Not Every Hardship

Difficult tasks often have easy beginnings. It is easy to learn the first few pages of a new piano piece when the melodies were familiar, the chords simple, and the accidentals few. It is easy to run the first mile of a marathon surrounded by the contagious energy of a hundred other runners. It is…

In Everything Give Thanks

Rejoice evermore, pray without ceasing, in every thing give thanks—for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ( Thessalonians 5:16–18) Giving thanks in every thing is relatively easy when the sun is shining and everything is more or less, “going our way.” Yet there are times—and for our church family at…

What We Are up Against

It has often been said that, “To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.” Regardless of the source of this modern-day proverb, it communicates a truth that all of us recognize instinctively. We also understand, at least in theory, that adequate preparation must always take into account the nature of the challenge being prepared…

The Gift that Changes Lives

The Christmas season offers many opportunities to turn the conversation towards the significance of the One Whom so many claim to be celebrating. This is a lightly edited version of a brief gospel tract I wrote some time ago entitled “The Gift that Changes Lives.” My prayer is that those who know the Lord would…

Un-Ambiguous Praise

Love is a wonderful thing—on that point almost everyone agrees. Yet this wonderful word called “love” has been assigned a bewildering variety of meanings. The Beatles famously asserted that, “all you need is love.” Countless young couples have allowed their passionate “love” for each other to override what was once an unshakeable commitment to purity.…

Towing the Tow Truck

As I rode behind a tow truck that was pulling another tow truck the other day, the first thing I thought to myself was, “that awkward moment when you are a tow truck that needs a tow truck yourself.” You are on your way to help, and now you, the helper, are in need of…

Keep Calm and Fight On

We would live differently if we realized that we lived in a war zone. It is socially acceptable to complain about the amount of foam in our coffee when the sun is shining and flowers are blooming. But soldiers know how to appreciate even lukewarm coffee. It is also socially acceptable to complain about the…

The Echo Chamber

Those educated in studying people have observed a phenomenon they describe as the “echo chamber.” You might not have heard the term but you probably know the symptoms. Your friend posts an article on Facebook explaining some conspiracy theory. No matter what evidence or arguments to the contrary are presented in the comments, your friend…

Much to You!

Korah, Dathan, Abiram, and their 250 stooges of reputation were up in arms. The text does not say exactly why, and, for the purposes of this article, it doesn’t really matter. In the course of their complaint they said to Moses and Aaron, Ye take too much upon you. The Hebrew this phrase translates is…

Praise the Lord!

Hard as it may be for those who know me now to believe, as a child I used to sing specials with my family, both at our own church and around the country when we traveled. From the very beginning it was drilled into me that, when someone complimented me, I was to say, “Praise…