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The Christian’s Response to Truth

Concerning the relationship between truth and change, Tolstoy wrote, “I know that most men — not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever and capable of understanding the most difficult scientific, mathematical, or philosophic problems — can seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be that such as obliges them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty — conclusions of which they are proud, which they…

The Overlooked Discipline

What are spiritual disciplines? These are practices found in Scripture that help us with our spiritual development and growth. Bible intake, prayer, and meditation are some examples. Ideally, Christians who desire spiritual growth would engage in these disciplines on a regular basis. There is, however, one particular spiritual discipline that we often overlook. In fact, it might not even strike us initially as being a discipline. The most interesting part is that this is something that Jesus did often in…

“GM”

I make the notation “GM” along with the date and place on my sermons to indicate that I preached that sermon in a gospel meeting. It is one of my homemade preacher shorthand notations. Growing up a “PK” (“preacher’s kid,” of course), I’ve got a lot of GM memories. I would not trade anything for them, especially the indelible imprint they made on me in shaping the adult I have become. Let me encourage you to bring your children and…

Spiritual Fitness

“Hypertrophy” refers to the enlargement of organs or tissues due to the increase in the size of its cells. This phenomenon is undesirable in certain contexts (e.g. hypertrophic cardiomyopathy—the condition in which the heart muscle becomes abnormally thick and obstructs the pumping of blood), but it is an important concept in the case of general muscle growth. Our body repairs/replaces damaged muscle fibers by fusing fibers together to form new ones. This process increases the number of fibers as well…

Unqualified, Inadequate, and Incompetent

As I think about the goals and desires of Lehman Avenue as it relates to the Great Commission, the words unqualified, inadequate, and incompetent come to mind when I think about my part in obeying that command. The work of a Christian can certainly seem overwhelming if we let it (2 Cor. 2:16). I am reminded of what Moses experienced when God called to him from the burning bush (Exod. 3:1-12). God had a great task for Moses. God was…

Saved By Grace, Not By Goodness

In 2011, I visited Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the town demolished by the great flood of 1889. David McCullough has written a compelling book chronicling that catastrophe caused, in great part, by careless men. In the visitor information center, I met an 85-year-old volunteer named Duane. He was a talker. After telling about the three floods that have struck the beleaguered city, he proceeded to tell me his life’s story. He said much, much more than I can include here, including how…

Finding Your Place in God’s Family

Psychologists and therapists have spent years researching birth order personality traits and coming up with birth order theories. They’ve concluded that firstborn children tend to be reliable, controlling, and conscientious. Middle children have been described as people-pleasers, those who thrive on friendships, and have a large social circle. The youngest child personality traits include being fun-loving, uncomplicated, self-centered, and attention-seeking. The only child has typically been described as mature for their age, perfectionists, diligent, and a leader. Whether or not…

Our Greatest Asset

Let’s say you begin contributing $5,000 annually to an empty Roth IRA when you are 20 years old, and the expected rate of return is 7%, with marginal tax rate of 25%. At 65 years old, your IRA would have a balance of $1,528,759. A million and a half. Use the money wisely, and you will have nothing to worry about for the rest of your life. But what if you waited five years? At retirement you would have $1,068,048.…

Awesome Redefined?

It is one of the greatest engineering marvels ever. NASA’s new James Webb Infrared Telescope could be worthy of the adjective “awesome.” It is an instrument with 18 mirrors working in concert, each adjustable to less than the thickness of a human hair. The mirrors combine to create a 21 foot. diameter mirror, covered with a layer of polished gold only 800 atoms thick. It has an orbit 930,000 miles beyond Earth. Once in position, over 600 operations had to…

Avoid Foolish and Ignorant Disputes

A man is about to be put to death for preaching Christ. He is composing the last known words he left to history, and it is addressed to another, younger preacher. The entire letter is less than 2,000 words, making each sentence all the more meaningful. In the middle of describing “an unashamed workman,” Paul makes this statement, “But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife” (2 Tim. 2:23). Paul has just discussed the vitality and value…

The 1903 Tour de France

From July 1-19, 1903, 60 bicyclists were willing pawns of one Henri Desgrange, editor of L’Auto sports newspaper, trying to win a circulation war with Le Velo. The Tour de France, suggested as a sales promotion, was such an instant hit that L’Auto ran Le Velo out of business. A race day could take as much as 17 hours to complete, and it is not surprising that only 21 of the 60 finished the entire inaugural bike race. The finishers…

Answering Life’s Most Important Questions

Though we live in the information age there are still questions that come up that Google and Alexa cannot answer for us. As the religious landscape of our country shifts the types of questions that our friends and neighbors have about faith are changing too. There was a time when most Americans believed in God, accepted the Bible as the Word of God, and attended church services somewhere with regularity. In those times most discussions surrounded getting to the truth…