This past Fall our adult Sunday School class was greatly blessed by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson’s video course on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12).  The feedback I received on the series was outstanding!  So, what is next? Often we experience a great teaching ministry and are too quick to want to move on.  We can become information…

For children, Christmas simply shows up each December with gifts, fun, and friends in tow.  But as we get older, it can become a clutter of shopping, house guests, events, and expectations.  Is your joy lost in the tangle of Christmas?  Join us here at Church In the Canyon, Calabasas as we celebrate how God…

Church growth is an exciting thing to experience.  Seeing churches go from largely empty rooms to mostly full… Going from one service to two…  Going from three Small Groups to eleven…  And it is happening in Los Angeles! One of the things that growing churches produce is more churches.  To that end, the Pacific Presbytery…

It is early on a Thursday morning as as I write this note.  Prayer Meeting last night was a little sad for me as my dear friend and brother Pastor Ted was not there.  And he won’t be there next week either…  But in God’s provident kindness, I had a wonderful opportunity yesterday to speak…

Yesterday I received an email from Ligonier Ministries that caught my attention. The subject line read: “A Poll of Eternal Significance.” How could I not click on that? Fifteen minutes later, I was sad, but not at all surprised by what this poll revealed. The link they provided took me to the results of a…

Well, with the exception of the few obligatory scandals, the Rio Olympics are over. But, on a cheerier note, tonight is Oak Park High School’s Varsity Football home opener! For those who long for an athletic fix, you have options: the NFL season is mere days away as I write this. MLB is entering the…

God’s Perfect Timing When I was a boy my Grandpa Bjerkaas kept a small part of his farm, probably somewhere between a quarter and a third of an acre, as a hay field. Although it had been years since the barn had been used for livestock, every farmer knows that hay bales are kind of…

Just outside of Allentown, Pennsylvania, on the east side of Route 15, you can visit an amazing place: Clyde Peelings Reptileland.  When we lived on the East Coast, and my kids were younger, we visited there several times and always had a blast.  And learned cool facts.  I learned, for example, that alligators continue to…

In leadership and management literature there is a frequently cited anecdote involving two giants of the early twentieth century.  In 1918, Charles Schwab, then the CEO of Bethlehem Steel, had a fifteen minute long meeting with Ivy Lee, a productivity expert.  Lee gave Schwab some advice and then suggested to him that at the end…

I have always been deeply, deeply disturbed by the tendency among many people, both clergy and laity alike, to think about the church as if the church were a business. Viewed within the broad context of church history, this is a peculiarly American thing. The causes and possible cures for this cannot be sketched out…

In quantum mechanics, Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle describes one small sense in which we as humans cannot know everything.  We cannot, with equal precision, know both the position and the speed of an object in motion.  There are, however, other principles of far more practical value that should help us keep a proper perspective on both ourselves…

Start a New Season of Life with Church in the Canyon! Easter is a time of new beginnings, fresh starts, and reconnecting with Christ.  Start a new season of life with Church in the Canyon.  Come as you are!  Rediscover the timeless truth of God’s Word.  Meet friendly people who face the same joys and…

In his bestselling novel Sphere, author Michael Crichton puts an interesting observation in the climactic dialogue between his protagonist, psychologist Norman Johnson, and the alien power that he and his colleagues encounter. In that conversation, the alien being or consciousness remarks upon what is distinctive about human beings. On your planet you have an animal…

Jeremiah Burroughs, a seventeenth-century English pastor and theologian, wrote a book that was intended to heal divisions and promote a gracious unity in a land fractured by civil war, party spirits, and general discord. He offered his readers a wonderful example of the dangers of a quick temper. England, at that time, had beacons along…

Once again we are celebrating the beginning of a new year. And once again, most of us will be making some sort of resolution concerning how we will live during these next twelve months. And once again, most of us will be no better off come March than we were this past November. As I…

Martin Luther is remembered for his sometimes quaint but often penetrating dinner table anecdotes and maxims. One of the things his students recalled him saying frequently was, “Et multiplicata sunt mala in terris” – “And evils were multiplied in the world.”[1] This Latin expression was a part of Luther’s German dinner time conversation. He used…

Here at Church in the Canyon we have an exciting opportunity: kids.  Here is a breakdown of kids who regularly attend by age/grade: High School – 5 Middle School – 4 Elementary School – 3 Kindergarten – 2 Infant through Pre-K – 7 On the Way! – 3

We live in fractious times. There seems to be no end to the scornful and snarky memes, disrespectful dialogue, and ad hominem attacks that are thrown about in rants that concern everything from politics to… theology? Yes, sadly, even followers of Christ struggle with this particular form of ugly vanity. Several years ago Tony Woodlief,…

Kenny Rogers offers sage advice when he turns to his fellow traveler on a train bound for nowhere and tells him that he needs to “know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to walk away and know when to run.” Like many of you, I had a bout with gambling…

L. Roy Taylor, the current Stated Clerk of our denomination (the Presbyterian Church in America) offered the following personal comment in his description of one particular item our General Assembly dealt with this past month:   This writer has attended every General Assembly the PCA has ever had. In his opinion, the periods of prayer…

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