*invitation: Read Isaiah 40:1-11 “Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.” (Isaiah 40:1). Isaiah the prophet meets us with words of comfort, words of comfort from God himself. Here’s a dictionary definition to help our imaginations come alive to Isaiah’s heart. Comfort. A state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint. The easing or alleviation of a … Read More

Walking in Darkness, Looking for light

Isaiah gives voice to our Advent hope, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.” I’ve been reading a book titled “Bittersweet” by author Susan Cain. In the book, she acknowledges a deep admiration for musician Leonard Cohen who wrote the wildly popular, 1984 hit song, “Hallelujah.” He sings his “Hallelujah” in very minor key, it’s “Hallelujah” … Read More

Hello Message

Welcome back to this little corner of the life of Pillar Church. Throughout you will find some explorations of our season’s theme that Pastor Jon will introduce in the following pages as well as some other words and images to help us settle into our Advent longing, waiting, and hoping. And at its best, this journal is an interactive experience. … Read More

Advent resources

Books: Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas (Plough Publishing House) Rise Up Shepherd: Advent Reflections on the Spirituals, Luke Powry Advent, Tish Harrison Warren Liturgical/Prayer Resources: Isaiah IX, Bellwether Arts O Come, O Come, Emmanuel: A Liturgy for Daily Worship from Advent to Epiphany, Jonathan Gibson Music: Poor Bishop Hooper, Firstborn Wilder Adkis, Nativity The Lower Lights, … Read More

When We Can’t Pray

There are times in our lives when we can’t pray. We often wonder where God is. Sometimes we are so tired physically, emotionally, and spiritually, that praying seems like too much work. When we are going through health challenges, grief, or are pulling our hair out with parenting struggles, or are caring for elderly parents, we may have no stamina … Read More


In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them … Read More


In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one … Read More


“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain … Read More


From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony, and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days. On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected … Read More