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About Bill Crowder

Bill Crowder joined the Our Daily Bread Ministries staff after more than 20 years in the pastorate. Bill works closely with Mart DeHaan as vice president of teaching content. Additionally, Bill spends much of his time in a Bible-teaching ministry for Christian leaders around the world. He has written many booklets for the Discovery Series, and he has published several books with Discovery House. Bill and his wife, Marlene, have five children as well as several grandchildren he’d be thrilled to tell you about.

God’s Wise Purposes

By |2024-02-20T01:33:16-05:00February 20th, 2024|

The United Kingdom brims with history. Everywhere you go, you see plaques honoring historic figures or commemorating sites where important events occurred. But one such sign exemplifies the droll British sense of humor. On a weathered plaque outside a bed and breakfast in Sandwich, England, a message reads, “On this site, Sept. 5, 1782 nothing happened.”  

Sometimes it seems to us that nothing is happening regarding our prayers. We pray and pray, bringing our petitions to our Father with expectation that He will respond—right now. The psalmist David expressed such frustration when he prayed, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1). We can easily echo those same thoughts: How long, Lord, before you respond?  

However, our God is not only perfect in His wisdom but also in His timing. David was able to say, “I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation” (v. 5). Ecclesiastes 3:11 reminds us, “[God] has made everything beautiful in its time.” The word beautiful means “appropriate” or “a source of delight.” God may not always respond to our prayers when we’d like Him to, but He is always working out His wise purposes. We can take heart that when He does answer, it will be right and good and beautiful.

Choosing to Follow God

By |2024-01-17T01:33:31-05:00January 17th, 2024|

“The average person will make 773,618 decisions over a lifetime,” claims the Daily Mirror. The British newspaper goes on to assert that we “will come to regret 143,262 of them.” I have no idea how the paper arrived at these numbers, but it’s clear that we face countless decisions throughout our lifetime. The sheer quantity of them might become paralyzing, especially when we consider that all our choices have consequences, some far more momentous than others.

After forty years wandering in the wilderness, the children of Israel stood at the threshold of their new homeland. Later, after entering the land, Joshua, their leader, issued to them a challenging choice. “Fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness,” he said. “Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped” (Joshua 24:14). Joshua told them, “If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve . . . . But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (v. 15).

As we begin each new day, possibilities stretch before us, leading to scores of decisions. Taking the time to ask God to guide us each day will influence the choices we make. By the power of the Spirit, we can choose to follow Him each and every day.

The Promise of Christ’s Birth

By |2023-12-25T01:33:27-05:00December 25th, 2023|

In November 1962, physicist John W. Mauchly said, “There is no reason to suppose the average boy or girl cannot be master of a personal computer.” Mauchly’s prediction seemed remarkable at the time, but it proved astonishingly accurate. Today, using a computer or handheld device is one of the earliest skills a child learns.

While Mauchly’s prediction has come true, so have much more important predictions—those made in Scripture about the coming of Christ. For example, Micah 5:2 declared, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” God sent Jesus, who arrived in tiny Bethlehem—marking him as from the royal line of David (see Luke 2:4–7).

The same Bible that accurately predicted the first coming of Jesus also promises His return (Acts 1:11). Jesus promised His first followers that He would come back for them (John 14:1–4).

This Christmas, as we ponder the accurately predicted facts surrounding the birth of Jesus, may we also consider His promised return, and allow Him to prepare us for that majestic moment when we see Jesus face to face!

Worthy of All Praise

By |2023-11-24T01:33:05-05:00November 24th, 2023|

Many consider Ferrante and Teicher to be the greatest piano duet team of all time. Their collaborative presentations were so precise that their style was described as four hands but only one mind. Hearing their music, one can begin to grasp the amount of effort required to perfect their craft.

But there’s more. They loved what they did. In fact, even after they had retired in 1989, Ferrante and Teicher would occasionally show up at a local piano store just to play an impromptu concert. They simply loved making music.

David also loved making music—but he teamed up with God to give his song a higher purpose. His psalms affirm his struggle-filled life and his desire to live in deep dependence upon his God. Yet, in the midst of his personal failures and imperfections, his praise expressed a kind of spiritual “perfect pitch,” acknowledging the greatness and goodness of God even in the darkest of times. The heart behind David’s praise is simply stated in Psalm 18:1, which reads, “I love you, Lord, my strength.”

David continued, “I called to the Lord, who is worthy of praise” (v. 3) and noted that he could turn to Him “in my distress” (v. 6). Regardless of our situation, may we likewise lift our hearts to praise and worship our God. He is worthy of all praise!

Ready to Go

By |2023-10-05T02:33:17-04:00October 5th, 2023|

During the coronavirus pandemic, many suffered the loss of loved ones. On November 27, 2020, our family joined their ranks when Bee Crowder, my ninety-five-year-old mom, died—though not from COVID-19. Like so many other families, we weren’t able to gather to grieve Mom, honor her life, or encourage one another. Instead, we used other means to celebrate her loving influence—and we found great comfort from her insistence that, if God called her home, she was ready and even eager to go. That confident hope, evidenced in so much of Mom’s living, was also how she faced death.

Facing possible death, Paul wrote, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. . . . I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body” (Philippians 1:21, 23–24). Even with his legitimate desire to stay and help others, Paul was drawn to his heavenly home with Christ.

Such confidence changes how we view the moment when we step from this life to the next. And our hope can give great comfort to others in their own season of loss. Although we grieve the loss of those we love, believers in Jesus don’t grieve like those “who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). True hope is the possession of those who know Him.

Reason for Fear

By |2023-09-25T02:33:31-04:00September 25th, 2023|

When I was a boy, the schoolyard was where bullies threw their weight around and kids like me received that bullying with minimal protest. As we cowered in fear before our tormenters, there was something even worse: their taunts of “Are you scared? You’re afraid of me, aren’t you? There’s no one here to protect you.”

In fact, most of those times I really was frightened—and with good cause. Having been punched in the past, I knew I didn’t want to experience that again. So, what could I do and who could I trust when I was stricken with fear? When you’re eight years old and being bullied by a kid who is older, bigger, and stronger, the fear is legitimate. 

When David faced attack, he responded with confidence rather than fear—because he knew he didn’t face those threats alone. He wrote, “The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6). As a boy, I’m not sure I would have been able to understand David’s level of confidence. As an adult, however, I’ve learned from years of walking with Christ that He’s greater than any fear-inducing threat.

The threats we face in life are real. Yet we need not fear. The Creator of the universe is with us, and He’s more than enough.

Who Am I?

By |2023-08-11T02:33:34-04:00August 11th, 2023|

Robert Todd Lincoln lived under the extensive shadow of his father, beloved American president Abraham Lincoln. Long after his father’s death, Robert’s identity was engulfed by his father’s overwhelming presence. Lincoln’s close friend, Nicholas Murray Butler, wrote that Robert often said, “No one wanted me for secretary of war, they wanted Abraham Lincoln’s son. No one wanted me for minister to England, they wanted Abraham Lincoln’s son. No one wanted me for president of the Pullman Company, they wanted Abraham Lincoln’s son.”

Such frustration isn’t limited to the children of the famous. We all are familiar with the feeling of not being valued for who we are. Yet nowhere is the depth of our value more evident than in the way God loves us.

The apostle Paul recognized us for who we were in our sins, and for who we become in Christ. He wrote, “At just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6). God loves us because of who we are—even at our worst! Paul wrote, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (v. 8). God’s values us so much that He allowed His Son to go to the cross on our behalf.

Who are we? We are God’s beloved children. Who could ask for more?

Quiet, Please

By |2023-07-29T02:33:20-04:00July 29th, 2023|

Green Bank, West Virginia, is a tiny community in the rugged US Appalachian Mountains of the USA. The town resembles dozens of other small towns in the area—with one major exception. None of the 142 residents have access to the internet. This total disconnect isn’t a technology boycott or a desire to get back to a simpler lifestyle. The absence of Wi-Fi access or cellular phone towers is because of the Green Bank Observatory, whose telescope is constantly trained on the sky. To prevent interference with the leading-edge technology of the observatory, local officials do not allow citizens to use high-tech communication devices. As a result, Green Bank is one of the most technologically quiet places in North America.

Sometimes quiet is the best environment for moving forward—especially in our relationship with God. Jesus Himself modeled this by retreating to quiet, secluded places to talk with His Father. In Luke 5:16 we read, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Perhaps the key word there is often. This was Christ’s regular practice, and it sets the perfect example for us. If the Creator of the universe was this aware of His dependence upon His Father, how much more do we need Him!

Retreating to a quiet place to be refreshed in God’s presence equips us to go forward in His renewing strength. Where can you find such a place today?

Remembering the Sacrifice

By |2023-06-27T13:59:04-04:00June 25th, 2023|

Following the Sunday morning worship service, my Moscow host took me to lunch at a restaurant outside the Kremlin. Upon arrival, we noticed a line of newlywed couples in wedding garb approaching the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin wall. The happiness of their wedding day intentionally included remembering the sacrifices others had made to help make such a day possible. It was a sobering sight as the couples took pictures by the memorial before laying wedding flowers at its base.  

All of us have cause to be thankful for others who, in one way or another, made sacrifices to bring a measure of fullness to our lives. None of those sacrifices are unimportant, but neither are those sacrifices the most important. It’s only at the foot of the cross where we see the sacrifice Jesus made for us and begin to understand how thoroughly our lives are indebted to the Savior.

To that end, coming to the Lord’s Table to take communion reminds us of Jesus’ sacrifice—pictured in the bread and cup. Paul wrote, “whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (1 Corinthians 11:26). May our times at His table remind us to live every day in remembrance and gratitude of all that Jesus’ sacrifice has done in us and for us.

Tell the Story

By |2023-05-22T02:33:04-04:00May 22nd, 2023|

Robert Todd Lincoln, son of US president Abraham Lincoln, was present for three major events—the death of his own father as well as the assassinations of presidents James Garfield and William McKinley.

But consider that the apostle John was present at four of history’s most crucial events: the last supper of Jesus, Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. John knew that bearing witness to these events was the ultimate why behind his presence in these moments. In John 21:24, he wrote, “This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them. We know that his testimony is true.”

John reaffirmed this in his letter of 1 John. He wrote, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim” (1:1). John felt a compelling duty to share his eyewitness account of Jesus. Why? “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard,” he said, “so that you also may have fellowship with us” (v. 3).

The events of our lives may be surprising or mundane, but in either case God is orchestrating them so we can bear witness to Him. As we rest in the grace and wisdom of Christ, may we speak for Him in even life’s surprising moments.

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