Here is the takeaway for me in this article: “The conscience is like a window through which the light of heaven shines through to our spirit.” From Frank Viola and The Deeper Journey……………………
Here is some wise advice on reconciliation with a friend after a falling out from pastor and author Randy Alcorn……………….
This is a great article that does a wonderful job of summarizing some of the best verses in the Bible on why we should trust God. My takeaway: God is certainly much more trustworthy than people, things or situations! From CRU……………
Trusting God is a vital part of your relationship with Him. Here are 21 verses that can help you grow in your understanding of and trust in God.
I have gotten away from posting articles and reviews of good biblical resources, but here is one for a commentary on the Book of Joshua. I have a number of books in this series and it is really a good series that focuses on biblical thoelogy and practical applications for preachers, teachers, and laypersons. From Euangelion…………..
This article shares some thoughts from the late, great J. Vernon McGee on the issue of prayer that we might believe has been “unanswered.” Not so!, says J. Vernon. From Anchored in Christ……….
This article provides a few of the many. many passages in the Bible that speaks to the kindness, love and faithfullness of God. From Christian Crier……………………..
Here is a beautiful article: “For the Christian, joy is more of a fact, than a feeling.” From A View of the Lake………………
#2 in the “Coffee Table Theology” series from Evangelical Magazine; this time, on the unchanging character and nature of our God………….
I like this series of articles on the attributes of God from Evangelical Magazine out of the UK. They call this series “Coffee Table Theology”…………………
There is some good, down-to-earth information and insight in this article. We are NEVER finished growing spiritually! From New Wineskins…………….
Here is the takeaway for me in this article: With God, everything in this world that is sad will become untrue…. From Canon Fodder…………………….
In my opinion, some of the most overlooked portions of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy are the chapters right after the final battle in The Return of the King. In these chapters, Tolkien expresses a vision for cosmic renewal that closely mimics the one laid down in the biblical accounts themselves. In Rev […]
I like the analogy employed in this article for how God’s actions in our lives seem to happen too slowly. And here is another one….we don’t much like rain or snow in the short term, but we would be in a world of hurt without the rain and snow! An insightful article from Credo House………….
This article is beautifully written and serves as a great reminder to all believers that God is still on His throne. Don’t let the world drag you down!! From Intentional Faith………….
This past year has, not surprisingly, contributed to a spike in anxiety. You already know why—a global pandemic, sheltering in place, online schooling, unstable job markets, the inability to go to church or meet with friends, racial injustice and tensions, politics, and social media. By now, you’ve heard thousands of stories on those themes. But […]This Anxious Age — Intentional Faith
Anxiety has become one of the leading causes of all diseases encountered by physicians with their patients — degrading overall health, adversely affecting work performance and relationships with family and friends, and costing consumers billions a year in medication and lost productivity for employers. As an anxiety sufferer myself, I try to make it a daily regimen to practice some of the tips and strategies I will mention below. All of the tips you see have medically and psychologically proven benefits!
Believe it or not, optimal sleep is one of the two most important ways to reduce anxiety. It really is true that the average adult needs about 7 – 8 hours of sleep a night. Try something as simple as going to bed at least 30 minutes earlier than normal for 3 or 4 nights out of the week. And try to keep your bedroom as uncluttered and cool (65 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal) as possible. And NO cellphones right before bed!!
Breathing correctly is perhaps the single-most important thing one can do to handle panic attacks and severe anxiety, due to the fact that correct breathing causes an autonomic response in the body that actually quells the hormones and nervous system responses that we experience as anxiety. The easeist technique is the “4 – 3 – 8” method. One breathes in, using the diaphragm, for 4 seconds and using your nose only. Then, hold your breath for 3 seconds; finally, exhaling through your mouth for 8 seconds. Do this at least 4 times in a row, and your anxious feelings will melt away!
TAKE A LAUGH BREAK
This is another technique that makes use of the mind-body connection to control or remove anxiety. Simply login to Youtube and watch 10 – 15 minutes of funny videos ( I personally recommend funny cat and dog videos, and scenes from “Mr. Bean,” but all to your preference). Just make sure they are video clips that bring you delight and joy!
We all now by now that exercise has any number of excellent health and wellness benefits. For anxiety reduction, my suggestions are really simple: Get outside (prefavorably when the sun is shining, and simply move around for 5 -10 minutes: This can include walking, stretching, light calisthenics, or simply waling from your parked care to a nice seat in a public park.
KEEP A GRATITUDE LIST
This can be a simple little notebook/notepad. Although it is best to have a physical pad to write in, since physically writing things down involves more of your brain, and has more overall benefits; if you feel you would lost a physical notepad, then by all means keep such a list on your smartphone, or computer so that it will not get lost, and will be easy for you to read and review. It does not have to be a long list, but try to write at least 3 things you are thankful for each day.
LIGHT A CANDLE
Studies have shown true therapeutic effects from breathing in various aromas for 20-30 minutes. (This also works for essential oils). The aromas found to be most effective are: lavender; bergamot; frankincense; sandalwood; orange or orange blossom; and geranium.
Don’t laugh, but this is another one of those activities that gets the body’s autonomic system working for you. It makes no difference or flavor or style — simply chew a piece of gum for about 15 minutes and you will notice that anxiety before the big meeting melt away!
I believe these practices are not overly taxing, expensive or impractical. Give them a try for 30 days
straight and see what happens!
I think this is a really lovely and encouraging article — but not just for parents. The New Testament teaches that we are drawn to Jesus and thus to the Father, through His kindness and gentleness. From Crossway…………….
More and more in our modern world, I see this one trait of true Christians as becoming more highlighted in how much it is lacking in the world (and even among many believers today!). From Stand to Reason…………….
Here is a helpful — what the author of the article calls a “walkthrough” — of the Gospel of Luke; that Gospel that most demonstrates how Jesus is the Savior of the whole world. From Knowable Word…………….
James 3:17 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Our world is in dire need of wisdom. We survive off fragments of information, distorted by the perspectives of those who spout them. Truth is […]Got Wisdom? — GraceSpeak
Sinclair Ferguson: John Newton — of “Amazing Grace” fame — once shrewdly wrote to a correspondent that a misunderstanding of the law of God lies at the root of most mistakes in the Christian life. Many of the spiritual masters have agreed with him. That explains why as much as 30–40 percent of the Reformed […]The First and Most Broken Commandment — Already Not Yet
Gordon Fee, of course, is one of the finest Bible commentators, and is one of the authors of the excellent book How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. Here in this brief article, he shares some wisdom on how to interpret the biblical narratives found in the Old Testament. From Anchored in Christ………
The “P” in the acrostic “TULIP” for Calvinism stands for “Preservation of the saints.” Well, as this article shows, this is an unfortunate term, because our remaining saved is not up to us, but it is due to the loving heart of the Father (don’t forget the lessons of the Parable of the Prodigal Son and the Forgiving Loving Father!). From Jesus Musings……………….
This is really an excellent article on how to do a better job of rightly dividing the Word of Truth. And that should be a goal we all have for ourselves! From In Christ……………………
No lie, some books of the Old Testament can be a struggle to get through, with all of the arcane details, names and places we don’t recognize. Yet, it is important to make the effort….God has those books in the Bible for a reason! Here afe some reasons to read the Book of Number from Knowable Word……………
Trick question: “Our” righteousness can’t exceed that of the Pharisees. That is why we take hold of the righteousness of Christ. From Christian Crier………………….
This is a beautifully written article! Remember: thunder may be powerful and scary, but God made the thunder, and He holds us in His strong and loving hand! From VandaliaRiver.com………………
In our day and age, truth is negotiable and defined by the crowd, but there is such a thing as “true truth.” From New Growth Press……………
The takeaway from this article: We don’t just “find” peace; it is built into our lives as we practice the spiritual disciplines. From Biblical Counseling Center……………………….
Mark Batterson always has some inteeresting tidbits to share in his writings. This devotion touches on the importance of blessing God for His many blessings in our lives………………..
This a great article from author Adrian Warnock. The takeaway: Faith is ever-growing and ever-deepening, and even sometimes all three phases of faith happen all at the same time!……………..
As much as we might want to think otherwise, our greatest growth — both emotionally and spiritually — often takes place during and after times of trials and suffering. This marvelously insightful article explains how this works scripturally. From Pierce Taylor Hibbs………………..
I Peter provides some answers in doable ways to grow in grace. From Crosswalk.com………
Introduction and Exhortation to Stir Yourself Up to Praise God
Thanksgiving 4.0 | NIV
Matthew Henry wrote about how to use Scripture to make one’s prayers more effective and biblical. This article begins the fourth type of prayer which is “Thanksgiving”………………………
This article makes the case that retirement for the believer is more than just having enough money to pay your bills in retirement. God has bigger plans than that for us after we turn 65 or 70! From Retirement Stewardship………………..
This article demonstrates how the various authors of the New Testament used Psalm 2 to explain the events of Holy Week. From Exegetical Tools…………………..
Some very insightful comments in this article from Crossway………………..
Every day is filled with decisions and choices large and small. And some of our choices today can have momentous effects for us and for others down through the years. That is why we must always yield our choices to the greater wisdom and love of the Lord. From Richard E. Simmons III………………
This is another great word from author Randy Alcorn! While this passage might get misused at times, the truth behind it is always true when it comes to believers and the care of our God. From Eternal Perspectives Ministries……………
This article provides a great overview of the small but important Book of Habbakuk. What is the “one thing that must change?” Read the article! From Knowable Word……………
A lot of us have grown up with erroneous ideas about heaven and what life in eternity will be like. Randy Alcorn has been on a mission to get believers excited about the wonders that God has in store for them in eternity! From Eternal Perspectives Ministries……………..
I enjoy these articles from Wayne Stiles, because he combines biblical insights along with his knowledge of archeology and history……………….
Christians are not immune from fear. But we are uniquely equipped by God to fight and overcome our fears. A helpful article from Kristen Wetherell……………….
The Bible tells us believers have a hope that is not available to the world, and so we can still hope in Christ in the midst of the worst trials of life. From Crossway…………….
The main takeaway here: Whenever we fail to be kind to our Christian brothers and sisters, we are in some way showing a lack of faith in God. From Southern Equip………………….
“…Yet not My will, but Yours be done.” From Wayne Stiles…………………..
This article focuses on how the cross is the ultimate picture of the holiness and justice of God, while at the same time it is also the supreme symbol of God’s love and mercy. From Christian Crier……………..
When those important times of decision come in our lives, God does not abandon us to our own devices! Some good insights and advice from The DiscipleMaker (NavPress)………………..
Life in The Presence of God: Practices for Living in Light of Eternity by Kenneth Boa (IVP Books; 2017)
Ken Boa is a prolific and most eloquent author in his former books, and Life in The Presence of God upholds those characteristics in spades. The theme if the book is to try to be a more practical and accessible resource to help Christians truly experience the presence of God on a daily and ongoing basis. Boa takes his inspiration from famous writers of the past who wrote about their own struggles to achieve a vital and ongoing sense of God’s presence; such as Brother Lawrence, Frank Laubach, and Thomas Kelly. Boa states that while these writings have much value to them for inspiration, they all lack one very vital element —- how to actually put into practice the disciplines and choices needed to draw closer to God and to have His presence as a normal occurrence in the life of believers. The author aims in this book to correct that problem and to try to focus on small and simple steps that grow gradually moe involved and fulfilling one time and consistent practice.
The book is divided into two parts: Part One provides the biblical basis for believers to strive for a near-constant awareness of God and His closeness; and Part Two provides the steps and building blocks to achieving greater awareness of God. Boa mentions the growing body of knowledge of his the brain works — how it remembers, how habits are formed, and the plasticity of the brain to learn or relearn tasks. Thus, the majority of the book shows how once can rewire their brain, learn to see the world through God’s eyes, reorganizing your time to make learning these skills a priority, the importance of confession and repentance to do away with any blocks in relating to God, and the very great importance that community has in helping us to shape our abilities to see ourselves and others through God’s viewpoint.
This book is written in an accessible and engaging manner, as Boa shares insightful experiences and anecdotes to strengthen his case. The book also allows readers access to online training guides. Boa is a most entertaining, yet deeply spiritual and practical all at once. This book is highly recommended for anyone who has despaired of their lack of closeness with God, and given real hope and tools to live in this world as a subject of the Kingdom of God.
A TIME FOR CONFIDENCE: Trusting God in a Post-Christian Society
Stephen J. Nichols; Reformation Trust Publishing (2016)
A Time for Confidence by Stephen J. Nichols, addresses the fears and anxieties that Christians may face finding their places in a world that is no longer able to acknowledge the existence of God or the truths of Christianity. With a world that is constantly establishing new norms for behaviors and beliefs that are definitely noted based on biblical principles; and that grows increasingly violent and dangerous on a weekly basis; where are followers of Christ to go to maintain a sense of peace and confidence in our present-day environment? Nichols says that answer is the God of the Bible and His promises in His written Word.
The author argues that Christians have almost always been in the minority in culture for the last 2000-plus years, but the last few years has seen rapid erosion of any positive influences that Christianity might have influenced in Western culture over the past 500 years, especially in western Europe and North America. Nevertheless, historian and scholar Nichols makes a strong case that Christians in the West can still rely on the same promises that the early Christians relied on in the Roman world.
In Chapters Two – Five, Nichols lays out in detail the four reasons/factors that have always formed the basis of the confidence of believers in Christ in a sin-rocked world: God; the Bible; Jesus Christ, and the Gospel. In the final chapter, the author ties all of these facts of the character of God and Christ, the reliability of the Bible and the promises it contains, and the truly Good News that is the Gospel as delivered by Jesus and the Apostles to the church and the world at large.
A Time for Confidence is written for a general audience, and should provide much solid comfort and encouragement to Christians as they strive to live at peace and safety with a hostile and sick world. Pastors will also find much here on which to use in sermons to speak hope to their congregations. A useful and worthwhile resource for any Christian looking for confidence in a rapidly changing, unpredictable world.
THEOLOGY IN THREE DIMENSIONS — A Guide to Triperspectivalism and Its Significance by John Frame (P & R Publishing — 2017)
THEOLOGY IN THREE DIMENSION by John Frame presents an interesting and unique outlook on how to do theology; and from the processes and viewpoints explained in this fairly short, but meaty book, offers a way to coherently tie together the realities of God’s makeup as a way of learning more about Him, our world, and ourselves. Frame attempts in this book to explain his intriguing theory that that the triunity of the Godhead inevitably leads to a universe that is filled with triads and three perspectives on looking at all things both spiritual and material.
The main idea posited in the book is Frame’s argument that all things theological and biblical can be perceived and evaluated in terms of three perspectives — the normative, the situational, and the existential perspective. Defining “perspective” as “a position from which a person sees something,” Frame shows that one must use more than only one simple perspective to grasp more of the reality of a thing or a topic — including and especially our Triune God. Because God has given us glimpses of His unique omniperspective in the Bible, that coupled with our human perspectives in concert should give us a more thorough an extensive method to examine the truths of God, the teachings of the Bible for systematic and biblical theologies, and a greater understanding of the human condition from a multiple perspective methodology.
While the book is written at an accessible level, and Frame is an able writer and effective communicator — still, the thoughts and implications in this book are profound and thought-provoking, and would warrant several readings over time to fully grasp the significant implications posited by this preeminent theologian and Christian thinker. Highly recommended.