Strength For The Journey/ Get more strength for your journey. en-us Sun, 18 Mar 2012 06:53:30 +0000 Sun, 18 Mar 2012 06:53:30 +0000 Are We Small Yet?/daily/are-we-small-yet/ “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves” Philippians 2:3 NASB

Kids are great! Things that we take for granted are occasions for awe and wonder for them. And their perspectives are often convictingly right on.

Take, for instance, the little girl who loved watching the planes that took off from a nearby airport as she played in her backyard. From her…

Sun, 18 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/are-we-small-yet/
Bravo for the Boundaries/daily/bravo-for-the-boundaries/ "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers." Psalm 1:1

In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a no-holds-barred, do-your-own-thing world. We have been force-fed on the thought that we exist to experience pleasure, that the pursuit of happiness and personal fulfillment should not be restrained. Especially by Bible-thumping religious folk who want to control and oppress the world…

Sat, 17 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/bravo-for-the-boundaries/
Before and After/daily/before-and-after/ “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” Ephesians 2:10

I’m sure that you’ve seen those before and after pictures in ads for diet pills. The before picture always features some tremendously out-of-shape obese guy. The after picture then shows him looking trim, sculpted, and usually holding out the waistband of his old pants, which are now many sizes too big. The ad then…

Fri, 16 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/before-and-after/
This Time It’s Personal/daily/this-time-its-personal/ "The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son’ ” Luke 15:21

I’ll make a confession if you promise not to tell.

Having been selected to represent my college in a traveling music team one summer, I had a few days to relax at home before returning to campus for a week of practice before we started our tour. During my short visit…

Thu, 15 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/this-time-its-personal/
No Cause For Alarm/daily/no-cause-for-alarm/ “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath. —Ephesians 4:26

The sound of the alarm blaring from inside the church struck panic in my heart. I had arrived at church early one Sunday morning, planning to spend a little time in peace and quiet before the congregation arrived. But I forgot to disarm the burglar alarm. As I turned the…

Wed, 14 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/no-cause-for-alarm/
The Song Of The Saints/daily/the-song-of-the-saints/ Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. . . . Your judgments have been manifested. —Revelation 15:4

We’ve all heard the expression, “I don’t get mad; I just get even.” Reading about the judgments described in Revelation, one might assume that God will get “even” with sinners for their phenomenal offenses throughout the history of mankind.

The truth is that God’s final judgment is a necessary expression of…

Tue, 13 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/the-song-of-the-saints/
Make Up Your Mind/daily/make-up-your-mind/ “This is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best” Philippians 1:9-10

When I was young, my mother tried to prepare me for life by urging me to make up two things: my bed and my mind. When I got up each day she would remind me, “Joe, make up your bed.” And when I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do,…

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/make-up-your-mind/
Gone Fishin/daily/gone-fishin/ “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he said, ‘you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs’” John 21:15

Not long after I married my wife, Martie, I realized that she had a deep love for animals in general and dogs in particular. She grew up with Trudy, a black lab, who was a faithful friend and companion. I grew up in a home that never had any pets.…

Sun, 11 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/gone-fishin/
The Wise Guy in the Backseat/daily/the-wise-guy-in-the-backseat/ “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long." Psalm 119:97

Driving with two young children in the backseat often requires a special kind of grace. Especially when, like on this trip, I was the parent. We were driving to Grand Rapids to hear one of my favorite pastors speak, and we were seriously stuck in traffic. I desperately studied the…

Sat, 10 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/the-wise-guy-in-the-backseat/
A Way Out/daily/a-way-out/ “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” Psalm 51:6

It’s confession time.

The mere sight of a squad car—particularly when my speed is a little beyond the posted limit—kicks off a flurry of excuses in my mind. My speedometer must be a little off . . . I had no idea how fast I was going . . . I…

Fri, 09 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/a-way-out/
Stretching the Truth/daily/stretching-the-truth/

“Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you.” Proverbs 4:24

I worked for a carpenter one summer between college semesters. Being the inexperienced apprentice, occasionally I would cut a board too short. Seeing that I had wasted a good board, my frustrated boss would reply: “Get the wood stretcher!”

His point? Wood doesn’t stretch.

Neither does the truth. Once stretched, it is…

Thu, 08 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/stretching-the-truth/
The Problem With Self-Sufficiency/daily/the-problem-with-self-sufficiency/

I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. —Revelation 3:15

The city of Laodicea had a water problem. One nearby town had fabulous hot springs and another had cold, clear water. Laodicea, however, was stuck with tepid, mineral-laden water that tasted like sulphur. Not hot. Not cold. Just gross.

Given those facts, the words of Jesus to the Laodicean believers in…

Wed, 07 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/the-problem-with-self-sufficiency/
Soul Food/daily/soul-food/ Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart. —Jeremiah 15:16

Grocery shopping with my wife, Martie, is like taking a seminar in nutrition. I’ll often pick up a box of something that looks good, and she’ll say: “Look at the label. Are there trans-fats? What’s the calorie count? How about the cholesterol rating?” I have to confess that if she…

Tue, 06 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/soul-food/
Help Is on the Way/daily/help-is-on-the-way/ “ Yes, I am coming soon.’” Revelation 22:20

My aging Chevy Tahoe has a nifty little feature—the OnStar button. Some time back, General Motors started installing this blue button on many of their vehicles. If you need help, all you do is press it. If you’re out of gas, if you’re lost, or if you get a flat tire,…

Mon, 05 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/help-is-on-the-way/
Voices/daily/voices/ "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." John 10:27

Hearing voices has to be the most haunting of all the mental disorders. After all, which voice do you listen to? Talk about massive confusion! But before you think that you are among the blessed ones who don’t hear voices, think again. Today will be full of voices that compete…

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/voices/
What’s In Your Wallet?/daily/whats-in-your-wallet/ "In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will." Ephesians 1:11

An advertising blitz for a credit card company once featured two humorous television commercials. One featured Vikings who were defeated by credit card’s low interest rates. The other series of ads poked fun at the apparent difficulty of cashing in on the “other company’s” frequent flier miles. Every one of the commercials ended with…

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/whats-in-your-wallet/
Brain Drain/daily/brain-drain/ "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1

When I travel, wake-up calls are really important! More than once I have registered my wake-up time with the hotel desk confident that they would call right on time. Well, you know the rest of the story. Rolling over and looking at the clock only to realize that you’ll never…

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/brain-drain/
Déjà Vu All Over Again/daily/deja-vu-all-over-again/ After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias. —John 21:1

Baseball legend Yogi Berra is known for his oft-repeated quips like, “It ain’t over till it’s over” and “It’s like déjà vu all over again!”

I wonder if the disciples felt déjà vu when they saw Jesus standing by the shore (John 21:1-25). Discouraged and distracted by their own needs in…

Thu, 01 Mar 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/deja-vu-all-over-again/
How To Become Rich/daily/how-to-become-rich/ Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. —Luke 12:15

I find it interesting that Jesus taught more about money than anything else. And He wasn’t trying to ratchet up the treasury. As far as we know, He never even asked for an offering. The reason He taught extensively on the subject is that nothing clogs our spiritual arteries more…

Tue, 28 Feb 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/how-to-become-rich/
The Best Story Ever Told/daily/the-best-story-ever-told/ “My purpose is that they . . . may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” Colossians 2:2-3

It’s not uncommon for blockbuster movies today to be followed by a sequel and even a “three-quel.” The film industry has discovered that we like to revisit certain stories. We want to know more about the characters and want to see what happens next.

George Lucas, years after completing his original…

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/the-best-story-ever-told/