A White Hot Poker

Photo Courtesy of Jack Catalano Proverbs 17: 3 provides this reminder, “ . . . the Lord tests the heart.” God created the human heart to love Him exclusively. And with loyalty to the Creator the heart could steer the mind with right thoughts of God and direct the soul to rest, be one, in … Continue reading “A White Hot Poker”

Spiritual Parents

Photo Courtesy of Geovanny Velasquez Isaiah 8: 18, “Here am I, and the children the Lord has given me . . . ” Consider that any person God impresses upon your heart to pray for is a spiritual child He has given you. Perhaps your labor is not in a hospital but in the prayer … Continue reading “Spiritual Parents”

Promise Keeper

Image Courtesy of Hunter Newton Matthew 11: 3 asks, “Are you the one who was to come?” On the family tree, John was the crazy cousin whom everyone tolerated at birthdays and holidays. He was such a curiosity that people traveled to the desert just to hear him and watch him. He had been consecrated … Continue reading “Promise Keeper”

Start Working

This morning, like last evening, is dark and cold. If I were a caribou, polar bear or snow monkey I would be thrilled with the current weather conditions. But I am a human being, a very cold, wishing-for-summer human being. As I snuggle more deeply under the covers of my warm bed I think that … Continue reading “Start Working”

Remaining Silent

My gymnasts occasionally run into difficulties during training. Unfortunately, the girls rarely express the reasons for their troubles. They remain silent when asked about the problem; they do not want to admit weakness. We are the same with God. We have a troublesome time confessing our sin. We hold on to it, because we don’t … Continue reading “Remaining Silent”

Let There Be Quiet

And God said, “Let there be quiet.” He didn’t say that, but He would have if he had spent this weekend at the gymnastics meet I did. We humans are loud. We think the louder we are the more energy we can create, the more convincing our argument and the more powerful our words. Loud … Continue reading “Let There Be Quiet”

Inconsistent Choices

We were at a gymnastics meet today. Between sessions I ran for some provisions for my friend. She wanted a mineral water and a bag of potato chips. Anyone see the discrepancy here? She drinks healthy but eats unhealthy. I laughed at the many ways we make inconsistent choices. In our relationships with each other … Continue reading “Inconsistent Choices”

Travel Details

As I was packing for a trip recently, it occurred to me that I had very few details about where I was going, when I was going to arrive or even where I was going to stay. It didn’t particularly alarm me that I had limited information. My good friend had the itinerary, and, eventually, … Continue reading “Travel Details”


I am flying tomorrow. I absolutely enjoy my time in a plane. No matter what the circumstances are on the ground, at 30,000 feet the world, the heavens, and life look gorgeous. My favorite place on the plane is any window seat. I like peering out that portal and staring at the ground below. Everything … Continue reading “Flying”

Spiritual Instincts

Today I learned that slow feet plus concealed ice equals staples. I had just finished my morning walk and was strolling leisurely down the sidewalk, when my feet left the ground. Fortunately my head stopped my fall. I went down so fast that I am certain that I could have achieved Guinness World Record status. With … Continue reading “Spiritual Instincts”

God’s Care

Escaping the crowds, Jesus and His disciples got in a boat and started for the other side of the lake. Jesus fell asleep in the stern of the boat. He was still sleeping when a “furious squall came up” (Mark 4:37). As the waves were swamping the craft, the disciples woke Jesus, “Teacher, don’t you … Continue reading “God’s Care”

Ask For The Obvious

Weather—have to live with it; can’t do anything about it. Or can we? The disciples ran into a weather issue one night as they were crossing a lake. As they reached the middle of the lake a mighty squall hit and swamped the boat. Afraid of perishing in the storm, the disciples woke Jesus and … Continue reading “Ask For The Obvious”

The Gift Of Weakness

I have hit my limit tonight. Fatigue, which is generally absent from my mind and body, has arrived. I am human, a tired, weak, ready-for-bed human. That is a disappointing discovery, except that I could probably use my languor as an excuse to watch Castle and Big Bang Theory. But I am reminded that being … Continue reading “The Gift Of Weakness”

Rejoice: The Forgotten Word

Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Rejoice is a word that rarely sees any action these days. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I used it in a sentence. My last recollection of the word in modern language was somewhere just after the leisure suit was banished from fashion runways. Since it … Continue reading “Rejoice: The Forgotten Word”

Winter Scene, Holy Scene

Over the past couple of days my backyard, which usually is rich with birds, has been unusually quiet, as my feathered friends buried themselves deep in the trees out of the cold. Today, many of the birds—sparrows, starlings, and cardinals—returned to the feeders. My favorite winter scene is the male cardinal sitting on a snow-covered … Continue reading “Winter Scene, Holy Scene”

The Growing Mustard Seed

Mark 4:31, “It grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants.” It takes a faith only the size of a tiny mustard seed to believe in the atoning work of Christ to ensure salvation and secure entrance into God’s kingdom. God made His plan that simple. But salvation is only the start of our … Continue reading “The Growing Mustard Seed”

Depend On The Spirit

Matthew 21:13—“My house will be called a house of prayer.” Jesus is quoting the prophet Isaiah as a reminder to the chief priests and teachers of the law about their God-given responsibility to the spiritual life of the people. For generations the priests had become terribly sidetracked and negligent in their spiritual duties. (See Ezekiel … Continue reading “Depend On The Spirit”

Love As Worshippers

Psalm 122:1 (KJV) rejoices, “I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” God’s house is His “heavenly tabernacle,” His “holy temple.” It is always open and filled with celestial beings and the “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrews 12:1) who have gathered to “sing psalms, hymns and … Continue reading “Love As Worshippers”

Our Prayer Room

John 14:2, “In my Father’s house are many rooms.” Our prayer room is no ordinary room, it is a sacred place bought for us by Christ’s crucifixion and purified by His blood. From our room we witness Christ “offered himself unblemished to God” (Hebrews 9:14) and the tragedy of “the Lamb that was slain from … Continue reading “Our Prayer Room”

Light In Your Eyes

John 3:19 declares, “Light has come into the world . . . ” When Christ brought the light of the “dawn of redeeming grace” (Silent Night) into the world “the darkness hasn’t overcome it” (John 1:5 WEB) for this light is the “radiance of God’s glory” (Hebrews 1:3). “God is light” (1 John 1:5). The … Continue reading “Light In Your Eyes”

Ask For What You Lack

1 Kings 3:5b reminds us, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” Solomon was young when he became king over Israel. He called himself “a little child” and admitted to God that he did not know how to carry out his duties as king. His lack of experience as monarch drove him into … Continue reading “Ask For What You Lack”

That Holiday Lull

Psalm 27:14 directs us, “Wait for the Lord.” The holiday lull has hit. The anticipation of the coming Christ child is over. Christmas carols have ceased for another year. And the world, which was sparkling with expectation, now seems to be wearing its gray winter coat. So now what? Because Christ has come among us, … Continue reading “That Holiday Lull”

God With Us

Revelation 21:3: “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.” The world will crowd back into our lives in the morning. Things will return to normal. But what the world won’t tell you is that this world will never be the same again. “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23). … Continue reading “God With Us”

An Expensive Season

At the bank this morning the teller and I exchanged a few words about the Christmas season. We acknowledged that it is not only the “most wonderful time of the year” but the most expensive as well. Thinking later about our conversation, it occurred to me that this was a very expensive season for God … Continue reading “An Expensive Season”

Radical Transformation

The transformative work of the Holy Spirit should be so radical in the lives of Christians that an interest in Christ is awakened in those seeking and questioning the reality of God. To be attractive to others, Christians must live agreeably with God. Our lives are to be “sound in faith, in love and in … Continue reading “Radical Transformation”

Beyond Anger Management

Titus 1:8, “Rather . . . be . . . self-controlled . . . ” We often think of self-control as merely anger management but it is much further reaching than curbing our tempers. Self-control means preventing the flourishing of our corrupt human nature. We should aim to subdue our personal interests, our ego, desires … Continue reading “Beyond Anger Management”

See What God Sees

Generations of Israelites had been waiting for God to fulfill His promise, “the virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (Isaiah 7:14). However, the people’s minds were set on a king as great and powerful as David. Finally, they thought the suffering and humiliation caused … Continue reading “See What God Sees”

Live Wisely

Matthew 24:44 warns us, “The Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” What would you do if you knew when to expect the Son of Man? Would you prioritize your day differently? Would you FB your friends the time of His arrival? Would you let strangers know? Would … Continue reading “Live Wisely”

Rejoice In King Jesus

Psalm 149:2b, “Let the people of Zion be glad in their King.” The arrival of God’s king brought “joy to the world” (Joy to the World, Isaac Watts). God’s pleasure at His arrival rushed forth into all the earth. When Christ the King was born, heaven’s happiness flooded the sad and dreary land. Angels burst … Continue reading “Rejoice In King Jesus”

Christ Responds

Psalm 102:17 offers the following comforting words, “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute . . . ” Our souls will subsist on a diet of worldly junk food for some time but eventually the weakness of spiritual malnutrition comes. As our souls faint from hunger, God Incarnate arrives and invites us to … Continue reading “Christ Responds”

Rest In God

We learn from Psalm 62:1, “My soul finds rest in God alone.” The soul, or spirit, is the immaterial part of man created by God. At the dawn of creation the soul was made. God satisfied the soul of Adam, and Adam was rich in the Lord God. When the exertion of creation ceased, God … Continue reading “Rest In God”

Go… Now!

John 8:11 instructs, “Go now, and leave your life of sin.” This verse comes from the story of the adulterous woman in John 8:1-11 who was about to be stoned by a mob. Of course, the only man who was “without sin” (John 8:7) and could rightfully throw the first stone instead, stooped in the … Continue reading “Go… Now!”

Mere Infants

1 Corinthians 3:1 describes “ . . . mere infants in Christ.” Sometimes we fixate on a plan or idea instead of fixing our eyes on God. When that happens we find ourselves spiritually agitated and grumbling at God. Suddenly we are kicking and screaming before God, adamant about what we want. We behave like … Continue reading “Mere Infants”

Lost Work

I spent the morning writing an evening reflection for tonight and a For the Weekend piece. I saved the documents on my Chrome Book and headed to work. I knew that once I had returned from work tonight all I would have to do is transfer the writing onto my Facebook page. Instead, my account … Continue reading “Lost Work”

Shape Matters

One of the most common words heard in a gymnastic facility is shape. It refers to the body posture a gymnast must have while executing skills. Coaches train this shape diligently. Most gymnasts can master the shape in a stationary hold. The trick, is being able to maintain the shape while moving. Spiritually we are … Continue reading “Shape Matters”

Combat The Cold

We had our furnace replaced today, which meant we had no heat, which meant the house was cold. To combat the chill, I built a fire in our fireplace. I then camped out in front of it for the afternoon, stirring it, adding logs and keeping the blaze going. That small fire transformed the family … Continue reading “Combat The Cold”

Hold The World At Bay

I have been sitting at the computer for close to three hours waiting for the gloom in my soul to lift so I could write. There were many sad things that I heard about today. But, I adamantly refuse to give in to them. It is so easy to get sucked into the pain of … Continue reading “Hold The World At Bay”

On His Back

Today while reading Scripture I came across this verse in John, “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known” (1:18). Other translations interpret this to mean that no one has ever seen God’s face. In fact, someone has seen God: Moses. … Continue reading “On His Back”

Those Darn Laws

My friend took on the responsibility of becoming a foster parent. Together she and her foster daughter outlined their priorities: the importance of communication, the expectations of completing chores and the importance of attending school. All parties involved agreed the rules were reasonable. Unfortunately, the young ward decided that the rules were made to be … Continue reading “Those Darn Laws”


After a long weekend of work all I could do this afternoon was sit mindlessly in a chair watching television. Coherent thoughts escaped me. I barely had enough mental stamina to fold laundry. And my body could barely move to put a potato in the microwave. The same thing happens to us spiritually when we … Continue reading “Tireless”

The Do Over

Since I work in sports, I easily recognize how the world views success and failure in terms of winning and losing. If you win, you succeed. If you lose, you fail. It’s all so very black and white to the world. God, however, does not share this view of success and failure, because in God … Continue reading “The Do Over”

Finding Quiet

Today was a test of my spiritual fortitude. It has taken fourteen hours for the noise of the day to subside. At long last I can hear myself think. My body, has spent this day bracing itself against the noise. I am finally starting to relax. And as silence begins to wash over me, I … Continue reading “Finding Quiet”

God’s Remarkable Gift

I have an editor. This is a milestone for me as a writer. For years I have prayed that God would provide a person who could not only strengthen my sentences, rework my grammar and improve my vocabulary but one who would also be able to identify weak theological arguments in my work. After talking … Continue reading “God’s Remarkable Gift”

Grieve Sin

In 1839 Edward Denny wrote the hymn “What Grace, O Lord, and Beauty Shone.” Stanza four reads, “O give us hearts to love like thee, Like thee, O Lord, to grieve Far more for others’ sins, than all The wrongs that we receive.” Until I read this line, I am ashamed to say, that it … Continue reading “Grieve Sin”

Forget It

In the last few years we have had gymnasts join us from other clubs. The first thing I tell them is to forget everything they learned at the previous club and train our way. I ask these athletes to shed any loyalty they may have to their former coach and give that loyalty to our … Continue reading “Forget It”

Not A Disguise

Adults and children have been planning their Halloween costumes for weeks. And tonight was the unveiling. Some created extravagant outfits; others were simpler. Ninja Turtles and unicorns joined princesses and strolled down the sidewalk. Super heroes patrolled neighborhood streets, while witches and vampires lurked nearby. We might view Jesus’ human nature as a disguise, however, His … Continue reading “Not A Disguise”

Go Home

Life changes and new opportunities have brought my sister back to Illinois. She is coming home to rest and roost. My sister is not the exception; when the harsh realities of life hit, for many of us, our first thought goes to home. We grow tired of battling this cantankerous world, and we want solace … Continue reading “Go Home”

Little Changes

My daughter and I joined a workout gym. Until today, the only time I have worked out on machines was in a hotel. So, today, my workout was essentially, just an introduction to the equipment, but my muscles still recognized the change to my morning routine. This afternoon that difference surfaced at work. My legs … Continue reading “Little Changes”