Category Archives: Trials

“Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption” by Laura Hillenbrand

At the risk of being overdramatic, I have to say that this may be the most powerful life story I’ve ever heard. Louis Zamperini has lived a life that tops anything you’ve ever seen in the movies. Laura Hillenbrand, also author of Seabiscuit, does a masterful job of putting you right alongside Louis in his Olympic and War adventures. I found this Youtube video featuring a CBS documentary on Louis followed by an interview with Louis and a Q&A session with a USC journalism class. The 2 hour video is priceless.

My recommendation is that you read the book BEFORE you watch this video. You’ll enjoy the book and the video more if you read the book first. So for those of you who’ve already read the book, or for those who can’t wait, enjoy:



Learning Through Affliction

A few Sundays ago at Harvest, I delivered a message titled, “How Can I Really Change?” one of the points was if you really want to change in your life, if you really want to experience growth, you need to accept God’s change agents in your life, including difficult trials. Here is a good quote from Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990) on this reality:

I can say with complete truthfulness that everything I have learned in my seventy-five years in this world, everything that has truly enhanced and enlightened my existence, has been through affliction and not through happiness.”

God’s Kind Providence to Give Me a New Friend

God provided a new friend for me today. In God’s kind providence I was privileged to meet, via internet and telephone, a pastor from North Carolina named Jonathan. I am excited about this friendship for what we have in common. We both have a condition called Barrett’s Esophagus.

Barrett’s is found mostly among sufferers of GERD (acid reflux disease), like Jonathan and myself. More importantly, and frighteningly, Barrett’s is a high risk condition for Esophageal Cancer, which is not exactly the best cancer to have.

Continue reading God’s Kind Providence to Give Me a New Friend

The Mistaken Identity Story

Yesterday in my message I mentioned the tragic story of the four students and one employee of Taylor University who killed in an accident nearly four years ago. The events that occurred over the succeeding five weeks made national news. One of the victims was mistakenly identified, meaning that one of the survivors had been presumed dead. What for one family was shocking joy became another family’s deep grief.

The story was eventually featured on national news outlets such as Dateline NBC and The Oprah Winfrey show. A book was published.

Both families are devoted Christians and throughout the ordeal displayed the superiority of lives surrendered to Jesus Christ.

Here is an encouraging update on Whitney Cerak from nearly a year ago: