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Month: January 2016

We Need God’s Transforming Grace

The longer I live, the more certain I become that we need transforming grace. Divine grace. Grace that beckons our feeble lives from the dregs of sin and imparts eternal hope. Grace that is found in the crucified and risen Jesus. The road to deliverance and the pathway to renewal […]

Three Means by Which People Follow Jesus

The first disciples did not all come to Jesus in the same way. They had different stories, and they found their way to Jesus by different means. 1. Gospel Proclamation Two disciples of John “followed Jesus” (John 1:37). They did this as a result of John’s preaching. They heard John […]

in faithfulness he afflicted me

In Faithfulness He Afflicted Me

Sometimes I sit down to write and find myself staring at a blank screen, my head swirling with thoughts of what I know is true, yet struggling to connect those truths with the overwhelming emotions and circumstances that seem to say otherwise. This has been one of those weeks. One […]

Seven Steps to Making the Best Decision

The Lord, in his goodness, has given us decisions to make in our daily lives. Some of those decisions seem relatively insignificant—like what to eat or how to cut our hair. But the constant barrage of choices can be stressful. Especially perplexing is the choice between multiple good options—when a […]

work life

A Prayer for a God-Honoring Work Life

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23-24) Father, I come before you thankful that you have made work a part of life and […]

Rock of Ages

Learning to Kiss the Wave, Trusting the Rock of Ages

I walked into a room filled with nearly 300 women, hungry, eager, craving to connect to each other and learn from God’s Word. I couldn’t believe my eyes – it was my greatest fantasy come true! We started off by going around the table and introducing ourselves. One by one, […]

pouring water

Pouring Water on the Hands of our Predecessors

One of my African American students at Crossroads will soon be replacing his current pastor, who is retiring from some 35 years at the same church. The experience of pastoral calling among African American churches and their ministers are quite different from traditional white Evangelical churches. Most African American pastors […]

Four Reasons to Be of Good Courage in Suffering

What does it look like to suffer well? It’s easy to answer this question in theory, but when suffering enters our experience, it’s much harder to reckon with. What are we to do with our many emotions? How are we to talk about our suffering with others? What does it […]

God's Purpose

Our Plans, God’s Purpose, and Faith

January is a logical time to think about plans, goals, and dreams. I’m more motivated to make changes in my life in January than I am in April or October. To live fruitful lives it’s healthy to make plans and to pursue our dreams by achieving goals. But how does one’s faith in God […]

Inside Out and the Peace of Christ

The Pixar movie Inside Out was recently released on DVD, and it’s a subject of conversation in our household. My eight-year-old says he didn’t understand it, my nine-year-old didn’t like it, and my five-year-old was scared by it. The eight-year-old had to leave the theater because he was so disturbed […]

feeling gray

When You’re Feeling Gray

The skies are gray today. Snow flurries blur the landscape outside the window. Temperatures hover in the mid-teens. The cold creeps through the soles of my shoes and my wool socks — the price I pay for working at my desk, which sits on the floor above our house’s crawl […]

about God

What Dad Taught Me About God

“Oh no. Oh no, no, no, no, no, no. What am I going to do?” I looked down at the shattered glass from my dad’s bookcase. His dad, my grandfather, had built it by hand. It was a beautiful piece of furniture, and it held many of my parents’ oldest, […]

quiet time

The Not-So-Quiet Quiet Time

Evangelical Christians have long talked about having a “quiet time.” A quiet time is an excellent thing, and I hope you have made a commitment to have a regular quiet time this year. But my question is: What are you going to do in that time? In the past, what […]

resolutions

Three Reasons to Renew Your Resolutions Today

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already failed on your New Year’s resolution. It’s my usual practice, either before I go to bed on New Year’s Eve or when I wake up on New Year’s morning, to get on my knees for a time of reflection, repentance, and resolution before […]

guardian angel

Bible Q&A: Why Didn’t My Guardian Angel Protect Me?

Question: I know the Bible says something about believers having “guardian angels.” But I went through a life-altering accident some years ago and have suffered with terrible pain ever since. I’m wondering why God (through my guardian angel) didn’t intervene to help me at my time of greatest need? Answer: This is […]

Best Use of Time

Making the Best Use of the Time

In 1884, George Eastman patented rolled photographic film and within a few years created the camera that could use that film. The first camera was sold in 1900 for $1, bringing family photographs to American homes for the next century. His firm, The Eastman Kodak Company, went on to create […]

all things new

Three Ways God Makes All Things New

New is great. New sounds like potential and opportunity…unless I think about it too much. Then it sounds like change and the unknown. As this new year begins, I’ve promised myself that instead of fearing the unknown I will choose to hope in the known. So what is known about […]

The Most Important Question in the Bible

It was my first trip to Israel, and our itinerary was full of places that before the trip were, to me, only names on the pages of Scripture. I was excited because this journey held the assurance that we would learn much, see much, and feel much over the course […]

spiritual performance

Are You Wrapped Up in Spiritual Performance?

I know a lot of men who get wrapped up in performance — work, sports, even community service or church attendance — competitiveness in any arena. But it’s not just men. For some of us Christians, we are no more vulnerable than in the arena of spiritual performance. I am […]

Seven Virtues to Pursue for Spiritual Growth

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love (2 Peter 1:5-7, NIV). Picture in your mind a Volkswagen and […]