Tag Archives: devotional

5 reasons pastors should read the whole bible each year

I began reading through the bible at least once every year for more than 25 years now and it has been a great blessing to my life and ministry. Let me suggest 5 reasons why all pastors and bible teachers would benefit from this spiritual discipline.
1. It helps us see the whole story. How does the OT and NT fit together? After 7 or 8 times through the bible you will begin to see that better. I visited my grandmother while in seminary. She was a Sunday School teacher and so she peppered me with questions wanting to better teach her class. I knew some things she didn’t know- Greek and Hebrew and such. But I quickly realized that she knew the bible in a way I didn’t yet because she read it so much. I determined to know the bible like that.
2. It gives us a sense of context. Taking the bible Continue reading

It’s a Christmas Miracle!

I’ve given birth to a new book. (Well, it was a different kind of labor than you mothers have.) It is called “30 Days to Acts: A Devotional Commentary”. You can get this devotional book at Amazon. (Just click on the picture.) Merry Christmas!

30 Days to Acts

Connected by Faith

The church where I was saved many years ago just bought 500 copies of my devotional book “Immersed: 40 Days to a Deeper Faith”. They are going to use it for a church wide series beginning the week after Easter. Many churches have used the book that way now, but there is a special connection you have with the church where you gave your life to Christ.

I trusted Christ as my Savior and Lord in the old worship center at Continue reading

Football and God

I love this time of year- warm days, cool nights and beautiful colors. But I also love it because it is football season! I’ve enjoyed football since I was a kid. Dad told me about playing football in the Army, we watched football together on TV (I miss my Dad’s arguments with Howard Cosell through the television screen) and played in the backyard.
I started playing football for real as a scrawny freshman in high school. I was unprepared for the pain and sweat associated with the sport. Somehow I survived and talked myself into playing again as a sophomore. I grew a little and got faster and found some success. I found more success as a junior and senior.
Small though I was, I played football at Wheaton College. I played a lot as a freshman, started every game the next three years and was captain my senior year. (The talent level was lower then!)
I can’t play anymore, of course. (I just pulled my hamstring typing that last sentence.) But Continue reading

The Immersed Connection

Books can have a deep connection with us. I love my connection with books and authors that have been meaningful in my life.
I recently preached in Atlanta in a church that had used my book “Immersed: 40 Days to a Deeper Faith” church-wide. Most of them had read each chapter of the book for 40 straight days, discussed it in their small groups and there was even a sermon series connected to it.
Because of that, we had a special connection- an ‘Immersed connection’. Men and women, teenagers, even some kids Continue reading

High Dives and Discipleship

   I still remember my first time jumping off the high dive.

   In the summertime I spent a lot of afternoons at the community pool in my small town.  Most of my time was spent in the shallow end, splashing and playing with my brothers and friends.  I watched other kids jumping off the diving boards at the deep end of the pool.  It seemed fun and exciting, but too scary for me.

   As the summer progressed, I thought more and more about what it would be like to overcome my fears and worries and plunge into the deep, blue water of the deep end.  I even walked by that area of the pool a few times to calculate the possibilities.  The deep water was so inviting, yet I was so frightened to plunge in.

   Finally, I could take it no longer. Continue reading

When Shallow Christianity Doesn’t Satisfy

   I’m all for people being babies- when they are actually babies!  But it isn’t as attractive when big boys act like babies. 

   I’m all for Christians being immature.  But if they are still immature after years of faith we have a problem.

   The example I use is the kiddie pool and the high dive.  Permit a brief quote from the introduction of my devotional book “Immersed: 40 Days to a Deeper Faith”. 

   “I still remember my first time jumping off the high dive.

   In the summertime I spent a lot of afternoons at the community pool in my small towns.  Most of my time was spent in the shallow end, splashing and playing with my bothers and friends.  I watched other kids jumping off the diving boards at the deep end of the pool.  It seemed fun and exciting, but too scary for me.

   As the summer progressed, I thought more and more about what it would be like to overcome my fears and worries and plunge into the deep, blue water of the deep end.  I even walked by that area of the pool a few times to calculate the possibilities.  The deep water was so inviting, yet I was so frightened to plunge in…”

  Okay, you can get the book to read the rest.  But suffice it to say that God made us to swim in the deep water of faith.

   Shallow Christianity will never fully satisfy because we long for the deeper faith of spiritual growth.  We need the meat instead of the milk.  We want the diving board instead of the kiddie pool.

   Come on in.  The water is fine!