Submitted by Mark Friz on February 7, 2011 - 12:34pm
On of the best qualities of St. Paul's Evangelical Church is the congregation's willingness to discuss difficult issues in a spirit of openness, humility and peace. A prime example is last Sunday's message, entitled, Authentic Women. Throughout the last 80 years of our church history, we have had no written restrictions on women serving on our boards, but at the same time, have maintained a majority of male leadership.
The temptation for a pastor, when we come across a difficult passage like 1 Timothy 2:8-15, is to simply skip over them. On Sunday, February 6, I invited Judy Dabler, adjuct professor at Trinity seminary, and president of Live at Peace Ministries, to take on this text with me. What follows is a text of our message.
Submitted by Mark Friz on January 28, 2011 - 11:43am
One of my New Year's Resolutions is to return to an old prayer discipline in my life. Throughout the past several years, I've experiemented with several types of prayer.
During the Alpha Program, Nikki Gumbal talked about keeping a journal of prayer requests, and then noticing how God had answered the prayers. I found this to be a very encouraging exercise, as I saw many ways that God answered my prayers.
I learned to pray using Lectio Divina, an ancient method which includes reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation. I learned to listen to the Holy Spirit, and to pray scripture. This enhanced my walk with God, as I opened my heart to new expressions of prayer based on the scripture for the day.
But lately, I've been convicted that there is nothing like a good, old fashioned "prayer list" to help a person remember to pray for "everyone," "all those in authority," "all people" (1 Timothy 2:1-8). There were two times when this conviction gripped my heart.
The first was when I was in Germany last year, visiting church planters Andy and Claudia. I realized that they needed my prayers on a regular basis.
The second time was preaching in January 2011 from 1 Timothy 2:1-8. Timothy uses the word "all," from the Greek, panton, six times in this passage. I was reminded that my prayers are to have a wide scope, and that I needed help on a daily basis to broaden my mind to think more like God, who "wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4)l
Below is the personal prayer list outline which I have again committed myself to maintaining. It is not a list that one would go through every day. It is a list that might take a week, or two weeks, to move through on a regular basis. If it is any help to your personal prayer life, I encourage you to print it off and use it to help you be more authentic in your prayer life. How many people do you say you will pray for? This list will help you to keep your promises, and live up to your convictions.
Submitted by Mark Friz on September 17, 2010 - 3:03pm
Recently, my father-in-law, Bill Peycke, passed away. I was called upon to give the eulogy for his funeral. Because I had made a six hour video tape of his life history in 2001, I was able to share some of the virtues that were present behind the quiet persona of this heroic Christian.
Submitted by Mark Friz on August 13, 2010 - 2:38pm
On July 28, my friend and sister in Christ, Cindy Kelly, left her earthly body and moved to her mansion in heaven. As God would have it, she died during King's Kids Camp. She had vowed earlier this year, "I AM going to camp." As you will find out, in reading this sermon, she did go to camp--the Ultimate King's Kids Camp. What follows is Cindy's funeral sermon. I was privileged to preach this, in honor of Cindy, her family, and her Lord, on July 31, 2010. Over 300 people attended her funeral.
Submitted by Mark Friz on January 8, 2010 - 12:46pm
It's been a long time since I've blogged. The trip to Israel, my mother's death, and the holiday season have kept me busy and thinking of other things. But there has been something on my mind which I'd like to chat with you about. By chat, I really mean that. I'd like to hear what you have to say.
Submitted by Mark Friz on October 1, 2009 - 9:11am
This Summer and Fall, the pastors at St. Paul's have been preaching through the book of 1 Corinthians. As we've reached the middle of the book, we've come across difficult themes, such as marriage, divorce, sexuality, church discipline, lawsuits among believers, etc. I will be real honest with you. I've skipped some of the passages. I've gone to other pastors and asked for their advice. We prayed about it. Some of the passages I skipped because I felt the Holy Spirit was preventing me AT THAT TIME from preaching on a certain topic.
Submitted by Mark Friz on September 5, 2009 - 11:43am
On January 15 of 2009, a US Airways flight ditched in the Hudson River six minutes after taking off from LaGuardia Airport. The "second chance" at life has changed the day to day experience of several passengers on that flight. Take a look at the following video.
I noticed several different responses to a "second chance."