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    Engraved on His Hands

    In Charles Spurgeon’s many years at his London church during the 1800s, he loved to preach on the riches of Isaiah 49:16, which says that God engraves us on the palms of His hands. He said, “Such a text as this is to be preached hundreds of times!” For, he continued, this thought is so precious that we can run over it in our minds again and again.

    Spurgeon makes the wonderful connection between this promise of the Lord to His people, the Israelites, and God’s Son, Jesus, on the cross as He died for us. Spurgeon asked, “What are these…

    The Hope of Heaven

    I’ll never forget what one of my older friends said when her son died unexpectedly: “Heaven seems nearer.” Although she was a widow who had endured hardship and pain, she lived her life with verve and joy. In her sadness over losing her son, she sought God’s perspective and, in doing so, felt the distance lessen between God’s kingdom on earth and His kingdom in heaven.

    Bringing Comfort

    A close friend lost his father unexpectedly. Though my husband and I both had responsibilities on the day of the funeral, we asked others to cover for us so we could drive more than 350 miles to be with our friend and his wife. Overwhelmed that we would travel such a distance in one day to be with them, our friends held us close when they saw us. Others had brought food, still others had taken care of details back home, but in this moment we found that our simple presence carried comfort.

    The Last Call

    After serving his country for two decades as a helicopter pilot, James returned home to serve his community as a teacher. But he missed helicopters, so he took a job flying medical evacuations for a local hospital. He flew until late in his life.

    Now it was time to say goodbye to him. As friends, family, and uniformed co-workers stood vigil at the cemetery a colleague called in one last mission over the radio. Soon the distinctive sound of rotors beating the air could be heard. A helicopter circled over the memorial garden, hovered briefly to pay its respects, then headed…

    An Open Letter to A Friend Gone Too Soon

    Your abrupt departure from this earth caught us completely off-guard. Your mother shared with us the details of your sudden heart attack as you were preparing to leave for work that fateful morning.

    The Death Destroyer

    I have a confession to make: I love the TV show “Undercover Boss.” The premise of the show is that company bosses—disguised as ordinary employees—learn what their employees think of them and what the employees’ day-to-day lives are like. One reason I enjoy this show so much is seeing the disguises the bosses wear—some that appear to be laughably unconvincing. But what I appreciate most is how, through their experiences, the bosses come to understand both their employees and their companies more deeply, leading them to become far better leaders as a result.

    Undoing Death

    I once heard an amazing true story of how one man’s conversion affected untold numbers of people. When the man—who lived in a South American village—heard the good news of the gospel and decided to follow Jesus, his life radically changed. First, he stopped being abusive toward his wife. Then he began selflessly acting on her behalf. After a while, his wife started her own business and hired other villagers. As a result, the village prospered financially. In turn, many children could spend their days learning at school instead of toiling all day in the fields.

    Crying Over Nabeel Qureshi

    I never thought I would cry over a complete stranger. But the death of a man whom I have never met had me tearing up a few times this week.

    Learning to Face Death from Nabeel Qureshi

    “It’s a little unsettling to watch the vlog of someone who knows he’s about to die,” I remember telling my mother after watching what would be Nabeel Qureshi’s second last video blog on YouTube just last week.

    Discover the righteous anger that caused Jesus to weep

    Today on Discover the Word, we will discuss another “Tearful Expression” seen in the Gospels. It’s a thought-provoking discussion about the righteous anger that caused Jesus to weep. Join the team to encounter the God who can understand your tears,  because He’s experienced them Himself. Listen today to Discover the Word!

    The compassion of Christ, another tearful expression

    Have you ever cried for joy; shed tears of happiness? Maybe it was at a wedding or the birth of a child. Well today on Discover the Word,  we welcome you to take your seat at the table with us and join the discussion about the compassion of Christ and another example of a “Tearful Expression” […]

    The Turn

    As the minister spoke at a funeral for an old military veteran, he mused about where the deceased might be. But then, instead of telling the people how they could know God, he speculated about things not found anywhere in Scripture. Where is the hope? I thought.

    At last he asked us to turn to a closing hymn. And as we rose to sing “How Great Thou Art,” people began to praise God from the depths of their souls. Within moments, the spirit of the entire room had changed. Suddenly, surprisingly, in the middle of the third verse my emotions overwhelmed my…

    Not One Sparrow

    My mother, so dignified and proper her entire life, now lay in a hospice bed, held captive by debilitating age. Struggling for breath, her declining condition contradicted the gorgeous spring day that danced invitingly on the other side of the windowpane.

    All the emotional preparation in the world cannot sufficiently brace us for the stark reality of goodbye. Death is such an indignity! I thought.

    I diverted my gaze to the birdfeeder outside the window. A grosbeak flitted close to help itself to some seed. Instantly a familiar phrase popped into my mind: “Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground…

    When Good Friday doesn’t seem so good

    For most of my life, Good Friday primarily served as a heads-up for a nice candy-gorge. I glossed over what it really represented, anticipating instead the large egg-hunts with my cousins around my grandparents’ farm on Easter Sunday.

    Life and Death

    I’ll never forget sitting at the bedside of my friend’s brother when he died; the scene was one of the ordinary visited by the extraordinary. Three of us were talking quietly when we realized that Richard’s breathing was becoming more labored. We gathered around him, watching, waiting, and praying. When he took his last breath, it felt like a holy moment; the presence of God enveloped us in the midst of our tears over a wonderful man dying in his forties.

    Many of the heroes of our faith experienced God’s faithfulness when they died. For instance, Jacob announced he would soon…

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