Why do you suppose so many people run away from God and try their best to avoid going to church? My guess is that a lot of people are afraid of getting hustled. They assume that the church just wants to take from them. They assume that Christianity is basically a load of rules that will just add to their life's burdens.
Would it surprise you to know that God's basic message to you is what he wants to give... Read More
We all sing the blues sometimes. What's in your blues song this week? Dumped? Betrayed? Broke? Hung over? Robbed? Hopeless?
It's hard to lift yourself out of the blues. Satan wants to keep you down, whispering "Loser!" in your ears. That's why God sends us friends whose words of praise or comfort can help us back on our feet.
The ultimate comforting friend is God the Holy Spirit. When I am plagued by doubts, and especially the worst of all... Read More
"What do I do now?" Have you ever groaned that question? What could be worse than confusion? Sometimes our choices in life all seem bad or they all seem dreadfully hard or there are so many different choices. Do you stick with a difficult boyfriend? Do you rat out a friend who is doing something illegal?
Do you help a child do math problems or make her figure them out on her own? Do you protect a coworker or tell... Read More
Are you a Star Wars fan? Remember how Darth Vader fought off all of Luke Skywalker's attempts to bring him back to the good side? Vader thought that he was too far gone. He had resigned himself to service to the evil emperor.
Perhaps you have felt that your sins are too great for God ever to love and accept you. Perhaps your years of guilt and shame keep you from God's house and enjoying the fellowship of God's other... Read More
The blues is a musical gift to Americans and the world. The songs come from the African-American experience, birthed from the pain of slavery, hopeless toil, and separation. The blues' ancestors were work songs, call-and-response verses to make the day go faster. Blues songs in church are called spirituals.
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen;
Nobody knows my sorrow.
Slavery is gone from the American scene, but the blues are not. Everybody hurts. Everybody sins, and everybody is the victim... Read More
Lord Jesus, you took on my humanity and were born just like me. You honored the human race by living among us and as one of us. You offered your body on the cross, were buried like us, and rose again not only in spirit but in body too.
When you ascended into heaven, you brought your body with you! You took our humanity to the very throne room of heaven. You are now bonded to us into eternity. We... Read More
I don’t know why, Lord, but you have chosen to let me live with chronic pain. I have tried everything; nothing works. Is this my destiny for the rest of my life?
I’ve talked to you about it; I’ve pleaded and prayed, but my pain remains. I remember longingly the pain-free days of my youth—they seem gone forever. I pray for sleep, for at least I gain a temporary respite. You must have a plan, Lord. I will admit that... Read More
Father, sometimes it looks as though Satan really has won after all. Christians are persecuted, children are abused, our streets aren’t safe, good people lose their jobs, and families break up. Governments collapse; wars fester and consume staggering amounts of blood and treasure. Death is steadily stealing my friends and loved ones one at a time.
But Easter happened. The mighty prince of hell himself cannot change history. Your Son lived a holy life and lets me claim it as... Read More
I put on a brave face for my family. I don’t want any of my friends or coworkers to know. But, Lord, you know the heart, and you can read me like a large-print book. You know how anxious I am about our finances.
I’m afraid our money will run out. We’ve suffered some setbacks; we’ve made some bad decisions I would do anything to undo; some things I was counting on turned out to be a bust. I’m juggling... Read More
One of the pleasures of life, available to rich and poor alike, is to experience your steady changing of the seasons. What a beautiful divine rhythm you have built, Lord. Each season has its own matchless beauty—the glistening white blanket of new fallen snow; the first crocus and daffodils and tulips of spring; the long golden days of summer; the fiery colors of autumn forests.
Anyone who has spent even one winter in the north half of the country has... Read More