Not a Lack of Food, But a Lack of Hunger

I was once told of a woman who lived in a cold-weather climate. She suffered from poor health and this in a part of the world where she could not easily get the nutrition she needed. Doctors suggested she travel to the tropics where the setting might be more conducive to a recovery. A few weeks after her departure she wrote to a friend to say, “This is a wonderful spot where I have access to all the good and …

The Beauty of Duty

In former days Christians spoke often of duty. Though they most certainly delighted in God and were eager to foster and increase that delight, they tended to do so by way of duty. They examined their lives to determine what duties God was calling them to and audited their lives to determine if they were fulfilling them. They longed to be dutiful in devotion, dutiful in obedience, dutiful in every responsibility and every role. They believed that from their duty …

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Another Week in a Difficult and Hostile World

Bounded by a lake on its southern side, the city of Toronto and the suburbs that surround it are being steadily pushed to the east, west, and north. In these regions, developers are buying great stretches of farmland and converting them into dense neighborhoods. With hundreds of thousands of people arriving in Canada each year through immigration, and with hundreds of thousands more being born here, the demand for housing is insatiable and the city is expanding outward like a …

How Can We Measure Spiritual Progress?

Every book contract—at least, every book contract I’ve ever seen—includes a word count. When the author finally submits a manuscript, it cannot be a discretionary number of words but must be within the range the publisher has set. This is good and helpful for an author because it makes it simple to set goals and because it helps him progress toward a very measurable outcome. After he signs his contract he needs only to divide the words by the number …

Keys To Knowing God’s Will for Your Life

Of all the issues related to Christian living, few receive greater attention than knowing God’s will for our lives. Many believers, and especially younger ones, agonize over knowing what God means for them to do and how he means for them to live out their days. Many end up leaning toward a low-grade form of mysticism, longing to receive some kind of a sign from the skies or some kind of a word in their hearts. Many live with hesitation, …

Don’t Waste the Days When You Feel Little Need for God

It would be a strange man who would meet a woman, pursue her, marry her, and then immediately establish a pattern of ignoring her. It would make little sense for him to marry someone he has little intention of continuing to get to know, of continuing to build relationship with. It would make for many wasted years if he sat cold and silent until their twentieth anniversary before finally beginning to open up, to finally draw her out. Their relationship …

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 We Go Unnourished

My dad sometimes got exasperated with me. He sometimes got exasperated with me and, looking back, I can’t say I blame him. After all, while his passion was to nurture life within his precious gardens, mine was to kick back with a good book. While his burden was to do things well, mine was to do them with the least effort possible. I’m sure I didn’t make much of an employee on those days I accompanied him to job sites. …

Do You Knock at the Gates of the Grave?

There is a sense in which we are less familiar with death than our forebears, more insulated from its horrors. Of course the death rate in the twenty-first century is identical to every century before and every century to come—“it is appointed for [each and every] man to die once, and after that comes judgment.” So perhaps it is better to say we are less familiar with what we consider premature death—the death of infants, children, and young adults. Because …

When the Battlefield Goes Quiet

There are a number of childhood vacations that stand out in my mind, but none quite as clearly as our family trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I may have been 10 or 12 at the time and was a young enthusiast of all things military. I knew little of the Civil War, but did know that Gettysburg represented a turning point in the conflict, that the battle fought here had changed the course of the war and the course of American …