joy full

A lot about life in North Africa, if you’re not careful, can rob your joy.  The heat.  Heat rash.  Tiredness.  Travels.  Knocks at the gate at 5:00am.  Feeling used for services (ice, car rides, cell phone charging).  Reverse proselytizing.  Language barrier.  Bluntness.  Daily chores.  Sickness.  Lack of communication from the outside world.  Feeling fellowship starved. …

70 Portraits of Jesus in John’s Gospel

John—the beloved disciple of Jesus—writes so that people may believe that Jesus is the Son of God (20:31). John is a Jesus lover. And Jesus loves John too. This mutual love is seen in the way that John writes about Jesus. It’s as if he paints beautiful and endearing portraits of Jesus each able to…

Galatians: In Defense of the Gospel

Galatians is about the Gospel.  It is about protecting the good news because it is constantly under attack. Paul was ahead of his time when he wrote this letter to Galatia because the same issues they faced centuries ago we face today.  Learn from Paul and the early church how to defend the gospel from…

Jesus, the I AM, calls for your attention

To get my attention, my daughters will repeat a phrase over and over again, “Daddy, daddy, daddy!  Come see this.  Come see this.  Come see this.”  It can be a new ballet twirl to Sophia getting a boo-boo.  It can be highly annoying, but it is often a good of getting my attention. When a phrase is repeated…

Jesus as the Bookends of John’s Gospel

Bookends hold upright and support a row of books from end to end.  Often times bookends are solid and sure.  John’s Gospel has literary bookends that hold upright the content of his writing. John begins his Gospel with this intended purpose: Jesus Christ has always been and He will always be.  The Creator God is Jesus Christ.  In contrast…

I am the door

Jesus is worth beholding  He is like no other man.  He is utterly unique.  He’s fascinating.  He causes us to wonder and be amazed.  He said things that were both endearing and disturbing.  He made audacious claims.  Jesus isn’t like a presidential candidate that you can pick and choose what you like or don’t like…

overwhelmed

There are days that are downright hard, ugly, and overwhelming.  Sometimes there are seasons of life when all I see is what overwhelms me most. There are so many things that can overwhelm us that leave us feeling like we are sinking and can barely breath.  Many of things that overwhelm can begin as good things,…

a reluctant prayer

Have there been prayers you’ve been reluctant to pray because you don’t know exactly how God will answer? I know I have.  Today, I share a prayer from a ol’ prof of mine from college.  In the past year he has lost his best friend and soul mate.  In many ways he’s living out the…

what God asks of you

A good friend recently asked me, “If someone becomes a Christian can he hide it?”  That is a good question.  How would you answer that? I paused for a long moment before answering.  At first I responded by answering, “Yeah, he can hide, but not for long if he really is a Christian.”  Then I…

What is your response to who God is?

Those who have seen God are never the same.  The children of Israel asked to see the Lord of Moses, but when they saw the Lord they were afraid and ask Moses never to allow them to see God like that again [see Daniel 10:7-10, Luke 2:10, Acts 9:3-4].  In Revelation 1:9-18, John saw the…

God is…

We live in a culture—as others before—that are not easily wowed.  We pack arena’s chanting our favorite songs from our favorite band.  We wait in line to see the next biggest summer blockbuster.   We swarm sports stadiums to cheer our beloved team. A few years ago, I had a bucket list item come true.  I…

what wows you?

I got a question for you.  What wow’s you?  I mean, what really wow’s you?  Is it being in the outdoors like the Teton Mountains, or being with 80,000 fans at a stadium, seeing an amazing magic trick, looking at art or listening music, or a friend giving you a surprise gift.  There’s got to…

25 Days of Christmas Advent Catechism Calendar

I was looking for a catechism for my daughters this Christmas that took Old Testament Prophecies about Jesus and compared them to a New Testament fulfillment.  I couldn’t find anything, so Sarah and I whipped up something to help our girls understand and remember the reason for Christmas the 25 days leading up to Christmas….

5. bold and brave image-bearers

Men are designed to be IMAGE-BEARERS. The final aspect of masculinity is seen in the fact that men are the glory of God.  “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” (Gen. 1:26)  Here we come full circle.  To be made in God’s image is to be a dominioneer or…

4. sages seeking wisdom

Men are expected to grow in wisdom, becoming SAGES. Wisdom is something men and women want from day one.  We just go to find her in the wrong place or we listen to the wrong voice,  “But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat…

3. saviors delivering from evil

Men are equipped to be SAVIORS, delivering from evil. Men have a deep desire to deliver and save.  Men have a deep desire to defend something; to represent someone in battle.  That is why we are drawn to the examples of William Wallace and Maximus. Jesus is the great example of a Savior.  His deliverance…