Exploring the question that gave me permission to dream.

Photo by Denys Nevozhai

Kristy and I just finished season 9 of Death in Paradise, a British TV series about an English police inspector working on a Caribbean island with a team of lovable characters who share work, life, highs, and low with stories that blend mystery, drama, and humor. Even if a bit quirky, it is a great show.

In the final episode, Inspector Parker is about to return home to England, where life is safe and predictable. And, to his admission, boring. …


Practical and profound wisdom from a Chinese parable

Photo by Nadine Shaabana

There is a story about an old man in a Chinese village who, while very poor, was the envy of wealthy kings jealous of his beautiful white horse. These kings offered fabulous prices, but the old man loved the horse as a friend and refused to sell.

One morning, the old man discovered that the horse was not in the stable. The village gathered and called the man a fool for not selling the horse when he could have. They called the loss of his horse a terrible misfortune and lost opportunity.

But the old man said, “Who knows. It…


To focus on the fruit of faith is to put the cart before the horse. If there is a lack of fruit, the problem usually is with the root.

Photo by Yente Van Eynde

Or is there something I must do to secure my good standing with God as a forgiven, accepted, and loved son or daughter?

And if I am saved by grace alone, then what role do works play in the Christian life? If they don’t save me or sustain me, then why should I be at all concerned with whether or not there is any practical change in my life as a result of being a disciple of Jesus?

What about works?

This is the question James answers in James 2:14–26.

If you missed Part 1, catch up here. …


Does James contradict Paul? When we dig beneath the surface, we discover they actually complement each other. One emphasizes the priority of faith while the other highlights the proof of faith.

Photo by Charles Deluvio

Or is there something I must do to secure my good standing with God as a forgiven, accepted, and loved son or daughter?

And if I am saved by grace alone, then what role do works play in the Christian life? If they don’t save me or sustain me, then why should I be at all concerned with whether or not there is any practical change in my life as a result of being a disciple of Jesus?

What about works?

This is the question James answers in James 2:14–26.

In you missed Part 1, catch up here.

Otherwise, let’s…


Does James contradict Paul? What role do “works” play in the Christian life? Is there a simple way to explain how faith and fruit are interconnected?

Photo by fernando bacheschi on Unsplash

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his famous 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany — and the Protestant Reformation was on.

That reformation was a rediscovery that reconciliation with God is not something that we achieve through human works, but receive through saving faith.

One of the chief slogans of the protestant Reformation was the Latin phrase sola fide, which means faith alone.

This emphasis on salvation being by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone was a response to what the church reformers perceived to be an error in the Roman…


Pursuit of the high ground may be an advisable strategy in conventional warfare. But in every other context, that tactic can be disastrous. Let’s explore what could change if you took the low ground.

Photo by Denise Jans

Need to catch up?

No more pretense. No more need for double-life hypocrisy. I am the sinner. I am the sinner in my marriage. In my family. In the dorm and at the office.

But I am the sinner who has a Savior. So…

Because when we go home justified, we no longer need to justify ourselves by fighting for the high ground.

I don’t have to win the argument. I can be wrong.

Imagine the difference in your marriage if you took the low ground. Instead of fighting to win the argument, what…


In today’s post, we learn what it means to let go of spiritual and moral pretense and be “the sinner.” Not just “a” sinner but the specific, real, non-theoretical transgressor who, with no excuses, confesses his/her need for mercy.

Photo by Bill Oxford

After being introduced to the audience of Jesus’ parable in Luke 18:9–14 and hearing the Pharisee’s prayer, we are introduced to the prayer of the tax-collector. The best part is Jesus’ commentary on the parable. 😁

Tomorrow, we will discuss four practical applications from what we’ve learned this week in Luke 18.

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

We’ve described in previous messages how tax collectors were despised by their fellow Jews…


Pursuit of the high ground may be an advisable strategy in conventional warfare. But in every other context, that tactic can be disastrous. Let’s explore what could change if you took the low ground.

Photo by Chris Liverani

If you are ready, let’s dive in!

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

My senior year in high school, our football team was ranked #1 in the state during the pre-season polls and was predicted to go undefeated. Being overconfident in ourselves and underestimating our opponents, not only did we lose our opening game, we didn’t even make the playoffs.

The religious leaders in Jesus’ day had…


Pursuit of the high ground may be an advisable strategy in conventional warfare. But in every other context, that tactic can be disastrous. Let’s explore what could change if you took the low ground.

If you are familiar with Michael Shaara’s historical novel, The Killer Angels, have seen the 1993 film Gettysburg or watched Ken Burn’s documentary on the war, you know that the struggle for Little Round Top was the turning point at Gettysburg, which many historians consider the most pivotal battle in the entire Civil War.

Little Round Top was a hill that became recognized by both armies as a critically strategic high ground in the conflict. …


How a six-word prayer for personal revival can unleash grace all around you.

Photo by Pixabay

The 1850s was a decade of extraordinary tension. With the shadow of armed conflict looming heavily over the United States, labor strikes, economic depression, and failing banks only intensified the palpable air of simmering violence. It isn’t surprising that the dark cloud of civil war overshadows a lesser-known light in the mid-nineteenth century.

That light was the New York awakening of 1857. It is estimated that over two million people were converted to Christ with countless others renewed in their walk with Jesus. How did such a dramatic awakening take place? …

McKay Caston

I write for folks who are tired of moralistic religion and thirst for the scandalous grace of Jesus — www.gracefortheweary.com.

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