An Invitation to Join Me or Visit Me on My Journey in 2021

The year 2020 has been difficult, but there is light ahead.

I have been using the YouVersion Bible app for a number of years now. I wake up in the morning, and the first thing I do is grab my phone and open it up. It has become a habit.

For the last two years, I have used year long reading plans by which I have read through the Bible from beginning to end. Last year I read it book by book. This year I read it in chronological order. (Did you know the books are not in chronological order?)

For 2021, I have chosen another (almost) yearlong reading plan that focuses on how Jesus is revealed in Scripture from beginning to end.

Jesus said that he came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 5:17). Jesus didn’t just fulfill the Old Testament Scripture; Moses (the Law) and the Prophets is all about him! (Luke 24:27) The story of Scripture finds its denouement in Jesus! Thus, I have decided to use a yearlong plan that focuses on Jesus throughout the Bible, from start to finish.

I am reminded this morning of Psalm 1, which says that a person “whose delight is in the law of the Lord and who meditates on his law day and night” is “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither….” (Ps. 1:2-3)

Jesus, having fulfilled the Law God gave Moses (a law we cannot hope to fulfill in ourselves), has demonstrated for us a love which is the fulfillment of the law. (Rom. 13:10) We are, then, to love our neighbors as ourselves just as Jesus loved us demonstrably in giving up his own life for us. “Love one another…. [a]s I have loved you” is the commandment of new covenant (John 13:34), which is the outgrowth and the ultimate fulfillment of the old covenant.

The year, 2020, will go down as one year that we will never, ever forget. History books will be written about it no doubt. It was a year of tribulation, unrest, angst, fear, anger, isolation and polarization, but not all is dark.

Continue reading “An Invitation to Join Me or Visit Me on My Journey in 2021”

A Daily Rhythm of Seeking Intimacy with God

When the crisis blows over, will the new normal include daily Bible reading, prayer and meditation?


Nothing is normal about these times right now. Daily case totals and death tolls are front of mind, reminding us of the tenuous uncertainty of life. Though people may question the significance of the numbers, compared to cases and death tolls from the flu, for instance, the preoccupation of the world with this global pandemic labeled COVID-19 is a daily reminder of our own mortality.

Someone speaking of personal experience in World War I remarked, “There are no atheists in the trenches of Europe.” The same idea was echoed in World War II: “There are no atheists in foxholes.” Indeed, Impossible times and situations that snap us out of our comfortable mundane existence have that kind of effect on us.

I doubt that it’s true )that there are no atheists in foxholes). As a generalization, though, there is some kernel of truth there. Many a person who has no interest in God, turns to God in times like these.

YouVersion, the maker of a downloadable Bible app, recently reported on April 15, 2020, historic numbers of people accessing their app, the largest increase in engagement with their app in the last 6 weeks during this time of worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. A record 1.6 million prayers were added in just one month. They claim the pandemic has triggered a virtual spiritual awakening.

The app tracks downloads. When I first checked it, I saw it had been downloaded 421,462,195 times. I started writing this piece a day ago, and I am just getting back to it now. Not quite 24 hours later, the app has been downloaded 421,546, 815 times. That’s an increase of almost 85,000 in less than 24 hours!

With the spike in downloads of just one Bible app (among many), it seems that people really are turning to Scripture in this time of crisis and difficulty.

That leads me to wonder: when the crisis blows over, will people go back to their “normal” lives? Will the new normal include daily Bible reading, prayer and meditation?

Continue reading “A Daily Rhythm of Seeking Intimacy with God”