Why I Owe Everything To Don Lewis

Last week brought the news that Don Lewis has died—Dr. Donald Munro Lewis, professor of church history at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. He is remembered there with great affection not only as a skilled teacher of church history, but as a spiritual companion to many, a faithful mentor, and a man who was committed to prayer. And though I met Don only a handful of times, and though we were only infrequent correspondents, I owe him pretty much …

If Just One Person Returned

Amelia Taylor had joined her son as he traveled to the great seaport of Liverpool. Hudson was about to make the long journey to a far-off mission field and she wanted to be with him to the final moment, to pray for him one last time, to see him depart for the great work God had called him to. He never forgot that day. His mother came aboard the ship with him, entered his cabin, and smoothed the little bunk. …

Become a Patron

Extending the Borders and Enlarging the Territory

The Israelites had sojourned in the wilderness until the last of an entire rebellious generation had died and been buried. They had walked to the banks of the Jordan and had seen its waters before them. They had crossed the river and entered the Promised Land. And now the true work and the true challenge would begin. Though God had promised that this people would inherit this land, and though he had promised that it would be their possession, he …

Longing for What’s Second Best

We often overestimate our wisdom. We often overestimate our capacity to rightly assess any given situation. We often overestimate our ability to know what would be best for ourselves and those we love. We are nothing if not self-focused, nothing if not self-reliant, nothing if not self-assured. Of course we know that, in theory, we are limited little creatures whose knowledge is small and whose understanding is minimal. But this rarely stops us from acting as if we know far …

How We Worshipped on One Acapella Sunday In October

Every now and again I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this simply to provide an example of how one church structures our time of worship, hoping it will prove a helpful resource to others. This service’s cast of characters included Paul as the preacher, service leader, and lead worshipper. Tristan served as the elder who led the pastoral prayer and Scripture reading and John, an intern, handled some …

Why Domestic Abuse Is So Very Evil

There are few churches that have no members who bear painful scars related to domestic abuse. There are few churches where pastors and members are not at times called upon to respond well and wisely to troubling allegations and sorrowful situations. In their book When Home Hurts, Jeremy Pierre and Greg Wilson provide guidance for such times and, as they do so, explain why domestic abuse is so very evil. I, for one, found it very helpful. “Abuse occurs,” they …

My Own Little Paradise in an Ocean of Ugliness

There are few things I love more than a good sunrise. There are few things I love more than waking up before dawn, driving to one of the parks or beaches along the shores of Lake Ontario, and watching the sun rise over the waters. Some of the richest and most beautiful displays of God’s artistry are painted across the sky in those few moments just before and just after the sun rises beyond the far horizon. It never fails …

10 New and Notable Christian Books for September 2021

As we head toward gift-giving season, publishers are turning up their presses and releasing quite a number of key books. Most of the noteworthy releases from September have already landed in my mailbox and, after looking through them, I have narrowed my list of new and notables to these 10. In each case I’ve included the editorial description. I hope there is something here that you’ll enjoy reading! The Right Kind of Confident: The Remarkable Grit of a God-Fearing Woman …

The Tale of the Pig and the Sheep

As I followed a country trail that winds its way across the vast expanse of Southern Ontario, I came to a river crossing and sat in the shade for a time to rest and to catch my bearings. A man soon happened by and, after we exchanged polite greetings, he told a curious tale. He explained that he owns a nearby farm and that one of his sheep and one of his pigs had recently escaped. Together they had found …

Thank You, God, That I Am Not Like Other Men

Comparison comes as naturally to us as eating, breathing, laughing, weeping. From our youngest days we begin to compare ourselves to others and quickly find the old adage to be true: Comparison is the enemy of joy. Though we so readily compare ourselves with others, we discover that this fosters a deep unhappiness. What promises joy actually delivers misery. The reason is that comparison is intrinsically competitive, so that we don’t really want to be merely pretty, but prettier than …