Lake Atitlan

Lake Atitlan

Sunday, November 19, 2017

How (Not) to Stay Lukewarm

How (Not) to Stay Lukewarm – “Comparing my faith with others around me (including non-Christians) was the easiest way, as C.S. Lewis says, to travel down the gentle slope into hell.”

A Thanksgiving Focus on Marriage

A Thanksgiving Focus on MarriageEven in the toughest of situations we can focus that, for which we can be thankful. And if we don’t, we, and our marriages suffer. That’s why we will be taking a Thanksgiving focus on marriage.”

Jesus’ Victory Over Death: Joy in Our Tears, Hope in Our Loss

Jesus’ Victory Over Death: Joy in Our Tears, Hope in Our Loss – Here’s a description of the hope we have in a world that needs the hope of Christ.

What to Do with Dumb Questions

What to Do with Dumb Questions – The Bible describes both foolish and wise questions. Some need to be asked and some need to be answered. Other questions need to be ignored.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Early Christians Were Odd, Too

The Early Christians Were Odd, Too – “When Christians feel isolated and alone, it’s helpful to remember this experience is nothing new for God’s people.”

4 Ways to Break Down Social Barriers

4 Ways to Break Down Social Barriers“Here are four small things we can do to help break down barriers and smudge away dividing lines.”

Every Day Might Be His Last: Drinking from God in the Drought of Suffering

Every Day Might Be His Last: Drinking from God in the Drought of Suffering – “Whether it comes as chronic illness, disability, death, or any of a million other forms, suffering is like scorching heat to the soul. It threatens to turn once-fruitful faith into a wilted husk. But in my own suffering, God’s word has taught me that the heat of hardship can also drive me deeper into the all-sufficient, refreshing grace of God.”

Friday, November 17, 2017

How Southern Baptists Trained More Disaster Relief Volunteers than the Red Cross

How Southern Baptists Trained More Disaster Relief Volunteers than the Red Cross – “The Southern Baptist Convention’s disaster response is so massive it financially trails only the Red Cross and the Salvation Army—and has more trained disaster relief volunteers than either one.”

Baptism: a Step of Obedience and a Public Profession

Baptism: a Step of Obedience and a Public Profession – “Christian baptism is a public profession of faith in Christ. A draft pick doesn’t hide his affiliation with his new team; rather, he proudly puts on the jersey for all to see.” 

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman

Becoming a Titus 2 Woman – “Titus 2:4 calls older women to ‘train the young women’ and gives examples of some practical lessons young women need to learn. To train means to show or to demonstrate. Paul describes this kind of discipleship in 1 Thessalonians 2:7–8:”

The Blessing of a Bad Reputation

The Blessing of a Bad Reputation – “How important to you is people’s approval? How important to you is faithfully obeying God? Sometimes we’re forced to sacrifice one in order to have or do the other.”

The Greatest Offense of Indulgences

The Greatest Offense of Indulgences “Where is your theological line in the sand? As a Christian, how much of an assault on God’s character or His gospel can you endure before your righteous indignation rises up in response? And when that threshold has been reached, are you able to channel that passion in a way that honors God and furthers His gospel?” 

3 Conscience Cases Before the Supreme Court

3 Conscience Cases Before the Supreme Court – “The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear three cases that may determine whether citizens who hold traditional religious beliefs regarding marriage and human sexuality will be allowed to live according to their religious consciences.”

How Do I Glorify God in My Job?

How Do I Glorify God in My Job?“Everything we do, from morning till night, is to be done in a Godward way, in reliance on his grace.”

Dear Mormon—I Can’t Call You a Brother in Christ

Dear Mormon—I Can’t Call You a Brother in Christ – “How can we determine if Mormonism is Christian or cult?  Based on foundational doctrinal evidence—I can’t embrace Mormons as fellow Christians.”

Doing Spiritual Warfare Without All The Weirdness

Doing Spiritual Warfare Without All The Weirdness – “So what’s the deal with spiritual warfare? How do we wage war effectively without being weird or hyper-spiritual?”

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

5 Ways to Stay Close to God During the Busy Holiday Season

5 Ways to Stay Close to God During the Busy Holiday Season – God can get lost in the season. Here are some helpful suggestions to keep Him central.

There is No "Just" in the Body of Christ

There is No "Just" in the Body of Christ – This was an encouraging story in considering what it means to serve the Lord.

God Has a Purpose in Your Disappointment

God Has a Purpose in Your Disappointment – “Hope deferred makes the heart sick,” says King Solomon.

Where are the Men in the Church?

Where are the Men in the Church? – The church is in great need of awakening and renewal. Richard Baxter said it well, “Its greatest need might well be godly men.”

And So-And-So Begat So-And-So

And So-And-So Begat So-And-SoHere’s some counsel on leading family devotions through those long “begats” passages.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

5 Things to Remember When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered

5 Things to Remember When Your Prayers Seem Unanswered – Sometimes it feels like God has forgotten us. In those times, these are good reminders.

Comfort from Psalm 18

Comfort from Psalm 18 – “From David’s song of deliverance we learn much about the powerful protection and faithfulness of God.”

How to Be Busy but in Balance

How to Be Busy but in Balance – “Work is good; too much good can be bad.”

The Day of Wiped Tears and No Death

The Day of Wiped Tears and No Death – “Most sovereign, caring, and compassionate Lord Jesus. Certain days intensify our ache for the Day of no more death. Today is one of those days...”

My Biggest Mistake as a Mother

My Biggest Mistake as a Mother – “I should have trusted God more.”

Beware of These 7 Gospel-Distortions

Beware of These 7 Gospel-Distortions – “Here are seven gospel-distortions we should be aware of ...”

Why You Should Stop Pretending You'll Live Forever

Why You Should Stop Pretending You'll Live Forever  - “Ecclesiastes has much to teach about life and death. David Gibson writes that the message of this book shows us how to live even though we will be forgotten.”

Jesus Is Not Your American Patriot

Jesus Is Not Your American Patriot – “It conflates religion and politics, yielding a false god made in America’s image.”

Why I Welcome Persecution

Why I Welcome Persecution – “I am unsure of what the future holds, but if there is impending persecution, and I assume sooner or later there will be, I welcome it. Anyone reading this may wonder why. Let me give a few Biblical reasons:”

Monday, November 13, 2017

Why Does Gossip Feel So Good?

Why Does Gossip Feel So Good?“I think this is why gossip is so delicious, why it tastes so good. It’s because it feeds pride.”


A Quiet Paranoia Haunts Post-Weinstein Hollywood

A Quiet Paranoia Haunts Post-Weinstein Hollywood“Week five of the great reckoning and Hollywood is frightened and lost, drifting deeper into uncharted waters with no script, no direction and no sense how it will end.”

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Can the Word of God Really Ease My Pain?

Can the Word of God Really Ease My Pain? – “Without God’s word, I would start interpreting life on my own. By my experiences. My feelings. My finite perspective.”

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Be a Refreshing Kind of Friend

Be a Refreshing Kind of Friend – “May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me” (2 Timothy 1:16–17).

Some Thoughts on Thoughts and Prayers

Some Thoughts on Thoughts and Prayers – “As Christians, we may not believe that prayer is everything, but we do believe it is of the utmost importance. We should note four things concerning prayer and action.”

How Jesus Frees Us From Living in Shame

How Jesus Frees Us From Living in Shame – “Shame is not yours to carry or walk in because it was removed when you were reconciled to God through Jesus Christ.”

Behold the Free-Speech Hypocrisy of the Corporate Left

Behold the Free-Speech Hypocrisy of the Corporate Left “Apple’s actual corporate philosophy can summed up in eight words: Free speech for me, but not for thee.” 

10 Things to Pray Before Church

10 Things to Pray Before Church - Fodder for preparing your heart for worship in prayer.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Don’t Be That Guy: Thirty No’s in Paul’s Letters

Don’t Be That Guy: Thirty No’s in Paul’s Letters – “Paul tells us ‘don’t be’certain people. Don’t be this guy; be that guy. Don’t be this gal; be that gal. And every time he tells us what not to be, he’s also pointing us to what we should be, based on who we are in Christ.”

How to Pray Like Jesus

How to Pray Like Jesus – “God is teaching you to pray for the glory of God.”

14 Billy Graham Quotes That Helped Shape American Christianity

14 Billy Graham Quotes That Helped Shape American Christianity“This week, the evangelist celebrated his 98th birthday. In honor of the event, here are a few of his most memorable quotes.”

Give All Glory to the Triune God

Give All Glory to the Triune God – Here are some great reasons to worship the Lord from Ephesians 1:3-14 is the longest, single sentence in the Greek New Testament.

6 Ways to Fight for Purity in a Hyper-Sexualized World

6 Ways to Fight for Purity in a Hyper-Sexualized World – No one is immune to falling into sexual sin. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

I Want My Kids to Be Good

I Want My Kids to Be Good – “I can teach biblical values. I can pray for them to resist temptation and pursue righteousness. But I know they will sin. And that scares me because I understand how lousy sin tastes and how addictive it is. I know because I haven’t been able to stop sinning, and I never will this side of heaven.”

6 Things to Remember When You’re Struggling with Anxiety

6 Things to Remember When You’re Struggling with Anxiety – “Anxiety is a monster. It can cripple you or make you act in ways that you would never otherwise act. It causes you to believe the most incredible of lies, and can even keep you from the things you care about the most.”

Uncovering Treasures in Paul’s Shortest Letter

Uncovering Treasures in Paul’s Shortest Letter – “Paul addressed the letter not only to Philemon, but also to Apphia (probably Philemon’s wife), Archippus (probably Philemon’s son), and the entire house church. It’s a powerful scene to picture: Philemon reading the letter aloud in Onesimus’s presence.”

The Worst Job Description Ever

The Worst Job Description Ever – “What about outside of the workplace, in your Christian life? Has God ever asked you to do something that you dreaded? Or, is there one thing lurking that if God asked you to do, you would be inclined to say no and run far away?”

Important Insights about Sacred Cows Gleaned from the Golden Calf

Important Insights about Sacred Cows Gleaned from the Golden Calf  - “The narrative of the Golden Calf provides at least eight insights about sacred cows.”

Deranged, Depraved, or Dejected?

Deranged, Depraved, or Dejected?“In the wake of yet another tragic mass shooting, this time affecting another church, we’re called to reflect again about how to process these events. Many writers have discussed how to grieve, heal, and avoid living in fear following heartbreaking tragedies. Today I want to advocate for a marginalized group often indirectly hurt by the public response to these events: those who struggle with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress, and other emotional difficulties.”

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

3 Obstacles to Weeping with Those Who Weep

3 Obstacles to Weeping with Those Who Weep – “It might be helpful, then, to think about what stands in the way of obeying the command to weep with those who are weeping. Here are three of those obstacles.”

Preaching the Psalms to Ourselves

Preaching the Psalms to Ourselves – “Preach the Psalms to yourself. As you do, your confidence in the Lord will soar. The result? Your knowledge of Him will grow and you will respond in worship and right living before the Lord. Open your Bible to the Psalms and begin today, preaching the Psalms to yourselves.”

Jesus Isn’t Your Insurance Policy

Jesus Isn’t Your Insurance Policy“Saving faith is receiving Jesus for the treasure he is, not just as health insurance or fire insurance.”

So What If 8 Out of 10 Unchurched People Are Willing to Talk About Faith?

So What If 8 Out of 10 Unchurched People Are Willing to Talk About Faith? – I have found this to be so true. Start each week with this encouragement to show and share the love of Jesus.

3 Tips for Coping with Today’s Biggest Threat to Mental Health

3 Tips for Coping with Today’s Biggest Threat to Mental Health – “Research also shows that loneliness and social isolation are major contributors to addiction and other psychiatric disorders, recovery from which, we now know, largely entails supportive relationships of love and connection.”

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Acquainted with Grief: How God Draws Near to Sutherland Springs

Acquainted with Grief: How God Draws Near to Sutherland Springs – “What kind of Savior do we need when our hearts are shredded by brutal loss? We need a suffering Savior. We need a Savior who has tasted the cup of horror we are being forced to drink. And that is how he came. He knew what this world needed.” 

Why Church Shootings Don’t Intimidate the Church – “The reason was that the church came to conclude, in the midst of the violence, that death is not the endpoint.”

Why Church Shootings Don’t Intimidate the Church – “The reason was that the church came to conclude, in the midst of the violence, that death is not the endpoint.”

Tragedy in Texas: Christian Testimony in the Face of Evil – Christians have learned that sometimes we have to wait for an answer, and sometimes that wait goes beyond any answer we can get in this life. Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher of the 19th century in London stated this beautifully: “When we cannot trace God’s hand, we are simply to trust his heart.”

Tragedy in Texas: Christian Testimony in the Face of Evil – Christians have learned that sometimes we have to wait for an answer, and sometimes that wait goes beyond any answer we can get in this life. Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher of the 19th century in London stated this beautifully: “When we cannot trace God’s hand, we are simply to trust his heart.”

Another Shooting, This Time in a Church. How Should We Respond?

Another Shooting, This Time in a Church. How Should We Respond? – “We don't have answers; Christ offers hope and grace and peace.”

‘I don’t understand, but I know my God does’

‘I don’t understand, but I know my God does’ – Pastor Frank Pomeroy lost his teenage daughter and much of his congregation. When asked how to make sense of the tragedy, he said, “I don’t understand, but I know my God does.”

Desperate Is Normal: A Field Manual for Overwhelming Anxiety

Desperate Is Normal: A Field Manual for Overwhelming Anxiety – “The Bible is a field manual for the normal, embattled, desperate Christian life. God has mercifully packed it not only with examples and teaching, but also with songs and prayers for our trials. And we need songs and prayers to provide us words for the chaos, when anxiety and confusion fragment our thoughts. Psalm 27 is that kind of song.”

How to Stop Flirting with Sin

How to Stop Flirting with Sin – “Almost by accident, we can fall into a gospel that’s heavy on encouraging one another in God’s forgiveness and grace and mercy, but woefully light on warning one another of the dangers of diving headlong into sin.”

10 Things You Should Know about the Intermediate State

10 Things You Should Know about the Intermediate State“So what happens when a Christian dies? The simple answer is that he/she enters immediately into what theologians call the intermediate state.”

Monday, November 6, 2017

We Are First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas

We Are First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas – “We are your brothers and sisters in Christ. We pray for you. We care for you. We love you.”

Something to Hate

Something to Hate – “While hate is a strong word, it is a necessary word. It is necessary to speak the truth about what is evil. We need to use it to think about, talk about, and act against sin. In doing so, it will help us see sin for what it is: an affront against a holy, perfect, and righteous God.” 

How Common Are Church Shootings?

How Common Are Church Shootings? – “The appropriate response to the news is to grieve. We should mourn the loss of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and weep with their loved ones. We can also soberly reflect on the fact that it could have been of us who were directly and intimately affected by the massacre. What we should not do, however, is let this act of terror cause us to be afraid of gathering with our fellow believers in worship. While it may be tempting to give in to the fear, we should recognize that church shootings are extremely rare events.”

3 Things Those Created in God's Image Should Do Every Day

3 Things Those Created in God's Image Should Do Every Day – Here are three daily things we should do in response to the truth of Genesis 1:26.

The Research Proves The No. 1 Social Justice Imperative Is Marriage

The Research Proves The No. 1 Social Justice Imperative Is Marriage – “A consistent and irrefutable mountain of research has shown, reaching back to the 1970s and beyond, that marriage strongly boosts every important measure of well-being for children, women, and men.” 

The Revisionist History of the Gospel

The Revisionist History of the Gospel – “Do you ever get the sense from any of the Gospel accounts of Jesus' calling his disciples that he is looking for the cream of the crop? Does it appear as if Jesus is making a bee-line for the seminaries and the synagogues to find the A-list ministry studs?”

Sunday, November 5, 2017

How to Respond and Pray in the Midst of Crises

How to Respond and Pray in the Midst of Crises – In light of the tragedy at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, I was reminded of this article. It doesn’t answer all the questions we have, but it gives biblical direction in the storm we feel.

Parenting in the Midst of Tragedy

Parenting in the Midst of Tragedy – As we continue to pray for all those affected by the tragedy at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, we may need help parenting our own children as they try to process such events. Here are some suggestions.

Hungry and Hungover: How Our Emptiness Tells the Truth

Hungry and Hungover: How Our Emptiness Tells the Truth – This article is appropriate for a day we talk about prayer and fasting.

The Martyr’s Oath, an Interview with Johnnie Moore on the Persecuted Church

The Martyr’s Oath, an Interview with Johnnie Moore on the Persecuted ChurchThe persecuted church calls the free church to live for the Jesus they are willing to die for.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

What If Tomorrow Is Even Harder Than Today?

What If Tomorrow Is Even Harder Than Today? – “The question goes something like this: If tomorrow is as difficult as today, or is even harder than today, how will I go on? Maybe you have felt the weight of that kind of despair.”

Favorite Marriage Advice

Favorite Marriage Advice – Here are several good words of advice on marriage. 

The Relationship Between Sin and Work

The Relationship Between Sin and Work“In short, the world has been cursed by the fall of Adam into sin. Interestingly, Adam’s sin involved a failure in his work. Called to exercise dominion over the other creatures, he instead permitted himself and Eve to be ruled by the crafty serpent.”

Let’s Cast a Vision for Mere Sexuality

Let’s Cast a Vision for Mere Sexuality – “‘We speak a language that the world more and more either cannot hear or finds offensive to its ears.’ Nowhere is this more the case than when we speak about the biblical and historic Christian vision of sexuality—what I call “mere sexuality.” 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Not Neglecting the Important for the Urgent

Not Neglecting the Important for the Urgent – Tasks may be urgent, but people are important. 

4 Lessons for Christians from the Harvey Weinstein Scandal

4 Lessons for Christians from the Harvey Weinstein Scandal – Here are things for believers to consider as the news continues to tell more dark stories.

Praying For More Reformation

Praying For More Reformation“As we celebrate the 500th anniversary of Luther’s theses sparking the Reformation, perhaps the most reformed thing we could do would be to give ourselves to prayer. So much of the world still lives in darkness. And among those who claim faith in Jesus, so many still live within the bondage of a moralistic, works-based theology. The need for light-after-darkness hasn’t gone away.”

Whatever Is Lovely: How to Overcome Demanding Thoughts

Whatever Is Lovely: How to Overcome Demanding Thoughts – “And what our emotions point to are our underlying beliefs. What we believe is what feeds our thoughts — the thoughts that really matter to us and guide how we live.”

Free to Love

Free to Love – “What is love? And how do we love others?”

My Struggle to Smash the Food Idol

My Struggle to Smash the Food Idol – “At the root of my food problems are heart issues that can’t be diagnosed or excused by a doctor.”

Thursday, November 2, 2017

3 Ways We Declare Independence from God – “Even if it’s unintentional, here are three ways you might be sending God the message you don’t need Him.”

3 Ways We Declare Independence from God – “Even if it’s unintentional, here are three ways you might be sending God the message you don’t need Him.”

10 Practical Suggestions for People who are Lonely

10 Practical Suggestions for People who are Lonely – “What practical suggestions could help us in our loneliness and that we can give to those who are recovering from loneliness?” 

Must Every Christian Be a Member of a Local Church?

Must Every Christian Be a Member of a Local Church? (Video)In this video Brian Davis argues that it is completely foreign to the Bible for a Christian not to want to be a part of a local church.

Chasing Contentment

Chasing Contentment – “In short, don’t chase contentment. Come to Jesus and contentment gets thrown in.”

Stressed to the Max: How Do You Know if You’re Too Stressed?

Stressed to the Max: How Do You Know if You’re Too Stressed? –  Why did Sharon rejoice when she put her smartphone through the washing machine?

Jesus Calling: How Well Are You Listening?

Jesus Calling: How Well Are You Listening? – “Listening to Jesus is vital to the Christian life. Discipleship demands non-selective hearing from Jesus. I’ve never heard his voice with my ears, but the risen Christ does speak to me: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). He speaks via the Scriptures.”

10 Things to Know About Sleep

10 Things to Know About Sleep – You probably don’t want to know this, but you should. – You probably don’t want to know this, but you should.

Five Steps For Getting Unstuck With Difficult Bible Passages

Five Steps For Getting Unstuck With Difficult Bible Passages “Have you ever just hit a brick wall in trying to understand something in the Bible? Me too. Here’s some things to do when you get stuck.”

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Words of Hope for the Wounded and Weary

Words of Hope for the Wounded and Weary – “Because of Christ’s work on the cross, you can rest in the promise that He will always be enough.”

He Suffers With Us

He Suffers With Us – “Though you and I may never die for following Christ, it is certain that each of us will face suffering and heartaches in this life. But we are not alone. Jesus suffered for us, He suffers with us, and our brothers and sisters throughout the world suffer alongside us as we follow our suffering Savior.”

You Cannot Guarantee Your Child’s Godliness

You Cannot Guarantee Your Child’s Godliness – “If Christian parents could choose to control one thing about our child’s future, we all would choose the same thing, wouldn’t we? Across every nation, every culture, in any generation, one thing rises highest on the prayer list of any Christian parent, dwarfing every other request we might make for our precious son or daughter: we want them to know, obey, and enjoy Jesus.”

15 Theses Against The Prosperity Church

15 Theses Against The Prosperity Church – The prosperity “gospel” needs to continue to be exposed for what it is and what it is not.

What is Sola Scriptura Protecting Us Against?

What is Sola Scriptura Protecting Us Against?  - “At the heart of Sola Scriptura, is the recognition that fallen humans have a problem with authority.  Indeed, fallen humans are always looking to replace God’s authority with some other human/creaturely authority.  After all, that was the essence of the very first sin in the garden.”