Esther 1-5: The Jewish Queen.

January 12, 2016. Reading: Esther 1-5. Background: The book of Esther is set during the reign of the Persian empire. The children of Israel had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians between 607-586 BC, and now were dwelling under Persian rule, who had captured Babylon in 539 BC. The setting of Esther is during…

James 4-5: Drawing near to God.

November 8, 2015. Daily Reading: James 4-5. Background: James 1-3. Concepts and Connections. Chapter 4 Drawing near to God: In this chapter James deals with the ever present threat of worldliness, offering practical wisdom to fight against the desires of the flesh. Notice how James doesn’t lay the blame on worldliness, however, but rather on…

James 1-3: Practical Christianity.

November 1, 2015. Daily Reading: James 1-3. Background: The book of James was most likely authored by James the brother of Jesus who was a prominent leader in the Jerusalem church and well recognized among the apostles (see Acts 12:17, 15:13-22, I Corinthians 15:7, Galatians 1:19 and 2:9), though he apparently didn’t become a follower…

Hymnnotes: Wayfaring Stranger.

December 10, 2014. Today I would like to talk about a hymn that is so moving that it almost gives me chills when I hear or sing it. I grew up singing this hymn and it has always held a special place in my heart. More recently, it seems that this song comes to mind…

Patience may be a virtue after all.

November 8, 2014. One of the things that I have actually been advised not to pray for is more patience. Why? Well, I think the mantra “be careful what you wish for” is fitting here. When we ask for more patience, we can be quite sure that God will grant our request (as it is…

Christian Instructions.

July 8, 2014. “Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” (Romans…

Times of trial.

June 10, 2014. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4) I have some trouble with this verse. Intellectually I…