Iterative Prayer

Recently, just after morning prayer at “The Birdhouse” community where Trudi and I live, I got into a short conversation with a couple of our residential college students about 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing.”  We realized as we talked that we often tend to think of this command as pointing toward some sort of … Continue reading Iterative Prayer

Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

As you daily walk in the Holy Spirit, God will fill you with his Spirit in such a way that your desires to sin lessen. Galatians 5:16—set in a chapter that parallels Romans 8 in many ways—says it so well: “Walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” … Continue reading Desire to Sin Decreases When You Walk in the Spirit

A Liturgy for Fasting and Prayer

I recently participated in A Call to Fast and Pray at Biola.  This event was the vision of Peter Brown (a current graduate student at Biola).  Fifty or so Biola students gathered to eat dinner together at the start of the fast and to listen to a message by Biola professor Jon Lunde.  At evening’s … Continue reading A Liturgy for Fasting and Prayer

On Heaven (and Hell): Alan Gomes and Randy Alcorn

Ever since the day God got a hold of my life as a teenager, I have wanted to learn everything I could about heaven.  In fact, thinking about the brevity of life in comparison to the length of eternity was what got me on track and motivated me to really follow Christ as a teenager.  … Continue reading On Heaven (and Hell): Alan Gomes and Randy Alcorn

Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2018

As we move into a new year, I thought I might share seven Christian books I really appreciated in 2018. Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible, by E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien Many useful insights (and a few not-quite-as-useful) on how understanding cultural contexts can improve … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2018

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in the Middle East

Years ago, when Trudi and I lived in the Middle East, I wrote a prayer letter employing the poetic structure of “The Night Before Christmas.”  I share it with you on this Christmas Eve. ‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through our house Not a creature was stirring, ‘cept Trudi my spouse She stirred … Continue reading ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas in the Middle East

What kind of person do you hope to be in twenty years?

Recently, Trudi and I hosted six of my current college students for dinner.  (Note: as is our custom, we invited all my current students, but this time only six came).  In addition to those six were my wife, Trudi, and my daughter, Grace.  The nine of us had a great time together, and a wonderful … Continue reading What kind of person do you hope to be in twenty years?

Ask God for What? Paul Weighs in on the Content of Petitionary Prayers

I am regularly vexed by how shallow my prayers can become. When I pray for something—and I know that all prayer is not for things—what should I pray for? Only for my family? For someone I know who is ill? For God to help me in the day ahead? For God to resolve whatever problem is currently … Continue reading Ask God for What? Paul Weighs in on the Content of Petitionary Prayers

“But that’s legalism!” What Legalism Is and Isn’t

“But that’s legalism!”  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard those words.  A Christian friend suggests that it’s unwise to smoke marijuana, and they get blasted with: “But that’s legalism!”  A pastor preaches on the importance of generosity, and he receives a terse note with three words on it (or four, if you … Continue reading “But that’s legalism!” What Legalism Is and Isn’t

What the Bible Teaches About Fasting

Starting last night and continuing into this evening a group of Biola students has gathered together to fast and pray.  These precious students wanted to fast and call out to God to do a work of the Holy Spirit on Biola’s campus during the coming year.  But they wanted to know what the Bible taught … Continue reading What the Bible Teaches About Fasting