Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
People battling illness or other serious trials often turn to the book of Job looking for some kind of explanation for what’s happening to them. Although it’s unlikely our situation is even a fraction of the horrendous things Job endured, he becomes our model nevertheless.
If you remember the story, Job’s friends were convinced his suffering was God’s judgment on hidden sin in his life. They were sincere and passionate in their theology, yet they were totally misguided in applying…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on October 3, 2019 at 4:18pm — No Comments
It’s humbling to discover you’re not indispensable. This unpleasant experience happened to me a few months ago when I had to go on medical leave from work.
The whole thing was unimaginable. Within days I went from having a full-time job I loved to no longer even having a workable scan key to get me into the building.
Most humbling of all was having to encounter the painful Myth of Indispensability. Put simply, this myth says people can’t survive without us. We’re irreplaceable…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on September 2, 2019 at 7:17pm — No Comments
As most of my closest friends already know, doctors have recently diagnosed me with cancer. Unbelievable. I certainly never thought it would happen to me.
Although this is supposedly a highly “treatable” form of cancer, that’s not particularly comforting. In the old days, cancer was virtually a death sentence, which has caused me to reflect on some insightful words from the apostle Paul:
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters,…Continue
Father’s Day is a special time for families—but that doesn’t mean it’s always an easy time. Like any holiday, Father’s Day can either be pleasant or painful, magical or mayhem. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on the heritage you’re leaving as a parent or grandparent, but that can be a cause for either celebration or concern.
Picture the family line of a good friend of mine. If the whole gang could somehow be brought together for a family reunion, I can only imagine the…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on June 16, 2019 at 4:52am — No Comments
Recently I woke up thinking about an intriguing phrase in Paul’s statement to the Colossians:
27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on May 31, 2019 at 9:09am — No Comments
As we celebrate Mother’s Day this weekend, I find myself thinking about what it takes for someone to be beautiful even in their old age. I’ve concluded there’s no better example than Sarah, the wife of Abraham and mother of Isaac.
In addition to being beautiful in her later years, Sarah also was fruitful and honoring – rare qualities indeed, especially in today’s world. Let’s look at how this was possible:
BEAUTIFUL: If a woman…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on May 11, 2019 at 4:01pm — No Comments
Did Jesus ever make a prediction that turned out to be false? It certainly seemed so when He said upon hearing that His friend Lazarus was sick, “This sickness will not end in death” (John 11:4 NIV).
If you know the story of Lazarus, you remember that his sickness did indeed result in death. In fact, by the time Jesus arrived on the scene, his friend had already been in the tomb for four days.
Not only was Lazarus dead, but the situation had already become stinky.…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on May 4, 2019 at 12:16pm — No Comments
When I entered the Twitter world in May 2012 with @BestBibleTweets, I set a goal that seemed audacious at the time: gaining 4,000 followers within one year. However, that goal was surpassed in just six months, and now I’ve reached 45,000 Twitter followers.
Although this accomplishment is exhilarating in many ways, it’s also a time of sober reevaluation. At each new milestone, I’ve found myself facing honest questions, like “Do Twitter…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on November 26, 2018 at 5:04pm — No Comments
Several weeks ago I was feeling even more arrogant than usual. I had just published two new books – not as a ghostwriter this time, but under my own name. In a four-week period, I had also preached 10 times, more opportunities than I’ve had in any other month in recent years. In addition, I’ve been thrilled about several young Christian leaders God has given me to mentor.
Feeling rather proud of myself, I thought it might be a good time to fish for a compliment from the…Continue
Recently several people asked why it’s been so long since I’ve written a blog about the dating life of my good friend Ron. That’s a good question, especially since my blogs about Ron usually get a far bigger response than when I try to write about profound, deeply spiritual topics.
Like most bloggers, I want to be taken seriously. My goal is to change lives, not just entertain. So it’s a bit irritating when everyone just wants to hear about Ron and his ineptitude in finding a…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on November 3, 2018 at 10:25pm — No Comments
How long does it take for God to do a miracle? In some ways, that’s a trick question. He made the entire universe in just six days, so He certainly has no trouble doing things quickly. The Bible also describes many of the Lord’s supernatural interventions as happening “suddenly,” and Jesus typically healed people’s long-standing medical conditions “immediately.”
However, while it’s good to know that God can give us instantaneous, sudden, supernatural breakthroughs, that’s not always…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on November 2, 2018 at 7:00am — No Comments
Lately I’ve found myself thinking about John Rankin, a guy who was in the Christian fellowship group with me at Denison University over 40 years ago. John wasn’t one of my best friends—far from it. In fact, he was one of those people who constantly got under my skin and pushed my buttons.
Have you had people like that in your life?
John was a freshman, and I was a senior. I was the main leader of the group, and he was a newbie. Under those circumstances, you would…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on October 24, 2018 at 10:24pm — No Comments
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year is that God can work either suddenly or slowly. I’m incredibly glad the Bible calls Him “the Lord of Breakthroughs” (1 Chronicles 14:10-11 NLT), because we all need a sudden breakthrough of His miraculous power at one time or another.
But God also presents Himself as “the Lord of the harvest” (Luke 10:2). While some harvests occur more quickly than others, this word picture is quite different than for a…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on June 17, 2018 at 7:43am — No Comments
Didn’t get an invitation to Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding? No worries! Another royal wedding is coming soon, and this time you’re definitely invited.
The combined viewership in America and the UK for Harry and Meghan’s big day was nearly 50 million people, which was pretty impressive. But, in contrast, the next royal wedding is sure to be seen by billions.
While much has been made of Meghan Markle’s biracial identity, the upcoming wedding will feature a…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on May 21, 2018 at 3:56pm — No Comments
My good friend Ron is at it again. Still agonizing over what went wrong with his marriage, he wants to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes if he finds a new wife.
“After all these years, women are still a puzzlement to me,” he told me. “Even if God sent me a great woman to marry, at this point I’m not sure I would even know the necessary ingredients for a happy marriage.”
Ron and I had often lamented that good marriages are in short supply these days. But attempting to…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on April 29, 2018 at 10:33pm — No Comments
Have you ever run out of gas? Of course, the smarter thing is to periodically check your gas gauge to see when it’s time to replenish your supply.
But many years ago, I had a car with a defective gas gauge. It was pretty scary to never know how much gas was in my tank.
Lately I’ve been think about why the Law of Replenishment is a vital lesson of the Christian life, keeping us from running out of gas spiritually. This principle is especially crucial for leaders, caregivers, and…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on April 2, 2018 at 2:47pm — No Comments
When my daughter Molly recently asked me my favorite Bible verse, I didn’t have an answer ready.
“I have lots of favorites!” I told her. “I guess it depends on the week you ask me.”
But Molly was persistent, as she always is. She wanted an answer, yet it still was difficult for me to narrow down the list.
One of the verses I mentioned to her is Psalm 23:6: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on March 18, 2018 at 8:24pm — No Comments
Most people hate Daylight Saving Time. So why do we still have it?
As the time changes once again, people will inevitably lose sleep and be grumpier than usual. Researchers point out that DST disrupts our body’s circadian rhythm, creating an effect similar to jet lag. Studies have shown an increase in traffic accidents, workplace injuries, depression, suicides, strokes, and heart attacks immediately following a time change. Yikes!
But as much as I dislike Daylight Saving Time,…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on March 10, 2018 at 5:00pm — No Comments
After Billy Graham died at age 99, many people wondered who could ever replace him. In some ways, the answer might be no one – for Graham was a unique minister of the gospel and ambassador for Christ. Like Queen Esther, he was anointed to speak to kings, presidents, prime ministers, and the entire culture “for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).
But there’s another answer that might surprise you. When looking for Billy Graham’s replacement, you need look no further…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on March 9, 2018 at 10:29am — No Comments
Throughout Billy Graham’s life, people tried to give him career advice. “You would make a great congressman or senator!” some would say. “Have you ever thought about running for office?” Others even predicted he would have a good chance of being elected President, if they could just convince him to run.
Once a major motion picture studio offered him a million dollars to sign a movie deal. “Your good looks, booming voice, and natural charisma could make you star!” they told…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on March 4, 2018 at 2:43pm — No Comments