The Gift of Enemies

The first prayer-proper in the Psalms (Ps. 3) is a not a praise or thanksgiving. It’s a cry for help, “O Lord, how many are my foes!” In the Psalms–the prayer book of God’s people–enemies are everywhere. Out of 150 chapters, there are only 7 confession or penitential psalms. There are upwards of 68 psalms…

When God Seems Distant

If you’ve been a Christian for more than a day, God has seemed distant. What I’ve learned over the years of walking with Jesus (and I’m still learning, of course) is that the the emotions we feel when God seems distant are signals that God wants to do something important in our lives. What in…

Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Here is Abraham Lincoln’s short proclamation to institute Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the United States. Read more about it. By the President of the United States of America. A Proclamation. The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies….

We Look for Light: Free Advent Devotional

If you’re looking for an Advent devotional to use this Christmas season, there’s no shortage of options out there. Advent (December 2-24 this year) is a wonderful time to intentionally refresh and refocus on the coming of Jesus and anticipate his second coming. A good devotional can do that. A few years ago, I wrote We…

Welcome One Another

Romans 1-9 gets all the love. All the attention. As it should. It’s a dynamic exposition of sin, God’s wrath, justification by faith, and the power of the Spirit. It’s a tour de force from the Apostle Paul. But today, as I’m finishing up reading through Romans, it struck me how important Romans 14 and the first…

The One Thing That Grows Trust

Trusting people is hard for me. What about you? It’s not mainly because I believe people are so sinful they aren’t worthy of being trusted. That’s can be true sometimes. No, it has more to do with me. I don’t want to trust them. Trust means I need to be close, vulnerable, intimate. It’s easier to keep…