Every Friday, you can read my post at Forward Progress. This week, I share about three things God teaches us when we’re alone.
It’s nearly summer, which means that all of our routines are getting ready to go out the window, including the rhythm of our Bible reading. Already we are several chapters “behind” where our plans tell us we should be, and no amount of alerts, notifications, or dated pages can inspire us to “catch up.” Throw in summer, and we may not read God’s Word until August. So, rather than pile on the guilt you may already feel, can I spread a little liberty your way? Take a look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and be inspired to read your Bible for […]
A few years ago, my wife and I went to see the movie “Mom’s Night Out.” This Sony/Tristar movie was produced/directed by a believer who was homeschooled, and he made it as a tribute to his mother. It’s truly a funny, well-made movie (I say this as one who usually expects to be disappointed by films made by Christians). I wasn’t the only one pleasantly surprised. The CNN religion blog began an article on the movie this way: “”Moms’ Night Out” starring Patricia Heaton and Sean Astin is opening on more than 1,000 screens, and it aims to do something […]
“Daddy … I love you just the way you are.” Seriously, y’all … she melts my heart! Is there anything I wouldn’t do for my 3 year-old daughter?! I’m utterly powerless to resist this little one expressing unconditional love! And it truly is unconditional, for I’ve given her plenty of reason to love me conditionally. I’ve put her to bed hungry. I’ve unjustly punished her. I’ve raised my voice in utter frustration at something completely unrelated to her. She’s got the reasons to only sometimes love me, but she doesn’t. She loves me just the way I am. It is […]
In case you missed it, check out Michael Kelley’s review of my first book! Here’s a snippet: Rob Tims has written a helpful book that diagnoses the issue and helps draw the line clearly between what is culture and what is gospel. Southern Fried Faith is written not from an outsider’s perspective, but from the inside. It’s the voice of one who has grown up and served in churches throughout the Bible belt, and in so doing, has seen both the beautiful and ugly expressions of what happens when Christianity becomes deeply baptized into a given culture.
C. S. Lewis on self-love and self-admiration. My afternoon “meditations”—which I at least attempt quite regularly now—I have found out ludicrous and terrible things about my own character. Sitting by, watching the rising thoughts to break their necks as they pop up, one learns to know the sort of thoughts that do come. And, will you believe it, one out of every three is the thought of self-admiration: when everything else fails, having had its neck broken, up comes the thought “What an admirable fellow I am to have broken their necks!” I catch myself posturing before the mirror, so to speak, […]
Imagine yourself moving into a house with a huge picture window overlooking a grand view across a wise expanse of water enclosed by a range of snow-capped mountains. You have a ringside seat before wild storms and cloud formations, the entire spectrum of sun-illuminated colors in the rocks and trees and wildflowers and water. You are captivated by the view. Several times a day you interrupt your work and stand before this window to take in the majesty and the beauty, thrilled with the botanical and meteorological fireworks. One afternoon you notice some bird droppings on the window glass, get a […]
While a student pastor and doctoral studies student, I once gave all of my Sunday school teachers a copy of Wayne Grudem’s “Bible Doctrine,” sort of the condensed version of his systematic theology. I suppose I did something right in not giving them the whole mother load, but was it fair to expect them to actually read anything by Grudem as student group leaders? And even if it was fair, was it realistic? Experiences like that have led me to question why any pastor would give any volunteer any resource to read. YES, pastors are called to equip the saints […]
Portions of a prayer of Flannery O’Connor regarding a story she believed God gave her. Dear God, tonight is not disappointing because you have given me a story. Don’t let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story — just like the typewriter was mine. When I think of all I have to be thankful for, I wonder that You don’t just kill me now because You’ve done so much for me already and I haven’t been particularly grateful. My thanksgiving is never in the form of self-sacrifice — a few memorized prayers […]
A prayer of Flannery O’Connor: Dear God, I am so discouraged about my work. I have the feeling of discouragement that is. I realize I don’t know what I realize. Please help me dear God to be a good writer and to get something else accepted. That is so far from what I deserve, of, course, that I am naturally struck with the nerve of it. Contrition in me is largely imperfect. I don’t know if I’ve ever been sorry for a sin because it hurt You. That kind of contrition is better than none but it is selfish. To […]