Why Being Around Smarter People is a Good Thing

4 Reasons It’s Good to Put All the Eggheads in One Basket

We live in a world of image, ego, and selfie sticks. Social media allows us to hide the truth that we don’t have it all together. The worst place for this feeling (other than church)? Conferences.

4 Reasons It’s Good to Put All the Eggheads in One Basket

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Whether I go to a conference on writing, theology, broadcasting, or blogging, I fight the selfie stick syndrome. You probably do too. Smarter people are everywhere.

Here’s why it’s good for us to struggle with being around smarter people.

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Chorazin—Sitting in the Seat but Missing the Message

Jesus explains why leadership remains a privilege, not a prerogative.

From a distance, Chorazin seems like it’s hiding. I don’t blame it for trying. After all, it remains one of the three cities in Galilee that Jesus rebuked for failing to respond to His message.

Chorazin—Sitting in the Seat but Missing the Message

(Photo: Chorazin’s ruins hide at center left. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

The basalt ruins of Chorazin appear little more than a pile of rocks among so many thousands of others. Clumps of grass and volcanic rock offer a variegated green and gray to the hillside above the Sea of Galilee.

Unless you look carefully, you may not even see the city.

But Jesus saw it. So should we.

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The Question We Ought to Ask When Hurting

And why asking "why" never goes far enough.

The book of Psalms repeatedly asks God where He is in the midst of our pain. After all, we’d really love it if God would stop the hurting since He can.

The Question We Ought to Ask When Hurting

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Amazingly however, the book of Job never answers the questions: “Where is God in my pain?” nor “Why does God allow such struggle in our lives?” Even Job himself received no answers to these questions—only elsewhere in the Bible do we discover their solutions.

When we’re struggling or suffering, finding out “why” is never enough.

There’s another question we need to ask.

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Lydia—How to Honor a Generous God

You can express love for God with anything you choose to offer Him.

Lydia made her way outside the city gate. A short stroll led her and a group of women to a familiar spot beside the Krenides River. For a synagogue to be established, ten Jewish men had to be in regular attendance. But there weren’t ten to be found in Philippi.

Lydia—How to Honor a Generous God

(Painting of Lydia at St Lydia chapel in Philippi. Courtesy of Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

That didn’t keep these women from worshipping together, though. They gathered every Saturday at the river for prayer. But this Sabbath was different. It would change Lydia’s life forever.

And her change can affect our lives as well.

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What We Believe

What We Believe: Understanding and Confessing the Apostles’ Creed (Baker, 2015)

R. C. Sproul’s new book, What We Believe, is a reprint of his 1998 volume, Renewing Your Mind. But its subject remains as fresh as the day Sproul wrote it. Indeed, its theme is timeless. The book does what its subtitle promises it offers: Understanding and Confessing the Apostles’ Creed. Systematically going through each phrase of the creed, Sproul explains its meaning, offering in essence a general theology of the Christian faith.

To anyone interested in the meaning of the apostles Creed—or of Christianity in general—What We Believe would do a great job providing that introduction.

Nebi Samwil—A Site with Wisdom Ignored

Solomon's defining moment can also become ours.

Most travelers to Jerusalem never think to come to Nebi Samwil. The minaret towering above the hill looks like a misplaced lighthouse searching for the sea. On a clear day, a visitor can spy the Mediterranean to the west.

Nebi Samwil

(Photo: Nebi Samwil. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Although few come here today, there were few more important places in David’s and Solomon’s time—if any. In fact, it signified Solomon’s most defining moment.

What’s more, it represents the potential for ours as well.

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More Than Conquerors

More Than Conquerors: An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation (Baker, 2015)

I initially took interest in William Hendriksen’s volume, More Than Conquerors, because this 75th Anniversary Edition attested to its longstanding popularity as a commentary on the book of Revelation. One advantage this review has was my unfamiliarity with Hendriksen’s view of prophecy. Although his love and appreciation for Scripture is clear at the outset, it is also evident that he interprets areas of prophecy inconsistently—sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively. I don’t mean one should not recognize Revelation’s figurative language—it’s everywhere! I mean one should interpret the figures of speech literally—otherwise these can mean anything. Some phrases also needn’t be taken figuratively at all. For example, his reasons for spiritualizing the “1000 years” of Revelation 20—referred to 6 times—as not a literal 1000 years is unnecessary. For amillennialists, this is likely a volume much appreciated, but for Bible students who prefer a literal interpretation of Scripture, another volume is advisable.

How to Capture and Save Great Quotes

Whether in a Book, an E-Book, an Audiobook, or Wherever

Great quotes seem unforgettable—until they slip our minds. We get great quotes everywhere from magazines to sermons to blogs to books. The challenge comes with trying to capture them.

How to Capture and Save Great Quotes

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When you come across a great quote, how often have you thought, Oh, I need to write that down later. But later never comes.

How can you capture great quotes so they don’t vanish after you read or hear them? I’ll sidestep the obvious ways to capture quotes you hear in a sermon or during a lecture. (Just take notes.)

Instead, here are some not-so-obvious ways to keep great quotes.

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Your Christian Life is a Daily Two-Step

How success boils down to 2 decisions you make every day.

How can you do what you should do when you’d rather do anything else? We know this marks the difference between success and failure. We struggle with the how.

Your Christian Life is a Daily Two-Step

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Long before Jesus lugged His cross down the Via Dolorosa, He had issued a command to all who would follow Him:

If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. —Mark 8:34

The Christian life follows the life of Christ. And Jesus’ life ended literally carrying a cross all the way to His death.

We all have our own Via Dolorosa. We walk it two steps at a time.

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