Pastor's Pen

Questions and answers from the Pastors.

Christmas Greetings from Pastor Jake

November 27th, 2019 by

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This season closes a year of rehabilitation of my injuries which I had incurred from my accident over a year ago. Once again I want to express my gratitude to everyone for your prayers and all the love that you have shown to Judy and me throughout this past Keep reading…

Christmas Greetings From Pastor Brian

November 27th, 2019 by

Merry Christmas Troy Christian Chapel! What a privilege it is to write you these words once again. The Torres family has always loved the Christmas season! It is a time of faith, hope and love. It is a time when we catch a small glimpse of what the Kingdom of God is. During this time Keep reading…

Christmas Greetings from Pastor Jon

November 27th, 2019 by

In 1864, Emily Elliott penned the words to a hymn that has since become dear to many, especially at Christmas time: “Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown when though camest to earth for me…Thou camest, O Lord, with the living word that should set they people free; But with mocking scorn and Keep reading…

Our Father

November 1st, 2019 by

Luke tells us that one of the requests the disciples made of Jesus was that he would teach them to pray. In his response, Jesus taught them to address God as “Father.” This would probably have seemed strange to the disciples, as it was an unusual way for a Jewish person to address God. In Keep reading…

Christian Discipleship

October 1st, 2019 by

My article this month is a spin-off of Pastor Brian’s message a few weeks ago, Every Follower is a Fisher. I spent several years of my ministry in a certain persuasion that basically believed that almost all disciple making was the responsibility of the ministry, a select few. Matthew 28:19 clearly tells us “Go therefore Keep reading…

Authority

September 1st, 2019 by

Jesus the troublemaker. Not usually the title we as Christians attribute to our Lord, is it? Today we are finding that when you interject the teachings and mindset of Christ into political or social/cultural conversations, people get upset. This happens regardless of the political mindset you are speaking to. It’s not that we disagree per Keep reading…

Labor Pains

August 1st, 2019 by

There’s an awful lot of groaning going on in Romans 8:22-26! Paul says that all of creation has been groaning, as if in the pains of childbirth (v. 22). We who are believers are also groaning, as we eagerly await our redemption (v. 23); and even the Holy Spirit groans as he intercedes before the Keep reading…

It Is Well With My Soul

July 1st, 2019 by

Those who know me would know at a glance that this is the title of one of my favorite hymns of the church. What also excites me are the stories behind the song that inspired the author to pen such beautiful lyrics. Perhaps the title, “It is Well with My Soul,” is an affirmation to Keep reading…

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

June 1st, 2019 by

2017 and 2018 have been very memorable years for the Torres family. Stress and struggle on so many different fronts have come our way. But through it all, God has been faithful and his people here at TCC have been loving and generous and kind. They have repeatedly shown Jesus to us. In the end, Keep reading…

The Beatitudes Inverted

April 1st, 2019 by

The present Chapel Chat is an unusual one for me. Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount is one of the most well-known parts of Scripture, and is, for that very reason, apt to be overlooked. Familiarity, as they say, breeds contempt. The Beatitudes are a striking case in point, for they invert our whole ordinary way Keep reading…

Hope

March 1st, 2019 by

Hope is one of three graces that Paul uses quite frequently in the books of Romans, Corinthians and Thessalonians. These three graces faith, hope and love often appear together making it seem that they are inseparable. I’ll attempt to separate them, if possible, as I try and single out hope and how it is beneficial Keep reading…

The Spiritual Discipline Of Self-Examination

February 1st, 2019 by

We live in a time when self-expression is rampant! Online communication has given every individual the opportunity to share their opinion. Blogs, forums, message boards, Twitter, Facebook, etc., etc., etc. Social media “opportunities” abound for those interested in self-expression. But in the midst of all this communication, one thing seems to be woefully neglected by Keep reading…

Living Water

January 1st, 2019 by

In his conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, Jesus made a bold claim that has echoed through the centuries; an invitation to every human being. He said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. Keep reading…

Christmas Greeting from Pastor Jake

December 1st, 2018 by

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This season closes a year of the most significant developments within the history of my life, culminated with the assistance of “The Jaws of Death.” Most of you are cognizant of the tragic event I have experienced in the last four months of this year, in which I have Keep reading…

Christmas Greeting from Pastor Chad

December 1st, 2018 by

“He came to his own, yet his own received him not” (John 1:11). The Jews of the first century were a hardened people. Weary from the struggle against sin and heresy, and especially of being dominated by foreign peoples who cared nothing for their God—they had steeled themselves against anything that might break into their Keep reading…

Christmas Greeting From Pastor Brian

December 1st, 2018 by

Merry Christmas TCC Family! What a year 2018 has been! This year has been a very difficult one for Dawn and Isaac and myself. So many changes have come and will be coming into our lives since Dawn’s diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer. So many changes, but so many joys as well. First and Keep reading…

Christmas Greeting From Pastor Jon

December 1st, 2018 by

When Luke described the ministry of John the Baptist, he characterized his ministry with a quote from the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him’” (Lk. 3:4). Much like those in the ancient world who were sent out before a king Keep reading…

Self-Knowledge That Comes From Faith

November 1st, 2018 by

All of us have a basic human need to understand who we are. When we are young, many of us are inclined to identify ourselves with our hobbies, our schoolwork, or our friends. As we get older, we may identify ourselves with our job, our family, or our religious values. Whether we are young or Keep reading…

Scripture Put To Music

October 1st, 2018 by

We all realize that the Psalms, generally in a poetical manner were Scripture, sometimes with harmony that encourages us to come into worship as we meditate on the WORD. “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness Keep reading…

The Danger Of Preference

September 1st, 2018 by

“That was good sermon.” That is a loaded statement. It holds many more connotations and questions. How do I personally measure what makes a sermon “good”?What sermons do I consider “not good”? Sermons have become something we find ourselves evaluating more often than receiving. We find ourselves saying or hearing others say things like. “That Keep reading…

The Cat

August 1st, 2018 by

Over the past year or so, a feral cat has visited our back door on a regular basis. She is uncanny in her ability to know, not only that I am cooking something, but that I am thinking about cooking something. The cat’s interest in our back door has been the subject of numerous conversations Keep reading…

On The Sea Of Life

July 10th, 2018 by

Is life a journey or a playground? A journey has a destination, and it has a road that leads to that destination. A playground doesn’t lead anywhere; there are no roads, just a lot of open space to play in. I think most of us like to say that life is a journey; but I Keep reading…

Not By Bread Alone

June 10th, 2018 by

“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers. You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these Keep reading…

Who Am I?

May 10th, 2018 by

After viewing the movie, The Passion of Christ, several years ago, I realized how little I really knew about what Jesus went through as he endured the cross. Several years ago someone wrote a song entitled, Who am I? The words of the chorus helped me realize how great He was and how insignificant I Keep reading…

The Deepest Mystery

April 7th, 2018 by

If there is one word that could characterize our universe, it would have to be “mystery.” Advances in science have shed light on the fascinating mystery that is the cosmos. Long range telescopes have shown us amazing cosmological works of art, such as the Cartwheel Galaxy, that is about twice the size of our vast Keep reading…

You Didn’t Know There Was A Test

March 7th, 2018 by

Recently, my wife asked me to do something and I didn’t do it. A little later, I asked my son to do something and he didn’t do it either. Where do they get this from? Faith and works are closely related. I can say I believe a person, but the real test is whether or Keep reading…

70 Years

February 7th, 2018 by

Twenty years ago on March 19, 1998, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the founding of Troy Christian Chapel, known then as Oak Park Christian Chapel. We sounded the trumpet with hundreds of members, current and past, as well as the honored presence of many friends. It was a time of rejoicing with a great Keep reading…

Newness

January 7th, 2018 by

January is upon us once again. The first month of the new year. A time of promise, of new beginnings, of resolutions. There is something special about newness. As a parent, I get to see newness in the face of my child when he discovers something for the first time. I see it in his Keep reading…

Biblical Marriage

December 7th, 2017 by

Divine revelation has declared marriage to be honorable. It is an institution of God, ordained in the time of man’s innocence, before he had sinned against his maker. It was given in wisdom and kindness to repress irregular affection, to support social order and to provide that, through well-ordered families, truth and holiness might be Keep reading…

What’s With All The Groaning?

November 7th, 2017 by

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope Keep reading…

Reflections On Holy War

October 7th, 2017 by

What are we to make of the presence of holy war in the Scripture? When the descendants of Jacob came out of Egypt, they were organized into the people we call the Israelites, and they were commanded to take possession of the land then occupied by the Canaanites. This process involved armed conflict, and though Keep reading…

Who Is God?

September 9th, 2017 by

Who is God? This question defines our very existence. With our culture’s popular opinion straying further and further from biblical values, this question is being answered by more and more voices with vastly differing opinions. So who is right? How do we know who God is? What is He like? Can we even know? Absolutely. Keep reading…

The Church

August 9th, 2017 by

First of all, I would like to establish that the building we worship in is not the Church. God has, by His word and Spirit, formed one holy and universal Church. The Church consists of those who have been called out of sinful humanity, born anew from God and separated for Christian service. As seen Keep reading…

Calm In The Storm

July 9th, 2017 by

I wonder what it must have been like to be in the boat on that terrible night. All they had wanted to do was make the eight mile journey across the Sea of Galilee. Before they could reach the safety of the shore they had been caught in a furious storm and their boat was Keep reading…

The Joy Of Sects

June 9th, 2017 by

Caesar once said “Divide and conquer.” But there is an even more sinister power in the world that knows how to unite and conquer. Among the many values praised beyond all bounds of proportion in our day, one of them is unity. We get the idea that unity is so valuable that it is to Keep reading…

Christian Character

May 9th, 2017 by

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:8-9). Christian character, biblically defined, is Keep reading…

Called To Serve

April 9th, 2017 by

Sometimes our conversations lead to misunderstandings. We hear our brothers and sisters in Christ saying things like “God has called me” or “God told me” or “God led me.” Those experiences are real and special and meaningful and I do not wish to belittle them in any way. Indeed, many times in my Christian life Keep reading…

Why Observe Lent?

March 9th, 2017 by

March 1 is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. Though many protestant denominations do not observe Ash Wednesday or Lent, it has a long and meaningful history in the church as a season of preparation and consecration before Easter. For many it may seem like an empty ritual, best left alone, but it Keep reading…

There Is Damnation In Numbers

February 9th, 2017 by

“It is appointed for men to die once and after that to face judgment” (Heb. 9:27). Awhile back, my kids were reading a famous sermon by Jonathan Edwards entitled Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. When Becky asked them what they thought of it, one of them said “If the pastor preached things Keep reading…

Yes, Jesus Loves Me!

January 9th, 2017 by

As a child growing up, one of the first songs I learned to sing was Jesus Loves Me. Jesus loves me this I know For the Bible tells me so Little ones to Him belong They are weak but He is strong Yes, Jesus loves me Yes, Jesus loves me Yes, Jesus loves me The Keep reading…