Nervous, superstitious people can’t ever allow themselves to bask in the pure joy of beautiful days. “We’ll pay for this later.” “Knock on wood,” they mutter, looking over their shoulders.
You know, when the fear and guilt have been peeled off our lives, we can see God’s kindness and blessings all over the place. Because we have a Savior, everything now works together. Remember how the virgin mother couldn’t contain her joy at hearing of God’s plans: “My soul glorifies... Read More
If only the task of mothering were a string of “one and dones.” If only you needed to teach each life lesson to your kids just one time. If only every prayer for your children’s well-being were answered immediately. If only.
The reality is that mothering is a marathon, not a sprint. The reality is that mothers often carry burdens for their children for many, many years and that they will need to pray long and repeatedly for the things... Read More
Around the time of the First World War, automobile trips were an ordeal. Roads were unpaved and had to be shared with livestock. The machines were fragile and often broke down. Tires blew out constantly. Service stations were few and far between.
Today I never think twice about jumping in my car and driving long distances. I enjoy many advantages that my grandfathers did not: smooth interstate highways, steel-belted radial tires, air bags, well-engineered vehicles, cell phones, and AAA.
My... Read More
I would love to look at my troubles as though I were in an airplane. At 35,000 feet, even the mighty Rocky Mountains don’t look so tough. Snow is pretty. Roaring rivers are just beautiful blue ribbons. The desert is simply a beautiful red-brown carpet.
Alas, in my life I am not flying over my troubles. I bump into every one because I am not traveling through my life in a plane. I’m walking next to my oxen and my... Read More
Do you work out? Do you use old-fashioned he-man free weights, or do you use those newfangled electronic “progressive resistance” machines? Either way the concept is the same—without resistance, without a load, you cannot grow stronger. Without resistance, you might as well just sit in a chair and slowly get fat—or fatter.
This explains why your life is often so hard. Those hardships are not because God doesn’t love you anymore or because he’s losing his grip on reality or... Read More
Ever watch mountain rock climbing? What a thrilling, demanding sport! What a terrifying and dangerous sport. Ever notice that solo climbing is not an option? The climbers are linked together by ropes so that if one member of the team loses his footing, the others will catch him.
Life is like rock climbing—thrilling, demanding, and dangerous. God invented congregations to function like the buddy system so that people can link ropes and look out for each other. Scripture says, “Let... Read More
One of today’s popular phrases goes something like this: “I’m not religious, but I’m spiritual.” By this people seem to mean that they are vaguely aware that there is more to life than making babies, making money, and making a name for themselves. Alas, those same people are pretty vague about what that spirit is or where it comes from.
Here’s the real spirit we need to be spiritual—the Holy Spirit, person #3 in the Holy Trinity. Through the Word... Read More
By now you know that God is a judge and that he will evaluate every human being who has ever lived. He holds the world accountable for all thoughts, words, and deeds.
But God is no ordinary judge. A judge at a track and field meet would be disqualified for cheating if he helped a long jumper avoid scratching or grabbed the pole-vaulter’s pole so it wouldn’t knock down the bar.
Here’s what I love about God—he not only came... Read More
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
couldn’t put Humpty together again.
King’s horses and king’s men can’t put the broken world back together again either. The best and brightest brains in human history have struggled with devising ways to get God (or the gods) to like us again, and what have they come up with? Witch doctors. Voodoo. Chanting, dancing, and meditation. Human sacrifice.
God’s wonderful Word tells us what we could never have figured out by... Read More