Everyone has been affected in some way, whether by social inconvenience, emotional fear, or financial anxiety. No one is immune. But what if the coronavirus takes my life? It was a strange and unexpected thought for such a sunny day. On my daily afternoon walk, the sky was blue and the birds were singing. It […]Read More What If I Become a Covid-19 Statistic?
Norman Rockwell was an illustrator in the previous century who created covers for The Saturday Evening Post magazine for over fifty years. While he also painted Presidential portraits and engaged with hot-topic social and cultural issues such as the Second World War and the civil rights movement in the 60s, he is best known for capturing what […]Read More The Angels’ Song: A Christmas Meditation
Years ago, while walking into a dry cleaner during early December, I noticed a colorful poster in the window that read, “Jesus is the Reason for the Season!” While I understand the motive behind such a statement and commend the shop owner’s desire to challenge the commercialization of the season, if we apply a bit […]Read More What if Jesus Isn’t the Reason for the Season?
The Old Testament prophesied the coming of an Anointed One, a Deliverer like Moses who would be born to set his people free — not from an oppressive nation-state but from their sinful-state as traitors before the law of God. As Isaiah proclaimed, “6 For to us a child is born, to us a son […]Read More Try Calling Him Jesus
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
If you have younger children who are used to a “little church” ministry that takes place during the sermon such as Creekstone’s GraceKids, here are some suggestions for how to coach them for the transition to “big church” on Sundays.1. Talk to your kids about what they will experience. They will get to sing. They […]Read More 8 Ways to Help Young Children Enjoy “Big Church” on Sundays
Quick Navigation The Burial of a DreamQuestionsSabbath SignificanceResting and Trusting The Burial of a DreamIt’s Saturday. Jesus has been buried with Roman centurions posted by the tomb to protect it from tampering. At the arrest of Jesus, the disciples all had “deserted him and fled.” Where they went that night, I do not know. Eventually, they did regroup, […]Read More Passion Week/Saturday: Waiting and Wondering
Quick Navigation A Torturous DeathHumiliationA Closer LookSubstitutionA Shadow of JesusThe Tables Turned A Torturous DeathIt’s Friday. Jesus has been betrayed, arrested, judged, scourged, and is now hanging from a cross, each breath requiring searing pain to shoot from nailed hands and feet as he would be forced to pull himself up upward against gravity to refill […]Read More Passion Week/Friday: Great Friday
Quick Navigation An Ancient CustomThe UnthinkableThe Power of IdentityMore Than Pouring WaterThe Driving Motive It is Thursday evening.The disciples have gathered with Jesus to celebrate Passover together in “the upper room.” Jesus would not sleep again until the sleep of death that he would enter through suffering upon an executioner’s cross the next day. And he […]Read More Passion Week/Thursday: A Shocking Moment
Quick Navigation Silent WednesdayPreparing and PlottingPrayer in the GardenThe Problem with Pre-Washed LanguageTransparency and Trust Silent WednesdayWith so much focus in the Gospels on Passion Week, there are no recorded events or sayings that take place on Wednesday. We do know this. Jesus was preparing and the Jewish leaders were plotting. Tomorrow would be the Last Supper, […]Read More Passion Week/Wednesday: Brutal Honesty
Quick Navigation Kingdom ParablesReadinessChristian AtheismWaking Up to Infinite Joy Kingdom ParablesOn Tuesday, Jesus has an encounter with a group of Pharisees and teachers of the law, men who will be the final opposition force to Jesus as the Christ. He begins to teach about the Kingdom of God with parables. In Matthew 21, we read, […]Read More Passion Week/Tuesday: Readiness
Quick Navigation An Unexpected PortraitUnrighteous Anger Holy ViolenceRough-Hewn Beams Today’s Scripture for day one of Passion Week is Matthew 21:12-13, a scene from Monday of Passion Week. 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of […]Read More Passion Week/Monday: Holy Violence
Table of Contents Marriage Will Not Fix the ProblemMarriage Needs Ongoing MaintenanceThe Human ConditionThe Two Options for Ending a WarThe Critical QuestionA Lesson from the Master’sThe Way of ReconciliationUnclogging the SinkApply the Principle 1. Suspect yourself2. Take a Look in the Bucket3. Change the Oil4. Let Defensiveness be a Red Flag5. Read It TogetherResolving Conflict […]Read More How to Resolve Marriage Conflict
I read an article this morning that kinda blew me away. Actually, it kinda blew me up. Pete Scazzero was interviewed by Preaching Today about what he has learned over the years about message preparation. Not technique or style. But what he has learned about the importance of the pastor’s heart. Reading the interview, I […]Read More For Preachers: Learning to be with Jesus
For Christmas this year, my wife gave me When Darkness Seems My Closest Friend, by Mark Meynell. I have devoured it like a New York size slice of sausage and peperoni pizza after a 24-hour fast. Kristy knew this book would speak to me in a very personal way. Over the years, she has walked with […]Read More Being a Friend, not a Fixer
Meteorologists have a tough job. They are called upon to predict the weather, often attempting an extended forecast days in advance. Sometimes they are accurate. Sometimes they miss badly. Still, we appreciate the work meteorologists do in giving us a heads up about what to wear or whether or not to head up the mountains […]Read More Of Prophets and Meteorologists
Today’s post is by a friend, Dave McCarty. He tells it like it is. Unedited. Unvarnished. The way I need it. Be warned. You can’t chug this stuff. It is for sippin’. Slowly. Let it process. Settle. And let the Spirit work renewal in your heart. His work for his glory and our joy. Anyway, […]Read More It is Impossible to Really Know Jesus, Unless
You know the classic story by Dickens, A Christmas Carol. The main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, is a life-long miser. Unmarried. No children. No friends. But lots of money. Loving his fortune, he keeps a close eye on “the books,” making sure that there is no decrease in his personal wealth. When approached with the greeting, […]Read More What Happened to Scrooge?
If you, like me, have been made freshly aware of and broken over the wretchedness of your sin, the video below from Ray Cortese is for you. If you, like me, are or have been in a state of blindness concerning your self-righteouss pride and hardness of heart, this message will not make sense now […]Read More Freshly Broken
“Christ died for the ungodly.” The Apostle Paul, Romans 5:6b In his wonderful little book, All of Grace, Charles Spurgeon tells this moving story (pp. 18-19 in the Whitaker House version). “Do not attempt to touch yourself up and make yourself something other than what you really are. Come as you are to Him who justifies […]Read More You Don’t Have to Dress Up for Jesus