This Ordinary Day- Guest Post

Guest Post by my good friend Amy Pentimone who blogs at Art of Life

I wrote about it recently- the fact that our everyday living is the thing that propels us forward. As I’ve discussed it with others, I’ve found this idea resonates in a bigger way than I had expected. So many people need to feel the same need to make sense of ordinary repetition.

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I have a habit of placing the calendar date in the page margin of literature that especially speaks to me. It can be any kind of writing- Scripture, devotionals, fiction and non-fiction. After underlining or starring the passage, I simply write the date in the margin. Rarely, if ever, do I comment on the passage or my thought-process involved in noting it. Only the date- it helps me keep track of significant thoughts for the future, and perhaps helps call back the time-frame in which I particularly benefited from the idea.

Earlier this month, I looked up at my calendar and dated a verse in my Bible. “2.3.2017.” It was a random, uneventful Friday afternoon, but the thought process felt funny:

This Friday is no longer ordinary. Years from now someone might look back and wonder about the significance of the day. To me, it is only Friday afternoon. It is a special sort of ordinary. 

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Of course, our longing is that today would not only be another day but a worthwhile day, or even a day of eternal significance. It will be. Live today well. Not so that it will live down in history, but because it will live down in the historical record managed by Your God. Live today well because because today matters. Today is the day to love truth. Today is the day to uphold God as supremely significant. Today is the day to love and encourage and serve. Today is the day to give up everything to gain Christ.

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I long to see what God will do through today’s. Who will we serve? How will a Scripture passage dramatically impact the future of our lives?  Which souls will we see saved? Which prayers will we pray that we will one day know have been answered?

All of those huge blessings will take place during repetitious “today’s” where God’s children believed their Father and walked faithfully in obedience.

Today. This ordinary day matters.

The Unconventional People of Faith


Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.  For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. (Hebrews 11:1-2).


Maybe you’re a Christian who is dedicated, striving to please God. You diligently read the Word, serve other believers, pray, live in obedience to those in authority, and trust God in your life. 

But things in your life don’t always go as “planned” they don’t always go like “everyone else”, or as expected, you know. Sometimes living to please God makes you look unconventional, and you feel out of place or odd. Welcome to the group of unconventionals! 

As I read through Hebrews, I realized many people of faith were unconventional in an unintentional way… their life pattern did not look similar to the world or even their own friends & family. So be encouraged if you’re going through a difficult time or something that doesn’t go like you expect it, because God does that with individuals that He uses for His purpose and Kingdom! 

Let me introduce you to some of those who had unconventional lives in Hebrews chapter 11. Things were not always “normal” for them either!  

Abel (v. 4)- obeyed God. He didn’t sacrifice in the humanly “expected” manner, from the produce of the land. He made an animal sacrifice. His sacrifice was more excellent than Cain’s. 

Enoch (v. 5)- he did not die like everyone else. He was taken up to heaven. 

Noah (v. 7)- He looked like a fool to the people around him when He built the ark while everyone else was partying, building houses, living life. He could have been discouraged and joined in their pursuits. But in the end who was blessed and who perished? 

Abraham (v. 8)- he didn’t live in one place his entire life like everyone else. He left his country, family and house, to another place (not even knowing the destination!) in obedience to God. I’m sure his family probably thought he lost his mind. He lived in tents waiting for his inheritance. 

Sarah (v. 11) – had no children like all the other women around her, and was past the age. Both she and Abraham were faithful to God, so why did she not? She was hopeless everyone’s eyes. But something unconventional happened- she had a child anyway. 

Moses (v.23-24)- did not have the usual start to life of an ordinary baby, or like the babies around him. He was hidden three months after he was born. When he grew up, he chose to associate with the slaves (his people) rather than his royal life. After the royalty of Egypt he lived an anonymous life before he was called to lead God’s people. 

The Israelites (v. 29)- they had a most unusual way to escape- through the Red Sea! And when others like the Egyptians tried to do it, they drowned. 

Joshua & the Israelites (v. 30)- did not use the common military tactics to conquer Jericho. Marching around the walls seven times for seven days and shouting can look very foolish in a military general’s eyes- but Joshua was following God’s orders. And it worked! 

Rahab (v. 31)-  tied a red cord to her window in an agreement with the conquerers (Israel). She could have been against Israel like the rest of her people, but she took a different, unconventional path- and she lived.   

And you can find more examples of unconventional people in Hebrews like “Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets…” as well as Christians in the New Testament. 

The reality is, all these people couldn’t have done it on their own- God provided the faith for them, and they trusted God’s promises. When you live a life of faith, your life does not always look normal. The unique, unconventional pathway you are on, can turn into great conquering, and a great testimony through God’s grace if you live in obedience to Him! 


Nine Characteristics of an Apologet

What is Apologetics?

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, it means a systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine), and a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity. So it is a defense of the faith. All Christians are called to defend the faith. 

The Profile of an Apologet

If we take a look in Acts, we will find the exact description of an apologet. Some renown apologets in Scripture are the apostle Paul, Apollos, Jude, Aquila & Priscilla and John. Let’s build the profile of an apologet based on the text from Acts chapter 18. I will include the Greek terms for more clarity. 

1. An apologet is Eloquent (logios, λόγιος) 

Whoever defends the Gospel of Christ must be diligent to be learned, to study, to be a person of letters, and be rational and wise. Often times the Lord gifts apologets with eloquence in speech or writing. 

2. An apologet is Mighty (dunatos, δυνατός) 

One must be able to strongly and powerfully defend the true doctrine of Scripture and put down the shrewd arguments of those who attack the Word of God either directly or indirectly. 

3. An apologet is Instructed (katecheo, κατηχέω)

Whoever is involved in apologetics must be able to instruct and teach others either orally or through other ways, the Truth that Scripture contains, and how to defend it. That is what all the apologets in the book of Acts did. Paul was teaching regularly, Apollos taught, Priscilla & Aquila taught Apollos and so forth.

4. An apologet is Fervent in Spirit (zeó, ζέω)

The meaning of this Greek word zeó means to be boiling with heat, to be hot, to be seething with emotion, ardently committed to something. This should characterize all Christians, and this kind of attitude is needed when defending the most precious Word of God. 

5. An apologet must be Accurate (akribós, ἀκριβῶς)

The meaning of this word is exact, careful, strictly exact to the finest detail. It means Christians must be very factually precise about the Word of God and the doctrine. The word akribós means that accuracy is gained through comprehensive probing and investigation. It also comes from being humble enough to learn from others who are more advanced than we are-  as Apollo was when he learned more accurately the the way of God from Priscilla & Aquila who were more informed than him (v. 26). 

6. An apologet must be Bold (parrésiazomai, παρρησιάζομαι)

An apologet must be able to speak freely (or at least write freely) without inhibition. Our confidence as Christians comes from knowing that God is always right- His Scripture is True and will ultimately win, no matter what! So this should make us as bold as lions.

7. An apologet will Greatly Help the Saints (polus, πολύς ; sumballó, συμβάλλω)

The Greek word used in this verse is polus which means much, many/numerous and often. Then the word for helped is sumballó which means together, conversing or pondering, or disputing. So Apollos was a man who conversed and worked together with others to help many saints and brought them together to discuss truth, and disputed the errors of false teachers. 

8. An apologet will Powerfully Refute False Prophets and Errors (eutonós, εὐτόνως ; sumballó, συμβάλλω)

This interesting word eutonós means well stretched and fully extended to the limit, in a well strung manner. It also has the sense of vigorously and vehemently. So a Christian and an apologet must be vehemently defending the Word of God against errors! The word diakatelegchomai means to utterly refute, prove all the way through, convict. So Apollos vehemently proved all the way through the truth of God’s Word and the falsity of those false teachers! In fact, the real meaning of the word diakatelegchomai means: ‘he met the opposing arguments in turn (dia), and brought them down to the ground (kata).’ So he basically punched the living daylights out of the false arguments like a boxer. Those opposing him had nothing left to say! 

9. An apologet will Demonstrate Truth through Scripture (epideiknumi, ἐπιδείκνυμι)

The Greek word epideiknumi means to show and prove. So as Christians and apologets we must prove the correctness of our arguments backed up by Scripture, the ultimate Truth. 

How To Be An Overcomer


We live in the last days. This means the days after Christ and before His second coming. You have probably noticed that in all societies there is an increase in evil people, hate, occultism, hostility towards Christianity. These verses sum it all up:

And thou, O Daniel, hide the things, and seal the book till the time of the end, many do go to and fro, and knowledge is multiplied. (Dan 12:4)

But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. (2 Tim 3:1-5) 

Knowledge increases, more and more people travel all over the world, and they are lovers of themselves and of money, boastful and hateful. Sounds like the 21st century to a T.

So how do you overcome?

  • How do you grow in godliness?
  • How do you shine as a light and witness to people?
  • How do you stay away from sin, worldly influences and crooked people?
  • How do you get a reward in heaven?

Here are practical ways to be an overcomer, from the book of Revelation, the book about the end times. These practical steps are in the verses in the passage to the church in Philadelphia. God doesn’t just throw us out there in an evil world and then says “okay, get out there and overcome! You’re on your own!”. No, He provides everything we need to be able to overcome! And He reveals them to us in Scripture. So these words should be buried deeply as seeds in our spiritual mind and watered with prayer so we will grow into “oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3)

Read the passage and then I will show you the steps outlined in the verses.

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.  I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.  I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you. Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Revelation 3:7-13)

God Provided for YOU to Overcome: 

  • Be Christological- Christ centered (He is the one who is Holy and True) (v.7)
  • He set before you an open door that no one can shut (v.7)
  • He gave you some strength (v. 8)
  • Keep God’s Word (Scripture, His promises, correct doctrine) (v.8)
  • Do not deny His name (v.8)
  • Keep His commands (God’s Word) through the power of the Holy Spirit (v.10)
  • Endure patiently the trials and difficulty of the Christian life (v. 10)
  • Wait for the Coming of the Lord (v.11)
  • Through prayer and fasting, hold on to what you have (faith, Scripture, spiritual work/ministry) so no one takes your crown (v.11)
  • Have an open ear to what the Spirit says through God’s Word (v.13)

God set before you the way to overcome. May He help us all to persevere and be overcomers through the power of the Holy Spirit, Amen!


This Christmas- Give To These People!

Last week, I had a post about gift ideas for Christmas for those difficult people that you can’t find a gift for. (Note, it is updated with a few more ideas).

Remember the Poor

But, of course, Christmas is not about material things or about presents and all the outward decor and celebration. It is about Christ- the Ultimate gift of all eternity, our Redeemer and Savior, God-Man. It makes sense to share the joy with those who need it most this season. Let us remember the poor (Gal 2:10). 

Remember the workers in ministry

In addition, let us remember ministries that help spread the Gospel or defend the faith with integrity. Below are a few of the ministries I like and recommend that you consider to give to during this Christmas season. 

Samaritan’s Purse by Franklin Graham Ministries

I was personally blessed by Samaritan’s Purse as a young child. There were a few times at Christmas when their gift boxes that they give to children were about the only Christmas present I received as a missionary child. Click on the title to see their Christmas gift guide. You can give even as little as $8 and help a family plant a fruit tree, or send a missionary doctor, or give a lamb that sings “Jesus Loves Me” for a blind child.

Operation Heal Our Patriots

Another one of Franklin Graham’s ministry is Operation Heal Our Patriots. This is for my countrymen here in America. You can show your support for the troops by donating to this ministry that reaches out to veterans with PTSD and have a struggling marriage. I love this patriotic type of giving! 

HeartCry Missionary Society

The ministry of Pastor Paul Washer. If you look on their website you will see a map of their ministry all over the world, in US, Africa, Europe, Asia, South America, China, Russia.

I praise the Lord that brother Paul Washer is a humble man of prayer and integrity and may the Lord keep him that way. So it is a ministry of integrity.

Bible Society in the UK

I just recently learned more about this ministry. I am not familiar with the leadership, but the story of how they began is very touching. Many years ago, a young Welsh girl desperately wanted to have a Bible of her own and traveled 26 miles to get one from a Reverend. That inspired the Reverend to start a society to spread Bibles in Wales and around the world.

Now they’ve been spreading Bibles in more than 200 countries, including Communist countries. You can get some lovely free stickers from them for Christmas too! I think it’s a lovely idea to donate something to spread Bibles in countries where they are not easily accessible. 

Romanian Orphan Ministries

This ministry reaches out to many orphan children in Romania, a country in Eastern Europe that was under Communism until 1989. The founder of this ministry is an American. Read his story on the website- it is quite amazing to see the round-about way the Lord has brought him to start such a ministry. They are a Christian organization that seek to disciple and help young Romanian orphans. 

Institute for Creation Research

This amazing ministry offers resources for Christians all around the world. They provide videos online, books, DVDs, magazines, articles, devotionals, and a free monthly magazine. They help Christians defend the Biblical worldview of how God is the Creator.

The organization is made of highly skilled Christian scientists with Ph.D’s and science degrees who humbly teach churches and laypeople logical ways of defending the faith. They travel all around the United States and hold seminars and conferences. They have also sent some scientists internationally to a conference in South Korea to teach! I have been supporting them for years, and I praise God that he has godly men of integrity teaching the about Genesis- the first book of the Bible, which is the foundation for the rest.