2018

  • Baking prayers

    Prayer often works like baking a loaf of bread: You’ve got to mix the ingredients, knead the dough, proof the dough, then bake the finished loaf. Step one: mix the ingredients. When baking bread, you can’t just throw a bunch of random stuff in a bowl and expect to get a loaf of bread. If you […]

  • Two-minute prayers

    I’ve often struggled to make time to pray. Though my wife and I pray together each morning and before bed, I find myself neglecting that regular “talking with Jesus” throughout the day, especially when sudden things come up. I know I need to pray, but it’s hard, really hard, to set aside “prayer time.” Then, I […]

  • Candles and prayers

    There are some verses I’ve had a very difficult time with. One of them is “Pray continually.”1 That verse is often on my mind, and I’ve learned how important it is to pray. I pray a lot, but I don’t pray continually, so I’ve often felt guilty about not praying enough. No matter how good my […]

  • My dishwashing partner

    Some of my most significant moments with God have been with my hands in dishwater. For many years, I’ve been in the habit of starting my morning with devotional reading and prayer. But inevitably, time ticks by, and I need to get up and begin the day before I feel like I’ve quite finished. Paraphrasing […]

  • Three faith-boosting lessons

    It began one morning when I disagreed with something my wife said. It was during one of those trying patches where you find yourself irritable and finding fault with everyone around. I was about to contribute a sharp retort when I caught myself mid-speech and decided to pray if I should go ahead with it. […]

  • Whose time?

    Not long ago, I confided to a friend that I felt overwhelmed with stress and anxiety over my work. She suggested that I spend more time meditating on God’s goodness and studying His Word as an antidote. “But I don’t have time!” I protested. “What do you mean, you don’t have time?” she queried with a […]

  • Simple prayer

    Several years ago, my life was very uncertain. And in the middle of that loss, crisis, and stress, I began to question everything, down to the very foundation of my faith. I’d been very comfortable with prayer before, but then it became a struggle. Some days I was angry with God, some days I didn’t […]

  • You don’t have to be perfect

    A lot of people don’t pray until they’re in some sort of trouble, and then they find their faith is weak and their relationship with Me is strained because they didn’t place much importance on Me before trouble struck. They feel hypocritical or undeserving when coming to Me in prayer, and they don’t know what […]

  • Nourish and flourish

    It’s human nature to form quick opinions based on the things we see and hear, without taking the time to dig deeper. “Do you look at things according to the outward appearance?”1 the apostle Paul cautioned the Christians in Corinth 2,000 years ago. Jesus also had advice on the topic: “Stop judging by mere appearances,”2 […]

  • The encouragement experiment

    At some point in our lives, we’ve all had someone say a few words of encouragement that radically changed our day or the course of events, just because of the extra inspiration and change of perspective those words brought. Maybe we were at the end of our rope, and someone’s encouragement opened a whole new […]

  • The thorn factor

    I don’t think that God intended any relationships to be perfect. I think of it as the “thorn” factor that He allows into the equation—that element that we shrink from, but that He knows we need. You may wonder, Why would we need differences of opinion, sensitivities, misunderstandings, jealousies, resentments, comparing, sacrificing, arguments, emotional upsets, […]

  • Bitter for sweet

    The sound of Mother’s eggbeater drew me to the kitchen. There I found her at work, and began to watch. This was my chance to find out what she put into that chocolate cake of hers that made it so good. There was baking chocolate, of course. I reached for a crumb that had fallen […]