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  • What the Mightiest Man Could Never Do

    What the Mightiest Man Could Never Do

    Everybody knew the local blacksmith. Everybody knew him because no matter where the townsfolk went, they could hear the sound of his hammer as it beat against the anvil. No matter where they were they could hear the sound of his bellows as it spurred the fire to burn and roar with fresh intensity. Day…

  • What I Miss About Him Most

    Three Years Later: What I Miss Most

    Today marks the third anniversary of the day Nick left us—the third anniversary of the day he arrived in heaven. It has been some time since I’ve paused with fingers on keyboard to collect my thoughts and deliberately think about him, about me, about my family, and about our grief. But the Lord, through the…

  • Living Sorrows and Departed Joys

    Living Sorrows and Departed Joys

    I am worshipping with a congregation that is not my own, a community of Christians on the far side of the planet. Though I am there primarily to learn and to worship, I cannot help but observe one of the members of the church as he sits just in front of me. His wife is…

  • 20 Years of Daily Blogging and Other Miscellania

    20 Years of Daily Blogging and Other Miscellania

    It was twenty years ago this week that I made the decision to try to post something to my blog every day for a year. At that time the site was suffering from a lack of attention. I would write occasional articles and often get positive feedback on them, but I lacked any real commitment…

  • How To Cheapen a Marriage

    Have you ever seen someone get married and you are absolutely certain that it’s not out of love for the other person? Maybe the woman wants access to her husband’s wealth or lifestyle and marriage is the way she can get it. Or maybe the man wants access to his wife’s fame or reputation and…

  • A Day in the Life of an Ordinary Christian

    Let’s suppose that for just one day the Lord chose to make a documentary about you—“A Day in the Life of an Ordinary Christian.” For a single day your every move was recorded and your every word transcribed. For a single day even your thoughts were externalized and written down. A camera crew was beside…

  • Worship Round the World: Pressing On and Nearing the End

    It has been quite a year—a year in which the Worship Round the World project has taken me far and wide. If my statistics are correct, I believe my feet have touched something like 24 different countries this year. I worshipped with local churches in 13 of them and enjoyed times of fellowship with Christians…

  • When God Fails

    On the Day When God Fails in Just One of His Promises

    There’s nothing easier than looking at the world around us and feeling despair. Society is in open rebellion against God and it seems like that rebellion must soon lead to some kind of persecution against God’s people. Courts and politicians seem content to chip away at the right to speak freely and worship according to…

  • If God Utters Any Complaint At All

    If God Utters Any Complaint At All

    A father and his child walked together by the banks of the Yangtze River. They paused often to gaze at it in wonder. In the distance, they could hear the roar of a waterfall and they could see great clouds of mist rising far into the air. Soon they came to the edge of the…

  • A Prayer for My Parent Heart

    A Prayer for My Parent Heart

    It can, at times, be difficult to know what and how to pray for our children and what and how to pray for ourselves as their parents. This is true when they are young but, in my experience, becomes even more prominent as they grow older. This is why it is helpful to have books…

  • How Joni Eareckson Tada Blessed Me Forty Years Apart

    How Joni Eareckson Tada Blessed Me (Forty Years Ago)

    Joni Eareckson Tada has had a long and faithful ministry. I expect you are familiar with the basic outline of her story—how in 1967, when she was just 17 years old, she was involved in a diving accident that left her paralyzed. In the initial stages of her recovery she stewed in sorrow and self-pity…

  • Add a Little Extra Beauty

    Add a Little Extra Beauty

    The sky was still dark as I left the house this morning. When I went overseas just three weeks ago the sun had already risen by this time and I was walking in dawn’s early light. But summer has given way to fall and the nights have quickly grown longer. I press “play” in my…

  • Never Be Discouraged and Never Be a Discourager

    Never Be Discouraged and Never Be a Discourager

    “I offer two pieces of wisdom,” he told me, “two commitments you can make: Never be discouraged and never be a discourager.” I have thought deeply about this counsel and have decided it is good—mostly good. I say “mostly good” because there are times when we cannot help but be discouraged, times when we are…

  • Behind Your Sorrow

    When You Long to Know the “Why” Behind Your Sorrow

    We have a natural longing to know why. It is the question a child first asks her parents. It is the question an inquisitive toddler asks at every turn. It is the question that has spurred a world of exploration, invention, and innovation. Why? It is no surprise, then, that when we encounter troubles, when…

  • Pastoral Prayer

    A Pastoral Prayer About Labor and Rest

    Every now and again I like to share an example of a pastoral prayer from Grace Fellowship Church. I do this because I think sharing such prayers is a way we can learn from one another. At least, I can attest that I have often been inspired as I have read other people’s prayers and…

  • Cessationist

    Cessationist: The Film

    The debate about the continuation or cessation of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit shows no signs of abating or of coming to a resolution. This is true within the wider church and true also within the narrower group who hold to Calvinistic theology. The debate began soon after the coalescing of what became…

  • As Summer Turns to Fall

    As Summer Turns to Fall

    These are the days in which summer begins to give way to fall. The days grow shorter, the nights get longer, and there begins to be just a bit of a bite in the air. Though winters in Southern Ontario are long, I still look forward to their slow approach. But that is beside the…

  • Something as Flimsy as Stone

    Something as Flimsy as Stone

    “The most impressive things on earth are ruins,” he said. “The four greatest structures ever built have now been reduced to a state of decay.” The Parthenon rising above the city of Athens is in ruins; the temple of Artemis in Ephesus is in ruins; the temple of Jerusalem is in ruins; the Colosseum in…

  • If Satan Wrote a Book on Parenting

    If Satan Wrote a Book on Parenting

    Some time ago I read an advice column that responded to a woman who had become disillusioned with her husband and enamored with someone else. And as I read it I thought to myself, “I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how Satan would counsel if he was asked.” That got me thinking about how Satan might…

  • Infants Are Easily Discontented

    Infants Are Easily Discontented

    Infants are easily discontented. They cry when hungry, they cry when tired, they cry when uncomfortable, they cry when afraid. It often seems they cry for no reason at all! Toddlers are perhaps a little better, but they are still quick to fuss and complain, still quick to express every little sorrow and every minor…