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…

purpose of pain

The deepest pain we experience is often inflicted by people, especially those who we care for the most. The closer we are to people the more vulnerable we are to be hurt and wounded. Not just physically (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-27), but emotionally (11:28-29). People can disappoint, reject, abuse, slander, fail, betray, or turn on…

Emily’s Journey

She had a spark the first time I met her. Emily Ristau was a young seventh grade girl when we first met. Our first encounter was in the church lobby. It was memorable mostly because I opened my mouth and out flew a Freudian Slip (and no, I won’t go into those details). So, I…

the long silence

John Stott’s, The Cross of Christ is a rather filling and satisfying read, if you are looking for a book to bring you back to Jesus again. I recently turned the last page wanting more. Near the end of the book he includes a playlet by unknown author John McNeil entitled, The Long Silence. After a…

Theology of suffering and victory from the book of Revelation

This article was written by my friend Scott Tiede. Scott attended Purdue University where he studied mechanical engineering. He worked as an engineer for about 10 years while serving and growing at Bethel Bible Church in Winomac, Indiana. He was called into a staff position at Bethel Bible Church in 2005, and he attended seminary…

thumb licks [9.3.12]

Is Proverbs 22:6 a guarantee? How the 50 States got their names. Ministry: it’s not about you. Sin wants to be your friend. If snack labels told the truth. Somethings we can learn from suffering. 10 happiest jobs. I knew it! What is a Sikh? Why is love so stupid? Warsaw remembering the Holocaust:

How God uses Suffering

The cross and the resurrection are the ultimate answer to suffering. And we really can trust the good purposes of God in suffering to make us more like Jesus. 1. God uses suffering to teach us His Word. Suffering makes us more receptive to God’s transforming Word. “Though the word and the Spirit do the…

hanged on a tree (for me)

Part of the curse Jesus would bear for us on Golgotha was the taunting and testing by God’s enemies. As he drowned in his own blood, the spectators yelled words quite similar to those of Satan in the desert: “Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may…

life hurts. God heals.

When I was in the fourth grade I came down with a strange case of osteomyelitis—a bone marrow disease that can kill if not treated quickly. I ended up in the hospital with a 106-degree fever. I missed about 3-weeks of summer vacation, which for a 9-year old is pure-torture. Not to mention, I missed…

consider it joy?

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds [James 1:2] Pray to Strengthen Persecuted Christians. Christians worldwide are being persecuted for their faith. That’s a fact. They need your help, but perhaps not the kind you would expect. They are suffering, yet they continually ask for prayer to strengthen their…

not easy, but glorious

Inspired by a sermon from John Piper we heard this Sunday, If a grain dies, it bears much fruit.

from fanatic to follower

Fanatics aren’t hard to find. Each weekend around the country fanatics pack stadiums proudly displaying the colors and logos of their favorite team and passionately cheer and shout for hits, sacks and complete annihilations. Football fanatics have been known to wear pirate eye patches, pig snouts, and large wedges of cheese. Honestly, I do not…

thumb licks [10.21.11]

What’s a good question? How to evoke curiosity the right way. The gospel or Justice, which? Balancing the mission of the church. In defense of Disney princesses. The benefits are more than just their beauty. Three rules for polemics. Tim Keller weighs in on a debated issue. The world is built on discipline.  An open…

thumb lick thursday [5.19.11]

hospitality and small children I’ve been thinking about the joys and challenges of being hospitable with small children at home. Having toddlers afoot amid home and meal preparations, while expecting a large or small gathering of people, can be a challenge. So much so that many people just don’t do it much at all. But it…

thumb lick thursday [3.31.11]

Lick it, flip it, clip it, quote it. A thumb lick is a term used to describe the action taken when turning the page of a book. While reading I often find great one-liners, statements and paragraphs that are golden nuggets of biblical wisdom. So Thumb Lick Thursday is a way to pass along great…

pray for the people of Japan

This morning a massive earthquake 8.9 in magnitude rocked the country Japan. There are still feeling the tremors, beginning to pick through the rubble, and evacuating to higher ground from a giant tsunami that followed the earthquake. A natural disaster of this size will take months and years to recover. Today, homes, families, and real…