When I was a little kid, my folks would close off the doors to the living room where the Christmas tree was in mid-December. We could peek but weren’t allowed in there until Christmas Eve. The tree was fully decorated but unlit. In the shadows we could see growing piles of presents. You can only imagine the tension we felt. So close, but yet so far. Time seemed to crawl until Christmas Eve.
Do you dread getting old? Does time... Read More
You know, people get down when they feel that all their efforts and hard work are wasted and pointless. They get cynical and say things like, “Virtue is its own punishment” and “No good deed ever goes unpunished.”
Sometimes it does seem as though cheaters really do prosper, crooks get rich, liars avoid trouble, and the small and weak are endlessly victimized by the strong.
But here’s where God really helps his children—he controls the future, and he takes delight... Read More
If supermarket magazines are any indicator, the aging process is a disaster in every way. Everybody pictured is young and healthy and beautiful, and the stores offer you a thousand products to buy to make you look younger or make you think you look younger. The sad result of this relentless marketing is that people think that their worth and value diminish as they get older.
But the aging process has some real benefits. Along with wrinkles comes wisdom. With... Read More
There are only two kinds of people on the day after Thanksgiving—those who get up at 4:00 A.M. so they can get in line when the stores first open and those who wouldn’t shop on “Black Friday” at gunpoint. How about you—do you love or hate the big sale days?
People just can’t resist getting lured into the frenzy. The media enjoy whipping us into a lather—“must shop . . . must get to sale . . . must buy more .... Read More
“I’ll be happy when I get _____” is a triple trap. For one, it keeps you miserable as you wait impatiently to be fulfilled. Second, wanting more never satisfies, even if you get your first wish, because you then want still more. Third, it cheats you out of the happiness with the wealth that you already possess.
Cultivating a thankful heart and thankful spirit are learned behaviors. You have to choose to be like that, because the attitude you’re born with is one of... Read More
Are you feeling hopeful today or hopeless?
There are far too many things that destroy hope in a human heart—rejection in romance, failing grades, constantly growing debt, chronic pain, career collapse. I’ve got some good news for all of you without hope, those of you who feel that everything in your life is coming apart. God sees what’s going on in your life. God cares about you. And God has placed gifts in your future.
He can do that because... Read More
Every so often, public relations people will do a poll on Americans’ confidence about the future. They check on our level of optimism or pessimism about tomorrow to help investors and marketers decide on whether to advance or pull back.
You know, when people feel like there’s no hope for them, they give up on all kinds of things—their friends, their families, their jobs, their health. They give up on themselves too. Have you ever gone through a bleak stretch... Read More
Do you like blues music? I really do. Even though I grew up far, far away from the Mississippi Delta, there is something about that gritty music that resonates with my soul. I never had to chop cotton or work as a sharecropper to make my living, but I’ve had my own pain and hard times, and those old songs sing to me. One of my favorites is Booker T. Jones’ “Born Under a Bad Sign,” which talks about hard... Read More
Isn’t it extraordinary that God should describe himself in family terms, as a Father and a Son? Or maybe it’s the other way around—that God’s wonderful design for our lives is derived from his holy identity? Isn’t it extraordinary that the Savior came into our world just as we did—born wet and naked, defenseless, scared, and hungry—and that his first needs were met by . . . a mother and stepfather?
Our first redeemed relationship with God is not as... Read More