ST. BARTHOLOMEW’S
UNITED CHURCH(ELCA)
            

Pastor's Page

Rev. Steven E. Thomas, Pastor

Rev. Steven E. Thomas, Pastor

      Pastor Steven Thomas was born in Houston, Texas. He graduated from New Mexico Tech with a BS in Chemistry. He was working as a chemist in Baltimore for a few years, and then decided to pursue the dream of being a pastor. In 1993, Pastor Steve graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg. He is married to Pastor LaDonna Thomas who serves at St. David Lutheran Church in Hanover, PA. They have one daughter, Rebekah.

      Pastor Steve enjoys kayaking, reading, and motorcycling. Pastor Steve’s passion is always looking for greater understanding - especially in how our expanding scientific knowledge reveals additional wonders of God.

      Some of his favorite books are The Bible (of course), Awareness by Anthony DeMello, The Shack by William P. Young, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, E=mc2 by David Bodanis, and the Tolkein trilogy.


Contact Pastor Thomas




Sample Sermon

Nathan and David


John 18:12-27


Joel 2:12-14


The Prodigal Son


Theodicy Sin Suffering


What Life Is All About


Keeping Sabbath


Jesus the Prism of Life


Isaiah 40:1-11


Christian Music

 


     Music is often the backdrop to much of our lives.  Whether you are driving in the car or working at a job site or listening at your desk - music is often playing and giving harmony to your day.  The right music can give a power lift to your spirit and your life.

     Unfortunately much of the music playing on the radio is not very spiritually uplifting.  Stories of heartbreak, adultery and sexual images fill the airwaves.  While these may have a decent beat and be entertaining, they are probably not what you would like to have as the driving force of your days.

     Fortunately there are excellent spiritual alternatives.  There are some truly premium Christian bands that play everything from hard rock, to medium and light rock, to soul and even country. 

     You may have tried the primary Christian station, 90.3FM and found a little bit to enjoy.  However, I would like to suggest some artists as a way for you to look into this amazing aspect of daily Christian spirituality.  You can find these bands on Spotify or Pandora or  listen to them on YouTube or their websites.

     My favorite Christian rock band is Switchfoot (highly recommended by my daughter too).  They vary from soft rock on their earlier albums, Learning to Breathe and New Way to be Human to a medium rock on Nothing Is Sound, Beautiful Letdown, and Hello Hurricane.  Some of the lyrics go like this:

     “The stars are alive. They dance to the music of the deepest emotion. And all of the world is singing in time As the heavens are caving in. Mysterious ways. Why God gave His life to put motion inside my soul.  It’s bigger than cold religion.  It’s bigger than life....”

     Another song goes like this, “She said, he said, live like no tomorrow. Every day we borrow brings us one step closer to the edge. Infinity. Where’s your treasure, where’s your hope, if you get the world and lose your soul?...  Today will soon be Gone like yesterday is gone - Like history is gone. The world keeps spinning on. You’re going going Gone...”

     And you haven’t even heard the music!

     One of my favorites is a female country-ish artist, Jennifer Knapp.  Her first album Kansas and Lay It Down are probably her best.  Some of her lyrics go like this:

     “I think about the ways of time And how they roll across my shoulders. Thinkin’ no clock is gonna get the best of me. Minutes threaten through the years To carve wrinkles from my tears Across the face with straining eyes to see. They’re lookin’ for the peace which passes all understanding in a world crazed with fear...”

     And another, “I hid my face from the saints and the angels who sing of Your glory. What You had in mind - When we seek we’ll find - Shine show me grace... A little more than I can give - A little more than I deserve. Unearth this holiness I can’t earn... Despite all my demanding I still find You understanding. Show me grace I know is...a little more that I deserve.”

     Another is, “Now I never claimed to be any more than I am, any more than I seem. In fact I bill myself as so much less than I am - so much less than He sees. So may I hold out with an open hand this frail life of mine and pray that You can make it stand...”

     My first amazing discovery of Christian music was with Chris Rice who is soft rock.  His song “Deep Enough to Dream” describes a peaceful afternoon vision of the indescribable Heaven.

     Then there is excellent soul sounds of the all female band, Out of Eden.  And the excellent pop female band, ZOEgirl. 

     Then there is the excellent semi-rap group TobyMac.  TobyMac’s “J-train” goes, “Sit back, relax put on your travelin’ gear. No need to doubt so put aside your fear. “Destination” out of this atmosphere. It’s the J Train baby, we depart from right here. No lines to fight, no ticket to price. I’m rollin’ first class ‘cause I’ve seen the light. Try as you may but your money can’t buy a ticket on the J Line to the other side.” 

     And “Somebody’s Watching” goes like, “Sometimes I feel God in the middle of the night - In the cool of the shade in the bright sunlight. I always feel like somebody’s watching me. Watch baby watch baby, He got my back.

See I’m down with the King. So I got it like that.”  And his “Irene” and “Atmosphere” are astounding.

     So try a little something new.  It might blow your sox off.  It did mine when I first began this musical journey.

     Below are some of my favorites.  They may be a little older and so, more difficult to find.  But there are plenty others enjoyed by plenty other fans.

     May the Spirit of Christ blow you away.

 

                   Yours,

                        In Christ,

                             Pastor Steve


           


   CHRISTIAN MUSIC

 

GROUP                                                        ALBUMS                                      TYPE of MUSIC

 

Switchfoot                           Learning to Breathe                        Pop rock

                                                                            New Way to Be Human                  Pop rock

                                                                            Beautiful Letdown                         Medium rock

                                                                            Nothing Is Sound                            Medium rock

                                                                            Hello Hurricane                              Medium rock

                                                                            Fading West                                    Medium rock

 

Jennifer Knapp                    Kansas                                             Country rock

                                                                            Lay It Down                                   Pop rock

 

Out Of Eden                        This Is Your Life                            Soul

                                   No Turning Back                            Soul

 

TobyMac                              Momentum                                      Semi-rap

                                                                            Diverse City                                    Semi-rap

                                                                            This Is Not A Test                          Semi-rap

 

DC Talk                               Supernatural                                    Pop rock

 

Chris Rice                            Deep Enough To Dream                 Soft rock

 

ZOEgirl                                Room To Breathe                           Pop

                                                                            Other titles are good too

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Third Day                            Offerings                                         Country rock

                                                                            Conspiracy No. 5                            Hard rock

 

Paul Coleman Trio               PC3                                                 Pop rock

 

Kelly Minter                        Good Day                                       Ballads/pop rock

 

Ginny Owens                       Without Condition                          Soft pop

 

Superchick                           Rock What You Got                       Medium Rock

 

Newsboys                            He Reigns                                       Pop rock

Pastor Messages of Special Interest

Suicide - Surviving Life’s Darkest Moments



Video of Archived Sermons

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