue to do so. And if the Lord tarries another one thousand years, believers will be gathering for worship then.

This is what God has called us to do. This is who we are.

Thomas McKenzie – A Significant Loss

I am sorry this blog has recently had so many death notices. It is an unusual time. However, I want to acknowledge and inform you of this impactful death.

Thomas McKenzie was a strategic and important voice in Nashville and America. I am so sad to learn of his sudden and tragic death on August 23. My prayers and love for The Church of the Redeemer, and all who are mourning this loss. He was special and needed.

Click for full article

Peace, Strawberries and Ice Cream

We celebrate with special food. I’ve been reading on and off a lengthy biography of President Ulysses Grant by Ron Chernow. A big story during Grant’s administration was a dispute with Great Britain, which ended with a diplomatic, peaceful solution in the year 1871.


Chernow writes, “the commissioners celebrated their achievement over plates of strawberries and ice cream.”


May there be more peace with strawberries and ice cream!

Maundy Thursday

Today is Maundy Thursday. The term “maundy” comes from the Latin word “command.” On this night, we remember Jesus’ new command:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” – John 13:34

At a Maundy Thursday service a few years ago, these words hit me with power and conviction. This Scripture has been my life verse since then. I do not always live this Scripture, but it is my standard of spirituality.

On Maundy Thursday, we recognize that Jesus established Holy Communion as our way to remember and connect with Him. We also remember that Jesus washed His disciple’s feet on this day, so we should also serve each other.

The observance of Maundy Thursday is important preparation for Good Friday and the Easter celebration.