The walls lining the road to hell are plastered with Satan’s favorite religious posters and memes. They announce half-truths. One reads, “God loves you just as you are.” In fact, love is bigger than acceptance. Perhaps the most toxic inhibitor of spiritual growth is the idea that God accepts us as we are. It is […]

Reflections of a Fisher of Men

What plans we had when we were younger! We worked all hours on the lake. We saved every spare denarius hoping to buy our next boat. What dreams! A small fleet; dominating the Galilean fishing business; building nice houses; acquiring land for animals, olives and vineyards; enough servants to semi-retire. It all changed that day […]

The Ventriloquist’s Puppet

Spiritual growth goals can become idols. When I long for God to re-order my life to be more fruitful there is a danger that I unconsciously imagine Him saying what I want Him to say. I act like a child on a trail, running ahead of its parent. “Look at this view.” “What pretty flowers!” […]


In times of flourishing conspiracy theories many people are misled and accuse each other of the same foolishness. Jesus began His prophecy about the end times with a warning, “See to it that no one misleads you.” (Matt. 24:4; Mark 13:5; Luke 21:8) So, it’s important to consider why we choose the leaders that we […]


I’m told there is a sign on a dirt road in the Australian outback, “Choose your rut carefully, you will be in it for the next fifty miles.” We get confused about our choices. Some are inconsequential but we bite nails and lose hair over them. Others matter far more but we shrug, and act […]

Encounters with Women

Before you read this, do a little exercise for yourself. Think about the life and ministry of Jesus as we know it from the Gospels. Of course, He spent most time with His family and His disciples. But beyond them, what were the most intimate encounters that Jesus had (based on subject matter, time spent, […]

Love Defined

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And [Jesus] said to [the lawyer], “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” […]


Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (parakletos) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. (John 16:7 KJV) I shed secret tears when I say goodbye to close friends. It’s hard. We mourn […]

Muted Presence

Silence accuses. When we can’t hear God, or feel His presence, a nagging inner voice suggests that we have done something wrong, we are incapable of hearing, or He is at fault. Only the first is a possibility, and God is always willing to convict and correct the humble. We need to get comfortable with […]

Tax Season, Miracle Season

Life has its ups and downs. Have you ever returned from a reinvigorating trip to find a tax demand in the waiting mail reminding you it’s tax season? That’s how Peter must have felt when Jesus and His disciples returned from the mount of transfiguration. Tax collectors saw Peter coming. “Does your teacher not pay […]