Rekindling Relationship

Forgetful, we fall away. We center our faith around the responsibilities that we fulfill or the well-worn habits that frame the seasons, when Christianity, at its core, is not a job description, but, rather, a relationship.  Love for God is foundational to all defining realities of the true believer, and if it has ceased to… Continue reading Rekindling Relationship

The Endless Downward Pull of Temptation

Four days into 2016 and already my resolve is being tested. Maybe that's true for you as well, and as unsettling as it is to encounter our own lack of self-discipline or perseverance, it is certainly a helpful perspective to bring to the study of Hebrews 2:14-18. When Jesus took on the constraints of a body,… Continue reading The Endless Downward Pull of Temptation

Words About THE WORD: Recommended Reads for Christmas

For many, the Christmas story stands alone, lifted with huge parentheses out of the New Testament -- maybe delivered in Linus's hushed boy soprano, and then tucked away with the durable resin nativity set and the white twinkly lights until next year. It's a great story, so it's easy to see why authors of every creed… Continue reading Words About THE WORD: Recommended Reads for Christmas

Good News of Great Joy

When the angel announced good news to a band of startled shepherds, the heavenly messenger could not possibly have anticipated the extent of the gift or its impact.  In Chapter 14 of The Mortification of Sin, John Owen puts words around the unwrapping of God's gift in his Directions for the Work of Mortifying Sin. … Continue reading Good News of Great Joy

“Are We O.K.?”

  Early in our marriage, my husband and I stumbled onto a means of cutting to the chase in determining the state of our union.  Protracted silences, a perceived "mood," a brusque response, or an air of impatience always triggers THE QUESTION:  "Are we o.k.?"  Of course, the success of this little drill presupposes a level of… Continue reading “Are We O.K.?”

Mind the Gap

The Puritans, apparently, were not preoccupied with self-esteem issues.  John Owen's opening thoughts in Chapter 12 of The Mortification of Sin demonstrate the great gulf between his mind set and present-day sensibilities.  Even though it may be understood that, when compared with the God of the universe, yes, any mortal creature could be filled "at all… Continue reading Mind the Gap


If John Owen's book, The Mortification of Sin, seems theoretical and heavily theological, Chapters 9, 10 and 11 turn the tide by putting in the believer's tool-belt practical and efficient tools for carrying out Romans 8:13 ( . . . by the Spirit, put to death the deeds of the body).  He refers to his advice for killing sin as "directions."  First,… Continue reading Directions

Getting a Clear Sense — A Letter to a Much-loved Child

In Chapter X of John Owen's The Mortification of Sin, he urges his readers toward a "clear sense" of: 1.   The guilt of sin -- "It is one of the deceits of a prevailing lust to extenuate its own guilt." 2.   The danger of sin -- "Of being hardened by deceitfulness; . . . of some great temporal… Continue reading Getting a Clear Sense — A Letter to a Much-loved Child

Image Management and the Gospel

Over-eating is an embarrassing sin.  There may be a few others that rival the obvious and detectable nature of its presence in a person's life, but I don't think so.  Those extra calories are there for all the world to see, filling up waist bands, bulging behind buttons, and squishing out over a starched collar.  I hate it.… Continue reading Image Management and the Gospel