What Does It Look Like in the Dark?

My first recollection of it occurred on the back porch steps of my rural home in North Carolina. Nine or ten years old, I slumped, cried aloud for what seemed like an hour, tears cascading down my cheeks onto the steps, obscuring my view of the sun setting behind a mountain. An overwhelming sadness, a Read more about What Does It Look Like in the Dark?[…]

5 LESSER KNOWN WAYS THAT PRIDE SHOWS

Repeatedly in His Word, God warns about the encroachment of pride. That’s because, as John Wesley put it, “All pride is idolatry.” When we’re proud, how does it show? More obvious answers include boasting about accomplishments (even when we’re subtle about it during conversations); an unwillingness to accept unsolicited counsel or reproof; or an air Read more about 5 LESSER KNOWN WAYS THAT PRIDE SHOWS[…]

7 THINGS TO DO WHILE WAITING ON GOD

Puzzling. Frustrating. Gut-wrenching. When we’re waiting on God to act, those words describe us.  We may be waiting for provision of a new job; for God to woo a grown child back to faith; for Him to open the womb for a baby desperately wanted, or to bless us with a wife or husband.  From Read more about 7 THINGS TO DO WHILE WAITING ON GOD[…]

1 APPLICATION OF JESUS’ DEATH AND RESURRECTION

​So what? According to Johnny Miller, former pastor and past President of Columbia International University, that’s the most important question to ask when we study the Bible. The text says this (observation).  So what? The text means this (interpretation).  So what?   This second “So what?” should lead us to implications of the truth for our Read more about 1 APPLICATION OF JESUS’ DEATH AND RESURRECTION[…]

8 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU DETERMINE IF YOU’VE REALLY FORGIVEN SOMEONE

We can fool ourselves into thinking we’ve forgiven another person, when resentment still simmers beneath the surface of our hearts.  I know this from painful experience.    Warning:  asking ourselves these questions may spur repentance toward God for our bitterness, and confession to the person who’s the object of resentment. To glean the most from the Read more about 8 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU DETERMINE IF YOU’VE REALLY FORGIVEN SOMEONE[…]

10 questions your accountability partner should ask you

For Patrick Morley, “Accountability is to be regularly answerable for each of the key areas of our lives to qualified people.” According to Charles Swindoll, “Accountability is giving one or more trusted persons the permission to ask you the hard questions.” Seeking someone to hold you accountable for growth and holiness requires humility and transparency.  Read more about 10 questions your accountability partner should ask you[…]

20 QUESTIONS TO ASk A MENTOR

Whether you’re a homemaker, a businessman, or a vocational Christian leader, I hope you regularly pick the brains of older, mature people whose walk with the Lord you respect. Tapping into their wisdom and experience is a hinge on which your growth and effectiveness will turn. Select a few of the questions that follow to Read more about 20 QUESTIONS TO ASk A MENTOR[…]

10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FOR SURE

After 67 years, some things life and God’s Word have taught me are lodged in my mind and regularly demand my attention and application. I’m convinced that the following ten statements pass the test of truth.If you want this post to make a difference in your life, read the Bible verses that accompany each point. Read more about 10 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FOR SURE[…]

6 WAYS TO INSTILL GRATITUDE FOR GOD’S FAITHFULNESS  (A Step-by-Step Group Worship Experience You Can Use)

How can you tap into your group or family members’ positive memories of God’s interventions? How can you spark a celebration of His past deeds, leading to a corporate time of praise? 1.Use a Hymn. Go online and find a high-quality choir rendition of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.” 2.Distribute the Lyrics and Play the Song. Ask Read more about 6 WAYS TO INSTILL GRATITUDE FOR GOD’S FAITHFULNESS  (A Step-by-Step Group Worship Experience You Can Use)[…]

3 THINGS THE BIBLE DOESN’T TEACH

The late pastor Ron Dunn quipped, “Many people believe the Bible because they do not know what it says.” He referred to misconceptions some folks have about what it does and does not teach. What they think the Bible teaches, it doesn’t, or if they knew what it really taught, they’d be less inclined to Read more about 3 THINGS THE BIBLE DOESN’T TEACH[…]

QUESTIONS FOR DEVOTIONAL BIBLE STUDY

The following questions help shuttle God’s Word from my head to my heart.  I often use them to keep my devotional study of a passage from becoming  too sterile or academic.  Undoubtedly there’s overlap to some of these questions, and not every Bible passage offers an answer for every probe.  But using them helps personalize Read more about QUESTIONS FOR DEVOTIONAL BIBLE STUDY[…]

IS IT EVER OKAY TO LIVE IN THE PAST?

4 Reasons Why My Answer Is “Yes!” “Living in the past” isn’t  normally  associated with spiritual vitality. But there’s one sense in which repeated excursions into our past is integral to a more robust walk with Christ.  Digest these reasons for looking over your shoulder, for recalling specific incidences in your personal spiritual pilgrimage. 1.   Read more about IS IT EVER OKAY TO LIVE IN THE PAST?[…]

3 Things I’m  Learning the Hard Way About Aging

Not everything we learn is fun or fascinating.  Take lessons about growing older as an example.  I didn’t register for the course on aging, but at 66, I daily take my front-row seat in the classroom.  I don’t know if this will be on the test, but what follows are three takeaways I’ve gleaned, and Read more about 3 Things I’m  Learning the Hard Way About Aging[…]

WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT…

It just doesn’t feel like Christmas this year.  The joyful anticipation I once had prior to December 25 has evaporated as I get older.  Maybe it’s because the kids are grown and I don’t get to observe their excitement any more.I tend to feel depressed the closer we get to Christmas.  It’s as if there’s Read more about WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT…[…]

God’s Law of Provision

A Christmas Meditation and Poem If you  can fully grasp and explain this truth, you’re a whole lot smarter than I am.  Yet this principle reassures me, and massages my heart.Somehow, in the incomprehensible mind of God, He planned for our salvation before mankind existed. The late Ron Dunn called this “God’s Law of Provision.”  He Read more about God’s Law of Provision[…]

FOUR THNGS I’D DO THE SAME

Turnabout is fair play, especially when I’m involved. My previous post cited “Four Things I’d Do Differently” as I looked back over the decades of my life. Here are four things I’ve done right in life or ministry. 1. I’ve worked at being creative with gifts I’ve given my wife for birthdays, anniversaries, or for Christmas.  Not Read more about FOUR THNGS I’D DO THE SAME[…]

4 THINGS I’D DO DIFFERENTLY

​I’m not trying to browbeat myself through this post.  The good Lord knows I’ve done too much of that in my lifetime. As a vocational Christian leader, husband, and father, I’ve done some things well and right.  But now that I’m 66, I’m reflecting on my life and these four things I’d do differently bubbled Read more about 4 THINGS I’D DO DIFFERENTLY[…]

If i were a Christian College Freshman again…3 Things I’d do differently

I began my freshman year of college in the Jurassic era, 48 years ago this month. What if I could start all over, knowing what I know now about life and relationships? 1.  I’d write my parents a letter soon after arriving on campus. No matter how imperfect or dysfunctional you perceive your home life, Read more about If i were a Christian College Freshman again…3 Things I’d do differently[…]

4 Reasons to “Preach to yourself”

What a privilege I’ve had to hear, in person, renown preachers: W. A. Criswell, John Stott, Stephen Olford, Stuart Briscoe, John MacArthur, Jr., Charles Swindoll, Erwin Lutzer, John Piper, Bruce Wilkerson, and George Murray, to name a few.  But the value of their messages pale in comparison to the ones I preach to myself. “Preaching Read more about 4 Reasons to “Preach to yourself”[…]

3 lessons on Worship

A worship chapel at Columbia International University stoked the embers in my heart’s fireplace. All music and responsive readings were framed around the Apostle’s Creed.  As we sang “How Great Thou Art,” a faculty colleague who sat on the front row near an inside aisle, turned and faced the 1000-plus worshippers, with a face-splitting grin.  Read more about 3 lessons on Worship[…]

3 Sure-Fire Ways To Encourage Someone

The Greek verb “to encourage” means “to come alongside.”  It’s what we do when a car battery gets depleted.  Someone literally pulls alongside and gives us a jump, infusing our weak battery with energy from their functioning one.  They connect with us in a way that restores the battery’s capacity to do its job.  The Read more about 3 Sure-Fire Ways To Encourage Someone[…]

7 QUESTIONS FOR SPIRITUAL GIFT DISCOVERY 

As a mentor, church staff member, or small group leader, one of your privileges is to add to the Lord’s labor force by helping others discover their spiritual gifts.  What follows is a list of 7 questions you can use with a protégé, in a new members’ class, with a small group, or in the Read more about 7 QUESTIONS FOR SPIRITUAL GIFT DISCOVERY […]

Where are the Tears?

I heard the question 30 years ago. To say I cannot forget it is the classic understatement.  To this day the question and the remarks that preceded it roil around in my mind, goading me, instilling discomfort. David Mains was speaking at a Bible conference on the topic, “Enduring Characteristics of Revival.”  He had heard Read more about Where are the Tears?[…]

Whatever Happened To Shame?

Is a sense of shame always a bad thing? Many Bible teachers and counselors reply with a resounding “Yes!” There’s no place for shame in a Christian’s life, they insist.  Thanks to forgiveness, and to our right standing with God owing to justification, we shouldn’t feel embarrassment, dishonor, or humiliation over sins covered by the Read more about Whatever Happened To Shame?[…]