The Faith It Takes to Farm About fifteen years ago, when I lived in a farming community in Mississippi, an older man once quipped that he couldn’t be a row crop farmer if he were not a Christian. I asked him why. He said it was because farming is such a faith venture where you […]Read More Every Christian is a Farmer
The Problem No One AdmitsOf all the issues people have brought to me for counseling, I have never had anyone confess to me the sin of greed or materialism.But if there is one issue that represents a tumor of unbelief that produces spiritual gangrene in the soul, it is an idolatrous dependency on money and possessions […]Read More The Problem Nobody Admits
Is More Money the Solution to My Problems?Other than the kingdom of God, Jesus spoke about money and possessions more than any other topic because he knew that few things have the power to steal joy more than the love of money.But I thought financial abundance was a prerequisite to joy? If only I had […]Read More Transferring Ownership
Lost in the WoodsMike Vilhauer just wanted to catch some fish, but on August 6, 2014, the 58-year-old from Sacramento wandered off the trail into the mountain wilderness to look for grasshoppers he could use as live bait. It took a while, but his journey paid off.Until it didn’t.After collecting a tube-full of little critters, he looked […]Read More When You Feel Lost, Do This.
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the first week of July in 1863. If you are familiar with Michael Shaara’s historical novel, The Killer Angels, or have seen the 1993 film Gettysburg, you know that the struggle for Little Round Top was the turning point at Gettysburg, which many historians consider the most pivotal […]Read More Taking the Low Ground
Skid Row My eldest recently moved from the quiet and safety of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee to downtown Chattanooga. After a recent visit to see her new digs, Kristy and I took a back road as a short cut to a restaurant where we were going to meet my daughter and a friend for dinner. It […]Read More My Need for a Good Samaritan
Playground FencesWhen I was in elementary school, our playground sat next to a major city thoroughfare, with the swing-set located only ten yards from cars driving 50+ MPH.Why were 8-year-olds allowed to play on a swing-set so close to the road? Because the playground was surrounded by a tall fence, which acted as a boundary […]Read More Five Essential Boundaries for Marriage in an Age of Distraction and Temptation
Marriage Will Not Fix the ProblemIn my pastoral experience, I have found that many engaged couples expect marriage to fix the problems that exist in their dating relationship.Conflict will evaporate in the atmosphere of marital bliss, right? Wrong.Big-time wrong.Marriage is not going to fix your problems. It will only make them worse.Sorry to burst your bubble.Now […]Read More How to Clear the Drain When Marriage Gets Clogged
Quick Navigation Reviewing CoverageA CRY FOR HELPA Canaanite WomanTheological TermsAN UNEXPECTED SILENCELostOur NeedAN UNUSUAL EVANGELISM STRATEGYPerseveranceA TestEntitlement?A MODEL OF SAVING FAITHShe AgreesJesus’s PostureHow Can a Worm Refuse Reviewing CoverageIf your insurance agent contacts you about reviewing your homeowner’s policy, you may want to take him up on that. Most of us assume that our coverage […]Read More The Danger of Assuming Coverage
My first case of homesickness struck in the Missouri foothills. I was a ten-year-old at Camp Soaring Hawk and one of the few campers staying for both multi-week summer sessions. Although I had never been away from home before, things were okay while camp activities were taking place all day with new friends.Then they left.And […]Read More Homesick: My Longing for Things to Be as They Should
Anyone who applies for admission to a university knows that there are entrance requirements. Typically, you have to have an accredited high school diploma. There is often a standardized test minimum score requirement. Sometimes, essays are required as well as participation in extracurricular activities and community service.In this post, we are going to talk about […]Read More What is the Fundamental Entrance Requirement for Membership in the Kingdom of God?
Being grateful is not a natural inclination of my heart. In a recent post, I confessed that I complain far too easily and often.Sadly, I allow my mind to focus on my troubles and trials rather than on God’s sovereignty, Fatherly kindness, generosity, and sanctifying purposes. I heard a guy be asked how he was doing. […]Read More Turn Your Stress List into a Prayer List with This 5-Step Process
Although some would say that people who talk to themselves are manifesting signs of insanity or dementia, we speak to ourselves all the time. Every day.Often the things we speak to ourselves are lies.These lies take on a variety of shapes. For example, some of the lies concern our identity and what we must do in order to be […]Read More 7 Truths to Speak to Yourself Every Day
As you probably already know, Horatius Bonar was a pastor who ministered in Scotland in the 19th century (1808-1889). In an article entitled, “The Root and Soil of Holiness,” he deals with what produces the fruit of new life in true Christians. I have found this short blurb to be fuel for the soul that […]Read More If “rooted in love” is the description of a holy man…
Table of Contents A Favorite BookWhy Am I Not Staggered by Grace?Confess and Cling A Favorite BookOne of my favorite books is Transforming Grace, by Jerry Bridges.It is a simple, but profound and deeply helpful exploration into what it means to live by faith in the justifying, adopting and sanctifying grace of God.One statement that […]Read More Are You Ungodly Enough for Grace?
If your marriage has a clog in the drain and you feel stuck, you need gospel plumbing skills. My wife, Kristy, and I have learned these skills the hard way. In the video below, I share about how a real clogged drain taught us a powerful lesson about how to deal with our marriage junk. At some […]Read More How are your gospel plumbing skills?
Table of Contents Introduction. 1. Hold Expectations LooselyAn Example from the World of TennisHow can I know?But the deeper issue is why. 2. Trust God CompletelyTandem Sky-DivingLife as a Path. A Journey. A Story.Implications of Trusting What Our Children Need3. Engage Opportunities WholeheartedlyGod’s TimingClosing Time is in 15 Minutes!Present Moments, Opens DoorsWhat if… Conclusion. Inconvenient, but not RandomSeeing […]Read More Planning in Pencil: A 3-Part Plan for Flexing with God’s Providence
Table of Contents Repentance is DeathRepentance and CrucifixionNo More Plastic Bananas A Dangerous QuestionExactly Fessing and FeelingOwning It Repentance is Death”Repentance should feel like death.” I’m not sure where I heard that. But it is true because repentance is a death. Not a literal, physical death, but a very real, present, painful and active execution, nonetheless. It is chemo […]Read More Does Your Repentance Feel Like Death Yet?
Table of Contents Introduction. 1. ACKNOWLEDGE MY WEARINESS Mothers with Young ChildrenMothers with Older Children2. RECEIVE GOD’S RESTWearing a Yoke Understanding a Formula3. RESPOND TO JESUS’S INVITATIONThe surface burdensThe core burdenConclusion. Introduction. A couple of weeks ago Kristy, Sarah Wynn and I drove up to Chattanooga to help our eldest move into a new house for […]Read More A 3-Part Process for Facing Fatigue: A Message for Tired Mamas (and Anyone Who is Exhausted)
Quick Navigation Intro: A Confession and a Deep Desire1. Being a mother is not a step down from your other career.2. The mundane matters.3. There are seasons in every mother’s life.4. It’s okay to be tired.5. Lower your expectations.6. You were never meant to be a Jesus-replacement for your kids.7. Your children’s success or failure […]Read More 7 Things Every Mother Needs to Hear