Happy Father’s Day weekend!

I published this in the Suffolk News Herald 7 years ago. Happy Father’s Day Weekend! #pilgrimpath #fathersday

A Father’s Day Letter to my Sons

Suffolk News Herald
June 13, 2013
By Chris Surber

My youngest sons are growing up in a culture filled with mixed messages about manhood and how to make their way in the world. I tremble for them. I want to make their decisions for them and protect them. However, the best protection is preparation on manhood from their father. Here is a letter to my sons and to other young men who may be, like I was, lacking a man to give them direction.

Pick the right friends. In His life on earth, Jesus had 12 close friends. It turned out that one betrayed him; one denied Him, and the other 10 temporarily left His cause the minute things got rough. In my life I have had only a few very good friends, though I have known a lot of people.

You’ll be known by your friends, and they will help shape your character. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17 NLT) This works in both directions. Rusty, corrupt, good-for-nothing friends will dull your character.

Some will betray you. Some will deny you. Some will disappear when things get rough. Jesus redeemed His friends, but we aren’t Jesus. Pick your friends carefully.

Pick the right wife. Women are fascinating and wonderful creatures, like panthers moving gracefully and sleekly. But they have big claws. Choose the wrong one, and you’ll get scratched. Prayerfully seek a woman for her mind, not her charm. Warm up to a warm, loving lady, don’t chase after a cold heart.

Look for a woman who ignites your soul’s imagination, not merely your fleshly desires. A man enslaved to lust can be shackled by any pretty girl. A woman of character is the greatest jewel any man can have in his life. Find a woman who knows her worth and yours. She will challenge you to become more than you are.

Pick the right fights. There will be battles to fight. Pick good ones. Walk away from bad ones. Fight when you must, but make sure your battle is just and necessary. There are a lot of smoldering fires that produce more smoke than heat.


Bark! Bark! Bark!

Have you ever had a friend like this?

No matter how hard you’re trying not to try too hard, they can’t stop barking. In these chaotic times, where truth is difficult to sort out, be careful about listening to so much barking. Cut through the fog and apply the only corretive to false thinking – truth.

Bark! Bark! Bark!

Be quick to listen and slow to speak. Let’s not fall victim to the temptation too talk to fast, too much, or too loudly. A lot of folks are falling of off cliffs of ideology extremism, acting apart from godly consideration and wisdom.

There is a time for action. Godly action. There is a time for speaking. The Word of God is the guide for the words of Christians. Stop barking. Stop listening to barking. There is a better way. God’s way!

  • “It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.”(Proverbs 11:12 NLT)
  • “Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.” (Proverbs 12:18 NLT)
  • “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)
  • “Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble.” (Proverbs 21:23 NLT)

pilgrimpath #wastedwords #looselips

What is Your Compass in life?

Have you ever loved something you wouldn’t recommend to others? I have and love but don’t recommend Basset hounds. Two Basset hounds on a tandem leash is incredibly cute. It is also a nearly impossible situation. They are nearly impossible to walk!They are in a near constant tug-of-war with one another.

Cupcake and Pickles the Basset Hounds.

They go in different directions at the same time, much like the Scarecrow’s advice to Dorothy. Their antics usually results in various kinds of entanglements with lost footing and leashes wrapped around both of both of their back legs!

God promises protection to His people. However, that isn’t a blanket endorsement of our choices. Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.” (NLT)

Joy awaits the faithful if they’ll press into God and live the with-God life. Truth awaits us in God’s Word. On the pilgrimage, we’ll find our way if our road map is the Bible.

– Pastor Chris #pilgrimpath#bible

Simple Christianity…

It was a real privilege to open the Word of God among those gathered, the ekklesia, on the lawn on a beautiful day yesterday.

Mt. Hope on the lawn June 14th

In difficult days, double down on godly principles.

There is only one race of men on this planet. They are only divisible in two categories. Believers. They are the beloved of God, called by grace through faith in Jesus. Unbelievers. They too are the beloved of God, being called by the preaching, proclamation, and presenting of the Gospel to receive grace through faith in Jesus.

Our divisions are the consequence of sin. Our path forward is “life on life” as each one of us builds authentic friendship and relationship with whomever God places along our path. We change the world one honest action at a time. Each word. Each choice. Each decision. They are pebbles in an ocean creating ripples that eventually create waves that reshape beaches, nations, and continents. God uses us in relationship.

Make eye contact and share encouragement with your waitress, the woman who held the door for you on your way into the Dollar Tree, the man who stood next to you at Walmart for several seconds while you both hunted for the last box of banana pudding mix.

I’m doubling down on simple Christianity. Seeking the Lord. Sharing the Lord. Loving God. Loving people. Trusting God with the results.

#pilgrimpath #simpleway #mthope #supplyandmultiply

Songs for Sunday June 14th Outdoor Worship Service.


Here are links to two praise songs we will sing together this coming Sunday. Our dear brother in Christ, Howard, will lead us in song as we praise the Lord Sunday. He is sacrificially leading us in worship through this time. What a blessing to have one another right now and to be the people of God!

Shine Jesus Shine:


We Bow Down:


The format is different than our normal. We’ll be outside instead of inside. BUT The Lord remains the same! Come with a heart full of worship and celebration for the goodness and steadfastness of our God!

You are invited to print out these songs and bring them along. For corporate singing, there are some health recommendations that we hold something like a song sheet as we sing to prevent the distance of travel of our breath as we exhale to prevent the spread of viruses. It is something to consider.

Most of all, come ready to praise the Lord! See you Sunday at 10:30 for a worship celebration in the yard of the Church. We are so blessed! Let’s come celebrate the Lord together!

Pastor Chris

Outdoor Worship Service – June 14th, 2020.


I’m looking forward to worshiping with you this coming Sunday, June 14th! There will be two opportunities for worship:

1. Live-stream. If you are unable to attend in person for the outdoor worship service, simply go to the Mt. Hope Facebook Page at 10:30 to view live. ( www.facebook.com/mthopecongregational/ ) OR go to ( https://mthope.com/sermons/ ) later in the day to view the service. I will transfer the live video to the website within a few hours of the live service. I expect it to be visible by 2:00 p.m. Sunday. 

2. In-person. Arrive at Mt. Hope a little early to allow time for parking and seating. Bring a folding or camping chair. Bring whatever type of mask you are using for grocery shopping and other outings during this time. They are not required but recommended. Perhaps you’d choose to wear one while making your way to and from your vehicles. Here is a video I made to help orient us all to the outdoor service. Please view it. ( https://youtu.be/hvClE-K4gmI

Please view the COVID-19 self-screening form. (BELOW) Ensure that all family members in attendance are within compliance. We are excited to worship together and we want to do so as safely as possible. Only volunteer and church staff on site will need to sign it. You simply need to self-certify that you are in compliance with it. Thank you for keeping one another safe! 
Here are key considerations for this first step in the direction of getting back together for worship at Mt. Hope. 
Many Blessings in Christ! – Pastor Chris

  • The service will include corporate readings, singing, and prayer. there were also be a time for an offering. There is no requirement for mask or other personal protective equipment; however, we recommend you bring and use any that you personally desire. Social distance will be required.
  • You need to review the attached Coronavirus disease health screening and self certify. Individuals that are part of the service or assisting with the service will complete the form in person Sunday morning.
  • When you arrive at the church there will be a parking lot attendant to assist you. We will be parking every other slip. You need to remain in your car until the attendance capture hood or signals you that it’s your turn to exit your vehicle. This is the only way that we can ensure social distance as people are seated.
  • You need to bring your own chair to sit in or blanket for the grass. Whatever you bring you must be able to carry unassisted. If you need assistance carrying your items, you will need to make those arrangements prior to arrival at the church.
  • Everyone is welcome to come to the service, but we ask that the all family members to include children that come stay in the square of the family group.
  • Please dress casually and for the weather and consider bringing a water bottle to stay hydrated.
  • The restrooms will be available; However, we ask that they are used in emergency situations only. There will only be one access to the restrooms and one family group in the building at a time. There will be a sanitation station for you to utilize.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pvwbSAKhaHzoMEHPLrjDh5iMxH9Tju6q/view?usp=sharing (COVID-19 Health Screening .PDF)