Chapel, September 8th 2014

Love?  It ain't always rainbows and puppy dog tails.  Community?  It ain't just a show on NBC.  Ice bucket challenge?  Ain't got nothing on Romans 12:9-21 (although ALS is pretty cool).  Have a listen.

You can find the sermon below, here, or on iTunes (Search for BSC Religious Life).


Chapel, September 1st 2014

Ironically, you need other people to help you discover who you are. We are all part of community. Acts 2:42-47 talks about what the first Christian community looks like and we are using it to inform how we build a community worth building.  You can find the sermon below, here, or on iTunes (Search for BSC Religious Life).


Pastor as Father (3 of plenty)

God loves me.  In my best moments this belief enables me to overcome every obstacle.  In my worst moments I forget and become filled with fear, despair, or hate.  Here are two reminders for me so that I forget this less:

In the picture below is a piece of artwork and a book.
The art was drawn by my wife and it sits on my nightstand.  In the picture you can see the world, the moon (a wee baby moon as my Mom would say), the stars (all of God's creation), and me.  Yes, those two people are me.  One is Cheryl, but she completes me.  Also, when she drew it she wasn't pregnant but she is pregnant now in the picture (that's how this works!).  So at the bottom right it says, "God loves me."  This truth works in many ways.  First, I'm reminded of the amazing love of God through my wife.  Second, I'm reminded of the incredible joy and purpose I find in loving her like Christ would.  It is my favorite piece of art in the world and it's worth can't be measured.

The book below it was given to us by my parents recently.  You'll notice similarities.  The world... the moon (a wee baby one!)... the stars...  This book, however, has a third person.  I don't have to say more, do I?

It's minor and silly and cliche and way too existential for a children's book - but I don't know if I can read this book to our child without pouring my whole soul into my greatest desire for her.  I want her to know she is loved.  How do parents not lose their whole reality into this endeavor?  Where do we lose track and forget the very love that weaves our reality together?  When I see these pictures I remember that God loves me and I hope ever book we read, every place we go, every conversation, hug, and day we share reminds her the same thing.

There are too many people who have forgotten how loved they are.  I may not have the artistic ability of Cheryl but I'd bet I can paint similar pictures for my daughter and everyone I meet.  Remember, friend - God loves you.

The previous "Pastor as Father" post is here.  This is part of an ongoing "Pastor as..." Series.  Being a pastor is always about the intersection between you, me, and God.  At least for my reality.

(also, I highly recommend the book)

Pastor as Father (2 of plenty)

The prospect of being a dad really makes you think about things.  Like names.  Names matter.  Somewhere I heard that your name is the most beautiful sound you know.  And why not?  We are the center of our own universe, right?  God knows our name... one of the deepest labels we have.

I'd love to hear how you got YOUR name (leave a comment) but I figured I could tell you how I got my names.

First, Jack is not short for anything.  It is really just Jack.  My Dad used to say that I was named after C.S. Lewis but I'm pretty sure my Mom's account is more meaningful: I was named after my Granddad (her father).  Jack Snow was a pretty awesome guy, as Godly Christian men go.  He won some kind of lifetime achievement award and the US Fish and Wildlife Department interviewed him.  You can find the transcript here.

Second, Marshall comes from my great-grandfather, Marshall Sylvanis Snow.  Also, my mom is Marsha so you can't tell me that is an accident.  I met him once that I can remember.  I think he died in 1989.

Third, since my Dad and his parents literally came over on a boat to the US from the Netherlands, I can count the number of people with the last name, Hinnen, that I'm closely related to.  It makes me unique and I love it.

Giving someone a name is no small feat.  I don't think it should be taken lightly although choosing a name for our daughter is giving me a false sense of control.  Should we use a family name?  Will she have to spell it for everyone?  Is it cool enough?  Classic enough?  Smart enough?

I try as a pastor to remember people's names.  It provides a window into their world and, whether they like it or not, tells me something about them.  I especially try to pronounce it like the person says it instead of projecting my own stuff onto people ("Har har har!  You got a funny name!").  But what if a person doesn't have a name yet?

There aren't people who don't have names.  There are just people whose names I haven't learned yet.  I'm looking forward to learning my daughter's name as well.




The previous "Pastor as Father" post is here.  This is part of an ongoing "Pastor as..." Series.  Being a pastor is always about the intersection between you, me, and God.  At least for my reality.