Enjoying the Journey

Typically in February the President of the United States addresses a joint session of Congress and delivers the traditional “State of the Union.” This year’s address was much different. In a symbolic way it reminds us that the state of our union is somewhat uncertain at this moment. There is always plenty of political maneuvering and rhetorical gymnastics associated with such speeches. However, at this time in our nation there exists an increased division and dissension. O how we need a spiritual awakening in our land!  My greatest burden is not just for the state of our union politically or economically but for the state of the church spiritually. You see, the condition of the nation is deeply rooted in…

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Every job has its drawbacks and even its dangers. But, what is the scariest job in the world? It is a job that many of us have! The scariest job in the world is parenting.  The demands, the implications, the complications…about the time you start to figure a few things out your kids are almost grown. Tammy and I are at a new season in our lives as two of our children are in college and the youngest is less than three years from finishing high school. Over lunch recently I told friends that this phase of parenting has been the most challenging for me personally. I have loved every stage but as your children get older there are unique…

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Several years ago I had the joy of speaking to a large group of children on the subject of thanksgiving. In preparation I learned how to say thank you in several languages. While I am quite sure that my pronunciation was not perfect, we had fun teaching the kids to say thanks in Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, German, French, and Russian. To this day it is the only word I know in most of those languages! Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is learn to say thank you in our own language. As a small child I remember my parents giving me something and quickly asking, “What do you say?” The longer I live I am convinced…

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Seasons are marked by change. The autumn leaves turning colors and falling to the ground are a reminder to us all that time is passing. And while we love some seasons more than others, God uses every season in life to bring us closer to Himself. He is the One who transcends it all – eternal, immutable God. I do not know what season you are living through at this time. While it may be bright and sunny outside it can be dark and gloomy within. When some are rejoicing, others are walking through their most difficult days. One thing I do know is that “He hath made everything beautiful in his time…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). How can you make the…

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Earlier this week I posted 5 Books to Read on Witnessing. In this season of “social distancing” and health fears it is possible that we could all lose sight of the greatest danger – souls being eternally lost. It would be a tragedy if, while we give attention to physical things, we neglect spiritual realities. People are dying every day in their sins and God’s people have the cure. A few days ago I was preaching in another state. The pastor and a couple of ministry interns said that they were going out to speak to people door to door about the Lord. They were, of course, using every precaution and speaking to people only on the front steps of…

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The world is shaking…but God is not! These are uncertain days but the people of God have a certain future. He has not failed us, forgotten us, or forsaken us – and He never will! How can you live with confidence in uncertain times? Rest in what you know for sure. When there are questions that cannot be answered always go back to unchanging truth: God is good. Rehearse His goodness in your own conversations. Recognize that the same good God is at work now. None of this has taken Him by surprise and we may be surprised how the Lord uses this for His own glory. Stay hopeful. Do not allow the news media to set your tone. Stay…

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I rarely post on the Lord’s day, but this Sunday is an unusual day for many churches and church members. Social media has been filled this week with updates, instructions, and explanations from pastors and Christian leaders about the current pandemic and the varied responses. These are challenging days for those who have been called to guide God’s people in a church, school, or ministry. They are challenging days for us all! Perhaps your church is not meeting this week as normal – or perhaps it is. Either way there are a few things all of God’s people can do for the work of God where they are… Pray for your pastor. All who lead need divine wisdom. This is…

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Let’s face it: we all like to be in control. To feel as though we can direct the course of things and determine the outcome. But this mentality works against faith. It is rooted in pride – a belief that we know what is best and deserve to be in control. As I rode on the left side of the car in Australia (without a steering wheel), watching someone on the other side of the car drive on the opposite side of the road, I was reminded that sometimes it is best to let someone else drive! Sit back and relax. You don’t have to be in control of everything. One of my mentors said to me when I was…

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We all know we ought to pray more. We all want to pray more effectively. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God wrote a manual on prayer? Indeed, He has! God’s Word is the most thorough, powerful prayer book in the world. If you want to be a person of prayer then you must be a person of the Scriptures. George Mueller’s life illustrated this connection. He prayed in provisions for hundreds of orphans and saw miraculous answers to prayer all of his life. The secret? He began every morning on his knees with an open Bible getting His own heart happy in Jesus and finding a promise He could claim that day. The more attention I give to reading and…

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