This week I’m sharing some thoughts about facing trouble and persecution for your faith. When you look at the New Testament, it was expected that Christians would experience this. An example is 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5. Paul writes, “Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you … Continue reading Prepare to be persecuted?
Here in Canada it’s Thanksgiving Monday. I remember an episode of the iconic Little House on the Prairie. The dad and farmer in the family was Charles Ingalls, played by Michael Landon. It was harvest time. He walked through his bountiful field, swaying his hands through his beautiful crop. As he did so he looked … Continue reading A simple ‘Thank you, Lord’ — from Little House to yours
Last year a man came to a worship service I was leading because he was curious about this whole Christianity thing. The next week he emailed me because something had bothered him. He had read in the Bible that we should “fear God.” This made him uncomfortable. Perhaps he had read something like Psalm 33:8a … Continue reading “Fear” God. Really?
Have you heard the expression that “misery loves company”? It’s the idea that people who are miserable find some sort of comfort by being around other people who are miserable. I’ve also heard it used to express the idea that people who are miserable find some sort of comfort by sucking other people into their … Continue reading The opposite of ‘misery loves company’
Psalm 62:1 is so honest: “From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint…” It reveals total desperation, and a request for help from the only One who can truly give it. Sometimes you just don’t feel great. I get it. Maybe you also feel like you’re … Continue reading For when you’re struggling with contentment
In July 2007, 23 missionaries were held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Two of those missionaries were killed by the Taliban before the rest were released back to South Korea. One of the survivors tells a little-known story about their time together in captivity as prisoners. On their last night together before they were … Continue reading A Bible in 23 pieces
The parable of the sower is one of Jesus’ most famous. It describes a farmer who sows some seed. The seed represents God’s word—in short, the message of and about Jesus. Some of that seed falls on a path and some birds quickly eat it up. Some of the seed falls on rocky terrain and … Continue reading Cherish the life-giving gift
This week we’re wrestling with worry. After all, if we don’t find a way to take it down, it will gladly do so to us! Today’s idea goes hand-in-hand with what we’ve talked about already—about rooting yourself in the voice of Christ, about using a worry filter, and about practicing gratitude proactively. Here it is: … Continue reading The virtue of material modesty
This week we’re talking about worry. Unfortunately, much like water damage, friends who turn their back on you, or health problems, worries are often a difficult and deflating part of life. To counterattack the onslaught of worry, practice gratitude proactively. Consider the famous Psalm 23:1: “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in … Continue reading You and gratitude vs. worry
This week we’re talking about the big W… Worry. Generally speaking, worry isn’t good. But there are actually a few biblical passages where worry is portrayed positively. One of them is 1 Corinthians 12:24-25 where Paul says that the various parts in the body of Christ [the church] “should have equal concern for each other.” The … Continue reading Use a worry filter