Author Archives: Benj

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, living and learning in Eastern Europe…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth…eldest sibling to three…uncle to Marshall and Leeland...son-in-law to Claudia.

Recap: Tallinn, Helsinki, Klaipėda

A couple of weeks ago we enjoyed several days of travel, as well as some fun times home in Klaipėda. Continue reading

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Theme in Mission (or: “Did you always know you wanted to go to Lithuania?”)

It’s a fair question, though sometimes behind it is presumption that no one else could possibly want to live in this country that s/he didn’t know existed until about two minutes ago. Continue reading

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USA Recap: Ordination, Wedding, Friends, Bagels, Falling in Love Again

People often ask us, “What are the things you can’t eat in Lithuania that you like to eat a lot of here [in the USA] when you’re visiting?” Without hesitation, we always reply, … Continue reading

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Sermon: So That It May Go Well With You

This is the video of a sermon delivered at First Presbyterian Church of Endicott, NY on June 24 entitled, “So That It May Go Well With You.” The text was Deuteronomy 4:5-13.

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Understanding is Ephemeral

“William Riker, who was one of the founders of the rational choice school of public choice in political science, said that most of the people who get into academics do it because they’re interested in teaching. And a lot of … Continue reading

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Sermon: Apostles and Exiles

A short homily delivered at LCC’s International Christian Fellowship on April 22 entitled, “Apostles and Exiles.” The text was Ezekiel 11:14-17. Continue reading

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Voices of the Global Church

As I reached the end of my week-long course in Ukraine last month, I felt compelled to offer an impromptu exhortation to my Russian-speaking students, all of whom are already leading churches, and some of whom will likely go on for graduate study. Continue reading

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Teaching in Ukraine

From March 8 to 17, I taught at Zaporozhe Bible Seminary (ZBS) in Ukraine. Continue reading

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Sermon: No Dry Trees

The gospel, the good news for all of us, is that we serve a “single” Savior! Jesus never married a human woman, never had biological children. Yet according to Isaiah 53:10, as a reward for his perfect obedience, his Father gave him “many offspring,” and “prolonged his days”! Jesus showed us that the lasting impact of God’s work in our lives is not that we have biological children, but that we would have many spiritual sons and daughters—people whom we have invited into God’s family by faith, and discipled. Continue reading

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Special Service: Worshipping with the Fifth Gospel

Jess Smoker and I did an independent study on the Book of Isaiah that semester. We discovered that we are both musical, and decided that one of her assignments should be for us to craft a worship service structured around songs from Isaiah, and short teachings from the passages on which those songs are based. Continue reading

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