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Our Daily Bread Daily Devotional for 2023


Sunday, December 31, 2023

The Righteous City

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

May he produce in you...every good thing that is pleasing to him.
Hebrews 13:21 NLT

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

On New Year’s Eve 2000, officials in Detroit carefully opened a hundred-year-old time capsule. Nestled inside the copper box were hopeful predictions from some city leaders who expressed visions of prosperity. The mayor’s message, however, offered a different approach. He wrote, “May we be permitted to express one hope superior to all others . . . [that] you may realize as a nation, people,...More

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Troubled Souls, Honest Prayers

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

Father, glorify your name!
John 12:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 12:27–32

Three days before a bomb blast rocked his home in January 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had an encounter that marked him for the rest of his life. After receiving a threatening phone call, King found himself pondering an exit strategy from the civil rights movement. Then prayers emerged from his soul. “I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But now I am afraid. I have nothing left. I’ve come to the point where I can't...More

Friday, December 29, 2023

The Crown of Life

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

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.
James 1:12 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 1:1–12

Twelve-year-old LeeAdianez Rodriguez-Espada was worried that she’d be late for a 5K run (just over 3 miles). Her anxiousness led her to take off with a group of runners fifteen minutes earlier than her start time with participants of the half-marathon (more than 13 miles)! LeeAdianez fell in pace with other runners and put one foot in front of the other. At mile four, with the finish line nowhere in...More

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Meeting the Needs of Others

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

If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge, return it by sunset.
Exodus 22:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 22:22–27

Phillip’s father suffered from severe mental illness and had left home to live on the streets. After Cyndi and her young son Phillip spent a day searching for him, Phillip was rightly concerned for his dad’s well-being. He asked his mother whether his father and other people without homes were warm. In response, they launched an effort to collect and distribute blankets and cold-weather gear to...More

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

God’s Wisdom Saves Lives

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

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.
Proverbs 11:30

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 11:24–31

A mail carrier became concerned after seeing one of her customers’ mail pile up. The postal worker knew the elderly woman lived alone and usually picked up her mail every day. Making a wise choice, the worker mentioned her concern to one of the woman’s neighbors. This neighbor alerted yet another neighbor, who had a spare key to the woman’s home. Together they entered their...More

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Day after Christmas

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

Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
Luke 2:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 2:15–20

After all the joy of Christmas Day, the following day felt like a letdown. We’d stayed overnight with friends but hadn’t slept well. Then our car broke down as we were driving home. Then it started to snow. We had abandoned the car and taxied home in the snow and sleet feeling blah.

We’re not the only ones who’ve felt low after Christmas Day. Whether it’s from excessive eating, the way...More

Monday, December 25, 2023

The Promise of Christ’s Birth

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

You, Bethlehem Ephrathah, . . . out of you will come . . . one who will be ruler over Israel.
Micah 5:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 2:1–7

In November 1962, physicist John W. Mauchly said, “There is no reason to suppose the average boy or girl cannot be master of a personal computer.” Mauchly’s prediction seemed remarkable at the time, but it proved astonishingly accurate. Today, using a computer or handheld device is one of the earliest skills a child learns.

While Mauchly’s prediction has come true,...More

Sunday, December 24, 2023

The Christmas Star

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

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
Matthew 2:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 2:1–5, 7–12

“If you find that star, you can always find your way home.” Those were my father’s words when he taught me how to locate the North Star as a child. Dad had served in the armed forces during wartime, and there were moments when his life depended on being able to navigate by the night sky. So he made sure I knew the names and locations of several constellations, but it was being able to find Polaris that mattered...More

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Fellowship in Jesus

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

Encourage one another and build each other up.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 5:11–15

I’m not sure who’s responsible for turning out the lights and locking up the church after our Sunday morning service, but I know one thing about that person: Sunday dinner is going to be delayed. That’s because so many people love to hang around after church and talk about life decisions, heart issues and struggles, and more. It’s a joy to look around twenty minutes after the service and see so many...More

Friday, December 22, 2023

Walls Torn Down, Unity Found

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

[Jesus] broke down the wall of hostility that separated us.
Ephesians 2:14 nlt

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

Since 1961, families and friends had been separated by the Berlin Wall. Erected that year by the East German government, the barrier kept its citizens from fleeing to West Germany. In fact, from 1949 to the day the structure was built, it’s estimated that more than 2.5 million East Germans had bolted to the West. US President Ronald Reagan stood at the wall in 1987 and famously said, “Tear down this...More

Thursday, December 21, 2023

The Light of Hope

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

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Psalm 42:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 42

My mother’s shiny red cross should have been hanging next to her bed at the cancer care center. And I should have been preparing for holiday visits between her scheduled treatments. All I wanted for Christmas was another day with my mom. Instead, I was home . . . hanging her cross on a fake tree.

When my son Xavier plugged in the lights, I whispered, “Thank You.” He said, “You’re welcome.”...More

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Forgiveness and Forgetting

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

I am he who blots out your transgressions . . . and remembers your sins no more.
Isaiah 43:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:18–25

Jill Price was born with the condition of hyperthymesia: the ability to remember in extraordinary detail everything that ever happened to her. She can replay in her mind the exact occurrence of any event she’s experienced in her lifetime.

The TV show Unforgettable was premised on a female police officer with hyperthymesia—to her a great advantage in trivia games and in solving...More

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Learning from Scars

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

The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and [Jacob] was limping because of his hip.
Genesis 32:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 32:22–32

Faye touched the scars on her abdomen. She had endured another surgery to remove esophageal-stomach cancer. This time doctors had taken part of her stomach and left a jagged scar that revealed the extent of their work. She told her husband, “Scars represent either the pain of cancer or the start of healing. I choose my scars to be symbols of healing.”

Jacob faced a...More

Monday, December 18, 2023

My God Is Near

Bible in a Year: Obadiah, Revelation 9

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but...present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:5–6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 4:4–7

For more than thirty years, Lourdes, a voice teacher in Manila, had taught students face to face. When she was asked to conduct classes online, she was anxious. “I’m not good with computers,” she recounted. “My laptop is old, and I’m not familiar with video conferencing platforms.”

While it may seem a small thing to some, it was a real stressor for her. “I...More

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Christmas Dilemma

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

For the Lord detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence.
Proverbs 3:32

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 3:5–18

David and Angie had felt called to move overseas, and the fruitful ministry that followed seemed to confirm it. But there was one downside to their move. David’s elderly parents would now spend Christmases alone.

David and Angie tried to mitigate his parents’ Christmas Day loneliness by posting gifts early and calling on Christmas morning. But what his parents really wanted was...More

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Community in Christ

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

They devoted themselves...to fellowship.
Acts 2:42

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 2:38–47

In the southern Bahamas lies a small piece of land called Ragged Island. In the nineteenth century, it had an active salt industry, but because of a decline in that industry, many people emigrated to nearby islands. In 2016, when fewer than eighty people lived there, the island featured three religious denominations, yet the people all gathered together in one place for worship and fellowship each week. With so few residents, a sense of...More

Friday, December 15, 2023

Equal before God

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

Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.
Proverbs 22:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 3:21–26

While on vacation, my wife and I enjoyed some early morning bike rides. One route took us through a neighborhood of multi-million-dollar homes. We saw a variety of people—residents walking their dogs, fellow bike riders, and numerous workers building new homes or tending well-kept landscapes. It was a mixture of people from all walks of life, and I was reminded of a valuable reality. There was no true...More

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Appetite for Distraction

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

I have calmed and quieted myself,...I am content.
Psalm 131:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 131

I set my phone down, weary of the constant bombardment of images, ideas, and notifications that the little screen broadcasted. Then, I picked it up and turned it on again. Why?

In his book The Shallows, Nicholas Carr describes how the internet has shaped our relationship with stillness: “What the Net seems to be doing is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Whether I’m online or not, my mind...More

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Overcoming Trials

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

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good...the saving of many lives.
Genesis 50:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 50:15–21

Anne grew up in poverty and pain. Two of her siblings died in infancy. At five, an eye disease left her partially blind and unable to read or write. When Anne was eight, her mother died from tuberculosis. Shortly after, her abusive father abandoned his three surviving children. The youngest was sent to live with relatives, but Anne and her brother, Jimmie, went to Tewksbury Almshouse, a...More

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Lean on God

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

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
Proverbs 18:10 nkjv

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 18:10–15
While at a water park with some friends, we attempted to navigate a floating obstacle course made of inflatable platforms. The bouncy, slippery platforms made walking straight almost impossible. As we wobbled our way across ramps, cliffs, and bridges, we found ourselves yelping as we fell unceremoniously into the water. After completing one course, my friend, completely exhausted, leaned on...More

Monday, December 11, 2023

God Is More than Enough

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

The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed.
Ruth 4:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ruth 4:9–17

Ellen was on a tight budget, so she was glad to receive a Christmas bonus. That would have been enough, but when she deposited the money, she received another surprise. The teller said that as a Christmas present the bank had deposited her January mortgage payment into her checking account. Now she and Trey could pay other bills and bless someone else with a Christmas surprise!

God has a way...More

Sunday, December 10, 2023

God Won’t Forget You

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

I will not forget you!
Isaiah 49:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 49:13–18

As a child, I collected postage stamps. When my angkong (Fukienese for “grandfather”) heard of my hobby, he started saving stamps from his office mail every day. Whenever I visited my grandparents, Angkong would give me an envelope filled with a variety of beautiful stamps. “Even though I’m always busy,” he told me once, “I won’t forget you.”

Angkong wasn’t given to overt displays of affection, but I felt his love deeply....More

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Be the Church

Bible in a Year: Daniel 11–12, Jude

Let us consider how we may spur one another on...not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.
Hebrews 10:24–25

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

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Dave and Carla spent months looking for a church home. Following health guidelines, which limited various in-person experiences, made it even more difficult. They longed for connection to a body of believers in Jesus. “It’s a hard time to find a church,” Carla emailed me. Within me rose a realization from my own longing...More

Friday, December 8, 2023

Prejudice and God’s Love

Bible in a Year: Daniel 8–10, 3 John

Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?
John 1:46

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 1:43–51

“You’re not what I expected. I thought I’d hate you, but I don’t.” The young man’s words seemed harsh, but they were actually an effort to be kind. I was studying abroad in his country, a land that decades earlier had been at war with my own. We were participating in a group discussion in class together, and I noticed he seemed distant. When I asked if I’d offended him somehow, he responded, “Not at all . . . . And...More

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Giving like Christ

Bible in a Year: Daniel 5–7, 2 John

Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.
Romans 12:1

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

When American author O. Henry wrote his beloved 1905 Christmas story “The Gift of the Magi,” he was struggling to rebound from personal troubles. Still, he penned an inspiring story that highlights a beautiful, Christlike character trait—sacrifice. In the story, an impoverished wife sells her beautiful long hair on Christmas Eve to buy a gold pocket watch chain for her husband. As she learns later, however,...More

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Saint Nick

Bible in a Year: Daniel 3–4, 1 John 5

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).
Matthew 1:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 1:18–25

The person we know as Saint Nicholas (Saint Nick) was born around ad 270 to a wealthy Grecian family. Tragically, his parents died when he was a boy, and he lived with his uncle who loved him and taught him to follow God. When Nicholas was a young man, legend says that he heard of three sisters who didn’t have a dowry for marriage and would soon be...More

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

God’s Comforting Commitment

Bible in a Year: Daniel 1–2, 1 John 4

The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9

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

Years ago, our family visited Four Corners, the only place in the United States where four states meet at one location. My husband stood in the section marked Arizona. Our oldest son, A.J., hopped into Utah. Our youngest son, Xavier, held my hand as we stepped into Colorado. When I scooted into New Mexico, Xavier said, “Mom, I can’t believe you left me in Colorado!” We were together and apart as our laughter was heard in...More

Monday, December 4, 2023

Shadow and God’s Light

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

Blessed are those who...walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
Psalm 89:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 23

When Elaine was diagnosed with advanced cancer, she and her husband, Chuck, knew it wouldn’t be long until she’d be with Jesus. Both of them treasured the promise of Psalm 23 that God would be with them as they journeyed through the deepest and most difficult valley of their fifty-four years together. They took hope in the fact that Elaine was ready to meet Jesus, having placed her faith in Him decades...More

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Surrendering to Jesus

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

Obey the Lord by doing what I tell you. Then... your life will be spared.
Jeremiah 38:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 38:17–23

In 1951, Joseph Stalin’s doctor advised him to reduce his workload in order to preserve his health. The ruler of the Soviet Union accused the physician of spying and had him arrested. The tyrant who had oppressed so many with lies couldn’t abide the truth, and—as he had done so many times—he removed the one who told him the facts. Truth won anyway. Stalin died in 1953.


Saturday, December 2, 2023

Building Up Goodwill

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

From [Christ] the whole body...grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 4:15–16, 22–32

When we think of best business practices, what first comes to mind probably aren’t qualities like kindness and generosity. But according to entrepreneur James Rhee, they should. In Rhee’s experience as CEO at a company on the brink of financial ruin, prioritizing what he calls “goodwill”—a “culture of kindness” and a spirit of giving—saved the company...More

Friday, December 1, 2023

God’s Heart for All

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

Come to me, all you who are weary.
Matthew 11:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 11:27–30

Nine-year-old Dan Gill arrived with his best friend Archie at their classmate’s birthday party. When the mother of the birthday boy saw Archie, however, she refused him entry. “There aren’t enough chairs,” she insisted. Dan offered to sit on the floor to make room for his friend, who was Black, but the mother said no. Dejected, Dan left their presents with her and returned home with Archie, the sting of his friend’s rejection...More

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Trusting God

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

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 20

I needed two medications urgently. One was for my mom’s allergies and the other for my niece’s eczema. Their discomfort was worsening, but the medicines were no longer available in pharmacies. Desperate and helpless, I prayed repeatedly, Lord, please help them.

Weeks later, their conditions became manageable. God seemed to be saying: “There are times when I use medicines to...More

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Just a Whisper

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

How faint the whisper we hear of Him!
Job 26:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 26:7–14

The whispering wall in New York City’s Grand Central Station is an acoustic oasis from the clamor of the area. This unique spot allows people to communicate quiet messages from a distance of thirty feet. When one person stands at the base of a granite archway and speaks softly into the wall, soundwaves travel up and over the curved stone to the listener on the other side.

Job heard the whisper of a message when his life was...More

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

The Skill of Compassion

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

Be devoted to one another in love...joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:10–12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:9–21

“A thorn has entered your foot—that is why you weep at times at night,” wrote Catherine of Sienna in the fourteenth century. She continued, “There are some in this world who can pull it out. The skill that takes they have learned from [God].” Catherine devoted her life to cultivating that “skill,” and is still remembered today for her remarkable capacity for...More

Monday, November 27, 2023

Serving for God’s Sake

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

They are to . . . [fulfill] the obligations of the Israelites by doing the work of the tabernacle.
Numbers 3:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Numbers 3:5–9

When England’s Queen Elizabeth passed away in September 2022, thousands of soldiers were deployed to march in the funeral procession. Their individual roles must have been almost unnoticeable in the large crowd, but many saw it as the greatest honor. One soldier said it was “an opportunity to do our last duty for Her Majesty.” For him, it was not what he did, but whom he...More

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Who Am I?

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

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?
1 Chronicles 29:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Chronicles 29:14–20

As a member of the leadership team for a local ministry, part of my job was to invite others to join us as group discussion leaders. My invitations described the time commitment required and outlined the ways leaders would need to engage with their small group participants, both in meetings and during regular phone calls. I was often reluctant to impose on other people,...More

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Seeing by Faith

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

Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 11:1–8

During my morning walk, the sun hit the waters of Lake Michigan at a perfect angle to produce a stunning view. I asked my friend to stop and wait for me as I positioned my camera to take a pic. Because of the position of the sun, I couldn’t see the image on my phone’s screen before I snapped the shot. But having done this before, I sensed it would be a great picture. I told my friend, “We...More

Friday, November 24, 2023

Worthy of All Praise

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

I love you, Lord, my strength.
Psalm 18:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 18:1–6

Many consider Ferrante and Teicher to be the greatest piano duet team of all time. Their collaborative presentations were so precise that their style was described as four hands but only one mind. Hearing their music, one can begin to grasp the amount of effort required to perfect their craft.

But there’s more. They loved what they did. In fact, even after they had retired in 1989, Ferrante and Teicher would occasionally show up at a...More

Thursday, November 23, 2023

A Thanksgiving Blessing

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

When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed.
Luke 14:13–14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 14:12–14

In 2016, Wanda Dench sent a text inviting her grandson to Thanksgiving dinner, not knowing he’d recently changed his phone number. The text instead went to a stranger, Jamal. Jamal didn’t have plans, and so, after clarifying who he was, asked if he could still come to dinner. Wanda said, “Of course you can.” Jamal joined the family dinner in what has since become a...More

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Shining Stars

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

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 2:12–16

The first thing I noticed about the city was its gambling outlets. Next, its cannabis shops, “adult” stores, and giant billboards for opportunistic lawyers making money off others’ mishaps. While I had visited many shady cities before, this one seemed to reach a new low.

My mood brightened, however, when I spoke to a taxi driver the next morning. “I ask...More

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Precious to God

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

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:1–7

As a boy, Ming found his father harsh and distant. Even when Ming was ill and had to see the pediatrician, his father grumbled that it was troublesome. Once, he overheard a quarrel and learned his father had wanted him aborted. The feeling of being an unwanted child followed him into his adult years. When Ming became a believer in Jesus, he found it difficult to relate to God as Father, even though he knew Him as Lord of his...More

Monday, November 20, 2023

Priceless Results

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

A cheerful heart is good medicine.
Proverbs 17:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 17:12–22

On every school day for three years, Colleen has been dressing up in a different costume or mask to greet her children as they exit the school bus each afternoon. It brightens the day of everyone on the bus—including the bus driver: “[She] bring[s] so much joy to the kids on my bus, it’s amazing. I love that.” Colleen’s children agree.

It all started when Colleen began fostering children. Knowing how difficult it...More

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Gathering Strength in God

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

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

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

Grainger McKoy is an artist who studies and sculpts birds, capturing their grace, vulnerability, and power. One of his pieces is titled Recovery. It shows the single right wing of a pintail duck, stretched high in a vertical position. Below, a plaque describes the bird’s recovery stroke as “the moment of the bird’s greatest weakness in flight, yet also the moment when it gathers...More

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Confronting in Love

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

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry?”
Genesis 4:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 4:1–12

He did many things well, but there was a problem. Everyone saw it. Yet because he was so effective in accomplishing most of his role, his anger issue wasn’t adequately addressed. He was never truly confronted. Sadly, this resulted in many people being hurt over the years. And, in the end, it led to the premature close of a career that could have been something so much more for this brother in Christ. If only I’d...More

Friday, November 17, 2023

The Adventure

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

In him we were also chosen . . . that we . . . might be for the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:11–12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 1:3–14

“Christianity is not for me. It’s boring. One of my values I hold on to is adventure. That’s life to me,” a young woman told me. It saddened me that she hadn’t yet learned the incredible joy and excitement that comes with following Jesus—an adventure like no other. I excitedly shared with her about Jesus and how real life is found in Him.

Mere words are...More

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Tell of God’s Goodness

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

Let me tell you what he has done for me.
Psalm 66:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 66:5–12, 16–20

Testimony time was the segment in our church service when people shared how God had been at work in their lives. Auntie—or Sister Langford as she was known by others in our church family—was known for packing lots of praise into her testimonies. On the occasions when she shared her personal conversion story, one could expect her to take up a good bit of the service. Her heart gushed with praise to God who’d...More

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

One Thing Needed

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

You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.
Luke 10:41–42

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 10:38–42

One weekend in March, I led a retreat on the theme of Mary and Martha, the sisters in Bethany whom Jesus loved along with their brother Lazarus (John 11:5). We were in a remote spot along the English coastline. When we were snowed in unexpectedly, many of the participants remarked how the extra day together meant they could practice sitting at Christ’s feet as Mary did....More

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Sins Remembered No More

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

I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.
Jeremiah 31:34

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 31:27–34

I never saw the ice. But I felt it. The back end of the pickup I was driving—my grandfather’s—fishtailed. One swerve, two, three—and I was airborne, flying off a fifteen-foot embankment. I remember thinking, This would be awesome if I wasn’t going to die. A moment later, the truck crunched into the steep slope and rolled to the bottom. I crawled out of the crushed cab,...More

Monday, November 13, 2023

A Card and Prayer

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

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Kings 20:1–7

The recently widowed woman was growing concerned. To collect some vital funds from an insurance policy, she needed key information about the accident that had taken her husband’s life. She had talked to a police officer who said he’d help her, but then she lost his business card. So she prayed, pleading with God for help. A short time later, she was at her church when she walked by a window and saw...More

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Cling to Jesus

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

She said to herself, “If I only touch [Jesus’] cloak, I will be healed.”
Matthew 9:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 9:18–22

Dizziness struck me in the stairwell of the office building. Overwhelmed, I gripped the banister because the stairs seemed to spin. As my heart pounded and my legs buckled, I clung onto the banister, thankful for its strength. Medical tests showed I had anemia. Although its cause wasn’t serious and my condition was resolved, I’ll never forget how weak I felt that day.


Saturday, November 11, 2023

Lucky Boots

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 50, Hebrews 8

I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another.
Isaiah 42:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 4:1–11

Too late, Tom felt the chilling “click” beneath his combat boots. Instinctively, he bounded away in an adrenaline-fueled leap. The deadly device hidden underground didn’t detonate. Later, the explosive ordnance disposal team unearthed eighty pounds of high explosives from the spot. Tom wore those boots until they fell apart. “My lucky boots,” he calls them.

Tom may have clung to those...More

Friday, November 10, 2023

Love through Prayer

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

Pray for those who mistreat you.
Luke 6:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 6:27–31

For years, John had been somewhat of an irritant at church. He was bad-tempered, demanding, and often rude. He complained constantly about not being “served” well, and about volunteers and staff not doing their job. He was, honestly, hard to love.

So when I heard that he’d been diagnosed with cancer, I found it difficult to pray for him. Memories of his harsh words and unpleasant character filled my mind. But remembering...More

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Jesus’ Ultimate Victory

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

As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes . . . and they were defeated.
2 Chronicles 20:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Chronicles 20:15–22

At some military camps across Europe during World War II, an unusual type of supply was air-dropped for homesick soldiers—upright pianos. They were specially manufactured to contain only 10 percent of the normal amount of metal, and they received special water-resistant glue and anti-insect treatments. The pianos were rugged and simple but provided hours of spirit-lifting...More

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Knowing the Shepherd’s Voice

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

His sheep follow him because they know his voice.
John 10:4

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

When I was a boy living on a ranch in Tennessee, I spent glorious afternoons roaming with my best friend. We’d hike into the woods, ride ponies, visit the rodeo arena, and venture into the barn to watch the cowboys work the horses. But whenever I heard my dad’s whistle—that clear sound slicing through the wind and all the other clatter—I’d immediately drop whatever I was doing and head home. The signal was...More

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Destruction Destroyed

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

The Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
Genesis 3:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 3:1–10

“The baby birds will fly tomorrow!” My wife, Cari, was elated about the progress a family of wrens was making in a hanging basket on our front porch. She’d watched them daily, taking pictures as the mother brought food to the nest.

Cari got up early the next morning to look in on them. She moved some of the greenery aside covering the nest but instead of seeing baby birds, the narrow eyes of a serpent...More

Monday, November 6, 2023

Persistent Pizza

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

Let us not become weary in doing good.
Galatians 6:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 6:2–10

At age twelve, Ibrahim arrived in Italy from West Africa, not knowing a word of Italian, struggling with a stutter, and forced to face anti-immigrant putdowns. None of that stopped the hardworking young man who, in his twenties, opened a pizza shop in Trento, Italy. His little business won over doubters to be listed as one of the top fifty pizzerias in the world.

His hope was then to help feed hungry children on Italian...More

Sunday, November 5, 2023

Welcomed Home by God

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

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: 1 John 3:1–3

After Sherman Smith recruited Deland McCullough to play American football for Miami University, he grew to love him and became the father Deland never had. Deland had great admiration for Sherman and aimed to become the man he was. Decades later, when Deland tracked down his birth mom, she shocked him with the news, “Your father’s name is Sherman Smith.” Yes, that Sherman Smith....More

Saturday, November 4, 2023

God’s Rescue

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

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
Psalm 40:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 40:1–4

A compassionate volunteer was called a “guardian angel” for his heroic efforts. Jake Manna was installing solar panels at a job site when he joined an urgent search to find a missing five-year-old girl. While neighbors searched their garages and yards, Manna took a path that led him into a nearby wooded area where he spotted the girl waist-deep in a...More

Friday, November 3, 2023

Reflecting the Light of the Son

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 30–31, Philemon

You are the light of the world.
Matthew 5:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 5:14–16

After I had a conflict with my mother, she finally agreed to meet with me more than an hour away from my home. But upon arriving, I discovered she’d left before I got there. In my anger, I wrote her a note. But I revised it after I felt God nudging me to respond in love. After my mother read my revised message, she called me. “You’ve changed,” she said. God used my note to lead my mom to ask about Jesus and, eventually, receive Him...More

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Everybody Worships

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

People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.
Acts 17:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 17:24–32

I recently visited Athens, Greece. Walking around its ancient Agora—the marketplace where philosophers taught and Athenians worshiped—I found altars to Apollo and Zeus, all in the shadow of the Acropolis, where a statue of the goddess Athena once stood.

We may not bow to Apollo or Zeus today, but society is no less religious. “Everybody worships,” novelist David Foster Wallace said, adding...More

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Worth It to Follow Jesus

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

Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.
Luke 14:33

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 14:25–33

Ronit came from a religious but non-Christian family. Their discussions about spiritual matters were dry and academic. “I kept praying all the prayers,” she said, “but I wasn’t hearing [from God].”

She began to study the Bible. Slowly, steadily, she inched toward faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Ronit describes the defining moment: “I heard a clear voice in my heart saying,...More

Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Under God’s Wings

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

I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Psalm 61:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 61

There are several Canada goose families with baby geese at the pond near our apartment complex. The little goslings are so fluffy and cute; it’s hard not to watch them when I go for a walk or run around the pond. But I’ve learned to avoid eye contact and give the geese a wide berth—otherwise, I risk a protective goose parent suspecting a threat and hissing and chasing me!

The image of...More

Monday, October 30, 2023

Smartphone Compassion

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

The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
Exodus 34:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 34:1–8

Was the driver late with your food? You can use your phone to give him a one-star rating. Did the shopkeeper treat you curtly? You can write her a critical review. While smartphones enable us to shop, keep up with friends, and more, they have also given us the power to publicly rate each other. And this can be a problem.

Rating each other this way is...More

Sunday, October 29, 2023

You Can Trust God

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

Those who know your name trust in you.
Psalm 9:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 9:7–10

When my cat Mickey had an eye infection, I put eye drops in his eyes daily. As soon as I placed him on the bathroom counter, he’d sit, look at me with frightened eyes, and brace himself for the spurt of liquid. “Good boy,” I’d murmur. Even though he didn’t understand what I was doing, he never jumped off, hissed, or scratched me. Instead, he would press himself closer against me—the person putting him through the ordeal. He...More

Saturday, October 28, 2023

More Precious than Gold

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

Come to [Jesus], the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him.
1 Peter 2:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 2:4–10

Have you ever looked through low-priced items at a yard sale and dreamed that you might find something of incredible value? It happened in Connecticut when a floral Chinese antique bowl purchased for just $35 at a yard sale was sold at a 2021 auction for more than $700,000. The piece turned out to be a rare, historically significant artifact from the fifteenth century. It’s a...More

Friday, October 27, 2023

Three Kings

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

His people made no funeral fire in his honor, as they had for his predecessors.
2 Chronicles 21:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Chronicles 21:4–7, 16–20

In the hit musical Hamilton, England’s King George III is humorously portrayed as a cartoonish, deranged villain. However, a new biography on King George said he was not the tyrant described in Hamilton or America’s Declaration of Independence. If George had been the brutal despot that Americans said he was, he would have stopped their drive for independence with...More

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Beauty for Ashes

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

The Lord has anointed me . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.
Isaiah 61:1, 3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 61:1–4

In the aftermath of the Marshall Fire, the most destructive fire in Colorado history, one ministry offered to help families search through the ashes for valuable items. Family members mentioned precious objects they hoped were still preserved. Very little was. One man spoke tenderly of his wedding ring. He’d placed it on his dresser in the upstairs bedroom. The house now gone,...More

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

One Door for All

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

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
Romans 10:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 10:8–13

The protocols at the restaurant in my childhood neighborhood were consistent with social and racial dynamics in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The kitchen helpers—Mary, the cook, and dishwashers like me—were Black; however, the in-restaurant patrons were White. Black customers could order food, but they had to pick it up at the back door. Such policies reinforced the unequal treatment of Blacks in that era....More

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Don’t Lose Heart

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

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 4:16–18

I don’t remember a time when my mom Dorothy was in good health. For many years as a brittle diabetic, her blood sugar was wildly erratic. Complications developed and her damaged kidneys necessitated permanent dialysis. Neuropathy and broken bones resulted in the use of a wheelchair. Her eyesight began to regress toward blindness.

But as her...More

Monday, October 23, 2023

Surrendering to God

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

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this.
Psalm 37:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:1–6

God doesn’t help those who help themselves; He helps those who trust in and rely on Him. Jonathan Roumie—the actor who plays Jesus in the successful TV series The Chosen, which is based on the Gospels—realized this in May 2018. Roumie had been living in Los Angeles for eight years, was nearly broke, had enough food just for the day, and had no work in sight. Not knowing how he would make it, the actor poured...More

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Headlong into Danger

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

A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on [toward danger] and suffers the consequences.
Proverbs 27:12 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 27:8–12

In 1892, a resident with cholera accidentally transmitted the disease via the Elbe River to Hamburg, Germany’s entire water supply. Within weeks, ten thousand citizens died. Eight years earlier, German microbiologist Robert Koch had made a discovery: cholera was waterborne. Koch’s revelation prodded officials in large European...More

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Christ, Our True Light

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

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness.
John 8:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 1:1–14

“Go to the light!” That’s what my husband advised as we struggled to find our way out of a big city hospital on a recent Sunday afternoon. We’d visited a friend, and when we exited an elevator, we couldn’t find anyone during weekend hours to point us to the front doors—and the brilliant Colorado sunlight. Roaming around half-lit hallways, we finally encountered a man who saw our confusion....More

Friday, October 20, 2023

In the Garden

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

The Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.
Genesis 2:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 2:8–9; 3:16–19

My dad loved being outdoors in God’s creation camping, fishing, and rock-hunting. He also enjoyed working in his yard and garden. But it took lots of work! He spent hours pruning, hoeing, planting seeds or flowers, pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, and watering the yard and garden. The results were worth it—a landscaped lawn, tasty tomatoes, and beautiful peace...More

Thursday, October 19, 2023

First on the List

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

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Matthew 6:33

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 6:25–34

The morning commenced like a track meet. I practically jumped out of bed, launching into the teeth of the day’s deadlines. Get the kids to school. Check. Get to work. Check. I blasted full throttle into writing my “To Do” list, in which personal and professional tasks tumbled together in an avalanche-like litany:


Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Use What You Have for Christ

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

[Tabitha] was always doing good and helping the poor.
Acts 9:36

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 9:36–43

Ever heard of The Sewing Hall of Fame? Established in 2001, it recognizes people that have made “a lasting impact on the home sewing industry with unique and innovative contributions through sewing education and product development.” It includes individuals like Martha Pullen, inducted into the hall in 2005, who is described as “a Proverbs 31 woman who . . . never failed to publicly acknowledge the source of her...More

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Our Anchor of Hope

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

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
Hebrews 6:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 6:16−20

I held up a picture of people sleeping under pieces of cardboard in a dim alley. “What do they need?” I asked my sixth grade Sunday school class. “Food,” someone said. “Money,” said another. “A safe place,” a boy said thoughtfully. Then one girl spoke up: “Hope.”

“Hope is expecting good things to happen,” she explained. I found it interesting that she talked about...More

Monday, October 16, 2023

Who Am I?

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

God said, “I will be with you.”
Exodus 3:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 4:1–5

Kizombo sat watching the campfire, pondering the great questions of his life. What have I accomplished? he thought. Too quickly the answer came back: Not much, really. He was back in the land of his birth, serving at the school his father had started deep in the rainforest. He was also trying to write his father’s powerful story of surviving two civil wars. Who am I to try to do all this?

Kizombo’s misgivings sound...More

Sunday, October 15, 2023

God’s Unexpected Ways

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

God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.
1 Corinthians 1:27

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 1:21–31

The pastor squinted over his sermon, holding the pages close to his face so he could see the words. He was extremely nearsighted and read each carefully chosen phrase with an unimposing monotone voice. But God’s Spirit moved through Jonathan Edwards’ preaching to fan the revival fires of the First Great Awakening and bring thousands to faith in Christ.

God often uses unexpected...More

Saturday, October 14, 2023

An Impossible Gift

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

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.
John 14:27

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 14:25–31

I was elated to find the perfect gift for my mother-in-law’s birthday: the bracelet even contained her birthstone! Finding that perfect gift for someone is always an utter delight. But what if the gift the individual needs is beyond our power to give. Many of us wish we could give someone peace of mind, rest, or even patience. If only those could be purchased and wrapped with a bow!

These types of gifts are...More

Friday, October 13, 2023

Yielding to Trust

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

Trust in the Lord forever.
Isaiah 26:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 26:1–4

Opening the blinds one winter morning, I faced a shocking sight. A wall of fog. “Freezing fog,” the weather forecaster called it. Rare for our location, this fog came with an even bigger surprise: a later forecast for blue skies and sunshine—“in one hour.” “Impossible,” I told my husband. “We can barely see one foot ahead.” But sure enough, in less than an hour, the fog had faded, the sky yielding to a sunny, clear...More

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Knowing and Loving

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

I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan.
2 Samuel 9:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Samuel 9:1–10

In the powerful article “Does My Son Know You?” sportswriter Jonathan Tjarks wrote of his battle with terminal cancer and his desire for others to care well for his wife and young son. The thirty-four-year-old wrote the piece just six months prior to his death. Tjarks, a believer in Jesus whose father had died when he was a young adult, shared Scriptures that speak of care for widows and orphans...More

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Open the Eyes of My Heart

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

May [God] give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
Ephesians 1:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 1:15–23

In 2001, a premature baby named Christopher Duffley surprised doctors by surviving. At five months old, he entered the foster care system until his aunt’s family adopted him. A teacher realized four-year-old Christopher, though blind and diagnosed with autism, had perfect pitch. Six years later at church, Christopher stood onstage and sang, “Open the Eyes of My Heart.” The...More

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Hope for the Hurting

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

My soul is in deep anguish. How long, Lord, how long?
Psalm 6:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 6

“Most people carry scars that others can’t see or understand.” Those deeply honest words came from Major League Baseball player Andrelton Simmons, who opted out of the end of the 2020 regular season due to mental health struggles. Reflecting on his decision, Simmons felt he needed to share his story to encourage others facing similar challenges and to remind others to show compassion.

Invisible scars are those...More

Monday, October 9, 2023

Slow-Fashioned Grace

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

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

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

Have you heard of #slowfashion? The hashtag captures a movement focused on resisting “fast fashion”—an industry dominated by cheaply made and quickly disposed of clothing. In fast fashion, clothes are out of style nearly as quickly as they’re in the stores—with some brands disposing of large quantities of their products every year.

The slow fashion movement...More

Sunday, October 8, 2023

Wisdom We Need

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

The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
Proverbs 4:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 4:10–19

In his monumental book The Great Influenza, John M. Barry recounts the story of the 1918 flu epidemic. Barry reveals how health officials, rather than being caught off guard, anticipated a massive outbreak. They feared that World War I, with hundreds of thousands of troops crammed into trenches and moving across borders, would unleash new viruses. But this knowledge was useless to...More

Saturday, October 7, 2023

A Choice

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

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life.
Deuteronomy 30:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 30:15–20

A few weeks after the death of a dear friend, I spoke with her mom. I was hesitant to ask how she was doing because I thought it was an inappropriate question; she was grieving. But I pushed aside my reluctance and simply asked how she was holding up. Her reply: “Listen, I choose joy.”

Her words ministered to me that day as I struggled to push beyond some unpleasant...More

Friday, October 6, 2023

What Could Be Better?

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

That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God.
1 Timothy 4:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Timothy 4:6–16

Eric heard about Jesus’ love for him while in his early twenties. He started attending church where he met someone who helped him grow to know Christ better. It wasn’t long before Eric’s mentor assigned him to teach a small group of boys at church. Through the years, God drew Eric’s heart to help at-risk youth in his city, to visit the elderly, and to show hospitality to his...More

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Ready to Go

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

I desire to depart and be with Christ . . . but it is more necessary . . . that I remain.
Philippians 1:23–24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 1:21–30

During the coronavirus pandemic, many suffered the loss of loved ones. On November 27, 2020, our family joined their ranks when Bee Crowder, my ninety-five-year-old mom, died—though not from Covid-19. Like so many other families, we weren’t able to gather to grieve Mom, honor her life, or encourage one another. Instead, we used other means to celebrate her loving...More

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Finding Life

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

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.
1 John 5:1

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

It was a natural step for Brett to attend a Christian college and study the Bible. After all, he’d been around people who knew Jesus his whole life—at home, at school, at church. He was even gearing his college studies toward a career in “Christian work.”

But at age twenty-one, as he sat with the small congregation in an old country church and listened to a pastor preach from 1 John, he made a...More

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

I Can See You!

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

Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.
1 Corinthians 13:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 13:4–13

The optometrist helped three-year-old Andreas adjust his first pair of glasses. “Look in the mirror,” she said. Andreas glanced at his reflection, then turned to his father with a joyful and loving smile. Then Andreas’ father gently wiped the tears that slipped down his son’s cheeks and asked, “What’s wrong?” Andreas wrapped his arms around his father’s neck....More

Monday, October 2, 2023

The Masterpiece Within

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

We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Ephesians 2:10

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

Writing in The Atlantic, author Arthur C. Brooks tells of his visit to the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, which contains one of the largest collections of Chinese art in the world. The museum guide asked, “What do you think of when I ask you to imagine a work of art yet to be started?” Brooks said, “An empty canvas, I guess.” The guide replied, “There’s another way to view it:...More

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Elegant Design

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

God said . . . “Let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”
Genesis 1:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 1:14–23

An international research team has created a flapping-wing drone that mimics the movements of a particular bird—the swift. Swifts can fly up to ninety miles per hour and are able to hover, plunge, turn quickly, and stop suddenly. The ornithopter drone, however, is still inferior to the bird. One researcher said birds “have multiple sets of muscles which enable them to fly incredibly fast,...More

Saturday, September 30, 2023

Least Likely

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

For the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
Joshua 2:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Joshua 2:1–4, 9–14

Hollywood gives us larger-than-life spies who are dashing drivers of flashy Aston-Martins and other luxury sports cars. But Jonna Mendez, a former CIA chief, paints an opposite picture of the real thing. An agent must be “the little gray man,” she says, someone nondescript, not flashy. “You want them to be forgettable.” The best agents are those least likely to appear like...More

Friday, September 29, 2023

A Giver’s Heart

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

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 11:15–25

On our last day in Wisconsin, my friend brought her four-year-old daughter Kinslee to say goodbye. “I don’t want you to move,” said Kinslee. I hugged her and gave her a canvas, hand-painted fan from my collection. “When you miss me, use this fan and remember that I love you.” Kinslee asked if she could have a different fan—a paper one from my bag. “That one’s broken,” I said....More

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Tend Your Garden

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

Catch for us the foxes . . . that ruin the vineyards.
Song of Songs 2:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Song of Songs 2:8–17

I was so excited to plant our backyard fruit and veggie garden. Then I started to notice small holes in the dirt. Before it had time to ripen, our first fruit mysteriously disappeared. One day I was dismayed to find our largest strawberry plant had been completely uprooted by a nesting rabbit and scorched to a crisp by the sun. I wished I’d paid closer attention to the warning signs!


Wednesday, September 27, 2023

God Calls Your Name

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

He said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
Genesis 16:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 16:1–9, 16

Natalia went to a different nation with the promise of receiving an education. But soon the father in her new home began physically and sexually abusing her. He forced her to care for his home and children without pay. He refused to let her go outside or use the phone. She had become his slave.

Hagar was Abram and Sarai’s Egyptian slave. Neither one used her name. They...More

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

A Distinct Cry

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

How gracious [God] will be when you cry for help!
Isaiah 30:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 30:19–26

When a baby cries, it’s a signal that the child is tired or hungry, right? Well, according to doctors at Brown University, subtle differences in a newborn’s cries can also provide important clues for other problems. Doctors have devised a computer program that measures cry factors like pitch, volume, and how clear the cry sound is to determine if something’s wrong with the baby’s central nervous...More

Monday, September 25, 2023

Reason for Fear

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

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 118:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 118:1–7

When I was a boy, the schoolyard was where bullies threw their weight around and kids like me received that bullying with minimal protest. As we cowered in fear before our tormenters, there was something even worse: their taunts of “Are you scared? You’re afraid of me, aren’t you? There’s no one here to protect you.”

In fact, most of those times I really was frightened—and...More

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Compassion in Action

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

Clothe yourselves with compassion.
Colossians 3:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 3:12–14

Building benches isn’t James Warren’s job. He started building them, however, when he noticed a woman in Denver sitting in the dirt while waiting for a bus. That’s “undignified,” Warren worried. So, the twenty-eight-year-old workforce consultant found some scrap wood, built a bench, and placed it at the bus stop. It quickly got used. Realizing many of the nine thousand bus stops in his city lacked seating, he made...More

Friday, September 22, 2023

Beautiful Restoration

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

The past troubles will be forgotten . . . . See, I will create new heavens and a new earth.
Isaiah 65:16–17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 65:16–22

In his wonderful book Art + Faith: A Theology of Making, renowned artist Makoto Fujimura describes the ancient Japanese art form of Kintsugi. In it, the artist takes broken pottery (originally tea ware) and pieces the shards back together with lacquer, threading gold into the cracks. “Kintsugi,” Fujimura explains, “does not just ‘fix’ or repair a broken...More

Thursday, September 21, 2023

God Covers Our Sin

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

“Neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
John 8:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 8:1–11

When one single mother had to find work to take care of her family in the 1950s, she took on
typing jobs. The only issue was that she wasn’t a very good typist and kept making mistakes. She
looked for ways to cover up her errors and eventually created what’s known as Liquid Paper, a
white correction fluid used to cover up typing errors. Once it dries, you...More

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

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

“Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
Mark 10:35

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 10:35–45

In 2021, an engineer with the ambition to shoot an arrow farther than anyone in history took aim at the record of 2,028 feet. While lying on his back on a salt flat, he drew back the bowstring of his personally designed foot bow and prepared to launch the projectile to what he hoped would be a new record distance of more than a mile (5,280 feet). Taking a deep breath, he let the arrow fly. It...More

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Faithful but Not Forgotten

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

These were all commended for their faith.
Hebrews 11:39

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

As he was growing up, Sean knew little about what it meant to have a family. His mother had died and his father was hardly home. He often felt lonely and abandoned. A couple who lived nearby, however, reached out to Sean. They took him into their home and got their children to be “big brother” and “big sister” to him, which gave Sean assurance that he was loved. They also took him to church, where Sean,...More

Monday, September 18, 2023

The Red Dress Project

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

Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor.
Exodus 28:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 28:1–8, 40–41

The Red Dress project was conceived by British artist Kirstie Macleod and has become an exhibit in museums and galleries around the world. For thirteen years, eighty-four pieces of burgundy silk traveled across the globe to be embroidered upon by more than three hundred women (and a handful of men). The pieces were then constructed into a gown, telling the stories of each...More

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Any Questions?

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

What do you want me to do for you?
Luke 18:41

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 18:35–43

Ann was meeting with her oral surgeon for a preliminary exam—a physician she’d known for many years. He asked her, “Do you have any questions?” She said, “Yes. Did you go to church last Sunday?” Her question wasn’t intended to be judgmental, but simply to initiate a conversation about faith.

The surgeon had a less-than-positive church experience growing up, and he hadn’t gone back. Because of Ann’s...More

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Just Like Jesus

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

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:1–2

In 2014, biologists captured a pair of orange pygmy seahorses in the Philippines. They took the marine creatures, along with a section of the orange coral sea fan they called home, to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Scientists wanted to know if the pygmy seahorses were born to match the color of their parents or their environment. When the pygmy seahorses...More

Friday, September 15, 2023

The Message of the Prophets

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

In the past God spoke . . . through the prophets . . . , but in these last days . . . by his Son.
Hebrews 1:1–2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 28:2–4, 10–16

Before baseball’s 1906 World Series, sportswriter Hugh Fullerton made an astute prediction. He said the Chicago Cubs, who were expected to win, would lose the first and third games and win the second. Oh, and it would rain on the fourth. He was right on each point. Then, in 1919, his analytical skills told him certain players were losing World Series...More

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Let Go

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

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 46

The owner of the bookstore where Keith worked had been away on vacation for only two days, but Keith, his assistant, was already panicking. Operations were smooth, but he was anxious that he wouldn’t do a good job overseeing the store. Frenetically, he micromanaged all he could.

“Stop it,” his boss finally told him over a video call. “All you have to do is follow the instructions I email you daily. Don’t worry, Keith....More

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Welcoming the Foreigner

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

[God] defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner.
Deuteronomy 10:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 10:17–20

As thousands of Ukrainian women and children arrived at Berlin’s railway station fleeing war, they were met with a surprise—German families holding handmade signs offering refuge in their homes. “Can host two people!” one sign read. “Big room [available],” read another. Asked why she offered such hospitality to strangers, one woman said her mother had needed...More

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Be Still

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

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
Psalm 37:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 37:5–7

After I’d gotten settled into the chamber, my body floating comfortably above the water, the room went dark and the gentle music that had been playing in the background went silent. I’d read that isolation tanks were therapeutic, offering relief for stress and anxiety. But this was like nothing I’d ever encountered. It felt like the chaos of the world had stopped, and I could clearly hear my innermost thoughts....More

Monday, September 11, 2023

Which Wisdom?

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

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
James 3:13

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

Just before Easter 2018, a terrorist entered a market, killing two people and taking a third woman hostage. When efforts to free the woman failed, a policeman made the terrorist an offer: release the woman and take him instead.

The offer was shocking because it went against popular wisdom. You can always tell a culture’s...More

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Promise Fulfilled

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

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!
Luke 1:45

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 1:26–38

Each summer when I was a child, I would travel two hundred miles to enjoy a week with my grandparents. I wasn’t aware until later how much wisdom I soaked up from those two people I loved. Their life experiences and walk with God had given them perspectives that my young mind couldn’t yet imagine. Conversations with them about the faithfulness of God assured me that God is trustworthy and...More

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Accepting Guidance

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

No human being can tame the tongue.
James 3:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 3:2–11

The air smelled of leather and oats as we stood in the barn where my friend Michelle was teaching my daughter to ride a horse. Michelle’s white pony opened its mouth as she demonstrated how to place the bit behind its teeth. As she pulled the bridle over its ears, Michelle explained that the bit was important because it allowed the rider to slow the horse and steer it to the left or right.

A horse’s bit, like the human...More

Friday, September 8, 2023

The God of Surprises

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

At once they left their nets and followed him.
Matthew 4:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 4:18–22

The convention center darkened, and thousands of us university students bowed our heads as the speaker led us in a prayer of commitment. As he welcomed those to stand who felt called to serve in overseas missions, I could feel my friend Lynette leave her seat and knew she was promising to live and serve in the Philippines. Yet I felt no urge to stand. Seeing the needs in the United States, I wanted to share God’s love...More

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Acts of Kindness

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

He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead.
Ruth 2:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ruth 2:5–12

Months after suffering a miscarriage, Valerie decided to have a garage sale. Gerald, a neighbor craftsman a few miles away, eagerly bought the baby crib she was selling. While there, his wife talked with Valerie and learned about her loss. After hearing of her situation on the way home, Gerald decided to use the crib to craft a keepsake for Valerie. A week later, he tearfully presented her with a beautiful...More

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

I’m Nobody!!! Who Are You?

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

I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord . . . that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
Philippians 3:8–9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 3:4–14

In a poem that begins, “I’m nobody! Who are you?” Emily Dickinson playfully challenges all the effort people tend to put into being “somebody,” advocating instead for the joyful freedom of blissful anonymity. For “How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – / To tell...More

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

“Everything Is against Me”

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

If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 42:29–36

“This morning I thought I was worth a great deal of money; now I don’t know that I have a dollar.” Former US president Ulysses S. Grant said those words the day he was swindled out of his life’s savings by a business partner. Months later, Grant was diagnosed with incurable cancer. Concerned about providing for his family, he accepted an offer from author Mark Twain to...More

Monday, September 4, 2023

Extreme Kindness

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

When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us.
Titus 3:4–5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 52:31–34

Fast-food restaurant worker Kevin Ford hadn’t missed a shift in twenty-seven years. After a video surfaced showing his humble gratitude for a modest gift he received to commemorate his decades of service, thousands of people rallied together to show kindness to him. “It’s like a dream, a dream come true,” he said when a fundraising effort brought in $250,000 in just over a...More

Sunday, September 3, 2023


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

You show that you are a letter from Christ . . . written . . . with the Spirit of the living God.
2 Corinthians 3:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 3:1–6

As the mask mandate requirements during the pandemic loosened, I struggled to remember to keep a mask handy for where they were still required—like my daughter’s school. One day when I needed a mask, I found just one in my car: the one I avoided wearing because it had blessed written across the front.

I prefer to wear masks...More

Saturday, September 2, 2023

To Know God

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

You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.
Mark 1:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 1:9–11

On a visit to Ireland, I was overwhelmed by the abundance of decorative shamrocks. The little green, three-leafed plant could be found in every store on seemingly everything—clothing, hats, jewelry, and more!

More than just a prolific plant across Ireland, the shamrock was embraced for generations as a simple way to explain the Trinity, the historic Christian belief that God is One essence who...More

Friday, September 1, 2023

God’s Epic Story

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

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
John 16:33

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 16:25–33

Life magazine’s July 12, 1968, cover displayed a horrifying photograph of starving children from Biafra (in Nigeria during a civil war). A young boy, distressed, took a copy of the magazine to a pastor and asked, “Does God know about this?” The pastor replied, “I know you don’t understand, but, yes, God knows about that.” The boy walked out, declaring he was uninterested in...More

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Unknown Route

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

When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way.
Psalm 142:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 142

Perhaps I shouldn’t have agreed to join Brian on a run. I was in a foreign country, and I had no idea where or how far we would go or what the terrain would be like. Plus, he was a fast runner. Would I twist an ankle trying to keep up with him? What could I do but trust Brian because he knew the way? As we started, I got even more worried. The trail was rough, winding through a thick forest on...More

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Freedom on the Path

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

You, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth.
Isaiah 26:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 26:1–13

In Beep Baseball, the players who are blind listen for a beeping ball or buzzing base to know what to do and where to go. The blindfolded batter (to account for various degrees of blindness) and sighted pitcher are on the same team. When a batter swings the bat and hits the beeping ball, he or she runs toward the buzzing base. The batter is out if a fielder “smothers” the ball before the batter...More

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

When You’re Weary

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

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

I sat in the stillness of a workday’s end, my laptop in front of me. I should’ve been exhilarated about the work I’d finished that day, but I wasn’t. I was tired. My shoulders ached with the load of anxiety over a problem at work, and my mind was spent from thinking about a troubled relationship. I wanted to escape from it all—my thoughts wandered to watching TV that...More

Monday, August 28, 2023

Losing Everything

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

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.
Job 1:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Job 1:13–22

The timing couldn’t have been worse. After making a small fortune engineering bridges, monuments, and large buildings, Cesar had aspirations of starting a new endeavor. So he sold his first business and banked the money, planning to reinvest it soon. During that brief window, his government seized all assets held in private bank accounts. In an instant, Cesar’s lifesavings...More

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Dealing with Disappointment

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

I had it in my heart to build a house...for the ark of the covenant.
1 Chronicles 28:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Chronicles 28:2–3, 6–12

After raising money all year for a “trip of a lifetime,” seniors from an Oklahoma high school arrived at the airport to learn that many of them had purchased tickets from a bogus company posing as an airline. “It’s heartbreaking,” one school administrator said. Yet, even though they had to change their plans, the students decided to “make the most of it.” They...More

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Humbled but Hopeful

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

In the assembly I will praise you.
Psalm 22:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 22:14–24

At the pastor’s invitation at the end of the church service, Latriece made her way to the front. When she was invited to greet the congregation, no one was prepared for the weighty and wonderful words she spoke. She had relocated from Kentucky where in December 2021 devastating tornadoes had taken the lives of seven of her family members. “I can still smile because God’s with me,” she said. Though bruised by trial, her...More

Friday, August 25, 2023

What a Friend

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

Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
John 11:36

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 11:25–36

It had been a few years since my longtime friend and I had seen one another. During that time, he’d received a cancer diagnosis and started treatments. An unexpected trip to his state afforded me the chance to see him again. I walked into the restaurant, and tears filled both of our eyes. It’d been too long since we’d been in the same room, and now death crouched in the corner reminding us of the brevity of...More

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Openhearted Generosity

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

The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7

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

No one ever died saying, “I’m so glad for the self-centered, self-serving, and self-protective life I lived,” author Parker Palmer said in a commencement address, urging graduates to “offer [themselves] to the world . . . with openhearted generosity.”

But, Parker continued, living this way would also mean learning “how little you...More

Wednesday, August 23, 2023


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

Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.
Genesis 4:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 4:2–11

In his poem “The Witnesses,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882) described a sunken slave ship. As he wrote of “skeletons in chains,” Longfellow mourned slavery’s countless nameless victims. The concluding stanza reads, “These are the woes of Slaves, / They glare from the abyss; / They cry from unknown graves, / We are the Witnesses!”

But who do these witnesses speak to? Isn’t...More

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

God’s Eternal Church

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

The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:18 kjv

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 2:14–22

“Is church over?” asked a young mother arriving at our church with two children in tow just as the Sunday service was ending. But a greeter told her that a church nearby offered two Sunday services and the second would start soon. Would she like a ride there? The young mother said yes and seemed grateful to travel the few blocks to the other church. Reflecting later, the greeter came to this conclusion:...More

Monday, August 21, 2023

The Gift of Encouragement

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

Encourage one another and build each other up.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 23:14–23

“Your bees are swarming!” My wife stuck her head inside the door and gave me news no beekeeper wants to hear. I ran outside to see thousands of bees flying up from the hive to the top of a tall pine, never to return.

I was a little behind in reading the clues that the hive was about to swarm; more than a week of storms had hampered my inspections. The morning the storms ended, the bees left....More

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Finding Open Spaces

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

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.
Exodus 33:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 33:1–4, 7–11

In his book Margin, Dr. Richard Swenson writes, “We must have some room to breathe. We need freedom to think and permission to heal. Our relationships are being starved to death by velocity. . . . Our children lay wounded on the ground, run over by our high-speed good intentions. Is God now pro-exhaustion? Doesn’t He lead people beside the still waters anymore? Who plundered those...More

Saturday, August 19, 2023

The Power of Christ

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

Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him.
Mark 4:41

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 4:35–41

In 2013, about six hundred on-site spectators watched aerialist Nik Wallenda walk on a tightrope across a 1,400-foot-wide gorge near the Grand Canyon. Wallenda stepped onto the 2-inch-thick steel cable and thanked Jesus for the view as his head camera pointed toward the valley below. He prayed and praised Jesus as he walked across the gorge as calmly as if he was strolling on a sidewalk. When the wind became treacherous,...More

Friday, August 18, 2023

Festivals of Worship

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

Rejoice before the Lord your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name.
Deuteronomy 16:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 16:9–16

Attending a large event might change you in a surprising way. After interacting with more than 1,200 people at multiday gatherings in the UK and US, researcher Daniel Yudkin and his colleagues learned that large festivals can impact our moral compass and even affect our willingness to share resources with others. Their research found that 63 percent of attendees had a...More

Thursday, August 17, 2023

More Than Brand Ambassadors

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

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors...We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 5:11–20

Competition in the internet age has become fierce. Increasingly, companies are developing creative ways to attract customers. Take Subaru vehicles, for instance. Subaru owners are famously loyal, so the company has invited “Subbie superfans” to become “brand ambassadors” of the vehicles.

The company’s website says, “Subaru Ambassadors are...More

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

The Power of Persistence

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

They should always pray and not give up.
Luke 18:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 18:1–8

In 1917, a young seamstress was thrilled to get admitted to one of New York City’s most renowned fashion design schools. But when Ann Lowe Cone arrived from Florida to register for classes, the school director told her she wasn’t welcome. “To be blunt, Mrs. Cone, we didn’t know that you were a Negro,” he said. Refusing to leave, she whispered a prayer: Please let me stay here. Seeing her persistence, the director let Ann...More

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Jesus Our Brother

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

Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Hebrews 2:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 2:10–18

Bridger Walker was only six when a menacing dog lunged at his younger sister. Instinctively, Bridger jumped in front of her, shielding her from the dog’s ferocious attack. After receiving emergency care and ninety stitches to his face, Bridger explained his actions. “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.” Thankfully, plastic surgeons have helped Bridger’s face heal. But his brotherly love,...More

Monday, August 14, 2023

Lonely, but Not Forgotten

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

The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.
Genesis 40:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 40:8–15; 20–23

When you listen to their stories, it becomes clear that perhaps the most difficult part of being a prisoner is isolation and loneliness. In fact, one study revealed that regardless of the length of their incarceration, most prisoners receive only two visits from friends or loved ones during their time behind bars. Loneliness is a constant reality.

It’s a pain I imagine Joseph felt...More

Sunday, August 13, 2023

A Different Approach

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

I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.
1 Corinthians 9:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 9:19–23

When Mary Slessor sailed to the African nation of Calabar (now Nigeria) in the late 1800s, she was enthusiastic to continue the missionary work of the late David Livingstone. Her first assignment, teaching school while living among fellow missionaries, left her burdened for a different way to serve. So she did something rare in that region—she moved in with the people she...More

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Forever Faithful God

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

The word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
Psalm 33:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 33:1–11

When Xavier was an elementary student, I drove him to and from school. One day, things didn’t go according to plan. I was late to pick him up. I parked the car, praying frantically as I ran toward his classroom. I found him hugging his backpack as he sat on a bench next to a teacher. “I’m so sorry, Mijo. Are you okay?” He sighed. “I’m fine, but I’m mad at you for being late.” How could I...More

Friday, August 11, 2023

Who Am I?

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

God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 5:6–10

Robert Todd Lincoln lived under the extensive shadow of his father, beloved American president Abraham Lincoln. Long after his father’s death, Robert’s identity was engulfed by his father’s overwhelming presence. Lincoln’s close friend, Nicholas Murray Butler, wrote that Robert often said, “No one wanted me for secretary of war; they wanted Abraham Lincoln’s son....More

Thursday, August 10, 2023

The God of All Our Days

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

I am he who will sustain you.
Isaiah 46:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 46:4–7

After an unsuccessful surgery, Joan’s doctor said she’d need to undergo another operation in five weeks. As time passed, anxiety built. Joan and her husband were senior citizens, and their family lived far away. They’d need to drive to an unfamiliar city and navigate a complex hospital system, and they’d be working with a new specialist.

Although these circumstances seemed overwhelming, God took care of them. During the...More

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Good Trouble for God

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

How much more valuable is a person than a sheep!
Matthew 12:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 12:9–14

One day, a sixth-grade student noticed a classmate cutting his arm with a small razor. Trying to do the right thing, she took it from him and threw it away. Surprisingly, instead of being commended, she received a ten-day school suspension. Why? She briefly had the razor in her possession—something not allowed at school. Asked if she would do it again, she replied: “Even if I got in trouble, . . . I would do it...More

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Different Together in Jesus

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

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free.
Galatians 3:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 3:23–29

Business analyst Francis Evans once studied 125 insurance salesmen to find out what made them successful. Surprisingly, competence wasn’t the key factor. Instead, Evans found customers were more likely to buy from salesmen with the same politics, education, and even height as them. Scholars call this homophily: the tendency to prefer people like us.

Homophily is at work in other areas of life...More

Monday, August 7, 2023

A Thousand Dots of Light

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

Live as children of light.
Ephesians 5:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 5:8–20

The Dismals Canyon in northwestern Alabama attracts a number of tourists each year, many in May and June when the gnat larvae hatch and become glowworms. At night, these glowworms cast a brilliant blue luminescence, and thousands of them together create a breathtaking light.

In a way, the apostle Paul writes about believers in Christ as glowworms. He explains that “you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord”...More

Sunday, August 6, 2023

Release from Slavery

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

I will free you from being slaves to them.
Exodus 6:6

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

“You are like Moses, leading us out from slavery!” Jamila exclaimed. As a bonded brick-kiln worker in Pakistan, she and her family suffered because of the exorbitant amount they owed the kiln owner. They used much of their earnings just to pay off the interest. But when they received a gift from a nonprofit agency that released them from their debt, they felt tremendous relief. In thanking the agency’s representative for...More

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Priority of God’s Presence

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

Mary has chosen what is better.
Luke 10:42

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 10:38–42

In 2009, a research team at Stanford University studied more than two hundred students in an experiment that included switching between tasks and memory exercises. Surprisingly, the study found that students who viewed themselves as good multitaskers because they were in the habit of doing several things at a time, did worse than those who preferred to perform one task at a time. Multitasking made it more difficult to focus their thoughts...More

Friday, August 4, 2023

People of Refuge

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

Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.
Ruth 3:9

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

Phil and Sandy, moved by stories of refugee children, opened their hearts and home to two of them. After they picked them up at the airport, they nervously drove home in silence. Were they ready for this? They didn’t share the same culture, language, or religion, but they’d become people of refuge for these precious children.

Boaz was moved by the story of Ruth. He’d heard...More

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Authentic and Vulnerable

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

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
James 5:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 5:13–20

“Hey, Poh Fang!” A church friend texted. “For this month’s care group meeting, let’s get everyone to do what James 5:16 says. Let’s create a safe environment of trust and confidentiality, so we can share an area of struggle in our life and pray for each other.”

For a moment, I wasn’t sure how to reply. While our small group members have known each other for years,...More

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

The Powerful and the Weak

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

Woe to you...You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick.
Ezekiel 34:2, 4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezekiel 34:1–2, 7–12

Perhaps the most heartwarming tradition in college football happens at the University of Iowa. The Stead Family Children’s Hospital sits next to Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium, and the hospital’s top floor has floor-to-ceiling windows offering a great view of the field. On game days, sick children and their families fill the floor to watch the action below, and at the end of the first quarter,...More

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Faith of a Child

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

Jesus...said, “Let the little children come to me.”
Luke 18:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 18:15–17

As our adopted granny lay in her hospital bed after suffering several strokes, her doctors were unsure of the amount of brain damage she had endured. They needed to wait until she was a bit better to test her brain function. She spoke very few words and even fewer were understandable. But when the eighty-six-year-old woman who had babysat my daughter for twelve years saw me, she opened her parched mouth and asked: “How...More

Monday, July 31, 2023

Staying on Track with God

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

Hear, Israel, the decrees and laws I declare in your hearing today. Learn them and be sure to follow them.
Deuteronomy 5:1

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

Years ago, a train carrying 218 people derailed in northwestern Spain, killing 79 people and hospitalizing 66 more. The driver couldn’t explain the accident, but the video footage could and did. The train was going far too fast before it hit a deadly curve. The allowable speed limit had been created to protect everyone on board the train. Despite being a...More

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Lower Deck People

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

Those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable.
1 Corinthians 12:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 12:12–14, 21–27

A friend of mine works on a hospital ship called Africa Mercy, which takes free healthcare to developing countries. The staff daily serve hundreds of patients whose ailments would otherwise go untreated.

TV crews who periodically board the ship, point their cameras on its amazing medical staff, who fix cleft palates and reset club feet. Sometimes they go below deck to...More

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Quiet, Please

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

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

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

Green Bank, West Virginia, is a tiny community in the rugged Appalachian Mountains. The town resembles dozens of other small towns in the area—with one major exception. None of the 142 residents have access to Wi-Fi. This is to prevent interference from Wi-Fi or cellular phone towers near the Green Bank Observatory, whose telescope is constantly trained on the sky. As a result, Green Bank is one of the most technologically quiet...More

Friday, July 28, 2023

The Long Game

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

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh.”
Exodus 6:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 5:1–9

When believers in Jesus in David’s country suffered oppression, their farm animals were killed. Having lost their livelihood, David’s family scattered to various countries. For nine years, he existed in a refugee camp far from his family. He knew God was with him, but during the separation, two family members died. He grew despondent.

Long ago, another people group faced brutal...More

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Extra Grace Required

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

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith...not by works.
Ephesians 2:8–9

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

While we decorated for a special event at church, the woman in charge griped about my inexperience. After she walked away, another woman approached me. “Don’t worry about her. She’s what we call an E.G.R.—Extra Grace Required.”

I laughed. Soon I started using that label every time I had a conflict with someone. Years later, I sat in that same church sanctuary listening to...More

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Castaway Faith

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

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray.
1 Peter 4:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 4:7–11

In June 1965, six Tongan teenagers sailed from their island home in search of adventure. But when a storm broke their mast and rudder the first night, they drifted for days without food or water before reaching the uninhabited island of ‘Ata. It would be fifteen months before they were found.

The boys worked together on ‘Ata to survive, setting up a small food...More

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Every Grief

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

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Revelation 21:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 21:1–6

“I measure every Grief I meet,” the nineteenth-century poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “With narrow, probing, eyes – / I wonder if It weighs like Mine – / Or has an Easier size.” The poem is a moving reflection on how people carry the unique ways they’ve been wounded throughout their lives. Dickinson concludes, almost hesitantly, with her only solace: the “piercing Comfort” of seeing at Calvary her own wounds...More

Monday, July 24, 2023

Hope in Grief

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

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

Louise was a lively, playful girl who brought smiles to all she met. At the age of five, she tragically succumbed to a rare disease. Her sudden passing was a shock to her parents, Day Day and Peter, and to all of us who worked with them. We grieved along with them.

Yet, Day Day and Peter have found the strength to keep going. When I asked Day Day how they were coping, she said they drew...More

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Remember in Prayer

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

I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers.
Philemon 1:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philemon 1:1–4

Malcolm Cloutt was named a 2021 Maundy Money honoree by Queen Elizabeth II, an annual service award given to British men and women. Cloutt, who was one hundred years old at the time of the recognition, was honored for having given out one thousand Bibles during his lifetime. Cloutt has kept a record of everyone who’s received a Bible and has prayed for them regularly.

Cloutt’s faithfulness in prayer is a...More

Saturday, July 22, 2023

Drenched by the Spirit

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

Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit.
Ephesians 5:18 kjv

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

Author Scot McKnight shares how when he was in high school, he had what he calls a “Spirit-drenched experience.” While at a camp, the speaker challenged him to enthrone Christ in his life by surrendering to the Spirit. Later, he sat under a tree and prayed, “Father, forgive me of my sins. And Holy Spirit, come inside and fill me.” Something mighty happened, he said. “From that moment...More

Friday, July 21, 2023

Room for Silence

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

After the fire came a gentle whisper.
1 Kings 19:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Kings 19:9–14

If you like peace and quiet, there’s a room in Minneapolis, Minnesota, that you’ll love. It absorbs 99.99 percent of all sound! The world-famous anechoic (echo-free) chamber of the Orfield Laboratories has been called the “quietest place on earth.” People who want to experience this soundless space are required to sit down to avoid getting disoriented by the lack of noise, and no one has ever been able to spend more than...More

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Putting on Humility

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

[Jesus] took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.
Philippians 2:7 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 2:5–11

The CEO of a frozen treats franchise went undercover on the television series Undercover Boss, donning a cashier’s uniform. Working at one of the franchise’s stores, her wig and makeup disguised her identity as she became the “new” employee. Her goal was to see how things were really working from the inside and on the ground. Based on her observations, she was able to solve some of...More

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Slow-Walking Sin Out the Door

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

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
Proverbs 28:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 28:13–18

Winston knows he’s not supposed to chew them. So he’s adopted a sly strategy. We call it slow-walking. If Winston spies a discarded, unguarded shoe, he’ll casually meander in that direction, grab it, and just keep walking. Slowly. Nothing to see here. Right out the door if no one notices. “Uh, Mom, Winston just slow-walked your shoe out the...More

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Doing Something Right

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

In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly.
2 Chronicles 33:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Chronicles 33:10–16

The letter from “Jason,” an inmate, surprised my wife and me. We “foster” puppies to become service dogs to assist people with disabilities. One such puppy had graduated to the next training phase, which was run by prisoners who’ve been taught how to train the dogs. Jason’s letter to us expressed sorrow for his past, but then he said, “Snickers is the...More

Monday, July 17, 2023

What’s My Purpose?

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

I am reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice.
2 Timothy 1:5

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

“I felt so useless,” Harold said. “Widowed and retired, kids busy with their own families, spending quiet afternoons watching shadows on the wall.” He’d often tell his daughter, “I’m old and have lived a full life. I have no purpose anymore. God can take me any time.”

One afternoon, however, a conversation changed Harold’s mind....More

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Prayer and Transformation

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

They cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress.
Psalm 107:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 107:23–36

In 1982, pastor Christian Führer began Monday prayer meetings at Leipzig’s St. Nicholas Church. For years, a handful gathered to ask God for peace amid global violence and the oppressive East German regime. Though communist authorities watched churches closely, they were unconcerned until attendance swelled and spilled over to mass meetings outside the church gates. On October...More

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Empowered for the Everyday

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

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

Every Moment Holy is a beautiful book of prayers for a variety of activities, including ordinary ones like preparing a meal or doing the laundry. Necessary tasks that can feel repetitive or mundane. The book reminded me of the words of author G. K. Chesterton, who wrote, “You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing,...More

Friday, July 14, 2023

Deep Waters

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

The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters.
Proverbs 20:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 20:4–5, 24–25

When Bill Pinkney sailed solo around the world in 1992—taking the hard route around the perilous Great Southern Capes—he did it for a higher purpose. His voyage was to inspire and educate children. That included students at his former inner-city Chicago elementary school. His goal? To show how far they could go by studying hard and making a commitment—the word he chose in naming his boat. When Bill...More

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Personal Responsibility

Bible in a Year: Psalms 7–9, Acts 18

They were still eager to act corruptly in all they did.
Zephaniah 3:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Zephaniah 3:1–8

My friend’s eyes revealed what I was feeling—fear! We two teens had behaved poorly and were now cowering before the camp director. The man, who knew our dads well, shared lovingly but pointedly that our fathers would be greatly disappointed. We wanted to crawl under the table—feeling the weight of personal responsibility for our offense.

God gave Zephaniah a message for the people of Judah that contained...More

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Wash Me!

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

Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 51:1–7

“Wash me!” Though those words weren’t written on my vehicle, they could have been. So, off to the car wash I went, and so did other drivers who wanted relief from the grimy leftovers from salted roads following a recent snowfall. The lines were long, and the service was slow. But it was worth the wait. I left with a clean vehicle and, for compensation for service delay, the car wash was free of charge!


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Who Deserves the Praise?

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

Every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.
Hebrews 3:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 3:1–6

From the spiral staircase to the expansive bedroom, from the hardwood floors to the plush carpeting, from the huge laundry room to the well-organized office, the realtor showed a potential home to the young couple. At every corner they turned, they raved about its beauty: “You’ve picked the best place for us. This house is amazing!” Then the realtor responded with something they thought a bit...More

Monday, July 10, 2023

From Darkness to Light

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

Whoever lives by the truth comes into the light.
John 3:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 3:13–21

Nothing could pull Aakash out of his dark depression. Severely injured in a truck accident, he was taken to a missionary hospital in Southwest Asia. Eight operations repaired his broken bones, but he couldn’t eat. Depression set in. His family depended on him to provide, which he couldn’t do, so his world grew darker.

One day a visitor read to Aakash from the gospel of John in his language and prayed for him....More

Sunday, July 9, 2023

A Cry for Help

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

Loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke . . . set the oppressed free.
Isaiah 58:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 58:1–9

David Willis had been upstairs in Waterstones Bookshop when he came downstairs and found the lights were turned off and the doors locked. He was trapped inside the store! Not knowing what else to do, he turned to Twitter and tweeted: “Hi @Waterstones. I’ve been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now. Please let me out.” Not too long after his tweet, he...More

Saturday, July 8, 2023

Free in the Spirit

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

They were unschooled, ordinary men, . . . and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
Acts 4:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 4:12–22

Neither Orville nor Wilbur Wright had a pilot’s license. Neither had gone to college. They were bicycle mechanics with a dream and the courage to try to fly. On December 17, 1903, they took turns piloting their Wright Flyer on four separate flights. The longest lasted only a minute, but it changed our world forever.

Neither Peter nor John had a preaching license....More

Friday, July 7, 2023

Chocolate Snowflakes

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

Moses said to them, “It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat.”
Exodus 16:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 16:4–7, 13–17

Residents of Olten, Switzerland, were surprised by a shower of chocolate shavings covering the entire town. The ventilation system at a nearby chocolate factory had malfunctioned, sending cocoa into the air and dusting the area with confectionary goodness. The chocolate coating sounds like a dream come true for chocoholics!

While chocolate doesn’t adequately provide for one’s...More

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Hope Beyond Consequences

Bible in a Year: Job 32–33, Acts 14

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Numbers 20:2–12

Have you ever done something in anger you later regretted? When my son was wrestling with drug addiction, I said some harsh things in reaction to his choices. My anger only discouraged him more. But eventually he encountered believers who spoke life and hope to him, and in time he was set free.

Even someone as exemplary in faith as Moses did something he later regretted. When the people of Israel were in the desert and...More

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Mimic Jesus

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

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:1–8

A “master of disguise” lives in the waters of Indonesia and in the Great Barrier Reef. The mimic octopus, like other octopuses, can change its skin pigment to blend in with its surroundings. This intelligent creature also changes its shape, movement pattern, and behavior when threatened to mimic such creatures as the venomous lionfish and even deadly sea...More

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Unchanging God

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

God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation.
James 1:12 nlt

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 1:2–8, 12–18

An iconic photo shows the tread of a boot against a gray background. It’s astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s footprint, which he left on the moon in 1969. Scientists say that footprint is likely still there, unchanged after all these years. Without wind or water, nothing on the moon gets eroded, so what happens on the lunar landscape stays there.

It’s even more awesome to reflect on the constant...More

Monday, July 3, 2023

Love Your Neighbor

Bible in a Year: Job 25–27, Acts 12

Love your neighbor as yourself.
Leviticus 19:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Leviticus 19:9–18

It was just a fun game at youth group, but it held a lesson for us: rather than switching neighbors, learn to love the ones you have. Everyone is seated in a large circle, except for one person who stands in the middle of the circle. The standing person asks someone sitting down, “Do you love your neighbor?” The seated person can answer the question in two ways: yes or no. He gets to decide if he would like to swap his neighbor with...More

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Our Refuge

Bible in a Year: Job 22–24, Acts 11

God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 62:5–8

A place where the buffalo roamed in North America. That’s truly what it was in the beginning. The Plains Indians followed bison there until settlers moved in with herds and crops. The land was later used as a chemical manufacturing site after Pearl Harbor during World War II, then even later for Cold War weapon demilitarization. But then one day a roost of bald eagles was discovered there, and soon the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge was born—a...More

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Connected to the Power Source

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

Do not quench the Spirit.
1 Thessalonians 5:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 1:4–5; 5:19

Despite knowing that the electricity wasn’t working in our house after a strong storm (an inconveniently common occurrence in our neighborhood), I instinctively flipped on the light switch when I entered the room. Of course, nothing happened. I was still enveloped in darkness.

That experience—expecting light even when I knew the connection to the power source was broken—vividly reminded me of a spiritual...More

Friday, June 30, 2023

Parting Words

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

The Lord is not slow...He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish.
2 Peter 3:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 12:1, 19–24

As he neared the end of his life, John M. Perkins had a message for the people he would leave behind. Perkins, known for advocating racial reconciliation, said, “Repentance is the only way back to God. Unless you repent, you will all perish.”

These words mirror the language of Jesus and many other people in the Bible. Christ said, “Unless you repent, you too will all...More

Thursday, June 29, 2023

The Gospel in Unexpected Places

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

Many tax collectors and sinners were eating with him.
Mark 2:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 2:13–17

Recently, I found myself someplace I’d seen in movies and on TV more times than I could count: Hollywood, California. There, in the foothills of Los Angeles, those enormous white letters marched proudly across that famous hillside as I viewed them from my hotel window.

Then I noticed something else: down to the left was a prominent cross. I’d never seen that in a movie. And the moment I left my hotel room,...More

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

When You’re Lonely

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

You are with me.
Psalm 23:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 23

At 7 p.m., Hui-Liang was in his kitchen, eating rice and leftover fish balls. The Chua family in the apartment next door was having dinner too, and their laughter and conversation cut through the silence of Hui-Liang’s unit, where he had lived alone since his wife died. He’d learned to live with loneliness; over the years, its stabbing pain had become a dull ache. But tonight, the sight of the one bowl and pair of chopsticks on his table pierced him...More

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Heaping Coals on Enemies

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

Give [your enemy] food to eat...In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
Proverbs 25:21–22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 25:18–23

Dan endured daily beatings from the same prison guard. He felt compelled by Jesus to love this man, so one morning, before the beating was about to begin, Dan said, “Sir, if I’m going to see you every day for the rest of my life, let’s become friends.” The guard said, “No sir. We can never be friends.” Dan insisted and reached out his hand.

The guard...More

Monday, June 26, 2023

Easy Money

Bible in a Year: Job 5–7, Acts 8:1–25

Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:21

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Kings 5:20–27

In the late 1700s, a young man discovered a mysterious depression on Nova Scotia’s Oak Island. Guessing that pirates—perhaps even Captain Kidd himself—had buried treasure there, he and a couple of companions started digging. They never found any treasure, but the rumor took on a life of its own. Over the centuries, others continued digging at the site—expending a great amount of time and expense. The hole is now...More

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Remembering the Sacrifice

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

Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
1 Corinthians 11:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Corinthians 11:23–28

Following the Sunday morning worship service, my Moscow host took me to lunch at a restaurant outside the Kremlin. Upon arrival, we noticed a line of newlywed couples in wedding garb approaching the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier outside the Kremlin wall. The happiness of their wedding day intentionally included remembering the sacrifices others had made to help make...More

Saturday, June 24, 2023

He Makes Us New

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

Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.
John 6:12

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

As a traveling executive, Shawn Seipler wrestled with an odd question. What happens to leftover soap in hotel rooms? Thrown out as trash for landfills, millions of soap bars could instead find new life, Seipler believed. So he launched Clean the World, a recycling venture that has helped more than eight thousand hotels, cruise lines, and resorts turn millions of pounds of discarded soap into sterilized, newly molded...More

Friday, June 23, 2023

God’s Mighty Power

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

When the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord...[they] put their trust in him.
Exodus 14:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 14:21–23, 26–31

The seemingly impossible happened when hurricane-force winds changed the flow of the mighty Mississippi River. In August 2021, Hurricane Ida came ashore on the coast of Louisiana, and the astonishing result was a “negative flow,” meaning water actually flowed upriver for several hours.

Experts estimate that over its life cycle a hurricane can expend energy...More

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Faith Comes from Hearing

Bible in a Year: Esther 6–8, Acts 6

Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Romans 10:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 10:8–17

When Pastor Bob suffered an injury that affected his voice, he entered fifteen years of crisis and depression. What, he wondered, does a pastor do who can’t talk? He struggled with this question, pouring out his grief and confusion to God. He reflected, “I only knew one thing to do—to go after the Word of God.” As he spent time reading the Bible, his love for God grew: “I’ve...More

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Step by Step

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

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 4:7–11

A dozen teams, each including three people standing shoulder to shoulder, prepared for the four-legged race. Each outside person bound to the person in the middle by colorful rags at their ankles and knees, every trio locked their eyes on the finish line. When the whistle blew, the teams lunged forward. Most of them fell and struggled to regain their footing. A few groups chose to hop instead of walk....More

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

True Religion

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

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 1:19–27

The summer after my sophomore year of college, a classmate died unexpectedly. I’d seen him just a few days prior and he looked fine. My classmates and I were young and in what we thought was the prime of our lives, having just become sisters and brothers after pledging our respective sorority and fraternity.

But what I remember most about my classmate’s death...More

Monday, June 19, 2023

Live in Freedom

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

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.
Galatians 5:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 5:1–7, 13–15

In Texas, where I grew up, there were festive parades and picnics in Black communities every June 19. It wasn’t until I was a teenager that I learned the heartbreaking significance of Juneteenth (a word combining “June” and “nineteenth”) celebrations. Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved people in Texas learned that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation...More

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Fixing Go-Karts

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

I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
Ephesians 3:14–15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 3:12–19

The garage of my childhood home holds many memories. On Saturday mornings, my dad would roll our car down the driveway so we had room to work—with my favorite project being a broken go-kart we’d found. On that garage floor, we gave it new wheels, attached a sporty, plastic windshield, and—with Dad on the street looking out for traffic—I would race down the...More

Saturday, June 17, 2023

The Power of Voice

Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 7–9, Acts 3

I have put my words in your mouth.
Jeremiah 1:9

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

The most powerful orators in history are often those leaders who’ve used their voices to bring about positive change. Consider Frederick Douglass, whose speeches on abolition and liberty spurred a movement that helped lead to the end of slavery in the United States. What if he’d chosen to be silent? We all possess the capacity to use our voice to inspire and help others, but the fear of speaking out can be paralyzing. In the moments when...More

Friday, June 16, 2023

God’s Unfailing Memory

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

I will not forget you!
Isaiah 49:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 49:13–16

A man owned more than $400 million in bitcoin, but he couldn’t access a cent of it. He lost the password for the device storing his funds, and disaster loomed: after ten password attempts, the device would self-destruct. A fortune lost forever. For a decade, the man had agonized, desperately trying to recall the password to his life-altering investment. He tried eight passwords and failed eight times. In 2021, he lamented that he had just two...More

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Putting the Pieces Together

Bible in a Year: Nehemiah 1–3, Acts 2:1–21

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 1:3–6

While our family quarantined due to the global pandemic, we took on an ambitious project—an eighteen-thousand-piece puzzle! Even though we worked on it almost daily, often we felt like we weren’t making much progress. Five months after we began, we finally celebrated adding the final piece to the nine-by-six-foot puzzle that covered our dining room...More

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Texts, Troubles, and Triumphs

Bible in a Year: Ezra 9–10, Acts 1

We do not belong to those who shrink back...but to those who have faith and are saved.
Hebrews 10:39

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 11:32, 35–40

Jimmy hadn’t allowed the reality of social unrest, danger, and discomfort to keep him from traveling to one of the poorest countries in the world to encourage ministry couples. The steady stream of text messages to our team back home revealed the challenges he encountered. “Okay, boys, activate the prayer line. We’ve gone ten miles in the last two hours. . . . Car has overheated a...More

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

It’s Empty Now

Bible in a Year: Ezra 6–8, John 21

How deserted lies the city, once so full of people!
Lamentations 1:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Lamentations 1:1, 12–13, 16–20

My brothers and our families spent the day moving our parents’ belongings from our childhood home. Late in the afternoon, we went back for one last pickup and, knowing this would be our final time in our family home, posed for a picture on the back porch. I was fighting tears when my mom turned to me and said, “It’s all empty now.” That pushed me over the edge. The house that holds fifty-four years...More

Monday, June 12, 2023

Freeing Obedience

Bible in a Year: Ezra 3–5, John 20

You are free...but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2:16–17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 2:15–25

The look on the young teen’s face reflected angst and shame. Heading into the 2022 Winter Olympics, her success as a figure skater was unparalleled—a string of championships had made her a lock to win a gold medal. But then a test result revealed a banned substance in her system. With the immense weight of expectations and condemnation pressing down on her, she fell multiple times...More

Sunday, June 11, 2023

God’s Garden

Bible in a Year: Ezra 1–2, John 19:23–42

He has given us new birth into a living hope.
1 Peter 1:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 1:17–25

A reminder of the beauty and brevity of life grows outside my front door. Last spring, my wife planted moonflower vines, so named because of their large and round white blooms that resemble a full moon. Each flower opens for one night and then withers in the bright sun the following morning, never to bloom again. But the plant is prolific, and every evening presents a fresh parade of flowers. We love watching it as we come and...More

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Leap of Faith

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 34–36, John 19:1–22

In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 3:5–8

As I prepared to ride a zip line from the highest point of a rainforest on the Caribbean Island of St. Lucia, fear welled up inside me. Seconds before I jumped from the platform, thoughts of everything that could go wrong filled my mind. But with all the courage I could muster (and few options for turning back), I released. Dropping from the pinnacle of the forest, I whizzed through the lush...More

Friday, June 9, 2023

Our Place of Safety

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 32–33, John 18:19–40

The Lord watches over you—the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
Psalm 121:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 121

Retired teacher Debbie Stephens Browder is on a mission to convince as many people as possible to plant trees. The reason? Heat. Extreme heat in the United States is the number one weather-related cause of death. In response, she says, “I’m starting with trees.” The canopy of heat protection that trees provide is one significant way to protect communities. “It’s life or death. It’s not...More

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Strengthened through Trials

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 30–31, John 18:1–18

We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
Romans 5:3–4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 5:1–5

The memories flooded back when I rustled through some envelopes and glimpsed a sticker that said, “I’ve had an eye test.” In my mind I saw my four-year-old son proudly wearing the sticker after enduring stinging eyedrops. Because of weak eye muscles, he had to wear a patch for hours each day over his strong eye—thereby forcing the weaker eye to develop. He also...More

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A Loving Warning

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 28–29, John 17

If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.
Matthew 18:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 18:15–20

In 2010, a tsunami struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, killing more than four hundred people. But the deaths could have been prevented or minimized had the tsunami warning system been working properly. The tsunami detection networks (buoys) had become detached and drifted away.

Jesus said His disciples had a responsibility to warn fellow disciples of things that...More

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Places of the Heart

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 25–27, John 16

You shall not make for yourself an image.
Exodus 20:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 20:1–6

Here are some vacation tips: The next time you’re traveling through Middleton, Wisconsin, you might want to visit the National Mustard Museum. For those of us who feel that one mustard is plenty, this place amazes, featuring 6,090 different mustards from around the world. In McLean, Texas, you might be surprised to run across the Barbed Wire Museum—or more surprised there is such a passion for, well . . ....More

Monday, June 5, 2023


Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 23–24, John 15

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 3:1–14

I recently came across a helpful word: wintering. Just as winter is a time of slowing down in much of the natural world, author Katherine May uses this word to describe our need to rest and recuperate during life’s “cold” seasons. I found the analogy helpful after losing my father to cancer, which sapped me of energy for months. Resentful of this forced slowing down, I...More

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Courage to Stand for Jesus

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 21–22, John 14

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Matthew 10:38

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 13:36–38; 21:18–19

In ad 155, the early church father Polycarp was threatened with death by fire for his faith in Christ. He replied, “For eighty and six years I have been his servant, and he has done me no wrong. And how can I now blaspheme my king who saved me?” Polycarp’s response can be an inspiration for us when we face extreme trial because of our faith in Jesus, our King.

Just hours...More

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Within God’s Reach

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 19–20, John 13:21–38

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
Psalm 139:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 139:1–12

After an officer searched me, I stepped into the county jail, signed the visitor’s log, and sat in the crowded lobby. I prayed silently, watching adults fidgeting and sighing while young children complained about the wait. Over an hour later, an armed guard called a list of names including mine. He led my group into a room and motioned us to our assigned chairs. When my stepson sat in the...More

Friday, June 2, 2023

Uniting Nations

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 17–18, John 13:1–20

He will judge between the nations.
Isaiah 2:4

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

The longest international border in the world is shared by the United States and Canada, covering an incredible 5,525 miles of land and water. Workers regularly cut down ten feet of trees on both sides of the boundary to make the border line unmistakable. This lengthy ribbon of cleared land, called “the Slash,” is dotted by more than eight thousand stone markers so visitors always know where the dividing line...More

Thursday, June 1, 2023

In God’s Hands

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 15–16, John 12:27–50

The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.
1 Thessalonians 5:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 5:12–28

Turning eighteen ushered in a new era in my daughter’s life: legally an adult, she now had the right to vote in future elections and would soon embark on life after graduating from high school. This shift had instilled in me a sense of urgency—I would have precious little time with her under my roof to impart to her the wisdom she’d need to face the world on her own: how to manage...More

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Sorrow and Joy

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 13–14, John 12:1–26

No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping.
Ezra 3:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezra 3:8–13

Angela’s family reeled with sorrow as they experienced three bereavements in just four weeks. After the one involving the sudden death of their nephew, Angela and her two sisters gathered around the kitchen table for three days, only leaving to buy an urn, get takeout, and attend the funeral. As they wept over his death, they also rejoiced over the ultrasound photos of the new life...More

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The God Who Restores

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 10–12, John 11:30–57

I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.
Ezekiel 37:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezekiel 37:4–14

On November 4, 1966, a disastrous flood swept through Florence, Italy, submerging Giorgio Vasari’s renowned work of art The Last Supper under a pool of mud, water, and heating oil for more than twelve hours. With its paint softened and its wooden frame significantly damaged, many believed that the piece was beyond repair. However, after a tedious fifty-year conservation effort, experts and volunteers...More

Monday, May 29, 2023

Hope That Holds

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 7–9, John 11:1–29

I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Habakkuk 3:11–19

“I know Daddy’s coming home because he sent me flowers.” Those were my seven-year-old sister’s words to our mother when Dad was missing in action during wartime. Before Dad left for his mission, he preordered flowers for my sister’s birthday, and they arrived while he was missing. But she was right: Dad did come home—after a harrowing combat situation. And decades later, she still keeps...More

Sunday, May 28, 2023

What Only the Spirit Can Do

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 4–6, John 10:24–42

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Acts 2:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 2:1–13

During the discussion of a book on the Holy Spirit written by a ninety-four-year-old German theologian named Jürgen Moltmann, an interviewer asked him: “How do you activate the Holy Spirit? Can you take a pill? Do the pharmaceutical companies [deliver the Spirit]?” Moltmann’s bushy eyebrows shot up. Shaking his head, he grinned, answering in accented...More

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Small But Great

Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 1–3, John 10:1–23

Who dares despise the day of small things?
Zechariah 4:10

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

Will I make the Olympics? The college swimmer worried her speed was too slow. But when math professor Ken Ono studied her swim techniques, he saw how to improve her time by six full seconds—a substantial difference at that level of competition. Attaching sensors to the swimmer’s back, he didn’t identify major changes to improve her time. Instead, Ono identified tiny corrective actions that, if applied, could make...More

Friday, May 26, 2023

Jesus Is the Answer

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 28–29, John 9:24–41

Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.
Daniel 3:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Daniel 3:15–28

The tale is told that after yet another stop on Albert Einstein’s lecture tour, his chauffeur mentioned that he’d heard enough of the speech that he could give it. Einstein suggested they switch places at the next college, as no one there had seen his picture. The chauffer agreed and delivered a fine lecture. Then came the question-and-answer...More

Thursday, May 25, 2023

All for Jesus

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 25–27, John 9:1–23

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 3:15–24

When Jeff was fourteen, his mom took him to see a famous singer. Like many musicians of his era, B. J. Thomas had gotten caught up in a self-destructive lifestyle while on music tours. But that was before he and his wife were introduced to Jesus. Their lives were radically changed when they became believers in Christ.

On the night of the concert, the singer began...More

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Blessed Routine

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 22–24, John 8:28–59

Without [God], who can eat or find enjoyment?
Ecclesiastes 2:25

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 2:17–26

Watching the morning crowd pour onto the train, I felt the Monday blues kick in. From the sleepy, grumpy faces of those in the jam-packed cabin, I could tell no one looked forward to going to work. Frowns broke out as some jostled for space and more tried to squeeze in. Here we go again, another mundane day at the office.

Then, it struck me that just a year before, the trains would have been...More

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Not a Dream

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 19–21, John 8:1–27

Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
Ephesians 5:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 12:1–11

It’s like living in a dream you can’t wake up from. People who struggle with what’s sometimes called “derealization” or “depersonalization” often feel like nothing around them is quite real. While those who chronically have this feeling can be diagnosed with a disorder, it’s believed to be a common mental health struggle, especially during stressful times. But sometimes the feeling...More

Monday, May 22, 2023

Tell the Story

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 16–18, John 7:28–53

We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us.
1 John 1:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 John 1:1–4

Robert Todd Lincoln, son of US president Abraham Lincoln, was present for three major events—the death of his own father as well as the assassinations of presidents James Garfield and William McKinley.

But consider that the apostle John was present at four of history’s most crucial events: the last supper of Jesus, Christ’s agony in Gethsemane, His...More

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Our Choices Matter

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 13–15, John 7:1–27

But he refused.
Genesis 39:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 39:1–12

A swimming instructor in New Jersey saw a car sinking into Newark Bay and heard the driver inside screaming “I can’t swim” as his SUV quickly sank into the murky waters. As a crowd watched from shore, Anthony ran to the rocks along the edge, removed his prosthetic leg, and jumped in to rescue the sixty-eight-year-old man and help him safely to shore. Thanks to Anthony’s decisive action, another man was saved.

Our choices...More

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Keep in Touch

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 10–12, John 6:45–71

Pray to your Father.
Matthew 6:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 6:5–9

Madeleine L’Engle made it a habit to call her mother once a week. As her mother moved into her later years, the beloved spiritual writer called more frequently, “just to keep in touch.” In the same way, Madeleine liked her children to call and maintain that connection. Sometimes it was a lengthy conversation filled with significant questions and answers. Other times a call simply making sure the number was still valid was sufficient. As...More

Friday, May 19, 2023

You Are Heard

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 7–9, John 6:22–44

He turned his ear to me.
Psalm 116:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 116:1–7

In the book Physics, Charles Riborg Mann and George Ransom Twiss ask: “When a tree falls in a lonely forest, and no animal is nearby to hear it, does it make a sound?” Over the years, this question has prompted philosophical and scientific discussions about sound, perception, and existence. A definitive answer, however, has yet to emerge.

One night, while feeling lonely and sad about a problem I hadn’t shared with anyone, I...More

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Grandmother Research

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 4–6, John 6:1–21

He will take great delight in you.
Zephaniah 3:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Zephaniah 3:17–20

Researchers at Emory University used MRI scans to study the brains of grandmothers. They measured empathetic responses to images that included their own grandchild, their own adult child, and one anonymous child. The study showed that grandmothers have a higher empathy toward their own grandchild than even their own adult child. This is attributed to what they call the “cute factor”—their own grandchild being more...More

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

God Remembers Names

Bible in a Year: 1 Chronicles 1–3, John 5:25–47

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:1–7

The Sunday after I’d started working as a youth leader at a church and had met several of the young people, I spoke to a teen seated next to her mom. As I greeted the shy girl with a smile, I said her name and asked how she was doing. She lifted her head and her beautiful brown eyes widened. She too smiled and said in a small voice: “You remembered my name.” By simply calling that...More

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Who Am I?

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 24–25, John 5:1–24

To all who did receive him...[Jesus] gave the right to become children of God.
John 1:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 1:6–13

In 1859, Joshua Abraham Norton declared himself Emperor of the United States. Norton had made—and lost—his fortune in San Francisco shipping, but he wanted a new identity: America’s first emperor. When the San Francisco Evening Bulletin printed “Emperor” Norton’s announcement, most readers laughed. Norton made pronouncements aimed at correcting society’s ills, printed his own...More

Monday, May 15, 2023

Exploring the Stars

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 22–23, John 4:31–54

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one.
Isaiah 40:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 19:1–6

In 2021, a multination effort led to the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope—deployed nearly a million miles from Earth to better investigate the universe. This marvel will peer into deep space and examine the stars and other celestial wonders.

This is indeed a fascinating astronomical piece of technology, and if everything works, it will...More

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Loving Leadership

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 19–21, John 4:1–30

We dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children.
1 Thessalonians 2:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 2:7–12

A viral video of a mama bear trying to get her four energetic little cubs across a busy street brought a knowing smile to my face. It was delightfully relatable to watch her pick up her cubs one-by-one and carry them across the road—only to have the cubs wander back to the other side. After many seemingly frustrating attempts, the mama bear finally corralled all four of her cubs, and...More

Saturday, May 13, 2023

For Love’s Sake

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 17–18, John 3:19–36

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:9–18

Running a marathon is about pushing yourself, physically and mentally. For one high school runner, however, competing in a cross-country race is all about pushing someone else. In every practice and meet, fourteen-year-old Susan Bergeman pushes older brother, Jeffrey, in his wheelchair. When Jeffrey was twenty-two months old, he went into cardiac arrest—leaving him with severe brain damage and...More

Friday, May 12, 2023

How’s My Driving?

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 15–16, John 3:1–18

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
James 1:19–20

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 1:19–26

“ARRRGH!” I yelled as the repair truck cut in front of me.

That’s when I saw the message: “How’s My Driving?” And a phone number. I picked up my phone and dialed. A woman asked me why I was calling, and I vented my frustration. She took down the truck’s number. Then she said, wearily, “You...More

Thursday, May 11, 2023

God Sees, Understands, and Cares

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 13–14, John 2

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
Psalm 147:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 147:1–5

Sometimes, living with chronic pain and fatigue leads to being isolated at home and feeling alone. I’ve often felt unseen by God and others. During an early morning prayer-walk with my service dog, I struggled with these feelings. I noticed a hot-air balloon in the distance. The people in its basket could enjoy a bird’s-eye view of our quiet neighborhood, but they couldn’t really see me. As I continued...More

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Stolen Gods

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 10–12, John 1:29–51

You have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.
Genesis 32:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 31:19–21; 32:22–30

A carved wooden figure—a household god—had been stolen from a woman named Ekuwa, so she reported it to the authorities. Believing they had found the idol, law enforcement officials invited her to identify it. “Is this your god?” they asked. She said sadly, “No, my god is much larger and more beautiful than that.”

People have long tried to give shape to their concept of...More

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Known by God

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 7–9, John 1:1–28

[Mary] turned toward him and cried out...“Rabboni!”
John 20:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 20:11–18

After two brothers were separated by adoption, a DNA test helped to reunite them almost twenty years later. When Kieron texted Vincent, the man he believed was his brother, Vincent thought, Who is this stranger? When Kieron asked him what name he’d been given at birth, he immediately answered, “Tyler.” Then he knew they were brothers. He was recognized by his name!

Consider how a name plays a key role...More

Monday, May 8, 2023

Truth Seekers

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 4–6, Luke 24:36–53

[Having] carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you.
Luke 1:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 1:1–4

A woman once told me about a disagreement that was tearing her church apart. “What’s the disagreement about?” I asked. “Whether the earth is flat,” she said. A few months later, news broke of a Christian man who’d burst into a restaurant, armed, to rescue children supposedly being abused in its back room. There was no back room, and the man was...More

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Hunt for Inner Healing

Bible in a Year: 2 Kings 1–3, Luke 24:1–35

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted.
Isaiah 61:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 61:1–3

Always a busy guy, Carson hunted, fished, rode dirt bikes, and skateboarded. He loved everything outdoors. But he was in a motorcycle accident and became paralyzed from the chest down. Soon depression sank in, and he didn’t see much of a future. Then one day some of his buddies got him to go hunting again. For a time he forgot about his injury as he enjoyed the beauty around him. This experience brought him inner healing and...More

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Thankful Hearts

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 21–22, Luke 23:26–56

Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?
Luke 17:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 17:11–19

Hansle Parchment was in a predicament. He caught the bus to the wrong place for his semifinal in the Tokyo Olympics and was left stranded with little hope of getting to the stadium on time. But thankfully he met Trijana Stojkovic, a volunteer helping out at the games. She gave him some money to take a taxi. Parchment made it to the semifinal on time and eventually clinched the gold medal in the 110-meter...More

Friday, May 5, 2023

Grace and Change

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 19–20, Luke 23:1–25

Moses was afraid and thought, “What I did must have become known.”
Exodus 2:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 2:11–15

The crime was shocking, and the man who committed it was sentenced to life in prison. In the years that followed, the man—in solitary confinement—began a process of mental and spiritual healing. It led to repentance and a restored relationship with Jesus. These days he’s been allowed limited interactions with other inmates. And, by God’s grace, through his witness some fellow prisoners have...More

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Operating with Prayer

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 16–18, Luke 22:47–71

Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the Lord.
2 Chronicles 20:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Chronicles 20:1–12

When my son needed orthopedic surgery, I was grateful for the doctor who performed the operation. The doctor, who was nearing retirement, assured us he’d helped thousands of people with the same problem. Even so, before the procedure, he prayed and asked God to provide a good outcome. And I’m so grateful He did.

Jehoshaphat, an experienced national leader, prayed too during a crisis. Three nations...More

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Tired Tents

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 14–15, Luke 22:21–46

While we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened.
2 Corinthians 5:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 4:16–5:5

“The tent is tired!” Those were the words of my friend Paul, who pastors a church in Nairobi, Kenya. Since 2015, the congregation has worshiped in a tentlike structure. Now, Paul writes, “Our tent is worn out and it is leaking when it rains.”

My friend’s words about their tent’s structural weaknesses remind us of the apostle Paul’s words regarding the frailty of our human...More

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Life Everlasting

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 12–13, Luke 22:1–20

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
John 17:3

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

“Don’t be afraid of death, Winnie,” said Angus Tuck, “be afraid of the unlived life.” That quote from the book-turned-film Tuck Everlasting is made more interesting by the fact that it comes from a character who can’t die. In the story, the Tuck family has become immortal. Young Jesse Tuck, who falls in love with Winnie, begs her to seek immortality too so...More

Monday, May 1, 2023

Seeds of Faith

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 10–11, Luke 21:20–38

Always be prepared to give an answer...for the hope that you have.
1 Peter 3:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Peter 3:8–16

Last spring, the night before our lawn was to be aerated, a violent windstorm blew the seeds off our maple tree in one fell swoop. So when the aerating machine broke up the compacted soil by pulling small “cores” out of the ground, it planted hundreds of maple seeds in my yard. Just two short weeks later, I had the beginnings of a maple forest growing up through my lawn!

As I...More

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Wagging Tails and Tongues

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 8–9, Luke 21:1–19

The words of a gossip are like choice morsels.
Proverbs 18:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 18:1–8

The newspaper declared that Pep had taken the life of the cat belonging to the governor’s wife—but he didn’t do it. The only thing he may have been guilty of was chewing the sofa at the governor’s mansion.

Pep was a rambunctious young Labrador retriever owned by Pennsylvania’s governor Gifford Pinchot in the 1920s. The dog actually was sent to Eastern State Penitentiary, where his mug shot was taken...More

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Always Trustworthy

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 6−7, Luke 20:27−47

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises.
Psalm 145:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 145:9−13

I’m a worrier. Early mornings are the worst because I’m alone with my thoughts. So I taped this quote from Hudson Taylor on my bathroom mirror, where I can see it when I’m feeling vulnerable: “There is a living God. He has spoken in the Bible. He means what He says and will do all He has promised.”

Taylor’s words came from years of walking with God and remind us of who He is and all He can do through...More

Friday, April 28, 2023

Laughing Out Loud

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 3–5, Luke 20:1–26

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.
Genesis 21:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 21:1–7

Comedian John Branyan said, “We didn’t think up laughter; that wasn’t our idea. That was given to us by [God who] knew we were going to need it to get through life. [Because] He knew we were going to have hardship, He knew we were going to have struggles, He knew . . . stuff was going to happen. . . . Laughter is a gift.”

A quick look at the creatures God made can bring...More

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Watering The Weeds

Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 1–2, Luke 19:28–48

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.
Galatians 5:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Galatians 5:13–26

This spring, weeds attacked our backyard like something out of Jurassic Park. One got so big that when I tried to pull it out, I feared I might injure myself. Before I could find a spade to whack it down, I noticed that my daughter was actually pouring water on it. “Why are you watering the weeds?!” I exclaimed. “I want to see how big it will get!” she replied with an impish...More

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Strong and Good

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 23–24, Luke 19:1–27

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Psalm 118:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 118:13–14, 22–29

The young campus minister was troubled. But he looked conflicted when I dared to ask if he prays . . . for God’s direction . . . for His help. To pray, as Paul urged, without ceasing. In reply, the young man confessed, “I’m not sure I believe anymore in prayer.” He frowned. “Or believe that God is listening. Just look at the world.” That young leader was “building” a ministry in his...More

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Let It Go

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 21–22, Luke 18:24–43

Do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Romans 13:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 13:11–14

Augustine’s autobiographical Confessions describes his long and winding journey to Jesus. On one occasion, he was riding to the palace to give a flattering speech for the emperor. He was fretting over his deceptive applause lines when he noticed a drunken beggar “joking and laughing.” He realized the drunk already had whatever fleeting happiness his shifty career might bring, and with much less...More

Monday, April 24, 2023

String Too Short to Use

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 19–20, Luke 18:1–23

I will rain down bread from heaven for you.
Exodus 16:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Exodus 16:21–30

Aunt Margaret’s frugality was legendary. After she passed away, her nieces began the nostalgically bittersweet task of sorting her belongings. In a drawer, neatly arrayed inside a small plastic bag, they discovered an assortment of small pieces of string. The label read: “String too short to use.”

What would motivate someone to keep and categorize something they knew to be of no use? Perhaps this person...More

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Loving Like Jesus

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 16–18, Luke 17:20–37

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18

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

While waiting for a train at a station in Atlanta, Georgia, a young man wearing dress pants and a button-down shirt sat on a bench. As he struggled with his tie, an older woman encouraged her husband to help. When the elderly man hunched over and began teaching the young man how to knot the tie, a stranger took a photo of the trio. When this photo went viral online, many viewers left...More

Saturday, April 22, 2023

The Power of Forgiveness

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 14–15, Luke 17:1–19

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Psalm 86:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 18:23–35

A 2021 news reports told of seventeen missionaries that had been kidnapped by a gang. The gang threatened to kill the group (including children) if their ransom demands weren’t met. Incredibly, all the missionaries were either released or escaped to freedom. On reaching safety, they sent a message to their captors: “Jesus taught us by word and by His own example that the power of...More

Friday, April 21, 2023

Discovering Creation

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 12–13, Luke 16

In his hand are the depths of the earth.
Psalm 95:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 95:1–7

Krubera-Voronja, in the Eurasian country of Georgia, is one of the deepest caves yet explored on planet Earth. A team of explorers have probed the dark and scary depths of its mostly vertical caverns to 2,197 meters—that’s 7,208 feet into the earth! Similar caves, around four hundred of them, exist in other parts of the country and across the globe. More caverns are being discovered all the time and new depth records are being...More

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Pressing On in Jesus

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 9–11, Luke 15:11–32

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on.
Philippians 3:13–14

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 3:12–16

On a run in the forest, I tried to find a shortcut and went down an unfamiliar path. Wondering if I was lost, I asked a runner coming the other way if I was on the right track.

“Yup,” he replied confidently. Seeing my doubtful look, he quickly added: “Don’t worry, I’ve tried all the wrong routes! But that’s okay, it’s all part of the...More

Wednesday, April 19, 2023


Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 6–8, Luke 15:1–10

“For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?”
Ecclesiastes 4:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ecclesiastes 4:7–12

For many around the world, life is getting lonelier. The number of Americans who have no friends has quadrupled since 1990. Certain European countries have up to 20 percent of their population feeling lonely, while in Japan, some elderly folks have resorted to crime so they can have the companionship of inmates in jail.

Entrepreneurs have come up with a...More

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Future Faithfulness

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 3–5, Luke 14:25–35

I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them.
Jeremiah 32:42

Today's Scripture & Insight: Jeremiah 32:37–44

Sara lost her mother when she was just fourteen years old. She and her siblings lost their house soon after and became homeless. Years later, Sara wanted to provide her future children with an inheritance that could be passed down from generation to generation. She worked hard to purchase a house, giving her family the stable home she never had.

Investing in a home for future generations is an...More

Monday, April 17, 2023

Remembering to Praise

Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 1–2, Luke 14:1–24

I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord.
Isaiah 63:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 63:7–9

When our congregation built our first building, people wrote thankful reminders on the wall studs and concrete floors before the interior of the building was finished. Pull back the drywall from the studs and you’ll find them there. Verse after verse from Scripture, written beside prayers of praise like “You are so good!” We left them there as a witness to future generations that regardless of our challenges, God had been...More

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Greater Love

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 30–31, Luke 13:23–35

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 15:9–17

Just days before Holy Week, when Christians around the world remember Jesus’ sacrifice and celebrate His resurrection, a terrorist stormed into a supermarket in southwest France opening fire and killing two. After negotiation, the terrorist released all but one hostage, whom he turned into a human shield. Knowing the danger, police officer Arnaud Beltrame did the unthinkable: he...More

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Reconciling Relationships

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 27–29, Luke 13:1–22

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 4:22–32

My sister and I clashed frequently when we were younger, but one time especially stands out in my memory. After a bout of yelling back and forth where we’d both said hurtful things, she said something that in the moment seemed unforgivable. Witnessing the animosity growing between us, my grandmother reminded us of our responsibility to love each other: “God...More

Friday, April 14, 2023

Uphill All the Way

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 25–26, Luke 12:32–59

Let him do to me whatever seems good to him.
2 Samuel 15:26

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Samuel 15:13–14, 23–26

Christina Rossetti, a poet and devotional writer, found that nothing came easily for her. She suffered from depression and various illnesses throughout her life and endured broken engagements. Eventually she died of cancer.

When David burst into Israel’s national consciousness, it was as a triumphant warrior. Yet throughout his life, David faced hardship. Late in his reign, his own son, along...More

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Tears of Praise

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 22–24, Luke 12:1–31

Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people; praise his holy name.
Psalm 30:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 30

Years ago, I cared for my mom as she was in hospice. I thanked God for the four months He allowed me to serve as her caregiver and asked Him to help me through the grieving process. I often struggled to praise God as I wrestled with my mixed emotions. But as my mom breathed her last breath and I wept uncontrollably, I whispered, “Hallelujah.” I felt guilty for praising God in that devastating...More

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

God Speaking to Us

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 19–21, Luke 11:29–54

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 3:3–10

I received a phone call from an unknown number. Often, I let those calls go to voicemail, but this time I picked up. The random caller asked politely if I had just a minute for him to share a short Bible passage. He quoted Revelation 21:3–5 about how God “will wipe every tear from their eyes.” He talked about Jesus, how he was our assurance and hope. I told him I already know Jesus as my personal...More

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Seize the Opportunity

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 17–18, Luke 11:1–28

Do the work of an evangelist.
2 Timothy 4:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Timothy 4:1–5

While waiting to enter the university, twenty-year-old Shin Yi decided to commit three months of her break to serving in a youth mission organization. It seemed like an odd time to do this, given the COVID-19 restrictions that prevented face-to-face meetings. But Shin Yi soon found a way. “We couldn’t meet up with students on the streets, in shopping malls, or fast-food centers like we usually did,” she shared. “But we...More

Monday, April 10, 2023

Strength in Weakness

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 15–16, Luke 10:25–42

The Lord said to Gideon, “You have too many men.”
Judges 7:2

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

When my son was nearly three, I needed an operation that would require a month or more of recovery. Prior to the procedure, I imagined myself in bed while stacks of dirty dishes accumulated in the sink. I wasn’t sure how I’d take care of an active toddler and couldn’t picture myself standing in front of the stove to cook our meals. I dreaded the impact my weakness would have on the rhythm of our...More

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Deeper Healing

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 13–14, Luke 10:1–24

By his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 53:4–6

On Easter Sunday 2020, the famous Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was illuminated in a way that appeared to clothe Jesus in the attire of a physician. The poignant portrayal of Christ as a doctor was in tribute to the many frontline health-care workers battling the coronavirus pandemic. The imagery brings to life the common description of Jesus as our Great Physician (Mark...More

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Running to Jesus

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 10–12, Luke 9:37–62

Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
John 20:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 20:1–10

On a trip to Paris, Ben and his friends found themselves at one of the renowned museums in the city. Though Ben wasn’t a student of art, he was in awe as he looked upon the painting titled The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection by Eugène Burnand. Without words, the looks on the faces of Peter and John and the position of their hands speak...More

Friday, April 7, 2023

Drops of Red

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 7–9, Luke 9:18–36

His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Luke 22:44

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 22:39–44

Walking through the Scottish National Gallery, I was drawn to the strong brushwork and vibrant colors of one of many Olive Trees paintings by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh. Many historians believe the work was inspired by Jesus’ experience in the garden of Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives. What especially caught my eye on the canvas of the painting were the small red splotches of paint among the ancient...More

Thursday, April 6, 2023

The Challenge to Serve

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 4–6, Luke 9:1–17

The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.
Matthew 20:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 13:3–15

Although just thirteen years old, DeAvion took up a challenge to serve others. He and his mom had heard a story about a man who called on kids to mow fifty lawns for free during their summer break. Their focus was to assist veterans, single moms, people with disabilities—or anyone who just needed help. The founder (who had mowed fifty lawns in fifty states) created the challenge to teach the importance of work...More

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

More Than a Little Piece

Bible in a Year: 1 Samuel 1–3, Luke 8:26–56

Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Matthew 16:24

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 16:21–28

We all leave a bit of ourselves behind when we move to a new place. But to become a long-term resident of Villas Las Estrellas, Antarctica, a cold and desolate place, leaving a piece of yourself behind is a literal thing. With the nearest hospital 625 miles away, a person will be in serious trouble if their appendix bursts. So every citizen must first undergo an appendectomy...More

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

At Home in Jesus

Bible in a Year: Ruth 1–4, Luke 8:1–25

Remain in me, as I also remain in you.
John 15:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 15:1–11

Several years ago, we brought home an adult black cat named Juno from the local animal shelter. Truthfully, I only wanted help thinning our mice population, but the rest of the family wanted a pet. The shelter gave us rigorous instructions on how to establish a feeding routine that first week so Juno would learn our house was his home, the place he belonged and where he’d always have food and safety. This way, even if Juno might roam, he...More

Monday, April 3, 2023

Finding Strength in God

Bible in a Year: Judges 19–21, Luke 7:31–50

I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 12:9–10

Soccer player Christian Pulisic faced several injuries that influenced his career. After learning he wouldn’t be in the starting lineup of the Champions League semifinals game, he was disappointed, but he described how God had revealed Himself to him. “As always, I reach out to God, and He gives me strength,” he said. “I feel like I always have Someone...More

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Bluestone Church Bells

Bible in a Year: Judges 16–18, Luke 7:1–30

I tell you,...if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.
Luke 19:40

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 19:37–42

Bluestone is a fascinating variety of rock. When struck, certain bluestones will ring with a musical tone. Maenclochog, a Welsh village whose name means “bell” or “ringing stones,” used bluestones as church bells until the eighteenth century. Interestingly, the ruins of Stonehenge, in England, are built of bluestone, causing some to wonder if that landmark’s original purpose was musical. Some researchers...More

Saturday, April 1, 2023

More Than Skin Deep

Bible in a Year: Judges 13–15, Luke 6:27–49

Oh, what joy for those...whose sin is put out of sight!
Psalm 32:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 32

José, a young believer in Jesus, was visiting his brother’s church. As he entered the sanctuary prior to the service, his brother’s face fell when he saw him. José’s tattoos, covering both arms, were visible since he was wearing a T-shirt. His brother told him to go home and put on a long-sleeved shirt, for many of José’s tattoos reflected the ways of his past. José suddenly felt dirty. But another man overheard...More

Friday, March 31, 2023

Rest Assured in God

Bible in a Year: Judges 11–12, Luke 6:1–26

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You.
Isaiah 26:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 26:1–6

Researchers in Fujian, China, wanted to help intensive care unit (ICU) patients sleep more soundly. They measured the effects of sleep aids on test subjects in a simulated ICU environment, complete with bright, hospital-grade lighting and audio recordings of machines beeping and nurses talking. Their research showed that tools like sleep masks and ear plugs improved their...More

Thursday, March 30, 2023

To Do or Not to Do

Bible in a Year: Judges 9–10, Luke 5:17–39

I do not do the good I want to do,...I keep on doing [evil].
Romans 7:19

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 7:15–20

When I was a kid, a decommissioned World War II tank was put on display in a park near my home. Multiple signs warned of the danger of climbing on the vehicle, but a couple of my friends immediately scrambled up. Some of us were a bit reluctant, but eventually we did the same. One boy refused, pointing to the posted signs. Another jumped down quickly as an adult approached. The temptation to have fun outweighed...More

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

God Had Other Plans

Bible in a Year: Judges 7–8, Luke 5:1–16

Pharaoh’s daughter...named him Moses, saying, “I drew him out of the water.”
Exodus 2:10

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

Their precise ages are unknown. One was found on the steps of a church; the other knew only that she’d been raised by nuns. Born in Poland during World War II, for nearly eighty years neither Halina nor Krystyna knew about each other. Then DNA test results revealed them to be sisters and led to a joyful reunion. It also revealed their Jewish heritage, explaining why they’d been abandoned....More

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Stress to Peace

Bible in a Year: Judges 4–6, Luke 4:31–44

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Philippians 4:4–8

Moving ranks as one of the biggest stressors in life. We moved to our current home after I’d lived in my previous one for nearly twenty years. I’d lived alone in that first home for eight years before I got married. Then my husband moved in, along with all his things. Later, we added a child, and that meant even more...More

Monday, March 27, 2023

God Is Listening

Bible in a Year: Judges 1–3, Luke 4:1–30

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: James 5:13–16

Chuck, an actor and martial artist, honored his mother on her hundredth birthday by sharing how instrumental she’d been in his spiritual transformation. “Mom has been an example of perseverance and faith,” he wrote. She raised three boys on her own during the Great Depression; suffered the death of two spouses, a son, a stepson, and grandchildren; and endured many surgeries. “[She] has prayed for me all my...More

Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Telling Room

Bible in a Year: Joshua 22–24, Luke 3

Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.
1 Samuel 18:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 18:1–4

Northern Spain produced a beautiful way of expressing communion and friendship. With the countryside full of handmade caves, after each harvest some farmers would sit in a room built above a cave and inventory their various foods. As time passed, the room became known as the “telling room”—a place of communion where friends and families would gather to share their stories, secrets, and dreams. If you...More

Saturday, March 25, 2023

The Reboot of Grace

Bible in a Year: Joshua 19–21, Luke 2:25–52

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22–23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Lamentations 3:16–33

Over the last several decades, a new word has entered our movie vocabulary: reboot. In cinematic parlance, a reboot takes an old story and jumpstarts it. Some reboots retell a familiar tale, like a superhero story or a fairytale. Other reboots take a lesser-known story and retell it in a new way. But in each...More

Friday, March 24, 2023

Recognizing God’s Voice

Bible in a Year: Joshua 16–18, Luke 2:1–24

I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Acts 20:32

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 20:22–32

After years of research, scientists have learned that wolves have distinct voices that help them communicate with each other. Using a specific sound analysis code, one scientist realized that various volumes and pitches in a wolf’s howl enabled her to identify specific wolves with 100 percent accuracy.

The Bible provides many...More

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Why Do This?

Bible in a Year: Joshua 13–15, Luke 1:57–80

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
Psalm 19:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 19:7–11

As I was helping my sixth-grade grandson, Logan, with some tough algebra-type homework, he told me of his dream of becoming an engineer. After we returned to figuring out what to do with the x’s and y’s in his assignment, he said, “When am I ever going to use this stuff?”

I couldn’t help but smile, saying, “Well, Logan, this is exactly the stuff you’ll use if you become an engineer!” He...More

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Permission to Rest

Bible in a Year: Joshua 10–12, Luke 1:39–56

God had finished the work...so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.
Genesis 2:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 1:31–2:2

We sat atop some beach boulders, my friend Soozi and I, watching the foam send up sea spray in arched curls. Looking at the incoming waves crashing one after another against the rocks, Soozi announced, “I love the ocean. It keeps moving so I don’t have to!”

Isn’t it interesting how some of us feel we need “permission” to pause from our work to rest? Well, that’s...More

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Spiritual Renewal

Bible in a Year: Joshua 7–9, Luke 1:21–38

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 4:16–18

Chinese medicine has practiced pearl powder exfoliation for thousands of years, using ground pearls to scrub away dead cells resting at the top of the skin. In Romania, rejuvenating therapeutic mud has become a widely sought-after exfoliant that’s purported to make skin youthful and glowing. All over the world, people use body care practices they believe will renew even the...More

Monday, March 20, 2023

Catching Contentment

Bible in a Year: Joshua 4–6, Luke 1:1–20

I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content.
Psalm 131:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 131

In a psychiatrist’s advice column, he responded to a reader named Brenda, who lamented that her ambitious pursuits had left her discontented. His words were blunt. Humans aren’t designed to be happy, he said, “only to survive and reproduce.” We’re cursed to chase the “teasing and elusive butterfly” of contentment, he added, “not always to capture it.”

I wonder how Brenda...More

Sunday, March 19, 2023

Brother Saul

Bible in a Year: Joshua 1–3, Mark 16

Placing his hands on Saul, [Ananias] said, “Brother Saul, the Lord...has sent me.”
Acts 9:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 9:10–19

“Lord, please send me anywhere but there.” That was my prayer as a teenager before embarking on a year as a foreign exchange student. I didn’t know where I would be going, but I knew where I didn’t want to go. I didn’t speak that country’s language, and my mind was filled with prejudices against its customs and people. So I asked God to send me elsewhere.

But God in His...More

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Weeding Out Sins

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 32–34, Mark 15:26–47

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins.
1 John 1:9

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

When I noticed a sprig budding next to the garden hose by our porch, I ignored the seemingly harmless eyesore. How could a little weed possibly hurt our lawn? But as the weeks passed, that nuisance grew to be the size of a small bush and began taking over our yard. Its stray stalks arched over a portion of our walkway and sprouted up in other areas. Admitting its destructive existence, I...More

Friday, March 17, 2023

We’re Not Alone

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 30–31, Mark 15:1–25

I stand at the door and knock.
Revelation 3:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 3:14–22

In Fredric Brown's short story thriller “Knock,” he wrote, “The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.” Yikes! Who could that be, and what do they want? What mysterious being has come for him? The man is not alone.

Neither are we.

The church in Laodicea heard a knock on their door (Revelation 3:20). What supernatural Being had come for them? His name was Jesus,...More

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Scripture Training

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 28–29, Mark 14:54–72

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Timothy 3:1–9, 14–17

In the late 1800s, people in different places developed similar ministry resources at the same time. The first was in Montreal, Canada, in 1877. In 1898, another concept was launched in New York City. By 1922, some five thousand of these programs were active in North America each summer.

Thus began the early history of Vacation...More

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Still Before God

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 26–27, Mark 14:27–53

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 46

The first photograph of a living person was taken by Louis Daguerre in 1838. The photo depicts a figure on an otherwise empty avenue in Paris in the middle of an afternoon. But there’s an apparent mystery about it; the street and sidewalks should have been bustling with the traffic of carriages and pedestrians at that time of day, yet none can be seen.

The man wasn’t alone. People and horses were there on the busy Boulevard...More

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Game of Change

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 23–25, Mark 14:1–26

Love your enemies.
Luke 6:27

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 6:27–31

The handshake spoke volumes. On a March night in 1963, two college basketball players—one Black, one White—defied the hate of segregationists and shook hands, marking the first time in Mississippi State’s history that its all-White men’s team played against an integrated team. To compete in the “game of change” against Loyola University Chicago in a national tournament, the Mississippi State squad avoided an injunction to stop them by...More

Monday, March 13, 2023

Running for What Matters

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 20–22, Mark 13:21–37

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Hebrews 12:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Hebrews 11:39–12:3

It was impossible not to tear up at my friend Ira’s status update. Posted in 2022 only days after she’d left her home in Kyiv, the besieged capital of Ukraine, she shared a past image of herself lifting her country’s flag after completing a running event. She wrote, “We are all running to the best of our abilities a marathon called life. Let’s run it these days even better than that. With...More

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Friends and Enemies

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 17–19, Mark 13:1–20

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Romans 12:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 12:17–21

Scholar Kenneth E. Bailey told of the leader of an African nation who’d learned to maintain an unusual posture in the international community. He’d established a good relationship with both Israel and the nations surrounding it. When someone asked him how his nation maintained this fragile balance, he responded, “We choose our friends. We do not encourage our friends to choose our...More

Saturday, March 11, 2023

Musical Medicine.

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 14–16, Mark 12:28–44

David would take up his lyre and play. Then relief would come to Saul.
1 Samuel 16:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 16:14–23

When five-year-old Bella was hospitalized for cancer in North Dakota, she received music therapy as part of her treatment. Many people have experienced the powerful effect of music on mood without understanding exactly why, but researchers have recently documented a clinical benefit. Music is now being prescribed for cancer patients like Bella, and those suffering from Parkinson’s...More

Friday, March 10, 2023

Waters of Encouragement

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 11–13, Mark 12:1–27

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Thessalonians 5:4–11

I call it the “lean to green” miracle. It’s happened every spring for more than fifteen years. Coming out of the winter months, the grass in our yard is dusty and brown, so much so, a casual passerby might believe it’s dead. Colorado has snow in the mountains, but the climate on the plains—“the Front Range”—is dry, with most warmer months full of...More

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Comfort on Doorframes

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 8–10, Mark 11:19–33

Write [these commandments] on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 6:4–9

As I scanned my social media feed in the aftermath of the 2016 flood in southern Louisiana, I came across a friend’s post. After realizing her home would have to be gutted and rebuilt, my friend’s mom encouraged her to look for God even in the heart-wrenching work of cleaning up. My friend later posted pictures of Bible verses she uncovered on the exposed door frames of the...More

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

God’s Powerful Presence

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 5–7, Mark 11:1–18

The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng.
Psalm 68:11

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 68:4–14

In 2020, celebrations marked the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. Old photographs show marchers with banners emblazoned with the words of Psalm 68:11: “The Lord giveth the word. The women that publish the tidings are a great host” (asv).

In Psalm 68, David describes God as the...More

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Never Too Far

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 3–4, Mark 10:32–52

When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.
Luke 22:32

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 22:31–34, 54–62

Raj had trusted Jesus as Savior in his youth, but soon afterward, he drifted from the faith and led a life apart from God. Then one day, he made the decision to renew his relationship with Jesus and go back to church—only to be scolded by a woman who berated him for being absent for all these years. The scolding added to Raj’s sense of shame and guilt for his years of drifting. Am I beyond hope? he...More

Monday, March 6, 2023

All Alone?

Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 1–2, Mark 10:1–31

God heard the boy crying.
Genesis 21:17

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 21:9–19

Sue’s family was falling apart before her eyes. Her husband had suddenly left the home, and she and her children were confused and angry. She asked him to go for marriage counseling with her, but he wouldn’t because he claimed the problems were hers. Panic and hopelessness set in when she realized he might never come back. Would she be able to care for herself and her children alone?

Hagar, a servant of Abraham and Sarah,...More

Sunday, March 5, 2023

God Knows Us

Bible in a Year: Numbers 34–36, Mark 9:30–50

You know me, Lord.
Jeremiah 12:3

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

I recently saw a photograph of Michelangelo’s sculpture Moses, in which a close-up view showed a small bulging muscle on Moses’ right arm. This muscle is the extensor digiti minimi, and the contraction only appears when someone lifts their pinky. Michelangelo, known as a master of intricate details, paid close attention to the human bodies he sculpted, adding intimate features most everyone else would miss. Michelangelo knew the human body in...More

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Listening to God

Bible in a Year: Numbers 31–33, Mark 9:1–29

[Josiah] would not listen to what Necho had said at God’s command.
2 Chronicles 35:22

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Chronicles 35:20–27

Back when I was driving to college and back home again, the road to our house in the desert seemed painfully dull. Because it was long and straight, I found myself driving faster than I should have more than once. First, I was given a warning from the highway patrol. Then I received a ticket. Then I was cited a second time in the very same place.

Refusing to listen can have...More

Friday, March 3, 2023

This Love Is Real

Bible in a Year: Numbers 28–30, Mark 8:22–38

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 5:6−8

“I felt like the rug had been pulled from under me,” Jojie said. “The shock of the discovery was like a physical blow.” She’d found out that her fiancé was seeing someone else. Jojie’s previous relationship had ended similarly. So when she later heard about God’s love at a Bible study, she couldn’t help wondering: Is this another scam? Will I get hurt if I believe God when He says He loves me?...More

Thursday, March 2, 2023

A Refreshing Oasis

Bible in a Year: Numbers 26–27, Mark 8:1–21

Blessed is the one...who meditates on his law day and night.
Psalm 1:1–2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 1

When Andrew and his family went on safari in Kenya, they had the pleasure of watching a variety of animals frequenting a small lake that appeared in the scrabbly landscape. Giraffes, wildebeests, hippopotamuses, and waterfowl all traveled to this life-giving source of water. As Andrew observed their comings and goings, he thought how the “Bible is like a divine watering hole”—not only is it a source of guidance...More

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Finding Rest in Jesus

Bible in a Year: Numbers 23–25, Mark 7:14–37

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

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 11:28–30

The restless soul is never satisfied with wealth and success. A deceased country music icon could testify to this truth. He had nearly forty of his albums appear on Billboard’s country music top- ten charts and just as many number one singles. But he also had multiple marriages and spent time in prison. Even with all his achievements, he once lamented: “There’s a restlessness in my...More

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A Baboon, a Donkey, and Me

Bible in a Year: Numbers 20–22, Mark 7:1–13

Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth.
Numbers 22:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Numbers 22:21–31

Jack knew how to put trains on the right track. In nine years of work, he never missed a track switch as locomotives drew near the Uitenhage, South Africa, station, indicating by their whistles the direction they were to go.

Jack was also a chacma baboon. He was cared for by railway signalman James Wide, and Jack in turn took care of James. Wide had lost both his legs in a fall between moving rail cars. He...More

Monday, February 27, 2023

Seeing a Need

Bible in a Year: Numbers 17–19, Mark 6:30–56

All the widows stood around [Peter], crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made.
Acts 9:39

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

In the last few days of my dad’s life, one of the nurses dropped by his room and asked me if she could give him a shave. As Rachel gently pulled the razor across his face, she explained, “Older men of his generation like to have a neat shave every day.” Rachel had seen a need and acted on her instinct to show kindness, dignity, and respect to someone. The...More

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Is It a Sign?

Bible in a Year: Numbers 15–16, Mark 6:1–29

I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.
Psalm 40:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Samuel 24:1–7

The offer looked good, and was exactly what Peter needed. After being laid off, this sole breadwinner of a young family had prayed desperately for a job. “Surely this is God’s answer to your prayers,” his friends suggested.

Reading about the prospective employer, however, Peter felt uneasy. The company invested in suspicious businesses and had been flagged for corruption. In the end, Peter...More

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Keep Talking about Jesus!

Bible in a Year: Numbers 12–14, Mark 5:21–43

Day after day, . . . [the apostles] never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
Acts 5:42

Today's Scripture & Insight: Acts 5:17–21, 25–29, 41–42

In an interview, a musician who’s a believer in Christ recalls a time he was urged to “stop talking about Jesus” so much. Why? It was suggested that his band could be more famous and raise more money to feed the poor if he stopped saying his work was all about Jesus. After thinking it through, he decided, “The entire point of my...More

Friday, February 24, 2023

Praying in Difficult Times

Bible in a Year: Numbers 9–11, Mark 5:1–20

From the ends of the earth I call to you . . . as my heart grows faint.
Psalm 61:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 61

Author and theologian Russell Moore described noticing the eerie silence in the Russian orphanage where he adopted his boys. Someone later explained that the babies had stopped crying because they learned that no one would respond to their cries.

When we face difficult times, we too can feel that no one hears. And worst of all, we can feel that God Himself doesn’t listen to our cries or see our...More

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Water of Life

Bible in a Year: Numbers 7–8, Mark 4:21–41

You would have asked him and he would have given you living water.
John 4:10

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 4:4–14

Andrea’s home life was unstable, and she left at fourteen, finding a job and living with friends. Yearning for love and affirmation, she later moved in with a man who introduced her to drugs, which she added to the alcohol she already drank regularly. But the relationship and the substances didn’t satisfy her longings. She kept searching, and after several years she met some believers in Jesus who reached...More

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Be Humble Day

Bible in a Year: Numbers 4–6, Mark 4:1–20

He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
Philippians 2:8

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

I’m often amused by the unofficial holidays people come up with. February alone has a Sticky Bun Day, a Sword Swallowers Day, even a Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day! Today has been labeled Be Humble Day. Universally recognized as a virtue, humility is certainly worth celebrating. But interestingly, this hasn’t always been the case.

Humility was considered a weakness, not a...More

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Protect Your Heart

Bible in a Year: Numbers 1–3, Mark 3

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Proverbs 4:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 4:20–27

Hungarian-born mathematician Abraham Wald lent his skills to the World War II efforts after coming to the United States in 1938. The military was looking for ways to protect its aircraft from enemy fire, so Wald and his colleagues at the Statistical Research Group were asked to figure out how to better protect military aircraft to defend against enemy fire. They began by examining returning aircraft to...More

Monday, February 20, 2023

What’s Truly Needed

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 26–27, Mark 2

You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.
Mark 7:8

Today's Scripture & Insight: Mark 7:8–13

While preparing a meal, a young mother cut a pot roast in half before she put it in a large pot. Her husband asked her why she cut the meat in half. She replied, “Because that’s the way my mother does it.”

Her husband’s question, however, piqued the woman’s curiosity. So she asked her mother about the tradition. She was shocked to learn that her mother cut the meat so it would fit...More

Sunday, February 19, 2023

Revival Comes

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 25, Mark 1:23–45

If my people . . . will humble themselves . . . , then I will hear from heaven.
2 Chronicles 7:14

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Chronicles 7:11–16

Aurukun is a small town in northern Australia—its Aboriginal population drawn from seven clans. While the gospel came to Aurukun a century ago, eye-for-eye retribution sometimes remained. In 2015, clan tensions grew, and when a murder happened, payback required someone from the offender’s family to die in return.

But something remarkable happened in early 2016. The...More

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Prayer Cards

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 23–24, Mark 1:1–22

Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Ephesians 6:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 6:10–20

During a writing conference where I served as a faculty member, Tamy handed me a postcard with a handwritten prayer on the back. She explained that she read the faculty biographies, wrote specific prayers on each card, and prayed as she delivered them to us. In awe over the details in her personal message to me, I thanked God for encouraging me through Tamy’s gesture. Then I prayed for...More

Friday, February 17, 2023

Cleansed Completely

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 21–22, Matthew 28

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.
Isaiah 64:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 64:1–8

Recently, my wife and I were cleaning our house before having guests over. I noticed some dark stains on our white kitchen tile floor—the kind that required getting on my knees to scrub.

But I soon had a sinking realization: the more I scrubbed, the more I noticed other stains. Each stain I eliminated only made the others that much more obvious. Our kitchen floor...More

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Reflecting Christ’s Light

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 19–20, Matthew 27:51–66

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
John 1:4

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

To capture the beauty of reflective light in his landscape oil paintings, artist Armand Cabrera works with a key artistic principle: “Reflected light is never as strong as its source light.” He observes that novice painters tend to exaggerate reflected light. He says, “Reflected light belongs to the shadow and as such it must support, not compete with the lighted areas of your painting.”


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Juror Number 8

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 17–18, Matthew 27:27–50

Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong.
Exodus 23:2

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

“One man is dead. Another man’s life is at stake,” says the judge somberly in the classic 1957 film 12 Angry Men. The evidence against the young suspect appears overwhelming. But during deliberations, it’s the brokenness of the jury that’s exposed. One of the twelve—juror number 8—votes “not guilty.” A heated debate ensues, in which the lone juror is mocked as he points out discrepancies in the testimony....More

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Rejoicing Love

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 15–16, Matthew 27:1–26

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.
Isaiah 62:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 62:1–5

Brendan and Katie beamed at each other. Looking at the pure joy on their faces, you would have never guessed the difficult ways so many of their wedding plans had been dramatically altered due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even with only twenty-five family members present, joy and peace radiated from the two as they said their vows because of their love for each other and expressed their...More

Monday, February 13, 2023

When Hard Pressed

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 14, Matthew 26:51–75

The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
Psalm 118:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 118:5–14

Many years ago, a friend told me how intimidated she was while trying to cross a street where several roads intersected. “I’d never seen anything like this; the rules I’d been taught for crossing the street seemed ineffective. I was so frightened that I’d stand on the corner, wait for the bus, and ask the bus driver if he’d please allow me to ride to the other side of the street. It would take a long time before I...More

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Information and Evidence

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 13, Matthew 26:26–50

These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
John 20:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 20:26–31

When Doris Kearns Goodwin decided to write a book about Abraham Lincoln, the fact that some fourteen thousand books had already been written about America’s sixteenth president intimidated her. What could be left to say about this beloved leader? Undeterred, Goodwin’s work resulted in A Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. Her fresh insights on Lincoln’s...More

Saturday, February 11, 2023

An Undeserved Gift

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 11–12, Matthew 26:1–25

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
1 Timothy 1:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 Timothy 1:12–16

When my friend gave me a gift recently, I was surprised. I didn’t think I deserved such a nice present from her. She’d sent it after hearing about some work stress I was experiencing. Yet she was going through just as much stress, if not more, than I was, with an aging parent, challenging children, upheaval at work, and strain on her marriage. I couldn’t believe she had thought...More

Friday, February 10, 2023

Come Home to God

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 8–10, Matthew 25:31–46

He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.
Psalm 91:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 91:1−2, 14−16

One early evening while I was jogging near a construction site in our neighborhood, a skinny, dirty kitten meowed at me plaintively and followed me home. Today, Mickey is a healthy, handsome adult cat, enjoying a comfortable life in our household and deeply loved by my family. Whenever I jog on the road where I found him, I often think, Thank You, God. Mickey was spared from living on the streets. He...More

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Seeing Jesus

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 6–7, Matthew 25:1–30

Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.
John 14:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 14:1–11

At four months old, Leo had never seen his parents. He’d been born with a rare condition that left his vision blurred. For him, it was like living in dense fog. But then eye doctors fit him with a special set of glasses.

Leo’s father posted the video of Mom placing the new glasses over his eyes for the first time. We watch as Leo’s eyes slowly focus. A smile spreads wide across his face as he truly sees his...More

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

God’s Arms Are Open

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 4–5, Matthew 24:29–51

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins.
1 John 1:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: 1 John 1:5–10

I frowned at my cellphone and sighed. Worry wrinkled my brow. A friend and I had had a serious disagreement over an issue with our children, and I knew I needed to call her and apologize. I didn’t want to do it because our viewpoints were still in conflict, yet I knew I hadn’t been kind or humble the last time we discussed the matter.

Anticipating the phone call, I wondered,...More

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The Good Shepherd

Bible in a Year: Leviticus 1–3, Matthew 24:1–28

As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock..., so will I look after my sheep.
Ezekiel 34:12

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezekiel 34:11–16

When Pastor Warren heard that a man in his church had deserted his wife and family, he asked God to help him meet the man as if by accident so they could chat. And He did! When Warren walked into a restaurant, he spotted the gentleman in a nearby booth. “Got some room for another hungry man?” he asked, and soon they were sharing deeply and praying together.

As a...More

Monday, February 6, 2023

The Loneliest Man

Bible in a Year: Exodus 39–40, Matthew 23:23–39

While Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness.
Genesis 39:20–21

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 39:11–22

On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped out of their lunar landing module and became the first humans to walk on the surface of the moon. But we don’t often think about the third person on their team, Michael Collins, who was flying the command module for Apollo 11.

After his teammates clambered down the ladder to test the lunar surface,...More

Sunday, February 5, 2023

I Can Only Imagine

Bible in a Year: Exodus 36–38, Matthew 23:1–22

The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
Ecclesiastes 12:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 5:1–10

I settled into the church pew behind a woman as the worship team began playing “I Can Only Imagine.” Raising my hands, I praised God as the woman’s sweet soprano voice harmonized with mine. After telling me about her health struggles, we decided to pray together during her upcoming cancer treatments.

A few months later, Louise told me she feared dying....More

Saturday, February 4, 2023

What’s Your Name?

Bible in a Year: Exodus 34–35, Matthew 22:23–46

Don’t call me Naomi...Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter.
Ruth 1:20

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ruth 1:3–8, 15–21

Jen remarried after her first husband died. The children of her new husband never accepted her, and now that he’s passed away too, they hate her for remaining in their childhood home. Her husband left a modest sum to provide for her; his kids say she’s stealing their inheritance. Jen is understandably discouraged, and she’s grown bitter.

Naomi’s husband...More

Friday, February 3, 2023

We Are Strangers

Bible in a Year: Exodus 31–33, Matthew 22:1–22

The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.
Leviticus 19:34

Today's Scripture & Insight: Leviticus 19:32–37

Everything felt drastically different in their new country—new language, schools, customs, traffic, and weather. They wondered how they would ever adjust. People from a nearby church gathered around them to help them in their new life in a new land. Patti took the couple shopping at a local food market to show them what’s available and how to purchase items. As they wandered around the...More

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Like Our Great Teacher

Bible in a Year: Exodus 29–30, Matthew 21:23–46

The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.
Luke 6:40

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 6:37–42

In a viral video, a three-year-old white belt karate student imitated her instructor. With passion and conviction the little girl said the student creed with her leader. Then, with poise and attentiveness, the little ball of cuteness and energy imitated everything her teacher said and did—at least she did a pretty good job!

Jesus once said, “The student is...More

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Blessing in the Tears

Bible in a Year: Exodus 27–28, Matthew 21:1–22

Blessed are those who mourn.
Matthew 5:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 5:1–12

I received an email from a young man in England, a son who explained that his father (only sixty- three) was in the hospital in critical condition, hanging on to life. Though we’d never met, his dad’s work and mine shared many intersections. The son, trying to cheer his father, asked me to send a video message of encouragement and prayer. Deeply moved, I recorded a short message and a prayer for healing. I was told that his dad...More

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Sustainer of Blessings

Bible in a Year: Exodus 25–26, Matthew 20:17–34

Remember the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 8:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Deuteronomy 8:10–18

On January 15, 1919, a huge molasses tank burst in Boston. A fifteen-foot wave of more than two million gallons of molasses careened through the street at over 30 mph, sweeping away railcars, buildings, people, and animals. Molasses might seem harmless enough, but that day it was deadly: 21 people lost their lives with more than 150 injured.

Sometimes even good things—like molasses—can overwhelm us unexpectedly....More

Monday, January 30, 2023

Running on Empty

Bible in a Year: Exodus 23–24, Matthew 20:1–16

They will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 40:28–31

“I just don’t think I can do this anymore,” my friend said through her tears as she discussed the overwhelming sense of hopelessness she faced as a nurse in a global health crisis. “I know that God has called me to nursing, but I’m overwhelmed and emotionally drained,” she confessed. Seeing that a cloud of exhaustion had come over her, I responded, “I know you feel helpless right...More

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Seven Minutes of Terror

Bible in a Year: Exodus 21–22, Matthew 19

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 11:38–43

When the Mars rover Perseverance landed on that red planet on February 18, 2021, those monitoring its arrival endured “seven minutes of terror.” As the spacecraft ended its 292-million-mile journey, it went through a complex landing procedure it had to do on its own. Signals from Mars to Earth take several minutes, so NASA couldn’t...More

Saturday, January 28, 2023

The Pink Coat

Bible in a Year: Exodus 19–20, Matthew 18:21–35

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give . . . for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 9:6–9

Brenda was walking toward the mall exit when a flush of pink from a display window caught her eye. She turned and stood spellbound before a “cotton-candy-colored coat.” Oh, how Holly would love it! Finances had been tight for her coworker friend who was a single mother, and while Brenda knew Holly needed a warm coat, she was also confident that...More

Friday, January 27, 2023

Mercy for You and Me

Bible in a Year: Exodus 16–18, Matthew 18:1–20

He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever.
Psalm 103:9

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 103:8–12

One of consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic was the docking of cruise ships and the quarantining of passengers. The Wall Street Journal featured an article that included interviews of some of the tourists. Commenting about how being quarantined provided more opportunities for conversations, one passenger joked how his spouse—who possessed an excellent memory—was able to bring up every transgression he...More

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Love That Forgives

Bible in a Year: Exodus 14–15, Matthew 17

Bear with each other and forgive one another.
Colossians 3:13

Today's Scripture & Insight: Colossians 3:12–14

Eighty years of marriage! My husband’s great-uncle Pete and great-aunt Ruth celebrated this remarkable milestone on May 31, 2021. After a chance meeting in 1941 when Ruth was still in high school, the young couple were so eager to get married that they eloped the day after Ruth graduated. Pete and Ruth believe God brought them together and has guided them all these years.

Reflecting on eight decades of...More

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Fighting “Flashy” Things

Bible in a Year: Exodus 12–13, Matthew 16

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Proverbs 22:1–6

In the 1960s-era TV series The Andy Griffith Show, a man tells Andy he should let his son Opie decide how he wants to live. Andy disagrees: “You can’t let a young’un decide for himself. He’ll grab at the first flashy thing with shiny ribbons on it. Then, when he finds out there’s a hook in it, it’s too late. Wrong ideas come packaged with so much glitter that...More

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

No Loss

Bible in a Year: Exodus 9–11, Matthew 15:21–29

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure.
Matthew 13:44

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 13:44–46

My friend Ruel attended a high school reunion held in a former classmate’s home. The waterfront mansion near Manila Bay could accommodate two hundred attendees, and it made Ruel feel small.

“I’ve had many happy years of pastoring remote rural churches,” Ruel told me, “and even though I know I shouldn’t, I couldn’t help but feel envious of my classmate’s material wealth. My thoughts strayed to how...More

Monday, January 23, 2023

Lost, Found, Joy

Bible in a Year: Exodus 7–8, Matthew 15:1–20

Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.
Luke 15:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Luke 15:1–10

“They call me ‘the ringmaster.’ So far this year I’ve found 167 lost rings.”

During a walk on the beach with my wife, Cari, we struck up a conversation with an older man who was using a metal detector to scan an area just below the surf line. “Sometimes rings have names on them,” he explained, “and I love seeing their owners’ faces when I return them. I post online and check to see if anyone...More

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Reaching Out

Bible in a Year: Exodus 4–6, Matthew 14:22–36

He reached down from on high and took hold of me.
Psalm 18:16

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 18:16–19

In a recent post, blogger Bonnie Gray recounted the moment when overwhelming sadness began to creep into her heart. “Out of the blue,” she stated, “during the happiest chapter in my life, . . . I suddenly started experiencing panic attacks and depression.” Gray tried to find different ways to address her pain, but she soon realized that she wasn’t strong enough to handle it alone. “I hadn’t wanted anyone...More

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Coffee Breath

Bible in a Year: Exodus 1–3, Matthew 14:1–21

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ephesians 4:1–5, 25–31

I was sitting in my chair one morning years ago when my youngest came downstairs. She made a beeline for me, jumping up onto my lap. I gave her a fatherly squeeze and a gentle kiss on the head, and she squealed with delight. But then she furrowed her brow, crinkled her nose, and shot an accusatory glance at my coffee mug. “Daddy,” she announced solemnly. “I love you,...More

Friday, January 20, 2023

Love like Blazing Fire

Bible in a Year: Genesis 49–50, Matthew 13:31–58

[Love] burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.
Song of Songs 8:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Song of Songs 8:5–7

Poet, painter, and printmaker William Blake enjoyed a forty-five-year marriage with his wife, Catherine. From their wedding day until his death in 1827, they worked side by side. Catherine added color to William’s sketches, and their devotion endured years of poverty and other challenges. Even in his final weeks as his health failed, Blake kept at his art, and his final sketch was his wife’s face....More

Thursday, January 19, 2023

But I’m Telling You

Bible in a Year: Genesis 46–48, Matthew 13:1–30

But I tell you, love your enemies.
Matthew 5:44

Today's Scripture & Insight: Matthew 5:43–48

“I know what they’re saying. But I’m telling you . . .” As a boy, I heard my mother give that speech a thousand times. The context was always peer pressure. She was trying to teach me not to follow the herd. I’m not a boy any longer, but herd mentality’s still alive and kicking. A current example is this phrase: “Only surround yourself with positive people.” Now while that phrase may be commonly heard, the...More

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Heart Problem

Bible in a Year: Genesis 43–45, Matthew 12:24–50

The Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!
Ezekiel 14:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Ezekiel 14:1–8

“Do you see it, brother Tim?” My friend, a Ghanaian pastor, flashed his torchlight on a carved object leaning against a mud hut. Quietly he said, “That is the village idol.” Each Tuesday evening, Pastor Sam traveled into the bush to share the Bible in this remote village.

In the book of Ezekiel, we see how idolatry plagued the people of Judah. When...More

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Never Late

Bible in a Year: Genesis 41–42, Matthew 12:1–23

Your brother will rise again.
John 11:23

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 11:17–27

As a visitor to a small West African town, my American pastor made sure to arrive on time for a 10 a.m. Sunday service. Inside the humble sanctuary, however, he found the room empty. So he waited. One hour. Two hours. Finally, about 12:30 p.m., when the local pastor arrived after his long walk there—followed by some choir members and a gathering of friendly town people—the service began “in the fullness of time,” as my...More

Monday, January 16, 2023

Be Filled

Bible in a Year: Genesis 39–40, Matthew 11

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Matthew 5:6

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 58:6–12

The horrific assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. happened at the height of the American civil rights movement of the 1960s. But just four days later, his widow Coretta Scott King courageously took her husband’s place in leading a peaceful protest march. Coretta had a deep passion for justice and was a fierce champion of many causes.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who...More

Sunday, January 15, 2023

From Lament to Praise

Bible in a Year: Genesis 36–38, Matthew 10:21–42

I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:18

Today's Scripture & Insight: Habakkuk 3:17–19

Monica prayed feverishly for her son to return to God. She wept over his wayward ways and even tracked him down in the various cities where he chose to live. The situation seemed hopeless. Then one day it happened: her son had a radical encounter with God. He became one of the greatest theologians of the church. We know him as Augustine, Bishop of Hippo.

“How long, Lord?” (Habakkuk...More

Saturday, January 14, 2023

A New Beginning

Bible in a Year: Genesis 33–35, Matthew 10:1–20

Save me, Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.
Psalm 120:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 120:1–121:2

“Christian consciousness begins in the painful realization that what we had assumed was the truth is in fact a lie,” Eugene Peterson wrote in his powerful reflections on Psalm 120. Psalm 120 is the first of the Psalms of Ascents (Psalms 120–134) sung by pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. And as Peterson explored this in A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, these psalms also offer us a picture of...More

Friday, January 13, 2023

The Crowd

Bible in a Year: Genesis 31–32, Matthew 9:18–38

I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for [my people’s] sake.
Romans 9:3

Today's Scripture & Insight: Romans 9:1–5

“Men have been found to resist the most powerful monarchs and to refuse to bow down before them,” observed philosopher and author Hannah Arendt (1906–75). She added, “[B]ut few indeed have been found to resist the crowd, to stand up alone before misguided masses, to face their implacable frenzy without weapons.” As a Jew, Arendt witnessed this firsthand in her native...More

Thursday, January 12, 2023

The Rest of Our Story

Bible in a Year: Genesis 29–30, Matthew 9:1–17

Do not weep! See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, . . . has triumphed.
Revelation 5:5

Today's Scripture & Insight: Revelation 5:1–10

For more than six decades, news journalist Paul Harvey was a familiar voice on American radio. He would say with a colorful flair, “You know what the news is, in a minute you’re going to hear the rest of the story.” After a brief advertisement, he would tell a little-known story of a well-known person. But by withholding until the end either the person’s name or...More

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Out of the Lions’ Den

Bible in a Year: Genesis 27–28, Matthew 8:18–34

My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions.
Daniel 6:22

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

When Taher and his wife, Donya, became believers in Jesus, they knew they risked persecution in their home country. Indeed, one day Taher was blindfolded, handcuffed, imprisoned, and charged with apostasy. Before he appeared at trial, he and Donya agreed that they wouldn’t betray Jesus.

What happened at the sentencing amazed him. The judge said, “I don’t know why, but I want to take you out...More

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

The God Who Redeems

Bible in a Year: Genesis 25–26, Matthew 8:1–17

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.
Isaiah 43:1

Today's Scripture & Insight: Isaiah 43:1–7

As part of a sermon illustration, I walked toward the beautiful painting an artist had been creating on the platform and made a dark streak across the middle of it. The congregation gasped in horror. The artist simply stood by and watched as I defaced what she’d created. Then, selecting a new brush, she lovingly transformed the ruined painting into an exquisite work of art.

Her restorative work reminds me of the work...More

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Right Jesus

Bible in a Year: Genesis 23–24, Matthew 7

If someone...preaches a [false] Jesus other than the Jesus we preached,...you [wrongly] put up with it.
2 Corinthians 11:4

Today's Scripture & Insight: 2 Corinthians 11:1–4, 12–15

The buzz in the room faded to a comfortable silence as the book club leader summarized the novel the group would discuss. My friend Joan listened closely but didn’t recognize the plot. Finally, she realized she had read a nonfiction book with a similar title to the work of fiction the others had read. Although she enjoyed reading the “wrong”...More

Sunday, January 8, 2023

More than Conquerors

Bible in a Year: Genesis 20–22, Matthew 6:19–34

In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
Romans 8:37

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

When my husband coached our son’s Little League baseball team, he rewarded the players with an end-of-year party and acknowledged their improvement over the season. One of our youngest players, Dustin, approached me during the event. “Didn’t we lose the game today?”

“Yes,” I said. “But we’re proud of you for doing your best.”

“I know,” he said....More

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Who Are You, Lord?

Bible in a Year: Genesis 18–19, Matthew 6:1–18

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
Acts 9:5

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

At age sixteen, Luis Rodriguez had already been in jail for selling crack. But now, arrested for attempted murder, he was in prison again—looking at a life sentence. But God spoke into his guilty circumstances. Behind bars, young Luis remembered his early years when his mother had faithfully taken him to church. He now felt God tugging at his heart. Luis eventually repented of his sins and came to Jesus.

In the book of Acts,...More

Friday, January 6, 2023

Made for Adventure

Bible in a Year: Genesis 16–17, Matthew 5:27–48

Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.
Genesis 1:28

Today's Scripture & Insight: Genesis 1:21–28

I recently made a wonderful discovery. Following a dirt path into a cluster of trees near my home, I found a hidden homemade playground. A ladder made of sticks led up to a lookout, swings made from old cable spools hung from branches, and there was even a suspension bridge slung between boughs. Someone had turned some old wood and rope into a creative adventure!

Swiss physician Paul...More

Thursday, January 5, 2023

A Nesting Place

Bible in a Year: Genesis 13–15, Matthew 5:1–26

I am going there to prepare a place for you.
John 14:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: John 14:1–4

Sand martins—small birds related to swallows—dig their nests into riverbanks. Land development in South East England reduced their habitat, and the birds had fewer and fewer places to nest when they returned from their winter migration each year. Local conservationists sprang into action and built an enormous artificial sandbank to house them. With the help of a sand-sculpting firm, they molded sand to create a space for...More

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

New Vision

Bible in a Year: Genesis 10–12, Matthew 4

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

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

Wearing my new eyeglasses as I stepped into the sanctuary, I sat down and spotted a friend sitting directly across the aisle on the other side of the church. As I waved at her, she looked so near and clear. It felt like I could reach out and touch her even though she was several yards away. Later, as we talked following the service, I realized she was in the same seat she always sat in. I simply could see...More

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Rescue Mission

Bible in a Year: Genesis 7–9, Matthew 3

Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God.
Psalm 38:15

Today's Scripture & Insight: Psalm 38:11–22

Volunteers at a farm animal rescue organization in Australia found a wandering sheep weighed down by more than seventy-five pounds of filthy, matted wool. Rescuers suspected the sheep had been forgotten and lost in the bush for at least five years. Volunteers soothed him through the uncomfortable process of shearing away his heavy fleece. Once freed from his burden, Baarack ate. His legs grew stronger. He became more...More

Monday, January 2, 2023

A Small Start

Bible in a Year: Genesis 4–6, Matthew 2

Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small..., out of you will come...[a] ruler over Israel.
Micah 5:2

Today's Scripture & Insight: Micah 5:2–4

The Brooklyn Bridge was considered “the eighth wonder of the world” upon its completion in 1883. But a single, slender wire strung from one bridge tower to the other was essential for the structure to come to fruition. Additional wires were added to the first until a massive cable, along with three others, was woven together. When finished, each cable—composed of more than five...More

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Choose Joy

Bible in a Year: Genesis 1–3, Matthew 1

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

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

Keith was feeling down as he trudged through the produce aisle. His hands trembled from the first signs of Parkinson’s disease. How long before his quality of life began to slide? What would this mean for his wife and children? Keith’s gloom was shattered by laughter. Over by the potatoes, a man pushed a giggling boy in a wheelchair. The man leaned over and whispered to his son, who couldn’t stop...More

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