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About Tim Gustafson

Tim Gustafson writes for Our Daily Bread and Our Daily Journey and serves as an editor for Discovery Series. As the adopted son of missionaries to Ghana, Tim has an unusual perspective on life in the West. He and his wife, Leisa, are the parents of one daughter and seven sons. Perhaps not surprisingly, his life verses say: “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy” (Ps. 68:5-6 NLT).

Back in the Battle

By |2019-08-02T12:16:36-04:00August 7th, 2019|

As a child, she had hurled vicious words at her parents. Little did she know that those words would be her last interaction with them. Now, even after years of counseling, she can’t forgive herself. Guilt and regret paralyze her. We all live with regrets—some of them quite terrible. But the Bible shows us a way through the guilt. Let’s look at one example.

Rescuing Villains

By |2019-06-14T09:58:50-04:00June 18th, 2019|

The comic book hero is as popular as ever. In 2017 alone, six superhero movies accounted for more than $4 billion (US) in box office sales. But why are people so drawn to big action flicks? Maybe it’s because, in part, such stories resemble God’s Big Story. There’s a hero, a villain, a people in need of rescue, and plenty of riveting action...

The Heart of Fasting

By |2019-05-17T16:30:38-04:00May 22nd, 2019|

Hunger pangs gnawed at my nerves. My mentor had recommended fasting as a way to focus on God. But as the day wore on, I wondered: How did Jesus do this for forty days? I struggled to rely on the Holy Spirit for peace, strength, and patience. Especially patience. If we’re physically able, fasting can teach us the importance of our spiritual food...

A Longing in Stone

By |2019-04-30T12:17:16-04:00May 13th, 2019|

“Ah, every pier is a longing in stone!” says a line in Fernando Pessoa’s Portuguese poem “Ode Marítima.” Pessoa’s pier represents the emotions we feel as a ship moves slowly away from us. The vessel departs but the pier remains, an enduring monument to hopes and dreams, partings and yearnings. We ache for what’s lost, and for what we can’t quite reach...

In the Moment

By |2019-04-12T16:19:45-04:00April 18th, 2019|

The ambulance door was about to close—with me on the inside. Outside, my son was on the phone to my wife. From my concussed fog, I called his name. As he recalls the moment, I slowly said, “Tell your mom I love her very much.” Apparently I thought this might be goodbye, and I wanted those to be my parting words. In the moment, that’s what mattered most to me...

More than a Symbol

By |2019-03-08T13:20:56-04:00March 16th, 2019|

On the verge of making team history, University of Iowa basketball star Jordan Bohannon intentionally missed the free throw that would have broken a twenty-five-year-old school record. Why? In 1993, days after Iowa’s Chris Street had made thirty-four free throws in a row, he lost his life in a car crash. Bohannon chose to honor Street’s memory by not breaking his record...

The Battle

By |2019-02-12T16:32:31-04:00February 13th, 2019|

As artillery rounds fell around him with an earth-shaking whoomp, the young soldier prayed fervently, “Lord, if you get me through this, I’ll go to that Bible school Mom wanted me to attend.” God honored his focused prayer. My dad survived World War II, went to Moody Bible Institute, and invested his life in ministry. Another warrior endured a different kind of crisis that drove him to God, but his problems arose when he avoided combat...

Trying to Impress

By |2019-01-21T17:04:26-04:00January 23rd, 2019|

When a college class went on a cultural field trip, the instructor almost didn’t recognize one of his star pupils. In the classroom she had concealed six-inch heels beneath her pant legs. But in her walking boots she was less than five feet tall. “My heels are how I want to be,” she laughed. “But my boots are how I really am.” Our physical appearance doesn’t define who we are; it’s our heart that matters...

Just Another Day?

By |2018-12-19T15:33:00-04:00December 26th, 2018|

In Christmas Every Day, William Dean Howells tells of a little girl who gets her wish. For one long, horrible year it is indeed Christmas every day. By day three, the yuletide joy has already begun to wear thin. Before long everyone hates candy. Turkeys become scarce and sell for outrageous prices. Presents are no longer received with gratitude as they pile up everywhere. People angrily snap at each other...