Beyond the Bulletin

Devotional thoughts for the follower of Jesus

Messiah Before the Manger

The Christmas season is a time to reflect on great themes relating to the incarnation: The coming of Christ into the world The second Person of the Trinity taking on true and permanent human form The sacrifice of Christ at Calvary which necessitated the incarnation The great redemption which the Son of God accomplished through His sacrifice The Presence of »

Giving In Disappointment

Throughout the Bible, giving is an expression of faith. One account that illustrates this principle is King David’s contribution to the construction of the Temple in Jerusalem. David had lived his whole life in service to the Lord and in expectation of the day when he would be able to build a permanent house for the Ark of the »

Now I Get It!

A farrier once made me a very cool puzzle. He looped and welded three horseshoes together in such a way that they couldn’t be separated unless they were twisted just right. It was easy once he showed me how to solve it; otherwise, there was just no way. I felt like a fool before he showed me--but afterward, I »

Dull of Hearing

“I’m sorry honey, could you back up please? I was thinking about something else.” I don’t know how many times I’ve had to ask this of my dear wife, but it’s more than I can count, and certainly more than it should be. She’s been pouring out her heart to me, and I’ve missed »

Building the Body of Christ

"I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you »

Devotions: Praying Through Scripture

Years ago, when my wife and I worked with a small church youth group in California, I picked up a small-sized paperback book for kids called something like “Pocket Prayers.” The book was so simple, but the concept inside was brilliant, leaving a lasting impact on my life. Inside were paraphrases of Scripture verses with blanks left for the reader »

A Willing Heart

A wonderful model for what biblical giving looks like is found in the person of Boaz. In the book of Ruth, Boaz is a man of valor and respected as a prominent citizen of Bethlehem. When Ruth, a foreigner and a widow in need, goes to glean in the fields of Bethlehem, she happens upon the piece of land belonging »

The Main Thing

Cabelas loves Tom because Tom loves everything about elk hunting: his four-wheeler, camouflaged clothes, warm boots, knives, gun, ammo, elk call, and a big pile of other outdoor gear. Tom arrives with so much stuff that we’re sure he’s been packing and repacking for weeks. But poor Tom always seems to be missing just one thing—an elk. »

Truth in the Innermost Being

“I didn’t do it!” “It wasn’t me!” “I was only kidding!” As a father, I’ve heard these objections countless times from every one of my children, and most often, I’ve found them to be the opening arguments of a defense built on lies and half-truths. Now, it might be that I have an unusually dishonest family, »

Two Key Questions to Ask When Encountering Spiritual Truth

Asking questions can help us arrive at conclusions and bring focus and direction to our thought. Asking important questions helps us to find the important answers. All good listening and reading involves asking interactive questions internally. I will discuss this more in a future blog article. But for now I want to concentrate on two important questions that are central »