Month: May 2016

bible in one year

Bible Q&A: Are We Commanded to Read the Bible in One Year?

Question: I know how important it is to read God’s Word on a regular basis, but why the push to read through the Bible in one year? I have tried so many times, but have failed to do so. Is there a Scripture that commands doing this? Is there a reason why […]

just as I am

Just As I Am

I struggle with the desire to impress people. I want to be the great musician, the great theologian, the great scholar. I want to say the thing that will unify the Church. I want a platform that will enable me to reach millions of people all around the globe. And […]

godly servant

Seven Marks of a Godly Servant

You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave. (Matthew […]

renewing your mind

Five Steps to Renewing Your Mind

What does your stream of consciousness sound like? There are words floating through my mind at all times; some are good and purposeful, and others are not. My mental monologue generally contains too much self-focused and self-defeating babble. “What a stupid thing to say!” (Imaginary palm to the forehead.) “Did she just ignore […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (May 25, 2016)

Why Doesn’t God Still Speak Audibly? (Patrick Schreiner, The Gospel Coalition) Did Old Testament saints see God, or has no one ever seen God? And does he reveal himself the same way in the New Testament as in the Old? The Attributes of God (Lore Ferguson Wilbert, Sayable) I really mean it when […]

summer activities

10 Summer Activities for Christian Students

I have been serving in Christian higher education for over a decade now. Each year, at least one college student asks me this question: “What should I do during my summer break?” Or the parents will ask, “My son or daughter is coming home for the summer, so what should […]

the next best thing

Three Reasons Why God’s Word Will Always Be the Next Best Thing

Our culture is constantly calling out for us to follow the crowds and go after the next best thing. Whether it is the new trend of simplifying our lives in three easy steps or listening to the new album that will immediately change our world, we are pulled, prodded, and pleaded […]


Lessons in the Silence

It was a vain effort, but I tried changing the batteries on my hearing aids one last time, hopeful that maybe the tiny devices were malfunctioning. But no, even with fresh batteries, I still heard nothing. After cleaning my hearing aids, I packed them away for good. After slowly losing my hearing […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (May 19, 2016)

This week’s resources follow a biblical theme that no believer is exempt from experiencing in their Christian life: suffering. We pray these articles encourage you to endure suffering and hardship with patience and great joy. You might consider forwarding them along to someone whom you know is suffering. Suffering Well: Acknowledging […]

Transformed by christ

Five Hallmarks of Being Transformed by Christ

Transform: “To change completely or essentially in composition or structure”[1] Do you think that’s possible? Maybe for a caterpillar. But what about for you and me? What about that neighbor who blares music late at night, the colleague who takes credit for your work, or the relative who belittles you […]


What Jesus Says About Our Failures

Perhaps the greatest discouragement in my Christian life is my own weakness before God. It’s at the beginning of a well-worn path to doubt. How could the Holy Spirit possibly be working in me if I’m still struggling with this? For me this comes up frequently in my struggle to […]

calm the storms

Jesus Didn’t Come to Calm the Storms

What if Jesus hadn’t calmed the storm? It is one of the most beloved stories in the Bible, found in Mark 4:35-41. Jesus and his disciples are crossing the Sea of Galilee when a storm rolls in. The waves threaten to sink the boat. Jesus is asleep. Asleep! How can […]

reading the Bible

17 Benefits to Reading the Entire Bible

As I set aside my Bible reading plan this year in favor of soaking in shorter passages, I realized that I didn’t need to choose between the two—nor did I want to! The benefits and joy of journeying the entire way through God’s salvation story are too good to miss, […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (May 12, 2016)

Thanks for checking out another week of Key Connections, where we connect you to key biblical resources from around the web! A Secret Way to Kick-Start Your Theological Library (Tim Challies, Challies dot Com) These journals are full of excellent articles by top writers, scholars, and reviewers. Some are targeted at […]

alive in Christ

Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

Where are you from? How did you grow up? Tell me about your family. Where does Jesus play into all of this?   These are the probing questions and seeking statements that fill up most of my time as of late. I recently moved to Georgia, where I have become the lead […]


10 Strategies for Cultivating Meekness

In the sermon “Blessed are the Meek,” Pastor Colin Smith defined meekness as, “The means by which God tames the sinful soul by taming the temper, subduing the assertive self, calming the passions, managing the impulses of the heart, and bringing order out of chaos in the soul.” He compared […]

Debt-Free Living

In January 2015, the eastern European nation of Croatia canceled the debt of its poorest citizens. The prime minister convinced the banks, cities, companies, and telecommunications providers to forgive the loans without any reimbursement from the government. From the Washington Post: “We assess that this measure will be applicable to […]

When Mother’s Day Hurts

For many, Mother’s Day feels more like a day of mourning than a day of celebration. It stands as a reminder of what many have lost. Perhaps it’s a woman who lost her child through miscarriage, stillbirth, illness, or tragedy. Maybe it’s a woman who recently lost her mother. Perhaps […]

Mother's Day

This Mother’s Day, Don’t Worry

Once a mother always a mother. When I was planning the series Ultimate Questions for the congregation of The Orchard some time ago, I wondered which of Jesus’ questions might be most appropriate for Mother’s Day. So I showed a list of Christ’s questions to a few mothers in the congregation, […]

Christian resources

Key Connections (May 4, 2016)

Looking for a church in your area? The Gospel Coalition has a fantastic tool for finding solid, gospel-centered, Bible-based churches. Check out their Church Directory! Why Be Urgent with the Gospel? (Geoffrey R. Kirkland, Vassal of the King) Our lives are brief. We are here but for a few years and […]

serving the Lord

Serving the Lord When You Aren’t Ready

When my wife and I considered having kids, we worried we weren’t ready. In response, a friend of ours commented, “If you wait till you feel ready, you’ll never do it.” It’s often the same with serving. There are constantly things getting in the way of our feeling ready to […]


Four Things God Supplies to Overwhelmed Leaders

Have you ever felt out of your league as a leader? You may be surprised to know that one of the greatest leaders in the Bible, Moses, can totally identify with those feelings. Even so, God used Moses in the most amazing ways. The good news about being used by […]

sitting at Jesus' feet

12 Ways to Sit at Jesus’ Feet (When You Have Neither Quiet Nor Time)

Despite our best plans, there are times when life gets chaotic. Before the birth of my kids, I found that practicing the spiritual discipline of sitting at the Lord’s feet was simply a matter of time management and will power. I was even a bit judgmental towards those who didn’t […]