Category  |  discouragement

unfulfilled dreams

Paul needed help. He said that his “ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else” (Romans 15:20). This pioneering spirit lifted Paul’s eyes to the western edge of the Roman Empire. He had to go to Spain.

Since…

perspective

I recently visited “The First Baptist Church in America.” Founded by Roger Williams in 1638 in Providence, Rhode Island, the present church building was constructed in 1775. Its colonial structure is impressive, with its towering steeple, high pulpit, and boxed pews. Each pew is surrounded by a low wall and gate, and was possessed by families who sat together during…

something to last

For years, Greg Mann worked hard to share the good news of Jesus with people in the remote rainforest region of Guyana. He had overseen the building of several churches in areas accessible only by canoe. But Greg began to sense that his churches were stagnant.

Then he started encountering health problems that seriously curtailed his ability to work. So…

sky-high

The scrolling message on the TV screen warned us to take cover immediately, and the shadowy sky confirmed we were in for one whopper of a storm. The power flickered on and off. I grabbed a flashlight and carted my 9-month-old son down into the basement.

When I anxiously called my husband at work, he picked up but quickly asked…

yielded and still

Adelaide Pollard, born in 1862 in the US, had faithfully served God for many years through her gifts of teaching and writing. Her longtime desire, however, was to be a missionary in Africa. Finally the details were worked out and she was ready to set sail. But then, unexpectedly, she was forced to cancel her plans. Not being able to…

deep waters, dark nights

In the film The Perfect Storm, a captain and crew head out for what they hope will be an uneventful fishing expedition. In their quest for a bountiful catch, they motor far past their normal fishing location. There they find great success, but as they turn for home they encounter the horrifying combination of two powerful weather fronts and a hurricane.…

the Lord is king

The systems of our world are appearing more and more vulnerable. Mortgage and bank crises have undercut consumer confidence. Terrorist attacks around the world have sparked new fears. Corrupt politicians and religious leaders have continued to breed cynicism. And the struggling economy around the globe has caused many to become fearful and stressed. These feelings of vulnerability and doubt have…

perfect suffering

Prosperity preachers don’t last long in countries where there is persecution. They usually just leave.” That quote by Ajith Fernando from his book The Call to Joy and Pain captures two realities of the Christian faith: (1) Jesus suffered; (2) those who believe in Him will suffer too.

Unlike “health and wealth” false teachers, Jesus taught that suffering was something God…

tomorrow

Let's talk about tomorrow—today. What will your tomorrow be like?

Tomorrow could bring death. From the moment we're born, we're dying. Someone has said that death is one appointment you may postpone, but can't cancel (see Psalm 89:47-48).

Tomorrow could bring about sickness (Job 14:1-2). We desire a healthy life. But we have to deal with the fickleness of life and our…

walk forward

His father described him as down-to-earth, generous, kindhearted, life-loving, and unselfish.

Maybe that's why so many people were shocked when Australian-born actor Heath Ledger died of a prescription drug overdose. Before his death, Ledger was reportedly fighting an addiction to heroin.

We all struggle with habitual cravings—food, gambling, and porn are just a few of the things that can enslave…

mistreated at work

Lai Meng, a senior accountant in a trading company for 25 years, was recently transferred to another department and forced to take a pay cut. His boss had employed a replacement at half his pay. If he resigned, Lai Meng would lose his accrued medical and financial benefits, a move his unscrupulous boss had intended. What would you say to…

bumpy roads

My thoughts were miles away, when suddenly a bump in the road shook my car. As I bounced through the intersection, it occurred to me that I had missed seeing the road construction signs. And, veiled by the early morning darkness, the unevenness of the pavement had remained hidden from view. (Due to its use as a major thoroughfare, the…

beer is not the answer

Here in America we are discussing the recent arrest and release of Henry Louis Gates and his meeting on Thursday with President Obama and Officer Crowley over a glass of beer at the White House.  Amid questions of racial profiling and who over-reacted against whom, it's interesting that no one involved, neither Gates, nor Obama, nor Crowley, has admitted fault. …

breaking the cycle

My father grew up without a dad. When he was 5 years old, his father left the family and never returned. When friends later asked my grandfather whether he was related to my dad, he refused to admit that my dad was his son—disowning and declaring him to be a distant relative.

By most accounts, I also should have grown…

the God who sees

Personal Locator Beacons (PLB) are distress devices built for people involved in land-based outdoor activities. They transmit radio signals that are detected by 12 Earth-orbiting satellites. The satellites relay signals to ground stations that process and determine the beacon location and to whom it belongs. The information is then relayed to search and rescue (SAR).

As useful as this device…