Category: <span>thoughts by Darren Hewer</span>


Sometimes, it’s okay to say ‘no’ when people ask you to do things. Jesus Himself sometimes respectfully refused when people demanded things from Him that were contrary to His mission:

* Brothers’ squabbling? Jesus hadn’t come to decide such things (Luke 12:14).

* Begging Jesus to stay in Capernaum? “We must go on to other towns as well” Jesus replies (Mark 1:38)

* Herod’s questions? “Jesus refused to answer” (Luke 23:9)

* Be our Earthly King? Jesus had bigger plans! (John 6:15)

Consider Romans 12:4-8. All of us are called to use our abilities to help our church. Some may have a gift in public speaking. Others may get weak in the knees at the very thought. We all have something to offer. Whether our talent is serving, teaching, encouraging, leadership, kindness, or whatever else, we should use that gift to the fullest in the service of God in His body, His church. But this does not mean that we have to say ‘yes’ every time we are asked to do something.

All men think of themselves as kind of low level superheroes … when men are growing up reading about Batman, Spider – man, Superman, these aren’t fantasies, these are options.” (Jerry Seinfeld, I’m Telling You For the Last Time)

We are not superheroes. We don’t have to do it all. Sometimes we say ‘yes’ just to please the person asking. But we are called to do something, not everything, and we must aim to please God, not people. Consider what Paul said: “I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people, I would not be Christ’s servant” (Galatians 1:10). By agreeing to speak in public when the mere thought fills us with terror, not only are we ignoring God’s gifts, but we may be taking the opportunity away from someone who is truly gifted in this area.

Jesus was able to achieve His mission in only three short years because he focused on His mission. Perhaps if we do the same, by playing to our strengths, so too will our efforts be magnified a hundredfold. How we go about furthering our mission as a member of God’s body depends on our gifts. Let us refocus ourselves today on using the gifts that God has given us to the fullest. And remember, it’s OK to say no.

Question: Which unnecessary obligations do you have that are preventing you from serving God to the fullest of your ability?

by Darren Hewer
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FURTHER READING

The Transcendent Life – by Francis Frangipane

 Why am I Here by Vonette Bright

Let God’s Light Through by Darren Hewer

thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men


One of my fondest childhood memories of the Christmas season is the Advent calendars my brother and I would receive every year. If you’re unfamiliar with this tradition, the particular version my family enjoyed consisted of a nearly flat decorated cardboard box, with tiny doors on it, numbered from 1 to 24 representing the days leading up to Christmas Eve.

Every day we would open one of the cardboard doors and behind each one we’d find a tiny chocolate. Every one of the chocolates was uniquely molded in a Christmas related shape. It was a fun diversion for us as kids as we impatiently awaited the arrival of Christmas day. But it doesn’t tell us much about the actual season of Advent. What is Advent?

The season of Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, somewhere between November 27 and December 3, depending on the year.  Advent is the period leading up to Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, also known as Jesus Christ. It is unknown when this tradition first began, but this period of waiting is often seen in the Christian tradition as a reminder that the world remains waiting for Jesus’ return.

The traditional color of Advent is purple, the color often associated with royalty, although today blue and red are also used. Modern day celebrations of Advent include  Advent calendars, Advent wreaths, lighting special Advent candles, and a series of themed Sunday messages leading up to Christmas day.

God’s blessing to you as we prepare to celebrate our Savior, Jesus’ birth.

By Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

• Christmas Articles
• Christmas Prayers
Christmas Quotes


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thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men


Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NLT)


Compare the definition of faith from God’s word with this dictionary definition of optimism: “A tendency to expect the best possible outcome or dwell on the most hopeful aspects of a situation.” *(American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004.)

The two words’ definitions seem superficially similar. Both mention “hope,” and both talk about having confidence that things will turn out well. But where does the optimism of someone who doesn’t know Christ find its foundation? On what basis can someone who doesn’t know Christ be reasonably optimistic? Surely not from observing the world around us. Pick up any newspaper, and most of the news you’ll find will be quite depressing. By mere observation of our fallen world alone, no optimism could reasonably be found.

A Christian’s faith, however, in contrast to optimism, is “assurance” based on evidence. By knowing the living God and His divine promises, we know that no matter how bad things may look, God is ultimately sovereign and in control. “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!” Paul assures us, quoting the Old Testament prophet Joel (Romans 10:13; Joel 2:32). We know that among God’s people, He “will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain” (Revelation 21:3,4)

God has proven again and again by His historical acts in the Old Testament (such as the Exodus) and the New Testament (the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus) that He provides the firm foundation upon which to base our faith.

Unlike some who follow their own whimsical, baseless optimism, followers of Jesus can take real comfort. We do so not because of blind optimism, but instead because of our faith in God and His firm foundation: His mighty works, and His words: “Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

Question: How would you explain the difference between faith and optimism?

By Darren Hewer
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thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men


Please open your Bible and read Acts 1:1-11


One of John Ortberg’s popular books is titled “If you Want to Walk on Water, you have to get out of the Boat“. Although the title alludes to when Peter tried to walk on water (and succeeded, albeit briefly; (Matthew 14:22-33) this quote also applies to the apostles, just after Jesus ascended to heaven.

As Jesus “was taken up before their very eyes“, the apostles “were looking intently up into the sky” (Acts 1:9-10). Just before this, Jesus told them “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (v8) Yet after Jesus ascends apostles just stand there. How often do we do the same? God’s instructions are clear to us, but we just can’t seem to get going.

I can imagine the apostles were worried when Jesus left them. How would they survive without Him? They left their homes, jobs, and everything else behind to follow Him. And now He was leaving? But this is no excuse, and their lack of action prompts two angels to appear to them, who say “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (v11)

The angels gave them the reason not to worry: Just as Jesus had been taken away, He will return. Luke’s gospel tells us how the apostles responded to the angels: “They worshiped [Jesus] and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” (Luke 24:52) Their confidence was restored by God’s promise, which is trustworthy and true. And this confidence prompted them into action!

The question for us today is: Am I standing around, staring up at the sky? Or am I actively living out Jesus’ command to be witnesses to the ends of the Earth?

What’s holding you back from being an active witness? If you want to witness, you have to start witnessing! If your spiritual life lately has felt more like stargazing than navigating, it may be time to re-read the book of Acts and be inspired by the lives of some of the earliest Christian servants. I assure you that you are more ready than you realize, “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:12)

Question: What’s holding you back?

by Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

•  Making a Difference

•  Caring Enough to Tell Others about Christ

•  We are Christ’s Ambassadors


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men


Please open your Bible and read Genesis 1:26-27


Naturalism” (the belief that the natural world is all there is) would lead us to believe that human beings are nothing more than generic parts in the machine of the universe and on par with dogs, frogs, and logs. Are we special and uniquely blessed by being made in the image of God like the Bible says?

When we ponder God’s creation of humankind, we note that He breathed life into us (Genesis 2:7) and made us “in His own image” (Genesis 1:27). Utterly unique among God’s creation, we have been given a tremendous gift: The capacity to know the glorious God who created us. How unique is the human race among the various galaxies that comprise our universe?

The probability of a planet anywhere in the universe fitting within all 153 parameters [required for life] is approximately 10-194. The maximum possible number of planets in the universe is estimated to be 1022. Thus, less than 1 chance in 10172 (100 thousand trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion) exists that even one such planet would occur anywhere in the universe. (Dr. Hugh Ross, PhD Astrophysics, University of Toronto)

The odds of a planet like ours existing anywhere in the universe, let alone containing life like ours, is infinitesimally small. Science has merely reconfirmed God’s word: We are special.

How awesome that  “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Even though we are totally undeserving, God’s mercy is still offered to all those who are willing to repent and accept it.

When you are feeling insignificant, or afraid, or unloved, remember our Lord’s words:

Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)

You are special, and greatly loved by God.

Question: How has God made you utterly unique, even shaping you through tough times, to be who you are today?

by Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

•  Did You Know You’re Someone Special? – by Elfrieda Nikkel

•  We Love Because He First Loved Us – by Francis Frangipane

•   How to be Saved


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thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men


We will always experience suffering during our lives here on our fallen Earth.

When we experience pain, especially the death of a loved one, our natural response is to question, to ask why, and perhaps even to doubt God. Because it hurts.

Some people will respond to evil they see by denying that evil exists. But what is perhaps easy to say is quite difficult to live, or as C S Lewis put it:

Whenever you find a man who says he does not believe in a real Right and Wrong, you will find the same man going back on this a moment later.

There is a name for the person who denies good and evil: a sociopath. Clearly the proper response to evil is not denial.

Other people will respond to evil by removing God from the equation. But removing God does not make evil less evil, nor pain less painful. In fact, removing God also removes ultimate hope. Without God, our world seems permanently and irredeemably evil. Without God, there is no ultimate relief from pain, only pain.

With God we cry out to a loving Father who remains with us and comforts us as we hurt and Himself came to Earth as a human being to suffer and die for us. But without God we cry out into the empty void of nothingness that neither hears our cry nor cares for our pain. Removing God results in no gain and much loss.

When we have God in our lives and hearts, we have hope during difficult times and comfort in the midst of tragedy. We have hope grounded in the fact of God’s mighty power, His limitless mercy, and everlasting love. No matter what happens, God loves us because God is love. And nothing can separate us from Him.

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

By Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

•  Your Hope in Him is Never in Vain – by Doug Lim

•  Hope for a Hopeless World – by Terry Stead

•  Hope Changes Everything – by Laura Rath


thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men

Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1


Today’s technology lets us connect with anyone at any time. If telephones and email weren’t enough, we now have texting and Twitter to add to the mix. We have to make an effort to NOT be connected. And we expect that when we want a response, we’ll get one quickly.

My grandparents were late arriving to a recent family get-together. We worried that they were lost, driving aimlessly, trying in vain to locate the restaurant. Naturally I pulled out my cell phone to call them, but quickly realized my grandparents don’t own a cell phone.

It’s hard to remember a time before we had the ability to be in constant communication and get instant feedback. And maybe this helps explain why it can be frustrating to not hear a clear word from the Lord, especially in times of distress. We call, and seemingly there is no immediate reply. How do we respond when, amidst deep discouragement, we don’t receive the instant divine feedback we’ve been conditioned by our culture to expect?

At times like these, it’s helpful to remember a simple but powerful fact that God is with us always. Always. (Matthew 28:20) If you are attempting to serve Him faithfully and fully in faith, He is pleased with you, even if you see no immediate results and have no earthly reason for confidence. (Hebrews 13:16) We are “sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1) because we place our trust in God, who has demonstrated His trustworthiness based on His divine character.

By the way, my grandparents were a little late arriving, but were able to find the restaurant on their own. Unfortunately, in the meantime we lost my mom, who rushed out of the restaurant to look for them.

We must be patient and trust that God is in control. Although we cannot know definitively why things happen since we know now only in part, we will someday know fully (1 Corinthians 13:12) and in the meantime we have God’s word, the Bible, to instruct and enlighten us as much as God chooses to reveal. We may not see the dark cloud’s silver lining, but if we are following God faithfully, we should harbor no guilt or fear. Instead be confident in the wisdom and love of our Lord, whose loving sacrifice of His Son cleanses us of all sin and fills us with His Holy Spirit, full of mercy and grace.

Question: What about your life tries your patience, and how can the things that cannot be changed be offered up to God to help us through?

By Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

•   God Is…

•   God’s Patience

•   Patience Comes with Cost 


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thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men


We work together with God, and we beg you to make good use of God’s kindness to you. In the Scriptures God says, “When the time came, I listened to you, and when you needed help, I came to save you.” That time has come. This is the day for you to be saved.” 2 Corinthians 6:1-2, CEV


Imagine that you give someone a fabulous gift. When they receive it, they positively beam with excitement and enthusiasm, and thank you profusely for giving them for giving them such a great present.

Then they toss it into their closet and ignore it forever.

You might wonder about the authenticity of their praise.

We might also wonder about our own spiritual walk when we do not “make good use of God’s kindness” to us (2 Corinthians 6:1). Although we are not saved by our own works, our response in faith to God’s grace given by Jesus’ death and resurrection reflects the change which has occurred in our hearts as the Holy Spirit has come to live and work inside us.

If we believe we have found the greatest hope, the greatest love, the greatest truth in the world, how could we not share this truth with others? The apostle Paul has a stern warning for us: “Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.” (Romans 11:22) That’s pretty harsh, but underscores the importance of making use of the kindness God has shown to us.

According to a survey of over 700 Muslims who came to faith in Christ, by far the largest single thing that influenced them to become Christians was seeing the lives of Christians that stood out due to the kindness and love they demonstrated. Therefore, let’s accept God’s kindness with thanksgiving, and not just put it on the shelf, but in turn offer kindness to others, so that they too might come to know the gracious God who proves such a wonderful gift for all who are willing to accept it.

How has God shown you kindness, and how can you through everyday actions show kindness to others?

By Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

•   God Is…

•  More than a Father

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men

“Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29, NLT, emphasis mine)


If anyone has the right to NOT be humble, it’s Jesus. He fed thousands with just a loaf of bread and a fish, turned water into wine, walked on water and raised people from the dead. Jesus is God, but nevertheless He “gave up his divine privileges” and “took the humble position of a slave.” (Philippians 2:7)

Jesus also has the right to NOT be gentle as he looks around and sees immorality and lack of faith. Jesus sighed with grief at the lack of faith he saw around him, (Mark 8:12) but He’s described as “gentle and humble in heart.” (Matthew 11:29) We may have many reasons to be proud: success in business, a wonderful family, or perhaps special talent in music or art. But we must remain humble, remembering that “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) And we may have many reasons to be ruthless: a really bad day or being treated unjustly. But “this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16)The signs to humility and gentleness all point in the same direction: Allow Jesus to teach you to become more like Him. “I have set you an example,” says Jesus, “that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15) It will not happen overnight, but by focusing on God’s Word, gazing at the life of Christ and relying on the power of the Holy Spirit, it certainly will. What step could you take to be more gentle and humble like Jesus?

Lord, when I look at You I see how I’m not like You in many ways. Help me be humble and gentle like you, thinking of the needs of others above my own. Please do heart surgery in me so I can express love even when life gets hard. Amen.

Thought:  Take five minutes to look back on your week. When did you express pride in your thoughts or actions? When did you treat others wrongly out of impatience or frustration? Hand over each situation honestly to Jesus in prayer and ask him to change you.

by Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

 Count your Blessings

•   Always be Joyful

•  Salvation Explained


thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men

Please open your Bible and read Mark 3:1-6.


Ever been cut off in traffic? Had someone cut in front of you in line? Gotten a bad haircut? If so, you may have felt angry.

Jesus got angry too, but He only got angry about important stuff. His anger was righteous anger and directed against those whose minds were so jaded and hearts so hard that they would rather follow their own laws and let a man suffer than see him healed!

Our own anger usually isn’t so honorable. We often get angry about frivolous things while not getting angry about stuff that really matters. However, Jesus’ response to the Pharisees gives us a helpful principle that we can apply in our own lives to respond better any time we’re angry: Turn anger into grace.

“[Jesus] looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” (Mark 3:5) Instead of lashing out at those who’d angered Him, Jesus turned His anger into a wonderful good deed. He turned His anger into an act of grace.

When we’re angry, we need to respond somehow. Bottling up our anger (or, for that matter, jealousy, or depression, or anxiety) will only lead to more inner turmoil. So from now on, let’s choose to respond in the way Jesus did: By following Jesus’ example of turning anger into grace and doing something good: “We love because God loved us first.” (1 John 4:19, CEV)

Anger, turned into good! And maybe, through this human act of grace, someone who doesn’t yet know Jesus “may see your good deeds and glorify God” (1 Peter 2:12) and by your act of grace come to know the greatest grace they’ll ever know: God’s grace.

Question: When do you get angry most often, and what opportunities are there in those situations to turn that anger into grace?

by Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

•   He is Out to Destroy You!

•  He is Out to Destroy You!

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men

“Jesus said “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:5

“Jesus also said that “You are the light of the world.” Matthew 5:14


Imagine a lamp. God is like the light bulb, the source of light, and we are like the lampshade. While it may seem strange to compare God to a light bulb, we’re told in scripture that “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5). And while I admit it may be difficult to imagine yourself as a lampshade, stay with me.

You know him [the Holy Spirit],” Jesus tells us, “for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:17) God dwells within you. While no one who looks directly at God’s face and His absolute holiness and power could possibly survive (Exodus 33:20), His glory can manifest itself in many ways, including through His children, you and I. Therefore, as much as you are able to allow God’s light to shine through you, His glory will be revealed to the world.

This is why John the Baptist said, regarding Jesus, “He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30) John recognized that for Jesus’ interests to shine, John’s own self-interest must decrease. We are like the lampshade to God’s light; the thinner the lampshade is, the more the light will shine through. So let yourself become thinner, weaker, and more transparent, so that God’s light will shine more brightly into the world, and so the world will not be able to ignore it!

The apostle Peter has some excellent practical advice on how to let God’s light shine through your life:

Be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.”

Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you.

Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies.

Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.” (1 Peter 4:7b-11, NLT)

Question: How can you see God’s light shining through your life right now? How could you allow it to shine even more?

By Darren Hewer
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We are all equally undeserving, and we are all equally given this gift of GRACE. Praise God that grace is “not fair”!


But he answered one of them, ‘I am not being unfair to you, friend. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the one who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’”
Matthew 20:13-15

There’s a line in a song by Relient K that goes “the beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair.”

I read this parable in Matthew 20:1-16 before I became a Christian. Back then, I thought, “How ridiculous! How unfair! The workers who did more work should be paid more!” I didn’t understand God’s grace. Moreover, I didn’t recognize myself: one who had grown up apart from God, and the one in the parable coming late!

If we received what’s “fair”, we would not like the result very much. In truth, when we ask for fairness, often we’re really asking for special treatment. The sins that others commit are often the very same ones that we’re hoping God will overlook.

Romans 5 says this: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Whether you have been a Christian all your life or only came to know the Lord very recently, God has graciously offered you so much more than you deserve: Eternal life spent in glorious relationship with Him. We are all equally undeserving, and we are all equally given this gift. Praise God that grace is “not fair”!

How has God blessed you lately that is far beyond what would be “fair”?

Father, the gift of Your Son is way more that I could ever deserve. Thank You for everything that You have blessed me with. Your Grace is sufficient for me. Whenever I feel as if I am getting the short end of the stick, help me to learn how to love like You. May the Spirit guide my thoughts and grant me wisdom. May I live my life in grateful surrender. Amen.

This week, intentionally give someone the “bigger slice of pie”. Offer the last seat on the bus, even if you got there first. Be patient with your friend who came late, even though you put effort into coming early. Thank God for the Grace that He has given to you, and extend it to those around you.

By Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

Extending Grace to Others

Serving the Lord Wholeheartedly

•  Salvation Explained


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Thoughts by All thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders Fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders Fields.

The ‘In Flanders Fields’ poem was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on May 3 1915. He wrote it after witnessing the death of his friend on the battlefield the day before. It is a solemn reminder of the atrocities of war and an admonishment to steadfastly remain vigilant even when faced with terrifying adversity.

On this day we honor those who bravely fought for freedom and justice, and many of whom bravely gave their lives for the noble cause. It goes by different names in different places, including Remembrance Day, Veteran’s Day, Poppy Day, and Armistice Day, but the sentiment is the same: Not to glorify the tragedy of war, but to commemorate the valor of those who fought to defend their country.

Brigadier General (retired) Robinson Risner, a veteran pilot who fought in World War 2, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, is one of those brave military soldiers who we should remember today. Despite being shot down twice over enemy territory, and being captured and tortured, each time it happened he wasted no time taking to the skies again, ready to serve his country.

by Darren Hewer
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Further Reading

•  Remembrance Day ‘Daddy’s Poem
•  Soldier’s Psalm – Prayer
•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men


Please open your Bible and read  Acts 1:1-11


One of John Ortberg’s popular books is titled “If you Want to Walk on Water, you have to get out of the Boat“. Although the title alludes to when Peter tried to walk on water (and succeeded, albeit briefly; (Matthew 14:22-33) this quote also applies to the apostles, just after Jesus ascended to heaven.

As Jesus “was taken up before their very eyes“, the apostles “were looking intently up into the sky” (Acts 1:9-10). Just before this, Jesus told them “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (v8) Yet after Jesus ascends apostles just stand there. How often do we do the same? God’s instructions are clear to us, but we just can’t seem to get going.

I can imagine the apostles were worried when Jesus left them. How would they survive without Him? They left their homes, jobs, and everything else behind to follow Him. And now He was leaving? But this is no excuse, and their lack of action prompts two angels to appear to them, who say “Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (v11)

The angels gave them the reason not to worry: Just as Jesus had been taken away, He will return. Luke’s gospel tells us how the apostles responded to the angels: “They worshipped [Jesus] and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.” (Luke 24:52) Their confidence was restored by God’s promise, which is trustworthy and true. And this confidence prompted them into action!

The question is am I standing around, staring up at the sky? Or am I actively living out Jesus’ command to be witnesses to the ends of the Earth?

What’s holding you back from being an active witness? If you want to witness, you have to start witnessing! If your spiritual life lately has felt more like stargazing than navigating, it may be time to re-read the book of Acts and be inspired by the lives of some of the earliest Christian servants. I assure you that you are more ready than you realize, “for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.” (Luke 12:12)

What’s holding you back?

By Darren Hewer
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•  Caring Enough to Tell Others about Christ
•  Your Life is the Only Bible Some People Read
•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men


“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.”
Hebrews 12:2

You can’t walk straight while blindfolded. You can try, and maybe succeed for a while. But fairly quickly you’ll start to divert slightly to one side or the other. A National Public Radio article notes that: “Humans, apparently, slip into circles when we can’t see an external focal point, like a mountain top, a sun, a moon. Without a corrective, our insides take over and there’s something inside us that won’t stay straight.”

One of my seminary professors liked to say that the line between truth and error is as thin as a razor but as hard as a diamond. The trouble is that it’s often hard to see the line. How do I know if I’ve stepped to the side? There are so many competing messages in our world. Despite faithful and well-intentioned devotional reading and prayer in the morning, by the time you complete your daily commute to work, you may be been bombarded with dozens if not hundreds of distractions.

The apostle Paul asked the Galatian church: “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7)

The only way to keep going along the straight path is for us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Make no mistake, we are not saved by our ability to keep ourselves on the straight path. Jesus is the author (the source, or cause) of our faith, and also the perfecter (the completer, or finisher) of our faith. He is not only Holy God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus is the model of our faith. Only by keeping our eyes on Him and trusting in Him will we continue on the straight path.

Practically speaking this means continually asking ourselves: “Is this the most loving, God-honoring choice I could make?Fix your eyes on Jesus, and He will guide your steps so that you will finish the race and be able to say along with Paul “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

Question: What distracts you (or tempts you) from the straight path?

by Darren Hewer
Used by Permission

We Welcome your comments.

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Further Reading

•  How to Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness (3 parts)
•  Have You Forgiven Yourself
•  Salvation Explained

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thoughts by Darren Hewer Thoughts by Men