Grace & Life

Bearing the Weight of Sin

BY GRETCHEN RONNEVIK

Awhile back, I was at a 3-day practicum in the summer so that I could be trained in to tutor a group of middle schoolers for the coming school year. This was a great event for families, as they had 3 day “camps” for all of my kids to attend while I was at my training during the day. 

Bearing the Weight of Sin

Behold Your King

BY MARTIN LUTHER

This Gospel pre-figures Christ coming with grace, and none may receive or accept save he who believes him to be the man, and has the mind, as this Gospel portrays in Christ. Nothing but the mercy, tenderness and kindness of Christ are here shown, and he who so receives and believes on him is saved.

Behold Your King

Don't Share the Gospel with Me: Luther, Forde and a Seminarian

BY RALEIGH SADLER

“Whatever you do, don’t share the Gospel with me?” Those were my exact words to my slightly mystified seminary professor. As he set his coffee down, I could tell that he was holding back in an effort to allow me to process what I was thinking. “To be honest,” I said, “I don’t think God loves me.”

Don't Share the Gospel with Me: Luther, Forde and a Seminarian

Specks and Logs

BY DOMINICK SANTORE

I’m a life-long New Yorker, and I have the pleasure of working minutes from the neighborhood I grew up in as a boy.  As I pass by it, I still come across a few familiar reminders of that neighborhood I grew up in, including an old friend’s mom, and some buildings that spark fond memories as well. 

Specks and Logs

I'm Not Chad Bird

BY DOMINICK SANTORE

I think we can all agree that there is not a more popular writer on Christ Hold Fast than Chad Bird. Let’s face it, He paints pictures with his words that some of us on here can only dream of doing, and he’s got the credentials to back those pictures up. To be sure, he’s probably one of the most learned writers here…

I'm Not Chad Bird

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

BY KATHY STRAUCH

He was a beggar on the streets. And, he was as good as dead if he didn't receive a blessing. The words, "you're cursed" haunted his mind. He was cursed and it was his own fault. He took what wasn't his to take; he stole from the dead and, in doing so, he became eerily acquainted with the dead. 

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

Come Near To Me, Please

BY DANIEL EMERY PRICE

There is no shortage of blogs, books, and sermons that use the life of Joseph as a model for Christian living. From not giving up on your “God given dreams,” to fleeing sexual temptation, to being faithful in tribulation, Joseph is like proverbial “Swiss Army Knife” of godliness.

Come Near To Me, Please

Christ Is Enough

BY JESSICA THOMPSON

There are mornings I wake up beleaguered by my past sins. It is almost as though my conscience waits until I am too tired to fight it, and then it wages its war against me. Concerning the battle of the ever-accusing conscience, Horatius Bonar says…

Christ Is Enough

Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?

BY CHAD BIRD

We tell our children if they work hard and play by the rules, they’ll succeed in life. Jerks, cheaters, and thieves won’t. They’ll end up in the gutter. Or jail. Or worse. But if you keep your hands out of the cookie jar, your zipper up, and do your best to walk the straight and narrow, you’ll be okay.

Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People?

A Day For All Sinners and Saints

BY KYLE G JONES

It’s been my experience that All Saints’ Day, celebrated on November 1st and observed on the first Sunday following, gets overshadowed by the celebration of Reformation Day. This often overlooked church holiday embraces every major aspect of Christianity and grounds the Christian in realities only realized in Christ.

A Day For All Sinners and Saints

Forgiveness Is Finished

BY RYAN COUCH

I’ve had a lot of nasty things done to me in my 43 years of life. Many of which were done by church people while we were worshipping and serving Jesus together. I’ve also done some nasty things to others along the way, but as a highly skilled theologian of glory, I like to believe that the nastiness done to me far outweighs the sin I’ve committed against others.

Forgiveness Is Finished

On Being Haunted

BY ZACK JAMES COLE

I am often haunted by my past. I am daily haunted by what I should be doing. I am frequently haunted by what I should do tomorrow. I am haunted by my failure to act like my exhortations, duties, and responsibilities expect me to. I often struggle with looking at myself and observing how I am lacking in living right.

On Being Haunted

Ordinary Joy

BY DONAVON RILEY

She said, “Keep coming back, and you’ll know joy.” He wanted to vomit a rainbow of resentment, bitterness, and loathing all over her faux-leather boots. He already knew about joy. It was horrible stuff. Christians kept trying to rip it out of their hearts to share with him.

Ordinary Joy

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

BY BONNIE PETROSCHUK

I have been very busy lately, trying to understand things.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a deeper understanding of spiritual truth, but I have found that there is a pit on that path into which one can fall, and right now I feel like I’m sitting in that pit, too tired to climb back out.

Jesus Loves Me, This I Know

Grace Falls on the Grenade

BY BRAD GRAY

On a summer day in 2008, Thomas and Romayne McGinnis were presented with the highest honor that can be received in any branch of the United States military, that is, the Medal of Honor. The McGinnis’ accepted the award on behalf of their deceased son…

Grace Falls on the Grenade

If Only I Could...

BY GRETCHEN RONNEVIK

I love studying books on productivity and efficiency.  I have a big family, and I have little people who depend on me and actually expect to eat every day.  There is a lot on my plate, and all of it is important. I’ve learned many tricks in this whole parenting gig.

If Only I Could...

Christ’s Gifts For Ingrates

BY RYAN COUCH

Have you ever received a gift for which you were less than thrilled, but you had to pretend you really liked it so as not to offend the giver? It is an awkward feeling, but despite your ambivalence, it is the right thing to do. When Christ gives us his gifts he is not as interested in our response as our human counterparts.

Christ’s Gifts For Ingrates

It Never Depended Upon You

BY JAKE ALLSTAEDT

I visited a senior man at his home the other day. I'll refer to him as “Jim.” Jim had recently returned home from the hospital after recovering from a fall. The back-and-forth from hospital to home had become his rhythm of life, and, because of that rhythm, he had been unable to attend worship.

It Never Depended Upon You

I May Not Be A Smart Man, But I Know What The Gospel Is

BY TATE BARBER

I am not a good Lutheran. I have only been around reformation theology for a few years. I have trouble articulating why my son was baptized in a Lutheran church. I am terrible at exegesis. I fumble through discussions about the third use of the law, trying my hardest not to sound like an antinomian.

I May Not Be A Smart Man, But I Know What The Gospel Is

I’d Never Go to That Church

BY DONAVON RILEY

Would you go to the church on the corner knowing that the pastor is an ex-con? What about the congregation three streets over, where the pastor is prone to lying? You know which one. The pastor at the store-front church who’s always questioning the truth about what the Gospels say about Jesus?

I’d Never Go to That Church

Satan’s Two Favorite Lies

BY CHAD BIRD

Jesus cuts right to the chase when it comes to the evil one. He calls the devil “a liar and the father of lies,” (John 8:44). And the father of lies has his pet anti-truths. These lies, repeated often enough, can slowly drown out the promises of God.

Satan’s Two Favorite Lies

What Have You Done for God Lately? Too Much.

BY CHAD BIRD

If I were the devil, I wouldn’t just entice believers to do bad things. We’re experts at that anyway. I’d strongly encourage them to do more for God. Just a gentle nudge in that direction. And before you know it, some of them would be so hog-wild about doing stuff for Jesus…

  What Have You Done for God Lately? Too Much.

Grace for When You Can't Forgive

BY GRETCHEN RONNEVIK

She was my friend, walking through marriage troubles.  Her husband was unfaithful to her, with the technicalities and carefully drawn lines of “not technically sex” and justifying himself, which had wounded her deeply.

Grace for When You Can't Forgive

The Greatness of the Gospel

BY MARTIN LUTHER

This is one of the best and most glorious Gospel lessons, such as John particularly wrote. It is worthy to be written in golden letters, not upon paper, but if possible upon the heart; it ought to be made the daily lesson and meditation of Christians, who should repeat it to strengthen their faith.

The Greatness of the Gospel