Promise Keeper

We live in a world of fingers crossed behind our backs. In politics, it increasingly seems like you're rewarded for your ability to double-speak. But the problem isn't just untrustworthy politicians. We all have a tendency to waffle on our promises. Sometimes plans change and we need to back out of commitments, to be fair. But we need to press through the inconvenience of tight schedules and conflicting...

Staying Strong to the End

I lost one of my mentors last week. He played a large part in my theological studies and training. But more importantly, he inspired me with his faith in Christ and his compassionate heart. Those things impacted me more than anything else he taught me. His life remains a testament to me and...

The Power of Commitment

What’s it like to live in a relationship where one party is committed but not the other? Many (if not most) of us have experienced that, at some point; it’s sad, to say the least, and even worse when the commitment...

Second Chances

I met a man named Jack when I was working at the hospital last summer. He was in his early 80s and was struggling with a slow recovery from heart surgery. When I entered his room, he asked me to sit down and began sharing his story. His first marriage had ended when he was a young man, and he'd blamed God for his loss. In the years since, despite remarrying, he'd never quite gotten over his bitterness and disappointment.

Food That Lasts

We live in a culture centered on getting and not giving. We're consumers. What makes us happy is getting the thing we want, as quickly as we can get it. From fast food restaurants to Amazon.com, we have created a society that delivers what we need, the moment we crave it. Behind all of this, a question is lurking—one we're probably afraid to ask. In the case of fast food, we already know...

No Fear

Fear can protect us from hurting ourselves. It keeps us from driving too fast on the freeway, walking too close to the ledge of a tall building, or gambling too much in a high stakes poker game. At its worst, though, it keeps us from acting boldly in situations where we need to take a risk. It keeps us from making investments that can lead to success. It causes us to hide our true selves out of fear of rejection by others.

The Young and the Restless

We live in a society caught in the grips of anxiety and depression. Young people are more prone to thoughts of suicide than previous generations. Recent studies struggle with locating a cause, and end up adopting such lame conclusions...

Hope Ahead

We're all in search of hope. We want to believe things will work out in the end, that our dreams will come true. In the middle of disaster, we long for reassurance that the world will be set right. We want to know that our life has a purpose and that we will experience true...

Declaration of Dependence

On July 4, we who are in the United States celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It's a declaration of freedom, of a sort. Freedom is highly prized in the world today—not only in the United States but everywhere. We sometimes think of freedom...

Promise Made, Promise Kept

Truth no longer means what it did a few generations ago. Western culture has developed a disdain for absolutes—the conception that there is something behind the beliefs we hold dear. Morals have become a matter of preference. Religion is treated as mere opinion. Science now defines truth as our best explanation for the things we observe, to be conveniently replaced by a new “truth” the moment we see things differently.

Resting in His Shadow

I have faced difficult times when my plans have unraveled and fallen apart around me. I remember one time I sat alone, feeling abandoned. Where was God, I wondered? I reached out in desperation but couldn't find him. The thought struck me that he had wandered away, that he didn't care about what I was facing. I wanted to pray but it seemed like a waste of time. It was easier...

Chains of the Past

Things in the past can enslave us. Mistakes we have made, experiences we cannot forget, things that have been done to us. Bitterness and disappointment can consume our thinking, robbing us of joy and hope. Images burned into our consciousness, like pornography or sexual perversion, can cause us to relapse into patterns of sin. Anger over the harm others have done to us can overcome...

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