We feel entitled to a particular pleasure. Others don’t cooperate. And we get mad. Just like James says: selfish pursuit of pleasure leads to conflict. Our hedonistic striving ignores the fact that pleasure is God’s gift … not our acquisition. Our efforts to satisfy ourselves in effect shut God out of our lives and break His heart. We misunderstand Him: God isn’t anti-pleasure; He’s simply anti-hedonism.Read more
Coping With LifeView All Coping with Life Posts
Most people miss the Bible’s practicality. This is particularly true when we consider how to deal with life’s daily challenges. We find our relationships marred by anger, fear, hurt, and frustration. How do we cope? We live in a world that often disappoints and sometimes seems empty. Where is the joy? We encounter a God who does things that we don’t understand and that He doesn’t always explain. How do we trust Him? These posts explore our concerns.
Exploring the BibleView All Exploring the Bible Posts
Take a careful look with me at the Bible and at the God behind the pages of this book He has crafted. In these posts we’ll examine the original meaning of biblical words, learn how to study a biblical text, look closely at the character of God, and reflect on how biblical truth impacts our lives.
Helping OthersView All Helping Others Posts
In these posts we’ll explore practical skills, perspectives, and wisdom essential to the art of helping others as we walk with them through the issues we all face. We’ll look at psychological disorders through a biblical lens, compare and contrast Jesus and “the shrinks,” learn what God says about skillful interactions, and gain wisdom and confidence in our battle against evil.
We choose what we pay attention to – that person or object or feeling on which we set our minds. I can look at the person I’m having lunch with or take in the hockey game on the big screen behind their head. You can listen to what your friend is saying or think about what you’re going to take out of the freezer for dinner. And each of us can attend to either our independent inclinations or the guiding of the Spirit. We know about wavering between hockey and our lunch companion; we understand the conflict between friend and freezer, but what does it mean to set our minds on the Spirit? The question is of utmost importance, because this mindset shapes the entire tone of our lives.Read more
Quotes & ReviewsView All Quotes & Reviews Posts
Many voices – authors and speakers, shrinks, and preachers – advise us on how live productive and meaningful lives. Some realistically weave together issues of the spirit, mind, and body and accurately reflect biblical truth. Their perspectives have deeply enriched my life and ministry.
Others address mental and physical issues but neglect, minimize, or distort deeper – and more basic – spiritual concerns. Still others address spiritual concerns but disregard physiological or mental realities. Here you can read reviews of what these voices are telling us and find significant quotes from their works.See the most recent post from Quotes & Reviews below.
Billy Graham asks “What testimony are you passing on to those following you?” and guides us to live our days to ensure that we’re “finishing well.”
Theme StudiesView All Theme Studies Posts
Certain ideas – themes – permeate the bible. God seems to tell thousands of unrelated stories, but that’s not true. God tells very few stories. Instead, He tells same stories again and again, varying the settings and characters, but never varying the key ideas He wants to emphasize. Once you learn to think thematically, God’s repetitions will pop off of page after biblical page, and you’ll find the bible suddenly less confusing, more fascinating, and amazingly consistent.
Here you’ll find surveys of important biblical themes, each presented as a series of related posts.
God models forgiveness for us by sending away hate (and substituting love), by sending away self-protectiveness (and replacing it with vulnerability), and by sending away vengeance (and in its place doing good). Substituting love for hate makes sense (difficult as it is to do). Replacing self-protectiveness with vulnerability raises more concerns. But sending away vengeance and doing good to one who’s wronged us? Nobody wants to do that. It seems so … unfair. It’s so unlike us – and so like God.Read more