Entries by Joe Albright

For Building Up

While most professionals appreciate feedback to help them grow, in most cases anonymous notes are not helpful. My grandfather once told a story about a preacher who received a note in his box at church that simply said, “Idiot.” And so the very next Sunday the pastor got up in front of the church and […]

God Looks on the Heart

A little girl was sitting on her grandfather’s lap as he read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his wrinkled cheek. She was alternately stoking her own cheek and then his again. Finally, she spoke up, “Grandpa, did God make […]

Standing on the Promises

There is an old church hymn on the theme of what God has promised which we sing often in our church. The hymn is “Standing on the Promises.” It has a martial beat to it that might be reminiscent of an infantry brigade marching across a field. The militaristic flavor may well be because Kelso […]

Speak the Truth in Love

Paul Harvey tells an amusing story about some airline baggage handlers who retrieved an animal carrier from the luggage bay of an airliner. As they removed the carrier, they made a gruesome discovery – the dog inside was dead. The baggage handlers panicked. They thought that there might be lawsuits, and that they might even […]

To Forgive as We Have Been Forgiven

The Templeton Foundation recently funded a major nationwide study on people’s attitudes toward forgiveness. It was co‑sponsored by the University of Michigan and the National Institute for Mental Health, and it was fascinating. The study found that 75% of Americans are “very confident” that they have been forgiven by God for their past offenses. 75%! […]

100 Points

Today I would like to say a special word of thanks to those of you who have supported the Dial Hope Foundation with a financial donation. Your gifts make this ministry possible! There is an old story about a man who dies and goes to heaven. St. Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates and […]

Entertaining Angels

In a recent sermon, Pastor John Ortberg told about an 8-year-old boy who was kind of a nerdy, clumsy, chubby kid. One time, a group of bullies were chasing him and calling him, “Fat Freddy.” He ran toward the home of an elderly widow in the neighborhood. He prayed she would be home to let […]

Second Chances

Yesterday we talked about Jonah. Well there is another passage in Jonah that challenges me. Jonah was called to preach to the people of Nineveh. They were a particularly brutal, bloodthirsty lot. But, when they heard Jonah preach, they repented. In chapter 3, we read, “When God saw what they did… God changed his mind […]

Jonah

I love the book of Jonah. I especially love how real and human Jonah comes across. He runs from God. He repents only when he finds himself in deep, deep trouble. And he gets mad when God forgives his enemies! Jonah claims that he is mad enough to die! Not that Jonah is the kind […]

Surviving the Night

A friend once passed onto me the story of the Cherokee’s rite of passage from a boy to a man. The father took the boy into the forest, blindfolded him and left him alone. The boy then was required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays […]