Farmers are diligent to prepare the soil for planting. When everything is right, they put seeds into the ground. As they do this, they have a mental picture of a field ready to harvest. They anticipate corn, oats, wheat or soybeans in abundance – what they call a “bumper crop.”
Gardeners follow a similar routine on a smaller scale. Their mental picture is of tomato vines bending under the weight of abundant fruit and healthy bushes loaded with beans or peas. It is the anticipation of the harvest that encourages hard work and patience over many weeks and months.
Farmers and gardeners understand potential crop failures. If they have worked at it for a few years, they probably have experienced such a loss. But they continue to make their preparations each year, always with a view of the harvest. If they ever lose that perspective, they might give up. Continue reading
Earlier this year, my wife and best friend Nanci was diagnosed with colon cancer, and is now beginning a combination of radiation and chemotherapy treatments. (You can read more on her Caring Bridge page; we would really appreciate your prayers.) Nanci recently wrote a prayer based on Psalm 23. It spoke to me, and I hope it speaks to you too, as you reflect on your heavenly Shepherd and the ways He leads and cares for you through every circumstance. Read Psalm 23 first, then enter into Nanci’s prayer. —Randy Alcorn
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; Continue reading
American Christians face unprecedented levels of open hostility today. This is increasingly true at the university level.
Many universities already teach students about what they call “White Privilege” and “Male Privilege” to raise student awareness about the damage professors believe had been done to America by these two groups. But their list of culprits has now expanded. They have added “Christian Privilege” to their societal oppressors who must be confronted and combated.
Today’s level of hostility toward Christianity in America is unprecedented, but such opposition is not. This reality was affirmed by a document we recently added to our historical collection — a post-Civil War governor’s proclamation calling for a day of prayer and fasting. Continue reading
One of my favorite bloggers, Tim Challies, linked to a fascinating article in his daily A La Carte feature: Your smartphone is making you stupid, antisocial and unhealthy. So why can’t you put it down!?️ Here are some notable sections from it about the impact smartphones are having on our lives and minds:
They have impaired our ability to remember. They make it more difficult to daydream and think creatively. They make us more vulnerable to anxiety. They make parents ignore their children. And they are addictive, if not in the contested clinical sense then for all intents and purposes. Continue reading
In 2012 my dear Mom passed away. My wife and sister and I went through her things in preparation for taking care of her estate. We discovered that Mom had quite a collection of jewelry. Most of it was costume jewelry. She never spent a lot of money on herself. But even though we were skeptical, we thought it would be smart to have a pile of jewelry checked out by an expert, just in case there was something valuable in there.
So we got a lunch sized paper bag and filled it up with jewelry and took it to a guy who said he would help us determine if there were any valuable items there. (For Video of presentation, visit: https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/162b06b3e9e12b1a?projector=1) Continue reading
I am a Christian for one simple reason: the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
There is simply no credible alternative to the view that his grave was empty on Easter morning because of his bodily resurrection. His body wasn’t there because he wasn’t there. And he wasn’t there because he had been raised from death to life.
It’s not credible that his body was stolen by the disciples. If it had been, the disciples would know that any public story that he was raised from the dead was a lie. Now people will die for a lie they believe to be true, but they will not die for a lie they know to be a lie. Eleven of the 12 apostles died a martyr’s death, a powerful confirmation that they knew beyond any shadow of doubt that Christ had risen from the dead. Continue reading
Satan has conned many people into a twisted view of the Christian life. We imagine that God calls us to do things that won’t be good for us, while the unbelievers are out there having all the fun. In fact, anything done for God’s glory also works for our good.
Choosing what is good and right will always be to our advantage. Wrongdoing sometimes appears to offer benefits, and doing right may seem to bring serious disadvantages. But in the long run, in this life and in the afterlife, God rewards His children’s right choices and confers consequences (not eternal punishment) for wrong ones. “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7, NIV). Continue reading
March is Women’s History Month, but the contributions of women to the Revolution are often neglected today. Many women demonstrated exemplary courage during this time. Here are a few examples.
In April, 1777, a large British force arrived in Fairfield, Connecticut. Marching through nearby Danbury, they searched for American supplies and burned property owned by patriots. A messenger from Danbury was sent to Col. Henry Ludington, the leader of a nearby militia, alerting him to what was happening and seeking his help. His militia was scattered throughout the countryside and someone was needed to alert them and round them up. The Danbury messenger was exhausted from his ride and also unfamiliar with the area, so Sybil Ludington, Col. Ludington’s 16 year-old daughter, carried the message, riding throughout the night, across 40 miles of dangerous country. Continue reading
Have you ever felt like people don’t really listen to what you are saying? You are not alone! Listening isn’t easy; it’s a decision and an action. God hears every whisper with the heart of a father.
“I am praying to you because I know you will answer, Oh God. Bend down and listen as I pray” (Psalm 17:6 NLT).
A few winters ago a barrage of hailstones pounded my office window. I looked outside instantly mesmerized as God surrounded me with His presence. I witnessed tiny chunks of ice erupt in slow motion morphing into fiery iridescence droplets as they hurled through the air. Then… the light faded, and hailstones turned into rain. Continue reading
“Love” might be the most often used word in America – and perhaps the least understood. People of all age groups just “love” anything from pizza to sports to cars to movies to vacations . . . sometimes even people. All of these expressions cause me to wonder if we genuinely understand the meaning of love.
The Greek language has at least three words for love. There is “philia” –friendship love – a type of relationship that begins to be learned at a very young age and continues throughout our life. It can include both male and female friendships and over a period of decades develop into a long list of people.
Friendship love involves a changing list of people, starting in early childhood and elementary school. If we are fortunate to remain in one geographic location during our growing up years, we might carry some friendships into our adult life. Continue reading