Fighting Discouragement Through Worship
Asaph’s perspective changes in the presence of the almighty God. That is where he sees the truth.
What a transformation! What made the difference? The wicked of Asaph’s day were still living in rebellion. Other believers continued to enjoy blessings that Asaph did not. But here is what did change: Asaph’s focus. He no longer looked at everybody and everything around him but looked instead to God through worship, fixing his gaze... Continue Reading
A Jonah Experience: Lobster Diver Swallowed By Humpback Whale Off Provincetown
'I was completely inside': Lobster diver swallowed by humpback whale off Provincetown.
“I was completely inside; it was completely black,” Packard said. “I thought to myself, ‘there’s no way I’m getting out of here. I’m done, I’m dead.’ All I could think of was my boys — they’re 12 and 15 years old.” Outfitted with scuba gear, he struggled and the whale began shaking its head so... Continue Reading
What About Work & Vacation?
We short-change our productivity when we don’t establish regular patterns of rest in our busy lives and use our vacation wisely.
There is biblical warrant for vacation and rest during the week found in the concept of Sabbath. For contemporary Christians, this usually won’t necessarily look like inactivity from Friday evening to Saturday evening. It does point toward a pattern of incorporating rest into our weekly routines and taking advantage of our vacation benefits when we... Continue Reading
The Theology of Losing
Individuals, teams, and coaches who embrace this God-centered theology of losing will benefit from humbly asking God, “What are you teaching me through this situation?”
There is, however, a completely different, edifying, and freeing way of thinking to consider. In opposition to this cultural norm is the theology of losing, which affirms that God created us as competitors. It follows, then, that competition is embedded in our lives, and it provides an opportunity to glorify the Creator. We are to... Continue Reading
Mortal Heroes and Fallen Leaders
Forgiven? Yes. Better? No.
What can we do with our fallen heroes? We can remind ourselves that we never should have put them on a pedestal in the first place. We can remember that we too have besetting sins and distractions that keep us from doing all God has for us to do. We can refocus our lives on... Continue Reading
The Fear of Death and God’s Grip
We could think of these as five fingers of God gripping the true believer to keep him secure.
The Coronavirus itself may have turned out to be more frightful in the projection than the reality of it — unless you or someone you love died from it. Like all things that bring us fear, there is truth behind that fear. The truth that choked us is that all of us will die (unless escaping at... Continue Reading
A Postmortem on Covid and the Church
The Bible does not provide any explicit or implicit prohibition against wearing masks to church.
Those who recognized that government officials were using Covid restrictions to limit gatherings they did not like (see, Christian gatherings) saw things clearly. They were watching the situation with their eyes wide open. At first, I will agree that prohibiting church gatherings or imposing capacity limits did not rise to the level of persecution. As stated... Continue Reading
Hallgrímur Pétursson – Iceland’s Poet of Comfort
Within the Eternal Arms I sink to rest, Washed in the stream that flowed from Jesus' breast: The life Thou gavest, Father, now defend; Into Thine Hands my spirit I commend.
Pétursson experienced a new challenge in 1665, when he was struck with leprosy. He was still able to preach and attend some meetings, but eventually had to retire and spent his last years bedridden and almost blind. His most moving hymns were written during this time. He died at Ferstikla, near Saurbær, on 27 October... Continue Reading
God will not Forsake His Saints
I have been adopted by our Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Immutable God and He cares about me and takes personal care of me.
This Christian life is one of faith. This faith is a gift from God. Those who have it are His children. God will not lose one of His children. He delivers them from the hands of the wicked. God promises to deliver His children from the wicked. Does this also include deliverance from that horrible... Continue Reading
Joseph’s Faith in the Face of Death
About to die, Joseph reminds us all that God keeps his covenant promises!
When the author of Hebrews looks back on the life of Joseph, he does not mention Joseph’s wisdom or managerial skills, Joseph’s rise to power, or his brush with death. He does not mention Joseph’s ability to interpret dreams. But the author of Hebrews does mention Joseph’s desire to be buried in the land of... Continue Reading
What the World Needs Now: Zacchaeus
What propelled this corrupt tax collector and agent of the oppressive Roman government, to climb like a child up into a tree for just a chance to see Jesus.
Perhaps when we look at Zacchaeus sitting awkwardly perched on the limb of that tree, we are supposed to see what Jesus is worth. Perhaps when we look at a man like Zacchaeus, climbing a tree just to get the opportunity to see Jesus — not talk to, recline at table with, or discuss the... Continue Reading
Adoption: Meeting a Desperate Need
God’s work of adoption in human history is a drama of cosmic proportions.
Paul’s use of adoption in Romans has strong exodus imagery that surrounds its three occurrences (Rom. 8:15, 23; 9:4). God’s deliverance of Israel out of Egyptian bondage echoes behind the cosmic story of adoption in Romans 8. We find exodus imagery all throughout Romans 8: “set you free” (Rom. 8:2); “led by the Spirit of God” (Rom. 8:14; cf. Ex. 13:21); “the spirit... Continue Reading
How to Learn Contentment
Contentment does not dwell so often in palaces as in the homes of the humble.
The real cause of our discontent is not in our circumstances; if it were, a change of circumstances might cure it. It is in ourselves, and wherever we go, we shall carry our discontent heart with us. The only cure which will affect anything, must be the curing of the fever of discontent in us.... Continue Reading
Topping Off a Ridiculous Agenda
Another federal judge takes a hike away from reality.
In 2014, Gregory was part of a three-judge panel’s majority opinion in Bostic v. Schaefer, striking down Virginia’s voter-approved constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Well, why not? If men and women aren’t physically distinguishable in any meaningful way, why not eject an entire sex from the marriage... Continue Reading
On Christian Fasting
The Lord gives us good and appropriate religious practices, like fasting. But, in our sin, we take the best of things and corrupt them.
Abuses of fasting are noted in Scripture, e.g., Isa. 58:3-6. Jesus knew of these abuses and the sinfulness of the human heart; yet, He still said, when you fast. He directed us away from the abuse and clarified how to fast appropriately. Instead of displaying our fast for everyone to see, we should conceal it,... Continue Reading
Our Hiding Place
To take the Lord as your hiding place is to go to Him and be still, undisturbed, and undistracted, and to set Him only before your mind and soul, letting everything else wait.
The Christian life is not to be withdrawn. We have lives to live for Christ, work to do, ministry to perform, and a witness to bear. Our Savior expects and commands us to be fully engaged in this world for His glory. But we are mere men – “handfuls of animated dust” – and there... Continue Reading
Honest Thoughts on the Open Letter
A response to the Open Letter: "Looking Forward—Together."
The heart of the issue is not whether homosexual practice is sinful; the key issue is whether homosexual attraction is itself a sin and if the heinousness of this sin is such that it disqualifies a man from holding ordained office. The letter’s failure to mention the widespread concern surrounding SSA anywhere in the body... Continue Reading
Confessions and Worship
Historic doctrinal standards help draw a sharp line between orthodox teaching and false teaching.
Since the right worship of God is rooted in the timeless truth of Scripture, churches should eagerly welcome the long-standing historic formulations of biblical truth. Doing so will assist the church in preserving the truth of Christianity and the right worship of God against all perversion of it and opposition to it. Some of... Continue Reading
I Act; Therefore I Am. Dear Trans Kids: Stop Feeling and Start Thinking
Development on both the individual level and the societal scale requires moving from feelings to action.
Yes, your feelings show you are alive. Congrats—you exist just like everyone else. But your thoughtful, considered actions prove you are living. Your obituary will list the things you have done, the relationships you have built, not the emotions you have felt. A few weeks ago, a teacher at my kid’s school shared a bit... Continue Reading
Enter Through the Narrow Gate, for Wide is the Gate and Broad is the Way Leading to Destruction
We must know the truth and be ready to defend it.
Churchianity bypasses the mind and is all about the heart, which is mindless. Genuine Christianity encompasses both. That is why we must become transformed through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). This is our sanctification. Those outside of the narrow gate cannot be sanctified because they have never been justified. I solemnly charge... Continue Reading
The Westminster Confession and Good and Necessary Consequence
We can be sure that God’s word is sufficient.
The writers of the Westminster Confession have given us solid ground on which to not only do theology, but to do a Scripturally based theology which is authoritative and guiding for our faith and life. The Westminster Confession of Faith begins with one of the most well articulated statements concerning the doctrine of Scripture.... Continue Reading
You Are Not Better Than Racists
Racism is simply a particular version of a universal sin: partiality.
We are not better than racists. We all fall short of the glory of our impartial and loving God. God shows no partiality, but we cannot say the same. One of the most offensive things the Bible says about racism is that it’s another form of partiality. According to God, you and I are... Continue Reading
Interracial Couple Fights Critical Race Theory in One of America’s Most Integrated Towns
Oak Park, Illinois father asks, "Are my kids half-oppressor and half-oppressed?"
They grew up in different worlds, walked different paths, and yet they met by chance and fell in love because they shared the same universally human values and principles. There is enormous power in this truth, far greater than any manmade racial construct, and we must hold onto that or else. When I drove... Continue Reading
Quietism and Activism
How do we grow as Christians? Do we passively “let go and let God,” or is it all about us and our hard work toward holiness?
The very reason that we keep striving for holiness is precisely because we know that God is working in us when we do so. If you knew that God would be at work in you when you are at work, wouldn’t that motivate you to work all the more? In the beginning, before there... Continue Reading
June, a Call to Pride; Holiness, a Call to Humility.
June is not a time for believers to celebrate either pride or immoral sexual behavior.
There’s another possibility to consider—one that rejects any hint of pride on our part while not ignoring our responsibility to remain faithful and true to God’s divine revelation. While the LGBTQ crowd and others celebrate pride and immoral sexual orientation/behaviors, we might consider June an appropriate and opportune time to pursue holiness as a call... Continue Reading
Sex, Gender and a Whole Lot of Confusion
A conversation with Catholic literary scholar and former postmodern feminist Abigail Favale.
We see this in the Communion of Saints: There are these different ways of living out masculinity — think St. Francis de Sales and his gentleness. And then there are other male saints who are much more strident. And the same with the female saints: You’ve got Catherine of Siena, Joan of Arc, as well... Continue Reading
Virginia Elementary School Teacher Suspended for Opposing Gender Policy Must Be Reinstated, Judge Rules
“The Court has found that the disruption relied upon was insufficient,” adding that Cross’ speech and religious content were “central” to LCPS’ decision.
Cross sparked an uproar last month when he told LCPS’ school board that he wouldn’t “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion. It’s lying to a child, it’s abuse to a child, and it’s sinning against our God.” Byron “Tanner” Cross, a physical education teacher, has won an initial... Continue Reading
Lessons From Mordecai for Believers Today
Mordecai’s story, although brief, can have a far-reaching impact on our lives and is worth recounting for our edification.
We can learn lessons by teaching the wonderful history of Mordecai, an oft forgotten Jewish leader. Through his life, Christians can learn to be more effective Christian leaders, and positively impact people throughout our society that are battling the pain and trauma of constant hopelessness. Moses teaches us not only love the Lord of... Continue Reading
In The World, But Not Of The World
It is not looking socially respectable that draws people to Christ, it is speaking the truth faithfully that challenges what the world believes.
Reviewing early church history reveals that it was truth-telling that brought Christianity into conflict with its culture, but on the other hand, it was truth telling that resulted in hundreds coming to Christ. In those days, it was not looking socially respectable that drew people to Christ, it was being faithful to the truth they... Continue Reading
Sin or Not Sin?
Sin is not merely the commission of an actual transgression; it involves not only the transgression but the sin-nature and the powerful invading law that would have us commit sins.
It is not pastorally helpful to tease apart stages in sin formation by creating some sort of “safe space” where the Christian can convince himself: “I haven’t sinned yet because it’s just a desire.” This desire is not yet, perhaps, a transgression of the Law, but it is still, by nature, sin in the Biblical... Continue Reading