Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Your Thoughts Will Betray You

Your Thoughts Will Betray You – “Unfortunately, the more I think, the more I despair.”

It’s Not IF You Fight But HOW You Fight That’s Important

It’s Not IF You Fight But HOW You Fight That’s Important “The issue isn’t whether you fight, it’s how you fight and how rich your stockpile of good feelings is about each other to weather difficulties and keep your basic attitude toward your partner positive.” 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Stop Photobombing Jesus

Stop Photobombing Jesus – “I served God with mixed motives. I hoped lost people would be saved—but I wanted to be the evangelist God used. I desired Christians to be encouraged—but I wanted to be the instrument of edification. I wanted people to think God was awesome—and that I was, too.”

Eleven Killer Questions To Ask Of A Bible Passage

Eleven Killer Questions To Ask Of A Bible Passage “Questions are to Bible study what the spade is to the archaeologist. They help us dig up hidden treasures.”

The 144,000

The 144,000 Many interpretations have been offered for the 144,000 people mentioned in Revelation 7:4. Here’s a good description.

Environmentalists: Telling the Good from the Bad

Environmentalists: Telling the Good from the Bad “Before Christians side with an environmental initiative, we need to sure the people we’re listening to are good environmentalists. Telling the difference between the good and bad ones can often be very hard, but the “baddies” have at least a couple of flaws that Christians can be on the lookout for.”

Friday, April 28, 2017

When Feeling a Bit, or a Bunch, Weary

When Feeling a Bit, or a Bunch, Weary – “We bring you our fatigue born from stories of grief and loss, transition and addiction, care-giving and criticism-taking. Jesus, help us...”

Why A "Paper" Bible is Better Than A Bible App At Church Meetings

Why A "Paper" Bible is Better Than A Bible App At Church Meetings “Sure, it’s convenient to utilize a digital Bible in numerous settings—like reading (or listening) just before you fall asleep at night, or when you unexpectedly want to look up something during a discussion. But in a church meeting (Bible studies, Sunday’s gatherings, etc.), I strongly recommend using a “paper” Bible for four reasons.”

Catherine Booth’s Heart for the Hurting

Catherine Booth’s Heart for the Hurting – This is a short bio on the wife of William Booth. They founded the Salvation Army.

12 Things to Pray for the Teens You Know

12 Things to Pray for the Teens You Know – “I’ve compiled twelve specific ways to petition the God of the universe for the souls of teenagers.”

Netflix’s Biggest Competition

Netflix’s Biggest Competition – “It turns out that Netflix doesn’t actually consider Amazon (or HBO or Hulu or any other similar company) its true competition. Netflix’s main competitor is something far more elemental: sleep.”

10 Questions to Help Us Analyze Our Smartphone Habits

10 Questions to Help Us Analyze Our Smartphone Habits – “Are our smartphones tools that facilitate our commitment to the central purposes and values of our lives, or are they—and our habitual modes of using them—constantly distracting, diverting, or obstructing us from them?”

How to Be a Miserable Comforter

How to Be a Miserable Comforter – Two Ways We Fail the Hurting

Ordinary is Big Enough in God’s Eyes

Ordinary is Big Enough in God’s Eyes – “God cares about what happens behind the closed doors of your house each and every day because he cares about the people in it. He cares about the seemingly ordinary work that you do because he is the one who created you for the very work you are doing right now.”

Bill Nye, Progressive Science, and the Threat of Nature

Bill Nye, Progressive Science, and the Threat of Nature – “Apparently we can make sense of the human sexes, and human sexuality, gender, and sexual relations without once needing to make any reference to the reality of reproduction. The realm of sexuality is simply one of radical natural diversity, with no apparent natural cause, end, order, or purpose.” (Note: There’s one swear word in the article.)

Does “13 Reasons Why” Glamorize Teen Suicide?

Does “13 Reasons Why” Glamorize Teen Suicide? – Russell Moore writes: “What concerns me about the show is that the central conceit of the series feeds one of the drivers of teenage suicide, and that is the sense of suicide as storyline.”

Thursday, April 27, 2017

We Need Each Other

We Need Each Other “Fellowship is a mutual bond that Christians have with Christ that puts us in a deep, eternal relationship with one another.”

Money Doesn’t Have to Be So Stressful

Money Doesn’t Have to Be So Stressful – “Our habits determine our financial health, and developing healthy habits is a journey. God’s word offers five wise principles, or money habits.”

Making the Most of Sunday Morning Conversations

Making the Most of Sunday Morning Conversations – “So when the worship service ends, put off thoughts of your Sunday feast for just a bit. Take advantage of the time to connect with the people around you. Who knows—some of the relationships you water during these few minutes might end up blooming for years to come.”

How Do Evangelicals Around the World Respond to Persecution?

How Do Evangelicals Around the World Respond to Persecution? – A landmark new report conveys the findings of the “world’s first systematic global investigation into the responses of Christian communities to persecution.”

God Can Overcome Any Abuse

God Can Overcome Any Abuse – “Building a new family from the ashes of past abuse is an opportunity to defy destruction and illuminate hope.”

Jesus and the Broken-Hearted

Jesus and the Broken-Hearted – “So, when we see broken, sinful, shame-filled people who are devastated by sin, calling out to and clinging to Jesus, do we roll our eyes and blow it off? Or, do we acknowledge that Jesus is the one we all need?”

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: What Does Evangelism Look Like in Your Day-to-Day Life?

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: What Does Evangelism Look Like in Your Day-to-Day Life? As you go, wherever you go, make disciples of all people.

Jesus Never Promised an Easy Life

Jesus Never Promised an Easy Life – “At some point, intentions must mature into commitments. Good intentions can get behind the wheel, but unless grit hits the gas, you’re not moving anywhere. Transformation comes on the other side of doing the hard work of going after the life you’ve been promised with unyielding grit.”

53 People in the Bible Confirmed Archaeologically

53 People in the Bible Confirmed ArchaeologicallyThese people “mentioned in the Bible have been identified in the archaeological record. Their names appear in inscriptions written during the period described by the Bible and in most instances during or quite close to the lifetime of the person identified.”

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Worry Is A Roundabout That Keeps You From the Road to Joy

Worry Is A Roundabout That Keeps You From the Road to Joy – “I think of worry like roundabouts, except you never get off onto the right exit. You just keep circling and circling, and your trials keep honking at you. Worry is like a roundabout that will keep you from running the race the way God intends.”

15 Really Strange Reasons Not to Attend Church

15 Really Strange Reasons Not to Attend Church – Thom Rainer did a Twitter poll. His responses to the excuses made my Wednesday better.

The Worst Consequence of Skipping Church

The Worst Consequence of Skipping Church – The Hebrews 10:24-25 passage “does, indeed, warn of the serious consequences of skipping church, but its focus is not what we might expect through our Western, individualized eyes. This passage does not warn us that when we skip church we put ourselves at risk. Rather, it warns us that when we skip church we put other people at risk. The first sin of skipping church is the sin of failing to love others.”

Bearing with the Failings of the Weak

Bearing with the Failings of the Weak – “Churches are rife with weak people, and you are charged to bear with them and help them. You are encouraged to love one another as Christ has loved you, and a key way that happens is through the extension of merciful strength and aid in the face of failure.”

Stop Reducing Your Faith to Hashtags

Stop Reducing Your Faith to Hashtags – “I’m afraid we are spending more time admiring the beauty of our decorated journaling Bibles than we are reading and being convicted by the Word. I fear we are investing more moments into capturing images and captivating followers than we are simply being captivated by Christ.”

Broken Down on Every Side

Broken Down on Every Side – “We cannot live for Christ if we are too busy living for ourselves and asking him to serve our desires. We cannot hope in him if our hopes are rooted in this world.”

How to Reach a Child’s Heart for Christ

How to Reach a Child’s Heart for Christ – There is a difference between moralistic behaviorism and gospel-centered application. It’s true for us all and especially for children.

The Lord Is Never Late

The Lord Is Never Late “In my pained estimation in those dark days, the Lord was moving much too slowly, but I knew in that moment that he is not slow in keeping his promises (2 Pet. 3:9). He was holding me all along, and his reviving word came right on time. I pray I will remember this in dark days to come.”

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Creating a Culture of Hospitality

Creating a Culture of Hospitality “Church doesn’t just happen on Sunday morning and Wednesday nights. We all know that. In our busy and self-isolating culture, we have to make intentional, personal contact with each other if we want to be a real community. But how do we do it? Let me suggest one centuries-old method: invite people over.”

3 Ways God’s Justice Comforts Us

3 Ways God’s Justice Comforts Us – “Scripture shows our sin-cursed world not only faces divine reckoning, but needs it. Here are three biblical facets of God’s judgment that give unexpected comfort and hope to the believer.”

What Can Church History Teach Us About Wolves?

What Can Church History Teach Us About Wolves? – “A false teacher or a wolf is someone who snatches up sheep (John 10:12), draws disciples away from the gospel (Acts 20:28), opposes the truth (2 Tim. 3:8), and leads people to make shipwreck of the faith and embrace ungodliness (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-17).”

Satan Wields Ignorance of the Word as a Weapon

Satan Wields Ignorance of the Word as a Weapon – “Ignorance of the whole of God's Word makes us easy targets in the war Satan has waged against God. Lies can slip through undetected like poison gas because we're just not that familiar with the truth.”

The Two Kinds of Conversation You Need To Have With Your Children

The Two Kinds of Conversation You Need To Have With Your Children – I learned this by accident. There is a lot of wisdom in using both.

Sparks, Marriage, and Christ

Sparks, Marriage, and Christ – In this piece, Warner Aldridge shares four passages of scripture that equip husbands to love their wives. 

8 Sins You Commit Whenever You Look at Porn

8 Sins You Commit Whenever You Look at Porn – “We know that pornography is an ugly and harmful sin. We know that those who indulge in porn have committed the sin of lust, but there is so much more to it than that.” 

The True and Better Prophet, Priest, and King​

The True and Better Prophet, Priest, and King – “Jesus isn’t just any old Prophet, Priest, or King; he is the true and better Prophet, Priest, and King, who is able to do what those who came before could not.”

God Plans for the Unexpected and Inconvenient

God Plans for the Unexpected and Inconvenient – “Jesus is reassuring us that unexpected needs, arising at the most inconvenient times, which are beyond our ability to meet, and so press us to plead with God for provision, are part of the normal Christian life.”

Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend?

Is the Enemy of My Enemy My Friend? “In a time of cultural conflict, the enemy of our enemy may well be our friend. But, with eternity in view and the gospel at stake, the enemy of our enemy must not be confused to be a friend to the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Monday, April 24, 2017

Why the Lord’s Prayer Is So Offensive

Why the Lord’s Prayer Is So Offensive – “The Lord’s Prayer is not mild, inoffensive, vanilla, listless, nominal, wishy-washy, or wallpapery. If you don’t worship the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is deeply subversive, upsetting, and offensive—from the first phrase to the last.”

When Anger Rears Its Ugly Head

When Anger Rears Its Ugly Head“It happened again, at the end of a very long day with our young children, when my husband called on his way home from work and asked me how I was. I told him. And it wasn’t pretty. And when he got home I told him again. It was loud, it was thoughtless, and our kids witnessed it all.”

God Desires To Bless You Infinitely More Than You Can Imagine

God Desires To Bless You Infinitely More Than You Can Imagine “He has made an unbreakable, unchangeable promise to never stop doing good to us.”

Digital Detox: Parents Need Parenting

Digital Detox: Parents Need ParentingAddiction to electronic devices is not just a kid issue.

Verses to Meditate on When Considering Missions

Verses to Meditate on When Considering Missions – These verses are helpful whether considering missions for a career or a season...at home or the other side of the world.

Purpose to be Godly

Purpose to be Godly – “There is no greater pleasure than close fellowship with our Creator and, therefore, no higher purpose than godliness.”

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Home Is the Front Lines of Christian Living

Home Is the Front Lines of Christian Living – “Home exposes the heart.”

Six Privileges of Living in a Wealthy Country

Six Privileges of Living in a Wealthy Country It is good to be reminded of the amazing privileges we enjoy by living in wealthy countries and to be called to compassion for those who don’t.

The Power of a Mother’s Surrender

The Power of a Mother’s Surrender – “Every mother knows that at some point, in some way, she will have to surrender her children. While they are young, she is responsible for protecting and teaching and training them. But all the while, she will be preparing them for independence, preparing herself to release them to the world. Ultimately, she will be preparing herself to surrender them to the will of a sovereign God.”

A High School Counselor’s Tips on Parenting Teenagers

A High School Counselor’s Tips on Parenting Teenagers “I have had the privilege of spending the last 13 years working as a music teacher and crisis counselor for teens. The following six tips represent a handful of lessons I have learned along the way. If you are the parent of a teenager or pre-teen, I pray that you find this helpful.”

A Hill To Die On

A Hill To Die On – There are several things to consider in this article.

Why Christians Should Support Religious Freedom for Everyone

Why Christians Should Support Religious Freedom for Everyone – “Defending religious freedom is not, and must not become, a self-seeking quest to shield us from inconvenience and trials as we practice our faith. Rather, it must be part of fulfilling the church’s call to love our neighbors by righting fundamental assaults on our common humanity.”

Friday, April 21, 2017

This is About That

This is About That – This video illustrates the symbols of marriage and the biblical foundations of marriage.

Why We Should Be Perpetually Grateful

Why We Should Be Perpetually Grateful – That gratitude should also overflow into prayer.

Beware of Broken Wolves

Beware of Broken Wolves – “They blend into the flock because Christians are not—and should not be—suspicious of broken people.”

Are You Experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?

Are You Experiencing FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)? – “FOMO is neither unique nor modern. It predates the acronym coined in 2004, it predates WiFi, and it predates our smartphones. FOMO is an ancient phobia with a history that reaches back far before we started using our opposable thumbs to text one another gossip. We can say that FOMO is the primeval human fear, the first fear stoked in our hearts when a slithering Serpent spoke softly of a one-time opportunity that proved too good to miss.”

Paul Remembered Mary

Paul Remembered Mary “Paul remembered Mary and how hard she worked. In Romans 16:6, Paul requested that a particular Mary would be recognized for her service. Paul had remembered her diligent work for the glory of God. It apparently made an impression on him.”

Do Paul and James Disagree on Justification by Faith Alone?

Do Paul and James Disagree on Justification by Faith Alone? – The short answer is no. This brief article explains the reason why.

Our Minds Are Like Baking Stone

Our Minds Are Like Baking Stone – “We must interpret our circumstances in light of God’s character—especially his promises, rather than interpreting God’s character in light of our circumstances. It is far too easy (and common) to scrub clean the seasoning of God’s Word upon our minds while replacing it with something else.”

Thursday, April 20, 2017

3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church

3 Common Traits of Youth Who Don’t Leave the Church – “What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church? Here are just a few observations I have made about such kids, with a few applications for those of us serving in youth ministry.”

When It’s Hard to Believe

When It’s Hard to Believe – With “doubting Thomas” as an example: “Be patient and gracious with the skeptics in your life. Don’t assume their outward confidence accurately reflects their inward condition. Keep praying for them and share what seems helpful when it seems helpful.”

Does the Bible Prescribe Alcohol to the Depressed?

Does the Bible Prescribe Alcohol to the Depressed? – There are several key biblical principles to be considered from these Bible passages.

Do You Read Your Bible Like Your Newsfeed?

Do You Read Your Bible Like Your Newsfeed? – “Here are a few warning signs that you might be headed toward a Create-Your-Own-Bible adventure of sorts.”

Four Paradoxes Today’s Students Experience

Four Paradoxes Today’s Students Experience – “They’ve grown up with social media, a constant proliferation of information on a fully mobile internet, the rise of Islamic State and other forms of terrorism. As these teenagers approach adulthood, against the political backdrop of Brexit and President Trump, how will they shape the future?”

Fellowship with Godly People

Fellowship with Godly People – “An ember left alone will soon grow cold, but embers set close together will continue to glow, to burn brightly, and even to set others ablaze.”

How to Fight for Faith in the Dark: Three Lessons for Depression

How to Fight for Faith in the Dark: Three Lessons for Depression – “So if you’re depressed, how can you fight for faith? How can you believe while also stumbling through the dark? Here are some things that have helped me.”

We Need More Parlour Preachers

We Need More Parlour Preachers “For a host of reasons, we find ourselves negligent in the work of speaking of Christ and his gospel to others. This is not a new problem.” Here are some pointers for getting into Gospel conversations.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Doctrine of the New Earth Is Central to Our Future and Present Happiness

The Doctrine of the New Earth Is Central to Our Future and Present Happiness – “We normally think of going up to Heaven to live with God in His place. That’s what happens when believers die. But the ultimate promise is that God will come down to live with us in our place, on the New Earth.”

What Your Biology Teacher Didn’t Tell You About Charles Darwin

What Your Biology Teacher Didn’t Tell You About Charles Darwin – “Whatever your views on origins and evolution, we can hopefully all agree that, at present, we give far too much honor to the British thinker who justified genocide.”

Survey Reveals Many Evangelicals Are Confused About Adultery

Survey Reveals Many Evangelicals Are Confused About Adultery – “Before we can convey a biblical view of sexual ethics we may need to do explain the meaning of terms like adultery and the importance of basic concepts like fidelity.”

The Hottest Thing at Church

The Hottest Thing at Church“Despite a new wave of contemporary church buzzwords like relationalrelevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible.”

The Lesser Known Joseph

The Lesser Known Joseph – “Joseph of Arimathea had no idea what would result from his courageous act of worshipful love, and we don't have any idea either of what God will do in us and through us as we act in the courage of faith and with worshipful hearts of love.”

9 Ways to Miss the Point of Small Group

9 Ways to Miss the Point of Small Group – “Despite our best intentions, we get sidetracked and forget the goal. Sometimes, despite this goal, we’d rather pursue what’s easier and more comfortable for people—but this lacks transforming power to draw us nearer to God and each other.”

What Christianity Offers

What Christianity Offers – “We can lean heavily on Christ because we have something in Christianity that nothing else can offer.”

What to Do When God Isn’t Answering Your Prayers

What to Do When God Isn’t Answering Your Prayers – “So what do we do when we’re in the limbo of waiting? How do we keep moving forward? Here are three things to remember.”

God Does Not Answer "Selfie" Prayers

God Does Not Answer "Selfie" Prayers – “The ultimate reason why prayers are not answered is because prayers are not offered. Your holy desires will be fulfilled and the deeds prompted by your faith will not come to pass unless you take them to God in prayer. It happens after prayer!”

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Checking Our Compassion Gauges

Checking Our Compassion Gauges – “Compassion isn’t simply a feeling; rather, it is a feeling that prompts action. Yet, so often, I think we stop at the feeling.”

Spiritual Drafting and the Danger of Christian Complacency

Spiritual Drafting and the Danger of Christian Complacency “Drafting is a great strategy for racing. Drafting is a lousy strategy for Christian living. Yet I fear that many Christians allow themselves to fall into a form of spiritual drafting.”

On Family Worship and Failure

On Family Worship and Failure – Most important point: “It’s better to do 4 minutes of something than no minutes of nothing.”

What We Gained When We Lost Our Hymnals

What We Gained When We Lost Our Hymnals There is a link to the first article in this series (What We Lost...) as well as this installment. It’s an interesting discussion always.

6 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Prayer Life

6 Ways to Reinvigorate Your Prayer Life – “Every believer knows what it is like to struggle in his or her prayer life. You know you need to pray and feel guilty for not praying more, so you kneel down, fold your hands, close your eyes, and then have no idea what to say.”

Make Every Moment Count

Make Every Moment Count – “Phrases like these surround us, pushing and prodding us to squeeze the most out of every moment. Like a dangerous undertow, these thoughts have the power to drag us into the depths of worldliness, swept away by cultural tides and currents. When our hope rests in temporal pleasures and earthly gains, it naturally overflows into a life of self-centered living.”

Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews?

Who Wrote the Book of Hebrews? – Here are some ideas, evidences, and conclusions to an enduring mystery.

Why the Beatitudes Are Still So Revolutionary

Why the Beatitudes Are Still So Revolutionary – “On this hill, our Teacher announces that this Gospel is for all the losers, all the broken, all those who haven’t normally been included, but who are now included, because God is reordering the way things work and what the world looks like.”

Keeping Gossip Out of Prayer Requests

Keeping Gossip Out of Prayer Requests – “Here is a mental checklist I developed for managing prayer requests in a careful, godly manner. Before you pass on a request, make sure to check your facts, check your role, check your audience, and check your heart.”

Monday, April 17, 2017

The Mission Field Under My Roof

The Mission Field Under My Roof – “... set aside a couple of checkpoints throughout the year to evaluate how we are cultivating a sense of gospel mission in the lives of our children, our neighbors, and our extended community.”

The Historical Evidence

The Historical Evidence – “These abundant historical references leave us with little reasonable doubt that Jesus lived and died. The more interesting question – which goes beyond history and objective fact – is whether Jesus died and lived.”

Marriage Is Not the Mission

Marriage Is Not the Mission “I was commissioned with a higher mission than matrimony.”

He Is Not Dead

He Is Not Dead Seven Victories on Easter Sunday.

When Dying Feels Like Death

When Dying Feels Like Death Amy Gannett describes the pain of taking up your cross and following Jesus. The old parts of us that need to die are not easy to bury, but submission to God makes it possible.

Ron Blue on Two Lies We Can Believe About Giving

Ron Blue on Two Lies We Can Believe About Giving – “Two things can happen when Christians are confronted face to face with need and challenged to give.”

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Is Not Dead: Seven Victories on Easter Sunday

He Is Not Dead: Seven Victories on Easter Sunday – “Jesus is not dead. And when he rose from the grave, against all of Satan’s lies and schemes, he guaranteed for you the greatest realities in the world. Two thousand years later, the resurrection still preaches God’s relentless commitment to win every victory for you, including these seven for Easter Sunday.”

Easter Sunday: “The Lord Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!”

Easter Sunday: “The Lord Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!” – “Risen and reigning Lord Jesus, we join the Apostle Peter’s bold declaration of living hope and great joy. For you have risen from the dead, and this isn’t just a game changer; it’s an everything-changer.”

Rise, for the Lord is Risen!

Rise, for the Lord is Risen! – “Why should souls who are quickened with Jesus, wear the grave-clothes of worldliness and unbelief? Rise, for the Lord is risen.”

Follow the Women at the Tomb

Follow the Women at the Tomb – “The Advocate who’d defended Mary of Bethany after she’d broken open her expensive jar of perfume in worship, the Savior who’d cast the seven demons out of Mary Magdalene, had been arrested, crucified, and buried. And now, it was Sunday...” 

Death, Be Not Proud

Death, Be Not Proud – A poem by John Donne.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

One Painful and Beautiful Burial

One Painful and Beautiful Burial – “We don’t often think much about the hours after Jesus breathed his last breath on the cross. During Holy Week we focus on the events of Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, and rightly so. But what about the long, confusing hours between when Jesus died and rose?”

Resurrected Marriages

Resurrected Marriages – “Jesus IS alive, and wants to be invited into every marriage to work His miracles. Some marriages need a resurrection. Others need a just bit of help. God knows what you need.”

Waiting on Saturday for Sunday’s Redemption

Waiting on Saturday for Sunday’s Redemption – “In a sense, we all live Saturday lives. We mourn the brokenness of the world, yet we know God wins in the end. We have an astonishing hope beyond all we can think or imagine (Eph. 3:20). But today, in many ways, we’re waiting for the miracle, waiting for the resolution, waiting to see and understand the larger story.”

Saturday of Holy Week

Saturday of Holy Week – “The silence of Saturday would soon be shattered with the shouts of Sunday...”

6 Things Christ Does With Your Sin

6 Things Christ Does With Your Sin – These are good reminders on an Easter weekend.

Jesus, the Last Adam

Jesus, the Last Adam “What do the first man and Jesus Christ have in common? Well, the writers of the New Testament tell an exciting story for you, and for the whole world.”

Split Rocks, Open Tombs, Raised Bodies

Split Rocks, Open Tombs, Raised Bodies – “When Jesus let His spirit go (ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα) and died (Matthew 27:50), seven results were set in motion which Matthew mentions in seven clauses, introduced with seven “ands” (καὶ).”

The Most Important People in Your Church Are Not on Twitter

The Most Important People in Your Church Are Not on Twitter “This Sunday in church, look around you and notice the faithful, Christian lay people who make up the heart and soul of your church and whisper a prayer of gratitude for these saints who live on mission, not because they will become famous, but to make Jesus famous.”

The Best Worst Friday

The Best Worst Friday – “The same God who planned that the worst thing would be the best thing is your Father. He rules over every moment in your life, and in powerful grace, he is able to do for you just what he did in redemptive history.”

Friday, April 14, 2017

It's Friday... But Sunday's a Coming!

Why We Call the Worst Friday ‘Good’

Why We Call the Worst Friday ‘Good’ – “No suffering has ever been so unfitting. No human has ever been so unjustly treated, because no other human has ever been so worthy of praise.”

9 Things You Need to Know about the Resurrection

9 Things You Need to Know about the Resurrection Here are core things to remember about the resurrection.

An Easter Quiz

An Easter Quiz Here’s a short Easter quiz to see who well you know the story.

What Do You Do When You're In the Pit?

What Do You Do When You're In the Pit? – Psalm 40 highlights what David does when he needs Divine help.

Why I Believe the Bible

Why I Believe the Bible “I’ve put these five together as something of a quick reference notecard for why I believe the Bible. They can serve as a quick reference for personal evangelism or devotion. That is, they can help you to tell others why you believe the Bible while also reminding you (amid seasons of doubt) why you believe it.”

He Arose

What Are the Proofs for the Resurrection of Jesus?

Thursday, April 13, 2017

A Savior Stepped Forward

A Savior Stepped Forward – “He willingly stepped forward in love and authority to manifest his excellencies, that we might declare them in this life, and experience them perfectly in the next.”

Thursday of Holy Week: Maundy (Mandate) Thursday

Thursday of Holy Week: Maundy (Mandate) Thursday – “Lord Jesus, it’s the day of Holy Week we call today Maundy, or “Mandate” Thursday—a day crammed full of glory and overflowing with grace.”

The Missing Ingredient in Today’s Parenting Journey

The Missing Ingredient in Today’s Parenting Journey – “It has become clear that over the course of their kids’ childhood, parents experience various stages as they guide and lead their child. (For that matter, so do teachers). In each stage, their focus shifts. While the shifts are natural, they can lead to challenges in the relationship.”

Redeem Your Time

Redeem Your Time – “Time is the most precious commodity of all, for its supply is scarce and finite, and we all desire to have more of it than we are given.”

He Loves You Even More Than I Do

He Loves You Even More Than I Do – This is a helpful perspective on our parenting journey.

My Jesus, I Love You; Your Bride I Despise!

My Jesus, I Love You; Your Bride I Despise! “Professing love for Christ but little for the church makes about as much sense as saying you like me and want to spend time with me, but really can’t stand my wife and would prefer not to have her around.”

5 Reasons You Should Delight in Theology

5 Reasons You Should Delight in Theology – “Theology is the grammar of the Christian faith. We can’t avoid it. We can’t ignore it. And I think it can be mostly boiled down to five foundational concepts.”

Your Pain Is Preaching a Gospel

Your Pain Is Preaching a Gospel – “Our present suffering exists between these two kingdoms and our affliction will build one or the other. As we endure suffering, whatever form it takes, which gospel does our life proclaim?”

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Benjamin Franklin’s Misplaced Hope of Resurrection

Benjamin Franklin’s Misplaced Hope of Resurrection “Franklin died doubting that Christ Jesus is God the Son, much less trusting in Jesus as his Savior from sin and the source of eternal life. Any hope that Franklin ever entertained of being resurrected ‘in a new and more elegant edition’ by God did not materialize.”

You Are Not Your Pain

You Are Not Your Pain – “Perhaps our wounds have become so entangled with the identity we now claim that surrendering them would require also surrendering who we mistakenly believe ourselves to be.”

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap – “There is a gap—a space between the way life is and the way it should be. We notice the gap when we see something painfully wrong.”

Why Did God Kill Jesus?

Why Did God Kill Jesus? – “In short, God was pleased with His Son’s willingness to pay the price for the guilt of our sin.”

Praying for Families in Your Local Church

Praying for Families in Your Local Church “The Lord calls all believers to pray at all times in the Spirit … and to be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints (Eph 6.18). What a privilege. But it may appear to be daunting and a bit impossible to pray for everyone in your local church. Where do you begin? How do you start? What could be a helpful guide to aid you in praying for your local church?” Here are some suggestions.

Don't Skim the ‘Minor’ Bible Stories

Don't Skim the ‘Minor’ Bible Stories – “When we read our Bibles, it's tempting to linger over the big stories and hurry past the minor ones.”

Three Steps to Develop Grit

Three Steps to Develop Grit – “Grit” seems to be missing in our modern culture and particularly with the young. “Here are three simple steps to develop grit and become more mentally strong.”

Dads, Be Tender With Your Children

Dads, Be Tender With Your Children “Dads, be tender with your kids. Yes, discipline them. Set boundaries and rules and set up consequences and stick to them.  Care enough to hold them to high standards. My dad did all of these things. But, don’t lose your tenderness toward your silly, awkward, messed up, mixed up, attitude-ridden kids. They need to see the love of Christ demonstrated through your tender daddy heart.”

Have You Felt Forsaken by God?

Have You Felt Forsaken by God? – “Out of the most crushing pain and terrible despair, God was bringing glorious triumph.” He still does.

The Gospel’s Compelling Uniqueness

The Gospel’s Compelling Uniqueness – “The safe Jesus of modern evangelicalism is not offensive, but neither is He very compelling.”

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Why Do We Read the Bible?

Why Do We Read the Bible? – “As much as reading the Bible is an intellectual exercise, gaining knowledge shouldn’t be the main reason we read it. Instead, one of the main reasons we are to read the Bible is so that we can live according to God’s will and bring Him glory.”

Yes, You Can Know God’s Will for Your Life

Yes, You Can Know God’s Will for Your Life – “Just remember God wants to speak to you and these five steps are simply helping to position you to hear His Voice in your daily life.”

Tuesday of Holy Week

Tuesday of Holy Week – “Lord Jesus, long before the Day you’ll wipe away our tears, you wept many of your own—so great was your heartache and passion. The tears you shed coming into an unbelieving and rebellious Jerusalem, underscore the mercy and magnificence of these words from the Apostle Paul...”

Lies at the Heart of Addiction

Lies at the Heart of Addiction – “It doesn’t matter what kind of addiction it is—drink, drugs, food, gambling, porn, spending, tanning, people-pleasing, people-critiquing, control, digital technology, etc.—lies are at the heart of them all.”

You Are Welcome Here

You Are Welcome Here – “This Easter week, let’s remember one of the great gifts that comes to us from the cross: true community that tells the glory of God.”

3 Transforming Truths About Your Work

3 Transforming Truths About Your Work – “The good news is that the Bible speaks a great deal not only about our worship on Sunday but also about our work on Monday. From Genesis to Revelation, three transforming truths emerge that help us close the Sunday-to-Monday gap.”

10 Ugly Numbers Describing Pornography Use in 2017

10 Ugly Numbers Describing Pornography Use in 2017 – “ We all know that the world has become pornified, that the internet has made available to all of us an entire universe of pornographic content. Yet many of the statistics we rely on and commonly quote have become outdated. As technology changes and as new generations grow up, the pornographic landscape inevitably changes. I went looking for updated numbers and want to present some of them to you today. All of these are based on credible studies carried out in 2016 or 2017.”

The Beauty of Spiritual Struggle

The Beauty of Spiritual Struggle – “In North America, we have been trained to assume that if a process does not come easily to us, there must be something wrong...When we apply this mindset to Christianity, we start to assume that if the Christian life ever seems hard, there must be a problem.”

What the Cross Means When You’re Feeling Crushed

What the Cross Means When You’re Feeling Crushed – “Pain and suffering were never meant to be a part of our everyday experience and so they feel wrong; but, because sin entered the world, it is part of normal life to feel, from time to time or all the time, ‘afflicted in every way,’ just as Paul described to the Corinthian church.”

God Died on the Cross

God Died on the CrossIs it right to say “God died on the cross?” Here is a theological, biblical answer.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter Week in Real Time

Easter Week in Real Time – “As we enter Holy Week—that sacred span from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday—here is a day-by-day breakdown of what Scripture tells us happened on each day.”

The Cast of Characters

The Cast of Characters Justin Taylor has a guide to the cast of characters who play a role in Jesus’s final week.

Anxiety: My Thorn in My Flesh

Anxiety: My Thorn in My Flesh – Here’s an excellent, practical article on anxiety and depression.

The FAQs: Islamic State Bombs Two Egyptian Churches on Palm Sunday

The FAQs: Islamic State Bombs Two Egyptian Churches on Palm Sunday – “Two bombings occurred during Palm Sunday services in Coptic churches in Egypt yesterday. The blasts killed 47 and injured about 100 others.”

The War on Christians in the Middle East

The War on Christians in the Middle East “In effect, the world is witnessing the rise of an entire new generation of Christian martyrs. The carnage is occurring on such a vast scale that it represents not only the most dramatic Christian story of our time, but arguably the premier human rights challenge of this era as well.”

Just Give Me Jesus

Just Give Me Jesus – “A closer look at Christians who don't go to church. Barna examines the ranks of 'spiritual but not religious' Americans.”

Ponder the Brevity of Life

Ponder the Brevity of Life – “Life is fragile and fleeting. We are mortal people living in weak bodies and facing a perilous journey through time.”

War of Words in Marriage

War of Words in Marriage – “There are wars going on, and they aren’t just happening out in the world. There are also wars that are going on in many, many marriages...a destructive war of words.”