faith (73)

PTAP: United Arab Emirates: Dibba

For this week (week of November 15):
  • Pray for Arabic speaking churches in UAE to increase in number and grow in maturity.
  • Pray for God to establish Christian witness in the towns of Dibba.
  • Pray for unity of the Spirit among God’s people in churches throughout UAE.
  • Pray for God to graciously protect Emirati marriages from brokenness
  • Pray for God to send Arabic speaking witnesses to the emirate of Fujairah.
  • Pray for opportunities for the local church to minister to the needs of elderly Emiratis
  • Pray for Emiratis to turn to Jesus Christ, the precious cornerstone, in faith.
Read more…

PTAP: United Arab Emirates: Dibba

For this week (week of November 15):
  • Pray for Arabic speaking churches in UAE to increase in number and grow in maturity.
  • Pray for God to establish Christian witness in the towns of Dibba.
  • Pray for unity of the Spirit among God’s people in churches throughout UAE.
  • Pray for God to graciously protect Emirati marriages from brokenness
  • Pray for God to send Arabic speaking witnesses to the emirate of Fujairah.
  • Pray for opportunities for the local church to minister to the needs of elderly Emiratis
  • Pray for Emiratis to turn to Jesus Christ, the precious cornerstone, in faith.
Read more…

Lord, help the Arab peoples to see your awe-inspiring works and glorify you.

“And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying ‘We have seen extraordinary things today.’” Luke 5:26
Pray for the local churches in the Arabian Peninsula, especially for unity and healed hearts of reconciliation. Pray for believers to boldly share the Gospel. Pray that Muslim background believers may be bold in sharing their faith and inviting their friends and family members to study the Word together and learn about Jesus.
Pray for wisdom among workers in the Arabian Peninsula as they look for people of peace and disciple many into the Kingdom. Pray for good soil in the hearts of those in the Arabian Peninsula. Pray that no birds would steal the seed and that thorns won't choke out the seed that sprouts. Pray for a multiplication of harvest.
Read more…


There has to be a point where any of us begins to pray to a God that we know little about. I often think those are refreshing prayers. We find one of these in the 24th chapter of Genesis. Abraham sends his servant on a mission that would be impossible without the direction of God. After traveling for weeks he stops outside the town where Abraham's family lived, and prays.

“O LORD, God of my master Abraham, please grant me success today and show steadfast love to my master Abraham. Behold, I am standing by the spring of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Let the young woman to whom I shall say, ‘Please let down your jar that I may drink’, and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”

Genesis 24:12-14

I don't believe it is wrong for the servant's approach to God to be tentative. He begins by addressing the LORD as the God of Abraham. I believe it would have been wrong for Abraham to pray such a second-hand prayer. It would have been foolish for this servant to continue to pray like that after God had revealed Himself in these events. But at this point he seems to be reaching out to the LORD for the first time. I think his approach was humble and fearful. And even if it lacked faith, it was a step toward firm belief. 

This is not merely a prayer for success or blessing even for his master, Abraham. This is a prayer to Know the will of God. He is praying for God to show him the young lady that He had appointed for Isaac. He recognizes that just any girl will not do.

And he is praying that he might know God himself. He prays that he might know God's steadfast love to Abraham and Isaac. And of course knowing that would be a good step toward knowing God. I don’t think this was much different that someone today praying as Fancis Schaffer suggested in one of his books.

“God, if you are real, speak to me.”



Amazon Author’s Page

Read more…


Matthew 5:6

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

But someone may ask, aren't our hungers natural? Aren't they beyond our control? To some extent I think that is true. But they can also be trained or tantalized.

A child asks, “May I have some more candy?”

The parent answers, “No, it will ruin your supper.”

The parent who loves a child knows she can be trained to desire roast beef and carrots. If she only wants candy she will not find tooth decay, obesity and death rather than satisfaction.

You may not have to think too hard to remember times when you desired something desperately. But when you finally got it, you were disappointed. It may even have turned out to be horrible. Wouldn't you rather have spent all that energy and time longing for something that would have satisfied you deeply?

Real satisfaction only comes from things that are right with God. But we live in a world that is hopelessly rebellious against the will of God. One of the places you can see this most clearly is in our attitudes toward righteousness. If you think of righteousness in terms of satisfaction and joy, you have probably been a believer in Jesus Christ long enough that experience has changed your perspective.

It is more likely that you see righteousness and pleasure as opposite ends of the same scale.

You may want to ask, “Why isn't that, or he, right for me? That is why the Bible uses a word we seldom use in other contexts. The word “righteousness” is more comprehensive. It refers to the whole purpose of something being to please God.

Of course, nothing in this world can completely fulfill our lives. But we can long for and put our faith in heaven where righteousness will be complete.



Read more…


We see something very unusual in the ninth chapter of Matthew. Some people brought a paralytic to Jesus. And when Jesus saw their faith He worked miraculously in the man's life. In this passage Jesus lays out for us some powerful truths about biblical faith. Look with me at this passage.

Matthew 9:1-8

“And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.”

And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
But Jesus,  knowing their thoughts, said,

“Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men”

Let me help you see some vital truths about our faith in Jesus Christ in this passage.

The Cooperation of Faith

These people surely encouraged one another's faith as they got together to take this man to Jesus. Mark 2:4 and Luke 5:19 tell us something of the great extremes they went to to bring the man to Jesus. This ought to encourage us to work together and pray together in the church. When we do this God's power will be unleashed.

And I think we can assume something else here about the encouragement of faith. I believe Jesus included the paralytic when He said “their faith.” Surely his faith was encouraged, possibly even spawned by the faith of those bringing him.

The Comprehensiveness of Faith

But note, when people trust in Jesus, they do not just trust him for the specific thing they are seeking. We put our faith in the person of Christ, seeking His full work in our lives. It is typical of Jesus' miracles for Him to begin by forgiving sins. Many years ago I heard John Bisagno tell about receiving a letter from a young soldier in Vietnam. The boy told about hearing a sermon tape about being saved. And the young man gave a testimony of praying for his life to be saved in a firefight. And thanking God that he came back alive. John wrote him back and told him he needed more than the saving of his physical life. He needed his sins forgiven and the gift of eternal life.

The Confirmation of Faith

Some of the teachers of the law were offended by this. They knew an ordinary human did not have the authority to forgive sins. Jesus, knowing their thoughts, ask them which is easier, to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” or, “Rise up and walk.” And then He said, “So that you will know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins, rise take up your bed and go home.”

I have heard people criticize Faith Healers by saying, “If they can really do that, why don't they just go through the hospitals and empty them.” I'm not sure that is always Justified criticism of those who pray for people to be healed. But in fact Jesus did that very thing. He didn't go through hospitals. There were no hospitals then. Hospitals only came after the influence of His ministry spread across the world. But He went through entire towns and villages healing everyone He came to. God did many mighty works revealing Himself in history in the Old Testament. But in Matthew 9:33 the people said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”

The miracles of Jesus confirm who He is. But you might say, “How does that help me? I was not there to see Him work those miracles.” In fact you can see some of the miracles of Jesus recorded in Scripture. There have been those who speculated that Jesus intentionally brought things about in His life so it would appear that He was fulfilling Old Testament prophecy. But it is very difficult to orchestrate the time and place of your birth. The Old Testament even gives specific details of his death down to the soldiers gambling for His clothing. And it is very difficult to explain the radical change in the lives of His followers, if He did not rise from the grave.” And when we read of His life and teachings, His compassion and miracles, God will confirm faith in Him in our lives.

The Terror of Faith

In verse 8 we read that the multitudes who saw these things were afraid. When you begin to really believe who Jesus is, His reality will frighten you. He is the God of the universe walking among Us.

The Result of Faith

And when you realize who He is, you will give glory to God. It is very interesting that whatever Jesus did caused people to give glory to His Father. Our faith in Him should do that. If your faith in Him makes people say what a wonderful person you are, it is faulty. When we genuinely place our faith in God others will come to tremble in His presence and place their faith in Him as well.



Read more…
Prayer Requests - June 17, 2018
Dylan (pseudonym) asked when the "night of power," a particular night at the end of Ramadan in which it is thought more clout is earned with Allah for praying through the night, was to a few young Gulf men. This question led to a sharing of thought in which three young Gulf men heard about the grace that comes through Jesus apart from works. Please pray that the discussion will continue and that these young men will turn their hearts to Him.

An indigenous family has welcomed visits and prayers of Christians for their adult son who has been paralyzed for over a year from the neck down even though his condition worsened after believers prayed for him. Please pray that God will reveal Himself to this family, granting them faith and repentance toward His truth. The Gospel was explained to the paralyzed man, who showed great emotional response to it in his face, although he cannot speak.  Despite the "failed prayers" for healing, the Christians are now invited to meet the rest of the family during Eid (holiday that follows Ramadan).  Please pray for boldness to follow the leadings of the Holy Spirit, and that God would stretch forth His hand to heal this man as a testimony to the Truth.
Read more…

Life Changes

Life changes and is never stagnant, if you allow yourself to grow. Growing takes effort. Reading His Word and applying His principles to your life. They are good principles, adding value to life. This does not mean you’re going to hop on a fluffy soft cloud and float through life with no heartache or pain. It does mean that you have God to lean on. It means when you seek Him, He will answer. When you follow His principles the hardships in life can be overcome. He cannot always keep you from harm, but He can help you heal from it. He does not control anyone. He is not a control freak. He is here to guide you when you ask but you must listen when He answers. He is your healer, but not always in the way you expect. You only think in the ways of man. You cannot always comprehend what He is doing in your life. This is where trust comes in. If you are following Him, reading His word, praying and soaking in His presence you will have greater understanding and greater healing from life’s hurts.


He is here for His people! The one’s who choose to follow Him. Being a follower of His Son Jesus does not make you weak. Instead it makes you strong. Spiritually strong. Align yourself with the Holy Bible. Align yourself with a Bible believing church that teaches Agape Love above all else. Learn of His ways. Learn to love others and His Son. Learn to love yourself. Many people have done so much wrong, been taught wrongly, or mistreated so badly, even by those who call themselves Godly, that they are confused and refuse to hear His Word. But know that I do not control them and they can choose to misconstrue His Word, or twist it for their own glory or excuses. He is the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD who love’s your soul. Who forgives your sins and longs to guide you to the truth of the Word. He is peace when there is no peace around you. He is Love when there is no one to love you and even when you do have people to love you. He is the Great I AM, here to guide and save His people. You must choose Him as He has already put you on the list of HIS Chosen. He has given you the opportunity and the right to follow Him and seek His peace in your life.



Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Read more…


The Bible clearly draws us not only to believe in healing, but to believe in Jesus. Let my share my own testimony. I have had numbers of people pray very formally for my healing, including some who anointed me with oil. And frankly, I am encouraged when someone tells me they're praying I will be healed of my cancer. Some years ago now, I told one of my oncologists,”The reason I am alive longer than you thought I would be, is because people are praying for me.” He was silent a moment and then he said, “That's right.”

But I also need to say that everytime I think about praying for God to completely heal me of my cancer a scripture verse comes to my mind. Hebrews 9:27 reads,

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment,”

You may have noticed that the sentence does not end with this verse. Verse 28 concludes the thought.

“so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”

I do not believe that God is using this passage, necessarily, to tell me I am not going to be healed. But I do believe He is giving me a broader perspective on faith in Jesus Christ. I am not just trusting him for the here and now. I'm trusting Him for the forever. And I am waiting for Him to bring it about.

And in this God has been giving me a peace about life and death. And He has used that to bear witness to people in a world where all of us will die. And I certainly believe that is more important than immediate healing.




Read more…



I am the one who strengthens you. I will show you the way. You do not always need to rely on other people to grow in my wisdom and love. You need Me more than anyone or anything. I am the great I AM. I am your healer when you are hurt or sick. I am love when no one is around to love you. I am everything you need. I will lead you when you look to me and depend on ME to lead you. My glory shines over you. My will is the only thing you need to seek after. I have your life in the palm of my hand, watching every move you make to assure your success and safety. My hand covers you and protects you. Believe in Me and I will guide you through the wilderness. I will show you a life more precious than you can imagine. My people know a love so great, they can barely tolerate the impact of it on their lives. They bow down in honor. Not that I demand it, but only because my love is so pure they are made grateful and filled with generosity and forgiveness. The experience of my love alone is more than any human can bare. I share with you in small doses so that you will be able to tolerate it.


I am bringing new things to pass very soon. You will see new doors open and new projects that only you can fulfill. You are ready for a new season of LOVE, JOY and PEACE. You will honor me in new ways because I will pour out so much love upon you. Do not turn to the right or to the left. Stay the course I have given you. Do the tasks I give you and lean into my presence. Do not allow distraction. Focus on the task as hand and you will see My glory on your life.


Seek My face daily for your daily download of love and perspective. I will show you the peace you have been seeking. I will show you joy instead of mourning. Your day will begin anew. Your day will contain sustenance in me and only me. I will declare goodness and mercy over you. I will declare stability, joy, peace, forgiveness and love over you. You are my joy. I look at you and see my work in you coming into it’s fruition.  Your time is here. You are about to shine like never before. Your obedience and dedication have paid off. You are ready to join in the season of fruitfulness and prosperity. You are ready to receive the fruit of your labor.

Read more…

A Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, "Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon." But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, "Send her away, for she is crying out after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." And he answered, "It is not right to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "O woman, great is your faith!
-Matt: 15:22-28

I love this story. The woman recognizes Jesus as Lord and pursues Him. Jesus first ignores her and then refuses her, but she persists in faith. And because she does, the Lord commends her. Imagine if you were the woman speaking with Jesus in this story. Would you have stopped at the first barrier, or the second?

Ask God to give us faith like the Canaanite woman. Help us to persevere in prayer, especially as we pray for the Good News to be spread throughout the Arabian Peninsula, especially Yemen during this month. 

Read more…



Have you ever been in a dynamic prayer meeting, a heart stirring, life changing, earth shaking prayer meeting? I know of a number of such prayer meetings in history, some even in my own lifetime. And there are several prayer meetings in the book of Acts that I would have given anything to be part of. Fortunately the Holy Spirit inspired them and Luke communicated them to us in such a way that you can almost step into them simply by reading the book of Acts.

We see one of those prayer meetings in the 4th chapter. Peter and John have been released from arrest by the Sanhedrin where they were beaten and warned not to speak again in the name of Jesus. When they finished reporting, the prayer meeting erupted. We read beginning from Acts 4:24.

“When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. ‘Sovereign Lord,’ they said, ‘you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:’

“‘Why do the nations rage

   and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth rise up

   and the rulers band together

against the Lord

   and against his anointed one.’

Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken.And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God Boldly.”

The Bible says they raised their voices together and prayed this long prayer. Now tell me, how do you think they did that? Did they all have it memorized so they could quote it like The Lord's Prayer? I think this is what happened. John said ‘Sovereign Lord!’ With that Peter said, 'You made the heavens!’ James said, ‘And the Sea!’ Bartholomew added, ‘and everything in them!’ As a 10 year old girl Mary the wife of Clopas had memorized some of the Psalms to sing as she did her chores. As they prayed David’s words filled her heart and she began to pray them. And one at a time the believers prayed off one another’s prayers.

We could pray the same way. Notice 3 crucial things we can see in this prayer and as we pray together ourselves.

First, we see the Fellowship of praying together. They were binding their hearts together in prayer. The person who is nervous can listen to someone else and something will come to her mind or his mind. In fact, someone who has never prayed can be taught to pray by being part of this body of Prayer. To do that everybody has to be paying attention to one another. Have you ever been in a prayer meeting and while others were praying you were thinking about what you were going to say? I have. And I'm ashamed of it. God will stir your heart with the prayers of others.  When you pray together you can come into a deep bond of love and fellowship.

And we can see the Faith of praying together. Not only do you trust God in praying together but you have to have faith in God who is working in other people. They encouraged one another's faith as they prayed off each other and really prayed one prayer together. If you think you're the only one that has a word from God or knows how to pray to God you'll miss out on this kind of praying. When you're praying together you can trust Holy Spirit working in the whole group.

Finally this passage shows dramatically the Effect of praying together. When they got through praying the place where they prayed was shaken and they all began to speak the word of God with boldness. There is something very symbolic about this. That doesn’t mean it didn't happen. In fact this is how God revealed himself all through history. There was something symbolic about God coming down in the fire to Moses at the bush. But it was much more powerful symbolism because it really happened. When the Jordan River dammed itself so Joshua could lead the children of Israel across it was symbolic, but it was powerful symbolism because it really happened. They piled Stones up to remind future generations of what God did. When God shook that place and even the shyest person spoke the word of God boldly, they knew God was at work. And the symbolism of that prayer meeting continues to this day as God works mightily when His people pray together.


Read more…


One of the fun parts of this ministry is that I get to meet all kinds of amazing people who love the Lord! One of my favorite people is Teresa DeMatos, who co-pastors the church I attend with her husband, Lee DeMatos. Together, they have experienced some powerful encounters with Jesus and - even more exciting - some very personal answers to prayer. 

Click Here to read the interview

Read more…


I have tremendous respect for David Platt. I pray nearly every day for God to continue to use him mightily. I recommend listening to his sermons. You can find many of them on YouTube. David has shocked people by preaching against telling people to pray a sinner's prayer. He rightly notes that we have been guilty of communicating to people that they can be right with God by praying those words as a sort of ritual without becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I agree with David. But I also believe a person cannot become a disciple without a direct connection with the Lord. That is prayer. We respond to God's embrace in prayer. If we look at the words we use as a conversion prayer, we see this intent.

We encourage people to pray a prayer of the conviction of sin.

Lord I know I am a sinner.”

We also include repentance.

I want to turn from my sins to you.”

If we are going to lead people to invite Christ into their life, we should warn them that they are doing business with Almighty God. They need to be fearful of praying such words without meaning them.

And inherent is the gospel is the fact that we cannot even repent without God's help. People do not come to God by their sincerity. We must come receiving His forgiveness.

I know You died for me. I accept your forgiveness, and Your gift of eternal life. I trust myself to You.”

One of the problems with using the “sinner's prayer” for evangelism is that it is so easy. It is tempting for us because we don't have to enter into a life-long relationship with the person praying. Just get them to pray these words.

It is also too easy for the person coming to Christ. Someone can pray those words without even thinking. I also believe a person can come to Christ and truly be born again without saying the right words. We might suggest that a person think about the decision she is making over night before she prays such a prayer. Of course, we will need to be sensitive to the person and to the Holy Spirit in the situation. But You can trust Him to bring to completion the work He has begun in a person who has heard the gospel.

Read more…

PTAP: Hajj/Pilgrimage in Mecca, Day 3.

For the pilgrims, day three is the longest day. It might take some people two days, and the pilgrimage is not finished until they complete all of these sacred acts. 

There are five different sacred acts to perform today and they can be done in almost any order. This can take some people more than one day.

1. They will stone the pillars of Satan
2. Men will shave their heads (an act of humility and cleanliness)
3. They will sacrifice a permissible animal
4. They will circle the Ka'aba seven times
5. They will run between the two hills of Safa and Marwa
Key Scripture to Pray 
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest (Jesus Christ) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:10-14)

Going before the Father
Ephesians 6:12 states "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against... the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Muslims understand there is a spiritual battle caused by Satan. Throwing rocks at Satan during the day of stoning is meaningless apart from the cross and resurrection which defeated Satan. Pray that they will know Christ and have mighty weapons "for the tearing down of strongholds." (2 Corinthians 10:4) 
* In the Old Testament, sacrificing animals meant the forgiveness of sins. After Jesus died on the cross, animal sacrifice was not required, for His death covered all sins. Pray that Muslims will understand the meaning behind the sacrifice and the cross of Jesus. Pray that they will understand that the Father so loved the world that He had to give His Son (Jesus) because whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). 
* As Muslims circle the Ka'aba and run from hill to hill, ask that they will see the futility of these acts. They can have peace with God and a commitment to Him, but it is only through what Christ did for them. Pray that they will hear this good news and believe.
 * Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." (John 14:6) As the pilgrims leave, pray they may still feel extreme emptiness and a lack of peace until they know the Redeemer of their souls, Jesus.
Read more…


A young doctor once told me about attending a symposium of Christian physicians. He said they raised the question, “What is the difference between a Christian doctor and a doctor who is not a believer?” Their conclusion was simply that a Christian doctor prays for his patients.

I can think of a number of spiritual gifts and spiritual fruit that God might use through a Christian physician. And I suspect some doctors who are not necessarily committed Christians pray at least occasionally for their patients. Still, I suspect they touched the heart of the matter simply out of years of practicing medicine.

Thinking of this made me wonder about the difference between a Christian writer and one who does not believe. I do not want to minimize Christian subject matter. But I think there are differences beyond what we write about. There will be some difference between a Christian journalist and one who does not know the Lord. What about a travel writer? What about a restaurant critic? I believe two differences are foundational; whom we trust and whom we please and honor.

Two ferry boats cross a river. One runs along a cable stretched across the water. The other does not. When the river runs smoothly, the operator of the one without the cable claims his fairy moves faster. And that may be true, although I'm am not sure. But when the river is raging the one without the cable will be swept away in the flood.

A writer who knows Christ has an anchor of meaning and confidence in the sovereignty of God that a writer who does not know the Lord does not have. That is not to say that she is not bewildered by evil or unfairness. A Christian writer may write about evil or tragedy that she has no answer for. But beneath everything she has a confidence that that there is an answer and God knows the solution even when we do not. A Christian writer may suffer from writer's block. But she knows that she can pray for inspiration.

Most of you are far too young to remember the television series The Millionaire. In it Michael Anthony, played by actor Marvin Miller, was “the confidential secretary to the trillionaire John Beresford Tipton.”  Each week on the show at the philanthropist’s Direction he gave a million dollars to an unsuspecting recipient. While Michael Anthony gave wonderful things, a million dollars, a much greater fortune in 1955 than it is now, he did not work for them. He worked for the eccentric trillionaire. He obeyed his direction. The checks were drawn from the wealthy man’s bank account. And the secretary had to please him and him alone.

A Christian writer ultimately writes to please God. God is the source of her insight. He is the one who calls her to write. I am not primarily focusing on how a Christian ought to write. Although we seldom get all of this together, these are fundamental principles of belonging to Christ. A Christian writer seeks to speak from God and for God. She seeks to honor God rather than herself. And in this motive the truth of what she has to say is anchored.

In John 7:18 Jesus said,

“He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.”

Who are you writing for?



Read more…

Nazeera was cooking breakfast for her family one morning when the unthinkable happened. 
As she poured cooking oil into a hot pan, the liquid flashed — and the bottle exploded all over this mother of three, completely engulfing her in flames.

The minute he heard screams coming from the kitchen, Saeed, Nazeera’s husband, ran downstairs, but in the confusion didn’t know what to do to save her. Meanwhile, their 16-year-old son did the only thing he could think of:  he hugged his mother, hoping that would put out the flames.
The teenager ended up badly burned. Nazeera eventually died from her injuries.     

What appeared to be an accident...was murder

   Only later did Saeed find out that one of his brothers and one of Nazeera’s brothers had devised a deadly plan to take the vegetable oil out of the bottle and replace it with gasoline. The reason: Saeed and Nazeera refused to return to Islam.
This was by far the worst, but not the first time the family had been caught in this holy war between Christianity and Islam.
Even after Nazeera passed away, the family could not find anyone willing to testify to who was behind this senseless murder. 
“No one will be a witness for us,” Saeed said dejectedly. As an example of how deep their hatred was for his decision to follow Christ, he admitted, “My own family told me that if I was killed and cut into pieces, they wouldn’t do anything to help or be a witness on my side.”      

Counting the cost

   A lesser man might have given up at that point, figuring that the cost of being a believer in the Arabian peninsula was just too high.
But not Saeed.
“We ask people to pray for us, as we are all alone,” he said. “Pray for my children as now I am their mother and father, and their only friend. We need prayers for God’s strength and to give us strong faith.” 
Then he added, “I want people outside to know that even if we get cut into pieces, we won’t leave Jesus Christ.”

In places like Yemen, it’s not unusual to hear about Christians being killed for putting their faith in Christ. Please pray for persecuted believers everywhere, and give a gift to provide Bibles, Christian literature, safe house and other programs to strengthen the faith of these brothers and sisters around the world.

Open Doors USA, PO Box 27001, Santa Ana, CA 92799

Read more…


know Thanksgiving is over. Most of us have already unpacked Christmas decorations, and begun preparations for the biggest holiday of the year. But I would like to suggest that we hold on to the Thanksgiving holiday a little longer. In fact, I think we should continue to celebrate it 365 days a year.

Let me draw your attention to a Scripture passage that is so rich that all of you are familiar with it. Philippians 4:6 reads,

"Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving,

let your requests be made known unto God."

This verse clearly teaches that we are to give thanks as we let our requests be known. You might well ask why would we not wait until we see God's answer before we start saying thank you. The Scripture offers such thanksgiving as a statement of faith. But I have had prayers answered with, "no." Haven't you. In fact, some of those I have in time thanked God that He didn't answer them the way I wanted when I prayed. John 15:7-8 gives us this promise of prayer.

"If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be My disciples."

I strive to discern His words and will for my prayers. I know that is the only way I can bear spiritual fruit. I also find a wonderful freedom in this promise. I can pray in confidence trusting God to keep me from praying mountains on top of your house or my own.

I also find a great joy giving thanks to God as I pray that He is at work in the most difficult or fearful situation that I pray for, even if I am unsure or mistaken about how He should answer.

So join me in continuing our Thanksgiving all year long. It is a wonderful celebration with or without the turkey.

Read more…


Do you take a Sabbath from your writing. I recommend that you take one if you can. I say, if you can, because many of you write while maintaining a real job. And you won't write much if don't write in every free moment you can muster.

After retiring from active pastoring, I began trying to write full-time. At that point God was convicting me of not having taken days off or taking enough time for spiritual and physical renewal in my 40 plus years as a pastor. So I begin my full-time writing with a Sabbath. I don't write or work on my writing from Friday evening to Saturday evening. I have found it rewarding in a number of ways.

First, I have not had to deal with burnout. Most of the time I chafe because I feel like I have not got enough done by 6:00 when I quit on Fridays. Frankly, this keeps me motivated. The break always refreshes my passion. I am usually anxious to get started again on Saturday night. Of course, we are often doing family things on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Those things add to my motivation rather than distracting me.

I also gain inspiration in a Sabbath. I do not necessarily recommend that you stop thinking about your writing while taking a Sabbath, whenever you try to take it. But some of my best ideas come when I am not thinking about writing at all. If I didn't discipline myself a little, I would hardly ever have a time I was not thinking about my writing.

Finally, and most closely related to Biblical observance of the Sabbath, by taking a break I acknowledge that God is the source of all writing. I show that I am trusting Him to help me think. I am asking God's help in finishing what I working on. A Sabbath declares that everything I am, and have, and do comes from God. I give it to Him much like I worship with a tithe of our income.

Read more…