40 Random Pieces of Advice for the Christian Life

Not every idea is worthy of an entire article. Hence, this one contain a long list of brief, random (and unsolicited) pieces of advice for living the Christian life, most of which I’ve gleaned from others over the course of the past 45 years. I hope there is something here that benefits you.   When offering counsel to others, always carefully distinguish between what the Bible says and what is simply your best attempt to apply wisdom to a particular …

When The Great Resignation Comes to Church

We aren’t colleagues. We aren’t comrades. We aren’t neighbors. We are family. If we are to understand the nature of the relationship between believers, we don’t need to understand work, politics, or geography. We need to understand family. The Bible displays this truth in any number of ways. Together we call God “Father,” and if he is Father, then we are sons and daughters. We call Christ our elder brother, making us his siblings as well as one another’s. Young …

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The Joy of Forgetting What You Need To Remember

If I have my timing right, the last conference I spoke at was the 2020 Bethlehem Conference for Pastors. It was early February and we were just beginning to hear unfamiliar words like “COVID” and “coronavirus.” (A search through my inbox shows that the first mention of it was from an old Adam Ford newsletter in which he speculated that the outbreak in China was far worse than anyone was letting on.) I didn’t think much about the virus as …

Don’t Waste the Days When You Feel Little Need for God

It would be a strange man who would meet a woman, pursue her, marry her, and then immediately establish a pattern of ignoring her. It would make little sense for him to marry someone he has little intention of continuing to get to know, of continuing to build relationship with. It would make for many wasted years if he sat cold and silent until their twentieth anniversary before finally beginning to open up, to finally draw her out. Their relationship …

Her Weakness Is Her Strength

Have you ever known a family who has learned that it will soon welcome a child with special needs? It could be that prenatal testing has shown a developmental abnormality or it could be that they have deliberately chosen to adopt a child with disabilities. But either way, the family will necessarily undergo a time of preparation as they ready themselves for the inevitable special challenges to come. They will prepare their home, they will prepare their community, they will …

It’s Better To Suffer Wrong

It’s a verse every Christian believes in until he suffers some great wrong. It’s a verse every Christian affirms until he is called to implement it in his own life. And it’s just then that the words seem to transform from clear to opaque, the application from simple to obscure. In 1 Corinthians 6:7 Paul speaks of lawsuits between believers and says “Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?” It’s better to suffer injustice within the church, …

A Christian Father’s Last Will and Testament

In the name of God, I, being of sound mind and body, bequeath to my children the small store of wealth and the few possessions I have been able to accumulate over a lifetime of labor. I divide these equally among my children and ask them to accept it all with my blessings—to keep it or to give it away as they see fit. Of infinitely greater value, I bequeath to them all the fervent prayers I have made for …

When “All Things” Don’t Feel So Good

No one who has ever listened to Beethoven’s 9th symphony has thought to himself, “I think each of these musicians is just making it up as they go.” No one who has ever listened to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons has thought to herself, “I am pretty sure no one is leading this orchestra.” No one who has ever listened to Handel’s Messiah and heard the swells and strains of the Hallelujah chorus has thought “I detect no sign of a composer …

A Prayer for the Bereaved

Father in heaven, I acknowledge that you are the one who bestows good gifts and you are the one who recalls them again. It is by your hand that each of us is brought to life and by your hand that each of us is called into death. You are the one who gives and you are the one who takes away. And so I bless your name. Father, it has been your will to take away one that I …

How Long Have You Been Battling?

How long have you been battling that sin? How long have you been struggling to find peace with that trauma? How long have you been enduring that sorrow? In some way each of us carries a heavy load through this life. In some way each of us finds it a long marathon more than a brief sprint. In some way each of us is called to endure with fortitude, even for a very long time. Yet we must never stop …