Lost in the WoodsMike Vilhauer just wanted to catch some fish, but on August 6, 2014, the 58-year-old from Sacramento wandered off the trail into the mountain wilderness to look for grasshoppers he could use as live bait. It took a while, but his journey paid off.Until it didn’t.After collecting a tube-full of little critters, he looked […]Read More When You Feel Lost, Do This.
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the first week of July in 1863. If you are familiar with Michael Shaara’s historical novel, The Killer Angels, or have seen the 1993 film Gettysburg, you know that the struggle for Little Round Top was the turning point at Gettysburg, which many historians consider the most pivotal […]Read More Taking the Low Ground
Playground FencesWhen I was in elementary school, our playground sat next to a major city thoroughfare, with the swing-set located only ten yards from cars driving 50+ MPH.Why were 8-year-olds allowed to play on a swing-set so close to the road? Because the playground was surrounded by a tall fence, which acted as a boundary […]Read More Five Essential Boundaries for Marriage in an Age of Distraction and Temptation
Marriage Will Not Fix the ProblemIn my pastoral experience, I have found that many engaged couples expect marriage to fix the problems that exist in their dating relationship.Conflict will evaporate in the atmosphere of marital bliss, right? Wrong.Big-time wrong.Marriage is not going to fix your problems. It will only make them worse.Sorry to burst your bubble.Now […]Read More How to Clear the Drain When Marriage Gets Clogged
Quick Navigation Reviewing CoverageA CRY FOR HELPA Canaanite WomanTheological TermsAN UNEXPECTED SILENCELostOur NeedAN UNUSUAL EVANGELISM STRATEGYPerseveranceA TestEntitlement?A MODEL OF SAVING FAITHShe AgreesJesus’s PostureHow Can a Worm Refuse Reviewing CoverageIf your insurance agent contacts you about reviewing your homeowner’s policy, you may want to take him up on that. Most of us assume that our coverage […]Read More The Danger of Assuming Coverage
My first case of homesickness struck in the Missouri foothills. I was a ten-year-old at Camp Soaring Hawk and one of the few campers staying for both multi-week summer sessions. Although I had never been away from home before, things were okay while camp activities were taking place all day with new friends.Then they left.And […]Read More Homesick: My Longing for Things to Be as They Should
Anyone who applies for admission to a university knows that there are entrance requirements. Typically, you have to have an accredited high school diploma. There is often a standardized test minimum score requirement. Sometimes, essays are required as well as participation in extracurricular activities and community service.In this post, we are going to talk about […]Read More What is the Fundamental Entrance Requirement for Membership in the Kingdom of God?
Being grateful is not a natural inclination of my heart. In a recent post, I confessed that I complain far too easily and often.Sadly, I allow my mind to focus on my troubles and trials rather than on God’s sovereignty, Fatherly kindness, generosity, and sanctifying purposes. I heard a guy be asked how he was doing. […]Read More Turn Your Stress List into a Prayer List with This 5-Step Process
Although some would say that people who talk to themselves are manifesting signs of insanity or dementia, we speak to ourselves all the time. Every day.Often the things we speak to ourselves are lies.These lies take on a variety of shapes. For example, some of the lies concern our identity and what we must do in order to be […]Read More 7 Truths to Speak to Yourself Every Day
As you probably already know, Horatius Bonar was a pastor who ministered in Scotland in the 19th century (1808-1889). In an article entitled, “The Root and Soil of Holiness,” he deals with what produces the fruit of new life in true Christians. I have found this short blurb to be fuel for the soul that […]Read More If “rooted in love” is the description of a holy man…
Table of Contents A Favorite BookWhy Am I Not Staggered by Grace?Confess and Cling A Favorite BookOne of my favorite books is Transforming Grace, by Jerry Bridges.It is a simple, but profound and deeply helpful exploration into what it means to live by faith in the justifying, adopting and sanctifying grace of God.One statement that […]Read More Are You Ungodly Enough for Grace?
If your marriage has a clog in the drain and you feel stuck, you need gospel plumbing skills. My wife, Kristy, and I have learned these skills the hard way. In the video below, I share about how a real clogged drain taught us a powerful lesson about how to deal with our marriage junk. At some […]Read More How are your gospel plumbing skills?
Table of Contents Introduction. 1. Hold Expectations LooselyAn Example from the World of TennisHow can I know?But the deeper issue is why. 2. Trust God CompletelyTandem Sky-DivingLife as a Path. A Journey. A Story.Implications of Trusting What Our Children Need3. Engage Opportunities WholeheartedlyGod’s TimingClosing Time is in 15 Minutes!Present Moments, Opens DoorsWhat if… Conclusion. Inconvenient, but not RandomSeeing […]Read More Planning in Pencil: A 3-Part Plan for Flexing with God’s Providence
Table of Contents Repentance is DeathRepentance and CrucifixionNo More Plastic Bananas A Dangerous QuestionExactly Fessing and FeelingOwning It Repentance is Death”Repentance should feel like death.” I’m not sure where I heard that. But it is true because repentance is a death. Not a literal, physical death, but a very real, present, painful and active execution, nonetheless. It is chemo […]Read More Does Your Repentance Feel Like Death Yet?
Table of Contents Introduction. 1. ACKNOWLEDGE MY WEARINESS Mothers with Young ChildrenMothers with Older Children2. RECEIVE GOD’S RESTWearing a Yoke Understanding a Formula3. RESPOND TO JESUS’S INVITATIONThe surface burdensThe core burdenConclusion. Introduction. A couple of weeks ago Kristy, Sarah Wynn and I drove up to Chattanooga to help our eldest move into a new house for […]Read More A 3-Part Process for Facing Fatigue: A Message for Tired Mamas (and Anyone Who is Exhausted)
Quick Navigation Intro: A Confession and a Deep Desire1. Being a mother is not a step down from your other career.2. The mundane matters.3. There are seasons in every mother’s life.4. It’s okay to be tired.5. Lower your expectations.6. You were never meant to be a Jesus-replacement for your kids.7. Your children’s success or failure […]Read More 7 Things Every Mother Needs to Hear
Quick Navigation Longing for a Shared StoryThe Covenantal vs Consumeristic MarriageVows are not a FormalityThe Importance of FoundationsA Better QuestionLet’s Apply ItDiscussion Guide Longing for a Shared StoryBoth sets of my wife’s grandparents were married for over sixty years. What a legacy! Isn’t that what we want to look forward to. Enjoying long life together […]Read More The Secret of the 50-Year Marriage
Introduction – 1 Corinthians 15:12-32 “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, but if true, is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”In that statement, C.S. Lewis, the Oxford professor and author of the Narnia books, challenges us to re-evaluate our assumptions. What would make Christianity either true or false? What is […]Read More What if Jesus is Still Buried?
This post is a snippet from a longer article on slowing down. If you’d like to read the full-length post, you’ll find it here. If you’d just like the take-a-ways, here they are — the six ways to live within limits that I am discovering for myself. I hope this will help you, too.Set a reasonable […]Read More Six Ways to Slow Down and Live within Limits
Quick Navigation INTRODUCTIONTHE MOST IMPORTANT THING: 3 Things1. IT IS A GIFT TO RECEIVE (vv. 1-2)Faith is central.Reminders are crucial.Ongoing faith is pivotal.Application: It is the same way with standing firm in the gospel.2. IT IS A TRUTH TO BELIEVE (vv. 3-8)It is a truth predicted in the Scriptures.It is a truth verified in history.Application: […]Read More The Most Important Thing