The word “image” means “to carve or cut out.” We are carved or cut out in the pattern of our Creator. God is spirit, so this pattern is not a physical representation. Rather, to be made in the image of God means that we share God’s nature, specifically his communicable attributes, such as life, personality, truth, wisdom, love, holiness, justice. Of course, all of God’s attributes are perfect and eternal…. Continue Reading…

Young Jewish boys were not allowed to read it (but I bet they did). I’m talking about the Song of Solomon, the Old Testament book about a man and woman passionately in love with each other. The writing, set in poetry, describes dating, marriage, and the problems that inevitably occur. But most of all the song is about God’s gift of sexual intimacy between a man and woman in the… Continue Reading…

For the last twenty years, my wife Lori and I have participated in the March for Life in Washington D.C. When our children entered the sixth grade, we started taking them with us. We live in Pittsburgh, so the bus pulls out at six in the morning and we are home around midnight. It means a day from work and out of school, but we believe that is a small… Continue Reading…

Does your job require you to speak a lot?  Do you like to talk a lot? Are you married or in a relationship? Then you are at high risk for Foot-In-Mouth disease. The Proverb says, “When words are many, sin is not absent…” (10:19). For sure, when words are many, something regretful or downright stupid is sure to escape your lips. Here are three remedies for the dreaded disease. Don’t… Continue Reading…

Marriages never explode. There is never one event that causes a couple to call it quits. Instead, the demise of a marriage is more like a slow leak. After a time, the marriage goes flat. Too many couples were not willing to fix the leak in the first place. And too many couples are not willing to invest the time, put in the hard work, and effect the personal change… Continue Reading…

What does the Apostle Paul mean when he tells the believer to be “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18)? There are two important things to know about this instruction. The word “filled” means to be controlled. Instead of being controlled by a substance like wine (Eph. 5:18a) be controlled by the Spirit who indwells you as a believer. Being controlled by the Spirit is not one-and-done. It is an ongoing… Continue Reading…

Christmas is all in the heart. It’s not about expensive gifts or long wish lists. It’s not about shopping malls that stay open until midnight or paying for express mail service to make certain that packages arrive in time for relatives who live far away. Christmas may be cluttered with busy schedules and mile-long to-do lists, but that does not change this simple fact: Christmas is all in the heart…. Continue Reading…

Today many people are living in fear. For some, the fear was brought on by post-election disappointment or disillusionment. Some are filled with anxiety as cable news commentators proclaim that our country is near economic collapse. Some are terrified at the news coming from the Middle East. But we are not the only generation living in uncertain and challenging times. Since the Fall of Man in Genesis 3, this world… Continue Reading…

Can you imagine a salesman who never sold a product … a surgeon who never performed a surgery … a trial lawyer who never tried a case … an interior decorator who never decorated the interior of anything … a teacher who never taught … a preacher who never preached … a congressman who never wrote one piece of meaningful legislation? Maybe that last one is a bad example, but… Continue Reading…

When you hear the word “hospitality” it is often in terms of a person having people over for dinner capped off with coffee and dessert. That’s a great thing to do, but biblical hospitality goes much deeper. Someone has well said: Hospitality is not having someone into your perfect home; it is allowing someone into your imperfect heart. The word translated “hospitable” is made up of two Greek words, philo… Continue Reading…

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 Thanksgiving Day is a time to remember, reflect and give thanks for all that God has done, is doing and promises to do. Here are a few things (not an exhaustive list) that I am very thankful for. A wife who loves me… Continue Reading…

Joshua, the Old Testament leader of Israel, was given a heavy assignment. Following the great leader Moses, God charged Joshua to lead Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua knew the challenges and risks. Seven groups of people inhabited the Canaan and there would be many battles to fight. Right after crossing the Jordan when Joshua looked at the walled city of Jericho, he had to be asking: How in the… Continue Reading…

Believers know that following Christ involves sacrifice. There will be battles to fight. We want to know if the battles will be worth it. Joshua knew that they would not enter the Promised Land the next day or the day after that. There would be many battles to fight. Seven groups of people inhabited the Promise Land. When it was all said and done Joshua conquered thirty-five cities. Husbands and… Continue Reading…

Recently I used a story from Philip Yancey’s book, What’s So Amazing About Grace, in a sermon. The story was told by a pastor who had a prostitute come to him for help. She had been “renting out” her two-year-old daughter in order to support her drug habit. In the story, the pastor asked her if she had gone to church for help. “Church!” she said, “I was already feeling… Continue Reading…

First, prayer is communication with God. So prayer is much more than requests. It is talking to God as we would an intimate friend. It is sharing our life with Him–fears, frustrations, joys, sorrows, and, yes, our requests. Second, some turn prayer into a formulaic ritual. I thought of this in the story of two people who prayed for their children – two friends who each had a child in… Continue Reading…

Two men decided to build a house. Both dreamed of a room where their family would meet and watch movies, eat popcorn, play games, and have real family conversations in front of a blazing fire. With their wives they planned the kitchen—counter space, storage space, proximity of the sink and dishwasher, the best place for the oven, stove, refrigerator, and microwave. They wanted the eating area to be a special… Continue Reading…

When my family moved to Pittsburgh in 1989, one of the first men I met was Al.  Although twenty-five years my elder, we became friends. When our church went through a rocky time, Al and I became even closer commiserating over coffee at McDonald’s. Al had owned a construction company, so when we broke ground for our first building, he was asked to be our on-site supervisor. Every Monday morning,… Continue Reading…

The most important thing about parenting has nothing to do with parenting. The primary component of raising our kids is how Mom and Dad love and respect each other. The husband and wife’s relationship is key to allowing a child to mature with security and provides a solid platform to form personal faith and values. A marriage done God’s way allows children to see faith in action and sets the… Continue Reading…

If you are alive, sooner or later, you will run into the buzz saw of conflict. Some people visit the land of conflict occasionally. Others seem to make the land of conflict their permanent residence. Let’s begin with a biblical foundation. What does the Bible say about conflict? My sinful nature is the source of conflict. I always want to blame others for the clashes I have at home or… Continue Reading…

The right thing to do is always to do the right thing. Obedience is always the path to take. The road of obedience always leads to the desired destination. But…let’s face it…obedience is hard. Even Jesus learned obedience “from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:7-8). I have listed below several life situations when obedience is hard. I’d love to hear your response to these and your stories of when obedience has… Continue Reading…

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