When You Become God’s Surprise Witness

How Matthias reveals our insignificance is seen by God.

Sometimes God surprises us with opportunities we never sought, never expected, and never even imagined. Often these moments come in the middle of our ho-hum lives.

When You Become God's Surprise Witness

(Photo by Photodune)

It happened with Matthias.

Ever since John the Baptist had prepared the way for the Messiah, Matthias 
had followed. He had walked in Jesus’ footsteps from the Jordan River to the rugged hills of Galilee. He had followed the Savior with passion and persuasion—and without recognition.

Matthias was a willing unknown.

Then one day it all changed.

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10 Reasons To Tour Israel Sooner Rather than Later

I have never recovered from my travels to the Holy Land. As many times as I’ve been to Israel, every trip impacts me. Every single one. There’s a reason.

10 Reasons To Tour Israel Sooner Rather than Later

(Photo: Temple Mount and Western Wall. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

After Cathy and I took our first tour to the Holy Land, the truth hit home harder than it ever had: my faith is rooted in events that occurred in real places.

But after the initial trip, I began to unpack the incredible benefits of traveling to Israel. I’m convinced there are at least 10 good reasons to go.

And why sooner is better than later.

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Look for a Special Invitation in July

I’ll Be Inviting You to Join My New Book’s Launch Team

Last year I asked you to help me choose a title and a cover for my new book, Waiting on God. You came through beautifully. Thank you. Next month, I could use your help again.

Waiting on God books

Well, I’m excited to announce that my new book, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing, releases August 18. That’s only 12 weeks away!

  • It’s hard to believe it’s been 6 years since I published my last book. Since then I’ve written and edited a number of books for others (you know, projects to help pay college tuition).
  • I’ve already received some wonderful endorsements for Waiting on God from people like Joni Eareckson Tada, Luci Swindoll, Dr. Mark Bailey, Mary DeMuth, and others.

In order to try to get the book into as many hands as possible, I’m going to begin forming a Launch Team next month.

My Launch Team Invitation Goes Out Next Month

This is a team of 30 of my readers who will be willing to help get the word out in a big way the week of August 18. As my thanks for your help, I’ll give you some gifts—including a copy of my new book, Waiting on God: What to Do When God Does Nothing.

My requests of you over the next few weeks? Only two:

  1. Please pray that God will bless the distribution of Waiting on God so that it gets into the hands and hearts of thousands of people.
  2. Please consider joining my Launch Team when I announce it on July 13. I’ll have a sign-up form to keep the process simple.

I’ve already heard from many of you who are excited about the book. Thanks so much for your encouragement! My hope is that Waiting on God offers tremendous hope to many, many people—including you.

Question: What ways can you recommend to get the word out? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The Source of Our Peace—Reflections from Yom Yerushalayim

Why Peace Requires One Thing More than Anything Else

The holiday, Yom Yerushalayim, “Jerusalem Day” always reminds me of the T-shirt my grandmother bought me when she went to Jerusalem in 1987. (We men keep clothes way too long.)

The Source of Our Peace—Reflections from Yom Yerushalayim

(Photo: The Jaffa Gate, celebrating Jerusalem’s 40th Birthday. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

Printed in English, Hebrew, and Arabic, the T-shirt celebrated “The 20th Anniversary of the Reunification of Jerusalem.” Yom Yerushalayim is a Jewish holiday annually celebrating the first time the Jews controlled Jerusalem since the Romans destroyed the Second Temple in AD 70.

Now almost 70 years since the beginning of the State of Israel, the land has just as much tension and heartache as ever. And much of the conflict cloaks its true motives in the name of religion.

One day in Jerusalem I saw a humorous sign that tried to bridge that religion gap.

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Ascension Day Gives Us a Reason to Look Up

Our purpose in life finds its answer in Jesus' final words.

Honestly, if Ascension Day didn’t appear on our calendars 40 days after Easter, we’d likely never think about it. Sure, we know Jesus’ ascension had good reasons. But hey, we’re still stuck on earth.

Ascension Day Gives Us a Reason to Look Up

(Photo by Photodune)

In fact, have you ever wondered why we don’t we just ascend to heaven after we believe in Jesus?

The answer, of course, is that God’s goal for us is more than to believe in His Son. Jesus’ final words remind us of that.

Ascension Day offers a few good reminders.

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Help me to be in reality before thee
as in appearance I am before men,
to be religious before I profess religion,
to leave the world before I enter the church,
to set my affections on the things above,
to shun forbidden follies and vanities,
to be a dispenser as well as a partaker of grace,
to be prepared to bear evil as well as to do good.

3 Lessons I Learned the Day I Dipped Snuff

Why we should want God to give us what He wants to give us.

Riding in the in cab of my father’s truck one day, I noticed a round can on his dashboard. Having seen him stick the stuff in his mouth and spit, I asked if I could do it too.

3 Lessons I Learned from the Day I Dipped Snuff

(Photo by Photodune)

“Sure,” he said, “let me help you.” He cracked the can of Copenhagen, grabbed a generous plug, and pulled back my bottom lip. “There you go.”

I sat there with a “peench” between my check and gum, as Walt Garrison used to say. Of course, the plug was so huge I could barely close my mouth. It didn’t take long for the juices to start squirting in my mouth.

And down my throat.

I learned 3 lessons from that day.

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reason for my hope

The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (Thomas Nelson, 2013)

Each chapter of Billy Graham’s book, The Reason for My Hope, leads to one conclusion: regardless of whatever you’re face, Jesus Christ provides the answer. Dr. Graham’s easygoing writing incorporates numerous stories and illustrations to support that the idea that our hope in life and after life comes by faith in Christ.