Reflections and Blog

Bible

Go Back and Go Forward

Some Poignant Counsel Shortly before getting married, I received poignant counsel about something to expect in marriage. A friend told me that, in the beginning, marriage to my wife was going to feel overwhelmingly exciting; everything would feel new, unbelievable, and thrilling. But, as I continued in relationship with my wife, this feeling would change:…

Just Going through the Motions

I used to be an avid American football fan, but there was one football game each year that I could not bring myself to watch: the Pro Bowl. In the Pro Bowl, the top players of each of the NFL teams are brought together onto two different teams to play against each other in a…

Cultivating Love for Jesus

Something from Pastor Babij’s Sunday sermon that stood out to me was his statement about cultivated love: the real tragedy in a relationship is not a lack of love but a failure to cultivate love. How true this is! As a biblical counselor, I am amazed how much cultivation of love or lack thereof impacts…

Songs Celebrating Church Unity

On Sunday, we looked at Psalm 133, a psalm that encourages us to seek and celebrate the united gathering of God’s people as the place of blessing. Considering, though, that Psalm 133 is a model prayer-song, we might ask whether Christians have indeed followed the psalm’s model and made more music that praises God for…

The Order of the Psalms

One unique aspect of studying the Psalms is the self-contained nature of each psalm. After all, the different psalms were composed by different people on different occasions and only later assembled into a collection of worship songs for Israel (the collection covers approximately 1410-450 BC). Each psalm is an independent work, so it’s like the…

Has God Answered My Prayer? Part 2

How do you know if God has answered your prayer? In last week’s blog post, we saw that one error we can fall into as Christians is to believe that God has answered our prayer and given us the good for which we have asked when he hasn’t. Circumstances might line up in remarkable ways…

Has God Answered My Prayer? Part 1

As I’ve thought more about the messages on prayer over the last two weeks, I found myself also considering this question: how do I know when God has answered my prayer? Perhaps the answer to that question seems so obvious that you’ve never even bothered to ask the question. However, if we’re not careful, we…

Work vs. Prayer

Have you ever said to yourself, “I have so much work to do that I do not have time to pray,”? We probably all have at one time or another. Yet, in thinking this way, we greatly overestimate our own ability to make things happen and greatly underestimate God’s ability to do the same. Solomon’s…

Israel Study Trip: Ten Reflections

We have safely made it back to the USA! Thank you for your prayers. Now that the TMS Israel study trip has come to an end, I’ve not only started sorting through all the pictures we took but also started thinking through all that we experienced. Though I know it will take time to process…

Israel Study Trip Day 19 (and 20): Roadblocks

Shalom! We had to change our plan for today due to rising tensions between Israelis and Palestinians ahead of Jerusalem Day tomorrow, May 29. We had planned to go north to visit Jacob’s Well, Shechem, and Sebastia (biblical Samaria). However, when we tried to travel through certain Palestinian communities where protests or riots have recently…