The Blessings of Adversity

The struggle is real -- and necessary

When it’s too tough for everybody else, it’s just right for me. – Anonymous In an earlier post, I argued that hardship shapes character. This time, I want to develop that idea further. Would you believe me if I said you need a battle to fight? An adversary? A foil? Think about it: every great […]

Re-post: The Role of Hardship in Shaping Character

You gotta go through it to get it, get it?

“Endure hardship as discipline…”   – Hebrews 12:7 I never liked the word discipline. It always made me think of punishment — and I didn’t care for punishment.  Losing privileges, being sent to my room, having my allowance docked — I never liked any of it.  The worst, however, was corporal punishment — the dreaded […]

How A Prophet Loses His Way – Part II

Lessons from Balaam's error

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11 (NIV) In Part I, I recounted the biblical story of Balaam from the Old Testament book of Numbers. Most of what I have to say in this post will resonate more if you read that post (I’ll […]

How A Prophet Loses His Way

Some people are so bent, even a talking donkey can't fix them

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” – Proverbs 14:12 (ESV) The group of guys I meet with every Saturday morning (Hi fellas) is serious about becoming disciples who make disciples. This is a most worthy objective, and although it requires intention and perseverance, […]

The Word for 2018 is Breakthrough

Do you have the desire?

“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill Happy New Year, my friends and readers — Ontozoans all! From the title of this post, you may have discerned that I have chosen a focus word for this new year — Breakthrough. Over the past five-to-six years, I have been chipping away at […]

Do it now — Crush Procrastination

What lifetime are you waiting for?

“Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” – Proverbs 24:27 (ESV) Knowing what you have to do and doing it are two vastly different things. With multiple large-scale disasters over the past two months — everything from earthquakes, to hurricanes and floods, to wildfires, […]

The Deeper Meaning in the Seemingly Random – Part III

What Judah and Tamar have to say to this generation

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of […]

The Deeper Meaning in the Seemingly Random – Part I

A seeming interruption may have greater weight than you think

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 (ESV) Today, I want to tell you a story that contains another story. A young friend of mine texted and asked me to recommend some Bible verses to encourage […]

Charlottesville Doesn’t Get the Last Word

Following a tragedy, let's lift our eyes

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” – M. K. Gandhi If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know I’ve been discussing the book Roy H. Williams’ and Michael Drew’s book Pendulum, and its theme of history’s unfolding in alternating cycles of emphasis — from Me to […]

The Pendulum Predicts a Bumpy Ride – Part III

How should we live in difficult times?

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own […]