Two Years Later: What Aileen Is Thankful For

I have said a lot about Nick over the past two years. I have written a lot of articles and done quite a number of interviews and even published a book. And I have been aware all the while that I can only speak to a small part of our loss, for there were many people who loved Nick and many who lost him. Today is the second anniversary of his death and I asked Aileen if she felt ready …

A Few Handfuls for Weary Little Listeners

Ray Van Neste recently appealed to pastors to ensure they don’t neglect the children in their preaching. “Preacher, don’t assume children can’t or won’t listen,” he said. “Many things will escape them, but they understand more than we give them credit for.“ Hence, “you should speak to the children in your sermons.” I very much appreciated this word of exhortation as it reflects something I have been trying to emphasize in my own preaching. Van Neste offers a few good …

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What a Wonder Is a Human Being!

I gently lift the baby from his cradle and hold him gingerly in my arms. He wiggles, he kicks, he grunts, and then, settling for just a moment, he seems to gaze at me inquisitively. I look at his little hands as they grasp my thumb and I wonder: What blessings will come to others through these hands? Will they one day hold a scalpel to heal the sick or one day hold a Bible to preach the truth? What …

Children Who Bloom in an Instant

Those who explore the vast boreal forests of Canada are rarely far from a bunchberry dogwood, a plant so common that some have suggested it ought to be Canada’s national plant. The cornus canadensis is a little shrub that often carpets the floors of the great fir and spruce forests. A perennial, its shoots rise in the spring and soon each produce a whorl of six leaves. Come the early days of summer, a number of tiny flowers surrounded by …

We Are Praying For Our Children

As a father, I try to make it a habit to pray for my children each day before they even crawl out of bed. Before they’ve begun their day, I want to have already asked the Lord to bless, keep, and prosper them. Praying for my children was on my mind as I read this sweet, poetic prayer by Amy Carmichael. She did not have biological children of her own, but was Amma (mommy) to hundreds who were delivered to …

How To Turn A Retired Bible Into A Precious Family Heirloom

I do not often run guest articles on this site. But every now and again I do make an exception—usually for my friend Paul Carter. In this case, he is going to suggest a great way to turn a retired Bible into a precious family heirloom. What follows is from Paul… ***** If you are a Bible reader, a note taker and a highlighter then you have probably asked the question at some point in your life: what do I …

What If God Doesn’t Care a Whole Lot About How You Educate Your Children?

My family is coming down to our final decisions about education. Our oldest is already safely squared away at Boyce College and the Southern Baptist Theological seminary, where he seems to be doing really well. My middlest, who is currently in twelfth grade, has already decided that she will also head to Boyce next year. And that leaves just the youngest, who is in eighth grade. We’ve got two major decisions left to make with her—what she will do for …

When My Children Grow Strong and I Grow Weak

Multiculturalism has a fascinating way of messing with our presuppositions. We find to our surprise that what is normal to one person is foreign to another, that what is good within one culture is evil within another. We find that much of what we believe to be objectively good and true has actually been filtered through a subjective cultural lens. We find that we need to look to the transcultural Bible to ask, “What does God say about this?” When …

Make Some Return To Your Parents

I’ve recently encountered quite a number of people who are grappling with issues related to honoring and caring for their aging parents. Some have parents who are no longer capable of independent living—Should they be invited in to our home or should we look at nursing homes? Some have parents who are very demanding—Do we need to give them so much time when they are being so overbearing? Some have parents who are impoverished—Should we give them money or should …

The Eternal Significance of a Single Little Word

Jesus tells us—in fact, he solemnly warns us—that our words matter. Every single word we speak has significance. “I tell you,” he says, “on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak” (Matthew 12:36). Not most of those careless words. Not some of those careless words. All of them. This is a terrifying thought for those of us who are prone to speak often, speak hastily, or speak harshly. It calls us to repent, …