To the Impetuous and Impulsive

There is a kind of personality we are all familiar with, I’m sure—a kind of personality that is impetuous and impulsive, prone to act in ways that are spontaneous and ill-thought-out. It’s the personality of Simon Peter whom we know so well from the pages of Scripture—the one of the twelve disciples who stepped overboard to attempt to walk on water, the one who exclaimed, “not only my feet, but my hands and my head as well!,” the one who …

Emerging From Our Trials Unscathed

It’s undoubtedly one of the most-told and best-loved stories in the entire Old Testament. It has all the hallmarks of a great tale—heroes and villains and peril and deliverance. It tells of faithful young men who faced unjust persecution, faithful young men who were sentenced to die a horrific death—to be consumed by flames in a fiery furnace. Yet it also tells how they were unexpectedly and miraculously delivered; how, though they were thrown into the flames bound hand and …

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Dream Small

There are a lot of authors in the Christian world, but not nearly as many writers. There are a lot of people who publish books, but few who have a level of mastery over the English language. There are a lot of people who can say what’s true, but not very many who say it beautifully. Seth Lewis is one of those rare authors who can truly write. I have been reading his blog for a number of years and …

When God’s Blessings Flow

A few months ago I stood upon the rocky shores of Malta and gazed out to sea. I pondered what it must have been like nearly 2,000 years ago as the Apostle Paul leapt from a battered, broken ship and made his way ashore. There are a number of spots on Malta that claim the historic pedigree as the place he landed. The most widely accepted candidate is the aptly named Saint Paul’s Bay. It has shoals and reefs capable …

Teaching Others to Sing Sweetly

The story is told of a musician—a particularly skillful musician with a highly-developed ear for pitch, tone, and harmony—who visited a new church for the first time. He arrived a little late and entered the sanctuary just as the congregation was beginning to sing the opening song. To his chagrin, the singing was badly out of tune. It pained him to hear the people attempt to sing one of the great hymns of the Christian faith without the least bit …

Cast Your Burden Upon the Lord

So much of what we experience in this life is so very heavy. So many of the burdens God calls us to carry are so tremendously weighty that they threaten to crush us to the dust. We bear the weight of our own sin and depravity, the shame of doing evil and the pain of failing to do good. We bear the weight of other people’s sin and depravity as they hurt and harm us, sometimes intentionally and sometimes purely …

He Is Not Ashamed

We are at an interesting point in history in which, when people look to the past, they seem more likely to cringe than to celebrate. It has become customary for people to look to their forbears and then disavow them or apologize for them in what has become almost a ritualistic purgation. There are many who are ashamed of their roots, ashamed of their family, embarrassed to admit who and where they have come from. But isn’t it interesting that …

It Is No More Death, But A Sweet Departure

Those who have lost a child, or who have lost another loved one, inevitably face the pain of separation and the longing for reunification. In my own sorrows I have often been comforted by some sweet words written by Thomas Smyth, a man who on one day laid two precious children in the very same grave. Though he writes specifically to bereaved parents, his words will resonate with all of those who have loved and lost. Can we not with …

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 …

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 …