Posts with the category “articles”

Why We Don't Follow the Church Calendar at the Kirk.
by Philip Ryan on May 22nd, 2024
A couple of weeks ago on our podcast, Theology Lunch, we were asked the question, “Do Presbyterians follow the church calendar?” I would encourage you all to give it a listen here. In this article, I want to expand on some points made in that conversation. First, Presbyterians do follow the church calendar as reflected in Holy Scripture, that is we meet on the first day of the week remembering it ...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 15
by Philip Ryan on April 13th, 2024
For the past several mornings, my oldest has been bombarding me with questions about Leviticus. They have a common theme - “Why is this book so gross?” Just this week we’ve read about leprosy in great detail (Lev 13-14), discharges and excess bleeding (Lev 15), and detailed instructions on how to spread the blood from the atonement sacrifice (Lev 16-17). Maybe you wonder, like Greta, “Why is this ...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 14
by Philip Ryan on April 9th, 2024
This past week we started reading the book of Psalms, which got me thinking, “How should you read the Psalms?” Many of you might know that the Psalms are songs and have been described as the church’s hymnal. Maybe it is because it does not include musical notes that we don’t realize we are reading song lyrics. Here we have some of the most beautiful and emotional language in the Bible and simultan...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 13
by Philip Ryan on March 29th, 2024
This week we have read from some of the richest parts of John’s gospel. I was particularly struck by John 15:11, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” The “these things” refer to Jesus’ teaching on the vine and the branches in the previous 10 verses. What struck me was Jesus’ words, “that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 12
by Philip Ryan on March 22nd, 2024
“Never forget that you are a sheep” so begins a book I have on pastoral burnout. It is a needed reminder for pastors - don’t forget you are a sheep. In ministry, we get so focused on being under-shepherds of the Good Shepherd that we can forget that we aren’t the Shepherd. John 10 is famous for being the chapter on Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Of course, this is an old metaphor to describe the peop...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 11
by Philip Ryan on March 22nd, 2024
One of my favorite Scripture references in a movie, always a dangerous thing, is in “The Davinci Code.” The verse is, “Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further” (Job 38:11). The verse is quoted by a nun to one of the bad guys when he followed a false lead. It is my favorite because it so wonderfully captures how the vast majority of people, not necessarily believers, read the Bible. They read it h...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 10
by Philip Ryan on March 8th, 2024
This week we read the story of Jethro visiting Moses in Exodus 18. Jethro was Moses’ father-in-law and he came to Moses to bring his daughter and two children back to him. While there, Jethro observes Moses’ leadership among the people. In particular, he notices that he sits alone with al the people from morning till evening (v. 14). Moses explains it is because he inquires of God for people, he s...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 9
by Philip Ryan on March 1st, 2024
Job 27:19, speaking of the godless, “he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.” Luke 12:15 Jesus said, “one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” On Monday we read from Job 27 and Luke 12. I found their connections fascinating. Job 27 is a juxtaposition between the righteous and the godless. Job points out the godless enjoy riches at others expense and when they die what b...  Read More
You Never Pray Alone
by Philip Ryan on February 27th, 2024
You Never Pray Alone In seminary, I was introduced to the most popular sport in the world - soccer. I say introduced because I only knew of the janky major league soccer teams of my youth. I had no idea of the rich history of Premier League Soccer, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations), or the thrill of the World Cup. Many of my seminary friends were fiercely loyal to a particular team. T...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 8
by Philip Ryan on February 23rd, 2024
Part of my daily morning routine is listening to “The World and Everything In It.” I appreciate the balance between current events, fascinating news stories, cultural commentary and all done through a Christian world and life view. One of the segments this week was on a remarkable missionary you probably never heard of, Neil Hawthorn. Neil is an Australian man who has been deeply involved in inter...  Read More
Family Worship
by Philip Ryan on February 21st, 2024
Family Worship provides an opportunity for fathers and mothers to fulfill a biblical command to raise their children in the “discipline and instruction of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). Paul places this command specifically on fathers but it will not happen unless both are agreed in its importance and usefulness. You may read the passage from Ephesians and say, “I do this all the time. We regularly discuss...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 7
by Philip Ryan on February 16th, 2024
What time is it? On Wednesday, we began Luke’s gospel. Luke begins with a prolonged account of John the Baptist’s birth. Mark begins his gospel with John the Baptist preaching and baptizing in the wilderness. Luke goes further back to a familiar Old Testament dilemma, an old childless couple. This is most likely intentional on Luke’s part. He wants to highlight the bridge between the Old Testamen...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 6
by Philip Ryan on February 9th, 2024
How then shall we live? We’ve begun working our way through the letter to the Romans. This is one of the most famous books in the Bible and contains Paul’s mature theology. It was significant for the Reformation as Martin Luther’s teaching from Romans rightly corrected the church’s understanding of “the righteousness of God.” Luther was perplexed by that phrase and another passage “the righteous ...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 5
by Philip Ryan on February 2nd, 2024
I want to start with a story about fleas, bats, and the providence of God. When my family moved to Savannah last year, we rented a house that ended up having fleas. The landlord could not get rid of them but also still expected us to move in. It was not the best way to start off in a new city. I seriously thought we were going to have to go to court to get out of the lease. Miraculously, the landl...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 4
by Philip Ryan on January 26th, 2024
My denomination growing up, The Assemblies of God, had a boys program similar to the Boy Scouts but way better (trust me I did both). It was called “Royal Rangers.” Similar to the Boy Scouts we had a pledge, a code, and a motto. The motto has always stuck with me. The Royal Ranger motto is “Ready.” Meaning: Ready for anything! Ready to work, play, serve, worship, live, and obey God’s Word. We were...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 3
by Philip Ryan on January 19th, 2024
If you were to ask a random person on the street, “What is the Bible?” What are some responses you think you would get? I imagine some would say, “It is an ancient book with lots of wisdom” or “It is an ancient book that shows how people tried to understand their world” or “It was an ancient book that tells you what to do and how to live.” Occasionally you would find someone who would say, “It is ...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 2
by Philip Ryan on January 12th, 2024
Some weeks, our devotional will be covering multiple passages read throughout the week. Other weeks, I may focus on just a particular passage. Today, I am going to do the latter from the reading for today from the Gospel of Matthew.What does Jesus mean by “for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned”? (Mt 12:37). Does this somehow contradict Gal. 2:16, “yet we ...  Read More
Bible Devotion Week 1
by Philip Ryan on January 5th, 2024
We are almost a through our first week of 2024. How is it going so far? One person in the Bible Reading Group (which you can find in the app) asked, “Why does M’Cheyne start one of his sections in Ezra?”...  Read More
10 Benefits of Being in God's Word
by Philip Ryan on January 2nd, 2024
We all need encouragement to abide more in Jesus and His world. So here are ten beautiful benefits of being in God’s Word...   Read More
2024 Winter Discipleship
by Pete Whitney on December 28th, 2023
We have several upcoming opportunities this coming winter how you may grow in your walk with the Lord. Whether you're looking for a group that meets in person or you're just looking for a tool to aid in your personal study, please consider the following...  Read More
Christmas at the Kirk
by Pete Whitney on November 29th, 2023
Everyone has their own traditions for Christmas, even churches. Some churches have the advent wreath and the lighting of the candles, others have the big Christmas trees in the sanctuary, and still others do nothing at all. And they all have their reasons why. But what does the Kirk do for Christmas and why?...  Read More
What does it mean for a church to be Presbyterian?
by Philip Ryan on November 15th, 2023
Helpful Resources for learning more about the Presbyterian Church and its government: BooksHow Jesus Runs the Church by Guy Prentiss Waters. This is a great, accessible book into how a  Presbyterian church is organized and led. Waters provides helpful explanations for many terms that are unfamiliar to most readers. He also interacts with many less accessible works from earlier theologians and mini...  Read More
Where Are We Going? Delight
by Pete Whitney on August 11th, 2023
Religion is far more than a list of duties. It is about seeking our delight in the Lord. Let's look into Book of Delight (the Psalms) and learn some lessons from those who have dabbled with delight aright...  Read More
Celebrate His Death?
by Pete Whitney on December 6th, 2022
But what I would like to consider about is the irony of this Passover, and particularly for Jesus. Jesus knew this Passover Celebration wouldn’t just be special, or even memorable; it was going to be a killer, literally, for Him  Read More
Right Recipe for Psalmody
by Pete Whitney on February 4th, 2022
Really, I’m just not the baking type. I know many people bake because they just love it. But, I’m more the person for whom people bake, because I love eating! That’s at least the way it works out in my family. My wife loves to bake and finds great joy in doing so. I love to eat what she bakes...   Read More
Cultivate Humility in our Kids
by Pete Whitney on August 22nd, 2018
Lunchtime at the Whitney household is probably the best time of the day for the kids. Not only for the fact that we have food (most all Whitneys love food), but Mom is reading the lunch-time devotional. Now, Dad is not that bad of a reader himself  Read More
Equal Doesn't Mean Identical
by Pete Whitney on May 9th, 2015
Don't discriminate against me, but I love math, even though I have forgotten much of it. I love the principles and theory of it, and how it just works (even though the back of the book saved the day more times than I'd like to admit!). And I still love math,  Read More
God is thinking of you!
by Neil Stewart on December 16th, 2014
Psalm 139 is God’s way of telling the Christian, “I’ve been thinking about you!” That’s a funny phrase, isn’t i? We use it all the time in our conversation with others. It conveys warmth, concern, well-wishes, and often it stands as a euphemism for prayer.  Read More
Gentleness of God
by Neil Stewart on November 25th, 2014
Though God is always active everywhere and in everything, most of His best work is done quietly and gently, behind the scenes. He works with a quiet persistence lifting us up from guilt through grace to glory  Read More
Walking with God: A Blessed Habit
by Pete Whitney on July 15th, 2014
I just got back and I feel invigorated. The past several weeks, I have taken up a morning walk. Getting out of bed, dawning my sport attire, and sneaking out of the house before anyone else awakes. It takes me just under an hour  Read More