THIN PLACES

Sometime during our lives we all will likely experience a moment so transcendently beautiful that time seems to freeze and the world stands still. The trigger for such a moment can take a thousand forms: a piece of music or a work of art; great literature read aloud; the contemplation of pure math. More often it is the scent of honeysuckle, a perfect sunset, or the face of a child. Marital … [Read more...]

THIN PLACES

Sometime during our lives we all will likely experience a moment so transcendently beautiful that time seems to freeze and the world stands still. The trigger for such a moment can take a thousand forms: a piece of music or a work of art; great literature read aloud; the contemplation of pure math. More often it is the scent of honeysuckle, a perfect sunset, or the face of a child. Marital … [Read more...]

GracEmail special

THE ASSIGNMENT The first rays of morning gradually illumined the volcanic mountains before me, and the cobblestone streets of Antigua glowed softly beneath my feet. It was August 2007, and I was in this picturesque Guatemalan village on professional retreat with my employer, the Lanier Law Firm of Houston, Texas. During this early morning walk, I was asking God for a new assignment -- something … [Read more...]

A DIVINE STEWARDSHIP

A recent gracEmail brought more than the usual number of responses, including the following comment from one reader about gracEmails in general. "I am so glad," she said, "you write these and send them." * * * Thank you, my friend! So am I. The first gracEmail (then still nameless) sailed into cyberspace seventeen years ago in 1996. My friend Rubel Shelly suggested that I shorten its length … [Read more...]

SEVEN BLESSINGS

Through the years, I have known many professional ministers who experienced sudden, involuntary occupational changes. On one occasion, instead of preaching and doing pastoral work, my friend found himself heralding the merits of a particular luxury motor-car company. Remembering a similar transition long ago in my own life and wishing to encourage my friend, I wrote him the following light-hearted … [Read more...]

NURSERY THEOLOGY

For those privileged to be born in Christian homes, good theology begins in the nursery, where it is communicated--one suspects--most often in song. What better introduction to truth as a whole and in all its aspects than this: Jesus loves me. This I know, For the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; They are weak but He is strong. There we have it--“Truth” for all, Jews and … [Read more...]

CHARISMATIC ‘PURITANS’

California fundamentalist pastor John MacArthur recently sponsored an anti-charismatic conference. His promotion of the event included MacArthur's blanket condemnation of Pentecostals and charismatics in general. Not only are charismatics the fastest-growing element in the global Church, they (and their sympathizers) are some of the most highly-respected evangelical pastors, teachers and other … [Read more...]

CHARISMATIC PURITANS?

California fundamentalist pastor John MacArthur recently sponsored an anti-charismatic conference. His promotion of the event included MacArthur's blanket condemnation of Pentecostals and charismatics in general. Not only are charismatics the fastest-growing element in the global Church, they (and their sympathizers) are some of the most highly-respected evangelical pastors, teachers and other … [Read more...]

SHOCKED BY THE VOICE OF GOD

"Sure, God spoke to Noah, Isaac and Phillip," we sometimes think. "But he would never speak to me." Little wonder that when he does speak directly today, it is often a shocking experience. At my request, gracEmail subscriber Jack Outhier has reluctantly but kindly given me permission to relate his shocking encounter with the voice of God -- and the good fruit that resulted from it. (Jack's email … [Read more...]

PROPHECY: RATIONAL WORDS

After I related a modern story of Christian prophecy, a subscriber asked how often "similar situations lead to disaster," whether this does not open the door to "deceit" and if I am saying that we should be ruled by "feelings rather than by rational content." * * * Good brother, you ask how often "similar situations" lead to disaster. Not often, I would think. For consider the "situation." What … [Read more...]