You Need Not Be Ashamed

Charles M. Alexander (1867–1920) exhibited incredible ability to make people sing. He teamed up with evangelist Reuben A. Torrey, and the two became the first men to completely circle the globe in a quest for souls. He and his wife Helen Cadbury (of chocolate fame) helped organize the Pocket Testament League, and everywhere they wentContinue reading “You Need Not Be Ashamed”

Laying Up Words

You’ll never guess where I began learning the scores—hundreds, really—of Bible verses that have filled my mind for about a half century. It was at Eastside Elementary School in Elizabethton, Tennessee. This small redbrick schoolhouse was two blocks from my house, and I spent six happy years of my life there. Thankfully the prohibition againstContinue reading “Laying Up Words”

You Have to Mean It

2 Kings 15:1–17:5; Galatians 5:1–6:18; Proverbs 8:1–8 Wisdom really isn’t all that difficult to find. We think of this attribute as hidden or fleeting, but the book of Proverbs portrays Wisdom calling out to us: “Does not wisdom call, and understanding raise its voice? Atop the heights beside the road, at the crossroads she stands.Continue reading “You Have to Mean It”

Compromise Never Works

1 Corinthians 15:33 Compromise never works. We always get burned. Even though we rationalize around our weak decisions and tell ourselves that wicked associations really won’t harm us (“they’ll get better, our good will rub off their bad!“), we get soiled in the process. If you put on a pair of clean white gloves onContinue reading “Compromise Never Works”

Spiritual Discipline for Today

Jeremiah 31:1-6 In the darkest times, we need imagination and courage to hold on to a vision of a better world. If we lose heart, we inevitably become destructive, and things get even worse. But, if we can keep hope alive, we find the necessary inspiration to act creatively, faithfully, and graciously. Jeremiah proclaimed hopeContinue reading “Spiritual Discipline for Today”

The Furnace of Transformation

Psalm 62:5 An insightful author once called solitude the “furnace of transformation.” This doesn’t refer to mere personal privacy for a twelve-second pit stop where we get a quick fix to reenter the race. It’s more than that. It’s an oasis of the soul where we see ourselves, others, and especially our God in newContinue reading “The Furnace of Transformation”

Your Spiritual Discipline

1 Peter 1:3-9 Reflect: The writer of the first letter of Peter sought to encourage followers of Christ who were living in a hostile world. Persecution was a constant threat, and the temptation to question Jesus’ sovereignty and love was ever-present. But this writer knew that it was only the believers’ faith in Christ andContinue reading “Your Spiritual Discipline”