260 Reasons for Believing

Hundreds of GREAT reasons I've found for believing in Jesus Christ

260 Reasons for Believing - Hundreds of GREAT reasons I've found for believing in Jesus Christ

What’s Going On with 260 Reasons for Believing?

Pen and Ink260 Reasons for Believing is a very worthy project. In no way have I yet exhausted the many, many reasons for placing belief and hope in Jesus Christ.

Going back to the birth of this website, I’d like to remind you of why I chose the number 260. I had planned to do five posts per week for each of the fifty-two weeks of the year, which would yield 260 posts in one year.

The concept for this project and this website came to me during a time of vocational transition and exploration.  Using some highly recommended materials, I had spent six weeks doing Continue reading

On Things Started, But Not Finished

For All of Us

For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesn’t sit down  first and compute the cost  to see if he has enough money to complete it?  Otherwise,  when he has laid  a foundation and is not able to finish the tower,  all who see it will begin to make fun of  him.  They will say,  ‘This man  began to build and was not able to finish!’ (Luke 14:28-30)

Paul Lowry Abandoned Project

Flickr Image Courtesy of Paul Lowry

Jesus originally spoke these words, not with regard  to a single, specific task, but rather in the bigger context of following Him as a disciple for life. Nonetheless, from the perspective of folks on the outside, the unfinished project of a well-intentioned soul often can look like a monument to folly.

The truth is, our futures in this life are never mapped out for us in meticulous detail. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) from point to point as the Lord shows us the next thing He has for us. Quite often, this walk is not in a straight line “due north.” We zig and we zag Continue reading

They Kept Saying “It’ll Never Happen”

urbanworkbench Feet in Mud

Flickr Image Courtesy of urbanworkbench

I’m going to make a confession here today. And I’m going to be very frank about two matters of truth: (1) my own spiritual struggles, and (2) a warning from God. So here we go.

I’ve been reading through the Old Testament prophets for months, now, and I have to confess–this has been my most difficult journey through the last seventeen books of the Old Testament. Why so difficult? Among other things, prophecies against ancient civilizations like Edom, Moab, Assyria, etc. are repeated over and over and over again. If truth be told, Continue reading

Let Patience Have its Perfect Work

chickenpatienceRed Lights, stop signs, long lines at the grocery store–ask people whether they think of themselves as patient individuals, and most will probably say “No!”  Patience is not one of our strongest virtues, especially in our microwave society.

We live in a world that wants results now, a culture in which cherry picking of information runs rampant, and an age when resources like Google allow the moderately informed to fancy themselves experts.  Forget the idea that doing something for 10,000 hours makes you a master of that something. In today’s world watching YouTube videos for 10 seconds makes you an expert. Continue reading

Where Would the World Be Without Jesus Christ?

The question of where the world would be without Jesus Christ could be answered on so many different levels and from such a wide variety of angles. But no matter how we slice it, dice, it, or otherwise julienne-fry it, the world would be infinitely worse off if Jesus Christ had never entered human history.

Teaching What Humans Don’t Typically Teach

What Jesus taught runs so contrary to natural human inclinations, and yet it proves immeasurably better for the well-being of mankind Continue reading

The Father You Always Wanted and Will Always Have

“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner, therefore, pray:  Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6:8)

Praying 2It’s an all too familiar prayer–in fact many of us would have to admit that we often recite it out of habit.  Ironically, the verse prior to this one says not to do just that.  Regardless, I didn’t choose this verse to talk about the problems of empty religious practice. What I would like for you to consider is the weight of those two words, “Our Father.” Continue reading

Taking Away the Fear of Saying “Thy Will Be Done”

“Thy will be done.” (Matthew 6:10)

bigstock-Contradicting-directional-sign-26297537If you have ever prayed the Lord’s prayer with sincerity of heart, I’m pretty sure you have shared my experience in cringing a bit on some occasions when reaching that phrase. I don’t always wince when I pray this from an earnest heart, and you probably don’t either. But when I really want my way to work out, there can be a big split between where my mind goes with “Thy will be done” and where my heart goes, even when I’m trying to be candid before the Lord.

It Gets Easier Continue reading

Our Attorney

Law and OrderThe world’s eyes have been glued to the tube with George Zimmerman on trial in front of an international audience.  Not to downplay the events, but I have always loved court scenes.  The arguments made by both sides, the presentation of evidence, and the purposeful and intricately constructed arguments make for great TV.  While I may not agree with how publicized and overly drawn out the trial was, it was spellbinding, nonetheless, to watch these two attorney’s duke it out in what would be a case like no other that we have seen for quite some time.

I did notice one thing though, Continue reading

God Really Is FOR Us

The bad news is that universalism is an erroneous belief. Everyone is not going to heaven when they die. Heartbreakingly, sin separates people from God, (Isaiah 59:1-2) and the penalty of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Jesus spoke often about the reality of hell–and never with delight about it. (Matthew 10:28; Matthew 23:33; Luke 16:23)

I had to get that point out of the way–and it’s a HUGE point–lest anyone misunderstand this message that God really is FOR us.

So How Can I Say That God Really Is For Us?

God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. He would rather that we turn and live. (Ezekiel 33:11) We are assured that as many people as put their faith in Jesus and receive Him, to them, God gives the right to be called children of God. (John 1:12)

God Initiated the Process of Obtaining the Very Best for Us

Calotype46

Flickr Image Courtesy of Calotype46

It is God’s desire that every human being achieves and receives the very best. God is love, and that is the nature of love–to desire the highest good of the one who is loved. (1 John 4:16) It’s just that there is no “very best” without God. He is the Source of all good. The absence of God means the absence of good.  (Psalm 16:2) And the absence of good, by definition, is evil. Everything without God is less that the best. In fact, anything without God is downright destructive and deadly.

If you disagree with that last statement, the fact is that the hand of God is present for good in the world even when and where people don’t recognize or acknowledge the presence of God. Continue reading

The Greatness of Jesus Christ: Kenosis vs. Apotheosis

Kenosis? Apotheosis?

When I was in seminary, I was privileged to be part of a tight-knit group of about eight buddies who all worked for the same company to help support our young families while we were in school. Of course groups like that often have nicknames for each of its constituent members. Mine was “Fang.” Another guy (from Nebraska, naturally) was “Husker Breath.” Then there was “the Bull,” and so on.

From time to time, we really picked on each other–in a spirit of fun and great brotherly love, of course. At one time or another it was dished out pretty heavily on each of us. But one guy in the group held a “trump card.” Continue reading