A Prayer for the World - Gracious and Holy Lord, there are so many challenges facing our society today: the political climate, racial tension, war, civil unrest, the global pandemic, gas prices soaring, inflation, violence, mental health, and the list seems endless. Help us, O Lord, to stay focused on your  everpresent love for all humanity. May we always remember your faithfulness and grace.  Thank you for being the Three in One: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  With confidence and assurance in a spirit of thanksgiving, we pray.  Amen. Rick Hawkins. Read More
We Love Our Neighbors: Walk by the Spirit - “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the spirit.” This message was shared by the Apostle Paul to the Galatian church with the thought that if it is from the Spirit we begin, then every subsequent actions should also be from the Spirit. But what does it mean to “walk by the Spirit”?  When I was in high school, I remember our vice principal always telling us to “walk with purpose” in the hallways. He would say this as a way to encourage us not to congregate. I guess his fear was if we were idle in the hallways it would lead to mischief. One afternoon during junior year, while hanging out near my locker, a friend and I noticed that… Read More
We Love Our Neighbors: An Appeal for Harmony - I have always loved hearing the sound that comes from a barbershop quartet. If you are unfamiliar with a barbershop quartet, it is basically a group of 4 unique singers (a lead, a bass, a tenor, and a baritone) that harmonize together to sing a song a capella. What is so amazing about the sound is that although each singer has a unique voice, they come together to deliver such a warm and unified sound which we know as harmony.  Harmony is the composition of individual sounds that comes together in a consistent, orderly, and pleasingly unified way. Harmony doesn’t require everyone to have the same voice or play the same instrument but comes from everyone contributing to the same tone.  Harmony in our world should be… Read More
We Love Our Neighbors: The True Nature of Love - The story below is not my own and can be found here There once was a little boy named Michael who grew up in a kingdom far away, in a time long ago. Michael was a poor child who had been abandoned by his parents. To make money he would work as a farmer for anyone who would give him a place to live and food to eat. Michael lived in a place that had scolding hot summers. The sun would get so hot that often times it would destroy their crops for food. One day, as the little boy was working along the roadside in the blazing sun, he got so hot that he fainted. It just so happened that the King of the… Read More
We Love Our Neighbors: Who is My Neighbor? - It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,A beautiful day for a neighbor,Would you be mine?Could you be mine?It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood,A neighborly day for a beauty,Would you be mine?Could you be mine?I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.So let's make the most of this beautiful day,Since we're together, we might as well say,Would you be mine?Could you be mine?Won't you be my neighbor?Won't you please,Won't you please,Please won't you be my neighbor? This is a song I grew up listening to on the show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. If you aren’t familiar with the show it was created by Fred Rogers, a Presbyterian minister, who wanted to emphasize educating the… Read More
How Are We Going to Stay in Community During Social Distancing? - This is not really much of a Pastor's Blog post but more of an advertisement and survey of what we can do to stay connected during this time of social distancing. During this very unique time it is going to require great imagination and creativity so that we can continue being the Church in a time of crisis. So let's get creative! When we joined the church we committed to faithfully participate in the life and ministries of Cornerstone through our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. Unfortunately our presence has been suspended but only physically. We can still be in each other's presence in unique ways. This coming Tuesday (3/24/2020), you are invited join me and others in a virtual bible study. Click here… Read More
This is Us – November 14th, 2019 - I am probably one of the few people I know that hasn't seen the hit NBC show, This is Us. I know a lot of people love this show, but I just haven't seen it. It has a 94% Rotten Tomato rating, but I haven't seen it. It is the second-most-watched primetime television show for ages 18-49 (7.16 million viewers), but I haven't seen it. This show is probably fantastic and I would love it, but I haven't seen it. Why? You know there is always a show out there that is a "must-see" and people love to give me a hard time when they find out that I haven't seen it. What those people often do not take into account is what other shows, events, and… Read More
God Doesn’t Want Your Offering! – October 31st, 2019 - God doesn't want your offering! Yes, you heard me right. In Isaiah 1:10-18, the prophet Isaiah speaks on the behalf of God to say that the offerings, sacrifices, worship, and even prayers of the Israelites is not what God wants. Instead, God desires that they do good, avoid evil, and seek justice. For as long as I have been a Christian I have heard pastors plead with members of the church to be better stewards and give. As a pastor, I get it but I also find it a bit shallow. I get that the church needs the offerings of its members to maintain its buildings, staff, and ministries, but I don't go to church to be told I need to give, I go to… Read More
The Game of Life: How to Win – October 24th, 2019 - Whenever I play a new board game, my first step is to immediately scan the instructions for the section that is usually labeled "How to Win". Why? Becuase I play to win! The "How to Win" section describes how the game is won and helps you to establish goals. In the board game, The Game of Life, the "How to Win" section describes the winner as the person who has the most money after everyone has reached retirement. Once you reach retirement you sell your house(s); collect cash for the "action" cards you have collected and for the number of kids you have; repay your loans; and then total it up. Knowing what has value in the end is helpful in developing a strategy for… Read More
The Game of Life: Revenge – October 17th, 2019 - Do you remember the "Revenge" space on the board game, The Game of Life? Depending on your answer to that question, I could probably guess how old you are. The game as most of us know it was released in 1960 by Reuben Klamer and Bill Markham. It included spaces like "Revenge" and "The Poor Farm", but has seen many revisions since then. Although the game looks quite different today than it did nearly 60 years ago, it original version created over 160 years ago would be unrecognizable to most. The original version of the game was created by Milton Bradley in 1860 and looked like a checker board. It was called "The Checkered Game of Life" and it had some pretty intereting spaces you… Read More