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    The Danger of Being a Sermon Critic

    There are few habits that are easier to establish and few habits that are easier to foster than the habit of critiquing the Sunday sermon. There are also few habits that require less skill, that demand less character, and that bring less benefit. But it’s so easy to do, isn’t it? It’s easy to do…

  • Celebrate the Tool

    We Don’t Celebrate the Tool

    I watched in fascination as the programmer wrote line after line of code, each word and each line forming part of an increasingly complex whole. His fingers were barely visible as they tapped out letter after letter and number after number. And then his work was done. With a smile and a flourish, he compiled…

  • Retractions

    I suppose we all have a few memories that cause us to cringe, memories of things we did or things we said that leave shame flooding our minds and little trickles of sweat running down our foreheads. Embarrassing things. Awkward things. Shameful things. Sinful things. Most of us do our best to push these memories…

  • Our Heats and Minds Turned Outward

    Our Hearts and Minds Turned Outward

    Every coin has a head behind a tail, every die a 6 behind a 1, every stamp a sticker behind a face. And in much the same way, every technology has a virtue behind a vice, a benefit behind a drawback, something beneficial behind something sorely detrimental. The television that supplies important news also promotes…

  • Forest Fires and Apple Orchards

    Forest Fires & Apple Orchards

    Much has been written about the biblical concept of “meekness.” Many have pointed out that of all the attributes God expects of us, and of all the attributes so wonderfully displayed in Christ, none is so rare as this. Yet perhaps no attribute is quite so difficult to define. What, then, is meekness? In some…

  • Humbled

    Welcoming the Uncomfortable Work of God

    Of all the pursuits that come with the Christian life, is any more constant, any more consuming, and any more difficult than the pursuit of humility? Surely nothing cuts harder against the grain of our natural, sinful humanity than to be humble before God and humble before our fellow man. Yet God calls us to…

  • Thank You God That I Am Not Like Other Men

    Thank You, God, That I Am Not Like Other Men

    Comparison comes as naturally to us as eating, breathing, laughing, weeping. From our youngest days we begin to compare ourselves to others and quickly find the old adage to be true: Comparison is the enemy of joy. Though we so readily compare ourselves with others, we discover that this fosters a deep unhappiness. What promises…

  • Sceptres Crowns Thrones

    Scepters, Crowns, Thrones

    My travels have led me through many castles in many kingdoms, my journey through many palaces in many places. I have seen the grandest edifices ever designed by the mind of men to display the value, the worth, the grandeur of their inhabitants. I have seen throne rooms devised to dazzle the eyes and overwhelm…

  • Keep Your Good Deeds Secret From Even Yourself

    Keep Your Good Deeds Secret (From Even Yourself)

    Legend tells of a humble old man who wished to do good to others, but not to receive their praise. So he wrote letters of blessing, epistles of encouragement, placed them in bottles, and set them afloat on the seas where, through the power of wind and wave, they went through the world, cheering many…

  • The Greatest Christians and the Most Visible Gifts

    The Greatest Christians and the Most Visible Gifts

    I’m convinced we’re prone to make entirely too much of the most public gifts and entirely too little of the most private. We laud those who stand at the event podiums to preach the Word. We celebrate those who sit on the conference panels to answer our questions. We honor those who pen the few…

  • Sometimes Its Best To Express Your Wisdom in Silence

    Sometimes It’s Best To Express Your Wisdom in Silence

    The story of Apelles and the presumptuous shoemaker has been passed down through the centuries for our reflection and edification. It is a tale worth telling today. Apelles is considered one of the greatest painters of the ancient world, though none of his works have survived the ages so we can see them with our…

  • So Very Weak Yet So Very proud

    So Very Weak, Yet So Very Proud

    It was in early 2020 that we first began to hear of this novel coronavirus that was sweeping through parts of China, then making the short hop to nearby Asian nations, then making the longer hop to not-so-nearby European nations. The reports out of China were alarming, the reports out of South Korea sobering, the…

  • Vlog: One for the Dads (and Moms)

    It may not be the key New Testament passage on parenting, but it’s definitely one of the most important: “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” In this video I talk about it and warn how we, as parents, can provoke our…

  • 10 Sure Marks of Humility

    10 Sure Marks of Humility

    Is there any trait more odious than pride or more precious than humility? Is there any trait whose presence we so highly honor in others and whose absence we so readily excuse in ourselves? Truly, pride is the chief of sins and humility the highest of virtues. Yet the Christian has the joy of seeing…

  • Who Is the Greatest

    Who Is the Greatest?

    It’s fun to laugh at the disciples sometimes, isn’t it? Read the gospels and you’ll find them providing us plenty of opportunity. Like in Mark 9 when they have arrived in Capernaum and have settled into a home for a meal and a rest. Jesus asks a simple question: “What were you discussing on the…

  • Humble Roots

    Humble Roots

    Over the years I have read quite a few books on the subject of humility. To be frank, this is an area in which I need all the help I can get (and I am quite certain that I am not alone in this need). As I read the latest, Hannah Anderson’s Humble Roots, a…

  • Book Reviews Collection cover image

    The Blessing of Humility

    I wonder if The Blessing of Humility is Jerry Bridges’ final book. It was published posthumously, but soon enough after his death that it’s very possible there was still another work somewhere in the editing process. Either way, a book on humility would make a fitting final work for a man who taught and exemplified…

  • Condone, Condemn, or Mourn?

    Reading Jerry Bridges is invariably good for my soul. He had such a way of reaching deep into the Bible to draw out helpful, heartfelt application. In his book on humility (release posthumously) he offers application that seems particularly appropriate to a time of political turmoil and disunity, and to a time of deep national…

  • Who Will You Serve and Surprise This Week?

    I am a dutiful person who is usually happy enough to carry out life’s basic responsibilities. I am a husband with responsibilities toward my wife, a father with responsibilities toward my children, a pastor with responsibilities toward my congregation, a neighbor with responsibilities toward the people who live around me. My success as a husband,…

  • The Character of the Christian: Mature and Humble

    Today we continue our series on the character of the Christian. We are exploring how the various character qualifications of elders are actually God’s calling on all Christians. While elders are meant to exemplify these traits, all Christians are to exhibit them. I want us to consider whether we are displaying these traits and to…