Growing up in a Christian home I was very familiar with the words, “God’s grace.” I heard them in songs such as, Amazing Grace, Wonderful Grace of Jesus, Grace Greater than our Sin, and countless others. The words were mentioned on Sunday mornings multiple times. I had read about God’s grace in the Bible. I was able to define grace as being given that which you don’t deserve. I understood that grace was a free gift from God and that it was truly amazing.Continue Reading
“When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near, For God said, “Lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt.” But God led the people around by the way of the wilderness toward the Red Sea. And the people of Israel went up out of the land of Egypt equipped for battle” (Exodus 13:17-18).Continue Reading
Instead of writing my own thoughts, I wanted to showcase a current event which can challenge all of us to stand for the gospel “with all boldness and without hindrance” (Acts 28:31).
Over 400 brave Chinese pastors of underground churches wrote this official response to their government’s new sanctions on gospel assemblies. They boldly signed their names and gave the names of their churches, showing they don’t fear the Chinese government. Their declaration is below.Continue Reading
You may think this is a blog about modesty. It’s not. As humans, we wear a lot more than just physical clothing. We wear spiritual ones, too. In fact, the Bible uses the metaphor of putting on clothing quite a lot to paint a vivid picture for us. We are to clothe ourselves with humility and patience (1 Peter 5:5, Col. 3:12), adorn ourselves with strength and dignity (Prov. 31:25), put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:11), and gird ourselves with truth and strength (Eph. 6:14, Ps. 18:39) just to name a few. Every single day, just as we pick out what shirt we’re going to wear, we need to be picking out our spiritual attire as well. To assume we’ll just wake up and walk out the door with the virtues the Bible lists for us to wear is as foolish as thinking we’re publicly presentable without having gotten dressed.Continue Reading
This November marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, also known as the Great War.
As I write this, it is October 1. Exactly 100 years ago today the world changed forever. The war had gone on for four years, and Germany’s final offensive had stalled. The toll of casualties mounted to unbelievable heights, and the German losses could no longer be sustained. It was on this day that Australian soldiers and Arab fighters captured Damascus. This led General Ludendorff, Germany’s military commander, to conclude that the war was lost and an armistice should be signed right away. Continue Reading
This past summer, my Bible reading plan took me through the book of Leviticus. Initially, I wasn’t too thrilled to read what I considered to be a dry book of rules and regulations, but I had committed myself to reading (not skimming) God’s word, which happens to include books like Leviticus. And, while I won’t tout it as a riveting summer read, I will say that in His mysterious ways, the Lord is able to use even the seemingly monotonous parts of scripture to speak directly to the heart of His people today (Hebrews 4:12). He did for me and here is what I learned:Continue Reading
July 27th is not a welcome day in our house. So much about the time of year--whether the length of the long summer days, the sunshine, the humidity, and even the relative calm of a mid-summer schedule, brings back memories we wish we could escape. It was on this date in 2009 that our son Micah, a happy little 9-month old boy, died as a result of a confluence of events. Many people in grief, or who have endured great suffering, are said to “live in the past.” Because current circumstances create such pain in their lives, some people who have endured great hardship try to avoid current circumstances and hold on to everything about the past that provided them joy. In that vein, we might look back at a particular event and consider its worth to us based only upon the joy or usefulness it brought in that particular moment. For the nine years that have passed since that awful July day in 2009, we have come to painfully associate the attributes of a midsummer day in Minnesota with the memories of our son’s death. Continue Reading
Martin Luther is said to have begun his morning devotions by praying the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed. When I decided to give it a try, the alarming request in the Lord’s Prayer to “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” put reponsibility on me. Two verses later Jesus said, “For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” This is a serious charge with eternal consequences.Continue Reading
This spring my daughter Grace and I had the opportunity to visit Ireland. We were touring the city of Dublin and decided to visit the National Gallery, mostly to view their most famous painting, Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ. When we found the correct wing of the museum, we saw a series of open doorways leading to room after room, with a painting at the very end. We concluded the painting must be Caravaggio’s so we quickly headed down the long hallway, bypassing every room. When we arrived at the end, we realized it wasn’t the painting we were looking for and discovered that we had missed it. We began walking back through the rooms, more slowly this time, and after finding and viewing Caravaggio’s painting, we took our time browsing through each room, marveling at the beautiful art and treasures they held. Continue Reading
“Keep calm and carry on.” You may recognize these words, having been made popular today on a variety of advertisements and posters. Originally, however, these words had a very serious purpose. They were used on a motivational poster produced by the British government. In 1939, on the eve of World War II, the British government was desperate to provide hope for its people. Hitler’s armies had overrun the Czechoslovak Republic and the Republic of Poland in a matter of weeks. By the summer of 1940, one year later, the Nazi war machine had conquered the rest of Europe—France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway—and had surrounded nearly the entire British Army at the port of Dunkirk.Continue Reading