Where Did All This Pentecostalism Come From?

It is impossible to consider the modern history or contemporary state of Christianity without accounting for the sudden rise, the explosive spread, and the worldwide impact of Pentecostalism. To that end, I’ve been reading several books on the subject, focused especially on the Azusa Street Revival, which most historians consider the setting in which Pentecostalism began. Here are a few key points I’ve learned about the Azusa Street Revival and the Azusa Street Mission that housed it. Its roots were …

What Has the Lord Been Teaching You From His Word?

Earlier in the week, eager to be encouraged, I put this question out to Twitter: What has the Lord been teaching you from his Word recently? The responses were quick, plentiful, and encouraging. Here are a few of them. (Click here to read them all.) I've been meditating on the Good Samaritan, and I'm learning that loving our enemies isn't merely the same as not "repaying evil for evil", it means returning love for evil. It's been quite convicting. — …

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Why You Shouldn’t Stop Blogging (or Why You Should Consider Starting)

I have said a few times and in a few ways that I’m concerned about what seems to be a growing trend: Bloggers are shuttering their blogs and instead submitting articles to the major ministry sites. If they aren’t shuttering their blogs altogether, they are writing on them less or using them primarily as a kind of resume to link to the material they’ve written elsewhere. Please hear me: I appreciate those major ministries, I enjoy reading their sites, and …

What Amy Carmichael Hung on Her Wall

I spent a good portion of last year scouring the world for objects of historical importance. I read histories and biographies before I left so they could shape the direction of my travels. I read histories and biographies after I returned so they could interpret what I had seen and experienced. Here’s one case where it all came together just perfectly. Before I embarked on my journeys to Ireland and India I read biographies of Amy Carmichael, so I knew …

What’s Encouraging You at Your Church?

A couple of days ago I was eager for some encouragement, so put the question out to Twitter: What’s something encouraging you’ve seen in your church over the past few months? The answers were a blessing to me! And, just so you can be encouraged as well, I thought I’d share some of them with you. Here’s how the Lord is at work in churches around the world… (If you receive this via the email newsletter, you may need to …

Three Kinds of Blog (and the Future of Christian Blogging)

Near the end of 2018 I went through the long list of blogs I’ve subscribed to over the years and was both surprised and dismayed to see how many have gone dormant or closed down. By definition, these were blogs I enjoyed reading and that had proven beneficial to me. Obviously there will always be some measure of attrition, but there was so much this year that I know there must be some common factors at play. I am going …

Comforting Quotes for Those Who Are Suffering

Without a doubt, the most impactful book I read last year was A Book of Comfort for Those in Sickness. I’m sure its significance was partly due to some medical struggles I’ve been having recently, but also simply because life is full of difficulties. We all go through difficult times in these difficult lives in this broken world, and a book like this one delivers comfort rooted in the Comforter. I’ve collected some of my favorite quotes from the book, …

My Favorite Photos From a Year of Travel

This was my year of travel–so much travel. I touched 24 countries and every continent in my search for Christian history. And along the way I stopped to take some photos. I thought I’d share some of my favorites here. Pretty much everywhere I traveled I was accompanied by Stephen McCaskell and his drone; I asked if he’d allow me to share some of his best overhead shots as well. So here we are: A gallery of photos from around …

How We Worshipped One Sunday in December

Every few weeks I like to share an example of one of our worship services from Grace Fellowship Church. I hope it serves as simply one model of how we can worship the Lord in a distinctly biblical way. This service’s cast of characters included Steve as our service leader, Brian as our lead worshipper, Murray as the elder who read the Scripture text and prayed, and Paul as the preacher. Our band consisted of two guitars, cajon, and piano …

My Top Blogs and Bloggers of 2018

I love blogs and believe in them as a medium. I followed hundreds of them this year, scanned tens of thousands of their headlines, and both read and shared thousands of their articles. They were a great blessing to me and today I want to pause to honor a few by sharing my top blogs and bloggers of 2018. So, here, in no particular order, are my favorite blogs of 2018. I’ll begin with individuals, then move to multi-author blogs. …