Let’s Hear It For the Failures

I once heard a Christian say that when he arrives in heaven he does not expect not hear “well done, good and faithful servant,” as much as “well tried.” He does not mean that God will be impressed by a reckless succession of rash attempts at self-grandiosity. He does not mean that God will laud him for projects he began with great passion before losing interest and becoming distracted by the next big thing. No, he means only that he …

Things for Christian Men To Think About

I have had a few opportunities in the past few weeks to interact with Christian men. Along the way I’ve jotted down a few thoughts that arose from those conversations. I thought I’d share them today. ❖ Pause for a few moments to consider the fact that God is a Father and you are his child. Now think about how many times God has obviously chastised or disciplined you for your sin versus how many times he has extended mercy …

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Which Man Was More Free?

It is a question an author once asked, a question that intrigued me. Which man was more free: was it the emperor or was it the missionary? Was it Nero or was it Paul? Was it Nero in his palace surrounded by attendants, his table overflowing with delicacies, his eyes overwhelmed with visual delights? Or was it Paul in his prison cell surrounded by soldiers, bound by chains, dependent upon the charity of others? Was it the man who was …

There Are Different Kinds of Tired

There are different kinds of tired. There are different kinds of weary. There are different kinds of fatigue that may overwhelm the body and overcome the mind as the sun sets, as the skies grow dark, as day gives way to evening and evening gives way to night. There are different kinds of fatigue because there are different ways you may spend a day. You may spend a day in idleness, in procrastinating your tasks, in ignoring your responsibilities. You …

What You Can Take With You Into Eternity

We’ve all heard it said that no one has ever seen a hearse towing a trailer. We’ve all been challenged to consider that we leave this world as we entered it—with empty hands. As Job exclaimed in the depths of his misery, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.” But as J.R. Miller reminds us in this old quote, there actually is one thing we can take with us. There are virtues, fruits of character, …

Are You a Peacemaker or a Troublemaker?

I recently spent some time studying one of the simplest verses in the New Testament: “blessed are the peacemakers.” There are no tricky words in this verse, no difficult Greek to parse. To be blessed means to be happy or to experience God’s favor; to be a peacemaker is to (wait for it!) make peace. But though the words are simple, the application takes some work. Essentially, Jesus is saying that peace with God leads us to make peace like …

Flowers Springing Up in the Rain

In the past couple of years I have learned more about cemeteries than I would ever have cared to know. I have learned about purchasing plots and commissioning monuments. I have learned about proper etiquette and how different cultures relate to their dearly departed in very different ways. I have learned that a grave offers a place to go to grieve and, as importantly, a place to leave grief behind for a time. One thing we learned quickly is that …

The Dead Seriousness of Careless Words

A technician for an airline neglected to check the logs from previous flights and therefore failed to take action on a control problem that had recurred multiple times over the past days. His carelessness was one of the factors that led to the plane crashing on a subsequent flight. An engineer failed to set the brakes on parked tanker cars which soon begin to roll of their own accord until, out of control, they skipped the tracks and exploded. His …

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 …

We Are Very Anxious About Our Character

Earlier in the week I posted an article about being willing to suffer wrong in the face of those who wish to do us harm. After sharing it I came across a wonderful quote from F.B. Meyer that is at least parenthetically related. He counsels us on what to do when others attack our character and seek to harm our name. In short: wait on the Lord. We are very anxious about our character, but if we live close to …