Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus
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
Added by Jim Buchan on November 17, 2018 at 8:20am — No Comments
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
Billy Graham once told a humorous story revealing how he could stay so humble, even while accomplishing so much. He was an evangelical superstar, to say the least. Yet when one of his long-time friends reflecting on Graham’s ministry, he said, “Billy always saw himself as just a farm boy from Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. He was amazed that God could use him like He did.”
Before I share Graham’s quite revealing story, it’s important to note the contrast between him and many of…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on February 24, 2018 at 8:14am — No Comments
Countless books and blogs could be written about the many admirable qualities of Billy Graham. But to me, one of his most remarkable examples was the loyalty and teamwork of his evangelistic team.
As someone who has spent man decades with Christian churches and ministries, I assure you that this quality is extremely rare. Yet, while most Christian organizations are marked by a constant turnover of personnel, Billy Graham stood out in his ability to assemble a team that…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on February 21, 2018 at 8:28pm — No Comments
An important attribute for having a happy and successful life is the ability to make smooth transitions. Why? Because transitions are one of the most inescapable features of life.
Instead of remaining a baby, we transition to childhood. After childhood, we encounter numerous changes as we shift into our teen years. After that, we’re invited to mature into an adult…a senior citizen…and, after we die, a citizen of eternity.
There are many other transitions along the way, and…Continue
I recently gained an important spiritual insight from an unlikely source. I was listening to a radio program touting the benefits of a new weight-loss craze called the Ketogenic Diet.
The basic concept of the Ketogenic Diet is that you should only consume calories during 8 hours of the day, such as from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The remaining 16 hours should be spent burning off the calories you’ve already consumed and the fat that’s already stored in your cells.
“Most of us Americans…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on February 4, 2018 at 9:03am — No Comments
With four seconds left in the game and trailing the Saints, 24-23, Vikings quarterback Case Keenum lofted a desperation pass to Stefon Diggs near the New Orleans 35-yard line. After Diggs went high in the air to snag the pass, coaches yelled at him to get out of bounds so the Vikings could attempt a last-second field goal.
But Diggs disregarded his coaches. When no one tackled him, he decided to head for the end zone instead of going out of bounds. In one of the most amazing finishes…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on January 16, 2018 at 3:09pm — No Comments
I’ve never spent much time thinking about Biblical numerology. But this year is different.
As we enter into 2018, I find myself thinking about the number “8” – God’s number of resurrection and new beginnings.
If you want a detailed explanation, I suggest a Google search. But here are a few simple observations:
Added by Jim Buchan on January 3, 2018 at 9:09am — No Comments
Roller coasters are for young people. If you’re over 50 and still like roller coasters, I think you’re either crazy, or perhaps you just like going to chiropractors.
People probably like roller coasters for the same reason they like scary movies. There’s an undeniable adrenaline surge when you think your life’s in jeopardy.
But I’m not sure that’s a healthy way to live.
I’ve discovered lately that many people who no longer ride Disney World roller coasters are instead…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on December 30, 2017 at 10:57am — No Comments
Like King David in the Psalms, many of my journal entries in recent years could have been titled, “Why am I so depressed…so dissatisfied with life?” This was especially true most years in November and December, when I faced holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
So it came as a surprise when I noticed this month that I’m happier than I’ve been in years – even decades. How could this be, when most things in my life are exactly the same as they’ve been for the past…Continue
Added by Jim Buchan on December 27, 2017 at 5:08am — No Comments