• Graveyward B/W

    The Clarity of Death

    “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). My father died recently. He was always sharp, quick with a pun or a play on words, an accountant by trade who worked until he was seventy-seven years old. He was a student of the Bible for almost sixty years. He did a lot of reading, writing, and “sparring” (personal debating) over the years, quoting folks like Barnhouse and Spurgeon in the process. But dementia overtook him these last few years. He could no longer…

  • Engage

    Only Strong and Courageous

    I cried when I hugged my daughter goodbye on the parking lot across the street from the dorm where she now lives.   I didn’t care.    I knew that moment would unleash the emotions I had bottled up all summer long.    So I released it right there.    Up to this point, I had watched my student take charge of her college checklist. I helped her unpack and I watched her settle into her new “home.”   Honestly, it all felt so wrong but I knew in my heart God wanted this. So when I hugged her one last time, God said, “Let her go.” And I did…

  • Heartprints

    The Power of the Dad!

    My wife and I recently started working on a new marriage ministry at our church and we have begun a 16 week study with several other married couples in our church.  In our second week, we started sharing our stories about our parent’s marriage and how their marriage has had an effect on our own marriage.  One thing really struck me about each individual’s story that really convicted me and made me look at myself as a father of 4.  Never underestimate the power of the Dad! As I heard each person’s story of their parents, it was the dad’s role in the marriage that seemed to negatively affect them…

  • Engage

    Clear Summer Days

    Ah, the first weeks of summer vacation—a blissful time in the life of a mother and her children. Kids have finally finished the school year and moms have hung their chauffeur hats for a while. The Monday morning rush has come to a halt, the emails from school have completely ceased and at the end of the day, mothers across the country can finally stop asking, “Did you finish your homework? Did you study for your test?”    The beginning of summer brings such sweet hopes. It gives mothers and children an opportunity to commit their time to each other. Mothers make endless promises of fun and the kids—especially teens—realize they…

  • Books

    Five of the Greatest Christian Books of All-Time? (What Are Your Picks?)

    “The discerning person acquires knowledge, and the wise person seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15). “I would like you to give me five of the greatest Christian books of all time.” This was what I told my dad in response to his asking me to provide Christmas gift suggestions for him and Mom about fifteen years ago. Of course, in this case I meant books other than the Bible, as I understood that the Bible contained 66 of the greatest and most influential books from throughout Christendom’s history. Now for my dad, this request may have been one of the best challenges or gift suggestions of all time since he’s a person…

  • Church

    Confessions of a Church Critic

    “For by the grace given to me I say to every one of you not to think more highly of yourself than you ought to think, but to think with sober discernment, as God has distributed to each of you a measure of faith” (Romans 12:3). When I first considered writing Christian articles/columns or a blog online the following thought came to mind: “Wouldn’t it be neat to visit different churches and then write a column rating that church? I could tell others what was cool about the church, where they were on the straight path, where they were straying, where tradition was overriding biblical teaching, where they had adopted…