Prayer must become one of our life’s highest priorities instead of a last resort. I confess that sometimes, after trying everything else, I have said something like “Well—I guess all we can do now is pray.” My friend David Butts likens this bad theology to a soldier lamenting his lack of a good weapon before … More The Main Thing!
Because we will be talking with God for eternity, it makes sense for us to begin our conversation with him while we are on Earth. We should start these daily conversations the moment we wake up. Our first thoughts should be a prayer instead of us reviling the alarm clock or begging for caffeine. Consider … More I am a stumbling toddler!
My wife and I learned to speak Swahili in the DR Congo using a self-directed language learning method which helped us learn a second language the same way we learned our mother tongue when we were babies. The method is simple: Learn a little, and use it a lot. This approach is the exact opposite … More Tablet of the Heart
I love the picture Psalm 1:1–3 presents: A man who meditates on God’s Word day and night is pictured as a fruitful tree that has put down deep roots near life-giving water. In much the same way, author Henri Nouwen has challenged me to meditate and “chew on” short phrases of Scripture throughout each day. … More Roots and Fruit
Many people go to church each week and snack on the Word of God by listening to a sermon—then go home and put their Bible on a shelf until the next Sunday rolls around. This behavior is why there are so many weak, malnourished Christians walking around today. If you eat once a week, you … More Spiritual Food
There are, of course, many different kinds of suffering in life. Some suffering comes as a direct consequence of our own sinful choices or other people’s sinful choices. Other suffering comes directly from Satan and his demons or indirectly, through people used as Satan’s pawns. Still other suffering is a result of God’s discipline, as … More He could have walked away
Several years ago one of my university faculty colleagues was looking through his mail. He had just received a catalogue featuring religious jewelry. As he flipped through the catalogue, he started making fun of all the different kinds of crosses, asking me, “Hey, Mike—would you like a sterling silver cross, a gold-plated one, or maybe … More Jewelry or Torture?
The cross is often mysteriously absent in the theology taught in many American churches. It might show up in reference to Jesus’s death on the cross, but it is often missing as a sign of discipleship. Many American Christians simply don’t see suffering as part of the normal Christian life. In an interview, Elizabeth … More The Cross: sign of discipleship