rssfeed | Strength for the Journey / with Joe Stowell en-us Wed, 18 Jul 2018 09:16:05 +0000 Wed, 18 Jul 2018 09:16:05 +0000 Summertime /daily/summertime/ “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” Genesis 2:3

The old Porgy and Bess tune that declares, “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy”no doubt was written when life was so much different than what it is now. If you’re like most people, you are hoping that summer will be a time to kick back and relax a little, but…

Tue, 17 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/summertime/
Saying “I Do” /daily/saying-i-do/ “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

No doubt about it, wedding season is in full swing. It’s the time when the words “I do” are heard in churches all over the country and the weight of the promise resonates in the hearts of happy couples devoting themselves to a lifetime of love and happiness.

Most people go into…

Mon, 16 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/saying-i-do/
Getting Away From It All /daily/getting-away-from-it-all/ “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:2-3

A pastor friend of mine was telling another pastor about the long-awaited vacation that he and his family were preparing for. The other pastor immediately replied, “Vacation? I never take a vacation. Satan doesn’t take a vacation and neither do I!”

To which my friend wisely retorted, “Well, that’s all right.…

Sun, 15 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/getting-away-from-it-all/
Agents of God’s Glory /daily/agents-of-gods-glory/ "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

A friend of mine is an agent for professional athletes. His whole career is based on representing his clients to teams in hopes of securing them the best possible salary and contract package. For each of his clients, he has a portfolio that highlights their statistics—height, weight, career highlights, awards,…

Sat, 14 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/agents-of-gods-glory/
My Only Hope /daily/my-only-hope/ “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions” Psalm 51:1

Any Star Wars fans out there? Remember the opening scenes of Episode IV? After a laser battle between a little spaceship (the good guys) and the ominous Imperial Star Destroyer (the bad guys), we see Princess Leia and her loyal fighters quickly overpowered by Darth Vader and his Stormtroopers. The situation is…

Fri, 13 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/my-only-hope/
Pay Attention! /daily/pay-attention/ “Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” 1 Timothy 4:16

I would love to have a dollar for every time I heard my Mom say, “Joe, pay attention to what you’re doing!” As I was growing up, there was always something more fun to distract me from the task at hand.

To be honest, I still need reminders like that, particularly…

Thu, 12 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/pay-attention/
Solid Rock and Sinking Sand /daily/solid-rock-and-sinking-sand/ “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24

Over the past several years we’ve seen hurricanes wreak mind-boggling destruction. When a hurricane hits, countless homes and lives are washed into the sea, and the things people count on the most don’t hold up to the storm’s furious surges.

We all have hurricanes in our lives: the out-of-the-blue surprises that…

Wed, 11 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/solid-rock-and-sinking-sand/
Bull’s-Eye! /daily/bulls-eye-2/ "Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth."  Psalm 86:11

If we’re not careful, we may become like the man who prided himself on being an expert archer. The secret to his success was that after he shot his arrow at the side of a barn, he painted a bull’s-eye around the arrow.

It’s easy to live our lives doing what…

Tue, 10 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/bulls-eye-2/
Painting Pictures of Peace /daily/painting-pictures-of-peace/ “First, go and be reconciled to your brother.” Matthew 5:24

The Last Supper, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, is one of the great Renaissance masterpieces. It took da Vinci 3 years to complete, and during this time in frustration his temper flared, and he lashed out with bitter words to a man who had deeply offended him. When he tried…

Mon, 09 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/painting-pictures-of-peace/
Pleasing Him /daily/pleasing-him/ “So we make it our goal to please him.” 2 Corinthians 5:9

It may not always seem like it, but children really do want to please their parents. Just picture the little boy who beams with pleasure when his mom proudly puts the crayon-scribbled picture up on the fridge! Or the little girl who immediately looks up into the bleachers to see if…

Sun, 08 Jul 2018 05:00:00 +0000 /daily/pleasing-him/