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About Adam Holz

Adam is senior associate editor at Focus on the Family’s media review website, Plugged In. Adam has also served as associate editor at Discipleship Journal. He is the author of the NavPress Bible study Beating Busyness. Adam is married to Jennifer, an ordained Presbyterian minister. They have three children whose passions include swimming, gymnastics, drama, piano, and asking dad what’s for dessert. In his free time, Adam enjoys playing electric guitar.

Making Peace with Trouble

By |2020-09-21T09:06:03-04:00September 21st, 2020|

We were almost home when I noticed it: the needle of our car’s temperature gauge was rocketing up. As we pulled in, I killed the engine and hopped out. Smoke wafted from the hood. The engine sizzled like bacon. I backed the car up a few feet to find a puddle beneath: oil. Instantly, I knew: The head gasket had just blown.

I groaned. We’d just sunk money into other expensive repairs. Why can’t things just work?! I grumbled bitterly. Why can’t things just stop breaking?!

Can you relate? Sometimes we avert one crisis, solve one problem, pay off one big bill, only to face another. Sometimes, those troubles are much bigger than an engine self-destructing: an unexpected diagnosis, an untimely death, a terrible loss.

In those moments, we yearn for a world less broken, less full of trouble. That world, Jesus promised, is coming. But not yet: “In this world you will have trouble,” he reminded His disciples in John 16. “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (v. 33). Jesus spoke in that chapter about grave troubles, such as persecution for the faith. But such trouble, He taught, would never have the last word for those who hope in Him.

Troubles small and large may dog our days. But Jesus’ promise of a better tomorrow with Him encourages us not to let our troubles define our lives today.

Spiritual Driving

By |2020-08-26T09:05:02-04:00August 26th, 2020|

I don’t remember many specifics about my driver’s education class. But for some reason, an acronym we learned, S-I-P-D-E, remains firmly lodged in my memory.

The letters stood for Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, and Execute, a process we were taught to practice continually. We were to scan the road, identify hazards, predict what the hazards might do, decide how we’d respond, and then, if necessary, execute that plan. It was a strategy for being intentional to avoid accidents.  

I wonder how that idea might translate to our spiritual lives. In Ephesians 5, Paul told Ephesian believers, “Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise, but as wise” (v. 15). Paul knew certain hazards could derail the Ephesians—old ways of living at odds with their new life in Christ (vv. 8,10–11). So he instructed the growing church to pay attention.

The words translated “be very careful, then, how you live” literally mean “see how you walk.” In other words, look around. Notice hazards, and avoid personal pitfalls like drunkenness and wild living (v. 18). Instead, the apostle said, we can seek to learn God’s will for our lives (v. 17), while, with fellow believers, we sing to and give Him thanks (vv. 19–20).

No matter what hazards we face—and even when we stumble—we can experience our new life in Christ as we grow in dependence on His boundless power and grace.

The Saddest Goose

By |2020-04-20T13:50:42-04:00April 23rd, 2020|

Why is there a football in the parking lot? I wondered. But as I got closer, I realized the greyish lump wasn’t a football: it was a goose—the saddest Canada goose I’d ever seen. Geese often congregate on the lawn near my workplace in the spring and fall. But today there was only one, its neck arced back and its head tucked beneath a wing...

Every Opportunity

By |2020-03-11T12:03:11-04:00March 12th, 2020|

Ever caught a dragon? I hadn’t until my son convinced me to download a game on my phone. Producing a digital map mirroring the real world, the game allows you to catch colorful creatures near you. Unlike most mobile games, this one requires movement. Anywhere you go is part of the game’s playing field. The result? I’m doing a lot more walking...

The Leaning Tower

By |2020-01-08T15:23:42-05:00January 9th, 2020|

You’ve probably heard of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, but have you heard of the leaning tower of San Francisco? It’s called the Millennium Tower. Built in 2008, this fifty-eight-story skyscraper stands proudly—but slightly crookedly—in downtown San Francisco. The problem? Its engineers didn’t dig a deep enough foundation...

Lord of the . . . Nails?

By |2019-12-16T16:52:47-05:00December 17th, 2019|

I was getting into my car when the glint caught my eye: a nail, embedded in my rear tire’s sidewall. I listened for the telltale whistle of air. Thankfully, the hole was plugged—at least for the moment. As I drove to a tire store, I wondered: How long has that nail been there? Days? Weeks? How long have I been protected from a threat I didn’t even know existed...?

Hang in There

By |2019-10-02T16:30:18-04:00October 9th, 2019|

My father-in-law turned seventy-eight recently, and during our family gathering to honor him, someone asked him, “What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?” His answer? “Hang in there.” Hang in there. It might be tempting to dismiss those words as simplistic. But my father-in-law wasn’t promoting blind optimism or positive thinking...

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