Understanding Life’s Trials

By |2019-04-24T12:07:28-04:00April 29th, 2019|

My friend’s father received the dreaded diagnosis: cancer. Yet, during the chemo treatment process, he became a believer in Jesus and his disease eventually went into remission. He was cancer free for a wonderful eighteen months, but it returned—worse than before. He and his wife faced the reality of the returned cancer with concern and questions but also with a faithful trust in God because of how He saw them through the first time...

Hope Is Our Strategy

By |2018-12-19T15:22:01-05:00December 22nd, 2018|

My favorite football team has lost eight consecutive games as I write this. With each loss, it’s harder to hope this season can be redeemed for them. The coach has made changes weekly, but they haven’t resulted in wins. Talking with my coworkers, I’ve joked that merely wanting a different outcome can’t guarantee it. “Hope is not a strategy,” I’ve quipped...

A Safe Place

By |2018-11-26T14:00:33-05:00December 2nd, 2018|

My brothers and I grew up on a wooded hillside in West Virginia that provided a fertile landscape for our imaginations. Whether swinging from vines like Tarzan or building tree houses like the Swiss Family Robinson, we played out the scenarios we found in the stories we read and movies we watched. One of our favorites was building forts and then pretending we were safe from attack...

Confident Hope

By |2018-11-05T16:16:40-05:00November 11th, 2018|

Dr. William Wallace was serving as a missionary surgeon in Wuzhou, China, in the 1940s when Japan attacked China. Wallace, who was in charge of Stout Memorial Hospital at the time, ordered the hospital to load his equipment on barges and continue to function as a hospital while floating up and down rivers to avoid infantry attacks. During dangerous times, Philippians 1:21—one of Wallace’s favorite verses—reminded him that if he lived, he had work to do for the Savior...

Dad at the Dentist

By |2018-10-30T14:13:53-04:00November 6th, 2018|

I didn’t expect a profound lesson about the Father’s heart at the dentist’s office—but I got one. I was there with my ten-year-old son. He had an adult tooth coming in under a baby tooth that hadn’t fallen out yet. It had to come out. There was no other way. My son, in tears, pleaded with me: “Dad, isn’t there another way? Can’t we just wait and see? Please, Dad, I don’t want to have this tooth pulled...!”

Compassion Fatigue

By |2018-10-29T16:18:54-04:00November 1st, 2018|

Anne Frank is well known for her diary describing her family’s years of hiding during World War II. When she was later imprisoned in a Nazi death camp, those with her said “her tears [for them] never ran dry,” making her “a blessed presence for all who knew her.” Because of this, scholar Kenneth Bailey concluded that Anne never displayed “compassion fatigue...”

Finding the Way Home

By |2018-08-17T15:13:14-04:00September 3rd, 2018|

Sometimes this journey through life can be so difficult that we’re simply overwhelmed, and it seems there’s no end to the darkness. During such a time in our own family’s life, my wife emerged one morning from her quiet time with a new lesson learned. “I think God wants us not to forget in the light what we’re learning in this darkness...”

Strength for Your Journey

By |2018-08-17T15:09:38-04:00September 2nd, 2018|

Hinds Feet on High Places, a classic allegory of the Christian life, is based on Habakkuk 3:19. The story follows the character Much-Afraid as she goes on a journey with the Shepherd. But Much-Afraid is scared so she asks the Shepherd to carry her. The Shepherd kindly replies, “I could carry you all the way up to the High Places myself, instead of leaving you to climb there. But if I did, you would never be able to develop hinds’ feet, and become my companion and go where I go.”

A Hopeful Lament

By |2018-07-18T14:35:21-04:00August 10th, 2018|

To visit Clifton Heritage National Park in Nassau, Bahamas, is to revisit a tragic era in history. Where the land meets the water, stone steps lead up a cliff. Slaves brought to the Bahamas by ship in the eighteenth century would ascend these steps, often leaving family behind and entering a life of inhumane treatment. At the top, there is a memorial to those slaves...

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