So far, the landmark Something-Zero birthdays—20, 30, 40—have been no big deal for me. But this year, I beg the kindness of my older and wiser friends, because I’d been moping a few months about the birthday due before the end of the year—60. I never knew when I crossed the halfway line of my life, but I do know sixty is definitely on the death side of the midmark of my life span, and I don’t like that thought.
Those feelings changed recently and rapidly, though. A few days ago I was within inches of not ever having a 60th birthday...or our 39th wedding anniversary...or another Christmas....
That afternoon I had the bright idea of checking out the new book outlet and stopping at th…
Advent is my yearly reminder to sharpen and deepen my understanding of the incarnation. So in this spirit, this is the first in a series of four Advent posts related to the incarnation.
What Is the Incarnation?
The incarnation refers literally to the in-fleshing of the eternal Son of God—Jesus becoming a human being. The doctrine of the incarnation says that the eternal second person of the Trinity took on humanity in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. A helpful way to remember the key aspects of the incarnation is John 1:14: “The Word became flesh.”
The Word refers to the eternal Son of God who was “in the beginning with God” and who himself is God (John 1:1). From et…
What’s worse than being a beast? Being like a beast. Animals are supposed to be beastly; humans aren’t. When we become like animals, it’s against our nature; it’s perverse. And we won’t be that impressed with our salvation until we're thoroughly digusted by the perversion we're saved from.
When we are arrogant enough to stand up against God, we make ourselves like animals to him. The Lord made this metaphor literal with Nebuchadnezzar.
As Nebuchadnezzar was walking on his palace rooftop, he looked out and proclaimed:
Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?
God was unimpressed. To s…
The only statement Timothy McVeigh left behind when he was executed in Indiana, June 11, 2001, was a handwritten copy of the 19th century poem “Invictus” by William Henley.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
When huge pain comes into your life—like divorce, or the loss of a precious family member, or the dream of wholeness shattered—it is good to have a few things settled with God ahead of time. The reason for this is not because it makes grieving easy, but because it gives focus and boundaries for the pain.
Being confident in God does not make the pain less deep, but less broad...
Read the rest of the article.
“Spatial disorientation” is what an aircraft pilot experiences when he flies into weather conditions that prevent him from being able see the horizon or the ground. Points of reference that guide his senses disappear. His perceptions become unreliable. He no longer is sure which way is up or down. It can be deadly.
The only way a pilot can overcome spatial disorientation is to be trained to read and trust his cockpit instruments to tell him what is real. That’s why flight instructors force student pilots to learn to fly planes by the instruments alone.
There is a spiritual parallel. I’ve experienced it. On a spring day in May 1997, I flew into a spiritual storm.
The details …
On August 2, 2007, Charles Simic was selected to be the 15th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. His poem, “Full of Pictures” may have a word to fathers who study theology—or anything else for that matter.
Full of Pictures
Father studied theology through the mail
And this was exam time.
Mother knitted. I sat quietly with a book
Full of pictures. Night fell.
My hands grew cold touching the faces
Of dead kings and queens.
There was a black raincoat
in the upstairs bedroom
Swaying from the ceiling,
But what was it doing there?
Mother's long needles made quick crosses.
They were black
To help you stay encouraged to pray for huge Christ-exalting movements of God, here’s what we read this morning. Each day, as part of our family devotions, Noël and Talitha and I read the daily reading from the Global Prayer Digest. Today we read this:
"David, what do you think about this quote from Ahmad Al Qataani which was posted on the Al Jazeera web site regarding Africa? It says, 'In every hour, 667 Muslims convert to Christianity. Every day, 16,000 Muslims convert to Christianity. Ever year, six million Muslims convert to Christianity.'" Paul, a Christian worker among Muslims, was asking a fellow worker about the report. David replied, "It is true that there are more Mus…
Would you not love to hear the angel Gabriel say to you, “You are greatly loved”? Three times this happened to Daniel.
- “At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved” (Dan. 9:23)
- “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you” (Dan. 10:11)
- “And he said, ‘O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage” (Dan. 10:19).
Take heart. If you have faith in Jesus, God himself says to you, “You are greatly loved.”
We were by nature children of wrath, like the r…