Beyond the Bulletin

Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:4) Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted is a hymn penned in 1804 by Anglican priest Thomas Kelly, the author of over 750 hymns in his lifetime. Its title is taken directly from Isaiah 53:4, but throughout it draws »

The Seeker

As a new believer just becoming acquainted with the Scriptures, I remember being fascinated with a new and growing awareness of the riches of God’s wisdom. The more I feasted, the hungrier I became for the banquet of His Word. Not surprisingly, that hunger still grows today, as I’ve learned the feast never ends when Infinite God is »

A Prayer For Outside Help

“Let the righteous smite me in kindness and reprove me; It is oil upon my head; do not let my head refuse it.” (Psalm 141:5) When we face a temptation, what do we seek God for in that moment? Do we pray for strength to say “no”, or maybe the provision of “the way of escape” (1 Cor. 10: »

Fine Tuning Our Prayers

What do we pray for when we pray? What prayer items make the top of the list? Do we get in a rut and pray the same things and with the same words over and over again? (I find myself doing this.) It is important, especially when praying for others, to lift up urgent needs such as healing, employment, and »

A Healthy, Holy Obsession

Two guys often meet to talk baseball cards in a café where I sometimes read. Baseball cards must mean a lot to these guys, because they’ll talk about them for an hour at a time, a couple times a week. I’ve overheard them quote prices from $2 to $270 for a card. One guy is obviously wealthy, while »