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Showing posts from October, 2019

Moscow City Council Election: Endorsement for James Urquidez

I have known James Urquidez for several years. I have known him professionally. He did the wooden floors in my house; they are beautiful. I have also known him personally. He and his family were members of the Word of Life Church, which I pastored until my retirement in 2017.

Here are a few things I know about him. He teaches Bible to businessmen several times a week, early in the morning. He preaches at the county jail. He corresponds with prisoners all over the country. I know that because I correspond with some of the same prisoners, and they mention him. He ministers to druggies, drunks, and many of the outcast people in this area. He is intelligent, kind, thoughtful, and considerate. I recommend him for your vote to the Moscow City Council. He will be a great asset to this city.

Paul the Versatile

“I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the Gospel that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Cor 9:22-23)

St. Paul’s versatility was a versatility of choice, decision. He gives the reason for his decisions.

"to win as many as possible" (verse 19)
"to win the Jews" (v. 20)
"to win those under the law" (v. 20)
"to win those not having the law” (v. 20)
"to win the weak" (v. 22)

And finally, "that I might save some" (v. 22). Paul’s decisions were to identify with the people he sought to win. He identified with opposites, and he did it without compromise.



Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading.
Written August 1984.

Ministry: It's Not the Books

A friend told me recently that he was considering opening a Christian bookstore in order to be a ministry to the people in his town. Here is what I told him:

Bookstores are a very good place to do ministry, because all kinds of people come into bookstores. But the person in the store is what makes it a ministry, not the store itself. Whoever is in the store has to learn how to be an evangelist and a counselor, and it has to be someone who loves people.

I’ll give you an example. I had a bookstore at the University of Maryland. A hippie woman came in, and I watched her walking around the bookstore, getting more and more turned off by the Christian books she saw. I went up to her, smiled, and said, “The books aren’t that bad.”

She said, “Like what?!”

I started with Narnia, telling her about various books. She was just waiting for a chance to get past me and out the door, but I held onto her (not physically, but just keeping myself between her and the door).

I finally got around to sa…

Be Like Timothy

“For this reason I am sending to you Timothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church” (1 Cor. 4:17).

“I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare. For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:19-21).

What we have here is a testimony about Timothy’s life. He is known for his godliness. Paul had earlier written this instruction to Timothy: “Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely.”

So I pass the same onto you—“Watch your life and doctrine closely.”


Join the #keepthefeast Bible Reading Challenge here. This post coordinates with today's reading.
Written April 1992.

Why Study the Bible?

This article made a great impression on me when I first read it years ago. It assumes that you are already reading your Bible regularly. If you are not, let me encourage you to get into the habit of daily Bible reading. You can join a good Bible reading plan here. – Jim Wilson

The Study of the Bible


I take it for granted that we all believe the Bible to be the Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice. I take it for granted that we all read the Bible with regularity. What I am going to plead for, however, is concentrated, sustained, devoted study of the Bible, the kind of study that is not fulfilled by the perfunctory reading of some passages each day. The set periods of family worship are not, of course, by any means to be disparaged. This is a highly necessary and most fruitful exercise. The influence for good exerted by honouring God’s Word in this way is incalculable for all concerned. Indeed, the minimal use of the Bible in this way has often left an indelible i…

Turning 92

Sunday morning, the 6th of October, was my 92nd birthday. I was just reading hymns from a hymnal called Hymns II. I would like to share with you the last two stanzas of “Jesus, the Name High over All” by Charles Wesley.

His only righteousness I show,
His saving truth proclaim;
'tis all my business here below
to cry, "Behold the Lamb!"

Happy, if with my latest breath
I may but gasp His Name,
preach Him to all, and cry in death,
"Behold, behold the Lamb!"

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim Wilson

Fix Your Eyes on Jesus

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

We have all known of God’s love and that our hearts should be directed into it. But we may not have known or thought of the “steadfastness” (RSV) or the “perseverance” (NIV) of Christ. What is it? How was it shown, and how should our hearts be directed into it? Hebrews 12:1-4 answers all three questions:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding you…

Apologetics: Problems & the Kind of Questions We Should Be Prompting

Early in my Christian experience, before I knew the definition of apologetics, I sensed the need of an adequate apologetic for every accusation against, and question to, the Christian faith. There were so many people who did not know God, and there were so many questions that seemed to stand between them and God. If their questions could be answered clearly, rationally, intelligently, and kindly, these students would stand convinced and would then become believers (or so I thought). I set myself the task of getting the right answers.

Before I became accomplished in this pursuit, I began to have doubts. The doubts arose as I began to practice my growing knowledge in face-to-face encounters (arguments) or large bull sessions. It was great fun arguing. It was even more fun winning the argument. But there weren’t any results. No conversions.

Part of the problem was that I found it difficult to be kind while I was being methodically rational and clear in my presentation. There was anothe…