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2015 Blog Archive

December 28, 2015 | The Slain Lamb Stands
Ralph Wood, professor of theology and literature at Baylor University, once asked a group of seminary students to compare two individuals: the modern collegian who insists that sin and the fall of humanity are fallacies invented by the superstitious, and a primitive young man in a...  Read More.

December 21, 2015 | Christmas Triumph
Triumph, this time of year, seems to come in many shades of success in the Western world. Many of us feel most ready for Christmas when we have met every shipping deadline, reciprocated every Christmas card, or averted every scheduling conflict. Victories that we might otherwise find slight...  Read More.

December 14, 2015 | Promises and Signs
The birth of a child is not a time for asking questions – unless there are concerns about issues that are known in advance of the birth. The birth of a child is a time to celebrate – hopefully, without any complications at all. But we know there were complications surrounding the...  Read More.

December 7, 2015 | Typical or Exceptional?
Some years ago, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, professor of eastern ethics at Oxford University, made the comment that Christians are just ordinary people making extraordinary claims.  Yet elsewhere, Dr. Radhakrishnan seemed to make an extraordinary claim himself: "Jesus is not exceptional...  Read More.

November 23, 2015 | Waiting for Inspiration
The artist Chuck Close once said, "Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work." Along the same lines, Tchaikovsky said, "a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood." E.B. White said it this way: "A writer...  Read More.

November 16, 2015 | Real Food
During the bombing raids of World War II, thousands of children were orphaned and left to starve. After experiencing the fright of abandonment, many of these children were rescued and sent to refugee camps where they received food and shelter. Yet even in the presence of good care, they had...  Read More.

November 9, 2015 | Adding Days to Life
In his book Mojo, executive coach Marshall Goldsmith tells about research done by the company DDI, revealing that the average American worker spends 15 hours a month criticizing or complaining about their boss. Skeptical when he read the results of the study, he followed up...  Read More.

November 2, 2015 | Healed!
I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present or the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, not anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38, 39 NIV. A pastor friend...  Read More.

October 26, 2015 | Brave Hearts
In the classic historical drama, Braveheart, William Wallace was the Scottish hero who led the fight against British rule in Scotland. Alongside Wallace stood Robert the Bruce, a Scottish nobleman who betrayed Wallace, but later—after Wallace’s execution—rose up to lead Scotland...  Read More.

October 12, 2015 | An Ordinary Cross
The cross," someone said recently, "has become so ordinary that we hardly see it anymore." Can this be true? How could an image once shameful enough to bow the proudest heads become ordinary?  Theodore Prescott is a sculptor who has spent a great deal of time thinking about the cross. In the...  Read More.

October 5, 2015 | The Cost of Bread
Nobel laureate Milton is perhaps best known for popularizing the saying "There's no such thing as a free lunch," which is now a common English dictum. We understand that anything billed "free of charge" still has a bill attached. Whatever goods and services are provided...  Read More.

September 21 & 28, 2015 | Missing the Point
My wife sent this story to me in an email. She often does that since she knows I’m constantly on the lookout for good stories to use in sermons and devotionals. The email was entitled, “A Sweet Story.” So I opened the email anticipating something touching. Here is the story she sent me: A very old...  Read More.

September 14, 2015 | Taste and See
In 1989, Carlo Petrini started a movement known as "Slow Food". The movement exists to counter the world's ever-increasing dependence upon fast food. The preservative-laden, mass-produced fast food meals are neither good for us, nor for our environment, argue Petrini...  Read More.

September 7, 2015 | A God of Joy!
In August of 1963, due to his ailing health and increasing responsibilities, C.S. Lewis announced his retirement from Cambridge University. His stepson Douglas Gresham and friend Walter Hooper were sent to the university to sort out his affairs and bring home more than 2,000 books that lined the...  Read More.

August 31, 2015 | A Crown of Life
Voice of the Martyrs, an organization that tracks Christian martyrdom and offers support to the families left behind, tell us that more Christians are being martyred today than at any other time in earth’s history. The most frequent persecution of Christians occurs in Muslim...  Read More.

August 24, 2015 | Harvest Now
One of the most powerful challenges Jesus gave to his followers came in a most unexpected setting. You remember the story. Jesus and his disciples were traveling by foot from Jerusalem to Galilee. They chose the direct but most dangerous route—through Samaria. At historic Jacob’s well near...  Read More.

August 17, 2015 | Seeing the Future
In 1981, a rather prophetic lecture was given at the University of Notre Dame that predicted the collapse of the Soviet Union. The lecturer called Communism “a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written." A year later the same speaker told...  Read More.

August 10, 2015 | The Detective and the Theory
There are many people who believe that Sherlock Holmes was a real person. After all, his “biography” is as easy to find as is Winston Churchill’s! From 1887 to 1927, sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote of the famous detective known for his heightened skills of observation. Holmes was both memorable...  Read More.

August 3, 2015 | A Way to God
Sometime before the Reformation, Martin Luther was in his monk's cell weeping because of his sins. His confessor, a young man, simply didn't know what to do, so he began repeating the Apostles' Creed. "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth; And in...  Read More.

July 27, 2015 | So I Could Stand Beside My King
The story is told of a particular running of the Marathon in ancient Greece. As the time drew near for the long-distance race to begin, the muscular, conditioned runners paced nervously near the starting line. They shook out their muscles, inhaled deeply, and put on their "game faces."...  Read More.

July 20, 2015 | A Legend Of The Fall
Bobby Leach achieved fame and fortune when, at the age of 53, he went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. After recuperating from his injuries, Bobby toured North America and the UK with the historic barrel in tow, recounting the experience for enthusiastic audiences in circus tents and lecture...  Read More.

July 13, 2015 | The Existence of God and Pain
"How do you expect me to believe in God," asked Woody Allen, "when only last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of my electric type-writer?" For a while now, at least in the Western world, the existence of any form of pain, suffering, or evil has been...  Read More.

July 6, 2015 | The Father Who Runs
Rembrandt’s massive painting, The Return of the Prodigal Son, hangs on the walls of the St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum. It is one of the last paintings the artist ever completed and remains one of his most loved works. In the painting the elderly father is shown leaning in an embrace of his...  Read More.

June 29, 2015 | At Risk for You!
Has anyone every put himself at risk for you? What is the greatest sacrifice anyone has ever made on your behalf? Early in the 20th century, Dr. Claude Barlow was a medical missionary to Shaohsing, China. While he served the Chinese people, a strange disease broke out among...  Read More.

June 22, 2015 | Partners with God
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:11, 14...  Read More.

June 15, 2015 | A Father’s Day Story
You probably already know most of Johnny Cash's story. He rose to fame in the 1950’s around the same time that Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis became popular on the music scene. While his career skyrocketed, his personal life bottomed out. He nearly destroyed himself...  Read More.

June 8, 2015 | On The Question of Existence
Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. She wrote the following article on January 8, 2010. I felt it was worth sharing here. Enjoy! There are times when it is worth wondering with the professor from...  Read More.

June 1, 2015 | When the Cheering Stopped
Gene Smith, a noted American historian, wrote the book, "When The Cheering Stopped." The book was the story of President Woodrow Wilson and the events leading up to and following WWI. When that war was over, Wilson was an international hero...  Read More.

May 25, 2015 | Baseball and the Married Life - Acts 4:32
Can baseball save a marriage? The research suggests that it certainly can’t hurt! Howard Markman, who co-directs the University of Denver's Center For Marital and Family Studies, made an interesting discovery a few years ago. He found that cities with a Major...  Read More.

May 18, 2015 | Praying Always
“Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 6:18. In Lloyd John Ogilvie’s book, Quiet Moments With God, I found this meaningful prayer. “Dear God, so often in my prayers I present You with my own agenda. I ask for...  Read More.

May 11, 2015 | Our God Is A Personal God
In the summer of 1985, thirty-year-old Julie Gold, an aspiring singer/songwriter, was working odd jobs in New York City when she received word from her parents in Pennsylvania that they were shipping the family piano to her as a birthday gift. The day after it arrived...  Read More.

May 4, 2015 | Resurrection!
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they...  Read More.

April 27, 2015 | Making Shade
I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Philippians 4:12 NLT There is an old saying: “Guilt is concerned with the past, and worry is concerned about...  Read More.

April 20, 2015 | Making Shade
And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2 ESV). Warren Buffet said, "Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time...  Read More.

April 13, 2015 | Where There Is Faith
Agnes Bojaxhiu, who died in 1997, was one of the most influential persons of her time. She was so passionate about her beliefs that her life became an articulate expression of her faith. She loved life, and so, hated abortion; thus even when called to speak to a predominantly...  Read More.

April 6, 2015 | “Two Stories”
Perhaps you are familiar with these stories – two inspiring stories that bear witness to the power of our choices and the value of integrity.  Many years ago, mafia boss Al Capone virtually owned Chicago.  Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. In fact...  Read More.

March 30, 2015 | The Aroma of His Love
The Coliseum in ancient Rome was the sight of great brutality and slaughter, yet the games were immensely popular with the citizens. Gladiators fought for the amusement of the crowds, often forfeiting their lives for the applause of those in...  Read More.

March 23, 2015 | A Faith Unobscured
At a funeral service in 1742, two giants of the Christian faith stood beside their mother's grave. John Wesley conducted the services; his brother Charles wrote the epitaph for the tombstone. In part, it read: A Christian here her flesh laid down; The cross exchanging for a crown... Read More.

March 16, 2015 | The Gift of Community
Why did God establish the church? One reason the church exists is to provide a community of believers who take care of each other. When I am beginning to stray from God, my fellow believers draw me back. They help me know when my life is getting to... Read More.

March 9, 2015 | Being a Neighbor
In her book, The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom gives an account of her family’s provision of refuge for Jews during the Nazi persecution across Europe. Corrie’s father often stated, "The master of this house demands that we open the door to anyone that knocks... Read More.

March 2, 2015 | What Do You Not Want To Do Today?
Legendary football coach Tom Landry said, "The job of a football coach is to make men do what they don't want to do, in order to achieve what they've always wanted to be." It's also said that successful people become successful by doing the little things... Read More.

February 23, 2015 | Choosing Your Way
Victor Frankl wrote, "We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything... Read More.

February 16, 2015 | Guilt and Forgiveness
Billy Graham told a story about a boy in the eighteenth century who left home at the age of 15 to join the British Army, but when he faced enemy bullets flying all around him, he deserted, making his way back to England. Eventually, he became one of the most famous... Read More.

February 9, 2015 | More Than Watchmen Wait
In ancient cities, sentinels kept vigil on the city walls throughout the night. Long, difficult hours of waiting and watching characterized the sentinel's evenings. The watcher's role was vital for the protection of the city and the welfare of its citizens. Morning... Read More.

February 2, 2015 | Gratitude is a Verb
Fulton J. Sheen wrote: "An interesting phenomenon in children is that gratitude or thankfulness comes relatively late in their young lives. They almost have to be taught it; if not, they grow up thinking that the world owes them a living." A friend once told me... Read More.

January 26, 2015 | No Vain Endeavor
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58 NKJV). “Did you ever hear of a man who had striven all his life faithfully and... Read More.

January 19, 2015 | She Ain’t Heavy
Danielle LaNoue, a high school student, was competing in a cross-country race when she experienced a runner’s worst nightmare: her knee buckled and gave out. She collapsed in agony, made an attempt to get up and walk, and then collapsed again... Read More.

January 12, 2015 | Voyage and Return
A British journalist by the name of Christopher Booker says that all of literature can be classified into seven basic narratives. Booker identifies each category in his book The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. One such category he describes... Read More.

January 5, 2015 | She Died With Her Running Shoes On
Eighty-six year old Joy Johnson, a veteran of 25 New York City marathons, died with her running shoes on. Johnson, who was the oldest runner in 2013’s marathon, fell at the 20 mile marker in the event. She crossed the finish line at about eight hours... Read More.