True Spirituality, Dealing with Addiction, and Self-Help Manuals

Dealing with addictions can push a Christian to the limits of patience, trust, and exhaustion. The addiction might involve drugs, alcohol, tobacco, food, sex, pornography, power, popularity, wealth, social media, technology, or recreation—and many more. Recovering addicts soon find that they need help—help from God, help from family, help from friends, help from their church. As the battle rages to control the addiction, it has become very common for counselors and addicts alike to turn to self-help manuals. Who hasn’t been helped at least a little by getting some good biblical advice from a significant book like Heath Lambert’s Finally Free,[1] which deals with pornography and lust?… Continue reading

Lessons from Ruth

All of last semester, I had the privilege of walking my youth through the book of Ruth. It is a short story, but in it are simple and profound truths. Diving deep into its contents you will find themes of working faith, repentance, kindness, covenant faithfulness, loyalty, redemption, modesty, and integrity. In each of these, you will find encouragement for your soul and blessing to live the life of a godly man or woman.

Last Wednesday, I gave my students some concluding truths from the book of Ruth that I would like to share with you today.

God Works in the Ordinary, So Be Ordinary.Continue reading

My Pilgrim Songs: A Birthday Meditation

billbarrick1948January 5 comes around right regularly—every year—on my birthday. Yes, my parents were among the “Greatest Generation” who fought and lived during World War II. My birth took place in the first year of the “Baby Boomers.” January 5 marks the traditional twelfth day of Christmas—“twelve drummers drumming,” according to the popular Christmas song. I share my birthday with a number of friends and acquaintances (at least two others in our church family). Famous people also populate the birthday list: Diane Keaton (same day and year; actress), Elena Barrick (my grand-daughter), Robert Duvall (actor), Jim Otto (NFL; his son was one of my students at The Master’s Seminary), Mercury Morris (NFL), Juan Carlos I (king of Spain), Konrad Adenauer (German chancellor), Walter Mondale (American politician), Charlie Rose (TV anchor, host), Carrie Ann Inaba (“Dancing with the Stars”), Umberto Eco (semanticist and one of my favorite authors), Jane Wyman (actress, President Reagan’s first wife), George Reeves (actor—Superman), Kathleen Kenyon (British archaeologist who excavated in Israel), Stephen Decatur (US naval officer in the American Revolution), and many others.… Continue reading

“You Are My People”–How Should We Live?

slide_jer-7_23God said to Israel, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12 NASU). The middle two phrases present an expression of the covenant relationship between the Lord and His people. In an earlier blog we covered the first major concept (“I will . . . be your God”) and discovered whom we should serve. Now we turn to the second major concept (“you shall be My people”) and how we should live for Him.

Jesus taught His disciples, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).… Continue reading

Why I Am Thankful for the Reformation

Reformation Day is this coming Tuesday. I have no doubt that you will read many blogs about the importance of what Martin Luther did on October 31, 1517, as well as the glorious results that came from the era of the reformation (approx.. AD 1500—1650). It was an important time in the life of the true church of Jesus Christ. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) had spiritually abused people for 100s of years (and continue to this day) and God had had enough. So He sent a mass of men (Luther, Knox, Calvin, Tyndale, Zwingli, Hus, and others) to expose the abuses of the RCC and to bring God’s truth that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone for the glory of God alone.Continue reading