Category Archives: Inspirational Writings

When Life Gets Tough

When life gets tough, sometimes God reassures and comforts us (Psa 23:4; 2 Cor 1:3-5; 2 Th 2:16-17), sometimes we comfort each other (Eph 6:22; 1 Th 4:18), and sometimes we comfort ourselves with His Word (Psa 119:50, 52; Lam 3:21-23). But there are times in Scripture when God does not give comfort—at least not in the way we might expect—but informs His people that things will get worse, and that they need to prepare themselves for the challenges and suffering ahead (Matt 10:16, 23; John 15:20; 16:1-2; Acts 9:15-16; 20:22-23). Continue reading

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Guard Your Heart

Our life is a reflection of what fills our heart. Good in is good out, and garbage in is garbage out. We determine what fills the heart. Solomon said, “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Pro 4:23). The Hebrew concept of the heart (לֵב leb) is the total inner person; it includes the mind, the will, and emotions. It is the base of operations which determines the course of life. Continue reading

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Rejoice, Pray, and Give Thanks

I’m generally happy; but that’s because I work at it, especially when I don’t feel like it. Being happy starts with my choice to be thankful. It is a discipline of the mind to force myself to find something to be thankful for, and to focus on that rather than the negative thing that can tear me apart inside if I let it. It is an act of faith in which I force my mind to think on Scripture, in which I am “destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). Continue reading

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God’s Word Sustains Us – Psalm 119:89-96

In this pericope, the psalmist set his mind upon the Lord and contemplated His Word and faithfulness; and though he faced hardship, he was strengthened and sustained by learning and living God’s Word, which is boundless and never fails. Continue reading

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Being the Good Boss

On a day to day basis, the good leader is one who will listen to you, stand up for you, trust you and not micromanage every aspect of your work. She communicates clearly, constantly, and in a collaborative manner. He seeks your advice, listens to your concerns, and consults you on the best solutions for success. She sets high expectations and encourage you to be the best you can be, operating according to agency standards, and striving for new heights of excellence. He also cares about your life outside of work and wants you to have good physical, social, and mental health. Lastly, the good boss can be tough when needed. She lives in reality and knows there are some who will not respond to her leadership, and, may be required to use her authority to reprimand and/or terminate staff; however, this is always a last recourse after all other positive strategies have failed. Overall, I see the good boss as one who lives sacrificially for the benefit of others, always desiring their success as well as the success of the agency. Continue reading

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Chasing After Donkeys

God’s providence refers to His wise and personal acts, whereby He creates and controls circumstances in order to direct history according to His predetermined plan, all for His glory and the benefit of His people. As Christians, we live in the flow of history, and are moved by the circumstances He controls, for the Lord “does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, ‘What have You done?’” (Dan 4:35). Continue reading

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Choosing the Faithful Way – Psalm 119:25-32

In Psalm 119:25-32, the psalmist expressed himself as one who faced great distress and who cried out to the Lord for strength. Though faced with conflict, he committed himself to pursue God and to run in His ways. His desire was to have enhanced knowledge of God’s Word, which would strengthen his soul and increase his capacity for righteous living. The benefit was a soul set free to run with God and a knowledge and capacity to do His will. Continue reading

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When God Gives Us a Test

God tests His people. It’s a fact that is repeated throughout Scripture (Exo 16:4; 20:20; Deu 13:3; Jud 3:1-2; Isa 48:10). He tests us with difficult situations in order to humble us, so that we will not look to ourselves for strength, but to Him. In the end, the test reveals that it is God who provides for us. Continue reading

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God’s Grace is Sufficient

God gives grace in proportion to our weakness. The greater our weakness, the more grace He gives. This is a moment by moment grace; always sufficient for the need, and the need is always changing. Continue reading

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How to Deal with Jealousy

Jealousy can be either healthy or unhealthy, depending on the motivation of the heart. God is jealous. He is jealous to protect His glory (Isa 42:8), His name (Eze 39:25; cf. Isa 42:8), and His people (Zec 8:2). When we love what God loves, then we’ll possess a godly jealousy, like Elijah (1 Ki 19:10) and Paul (2 Cor 11:2). But when we care little about God, then sinful jealousy will dominate our hearts, and we’ll seek to destroy rather than protect and edify others, such as when Joseph’s brothers tried to kill him (Gen 37:11-28), or when the Sadducees attacked and imprisoned the apostles (Acts 5:17-18). We overcome sinful jealousy by: 1) placing God’s Word at the center of our lives and letting it direct our thoughts, words and actions (Psa 1:2; 2 Cor 10:5), 2) realizing the Lord owns everything (Psa 24:1; 89:11), and that He is free to leave or take whatever we have, including possessions, family, or health (Job 1:6-21), and, 3) that sinful jealousy cannot exist in a heart saturated with God’s love, for “Love…is not jealous” (1 Cor 13:4). Continue reading

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The Faithfulness of the Lord

The strength of the believer is in God, as we trust His Word, believing He will sustain us as we face life’s difficulties. Continue reading

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Helping the Poor

It’s a fact of life that the poor always exist (Matt. 26:11). There are differing degrees of poverty, and some of the poorest in our society are homeless. There are various reasons why a person becomes poor. Some are poor because of their own bad choices (Prov. 24:30-34; cf. 13:18; 23:21), while some are poor because of the bad choices of others (Mic. 2:1-2; cf. Jer. 22:13; Jam. 5:4). Some look for a hand up, while others want a hand out. Our ability to help is sometimes hindered by our lack of resources, and other times by the recipient’s unwillingness to receive what we offer. Continue reading

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Bible Promises that Strengthen our Faith

The Lord permits us to face trials in order to develop our Christian character (Jam. 1:2-4). He also gives us promises that are rooted in His character that we might learn to trust Him as we walk with Him. The tests of life are inevitable, but how we handle them is optional. Continue reading

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The Righteous Lifestyle of the Believer

God is working to produce His righteousness in us from the moment of salvation onward.  Paul writes, “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:6).  God produces His righteousness in us to justify, sanctify, and ultimately glorify us.  Continue reading

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God’s Righteousness at the Cross

The subject of the cross addresses God’s righteousness, man’s sinfulness, and Jesus’ substitutionary death which satisfied God’s righteous demands toward our sin and reconciles us to the Father.  Certainly other characteristics of God are seen at the cross such as love, mercy, and grace; however, this article will primarily be concerned with His attribute of righteousness.  The cross makes sense when we see it in connection with God’s attribute of righteousness. Continue reading

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What it Means to Follow Jesus

Jesus called men to follow Him (Matt. 4:18-19; 9:9; John 1:43), and He had many female followers as well, several of whom funded His earthly ministry (Luke 8:1-3). To follow Jesus means to learn His teaching, obey His commands and model our life after Him. Followers of Jesus were to share the gospel (Matt. 4:19), not be bound by the world’s values (Matt. 8:19-22), treasure Jesus above one’s profession (Matt. 9:9), be committed to Jesus above family (Matt. 10:34-38; cf. Mark 1:20), and deny self and take up one’s cross daily (Matt. 16:24; cf. Luke 9:23). There is no place for personal glory or selfishness in serving the Lord, as one’s life is given for His glory and the benefit of others (1 Cor. 10:32-33; Phil. 2:3-4). To follow Jesus is a lifelong pursuit. Continue reading

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The Lord’s Supper

The Lord’s Supper was instituted by Jesus while celebrating the Passover meal on the night before His crucifixion. The unleavened bread symbolizes the perfect humanity of Christ, and the red juice symbolizes the blood of the New Covenant that was ratified on the cross. Christians who partake of the Lord’s Supper see themselves as the beneficiaries of the spiritual blessings of forgiveness and the indwelling Holy Spirit. Continue reading

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Living in Babylon

Daniel was born into a good family of noble birth in Judah (Dan. 1:3-6). In his early years he witnessed the spiritual and moral decline of his country. Idolatry was rampant in Israel to such an extent that human sacrifice had become acceptable (Ezek. 16:20-21). As a result of Judah’s spiritual decline, God brought judgment upon the nation through Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian king (Jer. 25:8-9; Dan. 1:1-2), who besieged Jerusalem in 605 B.C. and transported many captives to his homeland. Continue reading

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Living By Grace

The basic idea of “grace” is unmerited favor. The kindness shown is by no means obligatory, but rather, finds its source in the goodness, abundance, and free-heartedness of the giver. Continue reading

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What is Integrity?

Christian integrity means being genuine in character, honest in speech, and faithful to promises (both to God and others). Continue reading

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The Gospel in two Minutes

The gospel is the solution to a problem. There are two parts to the problem. First, God is holy (Ps. 99:9; Isa. 6:3), which means He is positively righteous and can have nothing to do with sin except to condemn it (Hab. 1:13; 1 John 1:5). Second, all mankind is sinful and separated from God (Rom. 3:10-23). The gospel message is that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3-4).  Jesus died in our place, “the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18; cf. Rom. 5:6-10). In order for us to be reconciled to God, we must simply trust in Jesus as our Savior (John 3:16; Acts 16:30-31). Continue reading

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An Ambassador for Christ

An ambassador is an official dignitary who represents the country that sent him into a foreign land, and his message is derived from the sending ruler. The Christian ambassador represents the Lord Jesus Christ who has called and equipped him to speak on His behalf to those outside of Christ’s kingdom (John 18:36; Acts 26:17-18; Col. 1:13-14). The Christian message is simple, that God reconciles us to Himself through the cross of Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-21; Eph. 2:13-16; Col. 1:19-20; 1 Pet. 3:18), providing us forgiveness for all our sins (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:13-14), and the gift of His righteousness which makes us acceptable to Him (Isa. 61:10; 2 Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:17; Phil. 3:9). Continue reading

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What Does it Mean to Be a Man?

There is no greater expression of manhood than the Lord Jesus Christ.  At a point in time, nearly two thousand years ago, the eternal Son of God became a man (John 1:1, 14).  He manifested grace and truth (John 1:17), lived a holy life (John 6:69; Heb. 7:26), faced adversity with Scripture (Matt. 4:1-11), and perpetually pleased His Father (John 8:29).  He came not to be served, “but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).  He always spoke truth, both strong and gentle (Matt. 23:13-39; John 8:1-11), even in the face of hostility (John 8:40).  He welcomed children (Matt. 19:13-14), cared for the sick (Matt. 8:14-16; 14:14), fed the hungry (Mark 6:35-44), and made the humble feel loved and welcome (Luke 7:36-50).  The King of kings and Lord of lords manifested Himself as the Servant of servants when He humbled Himself and washed the feet of His disciples that they might learn humility (John 13:1-17). Continue reading

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A Biblical Worldview

A worldview is a biased perspective on life. It is a mental framework of beliefs that guide our understanding of what is. It’s the assumptions we employ to help us make sense of the world, ourselves, and our experiences. Continue reading

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The Work of the Holy Spirit

The dynamic of the believer’s spiritual walk is predicated to a certain degree on how much Bible knowledge resides in his soul. He cannot live what he does not know, and knowing God’s word necessarily precedes living His will. Knowing … Continue reading

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The Meaning of Christmas

Christmas is about all that is marvelous in Christ, from birth onward, who provides blessing and hope to those who cast themselves upon Him. Continue reading

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A Christian View of Death

       Once, when I was working in jail ministry, I met a Christian man who told me about his older brother’s death.  The incident, he said, had occurred several years earlier.  He and his brother were drinking and … Continue reading

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Walking with God

Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was … Continue reading

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The Providence of God

God’s providence refers to His wise and personal acts, whereby He creates and controls circumstances in order to direct history according to His predetermined plan, all for His glory and the benefit of His elect. Continue reading

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God’s Sovereignty – by Charles H. Spurgeon

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” — Romans 8:28 Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it … Continue reading

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The Virtue of Humility

Humility is a lowliness of mind, an inward quietness before the Lord that reflects a poverty of spirit.  The humble know they need God and seek Him for wisdom, guidance and strength.  Humility is not a natural quality, nor does it come easily, but it is what the Lord requires of His people (Mic. 6:8; Eph. 4:1-2; Phi. 2:3-4).  The humble live with a constant sense of their weaknesses and inabilities to cope with life apart from God, and are keenly aware of their sinful nature and propensity to turn away from the Lord and befriend the world. Continue reading

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Glory to God

Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. (Ps. 115:1)      God’s glory is a theme that runs through Scripture.  The Lord is glorified in … Continue reading

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Another Year is Dawning – Frances Ridley Havergal

– Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be, In working or in waiting another year with Thee; Another year of progress, another year of praise, Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.  – Another year of … Continue reading

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Christ to the Cross – Steven R. Cook

I and the Father led Christ to the cross,
Together we placed Him there;
I pushed Him forward, no care for the cost,
His Father’s wrath to bear.
Christ in the middle not wanting to die,
Knelt in the garden and prayed;
Great tears of blood the Savior did cry,
Yet His Father He humbly obeyed. Continue reading

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Enjoying the Spiritual Life

     The spiritual Christian enjoys life and celebrates the many wonders of God’s creation and takes pleasure in things such a walk in the woods, a baby’s smile, a beautiful sunset, a satisfying meal, and good friends.  The spiritual … Continue reading

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Preface to True Spirituality – Francis A. Schaeffer

Preface to True Spirituality By Francis A. Schaeffer        …In 1951 and 1952 I faced a spiritual crisis in my own life.  I had become a Christian from agnosticism many years before.  After that I had become a … Continue reading

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A Tribute to a Godly Grandmother

Jeanette K. Boerner O’Donnell (4/19/1893 to 12/21/1984) was the only grandparent I knew growing up in Lancaster, California, in the mid 70’s.  I was 8 and she was 80 when she came to live in our home for about two … Continue reading

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Only What’s Done for Christ Will Last

     God knows the frailty of every man, “He is mindful that we are but dust” (Ps. 103:14).  David courageously asked the Lord, “make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know … Continue reading

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The Fable of the Scorpion and the Frog

No one knows for certain who wrote this fable, but it has certainly become well known. One day a scorpion decided to go visit a relative in the next county.  He traveled uphill and downhill, under fallen trees and over … Continue reading

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The Poor Farmer’s Fortune

I heard this story some time ago and am not sure about its origin –  A poor farmer once opened the gate to his corral and his horse escaped into the mountains.  His friends, who were standing nearby, saw what … Continue reading

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I am Barabbas

       Several years ago I was doing a Bible study and learned that all four Gospels record the prisoner exchange between a notorious criminal named Barabbas and the Lord Jesus (Matt. 27:16-26; Mark. 15:7-15; Luke 23:18; John 18:40).  Barabbas was … Continue reading

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All is Vanity…Except for God’s Blessings

       “Vanity of vanities…All is vanity” declares the wise Solomon, as he writes of the emptiness of life (Eccl. 1:2, NASB).  When selecting a word to describe the vanity he saw in life, Solomon chose the Hebrew noun hebel which … Continue reading

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Glory and Love Within the Trinity

      It is important to understand the relationship that existed between the members of the Trinity before anything was created.  The apostle Peter tells us that Jesus Christ “was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in … Continue reading

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The Prayer of Agur

Two things I asked of Thee, do not refuse me before I die: Keep deception and lies far from me, give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is my portion, lest I be full and deny Thee and say, “Who is the LORD?” Or lest I be in want and steal, and profane the name of my God. (Prov. 30:7-9) Continue reading

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The Eternal-Now

       Everything we experience in this life is designed to prepare us for the life we will come to know when we leave this world and enter into God’s eternal presence. The challenge before every Christian, especially during … Continue reading

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Suffering and Depression

Suffering touches us all.  It moves and shapes us in ways we never imagine.  It breaks us down and builds us up, but it never leaves us where it finds us.  In Scripture we learn that God’s power is magnified in our weaknesses and that suffering reveals our true state as weak creatures who need the Lord in our lives for strength and guidance (2 Cor. 12:7-10).  Continue reading

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Early Church Persecutions

Persecution is the suffering or pressure, mental, moral, or physical, which authorities, individuals, or crowds inflict on others, especially for opinions or beliefs, with a view to their subjection by recantation, silencing, or, as a last resort, execution. (G. W. … Continue reading

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Letter to Pastor Search Committee

Dear Pastor Search Committee,        Thank you for taking the time to consider my resume and writing your questions to me.  I do want to be pastor of your church and hope you find my answers adequate.        Regarding your … Continue reading

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Thoughts about Spiritual Growth

       Truth is reality as God sets it forth in His Word. A plain reading of Scripture reveals that God exists, and that He is not silent. His Word reveals the origin of all things, and helps the reader to … Continue reading

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The Value of Suffering

Romans 5:1-5 Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope … Continue reading

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