How the Downer Book of Lamentations Offers Us Hope Today

3 bits of good news from the character of God and the promises of God.

The book of Lamentations isn’t one we often read. Let’s be honest. It seems like a real downer. Jeremiah’s “lamentations” sting like the swat of a paddle. And yet—amazingly—there’s good news for us.

How the Downer Book of Lamentations Offers 3 Reasons to Hope

(Photo by Photodune)

Good news seems good usually because of the bad news that came first.

  • The bad news: Because Jerusalem had abandoned the Lord by pursing idols and foreign alliances, God had given over the city to the Babylonians, who disciplined Jerusalem by forcing most of its citizens into exile.
  • The good news: God’s divine discipline always comes as an expression both of His faithfulness and His love.

Amazingly, this downer book of Lamentations offers at least 3 reasons we can have hope in life.

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How to Live for God When Your Parents Didn’t

2 Decisions Josiah Made that Made All the Difference

Do you know someone who wasn’t raised in a godly home? Or someone raised in home where godliness cloaked hypocrisy? Perhaps it was your home. It’s tough to live for God in such circumstances.

How to Live for God When Your Parents Didn't

(Photo courtesy of

The struggle is nothing new. Josiah wanted to live for God, and yet his father and grandfather were two of Judah’s worst kings. When Josiah heard the Scriptures for the first time, he reacted in immediate sorrow:

Our fathers have not observed the word of the LORD, to do according to all that is written in this book. —2 Chronicles 34:21

Josiah determined to be different. He chose to live for God by doing 2 specific things.

So can we.

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May I Sign Your Book?

Sometimes a personal touch means more than a blank book. I would love to send you an autographed copy of my books. You also may even know someone who would enjoy a gift of devotionals about the Holy Land.

I’ve created a page that makes it easy for you.


Get signed copies of Wayne's books

In fact, if you get the set of books, you get a discount!

It’s a great way to support my blog as well as encourage others in their devotional life.


Grab My Audiobook for FREE

As a way of saying thanks to my blog subscribers, each person receives a free copy of my e-book, Grow Strong: 30 Devotions to Deepen Your Christian Life.

But you can also grab a copy of the audiobook. And here’s the best part: you can get it FREE.

Grow Strong in Your Christian Life by listening

Audible is offering my audiobook (read by me) as a FREE download with your 30-day trial membership. Don’t want to be an Audible subscriber? No problem. Just cancel before 30 days ends and you can keep my audiobook for free. No strings.

I took advantage of the Audible version and couldn’t have been happier with the ease of use while driving in my car, studying, and even riding my bike! Whether you are a new Christian or have been walking with Jesus for decades, Grow Strong will help you focus on seeing life through our Savior’s eyes.D. Chase

Click to listen to a sample devotion:


I hope you’ll take advantage of this offer to grow deep in your Christian life!

Click to get your FREE audiobook here!

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How a Bag of Dog Food Exposed My Pride

Years ago I walked into a pet store with one of my daughters to buy dog food. The guy at the cash register saw us walk in, and immediately his face lit up: “Are you Wayne Stiles?” Completely surprised, I answered: “Yes.”

How a Bag of Dog Food Exposed My Pride

(Photo by Photodune)

I confess my mind immediately chased the reasons he might know who I was:

  • Maybe he heard me speak before.
  • Maybe he’s read something I’ve written.
  • Maybe he attends our church.
  • Maybe . . .

All this shot through my mind in an instant. Yet after I answered, “Yes,” he revealed how he new my name.

“You need to call home; your wife just called.”

It turns out, he recognized me because Cathy told him I’d have a five-year-old daughter with me! It had nothing to do with anything I said, wrote, or did.

You know what bothered me most about this event?

I innocently come to buy dog food . . . and God takes the opportunity to expose my pride.

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Devotional Books to Follow an Israel Trip

If you have enjoyed the past few days’ posts of my trip to Israel, you might enjoy my two devotional books that relate to the land of Israel. 

Below is a taste of each one, plus links to previews. Just click on the book to order. 
Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus:
A Journey through the Lands and Lessons of Christ

Now available in a Kindle Edition and even in Korean!

Imagine following Jesus along the road, listening in on His conversations, and gleaning the lessons He taught in the holy places He traveled. This book takes such a journey.

Written in an easy, devotional style, Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus mingles an engaging and enjoyable travelogue with the practical lessons gleaned from walking the Holy Land.

“I thought Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus would be an interesting read, but I found it to be absolutely captivating! Wayne is a great storyteller, but he is also a very careful Bible scholar. That is a very lethal combination—lethal in the sense that it will destroy any inclination that you have to drift off into boredom. . . . This travelogue is a first-class seat in an air-conditioned Mercedes bus, just like the ones that you’ll find in Israel. I know you’re going to enjoy the ride.”
—Steve Farrar, bestselling author and founder of Men’s Leadership Ministries

Click here to look inside the book!

Going Places With God:

A Devotional Journey Through the Lands of the Bible

This book finds its roots in places God chose—literally. The lands of the Bible offer more than a backdrop for the stories of the Bible. These places played an integral role in shaping the lives of those who lived there. God designed it so. And for us, understanding how the land shaped its inhabitants gives us tremendous insight into understanding Scripture. Even more, it provides us with a glimpse as to why God has placed us where we live today.

Ninety devotional readings, each based on a specific place in the lands of the Bible, invite you to embark on your own spiritual journey.

Click here to look inside the book!

Available in a Kindle Edition.

The book has even been translated into Korean.


Joppa and the Long Highway

Insight for Living Tour of Israel — Day 1

It’s hard to believe just yesterday I was in America.

Today’s transportation system requires little more than a basic understanding of road signs and airline gates (which I somehow still seem to miss). That’s why most of us failed geography. Who needs it?

But in ancient Israel geography was critical. Today I saw one reason why.

Our hotel in Tel Aviv sits right next to ancient Joppa (think Jonah and Peter). In fact, a short walk down the beach took us there.

The Egyptians’ ancient rubble in Joppa reminded me of why foreign powers all wanted to control Israel. The land of Israel sat in an amazingly strategic position as the only intercontinental land bridge between the superpowers of the ancient world. The strategic International Highway—sometimes called the Great Trunk Road or the Via Maris (“Way of the Sea”)—ran the full length of the land of Israel.

This vast artery of transport stretched from the Fertile Crescent all the way to Egypt. Israel stood at the crossroads of three continents—Asia, Africa, and Europe—and the surrounding seas and desert forced all who traveled to Egypt by land to traverse Israel. In addition to Egypt, the armies of Assyria, Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome all invaded Israel in order to control its International Highway. Israel remained for millennia the crossroads for international imperialism, war, and trade.

The ancient port of Joppa

Even today, Israel serves as the overland passageway for large, high-flying birds that prefer not to migrate over the seas. Literally hundreds of thousands of black and white storks, steppe and spotted eagles, black kites, steppe and honey buzzards, and Levant sparrow hawks soar over the Holy Land in their biannual migrations to and from east Africa. No wonder bird watching remains a popular activity in Israel.

When foreigners traveled through Israel during biblical days, God’s people would either influence them or be swayed by them. Because of this influence, Israel’s central position among the nations proved to be a double-edged sword.

God lamented that Jerusalem’s general placement as “the center of the nations,” had borne no fruit of obedience (Ezekiel 5:5). Ironically, God’s people had been swayed by the very nations He intended them to influence.

What a great reminder that we have to guard the critical points of entry into our lives.

Starting with our hearts.

Please share this blog (below) and follow me on Twitter. I’m blogging daily on our journey.

The Church Awakening and the 12 Lies DVD

I spent most of last year with the privilege of editing a fine book by Chuck Swindoll, released just last month, The Church Awakening: An Urgent Call for Renewal. The book contains all that we’ve come to love and appreciate about Chuck’s writing—humor, biblical accuracy, practical insights, grace, and balance.

The Church Awakening

In a nutshell, the book looks at how the 21st-century church has drifted away from biblical beliefs and essential truths has produced many local congregations and leadership devoted to entertaining the flock rather than to feeding them.

By examining how God’s Word defines the church’s priorities, Chuck takes us beyond a mere analysis of today’s church to the needed encouragement of how leaders and congregations can play a part in returning to God’s design.

Full of great illustrations, humorous stories, and practical Bible teaching, The Church Awakening is a must-read for pastors and church leaders—as well as any serious-thinking Christian. The chapter on worship alone is worth the price of the book. I am confident you’ll enjoy it!

You can pick up a copy from Amazon or from Insight for Living.

Check out the video below.

I also had the privilege to participate in a brand new documentary project called “The 12 Biggest Lies.” The documentary is extremely well produced and features interviews from “leading minds such as Ravi Zacharias, Alex Jones, Kerby Anderson, and many more!” (I’m part of the “many more” group.) You can see all the contributors here.
What’s it about? The documentary sheds light on 12 common misconceptions:
1. There is no such thing as truth.
2. People are inherently good.
3. No one should be offended.
4. Men and women are equal.
5. A fetus isn’t human.
6. The world is overpopulated.
7. Americans are greedy and self-centered.
8. Islam is a religion of peace.
9. The Jews stole Jerusalem.
10. The earth is billions of years old.
11. There is no God.
12. Jesus was just a good man.
By the way, I don’t make a dime off this project or from my endorsement of it. It was just a privilege to contribute.
You can watch the trailer below and order the DVD from Amazon or from the Cloud Ten Web site.