The British author Charles Dickens once commented that we are somewhat backward here in America. Instead of having just one Thanksgiving Day each year, we should have 364. “Use that one day just for complaining and griping,” he said. “Use the other 364 days to thank God each day for the many blessings he has showered upon you.” Continue reading
Bible study is always important. As we study, we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we study, the Holy Spirit strengthens our faith. But because our thinking still is influenced by sin, we are easily distracted by other issues and even allow those issues to take precedence in our lives. That can happen to those of us who handle God’s Word every day. It also can happen to those who come to study with us in our Bible classes.
As we continue our discussion of one of the principles of adult learning—that adults need to be motivated to learn—we are going to focus on the application. Putting effort into crafting application questions will pay dividends by helping the students recognize why the truth that was studied in God’s Word is important to their lives.
How does a pastor help people see why the lesson is valuable for their lives? Continue reading
Dear fellow soul-tenders,
Though devils all the world should fill, all eager to devour us . . . (CW 200:3)
Will you be singing that hymn a few extra times in your congregation this year as you celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation?
What will those first two lines of the third verse mean to most of the people in the pews? What do they mean to you? I would have to admit that this is not the way I personally perceive my reality, my everyday life: that it is filled with fallen angels who, if they could have their way, would devour me and all that I hold dear. How often do you take that reality seriously? How often do the members of your congregation face up to this ever-present, world-filling threat? Continue reading
It is not at all unusual for children to stutter as they begin to develop their language skills. Stuttering is so common during the preschool years that speech therapy is seldom recommended. Most young children who stutter outgrow it by age 7.
What is somewhat surprising is that even though stuttering is quite common, the cause of it is not totally understood. It is known that stuttering is more likely to occur in boys than in girls. It is also known that stuttering and other speech-related problems are somewhat hereditary. While stuttering is not caused by limited intellectual ability, it is common for children who stutter to have difﬁculties with reading and writing. Continue reading
The Writer and Translator
Martin Luther was not a man who could remain idle. There was work to be done. He couldn’t preach, but he could write. And it was here, in the “Land of the Birds,” that he did some of his most important writing. At first he had only his Hebrew and Greek Testaments, which he managed to put in his knapsack just before he was kidnapped near Eisenach. At various times Melanchthon and Spalatin secretly provided him with some of the books that he requested. Continue reading
When Elector Frederick saw that things were not going well at the diet, he feared for Luther’s safety. He knew that his enemies would try to seize and kill him as soon as the safe conduct was no longer in effect. He told one of his trusted knights to see to it that Luther would be taken to a safe hiding place. He said, “I want you to arrange to hide Luther somewhere in Saxony, but don’t tell me where he is. I don’t want to be able to answer any questions regarding his whereabouts.” Luther and Amsdorf knew something of what would happen on the way to Wittenberg, but they were not told the details. Continue reading
What parent has not been on the receiving end of a child’s negative attitude? An attitude problem often shows itself in grumpiness, looks of disgust, and a general air of unhappiness. The apostle Paul knew about attitude problems when he instructed his friends in Philippi, “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14). What parents wouldn’t be overjoyed if their children acted that way when told to do chores? Paul added that this kind of positive attitude comes out of love for the Lord. Continue reading
The Edict of Worms
Charles V was angry. The next day he summoned the electors and princes to ask their advice. He had already made up his mind to put Luther under the imperial ban. He said, “I wish to proceed against him as a notorious heretic, and ask you to declare yourselves as you promised me.” But the electors thought it wise not to condemn Luther without making another effort to persuade him to recant. They knew that Luther had many followers who would come to his defense. Some were powerful German princes. The emperor finally was persuaded to appoint a small committee to confer with Luther. In the discussions with that committee Luther made it very clear that he would recant only if he was proven wrong on the basis of the Bible and clear reason. That the committee would not accept. Continue reading