June 29, 2017

Thoughts on Giving Thanks

There’s something special about this time of year, when so many people start meditating on everything they have to be thankful for. As Christians, we have an even greater reason to be people characterized by the habitual giving of thanks — not just for abundant physical blessings, but so many spiritual blessings too! The blogosphere is teeming right now with various thoughts about practicing gratitude -- from historical perspectives, to its uniqueness among Christians, and even some of its challenges. I hope you'll take the time over the next few days to work through some of these links! Why We Should Be Thankful for the Gift of Gratitude -- Why is it so critical for Christians to [...Read More]


Literary Adventures in Summer 2016 – #Read2016

Apparently moving cross-country kind of throws you off your groove in every area of life for quite a few months. Even reading. Even for die-hard bookworms. I suppose I should have expected it. But I filled up my Kindle before we left and rather naively thought I would gets loads of reading done on the way. Unfortunately, between the long bumpy days in the truck and the exhausted night of trying to sleep in cheap motel rooms, that didn't happen. In fact, I only read 2 books in the whole month of May... I'm not sure that's ever happened before! Even once we got to Wyoming and finally found a place to rent, life got full fast with unpacking and settling, full-time ministry, exploring the [...Read More]


A Plea for Christian Americans

Christian Americans, the world is watching us. Our countrymen --  our neighbors -- are watching to see how we will respond to the unprecedented election of such a controversial figure and the fear and hatred that is running rampant throughout our nation right now. Whether you voted for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or someone else -- now is the time to prove our Christian values to those around us. Now is the time when we must show our obedience to God's command to love our neighbors and do good to all. Now is the time for us to reach out with respect and humility, with kindness and grace, toward all men and women -- no matter what our political beliefs or backgrounds. I am a [...Read More]


What Truly Matters about This Year’s Election

My heart is heavy as I consider tomorrow's election. Whatever the result, our nation will suffer. We are being torn apart year by year as we fight our way to subduing the opposing parties. I can't think of a single friend who is truly happy about how things have progressed in this election. Even those who stand firmly behind a particular candidate have expressed frustration at some of that candidate's actions and attitudes... never mind the interchange between staunch supporters of the two main candidates and the problems inherent in the parties themselves. Those who dislike the winning candidate will point fingers at whoever voted for him/her, and blame those who chose not to vote for [...Read More]


What If God Chooses Not to Heal?

We've been talking about seeking physical healing lately, and have covered the basic means God has provided for us to seek it. But what if we do all those things, and yet God chooses not to heal us? We may be persistent and passionate in our prayers. We may remain strong in belief, sound in doctrine, and steadfast in faith. We may seek God’s help first and medicinal help second. We may even patiently wait with a confident expectation that God will heal. Yet all this does not guarantee healing. All this does not determine whether God will remove our afflictions. When He does choose to heal, the healing is merely temporary — death has spread to all of us, because we are all sinners. Yet [...Read More]


6 Things to Do While You’re Waiting for Healing

Imagine you're dealing with a serious physical illness or injury that's life-changing in some way. You recognize God's sovereignty, yet naturally, you want to be healed of it. So you pray faithfully for healing. You remain steadfast in faith. You prioritize your spiritual well-being, but also use the gift of medicine that God has provided. And yet, you're still waiting for God to answer. He hasn't said no to your pleas for healing -- but He hasn't said yes either. So now what? Do you get overwhelmed with the seeming delay? Shrug your shoulders and "grin and bear it"? Retreat into some hiding place, whether books or movies or shopping therapy? Make demands of God to heal [...Read More]


What About Medical Means of Healing? (Part 5)

In addition to the spiritual principles given in His Word (see parts one, two, three, four), God has also provided medical aids we can use to seek healing. Doctors and medicines can often help us determine the physical cause of our suffering, remedy various problems, and help alleviate some of the symptoms. Even when we cannot discern the spiritual purpose for our illness, these medical means can often help us find a physical cause for whatever we are suffering -- and thus provide a way of relief from that suffering. And as long as we seek our Creator’s help first, we can certainly take advantage of other legitimate aids that He has provided through His marvelous creation! Let's take [...Read More]


Does the “Prayer of Faith” Bring Healing? (Part 4)

We’ve been looking at the Scriptural principles for seeking physical healing. If you missed the first three posts, start here: Should we pray for healing?, How to Pray for Healing, Is Faith Required for Healing?.  Consistent personal prayer and continued faith in God are the main criterion established in Scripture for seeking physical healing. We must also consider James 5:13–16, one of the few Scriptural passages which directly mentions the issue of seeking healing: "Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise [...Read More]


Is Faith Required for Healing? (Part 3)

We've been looking at the principles laid out in Scripture regarding prayer, and specifically how they relate to seeking physical healing. Find the first two posts in this series here: Should we pray for healing? and How to pray for healing. When we're seeking healing, the first step is always to commune with God in prayer. But prayer isn't the only thing that matters: we must also have faith in who He is and how He works! Not only do we need to pray about everything, but we need to trust that God will answer our prayers according to what glorifies Him the most. We need to believe His plan for our lives is whatever HE considers the absolute best for us. Our faith must be placed in God [...Read More]


How to Pray for Healing (Part 2)

Previous posts in this series include: Should we pray for healing? Not only are prayers for physical health exemplified in God’s Word, but even common sense suggests wherever there is lack or need, there is reason to pray. For instance, in times of war we pray for peace, and in times of drought we pray for rain. Thus, it follows that in times of sickness, we ought to pray for healing. But it's not enough just to utter words asking God to heal -- we must pray according to the standards set forth in God's Word. In order to pray for healing, we must not only experience redemptive cleansing by Jesus’ blood, but we must also daily keep our hearts pure and righteous before Him. If we [...Read More]