Day 10: God with Us in Our Sufferings

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel.” (Matthew 1:23) For many people, Christmas is the most brutal time of year. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, a recent divorce, loneliness, or something else, Christmas can be a sad reminder that life is not how it…

Day 9: Call His Name “God Saves!”

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) What’s in a name? In our culture, naming children is a lost art. Typically parents pick names they like. There may be some family or personal significance, but the meaning of a…

Day 4: The True King

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;      and the government shall be upon his shoulder. (Isaiah 9:6) Every four years in the United States we are reminded that no one leader will rule forever. Even in countries where there are dictators or monarchs, they eventually die and…

From Dust to Glory: Readings and Reflections for Lent

Lent begins next week with Ash Wednesday (February 10). If are a pastor or church leader and have not already, I would encourage you to consider observing Lent this year. There are many great resources and devotionals available to use throughout this period. This year, I wrote a little devotional book for our church, From Dust to…

Review: The Message 100

Just a few years ago, I was not a fan of The Message, Eugene Peterson’s translation of the Bible. I could never put my finger on it. Perhaps I found its vocabulary a bit too colorful. Perhaps I thought one man surely couldn’t “write the Bible.” I’m not sure. I just knew I didn’t like it. But then I…

Advent 2013

Historically, the Christian church has devoted the month of December to celebrating Advent (from the Latin adventus, which means “coming, arrival”). The first Advent was Jesus’ birth: when God himself took on flesh as a humble baby, born in a dirty stable. For centuries upon centuries, the Old Testament saints had anticipated the Messiah’s arrival. We,…