“What are the joy-stealers? Why do so many of us struggle with joy?” I often ask my students this question when we open the book of Philippians. “Time pressures.” “Financial pressures.” “Unfulfilled expectations.” “Hurts from the past.” These are common responses from my students. But Paul would point us toward two other foundational reasons for … Continue reading Joy
Last semester a young college friend challenged me (dared me?) to try to use the contemporary slang word “based” during one of my college class lectures. Honestly, it was a bit tricky, since I first had to figure out what my twenty-something-year-old students meant when they used this word. But once I got a basic … Continue reading “Based”
I read a lot of helpful Christian books this past year, but here are my seven favorites. Surprisingly, I read the first five before the end of January! Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament, by Mark Vroegop. The author first teaches how to lament, and then moves on to explain what we … Continue reading Seven Favorite Christian Books of 2022
The short answer, I believe, is that there is nothing wrong with offering a prayer to the Holy Spirit since God the Spirit is, of course, fully God, just as is God the Father and God the Son. However, most prayers in the New Testament and in the church of the second and third centuries … Continue reading Should You Pray to the Holy Spirit?
A few years ago, Trudi and I led a session at a parenting seminar. We offered 14 “tips” for nurturing the spiritual lives of one’s children. I’ve included the 14 teaching points here for your own consideration. Our prayer is that many parents will take on the call to intentionally train their children in the ways of … Continue reading Nurturing the Spiritual Lives of our Children: 14 Tips
Are you a Prayer Worrier or a Prayer Warrior? What’s the difference? Prayer Worriers only pray about things that they’re worried about. The only items that some people pray about are the matters that make them anxious. A person who only prays about their worries is a classic Prayer Worrier. Prayer Warriors, in contrast,battle in … Continue reading How to Change from a Prayer Worrier into a Prayer Warrior
What if we were to plot biblical examples of the leading of the Spirit on a continuum from clearest communication to least clear? That’s what I propose to do in this post. For years I have been taking note of moments in the Bible where God communicates with his people beyond the written Word. Please … Continue reading A Biblical Spectrum of Guidance from God (from clearest to least clear)
I recently sat in (yet another) seminar about how to counsel Christians who are tempted toward same-sex sexual activity or tempted to embrace a gender contrary to their birth sex. I left the seminar helped in a number of ways. But I was struck once again—since I have begun to identify this as a pattern—that … Continue reading Reclaiming the Language of “Temptation” in Christian Discussions of Human Sexuality
I used to love Psalm 42. I still do. But now it’s for a slightly different reason. When I was younger, I often quoted the first words of the Psalm as an expression of passion for God. I understood it to be an expression of zeal to know God…an intense longing to be close to … Continue reading What Does “As the Deer Pants for the Water” Mean (Psalm 42:1)?
About a year ago I spent a couple hours talking with my long-time friend, Adam Day (a professor at Tyndale Seminary in Amsterdam, the Netherlands), about the question of how much and in what manner it is appropriate for a Christian author to promote his or her writings. We talked about pitfalls, motivations, and the … Continue reading Personas, Platforms, and Profits