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The Apology I Would Have Made

The interim elders of Harvest Bible Chapel recently issued an apology to Julie Roys, Ryan Mahoney, and Scott Bryant for suing them last fall. The apology was a good step. That alone was a bit counter-cultural for Harvest. Still much more could have been said. Much more should be said.
Before I resigned from the elder board in a call for reform, I pushed for three actions to make things right with Julie Roys, Ryan Mahoney, and Scott Bryant plus Ryan's wife and Scott's wife.  A public apology where we would acknowledge Harvest was wrong and had lied about these brothers and sister. We could not unsay what had been said about them. But we could acknowledge all of our sins against them in a public forum at Harvest. Private meetings of the elder board with each party where we would acknowledge Harvest was wrong, that we sinned against these brothers and sisters, where we asked for their forgiveness and listened to anything they might want to say to us.Remove every post, letter, el…
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Resignation and a Call for Reform

Hello Harvest,

A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter asking you for forgiveness. In that letter I asked to stay on as an elder for a short period “to help redirect and change Harvest.” The time since I wrote my first letter -- including numerous 4-5-hour meetings followed by sleepless nights -- has revealed to me that I am powerless to make the necessary changes to correct the culture at Harvest Bible Chapel from within the interim elder board. It is for this reason that I resigned from my position as elder of Harvest Bible Chapel effective yesterday, March 20, 2019.
The elder board at Harvest continues to be controlled by former executive committee (EC) members who are focused on governing at a time when our church needs leadership and reform. These men should resign immediately and make room for change. Instead, they remain impeding progress. Below are some interactions which illustrate issues that are preventing change. Ephesians 5:11-14a is my guide here: “Take no part in the unfruitf…

Statement of Repentance

My wife and I have called Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago our home church for 23+ years. We have seen God do great things in and through Harvest in that time. We have served as small group leaders and coaches and continue to do so. We have been blessed to invest in many couples through newly married small groups. We have led mission trips to help sister churches in Romania, Moldova, and Haiti. We enjoy it all and count it as service to our Lord Jesus. This statement is about my service as an elder at Harvest Bible Chapel. It is a personal statement, not a statement on behalf of anyone else. It is not a statement on behalf of the church.
I served as an elder on the larger elder board from 2010 through 2015 (i.e., two consecutive 3-year terms before a mandatory roll-off). I was off the board for the three years between December 2015 and late December 2018. I rejoined the board in late December. Up until a few weeks ago, I counted it a privilege to have served as an elder at Harvest Bib…

Mission: Build

Have you ever heard someone say they are a follower of Jesus Christ but are not part of a local church? Or that they cannot find a good church? Or that they have their own thing going with Jesus and don't need to be part of a local church? What do you make of that? More importantly, what does Jesus, our Lord, make of that? For insight into both questions, let's look at the well-known exchange between Jesus and Peter at Caeserea Philippi as captured in Matthew's gospel:

He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Matthew 16:15-18)

Jesus, the Creator, is sustaining everything (Colossians 1:17). He for sure doesn&#…

The Conversation Ends

(Earlier today I shared this tribute for my dear friend and brother in Christ, Mark Archibald, at his memorial service. Mark went home to his Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, 8 days ago.)

On a cool March Saturday years ago I struck up a conversation with another dad as we watched our sons practice soccer in the forest preserve in north Hoffman Estates. It turned out to be a conversation that would carry on for 18-1/2 years with one of the best friends I will ever have. Given that Mark, my dear friend and brother in Christ, stepped into eternity as his earthly life ended last Friday night after a 2-1/2 year battle with mantle cell lymphoma -- yes, cancer -- I cannot confirm this part of the account with him, but knowing Mark it is more likely he started the conversation.

Mark was wearing a Mizzou sweatshirt; I was wearing a Wisconsin sweatshirt. Both of us representing the alma mater. We started talking college hoops, the first of many such conversations over the years that would eventuall…

To Paris & Back: A Tribute to My Father-in-Law

After a 4-year battle with prostate cancer, my father-in-law, Larry's earthly life came to an end this past Thursday. The sense of loss I have at his death is overshadowed by the emotion I feel for my mother-in-law as she goes on without her husband of 50+ years and for my bride, Kim, as she was there this past week as her dad faded away.Kim and I visited her parents this summer to minister however we could and perhaps say goodbye to her dad. We talked of his assurance of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone and prayed for him and my mother-in-law. We hugged and gave each other a holy kiss. That was the last time I would see my father-in-law. He is now home in the presence of his Lord, Jesus. Hallelujah!As his earthly life was coming to an end, I started thinking of what I would say about him, how I could honor him. This is an attempt at that. Here are several reasons I loved my father-in-law:• He thought the best of and believed greatly in his first daughter, my…

Book-Ended in Worship - Colombia July 2012

The Beginning - WorshipMy wife, Kim, and I had the privilege and blessing of leading a short-term missions team to Colombia last month with Revealing Hope Ministries. This trip was our second missions trip overall but our first with Revealing Hope and our first to Colombia. (I should mention that this is the second year I have served on the Revealing Hope Board of Directors). This is my attempt to evaluate the experience, to reflect on the trip, what I saw and what God is teaching me. Two of our team members – my wife, Kim, (Colombia Mission Trip 2012) and Scott Lewis (Puerto Caldas, Mansome & Ecclesiastes), a long-time accountability partner – have already written about the trip. I will do my best not to repeat what they have written and to make this personal.
PreparationOur go team of six met three times in preparation for this trip. We worked through materials that Pete Stanke, the Executive Director of Revealing Hope, put together. We prayed together. We talked about expectat…