Read: Psalm 39:4-13 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 23–25; Philippians 1 Show me, Lord, my life’s end. Psalm 39:4 At the age of 59 my friend Bob Boardman wrote, “If the 70 years of a normal life span were squeezed into a single 24-hour day, it would now be 8:30 in the evening in my life. . . . Time is slipping by so rapidly.” The difficulty in admitting that our time on earth is limited inspired the creation of “Tikker”—a wristwatch that tells you what time it is, calculates your estimated normal life span, and displays a running countdown of your remaining time.Read More →

Read: Joshua 24:2,8-14 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 14–16; Ephesians 5:1-16 I gave you a land on which you did not toil and cities you did not build. Joshua 24:13 The young mother sighed as she scraped together lunch for her 3-year-old daughter. Spying the empty fruit basket on the table in their tiny kitchen, she sighed and said aloud, “If we just had a basket of fruit, I would feel rich!” Her little girl overheard her. Weeks passed. God sustained the small family. Still, the struggling mom worried. Then one day her little girl bounded into the kitchen. “Look, Mommy, we’re rich!” sheRead More →

Read: 1 John 5:10-15 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 11–13; Ephesians 4 I write these things to you . . . that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 John 5:13 As I sat on a train headed for an important appointment, I began to wonder if I was on the right train. I had never traveled that route before and had failed to ask for help. Finally, overcome by uncertainty and doubt, I exited at the next station—only to be told I had indeed been on the right train! That incident reminded me how doubt can rob us of peace andRead More →

Read: Jonah 2:1-10 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 9–10; Ephesians 3 I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you. Jonah 2:7 The Puritan prayer “The Valley of Vision” speaks of the distance between a sinful man and his holy God. The man says to God, “Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision . . . ; hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.” Aware of his wrongs, the man still has hope. He continues, “Stars can be seen from the deepest wells, and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine.” Finally, the poem ends with a request: “Let meRead More →

Read: Isaiah 60:19-22 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 7–8; Ephesians 2 The Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Isaiah 60:19 I caught my first glimpse of them as a college student. On a frosty, fall night, far from the lights of the city, I was riding on a hay wagon loaded with noisy friends when the sky lit up and colors flashed across the horizon. I was mesmerized. Ever since that night I have been fascinated with the phenomenon called aurora borealis, also known as northern lights. Mostly they are seen far north of where I live,Read More →

Read: Philippians 2:19-30 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 5–6; Ephesians 1 I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, . . . whom you sent to take care of my needs. Philippians 2:25 Many charities that help people with various needs depend on donations of unwanted clothing and household items from those who have more than enough. And it’s good to give away unused things so they can benefit others. But we are often more reluctant to part with things of value that we use every day. When Paul was imprisoned in Rome, he needed continuing encouragement and the companionship ofRead More →

Read: Romans 8:14-17 | Bible in a Year: Song of Solomon 6–8; Galatians 4 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Romans 8:16 A friend stopped me the other day with some exciting news and then spent 10 minutes describing for me the first steps of her 1-year-old nephew. He could walk! Later I realized how bizarre we might have sounded to an eavesdropper. Most people can walk. What was the big deal? It struck me that childhood provides a quality of specialness that nearly vanishes for the rest of life. Thinking about our treatment of children gave me furtherRead More →

Read: Psalm 27 | Bible in a Year: Song of Solomon 4–5; Galatians 3 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 American swimmer Dara Torres had a remarkable career, appearing in five different Olympics from 1984 to 2008. Late in her career, Torres broke the US record for the 50-meter freestyle—25 years after she herself set that record. But it wasn’t always medals and records. Torres also encountered obstacles in her athletic career: injuries, surgery, as well as being almost twice the age of most other competitors. She said, “I’ve wanted to win at everything, everyRead More →

Read: Song of Solomon 1:1-4 | Bible in a Year: Song of Solomon 1–3; Galatians 2 We love Him because He first loved us. —nkjv 1 John 4:19 “He’s perfect for you,” my friend told me. She was talking about a guy she had just met. She described his kind eyes, his kind smile, and his kind heart. When I met him I had to agree. Today he’s my husband, and no wonder I love him! In the Song of Solomon the bride describes her lover. His love is better than wine and more fragrant than ointments. His name is sweeter than anything in thisRead More →

Read: 1 Peter 5:1-9 | Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 10–12; Galatians 1 Resist [the devil], standing firm in the faith. 1 Peter 5:9 I was fishing quietly on the clear, still waters of Piatt Lake, casting next to a lush weedbed. I watched a large smallmouth bass sneak out of the thick vegetation to investigate. He approached the tempting night crawler on the end of my line, stared at it, and backed into the weeds. This happened several times until he spotted the hook. Then he whipped his tail and disappeared into his lair, never to come out again. Satan dangles temptation, like aRead More →