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Blog Archives: July 2016

Rescued from Death: A Poem

July 27, 2016
Chris Castaldo
One of the great joys of pastoral ministry is discovering the diverse gifts of God’s people. Here is a fine example. After sharing the story of how I nearly died from meningitis at age 19 (you’ll find the story in the first two minutes of the audio at this link), Mike Hilton described the experience, elucidating how divine grace rescued me from the dark clouds of death. As I lie in a state of suspended grace, Not knowing my status or my place. I am overwhelmed by this tree and its solitary leaf, Holding on long past fall and well ...

The Parody of Pokémon Go

July 21, 2016
Chris Castaldo
To evaluate elements of popular culture from a theological or theoretical perspective sets you up to sound like a jerk.  It’s unavoidable. For example, despite the erudite and winsome manner in which media ecologists analyze the liabilities and relative merits of technology (think of the late Marshal McLuhan or Neil Postman), they often leave you wondering whether their briefs are perhaps a size too small. It’s hard to be critical and not sound uptight. But what is the alternative? Should we close our eyes and fail to see that every new ...

Gospel Combustion

July 13, 2016
Chris Castaldo
This Sunday we will conclude our Sermon on the Mount series at NCC by considering the bedrock on which we’re building our lives. It is also the day when we showcase the conclusions that we have reached in the Sharpening Our Focus initiative. It’s an exciting time! In light of this, I find myself praying according to the following prayer. It comes from the pen of Pastor Scotty Smith. Would you join me in this prayer? Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Ps. 51:12 Dear Lord Jesus, knowing you is a ...