Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Monday, February 29, 2016

Why This Election Makes Me Hate the Word “Evangelical”

Why This Election Makes Me Hate the Word “Evangelical” – “The word ‘evangelical’ has become almost meaningless this year, and in many ways the word itself is at the moment subverting the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

God’s Rehab for Weak, Weary Faith

God’s Rehab for Weak, Weary Faith – “I also love Hebrews because it is a letter to weary Christians.”

Teach Your People to Suffer

Teach Your People to Suffer“The truth is that this trial—the most suffering we’ve ever faced—has been an immeasurable blessing. It has been such a blessing because of the amazing church we attend, a church with leaders who prepare their people to suffer.”

Saturday, February 27, 2016

If Wedding Vows Were Honest THIS Is What They’d Say

If Wedding Vows Were Honest THIS Is What They’d Say – “After years of marriage I’ve realized…I know nothing about marriage…”

God and Politics

God and Politics -  “In a presidential election year, it is good for us as Christians to think and rethink our relationship to governmental authority and its temporal role in the plan of God.” 

The Word Made Flesh

The Word Made Flesh – Here is a simple, moving statement of Christology, the doctrine of Christ.

Friday, February 26, 2016

What the Bible Really Says About Politics

What the Bible Really Says About Politics - 5 things God wants us to remember during political season.

Six Things Submission Is Not

Six Things Submission Is Not – This is a helpful study for men and women according to 1 Peter 3:1–6.

How Do I Wisely Tell a Professing Believer I Don’t Think They Are Saved?

How Do I Wisely Tell a Professing Believer I Don’t Think They Are Saved? – “How do you approach people in your life who believe they are saved, but you have a feeling they are not?” The approach of the article is not judgmental but driven by loving, sensitive concern for others. 

The Number One Predictor of Divorce

The Number One Predictor of Divorce“After four decades of research, the world’s foremost marriage therapist noticed a clear pattern among couples that didn’t stay together.”

Risen - The Movie

Risen - The MovieMelissa Penner has a good review of Risen telling what it includes and what it omits. What it includes is important compared to most movies that have dealt with the resurrection. However, what the movie omits is huge.

A History of Awakening

A History of Awakening“God sovereignly moves when and where He wills, and just as He brought the light of the gospel into the darkness of pagan Rome, medieval Europe, and communist China, He can bring light into places currently shrouded in darkness.” 

How Can We Be Angry and Not Sin?

How Can We Be Angry and Not Sin? – “There is a kind of anger that comes from our regenerate, Spirit-directed nature, even if it is unavoidably tainted by our indwelling sin as it passes through the defective filters of our minds and mouths. And because the Holy Spirit through David and Paul instructs us to “be angry,” it means some things must make us righteously angry.”

Must Christians Vote? – Understanding Presidential Primaries and the Electoral College

Must Christians Vote? – Understanding Presidential Primaries and the Electoral College – This article answers questions and clarifies how the election process works. It’s complicated.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Essential Truths for Your Everyday Work

Essential Truths for Your Everyday Work – “Meaningful work isn’t all there is to life, but a meaningful life isn’t possible without the knowledge God is at work, using our ordinary efforts for his extraordinary purposes.”

Are Our Hymns Too Warlike?

Are Our Hymns Too Warlike? – “We become peacemakers not by avoiding warfare language but learning what kind of war God’s people fight, and that’s not with carnal weapons.”

Seven Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself About Church

Seven Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself About Church – “Here are seven lies that you may also have encountered, whether personally or from other people, about church.”

The False Reality of Social Media

The False Reality of Social Media – “We live in a world of false realities. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all offer an alternate view of who we are as individuals.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Develop a Ministry of Mercy

How to Develop a Ministry of MercyThese are seven ways that you can transform your relationships and develop a ministry of mercy.

Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Sports?

Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Sports? - Here are some guiding principles to help navigate the sports scene. 

10 Leadership Lessons I Learned from John Adams

10 Leadership Lessons I Learned from John Adams – Whether you lead a large company or a church group or a family, there are things to note in this list.

How Suffering Can Be a Gift

How Suffering Can Be a Gift - A few ways hardship can push us to grow.

Can the Church Disengage From Politics?

Can the Church Disengage From Politics? – “In the voting booth, we are delegating to others how to swing the sword of public justice on our behalf. A church that doesn’t form consciences for such a calling will only ensure that those consciences are shaped by something other than the gospel.”

I Got Skills

I Got Skills – This is a good reflection on being a mom and parenting.

The Spiritual Disease Ravaging Our World

The Spiritual Disease Ravaging Our World – “Affluenza is a spiritual disease that is ravaging the modern world. It is similar to every other disease in that we can accurately diagnose it by its telltale symptoms.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why the Vatican Is Wrong About Evangelizing Jews

Why the Vatican Is Wrong About Evangelizing Jews – “The Vatican says that mission to the Jews is both unnecessary and insensitive, and should therefore cease immediately. Three things need to be said, urgently and forcefully, in response.”


Men, Date Your Wife

Men, Date Your Wife – “Dating your wife will look different depending on the season you’re in. But the attentiveness and intentionality should never go away.” 

Gospel-Centered Life Questions

Gospel-Centered Life Questions - Here’s a good article comparing the world’s 8 ultimate life
questions to the Bible’s 8 ultimate life questions and seeing that the Bible
wins every time.

How to Slay the Dragon of Pornography

How to Slay the Dragon of PornographyEd Welch talks briefly about how to slay the dragon of pornography.

Nothing to Celebrate

Nothing to Celebrate – “The seriousness of a society’s funeral rites speak volumes about the seriousness of a society, for the way we treat the dead is really a function of how we value life.”

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Sheep Aren’t Stupid

The Sheep Aren’t StupidHere are some thoughts on us as “sheep” from the Puritan Thomas Watson (1620–1686), described in his sermon, “The Good Shepherd.

Jesus Paid It All

Jesus Paid It AllThis is a reflection on Isaiah 53:4-5.

Turning from Idols to Find True Happiness in God

Turning from Idols to Find True Happiness in GodHelpful thoughts on our attraction to idols and turning from them.

At Least You’re Married or Single

At Least You’re Married or Single – “Friends when we are tempted to start a sentence to anyone walking through a different and hard season with the words “At least…” remember the God we serve only and ever gives the best in every season. He is not doing the least of anything in your life.” 

What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments?

What Happened Between the Old and New Testaments? – I mentioned this yesterday. There were four hundred years in between. This article is part of an advertisement for a course but it does make four good point in answer to the title question.

Friday, February 19, 2016

How to Actually Help a Friend Who's Grieving

How to Actually Help a Friend Who's Grieving - Hint: There are some things you shouldn't say.

The Benefits of Baggage

The Benefits of Baggage – “We may never get to a place where our suitcase of suffering is empty. But if we allow it to, our baggage will ground us in humility, push us toward Christ’s body, and lift our eyes to the mighty fortress who is our God.”

Rest in the Prince of Peace

Rest in the Prince of Peace“Let us not forfeit this peace and bear needless pain. Let us carry everything to God in prayer and trust him fully to provide everything we need” (Philippians 4:19).

Seven Reasons Men Have a Right to Speak Out Against Abortion

Seven Reasons Men Have a Right to Speak Out Against Abortion – “In the fight over abortion, some claim that men have no right to an opinion on the matter. This is about a woman’s choice and health, they say; men have no grounds to speak into the issue like women.”

Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars?

Is Religion the Cause of Most Wars?Here’s a fact-check for this common claim.

How Caring for Children Changes the World

How Caring for Children Changes the World –  “Without these five women, Israel’s story of redemption doesn’t happen. Without these five women, Moses doesn’t survive the infanticide occurring in Egypt, and there is no leader to be God’s instrument of deliverance.”

Thursday, February 18, 2016

5 Things Jesus Never Promised

5 Things Jesus Never Promised - We can't just put words in His mouth.

Owning Our Limits and Trusting Jesus

Owning Our Limits and Trusting Jesus“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

The Character of the Christian: Gentle

The Character of the Christian: Gentle“To be gentle is to be tender, humble, and fair, to know what posture and response is fitting for any occasion. It indicates a graciousness, a desire to extend mercy to others, and a desire to yield to both the will of God and the preferences of other people.”

Sex Education Should Start in the Christian Home

Sex Education Should Start in the Christian Home “Christian homes should be the most open, honest, and comfortable places for kids and teens to learn and ask questions about sex.”

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Reading the Challenging PG-13 Bible Passages to Children

Reading the Challenging PG-13 Bible Passages to ChildrenWe don’t have to ignore them but we need to navigate them well.

Beware the Black Hole of Time

Beware the Black Hole of Time“Oh, yes, the black hole of time. This is that period of time following the service when the visitor is standing around awkwardly, knowing not a soul. As the church bustles about, clumped together in their familiar groups, catching up and fellowshipping, the new family nervously gathers their stuff, looks about the room and waits. They’re hoping to be included.” 

In Defense of Date Night

In Defense of Date Night “While it’s true that a good marriage is built in the mundane tasks of everyday life rather than on romantic getaways and mountaintop experiences, it doesn’t negate the fact that intentional time together as a couple is indispensable to having a healthy marriage.”

How Long Americans Want To Live: A Surprising Fact

How Long Americans Want To Live: A Surprising Fact - “According to a survey just published by Time magazine,
seventy-seven percent of Americans want to live to 100. That's not shocking
news. But this is…” 

Monday, February 15, 2016

What Is Grumbling?

What Is Grumbling?It’s a sin and here is what we need to do about it.

Social Media and Secret Lives of American Teenage Girls

Social Media and Secret Lives of American Teenage Girls“If building a social-media presence is similar to building a brand, then it makes a twisted kind of sense that girls—­exposed from the earliest age to sexualized images, and encouraged by their parents’ own obsession with self-promotion—are promoting their online selves with sex.”

Fear, Trust, and Missionary Kids

Fear, Trust, and Missionary Kids“When I am afraid I put my trust in you. In God whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

The Death of Justice Scalia and the State of American Politics

The Death of Justice Scalia and the State of American Politics - “In 1986, Americans had a common enemy in the Soviet Union.
In today's politics, our enemy is each other. What does God think of our
political climate?”

Sunday, February 14, 2016

God's Word on Love

On this day we celebrate love, may we focus our hearts on God’s word on the topic.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.”


1 John 4:7-21, ESV

9 Things You Should Know About Justice Antonin Scalia (1936–2016)

9 Things You Should Know About Justice Antonin Scalia (1936–2016) – Here are nine things you should know about one of the leading conservative voices on the nation’s highest court.

What the Church Can Learn From Justice Scalia’s Life

What the Church Can Learn From Justice Scalia’s Life – “Most of us will not serve as justices or judges or attorneys, but we can still glean some lessons from this life. Here are a few of them.”

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Old Testament in 5 Minutes

The Old Testament in 5 MinutesHere’s a brief video overview of the Old Testament.

Will You Wrestle with God?

Will You Wrestle with God? – “There are times when God only releases his blessings on us after a season of prolonged and even painful wrestling with him.”

Friday, February 12, 2016

New Study Shows Church-Going Couples Are Happier

New Study Shows Church-Going Couples Are Happier - Plan to spend part of Valentine's Day at church. You'll be blessed and so will your marriage.

When Evangelism Meets Pluralism, What's the Christian to Do?

When Evangelism Meets Pluralism, What's the Christian to Do? – “I believe churches that make the following three shifts will be more effective at outreach in an increasingly skeptical, secular, and pluralistic culture.”

Valentine’s Is About Jesus

Valentine’s Is About Jesus – “Everything in the world is about Jesus: every story a gloss to the gospel; every event significant in proportion to its proximity to the great Event; every holiday, sacred or secular, is holy precisely because it is a day.” 

How to Provoke Your Children to Anger

How to Provoke Your Children to Anger – “Here are some ways that we parents can provoke our children to anger.”

Scripture’s “Top Two” List

Scripture’s “Top Two” List – “Inordinate and idolatrous desires dominate the way Paul describes sin. These sins are filled with: I WANT!”

An Unexpected Blessing of Parenting

An Unexpected Blessing of Parenting – “An unexpected blessing of parenting is that eventually your children become your friends.”

Thursday, February 11, 2016

When Choices Can Be a Very Bad Idea for Kids

When Choices Can Be a Very Bad Idea for Kids“Parenting went awry when we decided to offer kids choices on almost everything. For example, at meal-time, millions of moms ask their children if they want this entrĂ©e or that one.” While this seems like an innocent decision, two realities occur:

  • Children expect to experience only what they want.
  • Children become overwhelmed at the options they face.

5 Resolutions to Make If You Already Failed Your First Ones

5 Resolutions to Make If You Already Failed Your First Ones - Some goals you'll actually want to stick to.

Should We Pray for Trivial Things?

Should We Pray for Trivial Things? - Parking spots, our team's win. Does God care?

Don’t Follow Your Heart

Don’t Follow Your Heart"God’s Ways Are Not Your Ways." I am blessed by Jon Bloom’s writing. This book is available for free download.


Raising Pure Kids in an Impure World

Raising Pure Kids in an Impure World – “It’s tempting to take a spitball approach when it comes to teaching kids about purity. We present a list of isolated truths about babies, STDs, and future spouses. But our children don’t need a handful of toppings; they need the whole pizza. Like every other issue, they need us to put “sexual purity” into the context of the gospel.”

Don’t Play Travel Ball

Don’t Play Travel BallHere’s food for thought. It’s not legalistic but it raises the issues that sometimes get buried.

Don’t Be Embarrassed by Your Ordinary Church

Don’t Be Embarrassed by Your Ordinary Church“When I talk to people about their churches I almost sense a little embarrassment about the size and perceived scope of their church. Apologetic words like small and ordinary come out. I would argue that these words are not bad at all—and perhaps even quite accurate—but it is the sentiment behind them that is concerning, especially in light of what the church is and does.”

5 Tips for Young Apologists

5 Tips for Young Apologists - What are the most important things for apologist to know and do today? Sean provides 5 important tips, from his life and research, for young apologists.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

16 Things to Convince Your Children of Before 16

16 Things to Convince Your Children of Before 16Todd Wagner shares some good ideas.

3 Ways the Super Bowl Can Teach Your Students About Adversity

3 Ways the Super Bowl Can Teach Your Students About Adversity – “Over the hours following the Super Bowl, however, another story emerged. It’s a tale of two Millennials.”

Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Safety?

Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Safety? – “But does our craving to see our children excel arise out of faithfulness or idolatry? We may think an inflated desire for money or success drives our efforts to maneuver our kids’ lives. Yet I think at the root lies two more subtle idols: comfort and safety.”  

The Greatest Joy Is Still to Come

The Greatest Joy Is Still to Come“Only in God’s presence is there fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11) — and we’re not yet in his presence…Here we have tastes, by his Spirit and through faith — at times great tastes — but we’re not yet seated at the banquet of new creation with plates piled high in his presence.”

3 Ways Our Culture Is Different than Every Other Culture in History

3 Ways Our Culture Is Different than Every Other Culture in History“We live in a turbulent cultural moment. The world around us is rapidly changing, and we face many challenges unprecedented in the history of the church.”

Why the Founding Fathers Spoke the King James Bible

Why the Founding Fathers Spoke the King James Bible Thomas Kidd writes, “One of the besetting problems of ‘Christian America’ history writing is that it often interprets biblical quotes from the Founders as evidence that they were personally devout…” 

5 Things You Can Give to God Every Day

5 Things You Can Give to God Every Day – “ It is giving back to him what he has entrusted to each one of us.”

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Most Neglected Spiritual Discipline

The Most Neglected Spiritual Discipline - And why it's important.

What a Super Bowl Ad Reveals About Our Abortion Culture

What a Super Bowl Ad Reveals About Our Abortion Culture“The abortion lobby responded this way to a commercial that wasn’t in any way directed at them. It wasn’t about abortion at all. Why? The outrage was because any hint of personhood inside the womb is the beginning of the end for a culture of death.”

Nominal Nation—The Shift Away From Self-Identified Christianity

Nominal Nation—The Shift Away From Self-Identified ChristianityThe decline of nominal Christianity is an opportunity for the gospel.

Do Not Fear the Hard Things of Marriage

Do Not Fear the Hard Things of Marriage – “wanted a life devoid of personal pain and heartache. I wanted to take my own hands and shelter my heart, instead of placing it into the hands of my Father.”

Regular Exercise & Depression

Regular Exercise & Depression – “In his new book Fit for the Master: Glorifying God in a Healthy Body, pastor and physical education enthusiast John Lehman cites a case study illustrating the importance of regular exercise and its benefit as one factor in fighting depressive moods.” Here is a summary.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Debunking Silly Statements About the Bible

Debunking Silly Statements About the BibleSilly things are said so often about the reliability of the Bible that many begin believing they are true. Here is an article on the reliability of the Bible handed down to us.

3 Great Ways to Love and Lead Your Wife

3 Great Ways to Love and Lead Your Wife“Jesus is the best model for leadership we can find anywhere. When it comes to leading our spouses, we must look to His life and pattern our leadership after Him. Jesus is Prophet, Priest and King.”

Lean in on Sunday Morning

Lean in on Sunday MorningIt’s true for pastors and true for us all.

Why I Don’t Share The Gospel

Why I Don’t Share The Gospel“What I have discovered, however, is I am often guilty of neglecting the why of sharing the gospel. I must check myself to make sure I have not forgotten my first love.”

Four Things to Help Overcome Gridlock in Your Marriage

Four Things to Help Overcome Gridlock in Your Marriage“Have you ever found yourself in a place in your marriage where you and your spouse disagree and it seems like there is no way forward?” Here are some suggestions from John Gottman and the Apostle Paul.

Why Did God Create the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?

Why Did God Create the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? – “Why did God keep back just one thing from the people he made? Why would he make people in his image, then give them one prohibition? What was the purpose in that tricky Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?”

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

4 Lies About Love

4 Lies About Love“Millions seek it. Teenagers dream of it. Artists depict it. Movie buffs crave it. Preachers preach it. Singers sing it. But what is love?”

The Church's One Foundation

The Church's One FoundationThis is a devotional thought on biblical truth highlighted in a great hymn.

Solo But Not Alone

Solo But Not Alone – Living single in a mostly married world is always a challenge.

Politics Is Never Enough

Politics Is Never Enough - "Politics is not enough because it is only part of our call to expand the Kingdom of God. Our hope must not rest in a full ballot box, but an empty tomb."

Prayers for Christ’s Increase and Our Decrease

Prayers for Christ’s Increase and Our Decrease – “Increased joy and hope in Christ’s increase, whether in us or around us, is worth far more than whatever it costs.”

Jesus Atoned for Our Sins

Jesus Atoned for Our Sins – “To atone means to make amends, reparation, or satisfaction for a crime committed. That is, the prescribed and accepted sacrifice reconciled the sinner back to God by meeting His demand for justice.”

8 Ways to Order Your Marriage

8 Ways to Order Your MarriageThe author walks through different ways marriages are organized and operated and suggests a better way.

Enjoy Your Prayer Life

Enjoy Your Prayer Life “I hope this article will be a refreshment and a tonic – maybe even a kick-start! – for our prayer lives.”

Thursday, February 4, 2016

There Is No Shortcut in Following Jesus

There Is No Shortcut in Following Jesus - Being a Christian doesn't automatically make life easier, but it does give us hope for better.

You Are the Hands of Jesus

You Are the Hands of Jesus“What’s calling for your attention? What’s demanding to be done and requiring your energy and focus?”

They Know My Voice

They Know My Voice - "Ours is a noisy world. An endless cacophony of voices clamors for our attention every day. The incessant ping of our cell phones reminds us that we are always on call. Some of these voices overtly seek to lure our hearts away from God, toward the wicked desires of our …"

Don’t Just Pray About It

Don’t Just Pray About It“The same heart of faith that comes to God in prayer patiently waits and watches for God to answer his prayer.”

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Growing Up with Terror

Growing Up with Terror“So—in our current reality, filled with violence and corruption in many places, how do we address this and prevent our students from being marred by it?”

5 Verses Christians Like to Ignore

5 Verses Christians Like to Ignore - We can't just breeze over the tough parts of the Bible.

Take Action Against Adultery

Take Action Against Adultery“Satan would love for you to believe that you are invulnerable to some category of sin because then you will stop protecting your soul from its terrible effects.”

Prioritizing Communication and Romance

Prioritizing Communication and Romance“Married couples often struggle with communication and romance. The more I think about this the more I believe that most of us don’t want to stink at this it’s just that we don’t want to be awesome at it.” Here is a simple, short expression from generations ago.

5 Reasons You Should (Probably) Leave Your Attractional Church

5 Reasons You Should (Probably) Leave Your Attractional ChurchJared Wilson does not take leaving a church lightly and addresses that at the beginning of the article. However, in light of what can pass as “church” here are some things to consider.

Your 7 Job Responsibilities as a Church Member

Your 7 Job Responsibilities as a Church Member – While some of these are more applicable to our context than others, it’s worth a read.

Monday, February 1, 2016

7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics

7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics - How to be in the world, not of the world, in a culture of political vitriol.

Why We Pray for Our Meals

Why We Pray for Our Meals – “Praying before we eat a meal is a beautiful thing — or should be a beautiful thing. It is gloriously appropriate to give thanks and praise to God from whom all blessings flow.” Don’t miss the applications in this article.

Run! Run Away!

Run! Run Away! – Here is a funny video and a biblical lesson. “There are several places in the Bible where you, Christian, are commanded to flee, to turn tail and run from an enemy far more vicious than any bear. You are told to flee from sin.” 

The One Ingredient Essential to Biblical Manhood

The One Ingredient Essential to Biblical Manhood“Self-control (or its absence) lies at the root of so many other things we recognize as problems in the thoughts, feelings, and decisions of men.”

Ten Biblical Truths on the Obedience of Children

Ten Biblical Truths on the Obedience of Children“So think of this article as a short lesson about some things God has revealed in the Bible that give foundation and guidance for our parenting. We’ll start with the very basics.”

You Can Trust God with Your Kids

You Can Trust God with Your Kids – “Does the fear of the Lord motivate your parenting decisions? If you are trusting in anything other than Him for your child's happiness and security, here are five reasons you should trust God instead.”