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God’s Story

While most of my [Randy Alcorn] books are nonfiction, I’ve written seven full-length novels. Now, if I were to write a novel about lives without conflict, where characters get everything they want, where life marches on comfortably and no one ever loses anything, nobody would read it. Who likes a boring story? In fact, my central characters always face great conflict, turmoil, uncertainty, and suffering. Some die. That it makes for a far better story is my main reason for doing this. (We enjoy in fiction much that we do not enjoy in life.) So who am I to say that God shouldn’t write such things into his story, including my part?

In our lives God uses conflict not just to make the story better but to make us better. In life, not just literature, we repeatedly see that protection [ … ]

Sweeter than Honeycomb

Are you facing stress, burnout, or depression beyond what you think you can bear? If so, there’s a good chance you know exactly what it feels like to crave sweet relief. Sure, you can turn to chocolate or temporary, feel-good fixes the world offers. But for lasting relief – eternal relief – there’s something that is sweeter and more satisfying even than honey.

These are the exact words that King David used to describe the effect that the Word of God had on his trouble spirit: “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103). And in Proverbs 4:20-22, King Solomon wrote that wise words are to be hidden deep within our hearts “for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body.”

Excerpted from The Chocolate [ … ]

A Divine Calling

If we ever wonder if we have what it takes to live in victory, we have only to look at the life of our Savior. Jesus walked by the Spirit, the same Holy Spirit who lives in us…We have the same Spirit, the same authority, and the same power.

Our problem is that we don’t know it, or we know it and don’t appropriate it, or we don’t believe it’s for today. Our faith is small. It moves sandcastles, not mountains.

Just before Jesus ascended, He said:

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and
on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and
the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe
all that I commanded you; and lo, I am [ … ]

God’s tests

We cannot answer every why question. But there is always this answer: my faith is being tested by the Lord who loves me and will help me. And our Lord never wastes his tests. Whether we believe this truth is, in fact, part of the test. In the mind of Jesus, the promise that he would give them the crown of life was enough to sustain the Christians in Smyrna. I praise God that this has been, and pray that it always will be enough…

Excerpted from A Godward Heart by John Piper

Daily Reflection: How can you reminder yourself daily of Jesus’ promise?

Children Believing

Children believe. Without the skepticism and doubts that adults carry wherever they go, children simply believe. Tell a child that God answers prayer, and he or she will put your words to the test, often with remarkable results.

As I was preparing this book, the kids’ stories reminded me of a valuable lesson. Children are very specific when they pray. If their family is short two hundred dollars on their mortgage payment, they don’t ask God to “meet their needs” or “provide for their family.” Instead, they ask God to send them two hundred dollars.

I’m reminded of four-year-old Dana, the daughter of a writer-friend, who prayed, “Dear Jesus, help us not to eat slugs.” Now that’s praying specifically.

My prayers, on the other hand, are often too general. I pray for my children, but not with concreteness. I pray [ … ]

Finding Stillness

“Let’s face it, stillness is not exactly easy to come by in today’s culture. We are far more likely to be restless, anxious, fearful, worrisome, and busy. But God’s invitation is to be still—and to find again, in the calm pause, the assurance that He is, in fact, God. His plans are undeterred, and with or without us, He is going to receive glory from all peoples on the face of the earth.

But how do we find stillness when finances are tight, tragedy overwhelms, the kids seem out of control, nations are at war, relationships are strained, and there’s just too much left to do at the end of the day?

It’s simple. Still is found right next to Be.
See it?


Excerpted from I Am Not But I [ … ]

Joy in Growing Older

“Life is passing by…for all of us. Billy Graham was once asked what the greatest surprise of his life had been. His answer was, ‘The brevity of it…’

Here’s what it comes down to. If you have placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Savior, if you belong to Him, then you don’t have to dread the passing of years. As Christians, we know the best is yet to come. As you walk day by day with the Lord, living the way He wants you to live, you will acquire experiences and memories, distilled truth that will be a blessing to you and others later in life, because you made the right choices and invested in the right things.

If you have put your faith in Jesus Christ, you need to know that He is with you [ … ]

Giving Like a Child

“She handed me a Plastic Donut from her kitchen play set.

I looked at the Donut and back at my daughter. She stood waiting for a response. So I put the Donut up to my mouth and said with great animation, “Yummm, yummm… Thank you, Autumn! This is soooo goood.

Then something beautiful happened. Her big brown eyes widened, and her lips pushed a giant smile against her puffy cheeks. She stood up on her toes, shrugged her shoulders up to her ears, and let out a high-pitched squeal…

For Autumn, this exercise in giving gifts kept bringing her back to Daddy. For me, it kept me looking for my child to return to my side. I was moved by the exchange. I loved the interaction and connection. I was so pleased…

I didn’t see it coming, but at that [ … ]

Ignite the Ordinary

Today’s Bible reading: Exodus 3:1–10

When you strip the biblical miracles of their spectacular special effects, a common plot point emerges: extraordinary moves of God begin with ordinary acts of obedience.

Consider Moses’s first encounter with God.

Moses is tending the family sheep out in the nondescript countryside.

He happens to notice a bush that’s caught fire.

He walks over to take a look…

Up to this point, it’s not exactly a riveting scene, is it?

In reality, the illustrious burning-bush encounter that seemed so captivating in Sunday school is…really…quite…ordinary. Moses is performing menial manual labor, working for his father-in-law. It’s dusty. The sheep stink. Does it get any more mundane?

Almost all encounters with God begin that way. You may be living under the illusion that when God ignites great things in your life, He’ll announce it with a [ … ]