Your Label

Your Label

Michael Shellenberger was a “Hero of the Environment” according to Time magazine in 2008. But he soon became disillusioned with the activism that earned him that label. In 2020, he published a book, Apocalypse Never,explaining his new take on environmental issues. To...

First Things, First

First Things, First

Life can get complicated in a hurry, can’t it? When it does, you yearn for simplicity. In those moments, you need a way to prioritize. Grand jury duty complicated my life. Many in the jury pool took time away from work to report to the courthouse. The nominal pay is...

Pursue Love

Pursue Love

It was a cold and foggy night last December. I was on the train to London. At one stop a young woman boarded and sat just across from me. She wore an elegant, burgundy dress and delicate jewelry. In her arms were a dozen red roses. Her wistful smile suggested a tender...

Authentic Book

Authentic Book

F.W. Boreham (d.1959) was a preacher and writer in New Zealand. After reading some of his articles, I ordered his autobiography from a used book store in Melbourne, AU. When it arrived, I discovered his signature inside. I looked on the reverse side of the page and...

Forgiving Debtors

Forgiving Debtors

Uwe Holmer didn’t mean to have a moment of fame. He was simply a German Lutheran pastor who lived his faith in a way that astounded his fellow countrymen. As a college student in 1953, Holmer bid his family goodbye as they escaped East Germany. He stayed behind...

Embracing Piracy

Embracing Piracy

Ron Hamilton was living the dream. After college, he married his sweetheart and began his career in the music industry. Then came the crisis. At age 28, Hamilton’s doctors discovered cancer in his eye. He had to lose that eye to save his life. How would you handle a...

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day

“I got you, babe” plays on the clock radio, waking Phil Connors to face the same day yet again. Bill Murray played the lead in the film, “Groundhog Day” (1993). Phil discovers he is trapped in a time loop, experiencing that same song, day, and people over and over. To...

Life-giving Light

Life-giving Light

Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired many with his words and deeds. During his 1957 Christmas sermon in Montgomery, Alabama, he based his strategy of non-violence on Jesus’ admonition to love your enemy. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that,” King...

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

The New Year is traditionally a time to think about new beginnings. The turning of the calendar represents a blank slate, a time to consider setting aside the old in favor of the new. The whole holiday season is an invitation to reflect, with time off work and visits...

Listen Carefully

Listen Carefully

I would like to offer you a New Year’s resolution. It may be the single most powerful change agent in your life. It is simply, listen to God. The new House Speaker Mike Johnson says he does. “I am a Bible-believing Christian,” he said. To know how he thinks about...

What Child Is This?

What Child Is This?

A 28-year-old insurance company manager took up his pen to write about something more profound than his livelihood. He crafted poetry to answer the question, “What child is this?” With those verses written in 1865, William Dix would become a part of the Christmas...

Privilege

In today’s parlance “privilege” is justification for treating people differently, even unfairly. It has always been true in human history that some are born into privilege due to circumstances beyond their control. It is also true that “There is no partiality with...

The Essential Gift

The Essential Gift

I’m bad at selecting gifts, but I enjoy the gift-giving tradition at Christmas. I disagree with C.S. Lewis on this point. He calls Christmas gift-giving “a commercial racket.” Perhaps with tongue-in-cheek he says, “The modern rule is that anyone can force you to give...

Connection and Community

Connection and Community

Recent Harvard research indicates that many young adults are deeply troubled. The report identifies stress points and offers remedies. If you are one of those young adults, know that life can be much brighter. Harvard found that 36% of young adults in the survey...

Highest form of thought

Highest form of thought

In the episode “High Noon in Mayberry,” Sheriff Andy Taylor awaits Luke Comstock’s visit. Years prior, Taylor had wounded and captured Comstock, who spent time in prison. Now, Andy, Barney, and Aunt Bea stress over Comstock’s intentions. Comstock arrives at the Taylor...

Autonomy or Freedom

Autonomy or Freedom

The NFL handed down a four-game suspension to Kareem Jackson, a player for the Denver Broncos. After ejections from games and hefty fines for unnecessary roughness, the fourth infraction cost him his freedom to play. In announcing the suspension, NFL executive Jon...

Exult in Hope

Exult in Hope

Everybody has trials and tribulations. It’s a fact of life. The question is, can you make sense of those experiences? The human tendency is to flee adversity and feel overwhelmed when it catches you. Reminds me of the Dickens character Pickwick who travels by...

End Times Prophecy

End Times Prophecy

War is disruptive to complacency. It gives new urgency to latent thoughts, especially when the Middle East and Israel are involved. You may have thought about Biblical prophecy more than usual in the last few weeks. You should. Since the circumstances of Jesus life,...

From Goth to Grace

From Goth to Grace

Gothic influencer Katherine von Drachenberg (a.k.a. Kat Von D) made headlines recently. The story was not about her career as a tattoo artist, television personality, entrepreneur, and recording artist. It was far more profound than her celebrity. She publicly...

Unadulterated Evil

Unadulterated Evil

President Biden got it right. He used theological words in condemning the attack on Israel. “You know, there are moments in this life when the pure, unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world,” he said. “The people of Israel lived through one such moment this...

The Real Disaster

The Real Disaster

A wind-fueled fire destroyed the historic village of Lahaina in Maui. Libya experienced flooding. Morocco suffered an earthquake. Forces of nature contribute to these disasters, as do human activity and negligence. All of these disasters caused a loss of life. If no...

AI Is Here

AI Is Here

I asked ChatGPT to compose an article about artificial intelligence, or “AI.” This isn’t it. I prefer to do my own thinking (if that’s what AI is supposed to do). One user started a firestorm by posting, “I asked ChatGPT to create a fake biblical passage. I know it’s...

The Invitation

The Invitation

My first response when receiving the wedding invitation was that the distance to the venue meant a days-long, tedious trip. But reasons to go made the decision easy. For a minute, I was distracted by travel demands. I soon remembered that I would be blessed by meeting...

Same Old Question

Same Old Question

Oliver Anthony has joined Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix as a protest voice of his generation. Anthony’s songs released a few weeks ago touch a nerve by saying what many are thinking. Anthony feels dismissed, devalued, and angry. He turns his time into money, but it’s...

Desires of Your Heart

Desires of Your Heart

Retirees enjoy living in our mountain community. More than 34 percent of our county’s residents are over 65 years old, compared to 15 percent statewide. What attracts people here reveals deeper desires. My stories illustrate this. During leaf season, I drove to Hogpen...

You Think

You Think

I admire a philosopher willing to push his beliefs to their logical conclusion. Alex Rosenburg does that. He believes only in “physical facts,” a world without God. He concludes, “The illusion that there is someone inside who has thoughts about stuff is certainly as...

Reason to Work

Reason to Work

A wise man told me once that everyone has at least one bad job experience. He sure had his. His boss made arbitrary and irrational demands, fomenting discouraging working conditions. But he learned to focus on the work and how people would benefit from it. I talked to...

Rumors of Angels

Rumors of Angels

How do you engage the world? I see two extremes: you may absorb the daily news in all its repetitive outrage, or you are so disgusted you try to ignore it all. I’d like to offer a different way to engage – aware of the cultural context but focused on hope. Western...

Steadfast Hope

Steadfast Hope

I attended a conference in Oxford, UK recently. That’s probably why I noticed this news story. King Lawal, a county leader in the UK, posted a Bible verse and commented on it. He was subsequently suspended from his political post, sacked from his job, and canceled...

Grace Pictures #5

Grace Pictures #5

“No one is above the law!” demand the detractors. “There’s a two-tiered system of justice!” say the supporters. Today’s political news is more likely to be about scandal and justice than statesmanship and the national good. Why would I risk losing you, dear reader, by...

Grace Pictures #4

Grace Pictures #4

For four days, what happened to the doomed Titan submersible was a mystery. Five souls aboard the craft traveled to see the Titanic resting on the sea floor two miles below the surface. One was a teenager whose mother gave up her seat so he could join his father....

Grace Pictures #3

Grace Pictures #3

I was so naïve. I assumed moving European country boundaries by force was a remnant of the last century’s ideological horrors. But history is repeating itself with trenches, cannon fodder, and tactics reminiscent of the 1914 war. My heart hurts for the Russian and...

Grace Pictures #2

Grace Pictures #2

People are hungry for grace.  That includes you if you’ll admit it.  Grace in its most common form means a second chance, a new start. It means receiving a gift when the giver knows you don’t deserve it. I sang the world’s most popular hymn, “Amazing Grace” as a lad...

Grace Pictures #1

Grace Pictures #1

Jim Caviezel stars in the recently released movie, “The Sound of Freedom.” It is the story of Tim Ballard, who quit his job to rescue children from global sex traffickers. Ballard founded Operation Underground Railroad to further that cause. Worldwide trafficking is a...

Sustaining Freedom

Sustaining Freedom

The gameshow “Jeopardy” was in the headlines. Seems that none of the contestants knew the word “hallowed” that appears in the Lord’s Prayer. There’s a lot Americans don’t know these days. A school board doesn’t know the difference between the Bible and pornography. A...

Finding Meaning

Finding Meaning

Heaven is “some fantasy,” Arnold Schwarzenegger said. “Anyone that tells you something else is a (expletive) liar.” Here’s an immigrant from Austria who arrived in the U.S. in 1968 with little to his name. He reached celebrity status as a body builder, actor, and...

Life’s Calling

Life’s Calling

Bob Buford had it made. He was an entrepreneur in the startup days of cable TV. But financial success did not shield him from tragedy. His tragedy made him rethink his life’s calling. Buford’s father died when he was a child. In his teens he wanted to become a TV...

Send Me Home

Send Me Home

It was a “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” story except that in this real-life adventure, Tim Keller goes to New York to shake things up for the better. He was “perhaps the most gifted communicator of historically orthodox Christian teachings in the country” per The New...

It Was Providential

It Was Providential

“Everything happens for a reason” is an inarticulate way to express the providence of God. God doesn’t do evil, but He can take a sequence of events and weave something providential out of it. Here’s an example. This story begins with a noted anthropologist, James...

Recovering Wonder

Recovering Wonder

Long before blowing soapy bubbles with a storebought kit, we had dandelions. To this day I cannot say why it was such a childhood delight to pluck the ripe blowball and send the feathered seeds to flight on a silent whistle. To a yard it’s a weed. Its broad leaves and...

The Divine Critic

The Divine Critic

Ernest Hemingway’s Pulitzer-winning novella, The Old Man and the Sea, is about a Cuban fisherman, a marlin, and sharks. Or it may have been about something entirely different. In 1950 after a 10-year publishing drought, Hemingway released Across the River and into the...

Finish Your Course

Finish Your Course

Every life runs a certain course, including yours. To have a sense of what that course is and to stick to it is the making of a fulfilled life. This story starts with a lady who lived across from the local high school in Wyckoff, NJ. For years, Dorothea Clapp prayed...

A Mother’s Intuition

A Mother’s Intuition

The mother rushed to scoop up her toddler who fell on the playground. “You’re OK, I got you!” She brushed off his knees. “Everything will be OK; I promise.” A child wants protection from harmful things beyond his control. He wants a restoration of tranquility and...

Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

Have you noticed that certain human yearnings transcend our mortal existence?  Such a yearning saved the life of one of the last century’s noted journalists. Malcolm Muggeridge introduced the world to Mother Teresa and her work among the poor. Before becoming a...

Community of Faith

Community of Faith

With whom are you living your life? You’ll know the real answer to that when life takes a twist. A tornado twisted up a town in Mississippi last month. The residents learned that they are strong together. They are leaning on each other, determined to rebuild their...

Solving Life’s Mysteries

Solving Life’s Mysteries

I do not know if British actor and comedian Russell Brand has arrived anywhere on his spiritual journey. But he’s saying things that might be helpful to someone looking for answers to the mysteries of life. Brand’s tradecraft can be offensive as he entertains the...

Endurance

Endurance

I see the headlines and I wonder how the survivors will cope. Families lost more than 20 loved ones in the Mississippi tornado. More lost their homes. Some lost their whole town. The Nashville school shooting raises more intense questions. Do you wonder if you would...

Resurrection Matters

Resurrection Matters

Jesus Christ came back to life after his death on a cross. It is the greatest event in human history, with eternal implications for you. Have you considered this central claim of Christianity, that it actually happened? Or is Easter just a cultural event about...

Athletic Theologians

Athletic Theologians

Scottie Scheffler won the Players Championship this month, becoming the new world No. 1 golf professional. After his Masters win last year, he explained that winning at golf is not his ultimate purpose. “The reason why I play golf is I’m trying to glorify God and all...

Remember

Remember

G.K. Chesterton was a writer and philosopher of the early 20th century. The memory of trench warfare and mustard gas lingered as he considered the future. “When men choose not to believe in God,” he wrote, “they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become...