Counting Crowns

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    James said that when a man endures testing, he receives a crown of life (James 1:12) while Paul said we’re in a race for which we’ll be crowned only if we “strive lawfully” (II Timothy 2:5) – that is, if we run the race by the rules. And Jesus encouraged us to lay up rewards in heaven, clearly knowing how much those rewards will mean to us, and how awesome they’ll be. (Matthew 6:20) Continue Reading

Who Really Stays Pure?

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"For this is the will of God, even your sanctification --- that each of you possess your vessel in honor." -I Thessalonians 4: 3-4 Sexual purity for the Christian is a mandate, goal and achievement. It’s a mandate because it's expected by God and reasonably so; it's a goal in that we strive towards it, and an achievement when we both attain and then maintain it. It's also way of being and living that runs contrary to so much of what we’re exposed to daily. Continue Reading

Hard Truth: The Wound that Heals

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When a racer’s vehicle needs repair, he doesn’t junk it.  He pulls it over for a pit stop, and he certainly doesn’t do that because he’s finished with the vehicle. Just the opposite – he does it because he’s not finished with it! It’s a valuable car, and he has purposes in mind for it.  After all, the pit stop isn’t a junk yard, but a place for repair and rebuilding. Continue Reading

A Confident Heart

sacred heart

  For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. (I John 3:20-21) Well, how can my heart not condemn me? Searching it is unpleasant at best; mortifying when I really get into it, which I try not to. Not because I’m against self-examination, something I think we could all use a little more of, but because any honest look at my heart reveals a mixture of good and putrid. By God’s grace the love of Christ has been shed abroad Continue Reading

New Children’s Book Out – Great Fall Reading!

Pepper & the Open Gate

Pepper and the Open Gate by Rodica Iova My good friend Rodica Iova has just released her illustrated kid's book titled Pepper and the Open Gate. If you check the reviews on Amazon.com you'll see how well it's being received, and if you read it, you'll see why. Continue Reading

Beware the Weasel

blame

I’m convinced, though I’ve got no solid evidence, that there’s a creature in every man that sabotages his intentions and integrity. I call it the Weasel, and I find him lurking in any number of situations where guys have to ‘man up’ to their own deeds. He first showed up in the garden, when Adam knew he’d sinned. Remember his first response? Run and hide, which is a both a traditional and stupid approach to failure. Yet there Adam is, cowering in the bushes instead of dealing with the problem. Continue Reading

Early Winter

father and child hands

Do your diligence to come before winter. (II Timothy 4:21) Chuck Swindoll developed a volume of insight from Paul’s brief request to Timothy cited above, basing his book Come Before Winter on what he’d gleaned from the aging apostle’s thoughts. It’s a moving read, one of Swindoll’s best to my thinking, reminding us to hear the yearnings that people try to express. The very phrase “Come Before Winter” hints that the asker is facing an upcoming time of cold gray, hoping the person he’s asking will respond by being there, coming alongside when Continue Reading

From the Ashes – Remembering 9/11

911 Memorial

You remember where you were when it all came down. And what you were doing, and how you felt when you first saw the surreal images that caused so many of us to say “This can’t be happening.” Nothing in modern American history matches September 11, 2001, so today we remember, honoring the victims, praising the heroes, and asking ourselves what we learned from that horror. Continue Reading

Unmasked in Marriage

phantom

In The Phantom of the Opera, a disfigured musical genius wearing a mask tutors an ingénue soprano and, in the process, falls deeply in love with her. Early in the story, the protégé Christine, curious to know what her mentor looks like beneath the mask, snatches it away from his face when his back is turned. Furious at being exposed, he lashes out at her, screaming that she, by unmasking him, has ended their relationship. She’s seen him as he is. Now, he’s convinced, she can never love him. Continue Reading

For Him, Not for It

Prayer

“When we commit ourselves to the pursuit of holiness, we need to ensure that our commitment is actually to God, not simply to a holy lifestyle or a set of moral values ...” ― Jerry Bridges              I would have made an excellent Pharisee. Give me a set of rules and an obsessive attitude towards keeping them, and I’m good to go. I love ending the day looking at a To-Do list that’s completely checked off, and a Don’t-Do list that’s blank. When my works have seemed reasonably righteous, I’m strangely Continue Reading