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, …

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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 …

Showing Mercy in A Feeding Frenzy

Until the land was expropriated to make way for new developments, Oakville was home to an exceptional tropical fish store. At its center was a massive circular aquarium filled with sharks and other predatory fish, and once each week the employees would host a feeding frenzy that was open to the public. One of them would climb a ladder to the top of the tank and begin to toss pieces of meat to the creatures lurking below. No sooner did …

When the Best Part Is the Door

If you have ever visited Wittenberg, Germany and have taken the time to tour its famous Castle Church, you may have made the same observation I did: The best part of the building is its doors. Castle Church is, of course, the spot where Martin Luther chose to post his Ninety-Five Theses. Centuries later, King Frederick William IV chose to commemorate the event by commissioning a beautiful set of bronze doors inscribed with Luther’s words. And, though they’ve been refurbished …

When God Unfolds His Will in Pieces

Before the tabernacle was assembled upon the plains, Moses received a vision of it upon the mountain. Before he directed the first weaving, the first stitching, the first forging, he had been given a detailed image of the completed whole. God led him in a comprehensive walkthrough and delivered to him a thorough set of instructions. It’s for this reason that there are chapters in the book of Exodus that run in parallel. In chapter 26 God provides instruction: “You …

Was It A Waking Dream?

I wasn’t quite asleep but I also wasn’t quite awake. It wasn’t quite real, but it also doesn’t seem right to call it fake. Like a story that had already been written or like a tale that had already been told, it flashed into my mind in the briefest of moments. In what must have been some kind of a waking dream, I saw myself lying in bed when an angelic envoy roused me with a message. And as surely …