Archives: April 2015

Are we Worthy of the title “Christian”?

A story I heard recently got me thinking about the state of my faith: One day, after he had conquered vast expanses of the known world and amassed an army larger and more fearsome than any other in existence, Alexander the Great looked over his assembled forces with a sense of satisfaction. That is, until […]

Correct Gently

At the end of a conference in Nairobi, Kenya, our group traveled from the conference center to a guesthouse to prepare to fly back home the next morning. When we arrived, one person in our group reported that she had forgotten her luggage back at the conference center. After she left to retrieve it, our group leader (always meticulous on detail) criticized her sharply to us in her absence.

the front porch

In some hills of the USA’s mid-South, much of life is lived on the front porch. Neighbors stop by unannounced for a glass of sweet tea or cup of coffee. No invitation is ever necessary.

How God lovingly responded to Samson’s final prayer

After a lifetime of ignoring God and piling up mistakes, we’d assume God would in turn forget Samson. But today join us as we discover God’s response to Samson’s final prayer: “Please remember me!” God never leaves or forsakes us.

Image Consultants

In our media-saturated age, image consultants have become indispensable. Entertainers, athletes, politicians, and business leaders seem desperate to manage the way they are perceived in the eyes of the world. These high-priced consultants work to shape how their clients are viewed—even if sometimes there is a stark contrast between the public image and the real person inside.

Bible Teaching Events 2015

Find out more

Join us to study God’s Word together with Rev Bill Crowder. Find spiritual nourishment and refreshment from the life-changing wisdom of the Bible. Click here to find out more.

what’s my motivation?

If you’ve ever watched an actor at work or tried acting yourself, you may have heard the expression, “What’s my motivation?” It’s a question that’s an important part of method acting, for one’s motivation will lead to it being done well.

Access To God

Technology is a blessing in so many ways. Need a bit of information about a health problem? All you have to do is access the Internet where you instantaneously get a list of options to guide your search. Need to contact a friend? Just send a text, email, or Facebook post. But technology can also be frustrating at times. The other day I needed to access some information in my bank account and was asked a list of security questions. Unable to recall the exact answers, I was blocked from my own account. Or think of the times when an…

Need a reminder that God hasn’t forgotten you?

Remember Me! That was the heartfelt prayer of a woman who felt lost and completely forgotten by God. Discover how God answered Hannah’s prayer in a personal and loving way.

Do We Still Need to Fast?

I’ve never been one to subscribe to the spiritual discipline of fasting. I’ve always considered it irrelevant in today’s context—almost extreme, in fact. Fasting, I thought, was something the Pharisees did to look good and impress people. God, however, has led me to discover that fasting is a lot more than just superficial religiosity. In […]

Why I’m so Affected by the Nepal Quake

Just three days ago, the world recoiled in horror as images of devastation and disaster unfolded on the news—Nepal had been hit by a 7.9 magnitude earthquake, the worst to hit the nation in more than 80 years. Having been to Kathmandu numerous times and forged some good relationships with the locals there, I was […]

decision default

Steven and his dad regularly took their motorcycles for a ride along the East coast of South Africa, past the bathers and the fishermen, till they reached the deserted sand and sea. One day, after climbing their favorite sand dune, they competed to see who could make it back down in the least amount of jumps. On the 18th jump, Steven heard a bloodcurdling scream from behind. His father had landed on a hidden tree stump and sheared off part of his heel. The experience has left Steven cautious with his own children, allowing them to play on sand dunes,…

How does God want us to respond to the life He’s given us?

We’re not in control of the hand we’ve been dealt. But we do have a choice in how we play the cards we have. Join us as we conclude our study in Ruth with a biblical challenge.

Related Topics

> Featured

> Biblical Studies

The 7 Churches of Revelation, Part I: Introduction—The Conquering King

Get a fresh perspective on the book of Revelation and Jesus’ message to churches in all times. Travel to the land of the Bible with host Joe Stowell to visit the ancient sites of the seven churches described in Revelation. Gain insights into God’s love for the world, His warning and correction for the churches, […]

The Jewish Roots of Christianity, Part III

This program will be available to view Friday, December 4, 2015.  The Jewish and Christian faiths share a rich common legacy in a chosen people, a land of promise, the God of Abraham, the Old Testament Scriptures, and holy days instituted by God. So how Jewish should the Christian faith be in look and practice […]

The Jewish Roots of Christianity, Part II

This program will be available to view Friday, November 27, 2015. From the days of Moses, the Hebrew people have found a common bond in the words: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is One!” Yet, suddenly, in the first century, thousands of Jewish people began worshiping a Man who claimed to […]

> Christian Beliefs

Our Sure Foundation

The workers knew something wasn’t right. A crack in the exterior wall of an 8-story building in Bangladesh was a tell-tale sign that the edifice, still under construction, was pretty sketchy. Sadly, the structure tumbled down the next day, resulting in the death of more than 150 people and injuring more than a thousand others. Eventually, it was determined that a faulty foundation contributed to the big collapse.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

We read in Psalm 139 that we’re “fearfully and wonderfully” made. Let’s continue the series, “Beauty Full Beings.” God fashioned our bodies to reflect His nature and to fully experience the joys of His creation. Our bodies are not enemies to be conquered, they’re a sacred place, a temple of the Holy Spirit.

> Christian Living

The Power of Simple Words

Raucous laughter marked the guests in my father’s hospital room: Two old truck drivers, one former country/western singer, one craftsman, two women from neighboring farms, and me. 

                “…and then he got up and busted the bottle over my head,” the craftsman said, finishing his story about a bar fight.

                The room bursts into laughter at this now-humorous memory. Dad, struggling for breath as his laughing fought with his cancer for the air in his lungs, puffs out a reminder to everybody that “Randy is a preacher” so they need to watch what they say. Everything got quiet for about two seconds;…

7 Steps for Successful Christian Living

We know what success looks like and how to achieve it. Study hard to get into our dream university so that we can clinch our dream job later on, eat well and exercise so that we will have good health, love people around us so we can enjoy good relationships . . . and the list goes on.

Misplaced Trust

I like watching birds, an activity I developed while growing up in a forest village in Ghana where there were many different species of birds. In the city suburb where I now live, I recently observed the behavior of some crows that interested me. Flying toward a tree that had shed most of its leaves, the crows decided to take a rest. But instead of settling on the sturdy branches, they lighted on the dry and weak limbs that quickly gave way. They flapped their way out of danger—only to repeat the useless effort. Apparently their bird-sense didn’t tell them…

> Christian Ministry & the Church

Helping Each Other

“The body of Christ” is a mysterious phrase used more than 30 times in the New Testament. The apostle Paul especially settled on that phrase as an image of the church. After Jesus ascended to heaven, He turned over His mission to flawed and bumbling men and women. He assumed the role of head of the church, leaving the tasks of arms, legs, ears, eyes, and voice to the erratic disciples—and to you and me.

Jesus’ decision to operate as the invisible head of a large body with many parts means that He often relies on us to help one another…

People Power

A man was boarding a train in Perth, Australia, when he slipped and his leg got caught in the gap between the train carriage and the station platform. Dozens of passengers quickly came to his rescue. They used their sheer might to tilt the train away from the platform, and the trapped man was freed! The train service’s spokesman, David Hynes, said in an interview, “Everyone sort of pitched in. It was people power that saved someone from possibly quite serious injury.”

In Ephesians 4, we read that people power is God’s plan for building up His family. He has given…

first love

Growing communities, rooted in God’s love and story, reaching out and restoring lives.

> Christianity & Culture

Breaking the Mold

According to the experts, I’m part of the demographic known as Generation X. Maybe you are too. Born between 1965 and 1980, we’ve been described as being cynical about life, fearful of commitment, and spiritually lost. Ouch!

Shaping Your Thoughts

When Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message” in 1964, personal computers were unknown, mobile phones were science fiction, and the Internet didn’t exist. Today we understand what great foresight he had in predicting how our thinking is influenced in this digital age. In Nicholas Carr’s book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, he writes, “[The media] supply the stuff of thought, but they also shape the process of thought. And what the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Whether I’m online or not, my mind…

When I Got Lost in Different Worldviews

What is your “worldview”? What beliefs and values govern the way you perceive the world around you? Just like how wearing colored lens will affect how we see things, our worldview will affect how we make sense of the things that happen around us, and determine what stand we take in life.

> Ethical Issues

Blessing What God Blesses

In 2014, something called the Multidimensional Poverty helped researchers determine that there are 1.6 billion poor people on earth! When you read through Scripture, it soon becomes clear that God has always had a particular concern for the poor, the forgotten, and the vulnerable (Deuteronomy 10:18, 15:11). And when Jesus spoke His Sermon on the Mount, it’s not surprising that He first blesses the poor (Matthew 5:3). So if we’re to be about God’s business, shouldn’t we bless those who God blesses?

Consider the Poor

The year was 1780, and Robert Raikes had a burden for the poor, illiterate children in his London neighborhood. He noticed that nothing was being done to help these children, so he set out to make a difference.

He hired some women to set up schools for them on Sunday. Using the Bible as their textbook, the teachers taught the poorest children of London to read and introduced them to the wisdom of the Bible. Soon about 100 children were attending these classes and enjoying lunch in a safe, clean environment. These “Sunday schools,” as they were soon called, eventually touched…

Torture and persecution will not prevail–Kodjo’s Story and Volodya’s Story

Kodjo and Volodya lived in very different parts of the world, yet both shared a belief in Christ that was tested to the limits of human endurance. Even torture and persecution could not stop these two men from sharing their faith. Be encouraged as you share the love of Jesus Christ with others and step […]

> Evangelism & Missions

A Treasure to be Shared

In March 1974, Chinese farmers were digging a well when they made a surprising discovery: Buried under the dry ground of central China was the Terracotta Army—life-size terracotta sculptures that dated back to the third century bc. In this extraordinary find were some 8,000 soldiers, 150 cavalry horses, and 130 chariots drawn by 520 horses. The Terracotta Army has become one of the most popular tourist sites in China, attracting over a million visitors annually. This amazing treasure lay hidden for centuries but is now being shared with the world.

The apostle Paul wrote that followers of Christ have a treasure…

My Brief Encounter with Adoniram Judson

I had not heard of Adoniram Judson until I came across the biography about him, “Adoniram Judson: How Few There Are Who Die So Hard!” by Bible teacher and theologian John Piper. Intrigued, I decided to read about this “obscure” missionary that Piper had taken time to write about.

Prepared to Go

Theodore Bayley Hardy, a chaplain in the British Army, is one of the most highly decorated noncombatants of World War I. On his gravestone are etched some letters most people won’t understand: VC, DSO, MC. They reveal that Hardy—who died from battle wounds—received the Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order, and Military Cross for his service.

> Life Struggles

Out of the Ruins

In the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem you’ll find Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue. Built in the 19th century, the synagogue was dynamited by commandos during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

For years the site lay in ruins. Then, in 2014, rebuilding began. As city officials set a piece of rubble as the cornerstone, one of them quoted from Lamentations: “Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old” (5:21). 

Lamentations is Jeremiah’s funeral song for Jerusalem. With graphic imagery the prophet describes the impact of war on his city. Verse 21 is his heartfelt prayer for God to intervene.…

What’s in the Bank?

In the winter of 2009, a large passenger plane made an emergency landing in New York’s Hudson River. The pilot, Captain Chesley Sullenberger, who landed the plane safely with no casualties, was later asked about those moments in the air when he was faced with a life-or-death decision. “One way of looking at this,” he said, “might be that for 42 years I’ve been making small, regular deposits in this bank of experience, education, and training. And on [that day] the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.”

Most of us will at some time face…

How our fears can keep us from intimacy with Jesus

Our fears take many forms. Often it’s a fear of being “found out” for who we really are; or we fear the loss of relationships with others because of circumstances that are out of our control. Like the demon-possessed man in the Bible, we’re afraid of what will happen to us if Jesus gets too close.

> Marriage & Family

The Secret I Wish I Never Found Out

Every night, I would come home to see my parents hunched over their dinners, eyes glued to the television screening the latest Korean drama serial. It’s always the same storyline: two love birds entangled in a web of secrets waiting to be discovered.

Repairing sibling relationships

They were the people we grew up with. And whether we enjoyed a close relationship with our siblings, fought like crazy, or never really knew them,  our brothers and sisters can be some of the hardest people to love!  Today on Discover the Word, we talk about how biblical love can repair and reinforce sibling relationships. […]

Every family needs the healing touch of Jesus

Whether it’s a troubled marriage, rebellious children, or generational sin, we may think our brokenness is unusual for a Christian family. But today on Discover the Word, we’ll discover that family fractures are typical in every home! Join the team as they look at why every family needs the healing touch of the Savior. A […]

> Relationships

Uber Conversations

Jasper Fu drives two hours a day for Uber, an app-based taxi service. He doesn’t do it for the money, since he already has a fulltime job. He says he does it because it’s a good way to “talk to people.” Chinese culture encourages quiet restraint, so it can seem inappropriate to walk up to a stranger and start a conversation. It’s different when you’re picking them up in your car. Jasper says, “Under no other circumstance can I find a stranger to talk with me for like 10 to 20 minutes.”

A Family Crisis that Redeemed Me

Three years ago, I was involved in a family dispute. My willful, unforgiving, and prideful character deeply hurt my family and it reached a stage that I eventually left home.

The Day My Heart Stopped

In the second half of 2015, I was appointed cell group leader in my university’s Christian Fellowship (CF). It was my first time serving as cell group leader, so I took on the role excitedly.

> Spiritual Growth

The Shrinking Piano

For three consecutive years, my son participated in a piano recital. The last year he played, I watched him mount the steps and set up his music. He played two songs and then sat down next to me and whispered, “Mom, this year the piano was smaller.” I said, “No, it’s the same piano you played last year. You’re bigger! You’ve grown.”

Spiritual growth, like physical growth, often happens slowly over time. It is an ongoing process that involves becoming more like Jesus, and it happens as we are transformed through the renewing of our minds (Rom. 12:2).

When the Holy Spirit…

Discipleship: a matter of both knowing and doing

Sometimes, there can be a big difference between what people want and what they need. Today on Discover the Word, the team is joined by a special guest to discuss how discipleship is a matter of both knowing . . . and doing. Author Natasha Sistrunk Robinson joins the group to talk about mentoring for life. Listen […]

Is there a difference between Christ-followers and the lost?

Why does it sometimes seem like there’s no real difference between the lives of professing Christians and those who are lost in the world? Today, the Discover the Word group is joined by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson to discuss methods of evangelism that lead people to true spiritual maturity. Discipleship is part of the deal! Don’t […]

> When Life Hurts

Navigating The Storms Of Life

Although it would be nice to believe otherwise, problems and trials are an inevitable part of life. In this excerpt of True North, author Gary Inrig encourages you to fix your compass on God as your constant reference point in navigating the storms of life. Discover how you can stay on course and weather the storm when His Word becomes the active tool for directing your life.

Prayer in Times of Trouble

On October 27, 2014, BBC Africa posted on their social media outlets, “Today we are asking the question: ‘Is the widespread panic about #Ebola justified?’—and we’re looking for callers. . . . Statistically, Ebola still kills far fewer people than malaria and other diseases. So why has it dominated the headlines?”

Tissue Boxes

As I sat in the surgical waiting room, I had time to think. I had been here recently, when we received the jarring news that my only brother, much too young, was “brain dead.”

And so on this day, waiting for news about my wife who was undergoing a serious surgical procedure, I penned a lengthy note to her. Then, surrounded by nervous chatter and oblivious children, I listened for the quiet voice of God.

Suddenly, news! The surgeon wanted to see me. I went to a secluded room to wait. There, on the table, sat two tissue boxes, conspicuously available. They…