afflictions

Recently, Christians have agonized over accounts of false devotion to talented but corrupt church leaders. In outwardly successful churches and ministries, leaders have covered up sin, blamed victims, and blocked investigations to protect gifted but fatally flawed pastors and their ministries. To...
There was a time when 2 Timothy 3:12 worried me. In it, Paul tells Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” It wasn’t the idea of persecution that worried me, but the idea that, at that point in my life, I couldn’t really think of any great moments...
This World Is Not My Home We long for the end of the current pandemic and the opportunity to gather freely with old friends face-to-face. For now, our hosts make do with an online meeting with pastor, church planter, and author Mark Johnston. Mark has curated a series of his articles posted at...
Aidan of Lindisfarne – A Seventh-Century Door-to-Door Missionary Thanks to the literary mastery of the Venerable Bede, the history of the Christianization of England is filled with memorable stories of valiant kings, praying queens, and wonder-working saints. But it’s also studded with lesser-known...
Radegund of Thuringia – Giving Refuge to Women in Violent Times In 531, an army of Frankish soldiers invaded the Kingdom of Thuringia (in today’s France), sacked the palace, killed the royal family, and took the royal children back to the Frankish capital, Athies. Among these children was Radegund...
As a mother of four children I well remember many nights that were anything but silent. The cries of a newborn suddenly awakened by pangs of hunger. The moans of a sick child who needed another dose of acetaminophen. More recently, the voices of teenagers telling me about their day when they arrive...
When was the last time you wandered in the desert wastes of addiction or anger, dissensions or divisions, enmity or envy, idolatry or impurity, sensuality or strife, finding no way to fulfill the hole in your heart, but desperately trying to anyway? When have you faced betrayal or blame, cancer or...
Back in 1959 a short book appeared under the title The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner . It was the fictional account of a troubled teenager who took up running to deal with his inner troubles and it was later turned into a movie under the same title. I have often wondered if there might be...
The ability to ‘read the room’ is a really good life skill to have. What do I mean? Oftentimes one may get themselves in a fair bit of trouble if they, in whatever varied situation they find themselves in, are unable to grasp the particular demeanor or emotional temperature of the gathering...
“Our life on earth is a brief pilgrimage between two moments of nakedness.” So wrote the late Rev. John Stott. He was commenting on Paul’s candid way of summoning the believer’s soul to the green pastures of contentment. Writing to Timothy, Paul says: “But godliness with contentment is great gain...