A Message for Young Men

Somewhere out there in the great, wide world, someone is praying for you. He probably doesn’t know you and you probably don’t know him. You may not meet one another for many more years. But he’s praying for you nonetheless and has been for a very long time. He is the father of a daughter. He is the proud father of a daughter who is very precious to him—more precious than anything he owns, more precious than anything he has …

When the Battlefield Goes Quiet

There are a number of childhood vacations that stand out in my mind, but none quite as clearly as our family trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I may have been 10 or 12 at the time and was a young enthusiast of all things military. I knew little of the Civil War, but did know that Gettysburg represented a turning point in the conflict, that the battle fought here had changed the course of the war and the course of American …

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You Just Can’t Have It All

Charles Spurgeon said it. Billy Graham said it. And even though it’s not really all that funny anymore, most of us have probably said it as well. It goes something like this: “Don’t bother looking for the perfect church since, the moment you join it, it won’t be perfect anymore.” Zing! There’s truth behind the quote, of course. It would be impractical and, frankly, ridiculous to expect that a bunch of sinful people could join together to create a sinless …

What Does It Mean To Trust God in Our Trials?

What does it mean to have faith? What does it mean to believe in God’s promises? What does it mean to have confidence that God is who he says he is and that God will do what he says he will do? What is the nature of that faith, that belief, that confidence? There are times during this long and wearying pilgrimage when we undergo severe tests of our faith—tests that are often related to our losses and bereavements. Even …

Don’t Be Reckless With What Others Count Precious

There are few blessings richer than having a good name, and few honors greater than having an upright reputation. “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,” says Solomon, and “a good reputation is more valuable than costly perfume.”1 That being the case, it falls to us to tend to names carefully, to respect what others hold most dear. We might justify carelessness with another man’s trifles and trinkets, but most certainly not with his good name. …

All Will Be Well

The young boy had a privileged upbringing and spent his childhood on a fine estate that boasted a large and carefully-tended garden with bright flowers, cobbled paths, high walls, trimmed lawns. He spent hours of every day playing in this garden, exploring it, and delighting in its many wonders. But there was one part where he never ventured to go. At the very end of the garden stood a grove of trees that grew tall and full and cast dark …

The Squiggly Line of God’s Providence

Even in our sorest trials we have the highest confidence: all things work for good. Even in our darkest valleys we have the brightest light: all things work for good. Even in our lowest moments, our hardest days, our most difficult circumstances, this precious promise blesses us, sustains us, gives us hope: all things work for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose. As Christians we know that God’s sovereign hand draws a line …

A Heart That Is Free, A Step That Is Light

The great general had led his troops to a hard-fought but resounding triumph on the field of battle. With the enemy army now vanquished and scattered, he rallied his regiments to press on toward the capital where they would secure the final victory. And though the men marched briskly, he urged them to still greater speed. In their haste, they began to toss aside whatever was superfluous, whatever was redundant, whatever was unnecessary. Soon the road was littered with all …

Never Forget Where You Came From

I was once told of a man who, over the course of his life, had risen from poverty to riches. He had grown up in the most difficult of circumstances, in a setting in which his parents could barely provide for even his most basic needs. But as he came into adulthood, he proved to be a man of unusual talent and founded a business that eventually thrived and made him exceptionally wealthy. And while this man was willing to …

The Way I’ll Be Reading the Bible in 2022

Speaking broadly, there are two approaches to daily Bible-reading: reading for intimacy or reading for familiarity. Intimacy with the Bible comes by slow, meditative reading that focuses on small portions—deep study of books, chapters, and verses. Familiarity with the Bible comes through faster reading of larger portions—the entire sweep of the biblical narrative. Both are perfectly good approaches to the Bible and Christians thrive on a healthy mixture of the two. There is great benefit in knowing the Bible as …