Entries by Joe Albright

The Gracious Hand of God

It is interesting, throughout the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, the scribe Ezra continually remarks, “The gracious hand of God was upon me.” He makes this claim through good times and bad; through celebrations and opposition; through success and danger. Ezra had spent his life, not only studying his faith, but living it. Over the […]

God’s Place for You

During my morning devotional time not too long ago, I was reading Eugene Peterson’s The Message version of the Bible. One morning in particular, I was struck by the following: In his introduction to the book of Joshua, he wrote, “God’s great love and purposes for us are worked out in the messes, storms and […]

Bearers of Hope

There was an article in the Chicago Tribune by a writer named Jim Yardley. It concerns a great bridge that spans the Yangtze River in China. The bridge carries thousands of pedestrians across it every day. Unfortunately, a few of these persons use the Yangtze River Bridge to end their lives. Over 1,000 people have […]

Life’s Most Urgent Question

Today we celebrate the life and ministry of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One of my favorite quotes is his bold claim that, “Life’s most urgent and persistent question is, what are you doing for others?” Dr. King gave his life for others. He lived what he taught. And because of his life, […]

Feeding the Wolves

There is a story about an old Cherokee who one evening told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, worry, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, […]

Just a Beginning

There’s the story told among the German Baptist Brethren, about a man who resisted the call of God for decades before finally giving his life to Christ. As was the custom, he was baptized on Christmas Day. The minister literally broke the ice on the surface of the pond, then dunked the man in the […]

The Still Small Voice

Philip Yancey tells the story of a friend of his who went swimming in a large lake at dusk: “As he was paddling at a leisurely pace about a hundred yards offshore, a freak evening fog rolled in across the water. Suddenly he could see nothing: no horizon, no landmarks, no objects or lights on […]

We Need Each Other

There was a couple in a church where I once served, who were going through a really difficult time in their marriage, and they stopped coming to worship. I ran into her at the grocery, and you know how people think of the pastor as the attendance police. So, she starts trying to explain why […]

The Baptism of the Lord

Yesterday in many churches around the world, we celebrated the baptism of Jesus. Imagine the scene for just a minute, nearly two thousand years ago. Jesus is standing in the mud with a crowd of sinners. John the Baptizer is wrapped in camel’s hair, eating locus and wild honey. He stands on the bank of […]

What Are Your Dreams?

Today is Epiphany. For centuries, this is the day when Christians have celebrated the arrival of the Magi after Christmas. Bearing significant gifts, they were guided by a star, the Hebrew Scriptures, and a dream. And when they finally found Jesus they were overwhelmed with joy. What’s always been amazing to me about these first […]