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Our Daily Bread Daily Devotional for 2021


Friday, December 31, 2021

One Day Closer to Christmas

Bible in a Year: Malachi 1–4, Revelation 22

Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Philippians 3:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 3:15–21

“I can’t believe Christmas is over,” my dejected daughter said.

I know how she feels: The aftermath of Christmas can feel dreary. Presents have been opened. The tree and lights must come down. Listless January—and, for many, the need to shed holiday pounds—awaits. Christmas—and the breathless anticipation that comes with it—suddenly feels...More

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Better Than Gold

Bible in a Year: Zechariah 13–14, Revelation 21

[Wisdom] is a tree of life to those who take hold of her.
Proverbs 3:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 3:13–18

When gold seeker Edward Jackson set out for California during the Great Gold Rush in the US, his diary entry on May 20, 1849, lamented his grueling wagon journey, marked by disease and death. “O do not leave my bones here,” he wrote. “If possible let them lay at home.” Another gold-seeker named John Walker penned, “It is the most complete lottery that you can imagine . . . . I cannot advise...More

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Lion, Lamb, Savior!

Bible in a Year: Zechariah 9–12, Revelation 20

The Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.
Revelation 5:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 5:1–7

Two stately stone lions watch over the entrance to the New York Public Library. Hewn from marble, they’ve stood there proudly since the library’s dedication in 1911. They were first nicknamed Leo Lenox and Leo Astor to honor the library’s founders. But during the Great Depression, New York’s Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia renamed them Fortitude and Patience, virtues he thought New Yorkers...More

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Great Wisdom

Bible in a Year: Zechariah 5–8, Revelation 19

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear.
Jude 1:22–23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jude 1:17–23

“The shepherd needs great wisdom and a thousand eyes,” wrote the beloved church father John Chrysostom, “to examine the soul’s condition from every angle.” Chrysostom wrote these words as part of a discussion on the complexity of caring well for others spiritually. Since it’s impossible to force anyone to heal, he emphasized, reaching...More

Monday, December 27, 2021

God’s Right Hand

Bible in a Year: Zechariah 1–4, Revelation 18

I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 41:8–13

I helped my elderly dog, Wilson, out to the grass and in the process, I released the leash of our younger dog, Coach, for just a minute. As I bent to pick up Coach’s lead, he spied a bunny. Off he went, ripping the leash from my right hand and corkscrewing my ring finger in the process. I fell to the grass and cried out in pain.

After returning from...More

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Timely Resolution

Bible in a Year: Haggai 1–2, Revelation 17

Settle matters quickly with your adversary.

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 5:21–26

The unresolved hurt between Simon and Geoffrey had persisted for years, and Simon’s attempts to reenter the relationship had been resisted. Upon hearing the news of the death of Geoffrey’s mother, Simon traveled “up country” in Kenya to attend her funeral service. Simon reflected on their encounter: “I had no expectations at all in terms of how the whole thing would turn out, [but] after the service, we opened up and had a fruitful...More

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas Child

Bible in a Year: Zephaniah 1–3, Revelation 16

He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
Philippians 2:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 2:6–11

Imagine the One who made cedars spring from seeds starting life over as an embryo; the One who made the stars submitting Himself to a womb; the One who fills the heavens becoming what would be in our day a mere dot on an ultrasound. Jesus, in very nature God, making Himself nothing (Philippians 2:6–7). What an astonishing thought!

Imagine the scene as...More

Friday, December 24, 2021

The Prince of Peace

Bible in a Year: Habakkuk 1–3, Revelation 15

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 9:1–7

When John’s cold turned into pneumonia, he ended up in the hospital. At the same time, his mother was being treated for cancer a few floors above him, and he felt overwhelmed with worries about her and about his own health. Then on Christmas Eve, when the radio played the carol “O Holy Night,” John was flooded with a deep sense of God’s peace. He listened to the words...More

Thursday, December 23, 2021

How They’ll Know

Bible in a Year: Nahum 1–3, Revelation 14

The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.
Acts 11:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 11:19–26

“The Gathering” in northern Thailand is an interdenominational, international church. On a recent Sunday, believers in Jesus from Korea, Ghana, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, the US, the Philippines, and other countries came together in a humble, thread-worn hotel conference room. They sang “In Christ Alone” and “I Am a Child of God,” lyrics that were especially poignant in that setting.

No one...More

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Virtual Presence

Bible in a Year: Micah 6–7, Revelation 13

Though I am absent from you in body, I am present with you in spirit.
Colossians 2:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 2:1–5

As the novel coronavirus marched across the globe, health experts advised increased physical distance between people as a means to slow the spread. Many countries asked their citizens to self-quarantine or shelter in place. Organizations sent employees home to work remotely if they could, while others suffered a financially debilitating loss of employment. Like others, I participated in church...More

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

God’s Compass

Bible in a Year: Micah 4–5, Revelation 12

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Psalm 119:105

Today's Scripture & Insight: ">Psalm 119:105–112

During World War II, Waldemar Semenov was serving as a junior engineer aboard the SS Alcoa Guide when—nearly three hundred miles off the coast of North Carolina—a German submarine surfaced and opened fire on the ship. The ship was hit, caught fire, and began to sink. Semenov and his crew lowered a lifeboat into the water and used the vessel’s compass to sail toward the shipping lanes. After three days,...More

Monday, December 20, 2021

Fear Not

Bible in a Year: Micah 1–3, Revelation 11

Do not be afraid...a Savior has been born to you.
Luke 2:10–11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 2:8–14

Linus, in the Peanuts comic strip, is best known for his blue security blanket. He carries it everywhere and isn’t embarrassed at needing it for comfort. His sister Lucy especially dislikes the blanket and often tries to get rid of it. She buries it, makes it into a kite, and uses it for a science fair project. Linus too knows he should be less dependent on his blanket and lets it go from time to time, always to take...More

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Remembered in Prayer

Bible in a Year: Jonah 1–4, Revelation 10

Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her.
Genesis 30:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 30:1–2, 22–24

In the large African church, the pastor fell to his knees, praying to God. “Remember us!” As the pastor pleaded, the crowd responded, crying, “Remember us, Lord!” Watching this moment on YouTube, I was surprised that I shed tears too. The prayer was recorded months earlier. Yet it recalled childhood times when I heard our family’s pastor make the same plea to God. “Remember us,...More

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Well Done!

Bible in a Year: Obadiah, Revelation 9

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Timothy 4:1–8

The school where my son Brian coaches football lost the state title game in a hard-fought battle. Their opponent was undefeated over the past two years. I sent Brian a text to commiserate with him and received a terse reply: “Kids battled!”

No coach shamed the players after the game. No one shouted at them for their mishaps or bad decisions along the way. No, the coaches showered...More

Friday, December 17, 2021

Beautifully Broken

Bible in a Year: Amos 7–9, Revelation 8

I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
Psalm 31:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 31:12–24

Our bus finally arrived at our much-anticipated destination—an archaeological dig in Israel where we would actually do some excavation work of our own. The site’s director explained that anything we might unearth had been untouched for thousands of years. Digging up broken shards of pottery, we felt as though we were touching history. After an extended time, we were led to a workstation where...More

Thursday, December 16, 2021

What Are You?

Bible in a Year: Amos 4–6, Revelation 7

In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
Galatians 3:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 3:26–4:7

When I walked into the ice cream shop with my five-year-old biracial son, the man behind the counter glanced at me and stared at my child. “What are you?”

His question and harsh tone triggered the all-too-familiar anger and heartache I’d experienced growing up as a Mexican-American who didn’t fit stereotypes. Pulling Xavier closer, I turned toward my Black husband as he entered the store....More

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

I Am His Hands

Bible in a Year: Amos 1–3, Revelation 6

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!”
1 Corinthians 12:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 12:12–21

Jia Haixia lost his sight in the year 2000. His friend Jia Wenqi lost his arms as a child. But they’ve found a way around their disabilities. “I am his hands and he is my eyes,” Haixia says. Together, they’re transforming their village in China.

Since 2002 the friends have been on a mission to regenerate a wasteland near their home. Each day Haixia climbs on Wenqi’s back to cross a...More

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

What Should I Say?

Bible in a Year: Joel 1–3, Revelation 5

I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king.
Nehemiah 2:4–5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Nehemiah 2:1–6

When I stopped to browse through a box of books marked “C. S. Lewis” at a used bookshop, the store owner appeared. As we chatted about the available titles, I wondered if he might be interested in the faith that inspired much of Lewis’ writing. I prayed silently for guidance. Information from a biography came to mind, and we began to discuss how C. S. Lewis’ character pointed to God. In the end, I was...More

Monday, December 13, 2021

A Worthwhile Wait

Bible in a Year: Hosea 12–14, Revelation 4

The Lord longs to be gracious to you....Blessed are all who wait for him!
Isaiah 30:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 30:15–19

Stuck in a stressful job with long hours and an unreasonable boss, James wished he could quit. But he had a mortgage, a wife, and a young child to take care of. He was tempted to resign anyway, but his wife reminded him: “Let’s hang on and see what God will give us.”

Many months later, their prayers were answered. James found a new job that he enjoyed and gave him more time...More

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Heroes, Tyrants, and Jesus

Bible in a Year: Hosea 9–11, Revelation 3

I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 2:1–10

Beethoven was angry. He’d intended to name his Third Symphony “The Bonaparte.” In an age of religious and political tyranny, he saw Napoleon as a hero of the people and champion of freedom. But when the French general declared himself emperor, the celebrated composer changed his mind. Denouncing his former hero as a rascal and tyrant, he rubbed so hard to erase...More

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Caring for Those in Need

Bible in a Year: Hosea 5–8, Revelation 2

I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
Deuteronomy 15:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 15:7–11

Elvis Summers answered the door to find Smokey, a frail woman who stopped by regularly to ask for empty cans to return for cash. This money was her primary source of income. Elvis got an idea. “Could you show me where you sleep?” he asked. Smokey led him to a narrow patch of dirt about two feet wide next to a house. Moved by compassion, Summers built her a...More

Friday, December 10, 2021

Rescued from Powerful Enemies

Bible in a Year: Hosea 1–4, Revelation 1

[God] rescued me from my powerful enemy.
2 Samuel 22:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Samuel 22:17–20

In 2010, at the age of ninety-four, George Vujnovich was awarded the bronze star for organizing what the New York Times called “one of the greatest rescue efforts of World War II.” Vujnovich, son of Serbian immigrants to the US, had joined the US Army. When word arrived that downed American airmen were being protected by rebels in Yugoslavia, Vujnovich returned to his family’s homeland, parachuting into the forest to...More

Thursday, December 9, 2021

A Great Multitude

Bible in a Year: Daniel 11–12, Jude

Before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language.
Revelation 7:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 7:9–12

We came together for our Sunday morning church service with joy and anticipation. Although we were spatially distanced because of the coronavirus pandemic, we welcomed the opportunity to celebrate Gavin and Tijana’s wedding. Our technologically gifted Iranian friends broadcast the service to friends and family spread out geographically—including in Spain, Poland,...More

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Stay Together

Bible in a Year: Daniel 8–10, 3 John

Keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 4:1–6

Dewberry Baptist Church split in the 1800s over a chicken leg. Various versions of the story exist, but the account told by a current member was that two men fought over the last drumstick at a church potluck. One man said God wanted him to have it. The other replied God didn’t care, and he really wanted it. The men became so furious that one moved a couple kilometers down the road and started Dewberry Baptist...More

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Perfect Name

Bible in a Year: Daniel 5–7, 2 John

The Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.
Isaiah 7:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 7:10–17

On a hot and humid day one August, my wife gave birth to our second son. But he remained nameless as we struggled to settle on a given name. After spending many hours in ice cream shops and taking long car rides, we still couldn’t decide. He was simply “Baby Williams” for three days before finally being named Micah.

Choosing the right name can...More

Monday, December 6, 2021

Cheerful Giver

Bible in a Year: Daniel 3–4, 1 John 5

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 9:6-15

Nicholas, who was born in the third century, had no idea that centuries after his death he would be known as Santa Claus. He was just a man who loved God and genuinely cared for people and who was known for giving cheerfully of his own possessions and doing kind deeds. The story is told that after learning of a family who was in...More

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Illustrating Scripture

Bible in a Year: Daniel 1–2, 1 John 4

We will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, his power, and the wonders he has done.
Psalm 78:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 78:1–8

Decorative blue and white ceramic tiles commonly found in Dutch households were originally made in the city of Delft. They often depict familiar scenes of the Netherlands: beautiful landscapes, ubiquitous windmills, and people working and playing.

In the nineteenth century, Charles Dickens wrote in his book A Christmas Carol how these tiles were used to...More

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Generation Now

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 47–48, 1 John 3

Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.
2 Kings 20:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Kings 20:1–19

“Never trust anyone over thirty,” said young environmentalist Jack Weinberg in 1964. His comment stereotyped an entire generation—something Weinberg later regretted. Looking back, he said, “Something I said off the top of my head . . . became completely distorted and misunderstood.”

Have you heard disparaging comments aimed at millennials? Or vice versa? Ill thoughts directed from one...More

Friday, December 3, 2021

True Identity

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 45–46, 1 John 2

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!
1 John 3:1

Today's Scripture & Insight:
4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that...More

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Celebrating Diversity

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 42–44, 1 John 1

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 133

At the 2019 graduation ceremony at a local high school, 608 students prepared to receive their diplomas. The principal began by asking students to stand when he read the name of the country where they were born: Afghanistan, Bolivia, Bosnia . . . . The principal kept going until he’d named sixty countries and every student was standing and cheering together. Sixty countries; one high...More

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

We Need Our Church Community

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 40–41, 2 Peter 3

[Let us] not [give] up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but [encourage] one another.
Hebrews 10:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 10:19–25

I grew up the firstborn son of a Southern Baptist preacher. Every Sunday the expectation was clear: I was to be in church. Possible exceptions? Maybe if I had a significant fever. But the truth is, I absolutely loved going, and I even went a few times feverish. But the world has changed, and the numbers for regular church attendance are not what they used to be....More

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

A Great Light

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 37–39, 2 Peter 2

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
Isaiah 9:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 9:1–3

In 2018, twelve Thai boys and their soccer coach descended into a mazelike cave, intending to enjoy an afternoon adventure. Due to unexpected rising water that forced them deeper and deeper into the cavern, it was two-and-a-half weeks before rescuers led them out. Dive teams, thwarted by rising water, attempted the rescue as the boys sat on a small rock shelf with only six flickering flashlights. They spent hours in...More

Monday, November 29, 2021

Trusting God in Opposition

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 35–36, 2 Peter 1

But even if he does not . . . we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
Daniel 3:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Daniel 3:13–18, 25–27

Raised in a tribe in the Philippines opposed to belief in Christ, Esther received salvation through Jesus after an aunt prayed for her during Esther’s battle with a life-threatening illness. Today, Esther leads Bible studies in her local community in spite of threats of violence and even death. She serves joyfully, saying, “I can’t stop telling...More

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Insult to Injury

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 33–34, 1 Peter 5

Man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.
Job 5:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 5:17–27

During the Golden Age of radio, Fred Allen (1894–1956) used comedic pessimism to bring smiles to a generation living in the shadows of economic depression and a world at war. His sense of humor was born out of personal pain. Having lost his mother before he was three, he was later estranged from his father who struggled with addictions. He once rescued a young boy from the traffic of a busy New York City street with a...More

Saturday, November 27, 2021

Bold Faith

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 30–32, 1 Peter 4

Salvation is found in no one else.
Acts 4:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 4:8–13

After Prem Pradhan’s (1924–1998) plane was shot down during World War II, he was wounded while parachuting to safety. As a result, he walked with a limp for the rest of his life. He once noted, “I have a lame leg. Isn’t it strange of God that He called [me] to preach the gospel in the Himalaya Mountains?” And preach in Nepal he did—but not without opposition that included imprisonment in “dungeons of death” where prisoners...More

Friday, November 26, 2021

Mighty Warrior

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 27–29, 1 Peter 3

The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.
Judges 6:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Judges 6:11–16

Diet Eman was an ordinary, shy young woman in the Netherlands—in love, working, and enjoying time with family and friends—when the Germans invaded in 1940. As Diet (pronounced Deet) later wrote, “When there is danger on your doorstep, you want to act almost like an ostrich burying its head in the sand.” Yet Diet felt God calling her to resist the German oppressors, which included risking her life to find hiding places for...More

Thursday, November 25, 2021

A Thankful Heart

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 24–26, 1 Peter 2

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 4:2–6

Seneca, the great philosopher of ancient Rome (4 bc–ad 65), was once accused by the empress Messalina of adultery. After the Senate sentenced Seneca to death, the emperor Claudius instead exiled him to Corsica, perhaps because he suspected the charge was false. This reprieve may have shaped Seneca’s view of thankfulness when he wrote: “homicides, tyrants, thieves, adulterers, robbers, sacrilegious men,...More

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Will of God

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 22–23, 1 Peter 1

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Psalm 62:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 62

God’s will is sometimes hard to follow. He asks us to do the right things. He calls us to endure hardship without complaining; to love awkward people; to heed the voice inside us that says, You mustn’t; to take steps we’d rather not take. So, we must tell our souls all day long: “Hey soul, listen up. Be silent: Do what Jesus is asking you to do.”

“My soul waits in silence for God alone” (Psalm 62:1...More

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Sharing Hope

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 20–21, James 5

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Timothy 3:10–17

As Emma shared how God helped her embrace her identity as His beloved child, she weaved Scripture into our conversation. I could barely figure out where the high school student stopped speaking her words and began quoting the words of God. When I commended her for being like a walking Bible, her brow furrowed. She hadn’t been intentionally reciting Scripture verses. Through daily reading of the...More

Monday, November 22, 2021

True Worshipers

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 18–19, James 4

True worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth.
John 4:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 4:19–26

She finally had the chance to visit the church. Inside, in the deepest part of the basement, she reached the small cave or grotto. Candles filled the narrow space and hanging lamps illuminated a corner of the floor. There it was—a fourteen-pointed silver star, covering a raised bit of the marble floor. She was in Bethlehem’s Grotto of the Nativity—the place marking the spot where according to tradition...More

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Labrador Angel

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 16–17, James 3

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love.
Psalm 143:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: ">Psalm 143

In 2019, Cap Dashwood and his sweet black lab companion, Chaela (“Chae” in memory of his lab who died; “la,” Dashwood’s abbreviation for “Labrador angel”), accomplished something remarkable: reaching a mountain summit each day for 365 consecutive days.

Dashwood has a moving story to tell. He left home at sixteen, explaining simply, “Bad family life.” But these past wounds led him to find...More

Saturday, November 20, 2021

He Fills the Empty

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 14–15, James 2

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 10:1–10

Psychologist Madeline Levine noticed the fifteen-year-old girl’s “cutter disguise”—a long sleeve T-shirt pulled halfway over her hand commonly used by people who engage in self-harm. When the young girl pulled back her sleeve, Levine was startled to find that the girl had used a razor to carve “empty” on her forearm. She was saddened, but also...More

Friday, November 19, 2021

When You Can’t Go On

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 11–13, James 1

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed . . . great is [His] faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22–23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Lamentations 3:21–23

In 2006, my dad was diagnosed with a neurological disease that robbed him of his memory, speech, and control over body movements. He became bedridden in 2011 and continues to be cared for by my mom at home. The beginning of his illness was a dark time. I was fearful: I knew nothing about caring for a sick person, and I was anxious about finances and my mom’s...More

Thursday, November 18, 2021

God Heals Our Brokenness

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 8–10, Hebrews 13

By grace you have been saved, through faith.
Ephesians 2:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 2:1–10

Collin and his wife, Jordan, wandered through the craft store, looking for a picture to hang in their home. Collin thought he’d found just the right piece and called Jordan over to see it. On the right side of the ceramic artwork was the word grace. But the left side held two long cracks. “Well, it’s broken!” Jordan said as she started looking for an unbroken one on the shelf. But then Collin said, “No. That’s...More

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Accepted and Approved

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 5–7, Hebrews 12

You are precious and honored in my sight . . . . I love you.
Isaiah 43:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:1–4

As a child, Tenny felt insecure. He sought approval from his father, but he never received it. It seemed that whatever he did, whether in school or at home, it was never good enough. Even when he entered adulthood, the insecurity remained. He continually wondered, Am I good enough?

Only when Tenny received Jesus as his Savior did he find the security and approval he’d long yearned for. He learned...More

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Our True Identity

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 3–4, Hebrews 11:20–40

Jesus said . . . , “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.”
Luke 5:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 5:1–11

First, the man selected a tackle box. Standing in his town’s small bait shop, he then filled a shopping cart with hooks, lures, bobbers, line, and weights. Finally, he added live bait and selected a new rod and reel. “Ever fished before?” the shop owner asked. The man said no. “Better add this,” said the owner. It was a first-aid kit. The man agreed and paid, then headed off to...More

Monday, November 15, 2021

Let Me Stay!

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 1–2, Hebrews 11:1–19

One thing I ask from the Lord . . . that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.
Psalm 27:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 27:1–6

As they made their way toward their car, Zander escaped his mother’s arms and made a mad dash back toward the church doors. He didn’t want to leave! His mom ran after him and tried to lovingly wrangle her son so they could depart. When his mother finally scooped four-year-old Zander back into her embrace, he sobbed and reached longingly over her shoulder toward...More

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Powerful and Loving

Bible in a Year: Lamentations 3–5, Hebrews 10:19–39

You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fire to the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness.
Deuteronomy 4:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 4: 5–8, 11–14

In 2020, the Ecuadorian volcano Sangay erupted. The BBC described the “dark ash plume which reached a height of more than 12,000 m.” The discharge covered four provinces (about 198,000 acres) in gray ash and grimy soot. The sky turned dingy and grim, and the air was thick—making it difficult to...More

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Nothing Can Separate

Bible in a Year: Lamentations 1–2, Hebrews 10:1–18

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
Romans 8:35

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 8:31–39

When Pris’ father, a pastor, answered God’s call to pioneer a mission on a small island in Indonesia, Pris’ family found themselves living in a rundown shack once used to house animals. Pris remembers the family celebrating Christmas sitting on the floor and singing praises while rainwater dripped through the thatched roof....More

Friday, November 12, 2021

God’s Amazing Creation

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 51–52, Hebrews 9

Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Job 38:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 38:1, 4–18

What began as a simple spring nature walk turned into something special as my wife and I trekked along our hometown’s Grand River. We noticed some familiar “friends” on a log in the rippling water—five or six large turtles basking in the sun. Sue and I smiled at the amazing sight of these reptiles, which we hadn’t seen for many months. We were delighted that they were back, and we celebrated a moment of joy in...More

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Good News

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 50, Hebrews 8

We tell you the good news: What God promised our ancestors he has fulfilled for us.
Acts 13:32–33

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 13:32–39

In 1941, as Hitler’s reign was expanding across Europe, novelist John Steinbeck was asked to help with the war effort. He wasn’t asked to fight or visit troops on the frontline, but to instead write a story. The result was The Moon Is Down, a novel about a peaceful land that gets invaded by an evil regime. Printed on underground presses and secretly distributed throughout occupied...More

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

You’re Not Alone

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 48–49, Hebrews 7

I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal.
1 Kings 19:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Kings 19:8–11, 15–18

“So great to see you!” “You, too!” “So glad you’re here!” The greetings were warm and welcoming. Members of a ministry in Southern California gathered online before their evening program. As their speaker, calling in from Colorado, I watched silently as the others gathered on the video call. As an introvert and not knowing anyone, I felt like a social outsider....More

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

A True Disciple of Jesus

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 46–47, Hebrews 6

I am the vine; you are the branches.
John 15:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 15:1–8

When Christian Mustad showed his Van Gogh landscape to art collector Auguste Pellerin, Pellerin took one look and said it wasn’t authentic. Mustad hid the painting in his attic, where it remained for fifty years. Mustad died, and the painting was evaluated off and on over the next four decades. Each time it was determined to be a fake—until 2012, when an expert used a computer to count the thread separations in the painting’s...More

Monday, November 8, 2021

Sing Praise to God

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 43–45, Hebrews 5

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
1 Chronicles 16:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Chronicles 15:29–16:11

The heat and humidity of the Midwestern summer closed in on us all week at the discipleship conference, but on the last day we welcomed a front of cooler air. Giving thanks for the break in weather and the amazing work God had done, hundreds joined voices to worship God. Many felt liberated to sing wholeheartedly before God, offering hearts, souls, bodies, and...More

Sunday, November 7, 2021

The Jesus Label

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 40–42, Hebrews 4

Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Colossians 3:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 3:12–17

“Son, I don’t have much to give you. But I do have a good name, so don’t mess it up.” Those wise, weighty words were uttered by Johnnie Bettis as his son Jerome left home for college. Jerome quoted his father in his American Professional Football Hall of Fame acceptance speech. These sage words that Jerome has carried with him throughout his life have been so influential...More

Saturday, November 6, 2021

A Glossary for Grief

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 37–39, Hebrews 3

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Luke 23:46

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 23:44–46

When Hugh and DeeDee released their only child to heaven, they struggled with what to call themselves in the aftermath. There's no specific word in the English language to describe a parent who has lost a child. A wife without her husband is a widow. A husband without his wife is a widower. A child bereft of parents is an orphan. A parent whose child has died is an undefined hollow of...More

Friday, November 5, 2021

Finding Joy in the Meaningless

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 34–36, Hebrews 2

When I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
Ecclesiastes 2:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 2:1–11

In 2010, James Ward, the creator of the blog “I Like Boring Things,” launched a conference called the “Boring Conference.” It’s a one-day celebration of the mundane, the ordinary, and the overlooked. In the past, speakers have addressed seemingly meaningless topics like sneezing, sounds that vending machines make, and...More

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Rainy Days

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 32–33, Hebrews 1

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 11:23–26

When small businesses in Tennessee were abruptly shuttered in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, shop owners worried about how to care for their employees, how to pay their rent, and how to simply survive the crisis. In response to their concerns, the pastor of a church near Nashville started an initiative to supply cash to struggling business owners.

“We don’t feel...More

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Comfort Shared

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 30–31, Philemon

We can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 1:3–8

When my daughter Hayley came to visit me, I saw her three-year-old son, Callum, wearing a strange piece of clothing. Called a ScratchMeNot, it’s a long-sleeved top with mittens attached to the sleeves. My grandson Callum suffers from chronic eczema, a skin disease that makes his skin itch, making it rough and sore. “The ScratchMeNot prevents Callum from scratching and...More

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Reaching Others for Jesus

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 27–29, Titus 3

Go and make disciples of all nations.
Matthew 28:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 28:16–20

A decade ago, they didn’t know the name of Jesus. Hidden in the mountains of Mindanao in the Philippines, the Banwaon people had little contact with the outside world. A trip for supplies could take two days, requiring an arduous hike over rugged terrain. The world took no notice of them.

Then a mission group reached out, shuttling people in and out of the region via helicopter. This gained the Banwaon access to...More

Monday, November 1, 2021

Ring the Bell

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 24–26, Titus 2

Shout to God with cries of joy.
Psalm 47:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 47

After an astounding thirty rounds of radiation treatments, Darla was finally pronounced cancer-free. As part of hospital tradition, she was eager to ring the “cancer-free bell” that marked the end of her treatment and celebrated her clean bill of health. Darla was so enthusiastic and vigorous in her celebratory ringing that the rope actually detached from the bell! Peals of joyous laughter ensued.

Darla’s story brings a smile to my...More

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Redeeming the Season

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 22–23, Titus 1

He made the moon to mark the seasons.
Psalm 104:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 104:10–23

Leisa wanted a way to redeem the season. So many of the autumn decorations she saw seemed to celebrate death, sometimes in gruesome and macabre ways.

Determined to counter the darkness in some small way, Leisa began to write things she was grateful for with a permanent marker on a large pumpkin. “Sunshine” was the first item. Soon visitors were adding to her list. Some entries were whimsical: “doodling,” for...More

Saturday, October 30, 2021

A New Calling

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 20–21, 2 Timothy 4

He has saved us and called us to a holy life.
2 Timothy 1:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Timothy 1:6–14

Teenage gang leader Casey and his followers broke into homes and cars, robbed convenience stores, and fought other gangs. Eventually, Casey was arrested and sentenced. In prison, he became a “shot caller,” someone who handed out homemade knives during riots.

Sometime later, he was placed in solitary confinement. While daydreaming in his cell, Casey experienced a “movie” of sorts replaying key events...More

Friday, October 29, 2021

God Sings Over You

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 18–19, 2 Timothy 3

[God] will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Zephaniah 3:14–17

Seventeen months after our first child—a boy—was born, along came a little girl. I was overjoyed at the thought of having a daughter, but I was also a bit uneasy because while I knew a few things about little boys, this was uncharted territory. We named her Sarah, and one of my privileges was rocking her to sleep so my wife could rest. I’m not sure why, but I started trying to sing her to sleep, and the song of...More

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Is God Listening?

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 15–17, 2 Timothy 2

If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
1 John 5:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 John 5:13–15

When I served on my church’s congregational care team, one of my duties was to pray over the requests penciled on pew cards during the services. For an aunt’s health. For a couple’s finances. For a grandson’s discovery of God. Rarely did I hear the results of these prayers. Most were anonymous, and I had no way of knowing how God had responded. I confess that at times I wondered, Was He really listening?...More

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A Purpose in Suffering

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 12–14, 2 Timothy 1

I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.
Job 42:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 42:1–9

“So what you’re saying is, it may not be my fault.” The woman’s words took me by surprise. Having been a guest speaker at her church, we were now discussing what I’d shared that morning. “I have a chronic illness,” she explained, “and I have prayed, fasted, confessed my sins, and done everything else I was told to do to be healed. But I’m still...More

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Set Apart

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 9–11, 1 Timothy 6

Paul was...set apart for the gospel of God.
Romans 1:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 1:1–6

The three-wheeled taxis of Sri Lanka, known as “tuk tuks,” are a convenient and delightful mode of transport for many. Lorraine, a resident of the capital of Colombo, also realized that they’re a mission field. Hopping onto a tuk tuk one day, she found the friendly driver more than happy to engage in conversation about religion. The next time, she told herself, she would talk to the driver about the good...More

Monday, October 25, 2021

The Testing

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 6–8, 1 Timothy 5

Some time later God tested Abraham.
Genesis 22:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 22:1–3, 6–12

The first time I took my sons to hike a Colorado Fourteener—a mountain with an elevation of a least 14,000 feet—they were nervous. Could they make it? Were they up to the challenge? My youngest stopped on the trail for extended breaks. “Dad, I can’t go any more,” he said repeatedly. But I believed this test would be good for them, and I wanted them to trust me. A mile from the peak, my son who’d insisted he...More

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Talk, Trust, Feel

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 3–5, 1 Timothy 4

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear.
Romans 8:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 8:14–21

“Don’t talk, don’t trust, don’t feel was the law we lived by,” says Frederick Buechner in his powerful memoir Telling Secrets, “and woe to the one who broke it.” Buechner is describing his experience of what he calls the “unwritten law of families who for one reason or another have gone out of whack.” In his own family, that “law” meant Buechner was not allowed to talk...More

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Wise Christians

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 1–2, 1 Timothy 3

The people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.
Luke 16:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 16:1–9

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in canceled schools around the world. In China, teachers responded with DingTalk, a digital app that enabled class to be held online. Then their students figured out that if DingTalk’s rating fell too low, it might be removed from the App Store. Overnight, thousands of one-star reviews dropped DingTalk’s score.


Friday, October 22, 2021

Live to Serve

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 65–66, 1 Timothy 2

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 4:8–11

After ten-year-old Chelsea received an elaborate art set, she discovered that God used art to help her feel better when she was sad. When she found out that some kids didn’t have art supplies readily available, she wanted to help them. So when it was time for her birthday party, she asked her friends not to bring her gifts. Instead, she...More

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Studying the Scriptures

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 62–64, 1 Timothy 1

[Jesus said], “These are the very Scriptures that testify about me.”
John 5:39

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 5:39–47

J. I. Packer (1926–2020), in his classic work Knowing God, spoke of four well-known believers in Christ whom he called “beavers for the Bible.” Not all were trained scholars, but each one exercised great care to know God by gnawing into the Scripture, like a beaver digs in and gnaws away at a tree. Packer further noted that knowing God through Bible study is not just for scholars. “A simple Bible...More

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Crumbled from Within

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 59–61, 2 Thessalonians 3

I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Psalm 32:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 32:1–5; Matthew 7:1–5

When I was a teenager, my mom painted a mural on our living room wall, which stayed there for several years. It showed an ancient Greek scene of a ruined temple with white columns lying on their sides, a crumbling fountain, and a broken statue. As I looked at the Hellenistic architecture that had once held great beauty, I tried to imagine what had...More

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

When to Sacrifice

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 56–58, 2 Thessalonians 2

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Galatians 5:22–23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 5:22–26

In February 2020, as the COVID-19 crisis was just beginning, a newspaper columnist’s concerns struck me. Would we willingly self-isolate, she wondered, changing our work, travel, and shopping habits so others wouldn’t get sick? “This isn’t just a test of clinical resources,” she wrote, “but of our willingness...More

Monday, October 18, 2021

A Time to Speak

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 53–55, 2 Thessalonians 1

There is a time for everything . . . a time to be silent and a time to speak.
Ecclesiastes 3:1,7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 3:1–7

For thirty long years, the African American woman worked faithfully for a large global ministry. Yet when she sought to talk with co-workers about racial injustice, she was met with silence. Finally, however, in the spring of 2020—as open discussions about racism expanded around the world—her ministry friends “started having some open dialogue.” With mixed...More

Sunday, October 17, 2021

Insight from the Spirit

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 50–52, 1 Thessalonians 5

When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.
John 16:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 16:12–15

As the French soldier dug in the desert sand, reinforcing the defenses of his army’s encampment, he had no idea he would make a momentous discovery. Moving another shovelful of sand, he saw a stone. Not just any stone. It was the Rosetta Stone, containing a listing of the good things King Ptolemy V had done for his priests and the people of Egypt written in three scripts. That stone...More

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Living Well

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 47–49, 1 Thessalonians 4

Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.
Ecclesiastes 7:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 7:1–4

Free funerals for the living. That’s the service offered by an establishment in South Korea. Since it opened in 2012, more than 25,000 people—from teenagers to retirees—have participated in mass “living funeral” services, hoping to improve their lives by considering their deaths. Officials say “the simulated death ceremonies are meant to give the participant a truthful...More

Friday, October 15, 2021

God’s Plans for You

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 45–46, 1 Thessalonians 3

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:3–7

For six years, Agnes tried to make herself the “perfect minister’s wife,” modeling herself after her adored mother-in-law (also a pastor’s wife). She thought that in this role she couldn’t also be a writer and painter, but in burying her creativity she became depressed and contemplated suicide. Only the help of a neighboring pastor moved her out of the darkness as he prayed with her...More

Thursday, October 14, 2021

A Beginner’s Guide to Life

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 43–44, 1 Thessalonians 2

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 6:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 6:16–23

After my mother’s sudden death, I was motivated to start blogging. I wanted to write posts that would inspire people to use their minutes on earth to create significant life moments. So I turned to a beginner’s guide to blogging. I learned what platform to use, how to choose titles, and how to craft compelling posts. And in 2016, my first blog post was...More

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Words that Endure

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 41–42, 1 Thessalonians 1

This word came to Jeremiah from the Lord.
Jeremiah 36:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 36:27–32

In the early nineteenth century, Thomas Carlyle gave a manuscript to philosopher John Stuart Mill to review. Somehow, whether accidentally or intentionally, the manuscript got tossed into a fire. It was Carlyle’s only copy. Undaunted, he set to work rewriting the lost chapters. Mere flames couldn’t stop the story, which remained intact in his mind. Out of great loss, Carlyle produced his monumental work The...More

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

The Greatest Teacher

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 39–40, Colossians 4

Who was it that taught [the Lord] knowledge?
Isaiah 40:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 40:12–14

“I don’t get it!” My daughter slapped her pencil down on the desk. She was working on a math assignment, and I’d just begun my “job” as a homeschooling mom/teacher. We were in trouble. I couldn’t recall what I’d learned thirty-five years ago about changing decimals into fractions. I couldn’t teach her something I didn’t already know, so we watched an online teacher explain the skill.


Monday, October 11, 2021

At the King’s Table

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 37–38, Colossians 3

So Mephibosheth ate at David’s table like one of the king’s sons.
2 Samuel 9:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Samuel 9:6–13

“He’ll live,” the vet announced, “but his leg will have to be amputated.” The stray mongrel my friend had brought in had been run over by a car. “Are you the owner?” There would be a hefty surgery bill, and the puppy would need care as it recovered. “I am now,” my friend replied. Her kindness has given that dog a future in a loving home.

Mephibosheth saw himself as a...More

Sunday, October 10, 2021

For Others’ Sake

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 34–36, Colossians 2

All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.
Romans 14:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 14:13–21

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many Singaporeans stayed home to avoid being infected. But I blissfully continued swimming, believing it was safe.

My wife, however, feared that I might pick up an infection at the public pool and pass it on to her aged mother—who, like other seniors, was more vulnerable to the virus. “Can you just avoid swimming for some...More

Saturday, October 9, 2021

The Need for Wisdom

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 32–33, Colossians 1

Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.
Exodus 18:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 18:17–24

Growing up without a dad, Rob felt he missed out on a lot of practical wisdom that fathers often pass on to their children. Not wanting anyone to lack important life skills, Rob made a series of practical “Dad, How Do I?” videos demonstrating everything from how to put up a shelf to how to change a tire. With his kind compassion and warm style, Rob has become a YouTube sensation, amassing millions...More

Friday, October 8, 2021

No Such Thing as Ordinary

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 30–31, Philippians 4

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised.
Hebrews 11:39

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 11:1, 32–40

When Anita passed away in her sleep on her ninetieth birthday, the quietness of her departure reflected the quietness of her life. A widow, she had been devoted to her children and grandchildren and to being a friend to younger women in the church.

Anita wasn’t particularly remarkable in talent or achievement. But her deep faith in God inspired those...More

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Current Battles

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 28–29, Philippians 3

If on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
Philippians 3:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 3:12–16; 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;">4:1–2

When you plug in your toaster, you benefit from the results of a bitter feud from the late nineteenth century. Back then, inventors Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla battled over which was the best kind of electricity for development: direct current (DC), like the current that goes...More

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Helping Each Other

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 26–27, Philippians 2

Always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.
1 Thessalonians 5:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 5:11–25

When playing basketball with her girlfriends, Amber realized her community could benefit from an all-female league. So she started a nonprofit organization to foster teamwork and impact the next generation. The leaders of Ladies Who Hoop strive to build confidence and character in the women and girls and encourage them to become meaningful contributors to their local communities....More

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

With Us in the Valley

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 23–25, Philippians 1

I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Psalm 23:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 23

As Hannah Wilberforce (aunt of British abolitionist William Wilberforce) lay dying, she wrote a letter in which she mentioned hearing about the death of a fellow believer in Jesus: “Happy is the dear man who is gone to glory, now in the presence of Jesus, whom unseen he loved. My heart seemed to jump for joy.” Then she described her own situation: “Myself, better and worse; Jesus, as good as ever.”

Her words make me...More

Monday, October 4, 2021

Wherever We Worship

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 20–22, Ephesians 6

A time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
John 4:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 4:7–24

Intense pain and a debilitating headache prevented me from attending services with my local church family...again. Grieving the loss of community worship, I watched an online sermon. At first, complaints soured my experience. The poor sound and video quality distracted me. But then a voice on the video warbled a...More

Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Dwindles

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 17–19, Ephesians 5:17–33

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
2 Corinthians 4:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 4:7–18

It started with a tickle in my throat. Uh oh, I thought. That tickle turned out to be influenza. And that was just the beginning of bronchial affliction. Influenza morphed into whooping cough—yes, that whooping cough—and that turned into pneumonia.

Eight weeks of torso-wracking coughing—it’s not called whooping...More

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Adolescent Faith

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 14–16, Ephesians 5:1–16

Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always.
Deuteronomy 5:29

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 5:28–33

The teenage years are sometimes among the most agonizing seasons in life—for both parent and child. In my adolescent quest to “individuate” from my mother, I openly rejected her values and rebelled against her rules, suspicious their purposes were merely to make me miserable. Though we’ve since come to agree on those matters, that time in our...More

Friday, October 1, 2021

What’s Your Name?

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 11–13, Ephesians 4

I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it.
Revelation 2:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 2:12–17

Someone said we go through life with three names: the name our parents gave us, the name others give us (our reputation), and the name we give ourselves (our character). The name others give us matters, as “a good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Proverbs 22:1). But while reputation is important, character matters...More

Thursday, September 30, 2021

All That You Need

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 9–10, Ephesians 3

God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 73:23–28

Seated at the dining room table, I gazed at the happy chaos around me. Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews were enjoying the food and being together at our family reunion. I was enjoying it all, too. But one thought pierced my heart: You’re the only woman here with no children, with no family to call your own.

Many single women like me have similar experiences. In my culture, an Asian culture...More

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Joyful Learning

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 7–8, Ephesians 2

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:1–3

In the city of Mysore, India, there’s a school made of two refurbished train cars connected end-to-end. Local educators teamed up with the South Western Railway Company to buy and remodel the discarded coaches. The units were essentially large metal boxes, unusable until workers installed stairways, fans, lights, and desks. Workers also painted the walls and added colorful murals inside and out. Now, sixty students attend...More

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Flight of Ichabod

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 5–6, Ephesians 1

The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.
1 Samuel 4:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 4:12–22

In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving tells of Ichabod Crane, a schoolteacher who seeks to marry a beautiful young woman named Katrina. Key to the story is a headless horseman who haunts the colonial countryside. One night, Ichabod encounters a ghostly apparition on horseback and flees the region in terror. It’s clear to the reader that this “horseman” is actually a rival...More

Monday, September 27, 2021


Bible in a Year: Isaiah 3–4, Galatians 6

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary.
Isaiah 40:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 40:21–28

There I am, sitting in the shopping mall food court, my body tense and my stomach knotted over looming work deadlines. As I unwrap my burger and take a bite, people rush around me, fretting over their own tasks. How limited we all are, I think to myself, limited in time, energy, and capacity.

I consider writing a new to-do list and prioritizing the urgent...More

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Rest Well

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 1–2, Galatians 5

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 11:25–30

The clock blinked 1:55 a.m. Burdened by a late-night text conversation, sleep wasn’t coming. I unwound the mummy-like clutch of my tangled sheets and padded quietly to the couch. I Googled what to do to fall asleep but instead found what not to do: don’t take a nap or drink caffeine or work out late in the day. Check. Reading further on my tablet, I was advised not to use “screen time”...More

Saturday, September 25, 2021

God Knows We Feel

Bible in a Year: Song of Songs 6–8, Galatians 4

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me—a prayer to the God of my life.
Psalm 42:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 42

Feeling overwhelmed, Sierra grieved her son’s fight with addiction. “I feel bad,” she said. “Does God think I have no faith because I can’t stop crying when I’m praying?”

“I don’t know what God thinks,” I said. “But I know He can handle real emotions. It’s not like He doesn’t know we feel.” I prayed and shed tears with Sierra as we pleaded...More

Friday, September 24, 2021

The Whatevers

Bible in a Year: Song of Songs 4–5, Galatians 3

Brothers and sisters, whatever...is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Philippians 4:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 4:1–9

Every Friday evening, the national news my family views concludes the broadcast by highlighting an uplifting story. In contrast to the rest of the news, it’s always a breath of fresh air. A recent “good” Friday story focused on a reporter who had suffered from COVID-19, fully recovered, and then decided to donate plasma to possibly help others in their fight...More

Friday, September 24, 2021

The Will of God

Bible in a Year: Ezekiel 22–23, 1 Peter 1

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.
Psalm 62:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 62

God’s will is sometimes hard to follow. He asks us to do the right things. He calls us to endure hardship without complaining; to love awkward people; to heed the voice inside us that says, You mustn’t; to take steps we’d rather not take. So, we must tell our souls all day long: “Hey soul, listen up. Be silent: Do what Jesus is asking you to do.”

“My soul waits in silence for God alone” (Psalm 62:1...More

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Frolicking in Freedom

Bible in a Year: Song of Songs 1–3, Galatians 2

You will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.
Malachi 4:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Malachi 4:1–3

A third-generation farmer, Jim was so moved when he read “You who revere my name . . . will go out and frolic like well-fed calves” (Malachi 4:2) that he prayed to receive Jesus’ offer of eternal life. Vividly recalling his own calves’ leaps of excitement after exiting their confined stalls at high speed, Jim finally understood God’s promise of true freedom.

Jim’s daughter told me this story...More

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

No Misunderstanding

Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 10–12, Galatians 1

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.
Romans 8:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 8:26–30

Alexa, Siri, and other voice assistants embedded in smart devices in our homes occasionally misunderstand what we’re saying. A six-year-old talked to her family’s new device about cookies and a dollhouse. Later her mom received an email saying that an order of seven pounds of cookies and a $170 dollhouse were on their way to her home. Even a talking parrot in London, whose owner had...More

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Truth, Lies, and Vigilantes

Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 7–9, 2 Corinthians 13

Do not spread false reports.
Exodus 23:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 23:1–9

During the 2018 baseball season, a Chicago Cubs coach wanted to give a baseball to a young boy sitting by the dugout. But when the coach tossed the ball toward him, a man scooped it up instead. Video of the event went viral. News outlets and social media skewered this “brute” of a man. Except viewers didn’t know the whole story. Earlier, the man had helped the young boy snag a foul ball, and they agreed to share any additional...More

Monday, September 20, 2021

An Unexpected Guest

Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 4–6, 2 Corinthians 12

[Jesus said], “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”
Luke 19:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 19:1–10

Zach was a lonely guy. When he walked down the city streets, he could feel the hostile glares. But then his life took a turn. Clement of Alexandria, one of the church fathers, says that Zach became a very prominent Christian leader and a pastor of the church in Caesarea. Yes, we’re talking about Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector who climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus (Luke...More

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Unbreakable in Jesus

Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 1–3, 2 Corinthians 11:16–33

“Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 1:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 1:4–10

Louis Zamperini’s military plane crashed at sea during the war, killing eight of eleven men onboard. “Louie” and two others clambered into life rafts. They drifted for two months, fending off sharks, riding out storms, ducking bullets from an enemy plane, and catching and eating raw fish and birds. They finally drifted onto an island and were immediately...More

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The Sweet Aroma of Christ

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 30–31, 2 Corinthians 11:1–15

We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
2 Corinthians 2:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 2:14–17

I knew a rancher who lived near Lometa, Texas. His two grandsons were my best friends. We would go into town with him and follow him around while he shopped and chatted with the folks he knew. He knew them all by name and he knew their stories. He’d stop here and there and ask about a sick child or a difficult marriage, and he’d...More

Friday, September 17, 2021

Move Your Fence

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 27–29, 2 Corinthians 10

See, I am doing a new thing!
Isaiah 43:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:18–21

The village vicar couldn’t sleep. As World War II raged, he’d told a small group of American soldiers they couldn’t bury their fallen comrade inside the fenced cemetery next to his church. Only burials for church members were allowed. So the men buried their beloved friend just outside the fence.

The next morning, however, the soldiers couldn’t find the grave. “What happened? The grave is gone,” one soldier...More

Thursday, September 16, 2021

From Mess to Message

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 25–26, 2 Corinthians 9

Tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.
Mark 5:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 5:1–20

Darryl was a baseball legend who nearly destroyed his life with drugs. But Jesus set him free, and he’s been clean for years. Today he helps others struggling with addiction and points them to faith. Looking back, he affirms that God turned his mess into a message.

Nothing is too hard for God. When Jesus came ashore near a cemetery after a stormy night on the Sea of Galilee with...More

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

God’s Molded Instruments

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 22–24, 2 Corinthians 8

We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
Isaiah 64:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 64:5–9

Considered one of the greatest video games ever made, Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has sold more than seven million copies worldwide. It’s also popularized the ocarina, a tiny, ancient, potato-shaped musical instrument made of clay.

The ocarina doesn’t look like much of a musical instrument. However, when it’s played—by blowing into its mouthpiece and...More

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Outside the Camp

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 19–21, 2 Corinthians 7

Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
Hebrews 13:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 13:11–16

Friday was market day in the rural town in Ghana where I grew up. After all these years, I still recall one particular vendor. Her fingers and toes eroded by Hansen’s disease (leprosy), she would crouch on her mat and scoop her produce with a hollowed-out gourd. Some avoided her. My mother made it a point to buy from her regularly. I saw her only on market days. Then...More

Monday, September 13, 2021

A Living Document

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 16–18, 2 Corinthians 6

Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
Psalm 1:1–2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 1

In memorializing his grandfather’s work, Peter Croft wrote, “It is my deepest desire for the person who picks up their Bible, whatever version they use, to not only understand but experience the scriptures as living documents, just as relevant, dangerous, and exciting now as they were those thousands of years ago.” Peter’s grandfather was J.B. Phillips,...More

Sunday, September 12, 2021

A Great Act of Love

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 13–15, 2 Corinthians 5

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.
Romans 5:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 5:12–19

In Oregon’s Malheur National Forest, a fungus popularly known as the honey mushroom spreads through tree roots across 2,200 acres, making it the largest living organism ever found. It’s been “weaving its black shoestring filaments” through the forest for more than two millennia, killing trees as it grows....More

Saturday, September 11, 2021

From Wisdom to Joy

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 10–12, 2 Corinthians 4

[Wisdom] will guide you down delightful paths.
Proverbs 3:17 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 3:13–18

The phone rang and I picked it up without delay. Calling was the oldest member of our church family—a vibrant, hard-working woman who was nearly one hundred years old. Putting the final touches on her latest book, she asked me some writing questions to help her cross the finish line. As always, however, I soon was asking her questions—about life, work, love, family. Her many lessons from a long life...More

Friday, September 10, 2021

Like a Symphony

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 8–9, 2 Corinthians 3

Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.

Philippians 2:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 2:1–11

I surprised my wife with concert tickets to listen to a performer she’d always wanted to see. The gifted singer was accompanied by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and the setting was the matchless venue at Red Rocks—an open-air amphitheater built between two 300-foot rock formations at more than 6,000 feet above sea level. The orchestra played a number...More

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Hotel Corona

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 6–7, 2 Corinthians 2

Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all . . . . From now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.
2 Corinthians 5:14, 16

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 5:14–20

The Dan Hotel in Jerusalem became known by a different name in 2020—“Hotel Corona.” The government dedicated the hotel to patients recovering from COVID-19, and the hotel became known as a rare site of joy and unity during a difficult time. Since the residents already had the virus, they were free to...More

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Send Me

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 3–5, 2 Corinthians 1

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send?” . . . I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Isaiah 6:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 6:1–8

When Swedish missionary Eric Lund felt called by God to go to Spain to do mission work in the late 1890s, he immediately obeyed. He saw little success there, but persevered in his conviction of God’s calling. One day, he met a Filipino man, Braulio Manikan, and shared the gospel with him. Together, Lund and Manikan translated the Bible into a local Philippine...More

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Complete in Christ

Bible in a Year: Proverbs 1–2, 1 Corinthians 16

So you also are complete through your union with Christ.
Colossians 2:10 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 2:6–15

In a popular film, an actor plays a success-driven sports agent whose marriage begins to crumble. Attempting to win back his wife, Dorothy, he looks into her eyes and says, “You complete me.” It’s a heart-warming message that echoes a tale in Greek philosophy. According to that myth, each of us is a “half” that must find our “other half” to become whole.

The belief that a...More

Monday, September 6, 2021

Resting Secure in God

Bible in a Year: Psalms 148–150, 1 Corinthians 15:29–58

Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long.
Deuteronomy 33:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 33:1–5, 12

I wrote a letter to our children as each became a teenager. In one I talked about our identity in Christ, remembering that when I was a teenager, I felt unsure of myself, lacking confidence. I had to learn that I was God’s beloved—His child. I said in the letter, “Knowing who you are comes down to knowing Whose you are.” For when we understand that...More

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Help from the Holy Spirit

Bible in a Year: Psalms 146–147, 1 Corinthians 15:1–28

Return, faithless people. I will cure you of backsliding.
Jeremiah 3:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 3:11–15, 22

While my classmates and I used to skip the occasional lecture in university, everyone always made sure to attend Professor Chris’ lecture the week before the year-end exams. That was when he would unfailingly drop big hints about the exam questions he’d set.

I always wondered why he did that, until I realized that Prof. Chris genuinely wanted us to do well. He had high...More

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Man of Prayer

Bible in a Year: Psalms 143–145, 1 Corinthians 14:21–40

Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17–18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 6:9–13

My family remembers my Grandpa Dierking as a man of strong faith and prayer. But it wasn’t always so. My aunt recalls the first time her father announced to the family, “We’re going to start giving thanks to God before we eat.” His first prayer was far from eloquent, but Grandpa continued the practice of prayer for the next fifty...More

Friday, September 3, 2021

Empty Hands

Bible in a Year: Psalms 140–142, 1 Corinthians 14:1–20

His father saw him and was filled with compassion for him.
Luke 15:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 15:17–24

Robert was embarrassed when he showed up for a breakfast meeting and realized he’d forgotten his wallet. It bothered him to the point that he pondered whether he should eat at all or simply get something to drink. After some convincing from his friend, he relaxed his resistance. He and his friend enjoyed their entrees, and his friend gladly paid the bill.

Perhaps you can identify with...More

Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Big Story of the Bible

Bible in a Year: Psalms 137–139, 1 Corinthians 13

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
2 Timothy 3:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 11:26–32

When Colin opened the box of stained-glass pieces he’d purchased, instead of finding the fragments he’d ordered for a project, he discovered intact, whole windows. He sleuthed out the windows’ origin and learned they’d been removed from a church to protect them from World War II bombings. Colin marveled at the quality of work and how the...More

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Fix Up Time

Bible in a Year: Psalms 135–136, 1 Corinthians 12

Be made new in the attitude of your minds.
Ephesians 4:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 4:20–32

It was time to give the inside of our home a fresh, new look. But just as I’d begun prepping a room for painting, our state government announced it would be halting the sale of many home improvement items due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As soon as I heard the announcement, I rushed to the store and purchased the essential materials. You simply can’t remodel without the proper supplies.

Paul had a bit...More

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Sharing Jesus

Bible in a Year: Psalms 132–134, 1 Corinthians 11:17–34

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
Isaiah 12:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 12

Shortly after Dwight Moody (1837–99) came to faith in Christ, the evangelist resolved not to let a day pass without sharing God’s good news with at least one person. On busy days, he’d sometimes forget his resolution until late. One night, he was in bed before he remembered. As he stepped outside, he thought, No one will be out in this pouring rain. Just then he saw...More

Monday, August 30, 2021

Mercy and Grace

Bible in a Year: Psalms 129–131, 1 Corinthians 11:1–16

[Josiah] began to seek the God of his father David.
2 Chronicles 34:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Chronicles 34:1–8

A stately sunflower stood on its own in the center of a lonely stretch of national highway, just a few feet from the fast lane. As I drove past, I wondered how it had grown there with no other sunflowers visible for miles. Only God could create a plant so hardy it could thrive so close to the roadway in the gray gravel lining the median. There it was, thriving, swaying gently in the...More

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Power of the Gospel

Bible in a Year: Psalms 126–128, 1 Corinthians 10:19–33

I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
Romans 1:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 1:1–7, 14–17

Ancient Rome had its own version of “the gospel”—the good news. According to the poet Virgil, Zeus, king of the gods, had decreed for the Romans a kingdom without end or boundaries. The gods had chosen Augustus as divine son and savior of the world by ushering in a golden age of peace and prosperity.

This, however, wasn’t everyone’s idea of good news. For many...More

Saturday, August 28, 2021

A Great Ending

Bible in a Year: Psalms 123–125, 1 Corinthians 10:1–18

Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.
Revelation 22:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 22:12–21

My husband and son surfed television channels looking for a movie to watch and discovered that their favorite movies were already in progress. As they enjoyed watching the final scenes, the search became a game. They managed to find eight of their favorite flicks. Frustrated, I asked why they wouldn’t just choose a movie to watch from...More

Friday, August 27, 2021

The Ultimate Healer

Bible in a Year: Psalms 120–122, 1 Corinthians 9

[Hezekiah] broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made.
2 Kings 18:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Numbers 21:4–9; 2 Kings 18:4–7

When a medical treatment began to provide relief for a family member’s severe food allergies, I became so excited that I talked about it all the time. I described the intense process and extolled the doctor who had created the program. Finally, some friends commented, “We think God should always get the credit for healing.” Their statement made me pause. Had I taken my eyes...More

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Heeding the Warnings

Bible in a Year: Psalm 119:89–176, 1 Corinthians 8

Whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.
Matthew 10:33

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 10:1–7, 32–33

When a pickpocket tried to pilfer my property while I was on vacation in another country, it wasn’t a surprise. I’d read warnings about the danger of subway thieves, so I knew what to do to protect my wallet. But I never expected it to happen.

Fortunately, the young man who grabbed my wallet had slippery fingers, so it fell to the floor where I could...More

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

A Good Reason

Bible in a Year: Psalm 119:1–88, 1 Corinthians 7:20–40

Put [your] religion into practice by caring for [your] own family.
1 Timothy 5:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Timothy 5:1–8

The two women occupied the aisle seats across from each other. The flight was two hours, so I couldn’t help but see some of their interactions. It was clear they knew each other, might even be related. The younger of the two (probably in her sixties) kept reaching in her bag to hand the older (I’d guess in her nineties) fresh apple slices, then homemade finger sandwiches, then a...More

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

God’s Provision

Bible in a Year: Psalms 116–118, 1 Corinthians 7:1–19

See how the flowers of the field grow. . . . Will he not much more clothe you?
Matthew 6:28, 30

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 1:11–13, 29–30

We trekked deeper and deeper into the forest, venturing farther and farther away from the village at Yunnan Province, China. After an hour or so, we heard the deafening roar of the water. Quickening our steps, we soon reached a clearing and were greeted by a beautiful view of a curtain of white water cascading over the gray rocks. Spectacular!


Monday, August 23, 2021

Loving Your Enemy

Bible in a Year: Psalms 113–115, 1 Corinthians 6

You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria.
Acts 1:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 1:1–8

I ducked into a room before she saw me. I was ashamed of hiding, but I didn’t want to deal with her right then—or ever. I longed to tell her off, to put her in her place. Though I’d been annoyed by her past behavior, it’s likely I had irritated her even more!

The Jews and Samaritans also shared a mutually irritating relationship. Being a people of mixed origin and worshiping their...More

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Not Seeking Revenge

Bible in a Year: Psalms 110–112, 1 Corinthians 5

[Saul said], “The Lord delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me.”
1 Samuel 24:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 24:1–4, ">14–18

The farmer climbed into his truck and began his morning inspection of the crops. On reaching the farthest edge of the property, his blood began to boil. Someone had used the farm’s seclusion to illegally dump their trash—again.

As he filled the truck with the bags of food scraps, the farmer found an envelope. On it was printed the offender’s...More

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Carried Through the Storm

Bible in a Year: Psalms 107–109, 1 Corinthians 4

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.
Psalm 107:29

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 107:1–3, 23–32

During Scottish missionary Alexander Duff’s first voyage to India in 1830, he was shipwrecked in a storm off the coast of South Africa. He and his fellow passengers made it to a small, desolate island; and a short time later, one of the crew found a copy of a Bible belonging to Duff washed ashore on the beach. When the book dried, Duff read Psalm 107 to his fellow survivors, and...More

Friday, August 20, 2021

Peace in the Chaos

Bible in a Year: Psalms 105–106, 1 Corinthians 3

[Our] help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 121

Something that sounded like firecrackers roused Joanne from sleep. Glass shattered. Wishing she didn’t live alone, she got up to see what was going on. The dark streets were empty and the house seemed to be okay—then she saw the broken mirror.

Investigators found a bullet only a half-inch from the gas line. If it had struck the line, she probably wouldn’t have made it out alive. Later...More

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Remember and Celebrate

Bible in a Year: Psalms 103–104, 1 Corinthians 2

[Jesus] took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.”
Luke 22:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 22:14–23

On December 6, 1907, explosions rocked a small community in the US state of West Virginia, producing one of the worst disasters in the history of the coal-mining industry. Some 360 miners were killed, and it’s been estimated that this horrific tragedy left behind about 250 widows and 1,000 children without fathers....More

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

God Knows Your Story

Bible in a Year: Psalms 100–102, 1 Corinthians 1

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Psalm 139:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 139:1–6, 23–24

As I drove home after lunch with my best friend, I thanked God out loud for her. She knows me and loves me in spite of things I don’t love about myself. She’s one of a small circle of people who accept me as I am—my quirks, habits, and screw-ups. Still, there are parts of my story I resist sharing even with her and others that I love—times where I’ve clearly not...More

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Trusting the Bible

Bible in a Year: Psalms 97–99, Romans 16

When your words came, I ate them.
Jeremiah 15:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 15:15–21

Billy Graham, the renowned American evangelist, once described his struggle to accept the Bible as completely true. One night as he walked alone in the moonlight at a retreat center in the San Bernardino Mountains, he dropped to his knees and placed his Bible on a tree stump, able only to “stutter” a prayer: “Oh, God! There are many things in this book I do not understand.”

By confessing his confusion, Graham...More

Monday, August 16, 2021

Active Faith

Bible in a Year: Psalms 94–96, Romans 15:14–33

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.
James 1:27

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 2:14–26

Sam’s father had to flee for his life during a military coup. With the sudden loss of income, the family could no longer afford the crucial medicine that kept Sam’s brother alive. Seething at God, Sam thought, What have we done to deserve this?

A believer in Jesus heard about the family’s troubles. Finding he had enough money to...More

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Extending Grace to Others

Bible in a Year: Psalms 91–93, Romans 15:1–13

God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.
Acts 4:33–34

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 4:32–35

Our son spent the early years of his life in a children’s home prior to our adopting him. Before leaving the cinderblock building together to go home, we asked to collect his belongings. Sadly, he had none. We exchanged the clothes he was wearing for the new items we’d brought for him and also left some clothing for the other children. Even though I was grieved by...More

Saturday, August 14, 2021

When We Don’t Understand

Bible in a Year: Psalms 89–90, Romans 14

In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.
Job 2:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 2:7–10

“I don’t understand His plan. I turned my whole life over to Him. And this happens!” Such was the message of a son to his mother when his dream to succeed as a professional athlete was temporarily derailed. Who among us hasn’t had some kind of unexpected, disappointing experience that sends our minds into overdrive with exclamations and questions? A family member cuts off communication without explanation; health...More

Friday, August 13, 2021

The True Nature of Love

Bible in a Year: Psalms 87–88, Romans 13

They gave as much as they were able.
2 Corinthians 8:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 8:1–9

During the pandemic lockdown, Jerry was forced to close his fitness center and had no income for months. One day he received a text from a friend asking to meet him at his facility at 6:00 p.m. Jerry wasn’t sure why but made his way there. Soon cars started streaming into the parking lot. The driver in the first car placed a basket on the sidewalk near the building. Then car after car (maybe fifty of them) came by....More

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Listening Matters

Bible in a Year:Psalms 84–86, Romans 12

I will listen to what God the Lord says.
Psalm 85:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 85

“Come at once. We have struck a berg.” Those were the first words Harold Cottam, the wireless operator on the RMS Carpathia, received from the sinking RMS Titanic at 12:25 a.m. on April 15, 1912. The Carpathia would be the first ship to the disaster scene, saving 706 lives.

In the US Senate hearings days later, the Carpathia’s captain Arthur Rostron testified, “The whole thing was absolutely providential. . . . The...More

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Accessible to All

Bible in a Year: Psalms 81–83, Romans 11:19–36

Small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
Matthew 7:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 7:13–14

From a manmade bridge on the small Caribbean island of Eleuthera, visitors can admire the stark contrast between the roiling dark blue waters of the Atlantic and the calm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Over time, storms washed away the original strip of land once marked by a natural stone arch. The glass window bridge that now serves as a tourist attraction on...More

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Love That Disciplines

Bible in a Year: Psalms 79–80, Romans 11:1–18

Do not despise the Lord’s discipline.
Proverbs 3:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 3:11–12

When I took a family studies class in college, we were asked to write a “family history”—a record of the key events that make up one’s childhood. This included the patterns that characterized typical family life and the methods of discipline we experienced. We all had at least one instance of a parent misapplying discipline and leaving an emotional or physical scar. Understandably, traumatic experiences...More

Monday, August 9, 2021

Fearless Love

Bible in a Year: Psalms 77–78, Romans 10

We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
1 John 3:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 John 3:1, 11–18

There are some images so powerful they can never be forgotten. That was my experience when I viewed a famous photograph of the late Princess Diana of Wales. At first glance, the captured scene looks mundane: smiling warmly, the princess is shaking the hand of an unidentified man. But it’s the photograph’s story that makes it...More

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Good Trouble

Bible in a Year: Psalms 74–76, Romans 9:16–33

Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Amos 5:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Amos 5:10–24

When John Lewis, an American congressman and civil rights leader, died in 2020, people from many political persuasions mourned. In 1965, Lewis marched with Martin Luther King Jr. to secure voting rights for Black citizens. During the march, Lewis suffered a cracked skull, causing scars he carried the rest of his life. “When you see something that is not right, not just, not...More

Saturday, August 7, 2021

First Forgive

Bible in a Year: Psalms 72–73, Romans 9:1–15

Esau ran to meet Jacob and embraced him.
Genesis 33:4

Today's Scripture & Insight:
5 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant. 6 Then the handmaidens came near, they and their children, and they bowed themselves. 7 And Leah also with her children came near, and bowed themselves: and after came Joseph near and Rachel, and they bowed themselves. 8 And he said, What meanest thou by all this drove...More

Friday, August 6, 2021

Rise Again

Bible in a Year: Psalms 70–71, Romans 8:22–39

Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.
Proverbs 24:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 24:15–18

Olympic runner Ryan Hall is the US record-holder for the half marathon. He completed the event distance of 13.1 miles (21 kilometers) in a remarkable time of fifty-nine minutes and forty-three seconds, making him the first US athlete to run the race in under one hour. While Hall has celebrated record-setting victories, he’s also known the disappointment of not being able to finish a race....More

Thursday, August 5, 2021


Bible in a Year: Psalms 68–69, Romans 8:1–21

Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.
Mark 9:35

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 9:33–37

Cuthbert is a much-loved figure in northern England. Responsible for evangelizing much of the area in the seventh century, Cuthbert counseled monarchs and influenced state affairs; and after his death, the city of Durham was built in his honor. But Cuthbert’s legacy is great in more ways than these.

After a plague ravaged the region, Cuthbert once toured affected towns offering...More

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Not Forgotten

Bible in a Year: Psalms 66–67, Romans 7

I will not forget you!
Isaiah 49:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 49:14–18

“Uncle Arthur, do you remember the day you took me to the barbershop and the supermarket? I was wearing tan khakis, a blue-plaid oxford shirt, a navy-blue cardigan, brown socks, and brown Rockport shoes. The date was Thursday, October 20, 2016.” My nephew Jared’s autism-related challenges are offset by his phenomenal memory that can recall details like days and dates and the clothes he was wearing years after an event took...More

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Walking with Jesus

Bible in a Year: Psalms 63–65, Romans 6

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.
Hebrews 12:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 12:1–3

Lean food rations, waterproof boots, and a map are some of the essentials carried by hikers on the John Muir Trail. The John Muir Trail is a 211-mile path in the western United States that winds across creeks, around lakes and woods, and up and over mountains, encompassing 47,000 feet of elevation gain. Because traversing...More

Monday, August 2, 2021

The Beauty of Adoption

Bible in a Year: Psalms 60–62, Romans 5

In Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
Galatians 3:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 3:26–4:7

The 2009 film The Blind Side depicts the true story of Michael Oher, a homeless teenager. A family takes him in and helps him overcome learning difficulties and achieve excellence in American football. In one scene, the family talks with Michael about the possibility of adopting him after he’d been living with them for several months. In a sweet and tender reply, Michael exclaims that he thought he...More

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Who Needs Your Support?

Bible in a Year: Psalms 57–59, Romans 4

Ahikam son of Shaphan supported Jeremiah, and so he was not handed over to the people to be put to death.
Jeremiah 26:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 26:12–15, 20–24

Clifford Williams was sentenced to die for a murder he didn’t commit. From death row he vainly filed motions to reconsider the evidence against him. Each petition was denied—for forty-two years. Then attorney Shelley Thibodeau learned of his case. She found that not only was there no evidence to convict Williams, but that another man had...More

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Priceless Lives in Christ

Bible in a Year: Psalms 54–56, Romans 3

There is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
Luke 15:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 15:8–10

Tears streamed down my cheeks during a frantic search for my lost wedding and anniversary rings. After an hour of lifting couch cushions and scouring every nook and cranny of our home, Alan said, “I’m sorry. We’ll replace them.”

“Thanks,” I responded. “But their sentimental value surpasses their material worth. They’re irreplaceable.” Praying, I continued hunting...More

Friday, July 30, 2021

Overcoming Envy

Bible in a Year: Psalms 51–53, Romans 2

Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.
1 Samuel 18:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 18:5–9

In the film Amadeus, aging composer Antonio Salieri plays some of his music on the piano for a visiting priest. The embarrassed priest confesses he doesn’t recognize the tunes. “What about this one?” Salieri says, playing an instantly familiar melody. “I didn’t know you wrote that,” the priest says. “I didn’t,” Salieri replies. “That was Mozart!” As viewers discover, Mozart’s success...More

Thursday, July 29, 2021

Jesus Is Our Peace

Bible in a Year: Psalms 49–50, Romans 1

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.
Ephesians 2:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 2:11–22

A monk named Telemachus lived a quiet life, but his death at the end of the fourth century changed the world. Visiting Rome from the East, Telemachus intervened in the blood sport of the gladiatorial arena. He jumped over the stadium wall and tried to stop the gladiators from killing each other. But the outraged crowd stoned the monk to death....More

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

God’s Love Is Stronger

Bible in a Year: Psalms 46–48, Acts 28

Love is as strong as death.
Song of Songs 8:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Song of Songs 8:6–7

In 2020, Alyssa Mendoza received a surprising email from her father in the middle of the night. The message had instructions about what to do for her mother on her parents’ twenty-fifth anniversary. Why was this shocking? Alyssa’s father had passed away ten months earlier. She discovered that he’d written and scheduled the email while he was sick, knowing he might not be there. He’d also arranged and paid for flowers to be...More

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The Joy God Provides

Bible in a Year: Psalms 43–45, Acts 27:27–44

A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 15:13–15, 30

When Marcia’s out in public, she always tries to smile at others. It’s her way of reaching out to people who might need to see a friendly face. Most of the time, she gets a genuine smile in return. But during a time when Marcia was mandated to wear a facemask, she realized that people could no longer see her mouth, thus no one could see her smile. It’s sad, she thought, but I’m not going to stop. Maybe...More

Monday, July 26, 2021

Blooming for Jesus

Bible in a Year: Psalms 40–42, Acts 27:1–26

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 13:31–35

I wasn’t truthful about the tulips. A gift from my younger daughter, the packaged bulbs traveled home with her to the US from Amsterdam after she visited there. So I made a show of accepting the bulbs with great excitement, as excited as I was to reunite with her. But tulips are my least favorite flower. Many bloom early and fade fast. The July weather, meantime, made it...More

Sunday, July 25, 2021

Of Prayer and Dust and Stars

Bible in a Year: Psalms 37–39, Acts 26

Look up at the sky and count the stars.
Genesis 15:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 15:1–6

Lara and Dave desperately wanted a baby, but their physician told them they were unable to have one. Lara confided to a friend: “I found myself having some very honest talks with God.” But it was after one of those “talks” that she and Dave spoke to their pastor, who told them about an adoption ministry at their church. A year later they were blessed with an adopted baby boy.

In Genesis 15, the Bible tells of...More

Saturday, July 24, 2021

God Carries Us

Bible in a Year: Psalms 35–36, Acts 25

There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.
Deuteronomy 1:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 1:26–31

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian overwhelmed the islands of the Bahamas with intense rain, wind, and flooding—the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. As he sheltered at home with his adult son who has cerebral palsy, Brent knew they needed to leave. Even though Brent is blind, he had to save his son. Tenderly, he placed him...More

Friday, July 23, 2021

The Greatest Symphony

Bible in a Year: Psalms 33–34, Acts 24

We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body.
1 Corinthians 12:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 12:12–20

When BBC Music Magazine asked one hundred fifty-one of the world’s leading conductors to list twenty of what they believed to be the greatest symphonies ever written, Beethoven’s Third, Eroica, came out on top. The work, whose title means “heroic,” was written during the turmoil of the French Revolution. But it also came out of Beethoven’s own struggle as he slowly lost his...More

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Seeking God’s Help

Bible in a Year: Psalms 31–32, Acts 23:16–35

We will stand in your presence . . . and will cry out to you in our distress.
2 Chronicles 20:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Chronicles 20:5–12, 15

For five years in the late 1800s, grasshoppers descended on Minnesota, destroying the crops. Farmers tried trapping the grasshoppers in tar and burning their fields to kill the eggs. Feeling desperate, and on the brink of starvation, many people sought a statewide day of prayer, yearning to seek God’s help together. The governor relented, setting aside April 26 to...More

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Authentic Christianity

Bible in a Year: Psalms 29–30, Acts 23:1–15

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
Matthew 5:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 5:3–10

I applied for a position in a Christian organization years ago and was presented with a list of legalistic rules having to do with the use of alcohol, tobacco, and certain forms of entertainment. “We expect Christian behavior from our employees” was the explanation. I could agree with this list because I, for reasons mostly unrelated to my faith, didn’t do those things. But my argumentative side...More

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

God’s Power on Display

Bible in a Year: Psalms 26–28, Acts 22

What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed, or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
Job 38:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 38:24–38

It was a lightning storm, and my six-year-old daughter and I were on the floor watching the dazzling display through the glass door. She kept repeating, “Wow! God is so big.” I felt the same way. It was obvious to both of us how small we were, and how powerful God must be. Lines from the book of Job flashed through my mind, “What is the way to...More

Monday, July 19, 2021

Firm Refusal

Bible in a Year: Psalms 23–25, Acts 21:18–40

Daniel . . . still pray[ed] three times a day.
Daniel 6:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Daniel 6:10–23

When the Nazis drafted Franz Jägerstätter during World War II, he completed military basic training but refused to take the required pledge of personal loyalty to Adolf Hitler. Authorities allowed Franz to return to his farm, but they later summoned him to active duty. After seeing Nazi ideology up close and learning of the Jewish genocide, however, Jägerstätter decided his loyalty to God meant he could never fight...More

Sunday, July 18, 2021

God’s Restoring Ways

Bible in a Year: Psalms 20–22, Acts 21:1–17

People will dwell again in his shade; they will flourish like the grain, they will blossom like the vine.
Hosea 14:7

Today's Scripture & Insight:
4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him. 5 I will be as the dew unto Israel: he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. 6 His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. 7 They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn,...More

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Prejudice and Forgiveness

Bible in a Year: Psalms 18–19, Acts 20:17–38

I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.
Acts 10:34

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 10:23–28

After hearing a message about correcting injustice, a church member approached the pastor weeping, asking for forgiveness and confessing that he hadn’t voted in favor of calling the black minister to be pastor of their church because of his own prejudice. “I really need you to forgive me. I don’t want the junk of prejudice and racism spilling over into my kids’ lives. I didn’t vote for you, and I...More

Friday, July 16, 2021

Navigating the Storms of Life

Bible in a Year: Psalms 16–17, Acts 20:1–16

Send me your light and your faithful care, let them lead me.
Psalm 43:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 43

On July 16, 1999, the small plane piloted by John F. Kennedy Jr. crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. Investigators determined the cause of the accident to be a common error known as spatial disorientation. This phenomenon occurs when, due to poor visibility, pilots become disoriented and forget to rely on their instruments to help them successfully reach their destination.

As we navigate life,...More

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Confident Prayer

Bible in a Year: Psalms 13–15, Acts 19:21–41

Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
Luke 11:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 11:5–13

Having tried for years to have a child, Richard and Susan were elated when Susan became pregnant. Her health problems, however, posed a risk to the baby, and so Richard lay awake each night praying for his wife and child. One night, Richard sensed he didn’t need to pray so hard, that God had promised to take care of things. But a week later Susan miscarried. Richard was...More

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Listen and Learn

Bible in a Year: Psalms 10–12, Acts 19:1–20

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
James 1:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of
turning.">James 1:19–27

On one...More

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Longing for God

Bible in a Year: Psalms 7–9, Acts 18

Even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and
bring them to the place I have chosen.

Nehemiah 1:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: devotional=ourdailybread&&postername=Temmy" title="5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: 6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night,...More

Monday, July 12, 2021

Jesus Restores Us

Bible in a Year: Psalms 4–6, Acts 17:16–34

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Genesis 3:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 3:17–24

Although Sam had done nothing wrong, he lost his job on the assembly line. Carelessness in another division led to problems in cars they built. After several crashes made the news, wary customers stopped buying their brand. The company had to downsize, leaving Sam out of work. He’s collateral damage, and it isn’t fair. It never is.

History’s first collateral damage occurred...More

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Hope in Grief

Bible in a Year: Psalms 1–3, Acts 17:1–15

We do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

As the cabbie drove us to London’s Heathrow Airport, he told us his story. He had come alone to the United Kingdom at age fifteen, seeking to escape war and deprivation. Now, eleven years later, he has a family of his own and is able to provide for them in ways unavailable in his native land. But he laments that...More

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Lies with Truth

Bible in a Year: Job 41–42, Acts 16:22–40

Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Proverbs 30:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 30:5–8

I set my Bible on the podium and stared at the eager faces waiting for me to begin the message. I’d prayed and prepared. Why couldn’t I speak?

You’re worthless. No one will ever listen to you, especially if they know your past. And God would never use you. Seared into my heart and mind, these words spoken in various ways over my life ignited a decade-long war against the...More

Friday, July 9, 2021

Growing in God’s Grace

Bible in a Year: Job 38–40, Acts 16:1–21

Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge.
2 Peter 1:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Peter 1:3–11

The English preacher Charles H. Spurgeon (1834–1892) lived life “full throttle.” He became a pastor at age nineteen—and soon was preaching to large crowds. He personally edited all of his sermons, which eventually filled sixty-three volumes, and wrote many commentaries, books on prayer, and other works. And he typically read six books a week! In one of his sermons, Spurgeon said,...More

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Blocked Prayers

Bible in a Year: Job 36–37, Acts 15:22–41

When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.
Mark 11:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 11:20–25

For fourteen years, the Mars rover Opportunity faithfully communicated with the people at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. After it landed in 2004, it traversed twenty-eight miles of the Martian surface, took thousands of images, and analyzed many materials. But in 2018, communication between Opportunity and scientists ended when a major...More

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Wisdom We Need

Bible in a Year: Job 34–35, Acts 15:1–21

Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge.
Proverbs 1:7 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 1:1–9

Ellen opened her mailbox and discovered a bulky envelope with her dear friend’s return address. Just a few days prior, she’d shared a relational struggle with that friend. Curious, she unwrapped the package and found a colorful beaded necklace on a simple jute string. Attached was a card with a company’s slogan, “Say It in Morse Code,” and words translating the necklace’s hidden and wise message,...More

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Not Fatherless

Bible in a Year: Job 32–33, Acts 14

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
Romans 8:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 6:5–13

John Sowers in his book Fatherless Generation writes that “No generation has seen as much voluntary father absence as this one with 25 million kids growing up in single-parent homes.” In my own experience, if I’d bumped into my father on the street, I wouldn’t have known him. My parents were divorced when I was very young, and all the photos of my dad were burned. So for years I felt...More

Monday, July 5, 2021

The “What” in Sharing Our Faith

Bible in a Year: Job 30–31, Acts 13:26–52

My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 2:1–5

Alan came to me for advice on how to deal with his fear of public speaking. Like so many others, his heart would begin to race, his mouth would feel sticky and dry, and his face would flush bright red. Glossophobia is among the most common social fears people have—many even joke that they’re more fearful of public...More

Sunday, July 4, 2021

In God We Trust

Bible in a Year: Job 28–29, Acts 13:1–25

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.
Isaiah 30:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 30:1–5, 15–18

In the early days of the American Revolutionary War, an expedition was launched against British forces in Quebec. When the expedition passed through Newburyport, Massachusetts, on the way to Canada, they visited the tomb of the renowned evangelist George Whitefield. Whitefield’s coffin was opened and his clerical collar and cuffs were removed. The clothing was...More

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Cleaning Method

Bible in a Year: Job 25–27, Acts 12

Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts.
James 4:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 4:4–10

At the sink, two little children cheerfully sing the “Happy Birthday” song—two times each—while washing their hands. “It takes that long to wash away the germs,” their mother tells them. So even before the COVID-19 pandemic, they’d learned to take time to clean dirt from their hands.

Keeping things clean can be a tedious process, as we learned in the pandemic. Scrubbing away sin, however, means...More

Friday, July 2, 2021

Choosing to Honor God

Bible in a Year: Job 22–24, Acts 11

To the faithful you show yourself faithful.
Psalm 18:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 18:20–27

In the novella Family Happiness by Leo Tolstoy, main characters Sergey and Masha meet when Masha is young and impressionable. Sergey is an older, well-traveled businessman who understands the world beyond the rural setting where Masha lives. Over time, the two fall in love and marry.

They settle in the countryside, but Masha becomes bored with her surroundings. Sergey, who adores her, arranges a trip to St. Petersburg....More

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Not Rushing Prayer

Bible in a Year: Job 20–21, Acts 10:24–48

Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 46

Alice Kaholusuna recounts a story of how the Hawaiian people would sit outside their temples for a lengthy amount of time preparing themselves before entering in. Even after entering, they would creep to the altar to offer their prayers. Afterward, they would sit outside again for a long time to “breathe life” into their prayers. When missionaries came to the island, the Hawaiians sometimes considered their prayers odd. The missionaries...More

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Secret of Contentment

Bible in a Year: Job 17–19, Acts 10:1–23

I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.
Philippians 4:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 4:10–13

When Joni Eareckson Tada returned home after suffering a swimming accident that left her a quadriplegic, her life was vastly different. Now doorways were too narrow for her wheelchair and sinks were too high. Someone had to feed her, until she decided to relearn how to feed herself. Lifting the special spoon to her mouth from her arm splint the first time, she felt humiliated as she...More

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Your Life’s Passion

Bible in a Year: Job 14–16, Acts 9:22–43

The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. . . . Flee from all this, and pursue righteousness.
1 Timothy 6:10–11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Timothy 6:6–12

One evening years ago, my wife and I were making our way down a mountain trail, accompanied by two friends. The trail was narrow and wound around a slope with a steep drop on one side and an unclimbable bank on the other.

As we came around a bend, I saw a large bear moseying along, swinging his head from side to side, and quietly huffing. We were...More

Monday, June 28, 2021

God’s Protection

Bible in a Year: Job 11–13, Acts 9:1–21

I sing in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your right hand upholds me.
Psalm 63:7–8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 63

Needles, milk, mushrooms, elevators, births, bees, and bees in blenders—these are just a fraction of the many phobias attributed to Mr. Adrian Monk, detective and title character of the TV show Monk. But when he and longtime rival Harold Krenshaw find themselves locked in a car trunk, Monk has a breakthrough that allows him to cross off at least one fear from his...More

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Legacy of Kindness

Bible in a Year: Job 8–10, Acts 8:26–40

All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
Acts 9:39

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 9:36–42

Martha served as a teacher’s aide at an elementary school for over thirty years. Every year, she saved money to buy new coats, scarves, and gloves for students in need. After she lost her fight with leukemia, we held a celebration of life service. In lieu of flowers, people donated hundreds of brand-new winter coats to the students she...More

Saturday, June 26, 2021

He Hears Us

Bible in a Year: Job 5–7, Acts 8:1–25

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Jeremiah 29:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: 13: And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. 14: And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.">Jeremiah 29:10–14

United States President...More

Friday, June 25, 2021

Children of God

Bible in a Year: Job 3–4, Acts 7:44–60

Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love.
Ephesians 5:1–2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 4:32–5:10

I once spoke at a secular conference for childless couples. Heartbroken over their infertility, many attendees despaired at their future. Having walked the childless path too, I tried to encourage them. “You can have a meaningful identity without becoming parents,” I said. “I believe you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and there’s new purpose for you to...More

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Sharing Your Faith

Bible in a Year: Job 1–2, Acts 7:22–43

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 12:5–10

When author and evangelist Becky Pippert lived in Ireland, she longed to share the good news of Jesus with Heather, who’d done her nails for two years. But Heather hadn’t seemed remotely interested. Feeling unable to start a conversation, Becky prayed before her appointment.

While Heather worked on her nails, Becky flipped through an old magazine and paused at a picture...More

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Imagine This!

Bible in a Year: Esther 9–10, Acts 7:1–21

I will create new heavens and a new earth.
Isaiah 65:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 65:17–25

During the course of a popular home renovation television program, viewers often hear the host say, “Imagine this!” Then she unveils what could be when old things are restored and drab walls and floors are painted or stained. In one episode, after the renovation the homeowner was so overjoyed that, along with other expressions of elation, the words “That’s beautiful!” gushed from her lips three...More

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

God Is There

Bible in a Year: Esther 6–8, Acts 6

If God will be with me and watch over me . . . then the Lord will be my God.
Genesis 28:20–21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 28:10–15, 20–22

Aubrey bought a fleece-lined coat for her aging father, but he died before he could wear it. So she tucked a note of encouragement with a $20 bill into the pocket and donated the jacket to charity.

Ninety miles away, unable to endure his family’s dysfunction any longer, nineteen-year-old Kelly left his house without grabbing a coat. He knew of only one place to...More

Monday, June 21, 2021

He Will Fight for You

Bible in a Year: Esther 3–5, Acts 5:22–42

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.
Proverbs 21:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 21:21–31

The wounded horse was named Drummer Boy, one of 112 mounts carrying British soldiers into battle during the famed Charge of the Light Brigade. The animal showed such bravery and stamina that his assigned commander, Lieutenant Colonel de Salis, decided his horse deserved a medal as much as his valiant men. This was done even though their military action against enemy forces failed....More

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Spending Time with God

Bible in a Year: Esther 1–2, Acts 5:1–21

Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Luke 5:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 5:12–16

A River Runs Through It is Norman Maclean’s masterful story of two boys growing up in western Montana with their father, a Presbyterian minister. On Sunday mornings, Norman and his brother, Paul, went to church where they heard their father preach. Once Sunday evening rolled around, there was another service and their father would preach again. But between those two services, they were free to walk the hills and streams...More

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Bigger than Our Problems

Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 12–13, Acts 4:23–37

Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you.
Job 40:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 40:15–24

What do you imagine dinosaurs looked like when they were alive? Big teeth? Scaly skin? Long tails? Artist Karen Carr recreates these extinct creatures in large murals. One of her panoramas is over twenty feet tall and sixty feet long. Because of its size, it required a crew of experts to install it in sections where it resides in the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History.

It would be hard to stand in...More

Friday, June 18, 2021

The Life of Peace

Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 10–11, Acts 4:1–22

The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 5:16–25

In Perth, Australia, there’s a place called Shalom House where men struggling with addictions go to find help. At Shalom House, they’ll meet caring staff members who introduce them to God’s shalom (Hebrew for peace). Lives crushed under the weight of addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other destructive behaviors are being transformed by...More

Thursday, June 17, 2021

The Way of Faith

Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 7–9, Acts 3

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me.”
Judges 7:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Judges 7: 4: And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. 5: So he brought down the people unto the water:...More

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Jesus Chair

Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 4–6, Acts 2:22–47

If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
John 8:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 8:27–32

When my friend Marge met Tami at a Bible study meeting, she noticed that they seemed to have little in common. But Marge befriended her, and she learned a valuable lesson from her new friend.

Tami had never been to a Bible study, and she was having a hard time understanding something the other women in the study talked about: that God communicated with them—something she’d never...More

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Our Father’s Care

Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 1–3, Acts 2:1–21

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.
Matthew 10:29

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 10:16–20, 26–31

Thwack! I looked up and craned my ear toward the sound. Spotting a smudge on the windowpane, I peered out onto the deck and discovered the still-beating body of a bird. My heart hurt. I longed to help the fragile feathered being.

In Matthew 10, Jesus described His Father’s care for sparrows in order to comfort the disciples as...More

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Power of God

Bible in a Year: Ezra 9–10, Acts 1

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 121

Rebecca and Russell’s doctors told them they couldn’t have children. But God had other ideas —and ten years later Rebecca conceived. The pregnancy was a healthy one; and when the contractions started, the couple excitedly rushed to the hospital. Yet the hours of labor grew long and more intense, and Rebecca’s body still wasn’t progressing enough for delivery. Finally, the doctor decided she needed to perform...More

Sunday, June 13, 2021

The Kingdom of God

Bible in a Year: Ezra 6–8, John 21

The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Mark 10:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 10:13–16

My mother has been committed to many things over the course of her life, but one that has remained constant is her desire to see little children introduced to Jesus. Of the few times I’ve witnessed my mother display disagreement publicly, all were when someone attempted to cut a children’s ministry budget in favor of what they felt were more “serious” expenditures. “I took off one summer when I was pregnant with your...More

Saturday, June 12, 2021

He Knows Your Name

Bible in a Year: Ezra 3–5, John 20

I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:1–7

After breaking with our longtime church, my husband and I reunited with the fellowship after three long years. But how would people treat us? Would they welcome us back? Love us? Forgive us for leaving? We got our answer on a sunny Sunday morning. As we walked through the big church doors, we kept hearing our names. “Pat! Dan! It’s so great to see you!” As children’s author Kate DiCamillo wrote in one of her popular books,...More

Friday, June 11, 2021

Unseen Wonder

Bible in a Year: Ezra 1–2, John 19:23–42

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him.
1 Peter 1:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 1:3–9

In the twilight of her years, Mrs. Goodrich’s thoughts came in and out of focus along with memories of a challenging and grace-filled life. Sitting by a window overlooking the waters of Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay, she reached for her notepad. In words she soon wouldn’t recognize as her own she wrote: “Here I am in my favorite chair, with my feet...More

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Who Are You?

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 34–36, John 19:1–22

You are like a lion among the nations; you are like a monster in the seas.
Ezekiel 32:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezekiel 32:2–10

The leader of our video conference said, “Good morning!” I said “Hello” back, but I wasn’t looking at him. I was distracted by my own image on the screen. Do I look like this? I looked at the smiling faces of the others on the call. That looks like them. So yes, this must be me. I should lose some weight. And get a haircut.

In his mind, Pharaoh was pretty great....More

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Moving Toward Maturity

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 32–33, John 18:19–40

Become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 4:11–16

A recent survey asked respondents to identify the age at which they believed they became adults. Those who considered themselves adults pointed to specific behaviors as evidence of their status. Having a budget and buying a house topped the list as being marks of “adulting.” Other adult activities ranged from cooking dinner every weeknight and scheduling one’s own medical...More

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Divine Rescue

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 30–31, John 18:1–18

I have come down to rescue them.
Exodus 3:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 3:7–10

After being informed of a 911 call from a concerned citizen, a police officer drove alongside the train tracks, shining his floodlight into the dark until he spotted the vehicle straddling the iron rails. The trooper’s dashboard camera captured the harrowing scene as a train barreled toward the car. “That train was coming fast,” the officer said, “Fifty to eighty miles per hour.” Acting without hesitation, he pulled an...More

Monday, June 7, 2021

A Wise Builder

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 28–29, John 17

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 14:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 14:1–3, 26–27, 33

Sojourner Truth, whose birth name was Isabella Baumfree, was born a slave in 1797 in Esopus, New York. Though nearly all her children were sold as slaves, she escaped to freedom in 1826 with one daughter and lived with a family who paid the money for her freedom. Instead of allowing an unjust system to keep her family apart, she took legal action to regain her...More

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Our True Selves

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 25–27, John 16

We know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him.
1 John 3:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 John 3:1–3

Inside my parents’ old photo album is a picture of a young boy. He has a round face, freckles, and straight, light-blond hair. He loves cartoons, hates avocados, and owns just one record, by Abba. Also inside that album are pictures of a teenager. His face is long, not round; his hair is wavy, not straight. He has no freckles, likes avocados, watches movies rather than cartoons, and would never admit to owning an...More

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Waiting in Hope

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 23–24, John 15

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:9–13

Rogelio served as our waiter during our weeklong vacation. In one conversation, he credited Jesus for blessing him with Kaly, a compassionate wife with strong faith. After they had their first baby, God gave them the opportunity to help care for their niece who had Down syndrome. Soon after, Rogelio’s mother-in-law needed live-in care.

Rogelio works with joy, often taking on double shifts to...More

Friday, June 4, 2021

Perfect Justice

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 21–22, John 14

All [God’s] ways are just.
Deuteronomy 32:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 32:1–4

In 1983, three teens were arrested for the murder of a fourteen-year-old. According to news reports, the younger teen was “shot . . . because of his [athletic] jacket.” Sentenced to life in prison, the three spent thirty-six years behind bars before evidence surfaced that revealed their innocence. Another man had committed the crime. Before the judge released them as free men, he issued an apology.

No matter how...More

Thursday, June 3, 2021

It’s Okay to Lament

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 19–20, John 13:21–38

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him.
Lamentations 3:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Lamentations 3:19–26

I dropped to my knees and let my tears fall to the floor. “God, why aren’t you taking care of me?” I cried. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. I’d been laid-off for almost a month, and something had gone wrong with my unemployment application. I hadn’t received any money yet, and the stimulus check the US government had promised hadn’t arrived. Deep down, I trusted that God...More

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

A Remarkable Life

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 17–18, John 13:1–20

Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors.
1 Peter 2:12 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 2:9–12

I came to learn about Catherine Hamlin, a remarkable Australian surgeon, through reading her obituary. In Ethiopia, Catherine and her husband established the world’s only hospital dedicated to curing women from the devastating physical and emotional trauma of obstetric fistulas, a common injury in the developing world that can occur during childbirth. Catherine is credited with overseeing the...More

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

God of Justice

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 15–16, John 12:27–50

I trust in your unfailing love.
Psalm 13:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 13

She was perhaps the greatest “scapecow” in history. We don’t know if her name was Daisy, Madeline, or Gwendolyn (each name has been suggested), but Mrs. O’Leary’s cow was blamed for the 1871 Great Chicago Fire that left every third resident of the city homeless. Carried by strong winds through wooden structures, the fire burned for three days and took the lives of nearly three hundred people.

For years, many...More

Monday, May 31, 2021

Secret Giver

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 13–14, John 12:1–26

Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.
Matthew 6:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 6:1–4

For Christopher, a physically disabled veteran, everyday activities had become more challenging, took longer to finish, and increased his pain. Still, he did his best to serve his wife and child. Passersby would see him using a push-mower to cut his lawn every week.

One day, Christopher received a letter—and an expensive riding lawnmower—from an anonymous donor....More

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Worth It, or Worthy?

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 10–12, John 11:30–57

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain.
Revelation 5:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 5:6–12

Helen Roseveare, an English missionary physician in the African Congo, was taken prisoner by rebels during the Simba Rebellion in 1964. Beaten and abused by her captors, she suffered terribly. In the days that followed, she found herself asking, “Is it worth it?”

As she began to ponder the cost of following Jesus, she sensed God speaking to her about it. Years later she explained to an interviewer,...More

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Death Zone

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 7–9, John 11:1–29

But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 11:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Samuel 11:1–6, 12–15

In 2019, a climber saw his last sunrise from the peak of Mount Everest. He survived the dangerous ascent, but the high altitude squeezed his heart, and he passed away on the trek down. One medical expert warns climbers not to think of the summit as their journey’s end. They must get up and down quickly, remembering “they’re in the death zone.”

David survived his dangerous climb to the top. He...More

Friday, May 28, 2021

Rainbow Halo

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 4–6, John 10:24–42

My rainbow . . . will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
Genesis 9:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 9:12–17

On a hike in the mountains, Adrian found himself above some low-lying clouds. With the sun behind him, Adrian looked down and saw not only his shadow but also a brilliant display known as a Brocken spectre. This phenomenon resembles a rainbow halo, encircling the shadow of the person. It occurs when the sunlight reflects back off the clouds below. Adrian described it as a...More

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Flourish Again

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 1–3, John 10:1–23

The more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread.
Exodus 1:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 1:6–14

Given enough sunlight and water, vibrant wildflowers carpet areas of California such as Antelope Valley and Figueroa Mountain. But what happens when drought strikes? Scientists have discovered that certain wildflowers store large quantities of their seeds underground instead of allowing them to push through the soil and bloom. After the drought, the plants use the seeds they’ve saved to begin to...More

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Brave Love

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 28–29, John 9:24–41

Do everything in love.
1 Corinthians 16:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 16:10– 14

The four chaplains weren’t known as “heroes.” But on a frigid February night in 1943, when their transport ship, the SS Dorchester, was torpedoed off the coast of Greenland during World War II, the four gave their all to calm hundreds of panicked soldiers. With the ship sinking and injured men jumping for overcrowded lifeboats, the four chaplains calmed the pandemonium by “preaching courage,” a...More

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Shift into Neutral

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 25–27, John 9:1–23

And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Kings 19:9–12, 15–18

The man ahead of me at the carwash was on a mission. He purposefully strode to the back of his pickup and removed the hitch, so it wouldn’t snag the high-powered rolling brushes. He paid the attendant then pulled onto the automated track—where he left his truck in drive. The attendant shouted after him, “Neutral! Neutral!” but the man’s windows were up and he couldn’t hear. He zipped through...More

Monday, May 24, 2021

Got Plans?

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 22–24, John 8:28–59

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 16:3–9

Caden, a young man of almost eighteen, was anticipating attending his first choice of a college on an academic scholarship. He was involved in a campus ministry in high school and looked forward to participating in a similar ministry in the new environment. He’d saved money from his part-time job and also had an excellent lead on a new job. He’d established some great goals,...More

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Sight Unseen

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 19–21, John 8:1–27

If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.
Luke 16:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 16:19–31

After Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space, he parachuted into the Russian countryside. A farm woman spotted the orange-clad cosmonaut, still wearing his helmet and dragging two parachutes. “Can it be that you have come from outer space?” she asked in surprise. “As a matter of fact, I have,” he said.

Soviet leaders sadly turned the...More

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Water Where We Need It

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 16–18, John 7:28–53

Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.
John 4:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 4:7–14

Lake Baikal, the world’s deepest lake, is vast and magnificent. Measuring one-mile-deep and nearly 400 miles (636 km) by 49 miles (79 km) across, it contains one-fifth of all the surface fresh water in the world. But this water is largely inaccessible. Lake Baikal is located in Siberia—one of the most remote areas of Russia. With water so desperately needed for much of our planet, it’s ironic that such a...More

Friday, May 21, 2021

Safely Ashore

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 13–15, John 7:1–27

Peace, be still!
Mark 4:39 nkjv

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 139:7–12

In Papua New Guinea, the Kandas tribe awaited with excitement the arrival of New Testament Bibles printed in their language. To reach the village, however, the people bringing the books had to travel on the ocean in small boats.

What gave them courage to travel across great waters? Their seafaring skills, yes. But they also knew who created the seas. He’s the One who guides each of us across our life’s churning waves and...More

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Walk, Don’t Run

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 10–12, John 6:45–71

Walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Micah 6:6–8

I’d see her welcoming the dawn each day. She was our local power walker. As I drove my kids to school, she’d be there on the road’s shoulder. Equipped with an oversized pair of headphones and knee-high, colorful socks, she walked with an alternating movement of arms and feet, always with one foot in contact with the ground. The sport is different from running or jogging. Power walking involves an intentional restraint, a reining in...More

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

She Did What She Could

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 7–9, John 6:22–44

She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.
Mark 14:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 14:3–9

She loaded the plastic container of cupcakes onto the conveyor belt, sending it toward the cashier. Next came the birthday card and various bags of chips. Hair escaped from her ponytail, crowning her fatigued forehead. Her toddler clamored for attention. The clerk announced the total and the mom’s face fell. “Oh, I guess I’ll have to put something back. But these are for...More

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Facing the Darkness

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 4–6, John 6:1–21

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.
Isaiah 9:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: 4: For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian. 5: For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire. 6: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The...More

Monday, May 17, 2021

Pursued by Love.

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 1–3, John 5:25–47

I will say, “Salvation comes from the Lord.”
Jonah 2:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jonah 2:1–9

“I fled Him, down the nights and down the days,” opens the famous poem “The Hound of Heaven” by English poet Francis Thompson. Thompson describes Jesus’ unceasing pursuit—despite his efforts to hide, or even run away, from God. The poet imagines God speaking to him and saying, “I am He whom thou seekest!”

The pursuing love of God is a central theme of the book of Jonah. The prophet received...More

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Guilt and Forgiveness

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 24–25, John 5:1–24

They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts.
Romans 2:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 2:12–16

In his book Human Universals, anthropologist Donald Brown lists more than four hundred behaviors that he considers common across humanity. He includes such things as toys, jokes, dances, and proverbs, wariness of snakes, and tying things with string! Likewise, he believes all cultures have concepts of right and wrong, where generosity is praised, promises are valued, and things like meanness and...More

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Shining Stars

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 22–23, John 4:31–54

You will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.
Philippians 2:15–16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 2:12–18

I can close my eyes and go back in time to the house where I grew up. I remember stargazing with my father. We took turns squinting through his telescope, trying to focus on glowing dots that shimmered and winked. These pinpricks of light, born of heat and fire, stood out in sharp contrast to the smooth, ink-black sky.

Do you consider yourself to be a...More

Friday, May 14, 2021

Taken In

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 19–21, John 4:1–30

People who . . . lack understanding are like the beasts that perish.
Psalm 49:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 49:5–20

My old dog sits by my side and stares off into space. A penny for her thoughts. One thing I know she isn’t thinking about is dying because dogs don’t “understand.” They don’t think about future things. But we do. No matter our age or health or wealth, we at some point think about dying. That’s because we, unlike beasts, have “understanding,” according to Psalm 49:20. We know that...More

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Abundant Waters

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 17–18, John 3:19–36

Strike the rock, and water will come out of it for the people to drink.
Exodus 17:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 17:1–7

In Australia, a report outlined “a grim story” of extreme drought, heat, and fire. The account described a horrific year with only minuscule rainfall, turning parched brush into tinder. Raging fires torched the countryside. Fish died. Crops failed. All because they didn’t have a simple resource we often take for granted—water, which we all need in order to live.

Israel found...More

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Renewed Vision

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 15–16, John 3:1–18

My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high.
1 Samuel 2:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 1:10–18; 1Sa:2:2: There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.">2:1–2

After a painful minor surgery on my left eye, my doctor recommended a vision test. With confidence, I covered my right eye and read each line on the chart with ease. Covering my left eye, I gasped. How could I not realize I’d been so blind?

While adjusting to...More

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Listening to Wise Advice

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 13–14, John 2

The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.
Proverbs 12:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 12:2–15

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln once found himself wanting to please a politician, so he issued a command to transfer certain Union Army regiments. When the secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, received the order, he refused to carry it out. He said that the president was a fool. Lincoln was told what Stanton had said, and he replied: “If Stanton said I’m a fool, then I must...More

Monday, May 10, 2021

Singing Over Us

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 10–12, John 1:29–51

[He] will rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Zephaniah 3:14–17

A young father held his baby boy in his arms, singing to him and rocking him in soothing rhythm. The baby was hearing-impaired, unable to hear the melody or the words. Yet the father sang anyway, in a beautiful, tender act of love toward his son. And his efforts were rewarded with a delightful smile from his little boy.

The imagery of the father-son exchange bears a striking resemblance to the words of...More

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Noticing Nature

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 7–9, John 1:1–28

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Matthew 6:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 6:25–34

A friend and I recently visited a favorite walking spot of mine. Climbing a windswept hill, we crossed a field of wildflowers into a forest of towering pines, then descended into a valley where we paused a moment. Clouds floated softly above us. A stream trickled nearby. The only sounds were birdsongs. Jason and I stood there silently for fifteen...More

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Legally His

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 4–6, Luke 24:36–53

The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.
Romans 8:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 8:1–2, 10–17

Liz cried for joy when she and her husband received the birth certificate and passport for their child, making the adoption legally binding. Now Milena would always be their daughter, forever part of their family. As Liz pondered the legal process, she also thought of the “true exchange” that happens when we become part of Jesus’ family: “No longer are we held down by our birthright...More

Friday, May 7, 2021

The Right Words

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 1–3, Luke 24:1–35

Pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan.
Ephesians 6:19 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 6:10–20

In the past year or so, a number of authors have urged believers to take a fresh look at the “vocabulary” of our faith. One writer, for example, emphasized that even theologically rich words of faith can lose their impact when, through overfamiliarity and overuse, we lose touch with the depths of the gospel and our need for God. When that happens, he...More

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Heavy but Hopeful

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 21–22, Luke 23:26–56

Lord, you are the God who saves me.
Psalm 88:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 88:1–13

In a Peanuts comic strip, the very enterprising character Lucy advertised “psychiatric help” for five cents. Linus found his way to her office and acknowledged his “deep feelings of depression.” When he asked her what he could do about his condition, Lucy’s quick reply was, “Snap out of it! Five cents, please.”

While such lighthearted entertainment brings a momentary smile, the sadness and gloom that can...More

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

It’s Who You Know

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 19–20, Luke 23:1–25

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.
Philippians 3:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 3:7–11

In early 2019, Charlie VanderMeer died at the age of eighty-four. For many decades, he was known to thousands and thousands of people as Uncle Charlie, the host of the national radio broadcast Children’s Bible Hour. The day before Uncle Charlie slipped into eternity, he told a good friend, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Of course,...More

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Fueled by Fire

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 16–18, Luke 22:47–71

If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us . . . . But even if he does not . . . we will not serve your gods.
Daniel 3:17–18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Daniel 3:13–18, 25-27

When two firefighters, weary and sooty, stopped at a restaurant for breakfast, the waitress recognized the men from the news and realized they’d spent the night battling a warehouse fire. To show her appreciation, she wrote a note on their bill, “Your breakfast is on me today. Thank you . ....More

Monday, May 3, 2021

Jesus’ Unpopular Ideas

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 14–15, Luke 22:21–46

Give to the one who asks you.
Matthew 5:42

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 5:38–48

For fifteen years, Mike Burden held hate-filled meetings in the memorabilia shop he ran in his small town. But in 2012 when his wife began to question his involvement, his heart softened. He realized how wrong his racist views were and didn’t want to be that person any longer. The militant group retaliated by kicking his family out of the apartment they’d been renting from one of the members.

Where did he turn for...More

Sunday, May 2, 2021

What Can’t Be Seen

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 12–13, Luke 22:1–20

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 11:1–6

Historians say the Atomic Age began on July 16, 1945, when the first nuclear weapon was detonated in a remote desert of New Mexico. But Greek philosopher Democritus (c. 460–370 bc) was exploring the existence and power of the atom long before the invention of anything that could even see these tiny building blocks of the universe. Democritus comprehended more than he could see and...More

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Dwelling in Our Hearts

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 10–11, Luke 21:20–38

I pray that . . . he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
Ephesians 3:16–17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 3:14–21

Sometimes the words of children can jolt us into a deeper understanding of God’s truth. One evening when my daughter was young, I told her about one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith—that God through His Son and Spirit dwells in His children. As I tucked her into bed, I said that Jesus was with...More

Friday, April 30, 2021

Milk Comes First

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 8–9, Luke 21:1–19

Solid food is for the mature.
Hebrews 5:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Heb:6:2: Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.">Hebrews 5:11–6:2

In the seventh century, what is now called the United Kingdom was many kingdoms often at war. When one king, Oswald of Northumbria, became a believer in Jesus, he called for a missionary to bring the gospel to his region. A man named Corman was sent, but things didn’t go well. Finding the English...More

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Working Together

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 6–7, Luke 20:27–47

If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.
Exodus 18:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 18:13–23

Joe worked more than twelve hours a day, often without taking breaks. Starting a charitable business demanded so much time and energy that he had little left to offer his wife and children when he got home. After the toll of chronic stress landed Joe in the hospital, a friend offered to organize a team to help him. Though he dreaded giving up...More

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Cuddling In

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 3–5, Luke 20:1–26

Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.
Psalm 116:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 116:1–7

“Daddy, will you read to me?” my daughter asked. It’s not an unusual question for a child to make of a parent. But my daughter is eleven now. These days, such requests are fewer than they were when she was younger. “Yes,” I said happily, and she curled up next to me on the couch.

As I read to her (from The Fellowship of the Ring), she practically melted into me. It was one of those...More

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Learning from Foolishness

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 1–2, Luke 19:28–48

The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left. Even as fools walk along the road, they lack sense.
Ecclesiastes 10:2–3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 10:1–14

A man walked into a convenience store in Wollongong, Australia, put a $20 bill on the counter and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20...More

Monday, April 26, 2021

At Our Worst

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 23–24, Luke 19:1–27

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: 21: If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23: And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24: And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25: Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth...More

Sunday, April 25, 2021

A Tree to Heal

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 21–22, Luke 18:24–43

Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?
Genesis 3:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 3:1–11

For $300,000, you can buy a new McLaren 720S sports car. The vehicle comes with a V8 engine pumping 710 horsepower—considerably more than you’ll need for your morning commute.

Of course, you might be tempted to use all that power. One Virginia driver learned his McLaren was so “fast” it could go from an upscale showroom to the scrap heap in just twenty-four hours! One day after...More

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Better with God

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 19–20, Luke 18:1–23

Wisdom and power are his.
Daniel 2:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Daniel 1:11–16; 2:19–20

On her college volleyball team, my granddaughter learned a winning principle. When the ball came her way, no matter what, she could “better the ball.” She could make a play that left her teammates in a better situation—without throwing tantrums, blaming, or making excuses. Always make the situation better.

That was Daniel’s response when he and three Hebrew friends were taken into captivity by Babylon’s...More

Friday, April 23, 2021

Seeing with New Eyes

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 16–18, Luke 17:20–37

[Don’t look] to your own interests but each of you to the interests of . . . others.
Philippians 2:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 2:1–5

A video game, one that’s become a cultural phenomenon, places a hundred players on a virtual island to compete until one player remains. Whenever a player eliminates you from the contest, you can continue to watch through that player’s vantage point. As one journalist notes, “When you step into another player’s shoes and inhabit their point of view, the emotional...More

Thursday, April 22, 2021

The God of All Comfort

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 14–15, Luke 17:1–19

[God] comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble.
2 Corinthians 1:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 1:3–7

Radamenes was just a kitten when his owner dropped him off at an animal shelter, thinking he was too ill to recover. The kitten was nursed back to health and adopted by the vet. He then became a fulltime resident at the shelter and now spends his days “comforting” cats and dogs—just out of surgery or recovering from an illness—through his warm presence and gentle...More

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Difficult People

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 12–13, Luke 16

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Proverbs 15:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 15:1–7, 18

Lucy Worsley is a British historian and TV presenter. Like most people in the public eye, she sometimes receives nasty mail—in her case, over a mild speech impediment that makes her r’s sound like w’s. One person wrote this: “Lucy, I’ll be blunt: Please try harder to correct your lazy speech or remove r’s from your scripts—I couldn’t sit through your TV series because it...More

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Jesus’ Promise to You

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 9–11, Luke 15:11–32

He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever.
John 14:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 14:15–21, 25–27

Jason wailed as his parents handed him over to Amy. It was the two-year-old’s first time in the nursery while Mom and Dad attended the service—and he was not happy. Amy assured them he’d be fine. She tried to soothe him with toys and books, by rocking in a chair, walking around, standing still, and talking about what fun he could have. But everything was met with bigger...More

Monday, April 19, 2021

Quarantined by Fear

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 6–8, Luke 15:1–10

Seek his kingdom.
Luke 12:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 12:22–34

In 2020, an outbreak of the coronavirus left the world in fear. People were quarantined, countries were put under lockdown, flights and large events were canceled. Those living in areas with no known cases still feared they might get the virus. Graham Davey, an expert in anxiety, believes that negative news broadcasts are “likely to make you sadder and more anxious.” A meme that circulated on social media showed a man watching the news on TV, and...More

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Hard Ground and Tender Mercy

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 3–5, Luke 14:25–35

Praise be to the Lord.
Ruth 4:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ruth 4:13–22

When James was just six years old, his older brother David died tragically in an ice-skating accident. It was the day before David’s fourteenth birthday. In the years that followed, James tried his best to console his mother, Margaret, who in her deep grief sometimes reminded herself that her elder son would never have to face the challenges of growing up. In James Barrie’s fertile imagination, decades later that same idea would burgeon into...More

Saturday, April 17, 2021


Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 1–2, Luke 14:1–24

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.
Isaiah 55:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: 10: For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 12: For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth...More

Friday, April 16, 2021

Extending Mercy

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 30–31, Luke 13:23–35

If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.
Luke 17:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 17:1–5

Reflecting on how she forgave Manasseh, the man who killed her husband and some of her children in the Rwandan genocide, Beata said, “My forgiving is based on what Jesus did. He took the punishment for every evil act throughout all time. His cross is the place we find victory—the only place!” Manasseh had written to Beata from prison more than once, begging her—and...More

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Baggage Activity

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 27–29, Luke 13:1–22

Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.
Leviticus 19:34

Today's Scripture & Insight: Leviticus 19:32–34

Karen, a middle school teacher, created an activity to teach her students how to better understand one another. In “The Baggage Activity” students wrote down some of the emotional weights they were carrying. The notes were shared anonymously, giving the students insight into each other’s hardships, often with a tearful response from their peers. The classroom has since been filled with a deeper...More

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Live Like It’s Morning

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 25–26, Luke 12:32–59

The fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth.
Ephesians 5:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 5:1–9

When I have to travel across time zones by air, I try various remedies to avoid jet lag. I think I’ve tried them all! On one occasion, I decided to adjust my in-flight eating to the time zone where I was heading. Instead of eating dinner with the rest of the passengers, I kept watching a movie and tried to fall asleep. The hours of elective fasting were difficult, and the breakfast...More

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

The Frosting of Faith

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 22–24, Luke 12:1–31

I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
2 Timothy 1:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Timothy 1:1–5

Hand in hand, my grandson and I skipped across the parking lot to find a special back-to-school outfit. A preschooler now, he was excited about everything, and I was determined to ignite his happiness into joy. I’d just seen a coffee mug with the inscription, “Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting.”...More

Monday, April 12, 2021

Serving the Least

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 19–21, Luke 11:29–54

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:40

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 25:31–40

His name is Spencer. But everybody calls him “Spence.” He was a state track champion in high school; then he went on to attend a prestigious university on a full academic scholarship. He lives now in one of America’s largest cities and is highly respected in the field of chemical engineering. But if you were to ask...More

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Imperfect Plans

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 17–18, Luke 11:1–28

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 19:20–23

I was exploring a library on the bottom floor of a new community center when an overhead crash suddenly shook the room. A few minutes later it happened again, and then again. An agitated librarian finally explained that a weight-lifting area was positioned directly above the library, and the noise occurred every time someone dropped a weight. Architects and designers had...More

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Finding Joy in Praise

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 15–16, Luke 10:25–42

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.
Habakkuk 3:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Habakkuk 3:6, 16–19

When the famous British writer C. S. Lewis first gave his life to Jesus, he initially resisted praising God. In fact, he called it “a stumbling block.” His struggle was “in the suggestion that God Himself demanded it.” Yet Lewis finally realized “it is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence” to His people. Then we, “in perfect love with God,” find joy in Him no more...More

Friday, April 9, 2021

Refuge for the Rejected

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 13–14, Luke 10:1–24

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge.
Psalm 57:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 57

George Whitefield (1714–1770) was one of the most gifted and effective preachers in history, leading thousands to faith in Jesus. But his life wasn’t without controversy. His practice of preaching outdoors (to accommodate large crowds) was sometimes criticized by those who questioned his motives and felt he should speak only within the four walls of a church building. Whitefield’s epitaph sheds...More

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Love Reins Us In

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 10–12, Luke 9:37–62

It is better not to . . . do anything . . . that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
Romans 14:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 14:1–13

Most young Samoan boys receive a tattoo signaling their responsibility to their people and their chief. Naturally, then, the marks cover the arms of the Samoan men’s rugby team members. Traveling to Japan where tattoos can carry negative connotations, the teammates realized their symbols presented a problem for their hosts. In a generous act of friendship, the Samoans...More

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Through Thick and Thin

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 7–9, Luke 9:18–36

The cloud of the Lord was over the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, in the sight of all the Israelites during all their travels.
Exodus 40:38

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 40:34–38

On January 28, 1986, the US Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart seventy-three seconds after takeoff. In a speech of comfort to the nation, President Reagan quoted from the poem “High Flight” in which John Gillespie Magee, a World War II pilot, had written of “the high untrespassed sanctity of space” and the...More

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Companions in Christ

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 4–6, Luke 9:1–17

I thank my God every time I remember you.
Philippians 1:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 1:3–8

The Harvard Study of Adult Development is a decades-long project that’s resulted in a greater understanding of the importance of healthy relationships. The research began with a group of 268 sophomores at Harvard University in the 1930s and later expanded to, among others, 456 Boston inner-city residents. Researchers have conducted interviews with the participants and pored over their medical records every few years....More

Monday, April 5, 2021

Anchored in Truth

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 1–3, Luke 8:26–56

I will drive him like a peg into a firm place.
Isaiah 22:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 22:15–20, 25: In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.">22–25

My family lives in a nearly century-old house with a lot of character, including wonderfully textured plaster walls. A builder cautioned me that with these walls, to hang a picture I’d have to...More

Sunday, April 4, 2021

In the Garden

Bible in a Year: Ruth 1–4, Luke 8:1–25

Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!”
John 20:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 20:11–18

My dad loved to sing the old hymns. One of his favorites was “In the Garden.” A few years back, we sang it at his funeral. The chorus is simple: “And He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there none other has ever known.” That song brought joy to my dad—as it does to me.

Hymn writer C. Austin Miles says he...More

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Riding the Waves

Bible in a Year: Judges 19–21, Luke 7:31–50

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty and your faithfulness surrounds you.
Psalm 89:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 89:5–17

As my husband strolled down the rocky beach taking photos of the Hawaiian horizon, I sat on a large rock fretting over another medical setback. Though my problems would be waiting for me when I returned home, I needed peace in that moment. I stared at the incoming waves crashing against the black, jagged rocks. A dark shadow in the curve of the wave caught my eye. Using the...More

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Cost

Bible in a Year: Judges 16–18, Luke 7:1–30

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
John 19:30

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 19:25–30

Michelangelo’s works explored many facets of the life of Jesus, yet one of the most poignant was also one of the most simple. In the 1540s he sketched a pieta (a picture of Jesus’ mother holding the body of the dead Christ) for his friend Vittoria Colonna. Done in chalk, the drawing depicts Mary looking to the heavens as she cradles her Son’s...More

Thursday, April 1, 2021

“So Helpful”

Bible in a Year: Judges 13–15, Luke 6:27–49

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Romans 12:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 4:7–11

The caller to the Christian radio station said that his wife was coming home from the hospital following surgery. Then he shared something that spoke deeply to my heart: “Everyone in our church family has been so helpful in taking care of us during this time.”

When I heard this simple statement, it reminded me of the value and necessity of Christian hospitality and care. I...More

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Wisely Weeding

Bible in a Year: Judges 11–12, Luke 6:1–26

Search me, God, and know my heart.
Psalm 139:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 139:1–6, 23–24

My grandchildren are running around my backyard. Playing games? No, pulling weeds. “Pulling them up by the roots!” the youngest says, showing me a hefty prize. Her delight as we tackled weeds that day was how much we enjoyed plucking the weedy roots—clearing away each pesky menace. Before the joy, however, came the choice to go after them.

Intentional weeding is also the first step in removing personal...More

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Got Your Nose

Bible in a Year: Judges 9–10, Luke 5:17–39

I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt.
Exodus 12:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 12:12–19

“Why are the statues’ noses broken?” That’s the number one question visitors ask Edward Bleiberg, curator of Egyptian art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Bleiberg can’t blame it on normal wear and tear; even two-dimensional painted figures are missing noses. He surmises that such destruction must have been intentional. Enemies meant to kill Egypt’s gods. It’s as if they were playing a game of “got...More

Monday, March 29, 2021

Facing the Battles with God

Bible in a Year: Judges 7–8, Luke 5:1–16

In the Lord I take refuge.
Psalm 11:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 11

The heroic deeds of US Army soldier Desmond Doss are featured in the 2016 movie Hacksaw Ridge. While Doss’ convictions wouldn’t allow him to take human life, as an army medic he committed himself to preserving life even at the risk of his own. The citation read at Doss’ Medal of Honor ceremony on October 12, 1945, included these words: “Private First Class Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken,...More

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Watch Me!

Bible in a Year: Judges 4–6, Luke 4:31–44

From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.
Matthew 21:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 21:12–17

“Watch my fairy princess dance, Grandma!” my three-year-old granddaughter gleefully called as she raced around the yard of our cabin, a big grin on her face. Her “dancing” brought a smile; and her big brother’s glum, “She’s not dancing, just running,” didn’t squelch her joy at being on vacation with family.

The first Palm Sunday was a day of highs and lows....More

Saturday, March 27, 2021

Hosting Royalty

Bible in a Year: Judges 1–3, Luke 4:1–30

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.
Galatians 3:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 3:26–29

After meeting the Queen of England at a ball in Scotland, Sylvia and her husband received a message that the royal family would like to visit them for tea. Sylvia started cleaning and prepping, nervous about hosting the royal guests. Before they were due to arrive, she went outside to pick some flowers for the table, her heart racing. Then she sensed God reminding her that He’s the King of kings and...More

Friday, March 26, 2021

Slum Songs

Bible in a Year: Joshua 22–24, Luke 3

They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Isaiah 35:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 35

Cateura is a small slum in Paraguay, South America. Desperately poor, its villagers survive by recycling items from its rubbish dump. But from these unpromising conditions something beautiful has emerged—an orchestra.

With a violin costing more than a house in Cateura, the orchestra had to get creative, crafting its own instruments from their garbage supply. Violins are made from oil cans with...More

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Know His Voice

Bible in a Year: Joshua 19–21, Luke 2:25–52

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.
John 10:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 10:1–10

One year for vacation Bible school, Ken’s church decided to bring in live animals to illustrate the Scripture. When he arrived to help, Ken was asked to bring a sheep inside. He had to practically drag the wooly animal by a rope into the church gymnasium. But as the week went on, it became less reluctant to follow him. By the end of the week, Ken didn’t have to hold the rope anymore; he just called the...More

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Something Much Bigger

Bible in a Year: Joshua 16–18, Luke 2:1–24

We are co-workers in God’s service.
1 Corinthians 3:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 3:5–9

More than two hundred volunteers assisted October Books, a bookstore in Southampton, England, move its inventory to an address down the street. Helpers lined the sidewalk and passed books down a “human conveyor belt.” Having witnessed the volunteers in action, a store employee said, “It was . . . a really moving experience to see people [helping]. . . . They wanted to be part of something...More

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Reason to Rest

Bible in a Year: Joshua 13–15, Luke 1:57–80

What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun?
Ecclesiastes 2:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 2:17–26

If you want to live longer, take a vacation! Forty years after a study of middle-aged, male executives who each had a risk of heart disease, researchers in Helsinki, Finland, followed up with their study participants. The scientists discovered something they hadn’t been looking for in their original findings: the death rate was lower among those who had taken...More

Monday, March 22, 2021

Sweeter than Honey

Bible in a Year: Joshua 10–12, Luke 1:39–56

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 119:97–105

On Chicago Day in October 1893, the city’s theaters shut down because the owners figured everyone would be attending the World’s Fair. Over seven hundred thousand people went, but Dwight Moody (1837–1899) wanted to fill a music hall at the other end of Chicago with preaching and teaching. His friend R. A. Torrey (1856–1928) was skeptical that Moody could draw a crowd on the same day as...More

Sunday, March 21, 2021

God at Work

Bible in a Year: Joshua 7–9, Luke 1:21–38

Surely he was the Son of God!
Matthew 27:54

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 27:50–54

“God is crying.” Those were the words whispered by Bill Haley’s ten-year-old daughter as she stood in the rain with a group of multiethnic believers in Jesus. They had come to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to seek God and make sense of the legacy of racial discord in America. As they stood on the grounds where former slaves were buried, they joined hands in prayer. Then suddenly the wind began to blow, and it started to rain....More

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Loving Correction

Bible in a Year: Joshua 4–6, Luke 1:1–20

Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise.
Proverbs 15:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 10:38-42

For more than fifty years, my dad strove for excellence in his editing. His passion wasn’t to just look for mistakes but also to make the copy better in terms of clarity, logic, flow, and grammar. Dad used a green pen for his corrections, rather than a red one. A green pen he felt was “friendlier,” while slashes of red might be jarring to a novice or less confident writer. His objective...More

Friday, March 19, 2021

The Purple Shawl

Bible in a Year: Joshua 1–3, Mark 16

I urge you . . . to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me.
Romans 15:30

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 15:23–33

While serving as my mom’s live-in caregiver at a cancer center hundreds of miles away from my home, I asked people to pray for us. As the months passed, isolation and loneliness sapped my strength. How could I care for my mom if I gave in to my physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion?

One day, a friend sent me an unexpected care package. Jodi had crocheted a purple prayer shawl, a warm...More

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Small Yet Mighty

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 32–34, Mark 15:26–47

We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Ephesians 2:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 2:4–10

There are times late at night in North America’s harsh Sonoran Desert where one can hear a faint, high-pitched howl. But you probably wouldn’t suspect the source of the sound—the small yet mighty grasshopper mouse, howling at the moon to establish its territory.

This unique rodent (dubbed the “werewolf mouse”) is also carnivorous. In fact, it preys on creatures...More

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

It’s Jesus!

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 30–31, Mark 15:1–25

God has chosen to make known . . . the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:27

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 1:27–29; 2:6–10

During an episode of the popular US television talent competition America’s Got Talent, a five-year-old girl sang with such exuberance that a judge compared her to a famous child singer and dancer in the 1930s. He remarked, “I think Shirley Temple is living somewhere inside of you.” Her unexpected response: “Not...More

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

A Strong Heart

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 28–29, Mark 14:54–72

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 73:21–28

In his book Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, co-authored with Philip Yancey, Dr. Paul Brand observed, “A hummingbird heart weighs a fraction of an ounce and beats eight hundred times a minute; a blue whale’s heart weighs half a ton, beats only ten times per minute, and can be heard two miles away. In contrast to either, the human heart seems dully functional, yet it...More

Monday, March 15, 2021

Caring Letters

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 26–27, Mark 14:27–53

You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession.
1 Peter 2:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 2:4–10

Decades ago, Dr. Jerry Motto discovered the power of a “caring letter.” His research found that simply sending a letter expressing care to discharged patients who had previously attempted suicide reduced the rate of recurrence by half. Recently, health care providers have rediscovered this power when sending “caring” texts, postcards, and even social media memes as...More

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Storms of Fear

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 23–25, Mark 14:1–26

[Jesus] said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
Mark 4:40

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 4:35–41

In a TV commercial I saw recently, a woman casually asks someone in a group watching TV, “What are you searching for, Mark?” “A version of myself that doesn’t make decisions based on fear,” he responds soberly—not realizing that she was just asking what he liked to watch on TV!

Whoa, I thought. I wasn’t expecting a TV commercial to hit me so profoundly!...More

Saturday, March 13, 2021

God’s Storybook

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 20–22, Mark 13:21–37

God blessed them. . . . God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1:28, 31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 1:26–31

Wanting to enjoy the beautiful day, I headed out for a walk and soon met a new neighbor. He stopped me and introduced himself: “My name is Genesis, and I’m six and a half years old.”

“Genesis is a great name! It’s a book in the Bible,” I replied.

“What’s the Bible?” he asked.

“It’s God’s storybook about how He made the...More

Friday, March 12, 2021

Every Breath

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 17–19, Mark 13:1–20

I will put breath in you.
Ezekiel 37:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezekiel 37: 1–3, 7–10, 14

When Tee Unn came down with a rare autoimmune disease that weakened all his muscles and nearly killed him, he realized that being able to breathe was a gift. For more than a week, a machine had to pump air into his lungs every few seconds, which was a painful part of his treatment.

Tee Unn made a miraculous recovery, and today he reminds himself not to complain about life’s challenges. “I’ll just...More

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Out of Our Poverty

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 14–16, Mark 12:28–44

They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.
Mark 12:44

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 12:38–44

Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates made history when they launched the Giving Pledge, promising to donate half of their money. As of 2018, this meant giving away 92 billion dollars. The pledge made psychologist Paul Piff curious to study giving patterns. Through a research test, he discovered that the poor were inclined to give 44 percent more of...More

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Practice These Things

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 11–13, Mark 12:1–27

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.
Philippians 4:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 4:1–9

As I helped my son with his math homework, it became apparent he was less than enthusiastic about doing multiple problems related to the same concept. “I’ve got it, Dad!” he insisted, hoping I would let him out of doing all of his assignment. I then gently explained to him that a concept is just a concept until we learn how to work it out in...More

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Snow Muse

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 8–10, Mark 11:19–33

He says to the snow, “Fall on the earth,” and to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.”
Job 37:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 36:26–29; 37:5–7

Named for a tough blue-collar neighborhood in Cincinnati, Ohio, the grassroots musical group Over the Rhine sings about a transformation that took place each year in the city. “Whenever we’d get our first real snowfall of the year, it felt like something sacred was happening,” explains band co-founder Linford Detweiler. “Like a little bit of a...More

Monday, March 8, 2021

The Reason for Writing

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 5–7, Mark 11:1–18

But these are written that you may believe.
John 20:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: 25: The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. 26: And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27: Then saith he to Thomas,...More

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Pleading with God

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 3–4, Mark 10:32–52

I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures. . . . So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition.
Daniel 9:2–3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Daniel 9: 2: In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 3: And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplication, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes: 4: And I prayed unto the...More

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Minding My Own Business

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 1–2, Mark 10:1–31

Mind your own business and work with your hands.
1 Thessalonians 4:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

Years ago, my son Josh and I were making our way up a mountain trail when we spied a cloud of dust rising in the air. We crept forward and discovered a badger busy making a den in a dirt bank. He had his head and shoulders in the hole and was vigorously digging with his front paws and kicking the dirt out of the hole with his hind feet. He was so invested in his work he didn’t hear us.


Friday, March 5, 2021

Who Knows?

Bible in a Year: Numbers 34–36, Mark 9:30–50

When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.
Ecclesiastes 7:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 6:12;7:13–14

According to Chinese legend, when Sai Weng lost one of his prized horses, his neighbor expressed sorrow for his loss. But Sai Weng was unconcerned. He said, “Who knows if it may be a good thing for me?” Surprisingly, the lost horse returned home with another horse. As the neighbor congratulated him, Sai Weng said, “Who knows if...More

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Knowing the Father

Bible in a Year: Numbers 31–33, Mark 9:1–29

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.”
John 14:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 14:8–11

According to legend, British conductor Sir Thomas Beecham once saw a distinguished-looking woman in a hotel foyer. Believing he knew her but unable to remember her name, he paused to talk with her. As the two chatted, he vaguely recollected that she had a brother. Hoping for a clue, he asked how her brother was doing and...More

Wednesday, March 3, 2021


Bible in a Year: Numbers 28–30, Mark 8:22–38

The Lord himself goes before you.
Deuteronomy 31:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 31:1–8

While I was clearing out the garden in preparation for spring planting, I pulled up a large clump of winter weeds . . . and leapt into the air! A venomous copperhead snake lay hidden in the undergrowth just below my hand—an inch lower and I would have grabbed it by mistake. I saw its colorful markings as soon as I lifted the clump; the rest of it was coiled in the weeds between my feet.

When my feet hit the...More

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Safe and Still

Bible in a Year: Numbers 26–27, Mark 8:1–21

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 91

As a full-of-energy preschooler, my son Xavier avoided afternoon quiet time. Being still often resulted in an unwanted, though much-needed, nap. So, he’d wiggle in his seat, slide off the sofa, scoot across the hardwood floor, and even roll across the room to evade the quiet. “Mom, I’m hungry . . . I’m thirsty . . . I have to go to the bathroom . . . I want a...More

Monday, March 1, 2021

Never Give Up

Bible in a Year: Numbers 23–25, Mark 7:14–37

Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips.
Joshua 1:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 1:1–9

“Time went by. War came in.” That’s how Bishop Semi Nigo of the Keliko people of South Sudan described delays in his church’s long struggle to get the Bible in their own language. Not one word, in fact, had ever been printed in the Keliko language. Decades earlier, Bishop Nigo’s grandfather had courageously started a Bible translation project, but war and unrest kept halting the effort. Yet, despite repeated...More

Sunday, February 28, 2021

New Every Morning

Bible in a Year: Numbers 20–22, Mark 7:1–13

[God’s] compassions never fail. They are new every morning.
Lamentations 3:22–23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Lamentations 3:19–26

My brother Paul grew up battling severe epilepsy, and when he entered his teenage years it became even worse. Nighttime was excruciating for him and my parents, as he’d experience continuous seizures for often more than six hours at a time. Doctors couldn’t find a treatment that would alleviate the symptoms while also keeping him conscious for at least part of the day. My parents...More

Saturday, February 27, 2021

No Longer Yourself

Bible in a Year: Numbers 17–19, Mark 6:30–56

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 2:14–21

In the summer of 1859, Monsieur Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope—something he would go on to do hundreds of times. Once he did it with his manager Harry Colcord on his back. Blondin gave Colcord these instructions: “Look up,...More

Friday, February 26, 2021

Facing Fear

Bible in a Year: Numbers 15–16, Mark 6:1–29

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
Psalm 56:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 56:3–11

Warren moved to a small town to pastor a church. After his ministry had some initial success, one of the locals turned on him. Concocting a story accusing Warren of horrendous acts, the man took the story to the local newspaper and even printed his accusations on pamphlets to distribute to local residents by mail. Warren and his wife started praying hard. If the lie was believed, their lives would be upended.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

To Be Human

Bible in a Year: Numbers 12–14, Mark 5:21–43

Jerusalem, Jerusalem . . . how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
Matthew 23:37

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 23:37–24:2

“Mr. Singerman, why are you crying?” asked twelve-year-old Albert as he watched the master craftsman construct a wooden box.

“I cry,” he said, “because my father cried, and because my grandfather cried.” The woodworker’s answer to his young apprentice provides a tender moment in an episode of Little House...More

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Never Alone

Bible in a Year: Numbers 9–11, Mark 5:1–20

Two are better than one . . . If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
Ecclesiastes 4:9–10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 4:8–12

“It can be an affliction more harrowing than homelessness, hunger or disease,” wrote Maggie Fergusson in The Economist’s 1843 magazine. Her subject? Loneliness. Fergusson chronicled the increasing rates of loneliness, irrespective of one’s social or economic status, using heart-wrenching examples of what it feels like to be lonely.

The hurt of...More

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Turn on the Light

Bible in a Year: Numbers 7–8, Mark 4:21–41

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 5:14–16

As my husband and I prepared for a cross-country move, I wanted to ensure that we kept in touch with our grown sons. I found a unique gift, friendship lamps connected by wireless internet, which can be turned on remotely. When I gave the lamps to my sons, I explained that their lamps will turn on when I touch my lamp—to provide a shining reminder of my love...More

Monday, February 22, 2021

Like Jesus

Bible in a Year: Numbers 4–6, Mark 4:1–20

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.
Romans 8:29

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 8:22–30

As a boy, theologian Bruce Ware was frustrated that 1 Peter 2:21–23 calls us to be like Jesus. Ware wrote of his youthful exasperation in his book The Man Christ Jesus. “Not fair, I determined. Especially when the passage says to follow in the steps of one ‘who did no sin.’ This was totally outlandish . . . . I just couldn’t see how God could really mean for us to take it...More

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Unimaginable Promises

Bible in a Year: Numbers 1–3, Mark 3

He has given us his very great and precious promises.
2 Peter 1:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: 8: For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.">2 Peter 1:2–8

In our moments of greatest failure, it can be easy to believe it’s too late for us, that we’ve lost our chance at a life of purpose and worth. That’s how Elias, a former inmate at a maximum-security prison in New York, described feeling as a prisoner. “I had broken...More

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Strengthened by Grace

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 26–27, Mark 2

You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 Timothy 2:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Timothy 2:1–4

During the American Civil War, the penalty for desertion was execution. But the Union armies rarely executed deserters because their commander-in-chief, Abraham Lincoln, pardoned nearly all of them. This infuriated Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War, who believed that Lincoln’s leniency only enticed would-be deserters. But Lincoln empathized with soldiers who had lost their nerve and who had given in...More

Friday, February 19, 2021

We’re Not God

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 25, Mark 1:23–45

In the pride of your heart you say, “I am a god.”
Ezekiel 28:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezekiel 28:1–10

In Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis recommended asking ourselves some questions to find out if we’re proud: “How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, . . . or patronize me, or show off?” Lewis saw pride as a vice of the “utmost evil” and the chief cause of misery in homes and nations. He called it a “spiritual cancer” that eats up the very possibility of...More

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Remember to Sing

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 23–24, Mark 1:1–22

How good it is to sing praises to our God.
Psalm 147:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 147:1–7

Nancy Gustafson, a retired opera singer, was devastated when she visited her mother and observed her decline from dementia. Her mom no longer recognized her and barely spoke. After several monthly visits, Nancy had an idea. She started singing to her. Her mother’s eyes lit up at the musical sounds, and she began singing too—for twenty minutes! Then Nancy’s mom laughed, joking they were “The Gustafson Family...More

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Desperate Solutions

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 21–22, Matthew 28

You did not . . . have regard for the One who planned it long ago.
Isaiah 22:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 22:8–13

In the late sixteenth century, William of Orange intentionally flooded much of his nation’s land. The Dutch monarch resorted to such a drastic measure in an attempt to drive out the invading Spaniards. It didn’t work, and a vast swath of prime farmland was lost to the sea. “Desperate times call for desperate measures,” they say.

In Isaiah’s day, Jerusalem turned to desperate...More

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Thinking Differently

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 19–20, Matthew 27:51–66

Do not conform to the pattern of this world.
Romans 12:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:1–3

During college, I spent a good chunk of a summer in Venezuela. The food was astounding, the people delightful, the weather and hospitality beautiful. Within the first day or two, however, I recognized that my views on time management weren’t shared by my new friends. If we planned to have lunch at noon, this meant anywhere between 12:00 and 1:00 p.m. The same for meetings or travel: timeframes were approximations...More

Monday, February 15, 2021

Spitting Image

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 17–18, Matthew 27:27–50

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
Colossians 1:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 1:15–23

During an outing, we met a woman who had known my husband’s family since he was a child. She looked from Alan to our son, Xavier. “He’s the spitting image of his daddy,” she said. “Those eyes. That smile. Yep. Looks just like him.” As the woman delighted in acknowledging such a strong resemblance between father and son, she even noted similarities in their...More

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sending Out an SOS

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 15–16, Matthew 27:1–26

I sought the Lord, and he answered me.
Psalm 34:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 34:1–10

When the hut of a settler in a mountainous region of Alaska caught fire, the settler was left without adequate shelter and with few provisions in the coldest state in the US—in the middle of a frigid winter. Three weeks later, the man was finally rescued when an aircraft flew over and spied the large SOS he had stamped out in the snow and darkened with soot.

The psalmist David was certainly in dire straits. He...More

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Something New

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 14, Matthew 26:51–75

See, I am doing a new thing! . . . I am making . . . streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:14–21

Farming is difficult in areas that lack fresh water. To help solve this problem, the Seawater Greenhouse company has created something new: “cooling houses” in Somaliland, Africa, and other countries with similar climates. Cooling houses use solar pumps to drizzle saltwater over walls made of corrugated cardboard. As the water moves down each panel, it leaves its salt behind. Much...More

Friday, February 12, 2021

A Joyful Celebration

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 13, Matthew 26:26–50

The wedding of the Lamb has come.
Revelation 19:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 19:1–9

My friend Sharon passed away one year prior to the death of my friend Dave’s teenage daughter Melissa. They both had been tragically killed in car accidents. One night both Sharon and Melissa were in my dream. They giggled and talked as they hung streamers in a large banquet hall and ignored me when I stepped into the room. A long table with white tablecloths had been set with golden plates and goblets. I asked if I could...More

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Ticking Watch

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 11–12, Matthew 26:1–25

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
Psalm 37:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:1–7
A group of workers were cutting ice out of a frozen lake and storing it in an icehouse when one of them realized he’d lost his watch in the windowless building. He and his friends searched for it in vain.

After they gave up, a young boy who’d seen them exit went into the building. Soon, he emerged with the watch. Asked how he’d found it, he replied: “I just sat down and kept quiet, and soon I...More

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Waiting in Hope

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 8–10, Matthew 25:31–46

Simeon . . . was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.
Luke 2:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 2:25–35

In the movie Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, a college professor befriended a stray Akita puppy named Hachi. The dog expressed his loyalty by waiting at the train station each day for the professor to return from work. One day, the professor suffered a fatal stroke. Hachi waited hours at the train station, and for the next ten years he returned each...More

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Looking Up

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 6–7, Matthew 25:1–30

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Colossians 3:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 3:1–4

The cockeyed squid lives in the ocean’s “twilight zone” where sunlight barely filters through the deep waters. The squid’s nickname is a reference to its two extremely different eyes: the left eye develops over time to become considerably larger than the right—almost twice as big. Scientists studying the mollusk have deduced that the squid uses its right eye, the smaller one, to look down into...More

Monday, February 8, 2021

Trust the Light

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 4–5, Matthew 24:29–51

Believe in the light . . . so that you may become children of light.
John 12:36

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 12: 31: Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. 32: And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 33: This he said, signifying what death he should die.">25–33, 35–36

The weather forecast said bomb cyclone. That’s what happens when a winter storm rapidly intensifies as the atmospheric pressure drops. By the time night fell, the...More

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Recovering What’s Lost

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 1–3, Matthew 24:1–28

But David found strength in the Lord his God.
1 Samuel 30:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 30:1–6, 18–19

At the phone store, the young pastor steeled himself for bad news. His smartphone, accidentally dropped during our Bible class, was a total loss, right? Actually, no. The store clerk recovered all of the pastor’s data, including his Bible videos and photos. She also recovered “every photo I’d ever deleted,” he said. The store also “replaced my broken phone with a brand-new phone.” As he said,...More

Saturday, February 6, 2021

What’s Your Reputation?

Bible in a Year: Exodus 39–40, Matthew 23:23–39

Now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
Ephesians 5:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 5:8–14

At local high school sporting events, Ted was the largest and loudest cheerleader in the stands. Before a degenerative condition took its toll on him, he stood six feet six inches tall and weighed 290 pounds. Ted’s crowd-stirring chants of “Blue!” (the school’s color) and candy-tossing at school events were legendary, earning him the name “Big Blue.”

But Ted’s reputation in his...More

Friday, February 5, 2021

Hold Steady

Bible in a Year: Exodus 36–38, Matthew 23:1–22

I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand.
Isaiah 41:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 41:10–13

Harriet Tubman was one of the great American heroes of the nineteenth century. Showing remarkable courage, she guided more than three hundred fellow slaves to freedom after she first escaped slavery by crossing into free territory in the United States North. Not content to simply enjoy her own freedom, she ventured back into slave states nineteen times to lead friends, family, and strangers to...More

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Faith Investments

Bible in a Year: Exodus 34–35, Matthew 22:23–46

Teach [these words of mine] to your children.
Deuteronomy 11:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 11:18–20

On his twelfth Christmas, the boy eagerly awaited the opening of the gifts under the tree. He was yearning for a new bike, but his hopes were dashed—the last present he received was a dictionary. On the first page, he read: “To Charles from Mother and Daddy, 1958. With love and high hopes for your best work in school.”

In the next decade, Chuck did do well in school. He graduated from...More

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Waiting for a Blessing

Bible in a Year: Exodus 31–33, Matthew 22:1–22

Though it linger, wait for it.
Habakkuk 2:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Habakkuk 1:12–2:4

A popular restaurant in Bangkok serves soup from a broth that has been cooking for forty-five years and is replenished a bit each day. The practice, called “perpetual stew,” dates back to medieval times. Just as some “leftovers” taste better a few days later, the extended cooking time blends and creates unique flavors. The restaurant has won multiple awards for the most delicious broth in Thailand.

Good things...More

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Pruned to Thrive

Bible in a Year: Exodus 29–30, Matthew 21:23–46

Every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
John 15:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: 7: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8: Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9: As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 11: These things...More

Monday, February 1, 2021

A House on a Rock

Bible in a Year: Exodus 27–28, Matthew 21:1–22

Everyone who [practices] these words of mine . . . is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Matthew 7:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 7:24–29

As many as 34,000 homes in one US state are at risk of collapsing due to faulty foundations. Without realizing it, a concrete company pulled stone from a quarry laced with a mineral that, over time, causes concrete to crack and disintegrate. The foundations of nearly six hundred homes have already crumbled, and that number will likely skyrocket over...More

Sunday, January 31, 2021

A Future with Forgiveness

Bible in a Year: Exodus 25–26, Matthew 20:17–34

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:9–21

In 1994, when South Africa made the transition from government by apartheid (imposed racial segregation) to a democracy, it faced the difficult question of how to address the crimes committed under apartheid. The country’s leaders couldn’t ignore the past, but merely imposing harsh punishments on the guilty risked deepening the country’s wounds. As Desmond Tutu, the first black Anglican...More

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Wearing Our Courage

Bible in a Year: Exodus 23–24, Matthew 20:1–16

If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven.
2 Kings 1:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Kings 1:9–15

Andrew lives in a country that’s closed to the gospel. When I asked how he keeps his faith a secret, he said he doesn’t. He wears a button that advertises his church, and whenever he’s arrested he tells the police that “they need Jesus too.” Andrew has courage because he knows who’s on his side.

Elijah refused to be intimidated, even when the king of Israel sent fifty soldiers...More

Friday, January 29, 2021

Out of Breath

Bible in a Year: Exodus 21–22, Matthew 19

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 5:13–14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 5:12–15

There’s a home-improvement store near me that has a big green button in one of its departments. If no assistant is present, you push the button, which starts a timer. If you’re not served within a minute, you get a discount on your purchase.

We like being the customer in this scenario who enjoys the speedy service. But the demand...More

Thursday, January 28, 2021

A Mighty Stream

Bible in a Year: Exodus 19–20, Matthew 18:21–35

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
Amos 5:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Amos 5:21–24

Among the many exhibits and artifacts exploring the harsh reality of slavery and its aftermath in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, I was grateful to discover the Contemplative Court. This tranquil room features translucent walls of bronze glass, and water appears to rain down from the ceiling into a pool.

As I sat in that...More

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Free at Last

Bible in a Year: Exodus 16–18, Matthew 18:1–20

If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:36

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 8:31–36

Twenty long years passed before British journalist John McCarthy—a five-year hostage during Lebanon’s grueling civil war—met the man who negotiated his release. When McCarthy finally met U.N. envoy Giandomenico Picco, McCarthy simply said, “Thank you for my freedom!” His heartfelt words carried great weight because Picco had risked his own life during dangerous negotiations to secure freedom for...More

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Problem Within

Bible in a Year: Exodus 14–15, Matthew 17

Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
Matthew 21:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 21:1–9

A few years ago, a woodpecker began tapping on the siding of our home. We thought the problem was only external. Then one day, my son and I climbed up a ladder into the attic only to have a bird fly past our startled faces. The problem was worse than we’d suspected: it was inside our house.

When Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the crowd was...More

Monday, January 25, 2021

Ripple Effect

Bible in a Year: Exodus 12–13, Matthew 16

Because the hand of the Lord my God was on me, I took courage and gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.
Ezra 7:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezra 8:15– 21

The little Bible college in northern Ghana didn’t look impressive—just a tin-roofed cinder- block building and a handful of students. Yet Bob Hayes poured his life into those students. He gave them leadership roles and encouraged them to preach and teach, despite their occasional reluctance. Bob passed away years ago, but dozens of thriving churches,...More

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Surrendering All

Bible in a Year: Exodus 9–11, Matthew 15:21–39

Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!”
Mark 10:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 10:26–31

Two men remembered for serving others for Jesus left careers in the arts to commit themselves to where they believed God had called them. James O. Fraser (1886–1938) decided not to pursue being a concert pianist in England to serve the Lisu people in China, while the American Judson Van DeVenter (1855–1939) chose to become an evangelist instead of pursuing a career in art. He later wrote the...More

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Deepest Places

Bible in a Year: Exodus 7–8, Matthew 15:1–20

I am worn out from my groaning.
Psalm 6:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 6

Victor Hugo (1802–1885), a poet and novelist during the social and political upheavals of nineteenth-century France, is perhaps best known for his classic Les Miserables. Over a century later, a musical adaptation of his novel has become one of our generation’s most popular productions. This shouldn’t surprise us. As Hugo once said, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be...More

Friday, January 22, 2021

Running to Tell

Bible in a Year: Exodus 4–6, Matthew 14:22–36

So the women . . . ran to tell his disciples.
Matthew 28:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 28:1–10

The modern-day marathon is based on the story of a Greek messenger, Pheidippides. According to legend, in 490 bc he ran approximately twenty-five miles (forty kilometers) from Marathon to Athens to announce the Greeks’ victory against their formidable foe, the invading Persians. Today, people run marathons for the personal satisfaction of an athletic achievement, but Pheidippides had a greater purpose...More

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Small Fish

Bible in a Year: Exodus 1–3, Matthew 14:1–21

Come, follow me.
Matthew 19:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 19:16– 26

Over several years, a British couple living in West Africa developed a strong friendship with a man in their town and many times shared the love of Jesus and the story of salvation with him. Their friend, however, was reluctant to relinquish the lifetime of allegiance he had to another religion, even though he came to recognize that faith in Christ was “the greater truth.” His concern was partly financial, since he was a leader in...More

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

God’s Footprints

Bible in a Year: Genesis 49–50, Matthew 13:31–58

How many are your works, Lord!
Psalm 104:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 104:24– 35

“I know where God lives,” our four-year-old grandson told my wife, Cari. “Where is that?” she asked, her curiosity piqued. “He lives in the woods beside your house,” he answered.

When Cari told me about their conversation, she wondered what prompted his thinking. “I know,” I responded. “When we went for a walk in the woods during his last visit, I told him that even though we can’t see God,...More

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Unbreakable Faith

Bible in a Year: Genesis 46–48, Matthew 13:1–30

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in

Isaiah 26:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: to the remembrance of thee. 9: With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 10: Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of...More

Monday, January 18, 2021

A Legacy of Acceptance

Bible in a Year: Genesis 43–45, Matthew 12:24–50

Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 15:5–13

In his book Breaking Down Walls, Glen Kehrein writes about climbing to the roof of his college dorm in Chicago after the assassination of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. “The sound of gunfire bounced eerily back and forth off the large buildings, and soon my rooftop perch provided a near panoramic, yet horrific, view. . . . How in the...More

Sunday, January 17, 2021

The Wonderful One

Bible in a Year: Genesis 41–42, Matthew 12:1–23

There before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it.
Revelation 4:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 4:4– 11

In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion return to Oz with the broomstick that empowered the Wicked Witch of the West. The Wizard had promised, in return for the broomstick, that he would give the four their deepest desires: a ride home for Dorothy, a brain for the Scarecrow, a heart for the Tin Man, and courage for the Cowardly...More

Saturday, January 16, 2021


Bible in a Year: Genesis 39–40, Matthew 11

[Goliath] looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy.
1 Samuel 17:42

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 17:32, 41–47

Baby Saybie, born as a “micro-preemie” at 23 weeks, weighed only 8.6 ounces. Doctors doubted Saybie would live and told her parents they’d likely have only an hour with their daughter. However, Saybie kept fighting. A pink card near her crib declared “Tiny but Mighty.” After five months in the hospital, Saybie miraculously went home as a healthy five-pound baby. And...More

Friday, January 15, 2021

All Roads?

Bible in a Year: Genesis 36–38, Matthew 10:21–42

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
John 14:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 14:1–7

“Don’t get on the expressway!” That text came from my daughter one day as I was leaving work. The highway home had become a virtual parking lot. I began trying alternate routes, but after experiencing gridlock on other roads, I gave up. The trip home would have to wait till later in the day, so I drove in the opposite direction to an athletic event my granddaughter was involved...More

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Our Compassionate God

Bible in a Year: Genesis 33–35, Matthew 10:1–20

You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes.
Psalm 138:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 138

The winter night was cold when someone threw a large stone through a Jewish child’s bedroom window. A star of David had been displayed in the window, along with a menorah to celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. In the child’s town of Billings, Montana, thousands of people—many of them believers in Jesus—responded to the hateful act with compassion. Choosing to identify with the...More

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

What’s Your Song?

Bible in a Year: Genesis 31–32, Matthew 9:18–38

So Moses wrote down this song that day and taught it to the Israelites.
Deuteronomy 31:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel. 20: For when I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke me, and break my covenant. 21: And it shall come to pass, when many evils...More

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Breaking the Cycle

Bible in a Year: Genesis 29–30, Matthew 9:1–17

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 5:14–21

David’s first beating came at the hands of his father on his seventh birthday, after he accidentally broke a window. “He kicked me and punched me,” David said. “Afterward, he apologized. He was an abusive alcoholic, and it’s a cycle I’m doing my best to end now.”

But it took a long time for David to get to this point. Most...More

Monday, January 11, 2021

Lift Up Your Eyes

Bible in a Year: Genesis 27–28, Matthew 8:18–34

My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 121

The clouds hung low, blocking the horizon and limiting visibility to only a few hundred yards. The minutes dragged on. The effect on my mood was noticeable. But then, as afternoon approached, the clouds began to break, and I saw it: beautiful Pikes Peak, the most recognizable landmark of my city, flanked on each side by the mountain range. A smile broke over my face. I considered that even our physical...More

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Paper Crowns

Bible in a Year: Genesis 25–26, Matthew 8:1–17

The Lord’s people will judge the world.
1 Corinthians 6:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 6:1–6

After a holiday meal at my house, everyone opened party favors filled with candy, small toys, and confetti. But there was something else in the favors—a paper crown for each of us. We couldn’t resist trying them on, and we smiled at each other as we sat around the table. For just a moment, we were kings and queens, even if our kingdom was a dining room littered with the remnants of our...More

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Dig It Up

Bible in a Year: Genesis 23–24, Matthew 7

Get rid of all bitterness.
Ephesians 4:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ruth 1 3–5, 20–21

When Rebecca’s brother and sister-in-law started having marriage problems, Rebecca prayed earnestly for their reconciliation. But they divorced. Then her sister-in-law took the children out of state and their dad didn’t protest. Rebecca never again saw the nieces she dearly loved. Years later she said, “Because of trying to handle this sadness on my own, I let a root of bitterness start in my heart, and it began to...More

Friday, January 8, 2021

God of the Invisible

Bible in a Year: Genesis 20–22, Matthew 6:19–34

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people.
Hebrews 6:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 1:35–42

“Sometimes I feel as if I’m invisible. But I so want God to use me.”

Ann was tidying up the exercise room at the hotel I was visiting when we struck up a conversation. As we talked, I discovered she had an amazing story.

“I used to be a crack addict and prostitute living on the streets,” she said. “But I knew God...More

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Sound the Trumpets

Bible in a Year: Genesis 18–19, Matthew 6:1–18

At your times of rejoicing—your appointed festivals and New Moon feasts—you are to sound
the trumpets.

Numbers 10:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Numbers 10:8–10

“Taps” is a trumpet call played by the US military at the end of the day as well as at funerals. I was amazed when I read the unofficial lyrics and discovered that many of the verses end with the phrase “God is nigh” (God is near). Whether before the dark of each night settles in or while mourning the loss of a loved one, the lyrics...More

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Depths of Love

Bible in a Year: Genesis 16–17, Matthew 5:27–48

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of
God! And that is what we are!

1 John 3:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 John 3:1–6

Three-year-old Dylan McCoy had just learned to swim when he fell through a rotted plywood covering into a forty-foot deep, stone-walled well in his grandfather’s backyard. Dylan managed to stay afloat in ten feet of water until his father went down to rescue him.

Firefighters brought ropes to raise the boy, but the father...More

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

A Ripening Process

Bible in a Year: Genesis 13–15, Matthew 5:1–26

When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight.
Jeremiah 15:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 15:15–18

Early in his fifty-year ministry in Cambridge, England, Charles Simeon (1759–1836) met a neighboring pastor, Henry Venn, and his daughters. After the visit, the daughters remarked how harsh and self-assertive the young man seemed. In response, Venn asked his daughters to pick a peach from the trees. When they wondered why their father would want the unripe fruit, he...More

Monday, January 4, 2021

A Lifestyle of Worship

Bible in a Year: Genesis 10–12, Matthew 4

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 100

As I waited in the breakfast buffet line at a Christian conference center, a group of women entered the dining hall. I smiled, saying hello to a woman who stepped into the line behind me. Returning my greeting, she said, “I know you.” We scooped scrambled eggs onto our plates and tried to figure out where we’d met. But I was pretty sure she’d mistaken me for someone else.

When we...More

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Moving at the Speed of Jesus

Bible in a Year: Genesis 7–9, Matthew 3

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
John 11:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 11:14–27

Recently, my car needed work. The mechanic’s shop was close, a mile from my home. So I decided to just walk home. But as I shuffled along next to a bustling thoroughfare, I noticed something: Everyone else was moving so fast.

This isn’t rocket science. Cars go faster than pedestrians. Zip, zip, zip! As I ambled home, I had a realization: We’re so used to...More

Saturday, January 2, 2021

When the Floods Come

Bible in a Year: Genesis 4–6, Matthew 2

The one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation.
Luke 6:49

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 6:46–49

I live in Colorado, a state in the western US known for the Rocky Mountains and our annual snowfall. Yet the worst natural disaster in my state had nothing to do with snow, but rain. The Big Thompson flood occurred on July 31, 1976, around the resort town of Estes Park. When the water finally receded, the death toll was 144 lives, not...More

Friday, January 1, 2021

Uncharted Waters

Bible in a Year: Genesis 1–3, Matthew 1

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.
Isaiah 43:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:1–7

The ball drops in New York’s Times Square. The crowd counts down to Big Ben chiming. Sydney Harbor erupts in fireworks. However your city marks it, there’s something exciting about welcoming in a new year and the fresh start it brings. On New Year’s Day we push out into new waters. What friendships and opportunities might we find?

For all its excitement, though, a new year can be unsettling. None...More

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