Forever Young, Forever Whole

Forever Young, Forever Whole

“Who is this guy with the wrinkles and droopy skin?” I asked myself as I stretched in front of a mirror at the gym (in a room with lights that revealed everything!). I looked every bit my age and for a moment I felt depressed.

Then I remembered Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” I think this is becoming one of my favorite verses! Even as believers, we have so much more to hope for than what this world can offer us even in the best of circumstances.

Is This The End Times . . . or Just The Way It Has Always Been?

Is This The End Times . . . or Just The Way It Has Always Been?

Do you remember the song “Signs” by the Five Man Electrical Band? This popular tune made it all the way to number 3 on the Billboard charts during the summer and fall of 1971. The refrain concludes with the words, “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, sign, sign, sign.”

Now that I have that song firmly ensconced in your mind, I will move on to a different type of sign that I see everywhere I look. These multiple signs point to the coming tribulation and the end of the age.

I believe there is something radically different about what we are now witnessing today in our world.

Blue Jeans and Storybook Expectations

Blue Jeans and Storybook Expectations

When I was high school (1967-1971), the dress code at my school prohibited blue jeans. While I didn’t mind the restriction that much at the time, I know that many of my classmates longed for greater freedom and what they could wear.

A couple years after graduation, I returned to the school to visit my former band director. By then the dress code had changed and every student I saw at the school was wearing blue jeans. It was almost as if the written code had been replaced with an unwritten one that necessitated jeans.

3 Promises of the Father to the Son

3 Promises of the Father to the Son

In Psalm 2, we read that the Father promises the Son all the nations of the world as his “heritage.” Verse 7 says, “The Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.’” The Father thus pledges to give the nations of the world to His Son as His inheritance.

Is it even within the realm of possibility that the Father would renege on a promise to his Son such as we find in Psalm 2? Absolutely not, it’s totally absurd to even think of such an occurrence! The Father will keep His promise of giving His Son the nations of the world as His inheritance.

How Twenty Becomes Ten

How Twenty Becomes Ten

I remember when the European Union first formed. I thought this was surely going to be the fulfillment of the ten nation confederation spoken of in the books of Daniel and Revelation. However, it quickly grew to nineteen member countries and remained at about twenty, which made me wonder how this could fit into the revived Roman Empire of ten nations that the prophet Daniel saw (2: 40-44; 7:24).


I no longer wonder how the twenty-nation European Union can become ten.

Outliers and Me

Outliers and Me

What we hear instead of watchfulness for Jesus’ appearing is that the church must be about fulfilling the Great Commission as though that excludes teaching about the rapture, the coming tribulation, the Second Coming, or the millennial kingdom.

I believe Jesus regarded His command to preach the Gospel as inseparably intertwined with watchfulness for His return. Let me explain why.

3 Compelling Reasons to Love God’s Word, Part 3

3 Compelling Reasons to Love God’s Word, Part 3

Hope. If there is anything people need today it is hope.

We see this today in the record number of suicides among both the young and old. Despair rather than hope fills the minds of so many today. The outcome of confining all our dreams to this world is often bitterness, anger, fear, and depression. I have tasted of this despair, too, in my past.

The Bible is necessary because:

3. Scripture alone gives us hope

3 Compelling Reasons to Love God’s Word, Part 2

3 Compelling Reasons to Love God’s Word, Part 2

For as long as I can remember, I have always thought that if God exists and is powerful enough to create all that we see, then He’s certainly capable of communicating His Word to us in an accurate and trustworthy way. It’s not that I based my belief on reason, but my thinking opened the door to accept the claims of Scripture to be God’s Word to us.

The Bible is necessary because:

2. Scripture is God’s revelation to humanity

3 Compelling Reasons to Love God’s Word, Part 1

3 Compelling Reasons to Love God’s Word, Part 1

I grew up loving Scripture. It started in Awana as I memorized God’s Word and continued in Sunday school as I marveled at the accounts of creation, Moses, and the Israelites.

Perhaps this is why I feel such grief at the current attacks on the Bible. GQ Magazine referred to the Bible as “one of the most overrated books of all time” and placed it on its list of 21 books “you don’t have to read.” This is so incredibly sad.

The Bible is necessary because:

1. Scripture Defines Right Versus Wrong

Do I Treat God as Though He Were a Vending Machine?

Do I Treat God as Though He Were a Vending Machine?

Have you ever thought of God as a vending machine? Oh, this may not have been your conscious thought at the time, it wasn’t with me, but you believed if you behaved in a certain way the Lord would bless you with a trouble-free life or reward your service in some way. The money goes into the machine and out comes the blessing you desire or perhaps think you deserve.

That was me as a young pastor. Although I truly loved the Lord at the time, I possessed a faulty view of what it meant to walk with Him.

What Brings Us Joy?

What Brings Us Joy?

Do you ever have times when a line from Scripture jumps out at you and cannot get past it in your thoughts? One morning this past week was such a time. As I was reading in Proverbs 10, the first line of verse 26 struck me in such a way. It says, “The hope of the righteous brings joy.”

Our hope brings us joy; the anticipation of Jesus' appearing and all that He has promised us for all eternity.

What’s Your Destination?

What’s Your Destination?

It seemed so simple. We would send our letter and earnest check for our new home in Illinois via certified mail. Our purchase contract for our new house allowed several days for the check to arrive.

After double-checking the address my realtor had provided, I took the letter to the post office in North Liberty, Iowa on March 30. The kind young man at the counter gave me the tracking information and said our check would be at its destination in Rockford, Illinois on Monday, April 2. I felt confident the check would arrive on time.

On April 2, I entered the tracking information only to discover that our certified mail was in the small town of Wellman, Iowa

9 Stunning Prophetic Developments

9 Stunning Prophetic Developments

What do these things signify? The imminent conflict has the potential to light the fuse that leads to the fulfilling of the Gog and Magog prophecy of Ezekiel 38-39. We know that Russia, Iran, and Turkey are already closely aligned just as Ezekiel prophesied 2,500 years ago; all three countries have significant forces in Syria. It would not take much for them to combine forces and invade Israel precisely as the prophet said they will do.

3 Compelling Reasons for Hope

3 Compelling Reasons for Hope

Jesus’ tomb is empty; it’s an established historical fact. All the attacks on Jesus’ resurrection come in the form of trying to explain the vacant grave. They do this because they cannot deny the reality that His body was missing from His tomb.

However, no one has ever been able to come up with a credible explanation for Christ's empty grave. Jesus is indeed alive!

The resurrection matters so much to our faith because if Jesus did not walk bodily out of His grave, if His body was buried somewhere else in ancient Israel, then humanity has absolutely no hope.

What If Jesus Said “Relax Guys . . . ?

What If Jesus Said “Relax Guys . . . ?

Perhaps one of the more perplexing matters in the New Testament is the sense of imminent expectation regarding the Lord’s return.  We see this all through its pages.

Jesus said, “Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Matt. 24:44). Jesus instructed His disciples to expect His appearing at any moment.

All through the epistles, we read of the New Testament saints eagerly watching for the Savior’s appearance (see Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:20; 1 Thess. 1:9-10; and Titus 2:11-13). It’s clear that those who read the apostles’ letters anticipated Jesus’ return at any moment, too.

Yet, 2,000 years have passed since then. How do we understand Jesus' command the expectancy of the New Testament saints?

Write a Review and Win

Write a Review and Win

It’s contest time and the prize is the beautiful new thin line NIV Bible in the picture above.

You may have expected that a vacation in the Caribbean, or perhaps a trip to Hawaii, or even a week-long stay in beautiful North Liberty, Iowa would go to the winner. However, this prize is more in keeping with an author’s income.

How do I enter the contest? You enter by simply writing a review of my first book, Shipwrecked! Learning From The Bible Bad Guys, on Amazon.com. If you have already placed such a review on Amazon don't worry, you are already entered to win the grand prize.

How do I win? After 25 reviews of my book appear on Amazon, I will determine the winner by drawing one number between one and twenty-five. The lucky reviewer whose review matches the number will win.

3 POWERFUL REASONS TO LOVE THE BAD GUYS OF THE BIBLE

3 POWERFUL REASONS TO LOVE THE BAD GUYS OF THE BIBLE

Here’s why I love the Bad Guys of the Bible:

1. Bad guys serve as warning signs.
Life is complex and difficult to navigate, that’s for sure. It demands warning signs simply because there are pitfalls everywhere. No one plans to shipwreck their faith, fracture their family, or wound their own soul, but sometimes these things overtake us without the advantage of an honest-to-goodness negative example. I say bring on the bad guys.

2. Bad guys expose and unmask the bad guy I deal with every day, my flesh.

That bully is an imposter and a master of deception. He relentlessly tries to get me to think that he’s my true identity instead of who I am in Christ. He knows how to make himself look good and sound good (he’s religious).

3. Bad guys help me understand that a shipwrecked life is never the result of a single bad decision but a process.

Shipwrecked! - Book Review by Terry James

Shipwrecked! - Book Review by Terry James

Shipwrecked! Learning from the Bible Bad Guys: A Book Review written by Terry James

Have you ever thought, If I could just do that over again? Or thought, Wish I had made a different decision way back then…

I have done so many times over my many decades of life. It’s a common human trait to lament some of the mistakes we’ve made. But, of course, wishing makes no difference. It changes nothing. If is for children, as the lyrics to Roger Whittaker’s song goes.

To avoid having to constantly look back at our lives and say, “If only…” the avoidance must be accomplished through preventative action. We must prepare in some fashion so that we make wise decisions as they come in order to avoid looking back and having to say “If only…”.

Jonathan Brentner has given us a book that offers such wisdom—how to avoid the pitfalls of life that cause us to look back and have to say “If only…”.

4 Strategies for Waiting

4 Strategies for Waiting

The idea for my book, Shipwrecked! Learning From The Bible Bad Guys, started with my study of the life of King Saul. I could see several of my faults in his life, particularly as I read about his unwillingness to wait for Samuel at a critical time during his reign.

From this wayward king, I discovered a strategy for waiting amidst the faulty reasons he gave to Samuel for his disobedience. If we can avoid the places where his thinking went awry, it helps us wait for whatever we hope will happen soon, but doesn't. We have all been there.

I believe if there is one shared experience among followers of Christ, it is that of waiting. He often makes us wait for:

Three Fatal Dangers of Living for The Moment

What comes to your mind when you think of Esau? You likely picture a rugged red-haired hunter selling his birthright to his brother Jacob for some stew.

The story began rather innocently. Esau, tired from a long day of hunting, came home experiencing what he later described as life-threatening hunger (Gen. 25:32). Once he smelled Jacob’s lentil stew, Esau demanded that his brother give him some.

Jacob, sensing his brother’s desperation, took advantage of him by requesting that Esau sell his birthright to him in return for the stew. Esau, focused solely on the need of the moment, willingly gave up his most prized possession for a cup of the soup.