I recently read through Stephen Payne’s new devotional book, I Lift my Eyes to the Hills: God’s Help in Times of Trouble. Steve is a former college housemate and long-time friend. He sent me an advanced copy. What makes this book different from other devotional books you may have read in the past is that … Continue reading A Truly Beautiful Devotional Book
Not every door that appears to be is an open door. And not every door that appears to be closed is a closed door. Just because a ministry setting looks like it’s going to be hard doesn’t mean that it is a closed door. For the Apostle Paul, an open door was a God-given opportunity … Continue reading What is an “Open Door”?
A few years ago, a delightful young college student came up to me and asked, “Would you like to see my tattoo?” “Um…OK,” I mumbled, somewhat unsure of where on her body the tattoo might be located. She lifted her long hair so I could see what was engraved on the nape of her neck. … Continue reading Tattoos and Biblical Greek
In a former post, I tried to answer the question of whether Paul was a literal tentmaker. In this post, I ask whether Paul was a figurative tentmaker—one who was self-supporting in ministry. I often interact with Christians who say, “I want to be tentmaker like Paul.” What they mean is that they want to … Continue reading Was Paul a Tentmaker? Part 2: Did Paul Financially Support Himself?
Twenty years ago, my wife and I were living with our two daughters in a suburb on the northern edge of New York City. The shock waves from the two planes that slammed into the World Trade Towers reverberated across the nation—and indeed, around the world—but it was categorically different living in New York on … Continue reading Why Do Non-Christians Pray During Times of Crisis? Twenty Years After 9/11
After an extended time of prayer in the mountains last year, I left with one perspective that has proven extremely helpful to me. Here is that perspective: God has apportioned to each of us who are part of his kingdom not only specific ministries to build up the church and extend God’s kingdom work in … Continue reading How Wide is the Sphere of Ministry God has Given You?
This morning I talked with someone who was describing some items on their bucket list. A “bucket list,” if you don’t know the term, is “a list of things a person wants to achieve or experience, as before reaching a certain age or dying,” according to Dictionary.com. Such lists routinely include fun activities to do … Continue reading A Different Kind of Bucket List
In the early 1950’s in Communist Russia, three charismatic pastors came up with a risky idea they thought might be worth doing despite the risk. Nik Ripken, in his outstanding book about persecution, The Insanity of God, explains that: “…they planned and organized a youth congress in Moscow and invited all of the young, unmarried … Continue reading Persecution and Scripture Memorization
Muslims are coming to Christ all around the world. But what should a church composed of Muslim-background believers in Jesus look like? How contextualized can/should such a church be? I recently read an outstanding book dealing with the central biblical-theological and missiological questions surrounding this central question: Insider Church: Ekklesia and the Insider Paradigm. The book's author, … Continue reading Muslim Insider Movements and the Church: An Interview
“For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor 2:15-16) One smell you’ll probably never encounter on the … Continue reading The Fragrance of Christ