“Authenticity”

Authenticity. Now there’s an important word in our generation. Young people are fed up with fakeness and sick of sham. Not long ago a youth pastor told me that the kids in his youth group preferred listening to unpolished or even stammering speakers whom they perceived as genuine over speakers who were slick but inauthentic. … Continue reading “Authenticity”

Bored with the Bible

“Your law is my delight.” (Psalm 119:77). Have you ever felt like this verse, or verses like it, mock you? I certainly have felt that way at times. When you read the Bible, do you find yourself yawning, allowing your mind to wander, or wishing that you could be anywhere doing anything besides reading the … Continue reading Bored with the Bible

“Just Say No” to Sin?

Do you remember the “just say no to drugs” campaign waged a number of years ago? (The slogan “just say no” continues to be used in schools across the country.) The assumption of the slogan was that kids could simply say “no” whenever faced with temptation. Is that true? Can we simply say “no” whenever … Continue reading “Just Say No” to Sin?

What Does the Word “Comfort” Mean in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7?

What do you think of when you hear the word “comfort”? I think of a flannel shirt I bought twenty years ago (and still sometimes wear!), the world’s softest feather pillow, or the elusive first-class seat I never get to enjoy on an airplane. What about the verb “comfort”? What comes to mind when you … Continue reading What Does the Word “Comfort” Mean in 2 Corinthians 1:3-7?

Does Your Mind Wander in Prayer?

This past weekend I participated at a conference on prayer with my colleague David Talley. One of the questions I was asked during a Q & A time had to do with mind-wandering during prayer. Does your mind ever wander when you’re trying to pray?  Here are ten suggestions that might help you when your … Continue reading Does Your Mind Wander in Prayer?

Why It’s More Important to Read the Bible than Devotional Books

I have received considerable help in my spiritual life over the years from reading devotional books. What is a devotional book? A devotional book is a book that assists you in growing in your spiritual life by explicating and making personal applications from what is written in the Bible. Examples of devotional books that have … Continue reading Why It’s More Important to Read the Bible than Devotional Books

Life is Christ

“What do you want out of life?” The trained interviewer appeared relaxed—even casual—as she asked me this question, but I could tell she was intent on figuring out who I was. In the context of interviewing for a summer job at a local department store during my break from college, that only meant that she … Continue reading Life is Christ

Great Grandma Captola Finds Her Way into a Term Paper

Every once in a while, I encounter a spiritually impacting paragraph while grading a term paper. Granted, this doesn’t happen often, but I really love it when it does! Such occurred earlier this semester while reading a paper submitted by Parker[1] in my Principles of Interpretation class. I share the following excerpt with his permission. … Continue reading Great Grandma Captola Finds Her Way into a Term Paper

Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy

One Christian book has spiritually helped me more than any other book during these past four months. God has used Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy, by pastor Mark Vroegop, to remind me of and re-teach me the biblical language of lament. I have returned repeatedly to the main ideas of this book since I first read … Continue reading Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy

Stay or Leave? How Should a Christian Missionary Respond to Death Threats?

I recently received an email from a former student living in a challenging country in the Middle East. He asked me a question that I would assume most of you have never had to answer. His question was: What do we do if we receive death threats? He asked this question because he remembered that … Continue reading Stay or Leave? How Should a Christian Missionary Respond to Death Threats?