October 18, 2017

Let Your Soul Be Stirred to Action

I decided to add a "current events" category in my reading challenge for this year, not because it's something I particularly enjoy, but because I think it's helpful and good to be informed of what's going on in the world at large. I'm not a news junkie, political die-hard, or economics geek; but there's other issues in our world that we need to stay aware of and, as Christians, be praying for on a regular basis. Many of these issues are hard to learn about: human trafficking, race riots, poor treatment of veterans, poverty in third-world countries, girls who aren't allowed to attend school, the abuse of women in terrorist organizations, persecution of Christians, bondage of everyday [...Read More]

You Only Live Once

You only live once. It's become a trite catchphrase over the past few years, annoying to some and overused by others, but that doesn't make it any less true. You only live once. You don't get a do-over after you die. You don't reincarnate as another person or being of some other kind. You live once, and then you die, and that's it for life on this earth. You only live once. You only have one short lifetime to make a difference, to say kind words to those who are hurting, to love the unlovely, to share the gospel, to be an example, to help the less fortunate, to make a direct impact with your words and actions. You only live once. After you die, though your soul will [...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]

The Great Exchange: From Death to Life

In and of ourselves, we are nothing. In fact, we are worse than nothing... we are like dirty pigs wallowing in our own filth, thinking we're the richest most enviable creatures on earth. But as any one who's seen at a pigsty can tell you, pigs are clearly neither rich nor enviable. We're not much better. We are like dumb animals, too enamored with our best efforts to notice how poor we really are. In fact, Isaiah says all our best works are no better than filthy rags -- like the kind you would use to wipe up pig slop. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh… Humans are selfish, depraved creatures full of death and sin. We have no hope for redemption in and [...Read More]

The Greatest Love: Before Our Story Began

Even before our story began, He knew how it would end. When He created the earth in perfect beauty, He knew it would decay under sin's curse. When He created mankind from the dust of the ground, He knew that creation would utterly reject his Creator. When He breathed life into man's body, He knew man would use that breath to curse and deny His love. When He promised an offspring who would bruise the tempter's head, He knew that offspring would be part of His very being, God Himself. When He flooded the world because of man's wickedness, He knew mankind would survive to become even more wicked. When He promised a son to Abraham, He set in motion a chain of events that [...Read More]

Book Review: Captivated

When was the last time you were captivated by the cross? Or enraptured with Christ's resurrection? And why does it matter, anyway? Consider this thought from Thabiti Anyabwile's newest book, Captivated: Beholding the Mystery of Jesus' Death and Resurrection (emphasis added):* "The truth of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection is a daily reality for those who believe in Him. Yet from time to time, that daily reality requires extended contemplation and reflection, and we should ponder its meaning so that it does not become daily neglected. Christians need deeper glimpses into the mystery of God and His salvation. We need times of slow, contemplative consideration of the wonder of Christ's [...Read More]

Captivated with the Cross

How long has it been since you've gazed at the cross? Not just glanced, in the middle of singing a hymn; or simply acknowledged, in the middle of conversation -- but really, truly GAZED? How long since you've wept over the total abandonment shoved upon the holy Messiah? Or ached for the betrayal He willingly accepted? Or been crushed by the weight of sin that sentenced Him to death? Jesus died for you. And sadly, we get used to hearing that. It doesn't take long after the moment of salvation for that to become "old news." We've heard it so many times that we can recite the story in our sleep, as it were. We fail to remember just how marvelous, how wonderful, is our Savior's [...Read More]