Latest posts

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus …

    In the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, we are told that about the ninth hour (3 p.m.) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Life Essentials—Communication

    Besides Jesus, who makes everything better when He is a part of our daily lives, there is a very important element that permeates pretty much everything we do—communication. This essential medium comes in many forms, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus …

    Each of the four Gospels speaks of the women who were present at Jesus’ crucifixion. The Gospel of Matthew says:

    There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus …

    While each of the four Gospels give the same account of Jesus’ death on the cross, they each also include some unique details. The Gospel of Matthew is the account used here, and portions of the other three Gospels ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus …

    After Jesus had been interrogated by Pilate, mocked, treated with contempt by Herod and his men, and scourged, it was time for His death sentence to be carried out. Each of the four Gospels addresses the events of Jesus’ death, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Glory of Easter!—Part 2

    Quotations on the death and resurrection of Jesus

    Here are some more beautiful thoughts on the theme of the death and resurrection of Jesus. As Christians, it’s such a core part of our lives, our purpose, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Glory of Easter!—Part 1

    Quotations on the death and resurrection of Jesus

    I cherish the memories I have of celebrating Easter as I grew up. Our church gathered every Easter morning on the top of a hill where we watched the sun rise, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Death of Jesus …

    All four Gospels give an account of Jesus’ death on the cross.1 While each of these passages covers the same event, the four authors tell the story in their own ways. This article and upcoming articles about Jesus’ crucifixion ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus Before Herod

    In each of the four Gospels1 we read of Jesus’ trial before Pontius Pilate. However, in only one Gospel do we read about Jesus being sent by Pilate to King Herod.

    In the Gospel of Luke, Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator, stated that Jesus was not guilty. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Trial Before Pilate

    After being arrested, Jesus was taken to the house of Caiaphas, the chief priest. It was there that He faced His trial before the chief priests and the whole Council.1 When the chief priest said, “I adjure you by the living God, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Gethsemane (Part 3)

    Jesus’ Trial and Peter’s Denial

    Each of the four Gospels1 gives an account of Jesus’ trial, conducted by the Jewish religious leadership. While the Gospels cover the same event, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Gethsemane (Part 2)

    The Arrest

    Each of the four Gospels gives an account of Jesus’ arrest. The Gospel of Matthew will be the main focus in this post, and segments from the other Gospel accounts will also be included. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Gethsemane (Part 1)

    Jesus’ Prayer

    After finishing His final meal with His disciples,1 Jesus led them out to the Mount of Olives.2 It was there that He told His disciples that they would all fall away because of me this night.3 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Better Days Ahead—Part 8

    —Make Each Day Count

    We all want our lives to count, to make a difference. You, like me, have probably read articles or books on goal setting, building good habits, teamworking, being purpose-driven, etc., ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Better Days Ahead—Part 7

    —Rediscovering Joy

    As Christians, when we invite Jesus into our hearts and lives and are filled with the Holy Spirit, our lives change; we experience the joy of our salvation and rejoice ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Better Days Ahead—Part 6

    —Fight the Good Fight of Faith

    Following Jesus is not a passive, easy, feel-good hobby. It’s a challenge, a lifestyle, and a calling. We are blessed to know that our lives make a difference as we walk in obedience to God’s Word, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Better Days Ahead—Part 5

    Dealing with Disappointment

    Often when I’m having prayer time and meditating on God’s Word, I take some time to count my blessings and recall how God’s goodness has been manifested in my life. I feel so grateful. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Better Days Ahead—Part 4

    —Nurturing Mental and Emotional Well-being

    It is wonderful to know that no matter what is going on in our lives, we can trust Jesus and look to Him to establish our thoughts and guide our steps. The Bible says ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Better Days Ahead—Part 3

    —God’s Abundant Supply

    When Jesus’ disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray, He instructed them among other things to pray for the supply of their daily bread (or sustenance). Jesus experienced and understood ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Better Days Ahead—Part 2

    —Finding Comfort in Times of Loneliness

    When we find ourselves in one of the difficult seasons of life, this can often be accompanied by loneliness or a sense of being alone in our struggles. Feeling alone and isolated ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Better Days Ahead—Part 1

    —All Things Work Together for Good

    And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 17: Jesus’ Prayer …

    Jesus’ prayer for His disciples, which we started going over in the previous article, continues on to the end of John 17. In verse 12, Jesus’ prayer referred to His disciples—saying that He had kept them, had guarded them, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • “My Sheep Hear My Voice…”

    This life is one grand set of experiences, designed by our Creator to help us to develop into a manifestation of His love. There is so much to be learned, not just from our own experiences but also from the lives of others, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 17: Jesus’ Prayer …

    Having told His disciples that He was going away to “Him that sent me” (John 16:5), and that the Helper—the Holy Spirit—would come to guide them into all truth (John 16:13), Jesus then began to pray to the Father. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 16:23–33

    Having told His disciples that they would weep and lament at His departure from this world while the world would rejoice,1 Jesus added that while they would experience sorrow for the present, He would see them again, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 16:13–22

    Earlier in this Gospel, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom He would send to them. He said, The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 16:1–12

    In John chapter 16, Jesus continues the discourse which began in chapter 15. There, He had spoken of the world hating Him and His disciples and touched on the persecution the disciples would face in the future. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 15: If the …

    Earlier in John chapter 15, Jesus told His disciples that they were His friends. He reminded them that He had told them everything He had heard from His Father, that He had chosen and appointed them, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 15: Abide in …

    At the end of John chapter 14, Jesus informed His disciples that He was going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.1...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 14: I Go …

    In this last segment of John chapter 14, Jesus is still speaking with His disciples after Judas Iscariot has left the dinner. Having told His disciples that the words He had spoken to them were not His own, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 14: The Helper

    John chapter 14, which we started going over in the previous article, continues with Jesus speaking to His disciples just prior to His arrest and trial. Earlier, He had spoken to them about believing in Him. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John 14: The Way, …

    John chapter 14 continues in the same setting as chapter 13, where Jesus was eating a meal with His disciples. Once Judas, the betrayer, had departed and after Jesus had told the apostle Peter that he was going to deny Him ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Washing the Disciples’ Feet …

    The previous article ended with Jesus stating, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”1 We were also told that His disciples were uncertain of whom He spoke.2 This news took them by surprise. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Washing the Disciples' Feet …

    In the previous article,1 we read how, as Jesus was washing the feet of His disciples, the apostle Peter objected to having Him wash his feet. In response, Jesus said to Peter, You are clean, but not every one of you,2...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Washing the Disciples' Feet …

    In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ public ministry comes to an end in chapter 12. For the most part, the next five chapters focus on His final teaching to His disciples.

    Before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Signs of the Times and Current Events

    The past year has certainly been a “time of trouble” for many people around the world—an unprecedented one in some ways, due to modern technology that enables us to see events unfold in real time all around the globe, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Passover

    As the day of Passover was approaching, Jesus’ disciples asked Him what arrangements should be made for the Passover meal. Meanwhile, in the days preceding the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Moving Toward His Passion …

    The previous article addressed the end of Jesus’ public ministry. At this point in both the synoptic Gospels1 and the Gospel of John, the focus moves on to the events of His passion and death. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The End of His …

    In John chapter 12, Jesus stated,

    “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Way He Sees You

    A friend who I’ve known for many years wrote me and asked for my help in answering a prison inmate named Jay who she was ministering to. He had written, saying:

    I struggle with anxious worries about my purpose. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Greeks

    The Gospel of John tells of an event, just prior to the passion and death of Jesus, which is not included in the synoptic Gospels.1 It describes Jesus’ encounter with some Greeks who desired to see Him. It is significant ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Easter Meditations

    The events of the first Easter brought seismic changes to our world. God made a new covenant with humanity, one which made it possible for us to dwell with Him forever. His Son died on the cross for us, making it possible ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Final Judgment by the …

    The previous two articles in this series, The Coming of the Son of Man (Parts 1 and 2), covered Matthew chapter 24, part of which addressed endtime events and Jesus’ return. The latter part of Matthew 24, verses 45–51, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Coming of the …

    In the previous article, we read Jesus’ statement that heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.1 He went on to say,

    Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.2 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Coming of the …

    The previous article, the last of the series about the Jewish temple, ended with Jesus telling the people of Judea that tribulation would come upon them when the Romans would destroy the temple and the city of Jerusalem. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Prediction About the Temple …

    Like Mark chapter 13, Matthew chapter 24 begins with Jesus predicting the destruction of the Jewish temple.

    Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Prediction About the Temple …

    In the previous article, we saw that Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Jesus about events which He had predicted, and what sign there would be that these things were about to happen.

    Jesus began by warning them ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Prediction About the Temple …

    Jesus’ prediction of the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem is recounted in the three Synoptic Gospels.1 Along with addressing the destruction of the temple, these passages also include information regarding the last days. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus’ Question and the …

    In chapter 12 of the Gospel of Mark, a number of topics are covered, including the parable of the tenants, the paying of taxes, and the resurrection. At the end of this chapter, two additional topics are covered: ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Wicked Tenants, Luke …

    The parable of the wicked tenants is found in all three of the Synoptic Gospels.1 The focus here will be the account from the Gospel of Luke, with some points brought in from the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Heavenly Encouragement

    I was cold. Having to get out of my nice, warm bed early on a brisk morning didn’t seem like an ideal way to start the day.

    I was tired. I hadn’t slept well the night before. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Seven Brothers

    Each of the Synoptic Gospels describes an incident when the Sadducees asked Jesus a question about the resurrection of the dead.1 The account in the Gospel of Luke will be the focus of this post. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Question of Authority

    Each of the Synoptic Gospels1 speak of a time when the Jewish religious leaders questioned Jesus as to who had given Him authority to do the things He was doing.2 These Gospels also give the account of Jesus’ response ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Barren Fig Tree

    In the Gospels of both Matthew and Mark, we find an account of Jesus being hungry and hoping to pick some figs from a nearby tree.1 The focus here will be on the account in the book of Mark. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Entry into Jerusalem

    In this article, we’ll look at the Gospel account of Jesus’ return to Jerusalem for the last time. All four Gospels give an account of His entry into the capital city.1 The focus in this article will be on the account in the Gospel of Luke, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Welcome, 2021!

    2020 has certainly been a year unlike any that most of us have experienced before. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of our lives, causing unexpected difficulties, challenges, and hardship. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Christmas Greetings 2020!

    (Card included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam and Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Anointing at Bethany

    In John chapter 11, we’re told that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.1 As a result of this miracle, the chief priests and the Pharisees agreed that Jesus needed to be put to death, and they ordered that anyone ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Zacchaeus

    The Gospel of Luke tells of Jesus’ surprising interaction with Zacchaeus, a Jewish man who was a chief tax collector for the Roman government.

    [Jesus] entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Contentment)

    The tenth commandment stands out among the others because it focuses on our inner thoughts and desires rather than outward sinful actions. For example, while the eighth commandment forbids the act of theft, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sons of Zebedee

    Each of the Synoptic Gospels1 gives an account of a request that two of the disciples, James and John, who were brothers, made to Jesus.2 We’ll focus on the account in the Gospel of Mark, and points will be brought in from the Gospel of Matthew. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Healing of the Ten …

    The Gospel of Luke tells of an instance when Jesus healed ten people who were afflicted by leprosy, and what occurred afterward.

    On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Pharisees Plot

    The Gospel of John provides a behind-the-scenes look at a meeting of the Jewish leadership as they deliberated what to do about Jesus and planned a course of action. Prior to this meeting, we read of Jesus ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Love

    Love for Others

    As we come to the end of this More Like Jesus—Reflections series, the focus in this compilation is on loving others. When Jesus was asked which commandment was the greatest, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Truthfulness)

    The ninth commandment states:

    You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.3

    This commandment addresses truthfulness. It is presented in the context of giving witness in a trial, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Love

    God’s Love

    The topic of love is multifaceted, as it enters into various aspects of our lives: our relationship with God, with family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Three Incidents

    Within the Gospels, there are a number of verses which describe incidents in Jesus’ life or statements He made that are somewhat “stand-alone” in that they aren’t connected to what precedes or follows them in the text. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Divorce and Remarriage

    All three of the Synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—touch on the topics of divorce and remarriage. The Gospel of Luke addresses them with only one verse:

    Everyone who divorces his wife ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Are You the Christ?

    The Gospel of John tells of Jesus attending a religious festival during which His opponents demanded to know if He was the Messiah. His response almost cost Him His life. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Peace

    In the book of Galatians the apostle Paul lists the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and within that list is found peace. This peace is understood as an internal peace of heart, mind, and spirit which resides within Christians. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (You Shall Not …

    Why Work?

    The previous article in this series addressed the topic of work. It showed how, before sin entered the world, God instructed Adam and Eve to work ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Two Unique Healings

    In the Gospel of Mark, there are accounts of Jesus healing two men who were in need—one who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and another who was blind. In both instances, Jesus performed the healing ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus and the Scribe

    Jesus’ interaction with a particular scribe who was favorably impressed by His teaching is recounted in all three synoptic Gospels.1 The focus here will be on the version found in the Gospel of Mark. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Forgiveness

    Forgiveness is at the heart of Christianity. Jesus was crucified and died on the cross so that we could be forgiven for our sins. Scripture teaches that as believers we are to reflect Jesus’s sacrifice by forgiving those who have hurt us. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (You Shall Not …

    Work

    The eighth commandment, you shall not steal, addresses the protection of property by commanding that what belongs to one person must not be stolen by another. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (You Shall Not …

    Stewardship

    As explained in the introductory article about the eighth commandment, you shall not steal, God is the ultimate owner of all that exists, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • God’s Footprint in Nature

    No matter what topic I write about, one of the challenges I face is presenting the points in a way that will relate to as many of my readers as possible. This post where I focus on the important role that nature plays ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus and the Children

    Each of the three synoptic Gospels—Matthew, Mark, and Luke—tells of Jesus’ interaction with children who were brought to Him to receive His blessing. The account in the Gospel of Luke will be the focus here, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: A Family Dispute, True …

    Throughout the Gospels there are a number of short, stand-alone accounts of things that Jesus and others said and did. Sometimes these events or sayings are only a few sentences long. In this article, and in some future ones, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (You Shall Not …

    Introduction

    The eighth commandment states, You shall not steal.4 Like the other commandments, this short statement is like the title of a subdirectory which opens up to a number of topics, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: A Brother’s Sin

    In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus taught His disciples what to do when one disciple/believer sins against another. In any community of believers, there will be times when one believer wrongs another. It is inevitable, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Acknowledgment Power

    Jay, a man like Jesus

    Some time ago, the Lord opened the door for me to witness to a young man, Jay, by beginning with pointing out some admirable qualities that he possessed. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Homosexuality)

    In the course of exploring the seventh commandment, “You shall not commit adultery,”3 the topics which we have covered thus far in this series are marriage, sex, divorce and remarriage, birth control, infertility, adoption, and pornography. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Charge to the …

    All three Synoptic Gospels1 include the account of Jesus sending out His disciples on a mission trip.2 He gave them instructions regarding what to preach, what not to take with them, and where to stay. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Faithfulness and Holiness

    Two important aspects of living our Christian faith on a daily basis are faithfulness and holiness. Being faithful means being firm and not changing in one’s commitments, principles, or beliefs. Faithfulness is the act of remaining loyal ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Women Supporters and Disciples

    In chapter 7 of the Gospel of Luke we read the account of a sinful woman who washed Jesus’ feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, then anointed His feet with costly ointment.1 Directly following this, in the next chapter, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Creed (Part 10)

    Having covered God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the creed moves on to the last four vital Christian beliefs. It states:

    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
          We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Creed (Part 9)

    Having covered future events regarding Jesus’ return (or second coming), as well as His judgment of the living and the dead and His eternal kingdom, the creed moves on to address the Holy Spirit. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Creed (Part 8)

    Having previously addressed Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and His ascension to heaven, where He sits at the right hand of the Father, the creed moves on to address future events foretold in Scripture. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Creed (Part 7)

    Having covered the crucifixion, death, and burial of Jesus, the creed now moves on to His resurrection from the dead, ascension into heaven, and His enthronement at the Father’s right hand. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Thoughts on the King

    One question that could be asked regarding God’s gift of salvation is why God, who is all-powerful, had to send His beloved Son to earth to die for us in the greatest sacrifice of all time. Couldn’t He have just forgiven us ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Creed (Part 6)

    The previous part of this series about the Nicene-Constantinople Creed was focused on Jesus, who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven. The next lines of the creed focus on the main events of His birth, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Creed (Part 5)

    After expressing Jesus’ deity as the Son of God, who is of the same essence as the Father, the creed then moves on to addressing Jesus’ humanity and the events of His life—the manner in which He died, His resurrection, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Perfect Peace

    Biblical principles are timeless, because no matter what our circumstances or our age or the times we live in, they hold true as much today as ever. The Bible says that God wants to give us His perfect peace ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Creed (Part 4)

    Part three of this series of articles addressed the portion of the creed which refers to Jesus as One Lord Jesus Christ. We saw that Jesus is called Lord, which reflects His deity. His name, Jesus, points to Him being ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Creed (Part 3)

    In the previous article, we looked at the first clause in the Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed, I believe in one God, the Father Almighty. Here we’ll focus on the next phrase, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and of all things visible and invisible. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Dogs: One of God’s Wonders

    A while ago someone drew my attention to some poems that had helped them after their beloved pet died. The poems moved me to tears, recalling the pets that I had had—and lost—when I was growing up.1 ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Creed (Part 2)

    One God, the Father Almighty

    The Nicene-Constantinople creed, hereafter referred to as the creed, compresses major Christian doctrine into a relatively brief statement. In a mere six sentences ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Creed (Part 1)

    Throughout Christian history, various statements of belief have condensed the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith into relatively short statements generally known as creeds. The word creed comes from the Latin word ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Kindness and Goodness

    As we continue this series of quotations on the topics that were originally covered in the More Like Jesus series,1 the focus will be on kindness and goodness. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Pornography)

    We’re continuing in this post with our sub-section of articles on the Ten Commandments as they relate to human relationships and sexuality. The seventh commandment states that “you shall not commit adultery.”3 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Healing the Blind Man

    The account of Jesus healing a blind man is found in all three synoptic Gospels.1 The Gospels of Luke and Mark tell of Jesus healing one blind man, and in the Gospel of Matthew, we read of two blind men being healed. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus and the Tax …

    There are several descriptions in the Gospels of Jesus’ interactions with Jewish tax collectors, considered to be some of the most despised amongst the people. All three of the Synoptic Gospels1 contain the story ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Fire and the Wind!

    Unless you have personally faced a catastrophic event, it can be difficult to grasp the intensity of these experiences and how small and powerless man becomes in the face of them. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Infertility and Adoption)

    In recent articles we’ve looked at biblical perspectives on marriage, divorce, and birth control. The topics of infertility and adoption, which will be covered in this article, also fall under the category of marriage and sex. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Adulterous Woman

    Within the account of the Feast of Tabernacles, the book of John inserts the story of a woman who was caught in the act of adultery (John 7:53–8:11). I didn’t include these verses in my commentary ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Gentleness and Joy

    In this seventh part of the “More Like Jesus—Reflections” series, I’m sharing quotations about two topics, gentleness and joy, which are both aspects of being Christlike, of reflecting the Lord to others. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Birth Control)

    As we continue to explore the seventh commandment—“You shall not commit adultery”—in relation to the Christian ethical view of marriage and sex, we move on to the topic of birth control. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Life Balance Check, Part 6: Managing Stress

    Stress is something we’re all familiar with; it’s natural and unavoidable to have some stress in our lives. The problem arises when there is too much stress, especially when that stressful state continues for months on end. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Feast of Tabernacles …

    When we left off in the previous article, Jesus had just made the point that the Jewish listeners who were claiming Abraham as their father were not truly his children. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Christlikeness

    As Christians, one of our primary goals is to emulate Jesus—to follow in His footsteps, to imitate His actions, attitudes, and faith and trust in His Father. Throughout the New Testament we find encouragement to emulate Him. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Christmas Greetings 2019!

    (Card included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam and Maria Fontaine

  • An Excellent Gift

    What can you do to honor the King of the universe? What can you say to the King of our lives? What is a fitting gift to give the One who has given all to us? We know from many years of hearing His Word ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Christmas Promises

    Each Christmas, as we commemorate Jesus’ birth, we are looking back to the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises in which God vowed to send a savior into the world. As we mark this glorious event, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Divorce and Remarriage)

    The biblical foundation of marriage is found in the first chapter of Genesis, where we read that God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Hope

    Hope is one of the three virtues which the apostle Paul listed in 1 Corinthians 13:13:

    Now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Marriage and Sex, …

    As we saw in Marriage and Sex Part One, marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond, which is entered into by a man and a woman, in which they make a pledge to each other before God, asking Him to be a witness ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Marriage and Sex, …

    The next topic in this series on Christian ethics is the seventh commandment, “You shall not commit adultery.”2 The definition of adultery according to the American Heritage Dictionary is Consensual sexual intercourse ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Life Balance Check, Part 5: Fellowship, Family, and …

    I have been reflecting recently on how much my life has been blessed through meaningful relationships with others. We are hardwired to need other people in our lives, including our immediate family as well as ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love That Sees More

    For some time, I’ve been trying to encourage a dear friend of mine, who always feels inferior, that she does in fact have some wonderful gifts and talents. For one, I know from experience that she is an exceptional cook. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Life Balance Check, Part 4: Personal Growth

    Throughout our lifetime, we naturally grow and improve in various areas of our lives. We gain experience from our positive and negative encounters, our successes and failures, our relationships, reading and studying, etc. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Christian Character

    In this fourth compilation of the More Like Jesus—Reflections series, only one topic, Christian character, will be addressed, rather than the usual two topics. As Christians, we are new creations1 in whom the Holy Spirit dwells; ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Father and the …

    At the end of the previous article, we read that Jesus stated, The works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.1 Earlier in this chapter, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Father and the …

    At the end of the previous article, we saw Jesus state that those who hear His word and believe in the One who sent Him have eternal life, that they have passed from death to life.1 He then continued, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Father and the …

    In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus healed a man who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.1 It was the Sabbath, the day when no work was supposed to be done. Jesus said to the man, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Life Balance Check, Part 3: Exercise

    I’d like to address the subject of exercise. I know this is not a new topic; there’s been a lot of buzz about exercise for the last few decades, and we have addressed it in earlier posts and publications. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Safeguarding Human Life, …

    Aging and Death, 2

    As we saw in Part 1 of Aging and Death, death came into the world because of Adam’s sin, and thus each of us will eventually die; and most of us will pass on after our bodies have weakened due to old age. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Exploring the Wonders—Psalm 104

    I was just listening to Psalm 104 on my MP3 player. I think this is the most beautiful description of creation I’ve ever heard. I can almost feel God’s magnificent power sweeping through the heavens, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Safeguarding Human Life, …

    Aging and Death, 1

    In this series so far, I’ve addressed topics of defending life (self-defense, war) as well as the taking of life (suicide, euthanasia, and abortion). The focus in this two-part article will be aging and natural death. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Self-Control and Honesty

    A short while ago I started reviewing the More Like Jesus series. I found it helpful to look up quotations from other sources, and I have shared two compilations so far: Reflections on Gratitude and Humility ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Life Balance Check, Part 2: Health

    Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.—3 John 2 ESV

    Our bodies are an amazing gift from God, and it is our duty to Him to take care of them. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We are not our own.1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Life Balance Check, Part 1: Time with the …

    We all know that time spent with the Lord is of paramount importance, but because we are so familiar with the concepts of “Word time,” “devotions,” and “prayer time,” they can sadly become cliché. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Life Balance Check: Introduction

    For the latter part of last year and the first months of this year, I struggled with ongoing back pain which made it difficult for me to work at my computer, and it also hindered my sleep and exercise. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Feast of Tabernacles …

    In the middle of the seven-day Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus left Galilee and went to Jerusalem. While there, He went into the temple and began teaching. He faced opposition from the Jewish religious leadership, who wanted to have Him arrested but failed. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Feast of Tabernacles …

    The first four articles about the Feast of Tabernacles covered Jesus’ interaction with others during the festival as described in John chapter 7. At the end of chapter 7, the Pharisees dismissed Nicodemus’ defense of Jesus ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Patience and Compassion

    I recently started reviewing the More Like Jesus series. I found it helpful to look up quotations from other sources, and I shared the first compilation of those with you in More Like Jesus—Reflections on Gratitude and Humility. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Feast of Tabernacles …

    The Gospel of John speaks about several encounters Jesus had with the Pharisees during His visit to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles. The first encounter took place in the middle of the feast ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Feast of Tabernacles …

    As we saw in the previous two articles, halfway through the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus went from Galilee to Jerusalem to attend the festival. While there, He taught in the temple, and some of those who heard His teaching opposed Him. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Believing Beyond the Moment

    I recently had a conversation with a woman who had received Jesus a short time ago but didn’t yet understand how to use the Bible as a source of guidance or as the foundation for her faith. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Feast of Tabernacles …

    Sometime after Jesus’ brothers went to Jerusalem to attend the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus also traveled there. We’re told that He went up, not publicly but in private.1 He didn’t travel in a group with His brothers—which would have been normal, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Reflections on Gratitude and Humility

    Lately I have been reviewing the More Like Jesus series, as I felt it might be a good way for me to have a “spiritual checkup” to gauge whether my words, thoughts, decisions, and interactions with others have been aligned with Jesus’ teachings. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Feast of Tabernacles …

    The seventh and eighth chapters of the Gospel of John cover Jesus’ teachings while He was in Jerusalem during part of the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as the Feast (or Festival) of Booths. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Temple Tax

    At the end of Matthew chapter 17, we read of an incident which occurred in Capernaum.

    When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?”1...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • It’s a Beautiful World!

    As a young teen growing up, I lived in a very small town of about 500 people. I attended a school where there were six grades divided into three schoolrooms, with one teacher for each two grades. The teacher would be teaching half of the students ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Martha, Martha

    Three times within the Gospels we read about Jesus’ interaction with two sisters and their brother who were His close friends—Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. Jesus was particularly close to this family, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Elijah, John, and Jesus

    In the previous post, we saw that during Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain, a bright cloud had come over Jesus and the disciples who accompanied Him, and Jesus’ face shone, His clothes became white, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Transfiguration

    The transfiguration of Jesus was a unique event within His ministry. The only other comparable moment happened earlier on, when He stood in the Jordan River and was baptized by John the Baptist. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Safeguarding Human Life, …

    Abortion

    Of all the subtopics in this series regarding safeguarding human life, abortion is the most difficult to write about. It’s a controversial topic, which people on both sides of the issue are passionate about. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Captives No More!

    A witness through stone walls and iron bars

    A friend wrote me about a young man named Jake who is in prison. She had corresponded with him in the past and had just received a letter from him after a long period of silence. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Safeguarding Human Life, …

    Euthanasia

    None of us know when our death will come, and as Christians we believe that the timing of our death is in God’s hands.2 I imagine that most of us hope to live long and happy lives, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Effects of Christianity (Part 4)

    This fourth and final article about some of the effects Christianity has had on the world will touch on three ways in which Christianity and/or individual Christians significantly helped change the world ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Effects of Christianity (Part 3)

    In this third article of the series, we will continue to examine the positive effects that Christianity has had on the world since the death and resurrection of Jesus. The focus in this post will be twofold—the advent of hospitals and schools. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Effects of Christianity (Part 2)

    In this Easter season, we continue to look at the profound effects that Christianity has had on the course of human history since the death and resurrection of Jesus. This article will focus on the fundamental change ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Aging with God’s Grace

    Quite a few of us have reached the time that the Bible talks about in Psalm 90, verse 10—the threescore-and-ten-years mark. This indicates to me that a beautiful beginning is nearer than ever. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Effects of Christianity (Part 1)

    With the approach of Easter—the celebration of Jesus conquering death by rising from the grave to bring salvation to the world—it seems an opportune time to look at the positive effect Jesus’ life, death, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Safeguarding Human Life, …

    Suicide

    In researching the topic of suicide, I read a thoughtful and prayerful introduction to the subject which I felt expressed the difficulty of writing on this topic. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Safeguarding Human Life, …

    War

    As we saw in the previous article, the sixth commandment, Thou shalt not kill, allows a person to morally use self-defense to protect their life as well as the lives of others. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • A Taxi and a Card

    On this particular day, I had an important appointment scheduled that couldn’t be changed. At the last minute a series of complications arose that left me with no transportation. It also turned out to be a difficult time of day ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Safeguarding Human Life, …

    Self-Defense

    The Bible teaches that God created human beings in His image.

    God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Authority, Part 4)

    Employers’ Authority

    So far in this series we’ve looked at parental and governmental authority. In this article, we will look at another aspect of authority in regard to the relationship between employers and employees. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Authority, Part 3)

    Governmental Authority (Continued)

    While Scripture teaches that civil government is God-ordained and that Christians should be subject to the government,1 it also stresses that government has the responsibility ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Hope in the Darkness

    One day I was answering some correspondence from one of our TFI missionaries who serves on a very poor field. As I was dictating my response, I felt an urge to not only write him but to also write a letter to the people ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Peter’s Rebuke

    In the previous article, we read about how in Matthew chapter 16 Simon Peter profoundly responded to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”1 He stated: “You are the Christ [the Messiah], ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Peter’s Profession of Faith

    As Jesus’ disciples lived with Him, learned from Him, and witnessed the miracles He performed, over time they developed an understanding that Jesus was the long-awaited promised Messiah. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Isaiah’s Prophecy

    In Conflict with the Pharisees parts 1–4, we saw how some of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, known as the Pharisees, were vehemently opposed to Jesus and His message. In Matthew chapter 12, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Authority, Part 2)

    Governmental Authority

    As we saw in the previous article,2 believers are commanded to honor their father and mother. Whatever age we are, from child to adult, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Authority, Part 1)

    Parental Authority

    In the previous three articles, we looked at the first four of the Ten Commandments, which primarily address people’s relationship with God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Christmas Greetings 2018!

    (Card included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam and Maria Fontaine


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Part 3)

    The fourth commandment is the last of the commandments that focus on humanity’s duty to God. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Part 2)

    In the previous article, we went over the first two commandments regarding our duty to God. The focus on humanity’s duty to God continues with the third commandment, which states: You shall not take the name of the LORD ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Smiles Man

    I had just said goodbye to the doctor, paid my bill, and was hurrying out of the clinic, hoping that I wasn’t keeping my ride waiting. All of a sudden the Lord stopped me abruptly! I immediately knew why. I had forgotten something! ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Living Christianity: The Ten Commandments (Part 1)

    As explained earlier in this series, the framework that will be used for covering Christian ethics will be the Ten Commandments. Generally, authors divide the Ten Commandments into two groups ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Conflict with the Pharisees …

    This is the last in a short series of articles about Jesus’ conflict with the Pharisees, focusing on the things Jesus said in Matthew chapter 23. At the end of the previous article, Jesus drew an analogy involving unclean insects ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Conflict with the Pharisees …

    Part two of Conflict with the Pharisees explored the first twelve verses of Matthew 23, in which Jesus warned the crowds and His disciples that they should not follow the Pharisees’ example, as they didn’t practice what they preached. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Conflict with the Pharisees …

    Throughout all four of the Gospels, we read of the Pharisees’ ongoing opposition to Jesus and His teachings. Another religious group at the time of Jesus was the Sadducees. The Sadducees tended to be wealthy, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Conflict with the Pharisees …

    All four of the Gospels speak of Jesus’ strained relationship with the Pharisees. The Pharisees were a body of Jewish religious leaders who meticulously adhered to both the written laws found in the Torah, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Six Sayings (Luke 12:1–10)

    In the beginning of Luke chapter 12, we read that thousands of people were gathered together to hear Jesus. In their presence, He gave instruction to His disciples in the form of six sayings. While others could hear ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: Consequences of Sin

    In the previous article, we looked at the blessings of obeying God’s commands.1 It is also wise and helpful to consider the consequences of sin in our lives.2 Theologian Wayne Grudem gives this definition of sin: ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Blessings of Obedience to God

    Each of us is regularly faced with making both moral and nonmoral decisions. Choosing what food to order at a restaurant, what color to paint your bedroom, whether or not to buy a new pair of gloves, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living Christianity: The Old and New Covenants

    In the introduction to this series I mentioned that I would be using the Ten Commandments as the framework to explore Christian moral ethics. Some might wonder why using the Old Testament Laws of Moses, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living Christianity: Introduction

    As Christians, we understand that Scripture teaches that we are to live in alignment with God’s Word. We’re called to be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Soaring Above

    If you ever feel guilt, remorse, condemnation, or self-blame in any way, the following message may offer you hope.

    As you read this, remember that you are loved unconditionally, no matter what your situation. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Light

    After Jesus rebuked those of His generation who were seeking a sign and told them they would receive no sign,1 He proceeded to speak about light in three short sayings. He started with a reference to physical light, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jonah and the Queen

    Throughout the Gospels, the scribes and Pharisees are portrayed as being in conflict with Jesus—questioning, criticizing, accusing, and eventually causing His execution. In Matthew chapter 12 we read of the Pharisees ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Persecution

    In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus spoke to His disciples about the opposition and persecution they would receive as they went out to preach the gospel. In chapter 10, Jesus sent out His disciples with instructions ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Love

    In the book of 1 John we read that God is love1 and that in this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.2 While the phrase God is love ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Mission of the …

    In the previous article, we saw how Jesus spoke about the judgment that the towns which didn’t receive His seventy-two messengers would face, which would be greater than that of the Old Testament city of Sodom, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Mission of the …

    As mentioned in the previous article (Fire from Heaven), the Gospel of Luke contains descriptions of Jesus’ life not included in the other Gospels, including a section that commentators refer to as the “travel narrative,” ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Fire from Heaven (Luke …

    The Gospel of Luke describes several events in Jesus’ life which aren’t recorded in the other Gospels, some of which will be covered in this and the next few articles. The first of these is found toward the end of Luke chapter 9, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Sheep and the …

    The parable of the sheep and the goats, referencing the Son of Man’s return, is one of three parables in Matthew 25. The other two are The Ten Virgins and The King and the Stewards,1 which is also known as The Talents and the Pounds. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Waiting Servants, Mark …

    Within the Gospels of Mark and Luke, Jesus spoke of His return in two different parables. While they’re somewhat different from each other, they both make the same point, so it seemed fitting to cover both together. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Place at the …

    Luke chapter 14 opens by saying that on a Sabbath day, Jesus was invited to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees. Once He had arrived—having healed a man who had dropsy on the way to the house—He told a parable. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Victory in Tough Times

    I was asking Jesus how I could encourage you about any difficulties that you (or a friend or loved one) may be experiencing. The Lord said that, first of all, I should remind you about the life to come. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Stories Jesus Told: Children in the Marketplace, …

    The parable of the children in the marketplace is one of the lesser-known parables. Earlier in Luke chapter seven, we’re told that John the Baptist had sent some of his disciples to Jesus with instructions to ask: ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus on Love (Part …

    In part one, we saw that Jesus taught His disciples the principle of loving one’s enemies. He gave examples of behavior which would put this principle into action:

    Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus on Love (Part …

    In each of the synoptic Gospels,1 Jesus quotes two commandments from the Old Testament. The first is from the book of Deuteronomy:

    You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.2 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Glory in Gethsemane

    In a previous post, I wrote about how worries and fears can produce stress in our lives regarding things that might happen, but which in many cases never come to pass. It would be nice if all our troubles fit into that category. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Deity of Jesus (Part 4)

    The focus of much of the New Testament is the life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of Jesus, and the impact He had on humanity as its Savior. His Incarnation and sacrifice are how we are able to enter into an eternal relationship with God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Deity of Jesus (Part 3)

    In the preceding two articles, we saw that the glory, honor, worship, and prayer directed to God the Father are shared by Jesus as God the Son. He also shares the attributes of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence with God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Deity of Jesus (Part 2)

    The first part of this series focused on how the glory and honor given in the New Testament to Jesus is the same as that given to God the Father. We worship, pray to, love, and obey Jesus in the same way we do so in our devotion to God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Deity of Jesus (Part 1)

    Christians believe that God is a Trinity—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit—and that He is also One.1 We believe that God the Son became incarnate, that He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Vine

    Jesus’ final “I Am” saying, like His statement I am the way, and the truth, and the life, was spoken on the night before He died. Judas, who betrayed Him, had left the gathering, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Way, the Truth, and the Life

    The next “I Am” statement from Jesus that we will look at was made during His last supper with His disciples. This is recorded in John chapter 14, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Encouragement Matters

    While most of my ministering is done through writing and prayer, once in a while Jesus sends me someone to talk to face to face! I love this personal interaction, when I can plant seeds or water the ones that are already growing. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Ten Virgins, Matthew …

    The parable of the Ten Virgins follows on the heels of the parable of the Faithful and Unfaithful Servant,1 which speaks of the servant who paid no attention to when his master would return. The parable of the Ten Virgins also addresses ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Praising God

    Giving glory to God is a key component of our life of faith. He is our Creator, Savior, King, and God, and is worthy of our praise, adoration, and worship. I often fall short of praising and honoring Him as I know I should, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Good Shepherd

    In the first part of John chapter 10, Jesus stated:

    Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers …

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Door

    In John chapter 10, Jesus made two “I Am” statements: Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep1 and I am the good shepherd.2 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Faithfulness and Honesty

    Faithfulness

    Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, much is said about faithfulness. By definition, faithfulness expresses the concept of being unfailingly loyal ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • How Great Thou Art

    Maria and I are fortunate to have a view of some beautiful scenery from our living-room window. The mountains, the trees, and the verdure are uplifting to look at and often cause us to thank and praise the Lord ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Celebrating Life!

    Easter is a time when we look back to the most powerful event in the history of mankind. We see God’s supernatural, undeserved love for us being expressed through Christ’s death on the cross and His glorious resurrection. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Resurrection and the Life

    Just before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead,1 He spoke to Lazarus’ sister Martha and said:

    “I am the resurrection and the life. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Unconditional Love

    When I think about how to sum up who God is in a single phrase, “unconditional love” comes to mind. Of course, God is many things and cannot be confined to one phrase or term, but as we know ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Covenant—Part 3

    As we saw in part two of this series, the Israelites broke the covenant through their idolatry. Then God forgave them due to Moses’ supplication, and the covenant was renewed. Later Moses, under God’s direction, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Covenant—Part 2

    In part one of this series, we read about how all of the Jewish people who followed Moses out of Egypt came to the base of Mount Sinai to hear God give them the Ten Commandments. They agreed to keep these, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Covenant—Part 1

    Last year, during my morning devotions, I read the book of Leviticus. It’s never been high on my “favorite books of the Bible” list, but I decided to wade through it. Generally my attitude about the books of Leviticus, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Billy Graham Passes on to His Heavenly Reward

    Evangelist Billy Graham left this life to meet his wonderful Savior face to face on February 21, 2018. He was 99 years old and had faithfully preached the gospel since the 1940s, when he began his public ministry at the age of 21. ...

    by Maria Fontaine and Peter Amsterdam

  • Uncovering My Treasures

    I don’t know about you, but I have times when stresses related to my work and other challenges are trying to grab an inordinate amount of my thoughts. They seem to be tumbling around me, screaming for attention, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Light of the World

    The second of Jesus’ “I Am” sayings is found in John chapter 8.

    Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Faithful and Unfaithful …

    The parable of the faithful and unfaithful servant is told in two of the Gospels—Matthew and Luke. Both versions are very similar, with minor variations. The focus here will be on the account in the 24th chapter of Matthew. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Bread of Life (Part 2)

    In Part One, we read how Jesus declared that He is the bread of life,1 the bread of God who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world,2 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The “I Am” Sayings

    The Bread of Life (Part 1)

    Within the Gospel of John, we see how Jesus uses various metaphors to describe Himself: “I am the bread of life,”1 “I am the light of the world,”2 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Barren Fig Tree, …

    The parable of the barren fig tree is found in the Gospel of Luke, chapter thirteen. According to Luke, Jesus had been speaking to a large crowd. He was asked about an incident in which some people from the north of Israel were killed ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: Counting the Cost, Luke …

    Two Discipleship Parables

    Chapter 14 of the Gospel of Luke contains some of Jesus’ most difficult sayings regarding discipleship. It includes the parable of the great banquet,1 which speaks ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Ultimate Expert

    The Lord gave me a little illustration about my prayers the other day. It came in response to my seeking His help regarding a situation that needed His spiritual solutions that were beyond what I could do. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • A Blessed New Year

    Dear Ones,

    To me, each New Year’s Day feels like the beginning of a journey. It’s a time to think about how I’ve fared during the previous year’s journey which just ended, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Christmas Greetings 2017!

    (Card included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam and Maria Fontaine

  • “Jesus Really Loves You, Shirley!”

    It was my birthday and I was returning a phone call from one of my relatives. I was surprised when an unknown voice answered the phone. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Great Banquet, Luke …

    The setting in which Jesus told the parable of the great banquet was a Sabbath meal that He was eating at the house of a prominent Pharisee. During the meal, He gave some instruction about invitations to banquets, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Healing from a Distance …

    In the Gospel of John we read of Jesus’ third and last healing from a distance. We’re told that Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover Feast, and that many people believed in Him because of the miracles He was performing.[1] ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • You Just Never Know

    One Christmas, Peter and I were traveling and needed to be in a hotel for a couple of days. Arriving early, we were told that our room wasn’t ready yet. Disappointed and very tired, we thought we would have to wait a couple of hours. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Healing from a Distance …

    When Jesus healed the centurion’s servant,1 He not only performed a miracle from a distance, He also healed a foreigner—a rare thing in His ministry, which was for the most part confined to the Jewish people within Israel. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Healing from a Distance …

    Within the Gospels, there are three times when Jesus heals a person who is not in His physical presence. Two of those times, the person who receives healing is a non-Jewish foreigner, and the third time ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Unforgiving Servant, Matthew …

    In the course of the eighteenth chapter of the book of Matthew, the apostle Peter brought up the topic of forgiveness, asking:

    “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus Is God

    In a recent article I gave some examples from Scripture of how the Holy Spirit, as Jesus’ successor after His Ascension, worked on the disciples’ behalf in much the same way as Jesus had.1 Jesus, as God, sent the Holy Spirit, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Hope

    When we read the Gospels, it’s apparent that Jesus knew beforehand that He was going to suffer and be killed, and also that He knew He was going to rise from the dead. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Compassion

    When we read the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life, something that becomes abundantly clear is that Jesus showed compassion to others and taught that His followers should be compassionate as well. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Compassion Game

    It’s natural to make assumptions about people. Sadly, what we tend to assume is often something negative. Personally, I have seen how very easy it is to do this, and I continually pray that the Lord will stop me at the first thought of any kind of critical ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Discipleship (Part 6)

    As we’ve seen in the five previous articles regarding discipleship, Jesus taught that believing in and following Him call for a reorientation of our priorities so that God has our primary allegiance. Our family, loved ones, desires, possessions, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Obedient Servant, Luke …

    In the Gospel of Luke, we find a number of parables which begin with a question to which the answer is obvious. For example, Jesus asked, What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Just Doing It

    Some time ago I was talking to my ever-present Friend about some problems that I was having. One problem seemed to lead to another. First of all, I was so very tired all the time. Being tired constantly prevented me from getting all my writing ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Discipleship (Part 5)

    In the four previous articles about discipleship, we looked at how following Jesus calls for reorienting our lives to give Him priority in our loyalties, personal relationships, possessions, and desires. Now we will look at how Jesus ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Discipleship (Part 4)

    In looking at what Jesus said about believing and living His teachings as a disciple, it becomes evident that true belief in Him calls for modifying our priorities. As seen in earlier articles on this topic, Jesus said that believers are called to be loyal ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Discipleship (Part 3)

    In the previous article about discipleship, we looked at how Jesus made some strong statements about following Him. Jesus wanted to make clear that being His disciple came with a price, and the requirements weren’t easy. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Discipleship (Part 2)

    Earlier in this series, Jesus’ call to His first disciples was covered. Throughout the Gospels, there are references to some disciples by name: the brothers Peter and Andrew, and James and John; ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Take a Deep Breath

    One day I noticed that I was a bit short of breath when just doing normal, low-exertion activities. I was concerned, so I asked my ever-present Jesus what the cause of this was. (After following His suggestions, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Discipleship (Part 1)

    The Gospels tell us the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection, and they also address what He taught those who followed Him as disciples. Throughout the four Gospels we read about Jesus’ interactions with His followers, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: The Call to Forgive

    Within the Gospels we read of Jesus being whipped, beaten, and then nailed to a cross. As He hung there, waiting to die, some of His last words were “Father, forgive them.”2 Forgiveness was His response to an unjust trial, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Cleaner Mouth, Better Health

    The Lord has been leading me to put a greater emphasis on an important area of my life—my physical health. Our bodies are, after all, the temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20). Just as we have to work to maintain our spiritual health ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • More Like Jesus: Kindness and Goodness

    When the apostle Paul was writing about living a godly life, about living in and being led by the Holy Spirit, he listed what he called the “works of the flesh,” which included things like enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, and envy.1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Gentleness

    One aspect of Christlikeness which is less frequently focused on than most is gentleness. Somewhat surprisingly, we find it mentioned throughout Scripture in reference to both Jesus and His Father. It is also included in the fruit of the Holy Spirit. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Peace

    Peace, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, plays an important role in our becoming more like Jesus. It is rooted in our being in right relationship with God, which is possible because of His gift of salvation. Peace is also the outworking ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 18)

    Raising the Dead (Part 4)

    In this article we’ll continue the story of Lazarus that we started in the previous one. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 17)

    Raising the Dead (Part 3)

    The third and last description of Jesus raising someone from the dead is found only in the Gospel of John. This account contains much more detail ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 16)

    Raising the Dead (Part 2)

    An account of Jesus raising a young girl from the dead is documented in all three synoptic Gospels, unlike the account of His raising a widow’s son ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 15)

    Raising the Dead (Part 1)

    Having looked at Jesus’ miracles of healing of various diseases as well as His power to cast out demons, our focus in this series ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 14)

    Casting Out Demons (Part 4)

    In this last article about Jesus’ exorcisms and His authority to cast out demons, the focus will be on His response to the religious leaders’ claim ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 13)

    Casting Out Demons (Part 3)

    The second of two accounts of Jesus casting out demons which will be covered in this series occurred on the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 12)

    Casting Out Demons (Part 2)

    Throughout the synoptic Gospels1 we read of instances when Jesus cast out demons. Exorcism was an important part of His ministry of proclaiming liberty to the captives ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • A Life Worth Living

    Christians have experienced persecution from Jesus’ time to the present. Our Lord explained in the Scriptures that this is a part of our lives as His followers. He said, “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 11)

    Casting Out Demons (Part 1)

    Throughout the Gospels, we read about the miracles Jesus performed, which attest to His power and authority. One aspect of His miracle-working power, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Patience

    In the book of Exodus, we’re told that when Moses was on Mount Sinai, God revealed something of His character:

    [Moses] rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai … The Lord descended in the cloud ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Self-Control

    In Galatians chapter five, the apostle Paul listed nine aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, beginning with love and ending with self-control. Part of building Christian character, of becoming more like Jesus, is having the ability to control ourselves ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 10)

    Nature Miracles (Part 4)

    One miracle that Jesus performed appears immediately after the feeding of the five thousand in the Gospels of Matthew,1 Mark,2 and John.3 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 9)

    Nature Miracles (Part 3)

    The three synoptic Gospels1 tell the story of Jesus calming a storm that threatened the lives of those in a boat He was on, and presumably of those on other boats ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 8)

    Nature Miracles (Part 2)

    The miracle of feeding the five thousand is the only miracle performed by Jesus that is recorded in all four Gospels.1 While the placement within each Gospel differs, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Humility (Part 2)

    As touched on in Humility part 1, Jesus’ example of humility is something we are encouraged to emulate. When referring to Christ’s humility, Paul wrote that Christians are to Have this mind among yourselves, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Humility (Part 1)

    One key element in our pursuit of Christlikeness is emulating the humility of Jesus. By “putting on” humility, and “putting off” pride in doing so, we strive to become more like Jesus. In the ancient world of the Greeks and Romans, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 7)

    Nature Miracles (Part 1)

    The Gospels record many of Jesus’ miracles, including numerous healings, the casting out of demons, and even raising the dead. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 6)

    Sabbath Miracles (Part 3)

    In this article, we’ll look at the healing of the man at the pool of Bethesda. This will be the last Sabbath healing covered in this part of the series, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Easter Effect

    Easter week is just ahead—the week in which we read about and meditate on the events of the last days of Jesus’ earthly life: telling the disciples that He would be crucified; the chief priests and elders gathering ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Joy (Part 2)

    While studying about Christian joy, I found it interesting to see that joy is intimately connected to faith, hope, and gratefulness. As I mentioned in the first article on this subject, for a believer, joy ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Fighting Discouragement

    I was thinking about discouragement the other day. I had experienced some bouts with discouragement over not doing as well as I wanted to with some needed changes in my daily regimen of work and health habits. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • More Like Jesus: Joy (Part 1)

    As we try to model our lives after Jesus and His teachings, joy plays an important role in our efforts. While Jesus only specifically mentioned His joy twice in the Gospels,1 joy permeated the events of His life ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 5)

    Sabbath Miracles (Part 2)

    Besides the healing of the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath (covered in Miracles part four), there are other accounts of healings on the Sabbath ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 4)

    Sabbath Miracles (Part 1)

    Throughout the Gospels, we read of Jesus healing people on the Sabbath and of the opposition He encountered when He did. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Son of Man

    Throughout the four Gospels, the term “Son of Man” is used numerous times by Jesus. Since it is frequently used, it’s helpful to understand its background and meaning, which is the purpose of this article. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 3)

    Healing and Forgiveness

    The story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man is told in each of the synoptic Gospels (Mark 2:1–12; Matthew 9:1–8; Luke 5:17–26). While it is a healing story, it is also a story of controversy, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Appreciating Aging!—Part 2

    For you who want to read more about how to appreciate the aging journey in your lives or the lives of others and how to age victoriously, I’m going to be sharing some of the many positive things that others have said on this topic. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 2)

    Healing of the Leper

    As readers of the Gospels, we don’t know exactly how many miracles Jesus performed. We read phrases which tell us that all who had diseases pressed around Him to touch Him, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Miracles (Part 1)

    One of the key aspects of Jesus’ ministry was the miracles He performed. The Gospels tell us of no less than 34 specific miracles. Fifteen other distinct times they refer to Jesus’ miraculous activity in more general ways, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Appreciating Aging!—Part 1

    Since I turned 70 I’ve been thinking more about the benefits of aging. Even though many of us have already felt some of the disadvantages or difficulties, there are also many good things to be found in this stage of our lives. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • More Like Jesus: Gratitude (Part 4)

    Gratitude is a mindset that enables us to see our circumstances through the lens of our thankfulness to God and to act in a manner that reflects our gratitude. Some of those actions, which were addressed in previous posts, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Gratitude (Part 3)

    In the previous article we looked at how “putting on” contentment is an important part of gratitude. Now we focus on three gratitude “killers” we’ll want to jettison from our lives to increase gratitude. These killers are ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Gratitude (Part 2)

    We read in the New Testament and throughout this series that growth in Christlikeness calls for “putting on” and “putting off.” Gratitude is a key element in becoming more like Jesus, so learning what steps we can take to develop gratitude, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Gratitude (Part 1)

    Becoming more Christlike is about becoming a better Christian through a more committed application of the teachings of Scripture coupled with the guidance and grace of the Holy Spirit. This application of Scripture cuts two ways: ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • 2017—Reflections

    As the old year is being ushered out and the new year is arriving, millions of people make New Year’s resolutions, committing to pursue plans which will improve their lives in some way. I’ve done this myself in years past, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Nine Devotionals for Christmas

    Christmas is such a momentous celebration for us Christians, as we commemorate the birth of our Lord, the events surrounding His first coming, and the meaning of His birth. Last year I came across a traditional Christmas service ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Christmas Reflections

    It’s Christmas Eve. I have some time to relax in quiet solitude, and I’ve decided to spend it in front of our small manger scene. I have lit some candles and there’s one very small lamp that is casting some light on the figures. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Christmas Prequel

    In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, we read the story surrounding the birth of Jesus. We’re told of the angel visiting Mary; of her miraculous pregnancy; of the difficulty that Joseph, her betrothed, had when he found out she was pregnant; ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Christian Character (Part 2)

    As we saw in the earlier article The Foundation of Christlikeness, becoming more like Jesus requires devotion to God, which is rooted in our reverence of God and our understanding of His love for us as individuals. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Christian Character (Part 1)

    A key factor in becoming like Jesus is developing godly character. Every individual has character, which is defined as the qualities that make up who someone is; and it’s reflected in how they feel, think, and behave. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: The Foundation of Christlikeness

    In our pursuit of godliness or Christlikeness, a key factor is that being more like Jesus can only be built on a right relationship with God. Godliness can be defined as a personal relationship with God and the actions which emanate ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Conclusion

    At the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew chapter 7 says:

    When Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Four Sketches (Part 2)

    In Matthew chapter 7, toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus presented four sketches that express how believers should act in accordance with His teaching in the Sermon. We’ve read about the two gates ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Four Sketches (Part 1)

    Jesus’ teaching about the Golden Rule concludes His discourse on discipleship within the Sermon on the Mount. The wrap-up to the Sermon in the second half of chapter 7 consists of four short sketches; ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Do Unto Others

    As we near the end of the Sermon on the Mount, we come to a key saying which is often referred to as the “Golden Rule”:

    Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Holiness (Part 4)

    In Holiness parts 1–3 we’ve seen that God is the standard of goodness and holiness. He has revealed His moral will through the Bible, and His will as presented through Scripture is an expression of His character. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • A Cry in the Dark

    It’s easy to group people into categories—race, personality types, belief systems, and many others. I think we all do that at times. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • More Like Jesus: Holiness (Part 3)

    (This article is based on key points from the book Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen.1)

    As we saw in Holiness parts and 2, Christlikeness or godliness comes from transforming our will to be in alignment with God’s will. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Ask, Seek, Knock

    Matthew chapter 7, the last chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, contains a number of succinct statements which don’t necessarily flow from one to the next, but which make important points for those who have entered the kingdom of God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Judge Not

    As we move on to Matthew chapter 7, the last chapter of the Sermon on the Mount, we read of Jesus telling His disciples not to be judgmental of others. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Anxiety

    Having spoken about storing treasure in heaven rather than on earth, being generous, and serving God rather than mammon, Jesus then addressed anxiety:

    Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Holiness (Part 2)

    (This article is based on key points from the book The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges.1)

    As we look for ways to be more like Jesus, it’s important to examine what God’s holiness means and how we can partake of it. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Holiness (Part 1)

    (This article is based on key points from the book The Pursuit of Holiness, by Jerry Bridges.1)

    One of the key Bible passages quoted in this series is Ephesians 4:22–24: Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Treasure--Here or There?

    The first half of Matthew chapter 6 covered having the right motivation in giving to the needy, praying, and fasting. It also included a lesson on how to pray, with the prayer Jesus taught His disciples. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Renewal Basics

    As touched on in the last two articles, In God’s Likeness parts one and two, becoming more like Jesus calls for a renewal of our inner being—our heart, will, emotions, mind (conscious and subconscious), soul, and spirit—which then causes our actions to reflect our renewed inner self. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    How to Pray (Part 6)

    This is the last in a series of articles about the portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray.

    In the last post we covered two of the three “our/us” petitions, those which focus on our needs and the needs of our Christian brothers and sisters. We now move on to the last petition: ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Unexpected Birthday Gift

    I have a dear friend who told me about something that happened on his birthday. His car was in for repairs, and on this particular day he was driving someone in their own car on an all-day excursion. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    How to Pray (Part 5)

    This is the fifth in a series of articles about the portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    How to Pray (Part 4)

    This is the fourth in a series of articles about the portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray (and how not to pray). ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: In God's Likeness (Part 2)

    (This article is based on key points from the book Classical Arminianism, by F. Leroy Forlines.1)

    Part one of “In God's Likeness” touched on how we were created in the constitutional and functional likeness of God. As rational and moral beings, like God, we think, feel, and act in similar fashion to God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: In God's Likeness (Part 1)

    (This article is based on key points from the book Classical Arminianism, by F. Leroy Forlines.1)

    As brought up in earlier articles in this series, being more like Jesus requires effort in two directions—we are to “put off” sin and “put on” Christ. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    How to Pray (Part 3)

    This is the third in a series of articles about the portion of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus taught His disciples how to pray (and how not to pray). 

    Jesus taught His disciples the Lord’s Prayer: ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    How to Pray (Part 2)

    After teaching His disciples that the proper motivation for prayer is communicating with God and entering into fellowship with Him, as well as advising them to avoid meaningless prayers full of vain repetitions, Jesus shared a prayer with His disciples (and us) which we can use in our time of communion with God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Two Builders, Matthew …

    Within the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus told His disciples a parable designed to drive home the importance of doing what He taught.

    (Video and audio included.) ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    How to Pray (Part 1)

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about having the right attitude concerning prayer. He said that we should not pray for the purpose of being noticed by others, and for those who do so, that in itself will be their reward and they will receive no other. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Right Motivation, Part 2

    In the previous article, we looked at the first of three examples Jesus gave in Matthew 6 regarding having the right motivation when engaging in religious activities—giving to those in need. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Right Motivation, Part 1

    Having come to the end of Matthew chapter 5, which gave details as to how a believer’s “righteousness” was to be greater than that of the Pharisees, we now move on to chapter 6. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Women of Faith: In the Church Today

    (This is the last in a series of four articles that explore the role of women within the New Testament, in order to shed light on the significant part they played in the beginnings of Christianity, as well as the importance of their role in the church today.) ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Women of Faith: In Acts and the Epistles

    (This is part of a series of four articles that explore the role of women within the New Testament, in order to shed light on the significant part they played in the beginnings of Christianity, as well as the importance of their role in the church today.) ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Women of Faith: In the Gospels (Part 2)

    (This is part of a series of four articles that explore the role of women within the New Testament, in order to shed light on the significant part they played in the beginnings of Christianity, as well as the importance of their role in the church today.) ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Women of Faith: In the Gospels (Part 1)

    (This is part of a series of four articles that explore the role of women within the New Testament, in order to shed light on the significant part they played in the beginnings of Christianity, as well as the importance of their role in the church today.) ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Love Your Enemies

    We’re going to take a look now at the last of the six examples in the Sermon where Jesus gave a fuller understanding of the Law of Moses. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Christ's Example

    When we are in the process of finding ways to transform our lives so that we can become more like Jesus, it follows that we should look to the example of how Jesus Himself—the only human who had full godliness—lived His life. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Non-Retaliation

    Jesus started the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, which spoke of blessings for the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Which Bible Translation?

    From time to time people have written me asking which English Bible translation I feel is the best to use. Others have written about their personal belief that the King James translation of the Bible is the only translation that should be used (known as the “King James Only” position). ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Fellowship with God (Part 2)

    As we saw in the previous article (Fellowship with God, Part 1), having fellowship with God is key to becoming more like Jesus. It’s within this fellowship that we develop our relationship with Him, nurture our love and intimacy, and truly get to know Him. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Sower and the …

    In the first part of the parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus told the parable itself to the crowds who had come to hear Him teach. ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Pots and Pans

    Recently I was contemplating the topic of wrong choices, after having made a few myself, and was feeling a bit discouraged. Do you ever struggle with how to look at wrong choices you have made in life? ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Easter Meditations

    The events of the first Easter brought seismic changes to our world. God made a new covenant with humanity, one which made it possible for us to dwell with Him forever. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Fellowship with God (Part 1)

    When we desire to become more like Jesus, it’s helpful to find foundational principles we can build on. While Christlikeness is manifested in the decisions we make and our outward actions, it stems from who we are internally. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Vows and Oaths

    Following the same pattern as when He spoke about anger, lust, and divorce, Jesus went on to teach another aspect of how those in His kingdom should live. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • More Like Jesus: Loyalty to God

    If we desire to become more like Jesus, the logical starting point is to believe as He did—to hold those beliefs close in our hearts, to embed them in our being. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    The Law and the Prophets (Part 4)

    Before delving in to this article, I want to acknowledge that the topic of divorce is very complex and personal and can be deeply emotional. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Reality of Greatness

    Someone I was communicating with mentioned the “greats” of Christianity. Although I’ve used this term—I think we all have—and I greatly admire those who the Lord has placed in the public eye to be examples, I felt the Lord wanted to give me some further understanding of how He looks at greatness. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • More Like Jesus

    Raising Our Sails1

    Anything that we want to do well at in life requires effort. Those who are tops in their field, whatever it may be, in large part achieve what they do because they work hard at it. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Sower and the …

    The parable of the sower is one of four parables told in all three Synoptic Gospels.1 It can be found in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8. ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    The Law and the Prophets (Part Three)

    In part two of “The Law and the Prophets,” we covered the first of six examples Jesus gave within the Sermon on the Mount to illustrate godly righteousness which goes beyond what the scribes and Pharisees taught. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Sleep: A Life Essential

    Have you ever been frustrated that you have to sleep so much, when it seems like all those hours of sleep are “cheating” you of the time to do the things you want or need to do? Have you ever wondered why God made our bodies to need so much sleep? ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • More Like Jesus: Introduction and Background (Part 2)

    The first part of this introduction to the More Like Jesus series touched on the concept of being godly and Christlike, as expressed in the Old Testament and the Gospels. In this part, the focus will be on Christlikeness as expressed in the Epistles.1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Like Jesus: Introduction and Background (Part 1)

    One of my all-time favorite songs is “I Want to Be More Like Jesus.” Whenever I hear or sing it, I’m reminded of a key aspect of living my faith. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Hearts Among the Sights

    I had a dream. A couple of other people and I were walking in an area where I’d never been before. It seemed like we were exploring in some large, parklike area. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Nine Devotionals for Christmas

    Christmas is such an important celebration for Christians. It’s a time of great joy as we remember the birth of our Lord and the events surrounding His first coming. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Immanuel

    Christmas represents one of the most significant events in human history—when God physically came into our world in the form of His Son, Jesus. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Wheat and the …

    The parable of the wheat and the weeds, which only appears in the Gospel of Matthew, shares some similarities with the parable of the seed growing1 in Mark chapter 4 in terms of vocabulary used and ideas expressed, but it is also significantly different. ...(Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Praising in the Darkness

    We all know that there are many bad things that happen every day in this world, and we as Christians are not exempt from experiencing these things. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Feeling Unsettled?

    I read an article the other day which said that the most popular verses in the Bible are Philippians 4:6–7. In those verses, the apostle Paul instructs the church: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    The Law and the Prophets (Part 2)

    In part one, we read how Jesus stated that the righteousness of those who dwell in the kingdom of God must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees.

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Distracted or Focused?

    One of the great struggles that many of us face today is giving our focus to what is most important. We are surrounded by distractions on all sides and increasing pulls on our attention. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Formula of Five: Self-discipline

    “The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.”1 

    Today we’re going to talk about an often elusive quality: self-discipline. ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Storying the Gospel—Part 3

    In order to effectively share the gospel with the people we seek to reach in the many different settings the Lord calls us to, it often takes different methods to successfully convey the message. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    The Law and the Prophets (Part 1)

    In the course of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus devoted a significant portion of the sermon to addressing the Law and the Prophets, meaning the Hebrew Scriptures—what Christians refer to as the Old Testament. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    Salt and Light

    Jesus opened the Sermon on the Mount with the Beatitudes, which provide an overview of how those who follow Him should live ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Storying the Gospel—Part 2

    The first part of this series introduced Bible storying, a method of preaching the gospel that has been effective since Jesus first used it. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Three Reminders

    It’s a challenge to live as a follower of Jesus in today’s world, but when our thoughts, actions, and days are guided by godly principles, it becomes easier to navigate our course. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Formula of Five: Study Tips

    “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.”1

    Two years ago I enrolled in a theology course, which has been a great help to me when preparing the various series that I’ve ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    The Beatitudes (Part 2)

    Having covered the first three Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount, we now move on to the remaining five. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Liberating Our Perspectives

    Do you ever look at the tests, struggles, and impossible situations you find yourself in and wonder if it might be the result of something you did wrong? Perhaps you’re in the midst of sickness and feel ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Slay the Dragon!

    Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.1 

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    The Beatitudes (Part 1)

    Matthew chapter five tells us:

    Seeing the crowds, he [Jesus] went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Storying The Gospel—Part 1

    I want to talk about an evangelism and discipling method that has been an effective approach to preaching the gospel since Jesus first used it. It’s Bible storying. Through the centuries it has been implemented in one form or another. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Sermon on the …

    The Sermon on the Mount is one of the best known of Jesus’ teachings. While it doesn’t cover the full spectrum of His message, it provides guidance on how to live as Christians within God’s kingdom. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Treasure and the …

    The Gospel of Matthew contains two short kingdom parables, “The Treasure in the Field” and “The Pearl of Great Price,” which are absent from the other Gospels. These are twin parables which teach about the value ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Kingdom of God …

    As discussed in the first two articles on this subject, the kingdom of God is a present reality which will reach its fullness at the end of time. Entrance to the kingdom requires coming into a relationship with God through His Son, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Kingdom of God …

    As noted in part one, Jesus’ miracles were an indicator that the kingdom of God had come and was present, at least in part, during His ministry. Jesus also conveyed the meaning of the kingdom of God ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Kingdom of God …

    The central theme of Jesus’ teaching throughout the Synoptic Gospels was the “kingdom of God.” Within these three Gospels, there are 76 distinct kingdom sayings and another 27 which are shared among the three. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Formula of Five: Time Management

    “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”1

    As has been said, time is one thing that you can never get back again. ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Authority

    As believers, we are well aware that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sins so that we could be in relationship with God. When we read the events of Jesus’ life, we know the whole story from beginning to end. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Hometown Visit

    The three Synoptic Gospels tell the story of Jesus’ visit to His hometown of Nazareth and the rejection He met while there. Luke presents Jesus’ return to Nazareth earlier in his Gospel than Matthew and Mark,1 ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Synagogues and Sabbath

    Throughout the Gospels we read of Jesus’ teaching and healing activities in synagogues. Jesus’ custom was to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was normal for practicing Jews in His day ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Seeds and the …

    Some time after being baptized by John the Baptist, Jesus began to preach that the kingdom of heaven was at hand.1 The phrase “kingdom of heaven” is interchangeable with ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Coming on the Scene

    The Gospel of John ends with the words: Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Disciples (Part 2)

    During His ministry, Jesus chose and commissioned twelve of His disciples to be apostles. The Gospel of Luke tells it this way:

    In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Practice Runs

    We know why prayer is important and how God uses it in our lives. We don’t understand everything about it and we don’t often know why some prayers are answered and others don’t appear to be, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Disciples (Part 1)

    After John’s arrest, Jesus returned to Galilee and at some point moved from His hometown of Nazareth to take up residence in Capernaum.

    Leaving Nazareth he went and lived in ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Wedding and Wine

    Having told us about Jesus’ first followers, the Gospel of John goes on to describe how Jesus attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Cana, a town about fourteen kilometers north of Nazareth,1 was the hometown of  ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Proof That It Works—Part 1

    A while back I heard about an excellent academic study that I think can be very useful to each of us in strengthening our convictions to be God’s messenger, no matter where Jesus asks us to be. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: First Contact

    After His temptation in the wilderness, Jesus returned to Galilee and began His ministry of preaching, teaching, and doing miracles. Matthew and Mark both place the beginning of Jesus’ ministry after John the Baptist had been ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Thoughts on Identity—Part 2

    To follow up on part one of this topic of our identity in Christ, I’d like to offer you a more extensive, although by no means exhaustive, list of some of the many wonderful privileges, benefits, gifts and abilities that when ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Easter Wonders

    At this time of year we celebrate the very heart of our faith—the resurrection of Jesus. It is the central theme of the gospel, the key component which proves the validity of everything Jesus taught. The resurrection ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Who's a Fool?

    April 1st is commonly known as April Fool’s Day in a variety of countries around the world.1 My outlook on April Fool’s Day and who was the real fool changed when I was quite young. One year, my older brother played an April Fool’s joke ..

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Teaching Methods

    Jesus was a tremendous teacher who knew how to captivate His audience and powerfully deliver His message. There was something about the way He taught that attracted people to listen—so much so that crowds of ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Thoughts on Identity—Part 1

    What is our identity in Christ?

    Many Christian speakers and writers have discussed the topic of our identity in Christ. There are differing opinions on what the definition is of our identity in Jesus. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Gospel Differences

    All of the events covered thus far in this series—Jesus’ birth, younger years, baptism, and temptation in the wilderness—predated the beginning of His ministry. Before delving into what the Gospels tell us about Jesus’ life, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Test

    When Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, God’s voice proclaimed that Jesus was His Son. At that time, Jesus was empowered by the Holy Spirit for His ministry of preaching the kingdom of God and fulfilling ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Power of Happiness

    In the course of your life as a follower of Jesus, it’s possible that you engage in some of the following activities as a way to minister to others, either occasionally or regularly. What is the common denominator ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John and Jesus (Part …

    Before exploring Jesus’ early ministry, we will follow the line of John’s ministry in order to view some of the connections and interactions between Jesus and John and their disciples. ...

     

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message John and Jesus (Part …

    About 18 years have passed since the 12-year-old Jesus stayed behind in the temple. During this time, we are told that He increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man.1 He most likely worked ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Listening Dividends

    A while back I posted an article about one of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone—the gift of listening—and why this gift is so valuable to the one being listened to. In this article I want to present another aspect ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Say “I Love You” Every Day!

    It's customary on specific days to express our love and appreciation for others. On those days, the expectation is that we acknowledge and verbalize our caring and warm feelings for our loved ones and friends. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: John and Jesus (Part …

    Early in Luke’s Gospel we have been told of the events surrounding John the Baptist’s birth, including the proclamation of the Angel Gabriel and the prophecy of John’s father Zechariah. The only thing we know of John’s youth ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Father and the …

    This third parable in Luke chapter 15 is a continuation of Jesus’response to the scribes and Pharisees’ criticism of His keeping company with sinners. He began by telling the twin parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin, ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Young Jesus

    The past few articles covered the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. We now move on to the years between His birth and the start of His ministry.

    The Gospels tell us about Mary and Joseph returning ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Radiant Imprints

    “He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of God’s nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power." ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Rocks to Roads

    If you are looking at what’s ahead with some trepidation, it’s understandable. Maybe as you look back you see the struggles, uncertainty, and perhaps even events that have shaken your life. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus’ Birth (Part 5)

    The birth narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke tell us the story of Jesus’ birth. These accounts also portray deep truths about what God was doing in His plan of salvation. To get the bigger picture concerning the event of God’s Son ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus’ Birth (Part 4)

    Some months after Mary had returned from her visit with Elizabeth and had taken the second step in the marriage process—moving into Joseph’s home—Mary and Joseph embarked on a trip to Bethlehem. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • In It for the Long Term

    “The salvation of a soul is the miracle of a moment, but the manufacture of a saint is the task of a lifetime.”—Alan Redpath1

    It’s wonderful at Christmas to think about the manger, the angels, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus’ Birth (Part 3)

    Luke informs the readers of some of the events which transpired during Mary’s visit to Elizabeth, and then tells us that Mary returned to her home. Removing Mary from the scene, he moves into describing the ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Through a Glass Darkly

    “There are some of us … who think [to] ourselves, ‘If I had only been there! How quick I would have been to help the Baby. I would have washed His linens. How happy I would have been to go with the shepherds ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus’ Birth (Part 2)

    In recounting the story of Jesus’ birth, the book of Luke begins by first telling the story of the birth of John the Baptist, who is both a relative of Jesus and the forerunner of the Messiah. Luke brings in numerous ties to the ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Unvarnished Christmas Story

    With the Christmas season beginning, we will likely be presented with numerous opportunities to talk to people about how the babe in the manger is a gift that can have great significance for them, right now, today. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Jesus’ Birth (Part 1)

    While the story of Jesus’ life begins with the narrative of His birth as told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, in a way it began long before, as the Old Testament foretold His coming numerous times, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Up Close and Personal

    “A rule I have had for years is to treat the Lord Jesus Christ as a personal friend. His is not a creed, a mere doctrine, but it is He Himself we have.”—Dwight L. Moody ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Rulers and Religion

    From the beginning of Jesus’ life through His death and beyond, the Herodian dynasty ruled Palestine and the surrounding area, the lands of the eastern Mediterranean coast. These rulers were clients of Imperial Rome, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Setting

    Familiarizing ourselves with the world Jesus was born into can shed light on some of the events of His life and the ways in which people responded to Him; why some loved Him and became believers, followers, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Making a Christmas Masterpiece

    When the life of a follower of Jesus is lived as Jesus intended it to be, it becomes a thing of beauty. Being a Christian and having a relationship with God should be something that permeates our daily experiences, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Jesus—His Life and Message: The Four Gospels

    The Gospels were written a few decades after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ by believers of that day. Thanks to their accounts of Jesus’ story, His life, His words, His actions, and His promise of salvation ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Jesus—His Life and Message: Introduction

    When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • A Dynamic Duo

    Our lives are filled with events that provide examples and illustrations of spiritual principles which we can often apply to our life or situation. Here’s one that a friend of mine experienced just the other day. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: In Conclusion

    We’ve come to the end of the series on the Spiritual Disciplines, having covered 15 disciplines which are generally listed by authors who write on the topic.1 My purpose in writing this series was to offer a resource to those who seek ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Lost and Found, …

    In Luke, chapter 15, Jesus beautifully expresses the heart of God in regard to salvation and restoration. He defends His association with sinners and challenges the attitudes of those .. (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The King and the …

    The Gospels of Matthew and Luke both tell the story of a wealthy man who was preparing for an extended absence, and who gave his servants sums of money to manage on ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Celebration

    The last of the disciplines covered in this series is that of celebration. It’s a fitting one to end on, as it’s a result of practicing other Spiritual Disciplines. The purpose of engaging in the disciplines is to change ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • When Waiting Won’t Work

    The other day a complete stranger contacted me seeking my opinion on a hormonal specialist. A mutual friend who knew that I had visited this specialist had given this woman my phone number. I welcomed her questions, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Never Ever Quit!

    Life is hard sometimes.

    When you’ve worked as hard as you possibly could and yet you failed to make the grade, your dreams remain out of reach, and you feel you just can’t do it anymore, you can feel like giving up. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Listening Can Change a Life

    While there is a lot about the importance of listening available on the Internet and on bookshelves, I wanted to hear what Jesus would say about this topic, especially as it relates to us, His followers. We are His representatives and ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Service

    Upon entering the world, Jesus made Himself nothing and took on the form of a servant.1 As Christians we, like Him, are called to serve our Christian brothers and sisters as well as others. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Unjust Steward, Luke …

    This is the third of three parables which speak about the use of finances and possessions. The first was the rich fool. The second, the rich man and Lazarus. This parable, ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Journaling

    Do you regularly stop and reflect on your relationship with God? Are there times when you evaluate how you are progressing in your spiritual life, its vitality and robustness, and how you are growing ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Rewards

    Throughout the Bible, there are numerous promises of the rewards that will be given to the faithful, both in this life and in the life to come. But what is the essence of these promises and what is the purpose of these rewards? ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Learning

    Learning is something that we do throughout our lives and it enhances our lives in various ways. We learn through studying, as well as experience. Schooling in our younger years teaches us the basics ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • What Faith Knows

    No matter how dreadful, devastating, irreversible or hopeless things seem when you’re facing a major setback or even a life-threatening situation, the fact that you continue to actively trust in Jesus ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Rich Man and …

    The story of the rich man and Lazarus is another of the stories Jesus told regarding the proper attitude toward wealth and its use. The parable of the rich fool (which I spoke about earlier) and the parable ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Confession

    A familiar Scottish proverb tells us that “Confession is good for the soul,” and so it is. When we are looking to deepen our connection with the Lord, to live a God-centered life, confessing our sins ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Formula of Five: Spiritual Growth

    He set himself to seek God ... and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.

    If you want to be physically fit, you have to eat right, exercise, and put some ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Joe at My Door—Part 2

    Visit three

    Joe came by for a third visit one afternoon. As we began to chat, it became obvious that he had been thinking deeply about what we’d talked about in our last ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Formula of Five: Money Management

    "May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”

    A pastor once said, “Living right financially is not complicated; it may ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Joe at My Door—Part 1

    When we take up the challenge to intentionally be Jesus’ ambassadors and to fulfill the mission that He has given to each of us, we can expect we won’t be left sitting around idle and unemployed. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Formula of Five: Health and Fitness

    Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Fellowship

    When we think about fellowship, most of us Christians think of getting together with other Christians for a time of prayer, worship, singing, reading the Bible and/or listening to a sermon, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Rich Fool, Luke …

    The parable of the rich fool is one of three parables which we’ll cover in consecutive segments of The Stories Jesus Told, all of which touch on wealth and personal possessions. ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Evangelism

    During the days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, He gave instructions to His disciples. Luke tells us that He appeared to them during a 40-day period and spoke to them about ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Integrity

    Don’t you find that you appreciate connecting and interacting with people who are sincere, trustworthy, honest, authentic, and who do what they say they will?—People who keep their commitments, who when you tell them something personal, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Worship (Part 2)

    God Is Worthy!

    In this second article about the Spiritual Discipline of worship, I’ve included some biblical concepts which may be helpful to you in ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Worship (Part 1)

    When speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus said:

    The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • How a Hitchhiker Changed a Nation

    Because of the scope of events that God included in the Bible, it wouldn’t have been possible to present many details of such things as the thoughts and personal musings of those whose lives are described in its pages. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Reason to Celebrate

    Today our topic is celebration, and it’s closely related to both gratitude and praise.

    All throughout history, mankind has marked great advances, victories, and momentous ... (Video and Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Solitude and Silence

    As Christians, our desire is to walk closer to the Lord, to live our lives in harmony with His attributes and will, and to be a blessing to others. The Spiritual Disciplines aid us in this overall endeavor. The disciplines ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Easter—The Resurrection Makes All the Difference (Part 2)

    As we celebrate Easter, we are celebrating God’s way of bringing salvation to us. In His love for humanity, God made a way for us to enter into an eternal relationship ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Free the Prisoners

    I know that a number of you in the past have participated in prison ministries, and some of you are at present volunteering to help in prisons. I would be very thankful if you could send me any testimonies you have of your visitation, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Easter—The Resurrection Makes All the Difference (Part 1)

    Easter is the day we celebrate the most important event of our Christian faith, the resurrection of Jesus. Why is it so important? Because without the resurrection, our faith is ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Sunshine and Rain

    Quotations of faith and hope in the midst of suffering

    Compiled and edited by Maria Fontaine

    Our natural reaction to troubles or suffering or sickness is to want them to go away as quickly as possible. That’s what the Lord ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Making Godly Decisions, Part 2: Taking Responsibility for …

    Have you ever been faced with important decisions and needed explicit direction, only to feel as if God was in silent mode?—Right when you would most like Him to give a ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Ultimate Pet Rescue Service

    God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he’ll be there.—Billy Graham

    Pets the world over act as companions, helpers, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Making Godly Decisions, Part 1: Finding the Will …

    One of the traits of humankind, as beings created in the image of God, is free will, which includes both the ability to make decisions and the responsibility for the outcomes of our decisions. Learning to make ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Fasting

    The Spiritual Discipline of fasting is a tough one for a lot of people. Like many of us, I had fasted a few times, but it was many years, even decades, ago. I haven’t been so keen on fasting, but after studying about ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Compassionate Employer, Matthew …

    This parable, like others Jesus told, starts with the words “For the kingdom of heaven is like…” This phrase tells the listener that Jesus ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • More Than Conquerors

    Quotations of faith and hope in the midst of suffering

    Compiled and edited by Maria Fontaine

    Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, “Why am I here in this life? What does it all mean to me personally?” This is a normal ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Stewardship/The Wise Use of Time

    Time is one of the most valuable resources God has entrusted to our care; it can’t be replaced, replenished, or relived. Each of us has a finite amount of time in ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Stewardship/Giving and Tithing

    Understanding the principle of ownership—that God owns everything, and that we are caretakers of what He has entrusted us with—should encourage us to ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Stewardship/Simplicity

    The Spiritual Discipline of Stewardship is about properly using things that God has entrusted to our care, including our possessions, finances, and time. In order to understand and practice ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Prayer

    The Spiritual Discipline of prayer is a key component in our relationship with God, as it is our main means of communication with Him. It is in prayer that we are able to converse with our Creator. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Unjust Judge, Luke …

    The parable of the unjust judge, often called the story of the importunate woman, is a parable about prayer. It’s sometimes referred to as the “twin” of the parable of the friend at midnight, ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Bible Intake

    Christians who desire a flourishing relationship with God and who are interested in spiritual growth recognize that spending time taking in and absorbing God’s Word is of utmost importance. It is within the pages of the Bible that we learn ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Spiritual Disciplines: Introduction

    Trying to live according to the teachings of Jesus and to be more like Him is a personal goal for me, as I know it is for many of us. We want to follow His example of being loving and compassionate, generous, forgiving, kind, prayerful, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Customizing God

    Jesus interacts with each of us in a tailor-made way. I believe that He tunes in to what we find interesting or what means a lot to us. He loves to minister to us in ways that show His care for us as the unique creations that we are. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Timeless Carols

    Something I’ve always loved about Christmas is listening to and singing the beautiful Christmas carols that have been written over the centuries. In fact, I like them so much I often listen to them at different times throughout the year. ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Those Dirty Shepherds

    One of my favorite pictures as a child was of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, as He carried a little lamb in one arm and His staff in the other.

    Perhaps our image of shepherds and their sheep has been formed from some ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Christmas Shalom

    One of the portions of the story of the Nativity which I find most beautiful, exciting, and meaningful is when the angel appeared to the shepherds and announced Jesus’ birth, followed by a multitude of ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Christmas Echoes

    For many of us, an important feature of Christmas is remembering the story of Jesus’ birth, whether through reenactments and Christmas plays of the first Christmas, readings of the Christmas story from the Bible, ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Christmas Pep Rally!

    I was thinking about Christmas and what God had in mind when He allowed this one event to become so prominent, even though the example Jesus set was to make our faith something that permeates every day of our lives. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • TFI’s Core Values: Living “as unto Him”

    For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.

    By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • TFI’s Core Values: Diversity and Innovation

    Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.

    Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • TFI’s Core Values: Spiritual Solutions

    It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

    Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Inter-Dimensional Web

    Virtually everyone is familiar with the Internet and how interconnected it has made people the world over. Have you considered that as a Christian, you are spiritually interconnected with other believers in an even greater way, through a ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Name of Jesus

    Throughout the Bible, in both the Old and New Testaments, there are numerous references to the “name of the Lord.” People prayed, praised, swore oaths, fought battles, gave blessings, sang in, trusted in, prophesied in, ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • TFI’s Core Values: A Sense of Community

    This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • TFI’s Core Values: The Power of One

    For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Superhero Within

    Have you ever experienced some particular problem or pain that surprised you by how debilitating it was? Perhaps it was a sore toe, or an earache that outwardly seemed small, but it made your day a major struggle. Then along comes ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • TFI’s Core Values: Love for Humankind

    You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • A Divine Appointment

    I had occasion to sit and talk with a recent acquaintance of ours for a few minutes the other day. The main purpose of our meeting was for me to ask some questions that fell within her area of expertise. Beforehand, I prayed that the Lord ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • TFI’s Core Values: Discipleship

    And he said to all, If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

    By this all people will know that ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • TFI’s Core Values: Pursuing God’s Spirit

    His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • TFI’s Core Values: Passion for God

    I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.

    As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the ...

    (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Friend at Midnight …

    The Gospels provide us with some foundational teachings about prayer through both the examples of Jesus praying and what He taught about prayer. In the third Gospel, ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Heart of It All: The Holy Spirit

    The Gender of the Holy Spirit

    In the late 1970s and early ’80s our founder, David Berg, presented the concept of the Holy Spirit representing the womanly or motherly aspect of the Trinity. Scriptural support for this concept ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Holy Spirit

    The Gifts of the Spirit, Part 2

    This article is a continuation of the brief explanations of the various gifts of the Spirit which began in Part 1.

    Distinguishing Between Spirits

    Distinguishing between ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love Never Dies

    Let’s say you’re going through a desperate time and have lost your bearings, or are experiencing loss, suffering, grief, or big changes in life, to the point that you question how you’re going to go on. What can you do? We all know the spiritual ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: The Holy Spirit

    The Gifts of the Spirit, Part 1

    Throughout the Gospels we read about Jesus’ life and ministry being empowered by the Holy Spirit. It was after His baptism in the Jordan River by John, when the heavens opened and the Spirit ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Two Debtors, Luke …

    The parable of the two debtors, or as it’s sometimes referred to, the parable of the Pharisee and the sinful woman, is told in Luke 7:36–50. This is a beautiful story of love, mercy, and thanksgiving. ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Look Closer—See Me

    One of the saddest images I can imagine is that of an elderly person suffering, empty and alone. Someone who, having journeyed the long, hard road of life, is now almost at the end. Unless they love the Lord and have hope for the next life, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: The Holy Spirit

    The Holy Spirit Working in Our Lives

    The Holy Spirit, manifested in the first disciples on the day of Pentecost and given to believers ever since, is a fulfillment of the prophecy from the book of Joel, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Pharisee and the …

    The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector is only recounted in the book of Luke, chapter 18, verses 9–14. Among other things, this parable touches on the basic ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Mud and Palaces

    Do you ever wish that life could just be all those wonderful times when, in one way or many, your dreams are turning into reality before your eyes? Perhaps you’re learning new things or making progress in something that is important to you. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: The Holy Spirit

    The Holy Spirit and History

    In the previous article, we read various accounts from the book of Acts describing how the Holy Spirit came upon believers. In some instances, the Spirit was given at the same time that the person first believed. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Tragedies and Transformations, Part 4

    Destitute to Disciple

    During my visit to the mission work in Tijuana that I’ve described in recent posts, I had an opportunity to visit their drug recovery/discipleship center. Seeing these ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Facing Disappointment

    In each of our lives there have been times when we’ve felt that bitter sting of disappointment. When it occurs, it’s so hard to bear. The Bible says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Hope deferred, or disappointment, is ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Tragedies and Transformations, Part 3

    Treasures Among the Trash

    One of the world’s most visible examples of desperate poverty lies on the edges of most metropolitan cities around the globe: ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: The Holy Spirit

    The Holy Spirit and the Primitive Church

    In the first two articles in this series, we looked at how the Holy Spirit came upon certain individuals for specific purposes within the Old Testament ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Stories Jesus Told: The Good Samaritan, Luke …

    Many of us are familiar with the parable of the good Samaritan. However, because we live in cultures very different from that of ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Tragedies and Transformations, Part 2

    Wherever, Whenever, However…

    One of the first experiences I had on my trip to Tijuana, Mexico, was to visit a men’s shelter that houses up to 150 homeless men each night, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Stories Jesus Told: Introduction

    Jesus was an incredible teacher. His words, backed up by His actions, changed countless lives during His ministry on earth and have continued to do so for two millennia. ... (Video and audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Tragedies and Transformations, Part 1

    Experiences to Grow By

    Dear Family,

    I’d like to give you some personal news about what I’ve been experiencing and involved in recently. A few months ago I ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Secret of Joy

    Quotations of faith and hope in the midst of suffering

    It’s easy to see why we need happy experiences and times of joy, peace, and contentment to encourage us through this life. But it can be a dilemma ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: The Holy Spirit

    The Holy Spirit and the Messiah

    In the previous article, we saw how the Spirit of the Lord was manifested in the Old Testament. God’s Spirit moved in the lives of specific individuals, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Holy Spirit

    The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

    As discussed in an earlier article, the Holy Spirit is one of the Persons of the Trinity, and this Person is equally God along with the Father and the Son, Jesus. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Let's Spread the News!

    God’s Word declares that this world, and our lives within it, are not all that there is; that this life is only a portion of our existence, and that our spirits continue to live after the death of our bodies. It also teaches that ...

    (Audio Included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Easter—Yesterday, Today, and Forever!

    As Easter approaches, I have been reflecting on Jesus’ resurrection and its significance. What did it mean to His original disciples—all of those who believed in Him during His lifetime on earth? And what does it ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • My Encounter with Phoebe

    Less than two months ago I had an unexpected but very special experience. I was on a trip to the U.S. and traveled to San Antonio, where a TFI couple, Keith and Caryn, had offered to help me with anything I might need, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: Salvation

    Predestination?

    In the previous article, I wrote about the different views within Protestantism regarding the assurance of salvation or the possibility of losing one’s salvation. There is another notable ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: Salvation

    Eternal Salvation

    While all Christians believe that Jesus died for our sins and we are saved through the sacrifice of His death on the cross, there are some differences in belief among different denominations as to whether ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Humble and the Foreign

    One especially beautiful part of the presentation of Jesus’ birth is in Luke’s Gospel, where he tells of the shepherds hearing the announcement of Jesus’ birth. There is evidence within Jewish writings that ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Unlikely Hero

    We often find ourselves in situations where we don’t feel like we’re on some great spiritual mission. We want to do something meaningful for the Lord, but the circumstances just don’t seem to facilitate that in the ways we might have hoped ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Manger and the Inn

    There are some aspects of the story of Jesus’ birth that have entered traditional thinking but that don’t sync up with what is stated in the Gospel accounts. These include Mary and Joseph being turned away from ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Mary and Joseph

    In the previous podcast we looked at the four Old Testament women mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy in the book of Matthew who had some anomalies in their relationships. Mary, Jesus’ mother, the fifth woman in the Lord’s ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Five Women of Christmas

    The Christmas season is here, and Maria and I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas. We pray that your Christmas will be very special and that you will be able to make other people’s Christmas very special as well. ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Divine Demonstrations

    In the Bible Jesus said to His Father, “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”[1] And to His disciples He said: “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."[2] And John wrote, “Those who say they live in God should live their ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: Salvation

    Results—Justification, Adoption, and Regeneration

    In the previous articles about salvation, we have looked at four concepts that illustrate how God’s plan of redemption works—how it reconciles us with God ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Just One Life

    This is a different article than those that I usually place on the DC site. In most cases, the materials that are posted here are directed toward our members. But in the spirit of the Christmas season and the fact that it is a wonderful opportunity ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: Salvation

    Substitutionary Sacrifice and Reconciliation

    In the last article we covered propitiation and redemption (ransom), two of the four scriptural concepts that help us to understand how Jesus’ death saves ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Christmas Quotes

    It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you ... yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.—Mother Teresa

    Be an angel to someone else whenever you can, ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: Salvation

    Propitiation and Redemption

    In the previous article we saw that God’s plan for the redemption of humans was set in place before the creation of humanity, and that it was rooted in His love, mercy, and grace, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: Salvation

    God’s Plan

    The core teaching of the New Testament can be found in one of the most beautiful verses of Scripture:

    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Overcoming Life’s Prisons

    When it comes to suffering of any kind, the questions that are usually uppermost in our minds are, “Will it end? How do I stop it? How can I get out of this time of suffering and back to doing something useful or good?”

    But there are other ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: Sin

    Are There Degrees of Sin?

    We have seen that through both “original sin” as well as the actual sins we commit, our “legal” standing with God is affected. Every sin we commit is an offense against His holiness; no matter how minor ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: Sin

    Effects of Sin

    As human beings with sinful natures who universally sin, we all suffer the effects of sin. Sin affects our “legal” standing with God, in that we stand “guilty” before Him. It also affects our relationship with Him, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: Sin

    Humanity’s Sinful Nature

    We’ve discussed earlier that Scripture teaches that all humans sin and that sin is universal. The Bible speaks of humans being sinful from birth, which would indicate that humans are born ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Heart of It All: Sin

    The Origin of Sin in the World

    The previous article on the topic of sin affirmed that sin first entered creation in the angelic or spiritual world, when the fallen angels sinned. The Bible explains the entrance of sin into the physical world ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: Sin

    What Is Sin?

    This set of articles is going to address the topic of sin. It will cover the definitions of sin, the origins of sin and its effects on humanity and the world, and will touch on God’s plan for redemption from sin. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Quarks in His Glory

    Peter and I were taking a break for a few days to help us to step back a bit from a period of intense writing and TFI business, and we had gone to a beach town for a little solitude. I was taking a walk along the beach in the late afternoon ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Fear of God

    I recently came across a topic that piqued my interest—the fear of God. The Bible speaks a fair bit about fearing God, and one can come away with the impression that we’re supposed to be afraid of God in the sense of being terrified ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Light at the End of the Valley

    Have you ever faced something that seemed totally hopeless; you felt like there wasn’t any way out of your difficulties and everything looked lost? Or maybe you’re in one of those places right now where the situation seems ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Drive

    Maria recently wrote about Len, the taxi driver who we gave a tract to while we were traveling. In her account, she mentioned that we were delayed on our journey that day. That day also proved to be a day of personal testing for me, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Heart of It All: Humanity

    Why Humans?

    In these articles about humanity, we have seen that God created unique beings on this earth—beings that were made in His image and likeness. We’ve seen that human beings have many ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Meeting Len

    While taking a much-needed break, Peter and I drove to another city where we planned to spend a few days to rest and enjoy the local sights. Arriving later than planned and finding that navigating the complicated streets of the ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: Humanity

    Material and Immaterial

    The Bible teaches that human beings consist of a material element and an immaterial element that together form the unity of a human being. The material element (the body) and the immaterial element ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Heart of It All: Humanity

    Made in the Image and Likeness of God (Part 2)

    The previous article described the change that came about when sin entered humanity, the degradation of the image and likeness of God in humanity. Nevertheless, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: Humanity

    Made in the Image and Likeness of God (Part 1)

    God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” … So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. As the verses quoted above state, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: Humanity

    The Creation of Man as Male and Female

    In the account of creation in Genesis chapter 1, human beings were the last things created. The universe and everything in it—the sun, moon, stars, planets, oceans, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Good Food and Friendship

    One of Peter’s hobbies is cooking, although he’s never had a lot of time to devote to it. Now it’s turning out to be a wonderful tool in our ministering to others. The Lord recently reminded me how often He had dinner with people ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Forgiveness

    While forgiving is something that needs to be done for the sake of unity, harmony, and brotherhood, the bottom line is that it’s the means for you to get over the hurt and to move on into the future without the ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • When Ralph Meets Bella

    Have you ever noticed that dogs often seem to have very humanlike reactions and emotions? A few weeks ago one of my friends had to leave her beloved pet with someone else for a time while she was away. I happened to be visiting ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Rock

    Maria and I recently returned from a trip to Switzerland for a yearly foundation board meeting as well as other TFI-related business meetings. While there, I would often look out the window at the beautiful lake and surrounding mountains, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    Conclusion

    When looking at God’s nature and character, we can see that God has many attributes, and these attributes are who He is. It’s not as if God is partly righteous ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Omnipotence

    God, who created all things out of nothing, known as creation ex nihilo, is all-powerful. The traditional word for God’s infinite power is omnipotence, which comes from ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Omnipresence

    When God created the universe and the world within it, He created matter, energy, time, and space. The world we live in is a three-dimensional material world, and we are limited ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Omniscience (Part 2)

    In the previous article, God’s omniscience—including His self-knowledge; His knowledge of everything past, present, and future; and His hypothetical or middle knowledge ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Omniscience (Part 1)

    Because God is the infinite and supreme Being, His knowledge is unlimited. He knows absolutely everything. The common theological terminology ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Immutability

    The immutability of Godor His unchangeableness or constancy, as some theologians call itis part of His divine nature. It means that God doesn’t change in His Being, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Eternality

    God’s eternality is another aspect of His essential nature. God is eternal; He existed before the creation of the universe, and thus before time was created. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Incomprehensible and Indefinable

    Thoughts on Motherhood

    Motherhood may have its ups and downs, but when we stop to focus on what is truly great, truly important, truly wonderful in this world, one thing that ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Self-Existence—His Aseity

    The first verse of the Bible, along with others, teaches that before the creation of the heavens and the earth, God existed. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Love

    In earlier articles I’ve written about different attributes of God, including holiness, righteousness, justice, wrath, mercy, patience, and grace. Now we move on ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • A Papier-Mâché Prison

    Can I tell you about a long-term witnessing experience Peter and I have been having? It’s nothing that “wow” or something for which we can claim major victories; it’s just the day-by-day planting of seeds and praying ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Wrath

    We have seen in earlier articles in this series that God’s nature and character includes His perfect holiness, righteousness, and justice. God’s wrath, or anger, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • When Unorthodox Meets God’s Plan

    Breaking with the norm of what is expected can be seen as unconventional and eccentric, and yet those unorthodox people and methods can have a powerful, life-changing impact for ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Coffee and a Hug?

    Tony Campolo, popular Christian author, speaker, and sociologist, told of an encounter he had as he was walking in downtown Philadelphia: “I noticed a bum walking toward me. He was covered with dirt and soot from head to toe. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Happy Valentine’s Day!

    When I think about Valentine’s Day, a day that’s best known as a time when people give special love gifts to each other, I think most of all of God’s great, sacrificial gift to us in the form of His son, Jesus. Then I think of how all the love that ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Story

    In the previous post I wrote about the you factor, your importance as the one who brings the message of the Gospel to others. In this article I want to talk about the story behind the message. It’s a story that you are already familiar with, ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Conclusion

    In speaking about the four elements of being a disciple—Love Him, Live Him, Preach Him, Teach Him—my focus has been on the principles of being an active Christian, a disciple of Christ. ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Teach Him

    We’ve covered the first three elements of discipleship: Love Him, Live Him, and Preach Him. Now we’ll discuss the last element: Teach Him. Teaching Him has to do with the continuance ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Preach Him

    We have finished covering the second element of discipleship, Live Him, and nine principles connected to it: Abiding in Jesus, Love, Unity, Humility, Non-Anxiety, Forgiveness, Fellowship, ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Follow God at Christmas

    Hi, everyone,

    Peter and I want to wish you a very happy Christmas. As you’re so well aware, Christmas can be one of the most fruitful times of the year for ministering to others, because people ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Six Things I Love About Christmas

    Most people have a few things that they love about Christmas, that make the Christmas season special to them. Here are a few of my top picks! 1. I love the spirit of giving that permeates Christmas. ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Live Him, Part 5

    The last of the principles I’ll present under Live Him—the Prayer Principle—is one that interconnects with virtually all the other Live Him principles, and is central to our Christian lives. ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Live Him, Part 4

    The last three sections of the series covered seven of nine principles that are connected to Live Him—the Abiding, Love, Unity, Humility, Non-Anxiety, Forgiveness, and Fellowship ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    Patience, Mercy, and Grace (Part 2)

    God’s mercy can be understood as God’s love and goodness toward those in misery and distress, those in need—even if they don’t deserve it. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Perseverance by Smiley

    For many of us, the hardest part of witnessing is breaking the ice. And the next hardest part is persevering for as long as the Lord shows us to, even when someone doesn’t appear to be receptive. Don’t you find that as you witness to someone, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    Patience, Mercy, and Grace (Part 1)

    Besides being holy, righteous, and just, God is also by nature and character patient, merciful, and gracious. In the Old Testament ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Live Him, Part 3

    In this article we continue looking at some of the principles which are connected to Live Him.

    The Forgiveness Principle The Forgiveness Principle is of great importance ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Bag Lady

    It’s only human to judge people and things by what our eyes see. That’s why Jesus had to admonish us to “judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”[1] In other words, Jesus is telling us ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Live Him, Part 2

    We are continuing our discussion of the Live Him element of being a disciple. We’ve covered three principles already—the Abiding Principle, the Love Principle, and the Unity Principle ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Live Him, Part 1

    In the last article we covered the first element of being a disciple: Love Him. In this one we move on to the second element: Live Him. Part of the definition of a disciple is ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Love Him

    In the first article of this series I explained that I’m approaching discipleship through four basic elements to being a disciple—Love Him, Live Him, Preach Him, Teach Him—and I ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Two Parties

    I want to share with you two stories about two unusual parties. In attendance at both was a most powerful Personage, who, through the hand of one of His representatives, Tony Campolo, bestowed on the partygoers ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Love. Live. Preach. Teach.—Introduction

    This series of articles grew out of talks that I gave throughout 2011. Throughout the articles I will be quoting a number of Bible verses.[1] These are the words that ... (Audio included.)

     

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Righteousness and Justice

    An attribute of God which is closely connected to His holiness is His righteousness—which means uprightness, goodness, virtue, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God’s Holiness

    God possesses a different mode of being than all other beings. Only He is uncreated and infinite; everything else is created and finite, so He is different from ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    God Is Spirit

    In John chapter 4, when Jesus was speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well, He told her: God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    The Living and Personal God

    In this series of articles, we are looking at a number of aspects of God’s nature, being, and character. We’ll start with looking at how God is alive and God is personal, ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Nature and …

    Overview

    In the “Trinity” section of this series, we explored the three Persons of the triune God—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We reviewed the nature of the Trinity ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Living With Meaning: A Waiting Room Chat

    I was sitting in a waiting area and was dictating an idea for a written prayer when a young man sat down nearby and started a conversation with me. Perhaps he overheard parts of what I was saying ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Living With Meaning: Appearances and the Big Picture

    Do you sometimes feel like a failure? Things haven’t turned out the way you thought they should have or the way you wanted. Your expectations have been disappointed, ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Building Our Personal Eternity

    Someone mentioned to me recently that since they’ve devoted a lot of their life to focusing on spiritual things in their many years in missionary work for the Lord ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Love in the Parking Lot

    You know, parking lots at midnight can be very romantic. I bet a lot of you know that from experience. But in this instance I’m not talking about what we used to do when we were teens in our cars in the parking lot. I’m talking about ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: The Incarnation (Part …

    In the previous article we looked at how the church fathers in the first seven centuries worked through the doctrine of the Incarnation. We saw various teachings which attempted to explain the “mechanics” of how ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Incarnation (Part …

    The quest to theologically define the person of Jesus and His human and divine natures mainly occurred in two time periods: firstly, in the fourth and fifth centuries, and then secondly in the nineteenth and twentieth. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Out of Your Safety Zone

    We all have our safety zone, that range of circumstances that we’re comfortable with or the people that we’ve learned to interact with easily and without much conscious effort. The borders of that zone ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: The Incarnation (Part …

    In the articles titled “The God-Man” and “The Trinity” we explored the biblical truth of Jesus’ deity—that He is truly God. In “The Incarnation” articles we will delve into the biblical explanation of Jesus’ humanity ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Different Gifts

    If you’re someone who looks around and sees others who are brighter than you, more eloquent, more skilled, more energetic, or who just seem “more” or “better” in a variety of ways, you’re not alone. ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Be Like Jesus

    Every so often I like to think and pray about the application of Jesus’ teachings in my life, as I feel it’s a wise thing to do. Recently I was meditating on how to more effectively apply my faith in my daily life. ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Trinity (Part …

    As we’ve seen in part 1 and part 2 of the doctrine of the Trinity, it is not a simple doctrine to understand; some parts of it are incomprehensible to our natural reasoning, and as such, it is a mystery. ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living With Meaning: Hardly Anything or Everything?

    Mother Teresa once said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” How true! A few simple words, spoken by unassuming people, yet filled with the Lord’s Spirit and love, can reverberate ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Heart of It All: The Trinity (Part …

    In part 1 of The Heart of It All: The Trinity, we saw that God is a tri-personal Being, consisting of three distinct persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—that each is fully God and that each ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The Trinity (Part …

    In the first two articles of The Heart of It All series we saw that the New Testament reveals the deity of Jesus, that Jesus is God. In reading the verses quoted in those sections, it’s clear that besides Jesus ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Living With Meaning: Piercing the Bubble

    In my last post I talked about how powerful our words of encouragement can be to people, and how we usually have to speak them by faith, believing that our “words fitly spoken” will have the desired result. ...

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Living With Meaning: Be a Giver of Kindness

    Everyone craves encouragement. I believe that God wants to encourage people, but a lot of times He needs us to do it. And, believe it or not, we do have what others need. We have God’s love—that is powerful! ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Living With Meaning: The Five-Cent Life Changer

    I was thinking about tracts the other day. To me, tracts are one of the most valuable things I can have with me when I go out. Without tracts in my purse or pocket, I feel that something vital is missing ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Heart of It All: The God-Man (Part …

    In the first part of The God-Man, we covered some of the things that Jesus said and did that affirmed His deity. His disciples, those who lived and worked with Him for the years of His public ministry ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • He's Alive!

    It had been about three years since they had answered the call to follow Him. Each one had their own story of how it happened. Nathanael was told he was an Israelite in whom there was no deceit. Peter and his brother Andrew ...

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: The God-Man (Part …

    The heart of our faith as Christians rests on the answer to one simple but extremely crucial question: Who is Jesus? In order to understand our faith, to understand the story of Jesus and what His life was about ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Heart of It All: Introduction

    Something that I find particularly wonderful about Jesus is that His life-transforming gift of salvation is freely given to anyone who simply asks for it with a sincere and believing heart. One’s level of understanding ...

    (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Wealthy and Responsible

    A sad part of my day is when I listen to the news. Almost everything is about people in the world who are faced with some very terrible situations. Not only non-Christians, but many Christians ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Forgiveness and Salvation

    In two previous posts on the topic of forgiveness I wrote about 1) forgiving others and 2) avoiding the need to be forgiven, by doing unto others what you would have them do unto you. In this post I’ll address how principles ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • The Other Side of the Equation

    In my previous article, I wrote about the importance of forgiveness—bringing out the point that if someone sins against you, you must forgive them if you want to be forgiven by God. ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • No Bankruptcy

    When I think about those whom I look up to and see as my role models, they’re all people—known or unknown—who have chosen lives of sacrifice and service so that others would come to know the Lord ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • A Scary Thought

    When I was doing some research for a writing project, I came across something that jolted me. It was a familiar Bible verse which I’ve read, heard, and even quoted hundreds of times, but when meditating on ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • A Personal Evaluation

    Someone was wondering how the Lord looked at them—how He saw them when He looked at their life, what His evaluation was. They didn’t feel so great about themselves or their accomplishments. ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine


  • The Thorn Factor

    I don’t think that God intended any marriage to be perfect. I think of it as the “thorn” factor that He allows into the equation—that element that we shrink from, but that He knows we need. You may ask ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Waiting for the Happy Ending

    Choices. Life is full of choices. Every day there are choices, large and small. Every day that passes gives you a greater legacy of past choices, past decisions. Some turned out to be good, some turned out ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Reflecting on the Past

    When we look back over our past and we see the highlights and victories, the joy and happiness, we also see the missed opportunities and the losses, the heartbreaks and the tears. We often feel some regrets and wish ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Merry Christmas 2010!

    Happy, happy Christmas, dear Family! This is the special day, the special Baby, the special Man, the special event, the special love that binds us together with each other—and indeed with all Christians worldwide ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Red Truck

    When most of us who know Jesus think about Christmas, we think of God making the greatest sacrifice, giving the greatest gift, sharing the greatest love, in sending His Son, Jesus. God did all that in delivering His great love gift ...

    by Maria Fontaine

  • Are You Santa Claus?

    It’s Christmastime—such a wonderful time of the year! I love it when it comes around every year, because as Christmas approaches, people tend to appreciate others more. They’re more aware of the importance ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • Faith in the Real World

    People have often told me I have a lot of faith. But how does that play out in the real world? What tangible benefits does faith provide me with? I like this quote that says, “Faith will beget in us three things: vision, venture, victory.” ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • 6 More Faith Tips

    Several weeks ago I shared with you “Three Items In My Treasure Chest.” Last week I added six additional things, and today I have six more. These items are like precious jewels in my treasure chest: ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • More from My Faith Treasure Chest

    I recently wrote in “Three Items in My Treasure Chest” about three things that help me to stay focused on faith and that help me to find encouragement in tough times. They were: ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine


  • Three Items in My Treasure Chest

    Someone said to me the other day, “What people need most in times of difficulty and turmoil is faith—faith to know that everything is going to be all right.” I certainly agree. But if what we need most ... (Audio included.)

    by Maria Fontaine

  • The Payoff of Perseverance

    Over the years I have seen some very dear friends of mine be marvelously blessed by the Lord. Some of these same loved ones and co-workers have gone through what seemed to be a series of incredibly trying times. ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam

  • Self-preservation

    I recently saw a TV show set in Great Britain during the early part of World War II. The Nazis had defeated France, and the British expected imminent invasion. For some, the uncertainty, the fear of the future ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam


  • How Much Does God Care?

    Recently, within the span of a week, I heard three different people say three different but connected things which got me thinking about God’s interaction and participation in my life. Person one said that he didn’t know if God ... (Audio included.)

    by Peter Amsterdam