Blog Post Nov 20, 2015

When are you going to write that thank you note? my mother would ask. The question followed every birthday, every Christmas, every time I received a gift. I hated that question. It's not that I wasn't thankful, I just didn't like being forced to say it. Being told to say "thank you" seemed to immediately corrupt whatever gratefulness I felt. So, more often than not, the thank you notes were never written. (Sorry, Mom.)

Interestingly, many Christian traditions begin morning worship by

Blog Post Nov 17, 2015

This question—Why bother?—is about hope, and the purpose and the value and meaning of everyday life. Some of us can skirt it by staying busy, or finding something we enjoy doing. But many of us have to answer it or we can’t get through the day.

How do you answer the question: Why bother?  Here are a few of the many possibilities.

Because God is good and I will look for and find small pleasures in his name

Ecclesiastes is a good

Blog Post Nov 10, 2015

In honor of Veterans Day, we present this free Journal of Biblical Counseling (29:2) article on ministering to combat veterans and their families. Written by Navy Chaplain, Bill Gasser, who has worked with countless returning vets, the article is a call to action for the church. Download the full article below, and visit the Journal of Biblical Counseling webpage to preview other recent articles, purchase the entire 29:2 volume, or

Blog Post Nov 04, 2015

Most of us feel like failures. The experience can be persistent, palpable and intrusive. Or it can be background static (though it is always on standby, just waiting to envelope us). Either way, it seems common to us all. It is so common that we assume it is part of our humanity, so it can go unattended and unexamined.

Scripture, however, opts for the examined life, and with failure that examination is especially helpful. Otherwise, failure becomes disconnected from Scripture. Or to

Blog Post Oct 29, 2015

An eight-year-old boy was angry with his father. As his father was leaving the house, the boy said to him “I hope you don’t come back.”

And he didn’t—a car accident, he died on impact. The boy, now seventy-five, remains haunted by his words.

A child would not fully understand, but an adult does: with life’s uncertainty in mind, we are especially careful with our words and relationships. 

So teach us to

Blog Post Oct 02, 2015

The psalms teach us how to cry out to the Lord. When we are reluctant and don’t know what to say, they give us words. These words can speak of painful depths and are sometimes quite bold, almost audacious. At other times, they call us to go slowly, to reflect. One way to do that is to know a particular psalm well enough to adapt and paraphrase it. Then, after we make it our own, we can update it in view of Jesus Christ, the one who animates every psalm.

Here is my attempt with

Blog Post Sep 23, 2015

In a culture of experts and specialists, it is easy to get the idea that only specially-trained people can do the hard stuff. But that's not how the Church works. We're the body of Christ and there are no unnecessary or unimportant parts. We are all called to bring the love of Christ to bear in one another’s lives—pastors, parents, spouses, friends, neighbors, one and all. For some very good reasons, the Lord delights in using the most unlikely members to advance the

Blog Post Sep 11, 2015

At the heart of the romance novel is the thrill of being desired—irresistibly, intoxicatingly desired. And since that genre is the most frequently visited Internet category among women, there is a lot of “desiring to be desired” out there. A lot. Since men’s idolatries get most of the attention, this is a short meditation aimed at bringing fairness to this imbalance.

The Cycle

The desire to be desired fits nicely into the story of evolution. The female