God So Loved the World

August 14, 2017
Peter Nelson
The recent rally of white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Virginia, is deeply disturbing—and from multiple angles.  Let me name just two—the national, and the spiritual. Right at the heart of being an American is affirming the vision of humanity that's enshrined in the Declaration of Independence:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”  All people—including those of any and every racial background.  Therefore, the drive to elevate one racial group above others is fundamentally un-American. And ...

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

August 03, 2017
Peter Nelson
Last Sunday we dove head-long with David into his prayer of humble confession in Psalm 51.  There are a few questions on temptation, sin, confession and forgiveness I’d like to address now after the fact. David succumbed to temptation by first allowing his eyes to look in a certain direction (2 Samuel 11).  And the heart follows the eyes.  So where are you looking?  Amidst his turmoil, Job reveals this convic­tion:  “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” (31:1).  And Jesus says “everyone who looks at a ...

Prayer Under Pressure

July 28, 2017
Peter Nelson
Just think what the Lord is teaching us about prayer in last Sunday’s memory verse:  But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.  At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness (Psalm 69:13). This verse is jam-packed with practical truth. The first thing to notice is that David speaks these words in a time of turmoil:  enemies attacking; God seems remote; feels like he’s sinking in quicksand.  I don’t know about you, but when a flood of trouble hits me, I feel tempted to rush ...

Hope for Tomorrow

July 21, 2017
Peter Nelson
When I read the Bible, God’s promise of a glorious, eternal future for all who trust in Jesus grabs my heart.  Nothing can separate God’s children from his love, not even death! (Romans 8:38-39).  We walk with Christ today, secure in the hope of a most excellent tomorrow! But this God-centered vision of the future clashes with pop-culture.  A Jose Cuervo tequila commercial depicts the end of the world.  While chaos unfolds outside, a man in a bar puts the Elvis song, “It’s Now or Never,” on the jukebox.  As he dances, a woman joins him—this ...

A Change of Mind?

July 14, 2017
Peter Nelson
It was Christian capitulation déjà vu this week:  a once-evangelical leader changing his/her mind so as to endorse same-sex marriage and get in step with the culturally ascendant LGBTQ movement.  Eugene Peterson, author of the Bible paraphrase, The Message, announced that he’s now ready to officiate at weddings of Christian gay couples. But wait, no, he didn’t!  …  Huh? CT later reported how Peterson retracted his comments and said he affirms a biblical view of marriage—“one man to one woman.”  So maybe the whole story was much ado about ...

My, How Time Flies!

July 06, 2017
Peter Nelson
I find myself reflecting on time a lot these days.  And how time flies.  I look in one direction and see my dad who’s now up in his 90s, and I look in the other and see our grown “kids” exploring life in their 20s.  Frankly, it’s unnerving—how swiftly the changes burst upon the scene!  As time rockets by (you realize 2017 is over half gone now, right?), something inside us wants to step on the brakes. So what are we to make of that impulse—the yearning to hold back the relentless advance of time?  Two thoughts.  First, we may be fail­ing to ...

Patriotism and the Church

July 05, 2017
Peter Nelson
Over the long Independence Day weekend, many thoughtful Christian leaders have been posting words of wisdom to help us think carefully about patriotism.  When and how is it fitting, for example, for American Christians to express patriotism?  And when and how do we compromise our first allegiance to Christ the King by such expressions? As followers of Jesus, we walk a complex path as citizens of two “empires”—the Kingdom of God, and also the particular country in which we now reside this side of heaven.  What does it look like navigate this ...

Follow Your Heart?

June 30, 2017
Peter Nelson
If ever there was a tidbit of pop-psychology that twenty-first century Americans embraced, it’s this:  Follow your heart. Be true to yourself.  Pursue your own dream.  Perish the thought that you should feel obliged to act in any way to fulfill someone else’s wishes for you!  You want to sing along with Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way!” “Follow your heart” is an unassailable creed of contemporary culture; it’s beyond the reach of any question, much less critique.  In today’s world, it’s simply “right.”  And if you challenge this popular ...

The Plunge of Faith

June 23, 2017
Peter Nelson
On Sunday, July 16, at 6:00 p.m., we’ll be gathering by the water’s edge at Marsh Creek State Park for our summer Baptism and Church Picnic.  It will be a great time!  Mark your calendar and plan to come—bring a friend, bring the family. I want to challenge anyone in the Goshen family who’s following Jesus but hasn’t been baptized by immersion to take a stand through this public plunge (i.e., older children, teens, or adults).  The next step would be to attend our baptism class this Sunday, June 25 (9:00 a.m., Library) or on July 9 (9:00 ...

Looking Ahead

June 16, 2017
Peter Nelson
The Psalms contain so much more than just wise words from antiquity.  These Old Testament worship songs are rich, expansive, timeless—looking beyond the historical setting to a grand, ultimate fulfillment. We saw this last Sunday in Psalm 2.  I mentioned that 6 out of 12 verses in Psalm 2 are alluded to in 18 New Testament passages, link­ing God’s Anointed-King-Son with Jesus Christ.  For example, Psalm 2:7 (You are my Son; today I have begotten you) is echoed several times: Luke 3:22, at Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit announced, You ...

Children's Sunday School Summary June 11, 2017

June 14, 2017
Lori Herson
Jesus had been teaching His disciples when Peter asked Jesus, “How many times should I forgive my brother when he sins against me?” Peter suggested seven times. Jews considered it standard to show forgiveness three times (see Job 33:29­30), so Peter probably thought he was going above and beyond. Jesus answered Peter’s question by telling a story about an unmerciful servant. In the parable, a servant owed his master ten thousand talents. A talent was equal to about 20 years of wages. Ten thousand talents represented a debt that could never ...

Don’t Waste Your Summer

June 09, 2017
Peter Nelson
In “Screwtape” fashion (if you don’t know what I mean, check out C. S. Lewis’s book by that title), Tim Challies notes “Five Great Reasons to Skip Reading Your Bible This Summer” ( They include:  “You’re on vacation.  Vacations are for doing fun stuff.”  And “You’re out of routine”—so all good habits go down the drain.  Also, “The kids are under your feet all day.”  Plus, “No one will notice”—small group has disbanded for the season, missing church is no big deal, nobody’s in your face to say anything.  And “It’s too hot”—how ...

An Interview with DJ Cronrath

June 08, 2017
We’re excited to continue our Goshen Baptist Church staff interviews with our Youth Director, DJ Cronrath as he shares with us his journey of becoming a youth director, his future outlook of youth ministry and some very exciting news! Goshen Baptist Church (GBC): Hey DJ. I believe you have some very important news to share with us?? DJ: Yes, Danielle and I are expecting our 3rd child! GBC: That’s wonderful! Congratulations! DJ: Thanks GBC: Well, welcome to West Chester!  What do you think so far? DJ: I think it’s great.  ...

Children's Sunday School Summary Jun 4, 2017

June 07, 2017
Lori Herson
  The Gospels record dozens of Jesus’ parables. A parable is a story Jesus told to help people understand the kingdom of God. Each parable taught a lesson and revealed secrets of God’s kingdom for those who would understand. (See Matt. 13:10­13.) The parable of the sower would have resonated with those listening because they would have been familiar with the practice of sowing or planting seeds. But the parable had a deeper meaning. It contained a lesson about God’s Word and the responses of those who hear it. In the parable, a ...

Sweeter than Honey

June 02, 2017
Peter Nelson
Do you love God’s Word?  I don’t mean the pages or the grammar or even the information conveyed.  I mean do you love hearing from the One who made you, and pursued you (as a shepherd does a stray sheep), and rescued you from eternal misery, and embraced you as his own dear child?  Do you love hearing God’s voice in Scripture?  Delight in God’s Word is a pervasive theme in Psalm 119: 14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. 16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. 20 My soul is consumed ...

Children's Sunday School Summary May 28, 2017

May 30, 2017
Lori Herson
Zacchaeus lived in the town of Jericho. He was a chief tax collector. Zacchaeus’s job was to collect money from the Jews for the Roman government. Many people knew Zacchaeus, and many did not like him. The Bible says that Zacchaeus was rich. Tax collectors often collected more money than necessary and kept the surplus for themselves. His greed and dishonesty led Zacchaeus to being looked down upon as a “sinner.” But Zacchaeus treasured his wealth more than his reputation. Zacchaeus probably never imagined that his entire life would change ...

Children's Sunday School Summary May 14, 2017

May 18, 2017
Lori Herson
At the time Jesus was on earth, the social food chain went like this: Jews don’t talk to Samaritans. The strife between the two groups stretched back hundreds of years, to the Babylonian exile. When the Babylonians attacked Judah, they moved a large group of God’s people away from their homes. But some of the people—the poorest, sickest, least able to work—were left behind in the region that became known as Samaria. The exile lasted 70 years.  During that time, those left in Samaria began to mingle with their neighbors to the north. They ...

Men, Women, and the Bible

May 12, 2017
Peter Nelson
Our studies in 1 Corinthians have prompted us to revisit the Bible’s teaching on man and woman in the life of the church.  Chapter 11 addressed gender-specific actions in worship:  women were to wear head-coverings when praying and prophesying; not doing so in the social setting of the time would have dishonored a married woman’s “head,” her husband (11:5).  Then ch. 14 indicated that women should “be silent” (14:34)—and yet we know this is not an absolute prohibition; it must be with respect to a certain type of speaking.  After all, 11:5 ...

Love One Another

May 05, 2017
Peter Nelson
Last Sunday we explored 1 Corinthians 13 together—the love chapter. And although God’s truth about love can be applied in marriage, friend­ship, and just about any kind of relationship, the point of the passage is to infuse the culture of the church with a self-giving, Christ-like attitude that relentlessly pursues the good of the beloved. “Love is patient and kind” (13:4).  Love “does not insist on its own way” (13:5).  Love is tough; it “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (13:7).  And love never ...

What If?

April 21, 2017
This week, as the wonder of Jesus’ Resurrection Victory reverberates through our hearts and minds, I’m gripped by the Apostle Paul’s “if-then” argument in 1 Corinthians 15.  He explores a monu­mental IF:  What IF Jesus Christ had never been raised from the dead? And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied (15:17-19). It would be hard to exaggerate ...

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