First Baptist Church of La Crosse, Wisconsin
First Baptist Church of
La Crosse, Wisconsin
1209 Main Street
La Crosse, WI
(608) 782-6553

Monthly Archives: September 2015

Caring in Community (Num. 11:4-6,10-16,24-29; James 5:13-20; Mk. 9:38-50)

Communities are funny places. Many people today misunderstand, I think, what communities are. They are not places where everyone is in the same place as regards looks, thinking, believing, and acting. Indeed, today, as we live in a digital world, people in communities may be in different physical places altogether, being face-to-face as we say, while other community members are hundreds, thousands of miles distant and connected electronically. This last part of community is one with which I’m just learning to cope. We will see more of these hybrid kinds of communities as we go forward, I suspect. True communities… Continue reading

Gently Wise (Prov. 8:1-11; James 3:12-4:3, 7-8a; Mk. 9:30-37)

Who is (or was) the wisest person you have known in your life? Think about it. Notice I didn’t say the smartest, I said the wisest. Smart people are not always very wise. Wisdom is not just theoretical intelligence, but is practical and has to do with ways to navigate fruitful courses through all that life brings.

Our scripture passages today concern those who think of themselves as teachers, and/or wise. Our readings help us find some ways to think about whether they (or we) really are. We set the stage with our reading from Proverbs 8 which is the… Continue reading

Speaking for Jesus (Isa. 50:4-9; Ps. 19; James 3:1-12; Mark 8:27-38)

The beginning of a new Fall season is a good time to take stock of some of where we’ve gone together over the last 12 1/3 years. As I look back, some of the most common themes that have marked my preaching have been, first, that the God we meet in Jesus is a God of love, kindness, grace, compassion, and encouragement, not a stern, angry God who simply makes demands…or else. I hope that, when all is said and done, and I am but a memory receding in the rear-view mirror of your experience that you will remember (and… Continue reading

Coveting & Contentment

Today we finish our series on Ten Commitments – ten ways of life that are intended as normal outcomes of deciding to live in communion with God and in community with others. It occurs to me that these Principles have all been about boundaries drawn around different aspects of life that love God and neighbour intensely. Inside such boundaries, we have, each week, suggested positive behaviours that promote covenant values.

Eight of these boundaries deal with those things we do to show our attentiveness to God and neighbour, one of them deals with what we say to express ourselves in… Continue reading