As a long-time student of history (especially American history) as well as God's word, I blog about current events, cultural trends. and historical interests from a Biblical worldview.
Posted 4/3/15 at 1:03 PM | Wayne Nall
Killing Jesus", the movie based on the book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard, debuted on National Geographic channel last Sunday night, and we decided to watch it. Although I had not read the book, I had read the first two books in the series, "Killing Lincoln" and "Killing Kennedy", and had also seen the NatGeo films based on those books. I thought both the books and the movies were quite good. However, I went into this one with some apprehension, as I had heard that they were going to be showing the life of Jesus from a "historical" perspective. This can often mean that the writers or producers of the work are going to disregard the most authoritative and complete source about Jesus, the Bible. Yet, I tried to go into it with an open mind. I decided to "Live-tweet" my reaction on Twitter and invited my followers to read and react.
It didn't take long to find out that my apprehensions about the movie were not unfounded. Although a few scenes in the movie were well-done (such as the scene of the woman caught in adultery), I found three huge problems with the Jesus portrayed in "Killing Jesus." FULL POST
Posted 3/31/15 at 10:04 PM | Wayne Nall
In my previous article, I shared five suggestions for "jump starting" your devotional life. I continue with five more suggestions…
6. Pray the Word – Devotional life consists of both prayer and Bible study. I hope to share more about Bible study in future articles, but suffice it to say that I can't write about prayer without also talking about knowledge of the Word of God. These two disciplines are interrelated. Although you can pray without having a firm grasp of the Bible (you have to start somewhere!), you really need to spend time in the Word on a daily basis to successfully develop your prayer life. The Bible is full of prayers from beginning to end, and understanding how men and women prayed in scripture will greatly help you to know how to pray today. In fact, you might be surprised to know that the longest book in the Bible is actually a book of prayers! That book is the Psalms, and it is actually a collection of one hundred and fifty prayers. The time I've spent reading through and studying the Psalms has helped me greatly to know how to pray. In fact, I often "pray the Psalms." I have tried to memorize several of them, and they often come out when I am praying, both corporately and individually. It is very true that we "do not know how to pray as we should" (see Romans 8:26a), but when we pray the Psalms or any part of God's word, we know we are praying the right thing!
Posted 3/20/15 at 5:07 AM | Wayne Nall
This is the third article in a series on devotional life. If you would like to start at the beginning, click here.
I recently had dinner with a Christian friend who shared with me his struggles with his devotional life. I asked him how he was doing in his time with the Lord. In reply, he showed me his "verse of the day" on his phone. He stated, "I read the verse that comes up on my phone, pray for my son, pray for my day, and that's about it." He courageously shared with me that he knows that there is more to devotional life than this, but he can't seem to get there.
I encouraged him first of all that it is God's mercy that he realizes there is more to it than this perfunctory "cross it off the list" type of devotions. I'm afraid many Christians go for years thinking they can pray for a minute or two in the morning, read a verse, and be off on their way, thinking somehow that they had "performed their duty." There is so much more available to us than this! If we think of devotions as a "duty", we really are missing it. My friend got this. He was asking for help, and I commended him for this. I shared with him a few things that have helped me in my devotional life, and I'd like to pass them on to you here as well. FULL POST
Posted 3/13/15 at 1:41 PM | Wayne Nall
This is the second in a series of articles on devotional life. You can read the first article "Why Pray?" here.
Like any good habit, developing a successful prayer life takes effort. Rembrandt didn't just wake up one morning and paint the Mona Lisa. Michael Jordan didn't decide one day to play basketball, and the next day was signed by the Chicago Bulls. Yet, the big difference in worldly successes and being a successful person of prayer is that it takes no special talent to pray. IQ doesn't matter. Physical dexterity means nothing. But what does matter is that prayer is made and made habitually.
There are many ingredient that make up a successful prayer life, some of which I hope to share in future articles. Yet, there is one ingredient which I believe stands out above all others. Without it, there is no chance that your prayer life will in any way be satisfactory to you or to God. With it, you can and should have a vibrant prayer life. What is this all-important key? FULL POST
Posted 3/6/15 at 7:34 AM | Wayne Nall
This is the first of a series of articles on devotional life. I start with a simple question:
If God is all powerful, omnipotent, and all knowing, what is the need for prayer anyway? Can't God do what He is going to do without us humans' puny little help?
Does prayer really make a difference anyway?
What is the purpose of prayer?
These are just some of the questions that come up when we talk about prayer. I hope to provide some answers to these questions and others in this and future articles. However, I think the first question we need to answer is the most basic one:
What is prayer?
When we think of prayer, what images do our minds conjure up? Perhaps a child kneeling by his bedside with his hands folded, praying a childlike prayer. Perhaps we might think of some (very old) nuns in their habits, again with hands folded, looking up to God with saintly expressions. We might even think of a soldier in a foxhole praying for God to save Him from the bullets whizzing overhead. FULL POST
Posted 1/1/15 at 11:05 AM | Wayne Nall
As we start 2015, many people will be making New Year's resolutions. I actually think this is a good thing. I find it a good time to reassess my life prayerfully, and try to make changes that will improve my life. Many people resolve to lose weight, exercise more, eat less junk food, etc. All are noble goals (and some that I could use myself!), but I'd like to suggest to you one goal that should surpass them all. I would like to challenge you to start a Bible reading plan in 2015.
Why read the Bible?
First of all, simply because it is the Word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 states, "All Scripture is God-breathedand is useful for teaching,rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness..." The Bible, both New and Old Testament, is inspired. This doesn't mean "inspired" like a book or a movie is "inspirational." It literally means "God-breathed." God was in the writing of his Word from the beginning to end. This doesn't mean that God just dictated the words to men and they wrote them down. It's very obvious that men's personalities largely come through in the writing. I like that. Though it was "God-breathed," God used many different men with varied personalities living in distinct cultures over thousands of years to pen the Bible. FULL POST
Posted 12/31/14 at 8:46 AM | Wayne Nall
Earlier, I posted my "Top Eleven Posts of 2014" from my blog at waynenalljr.blogspot.com . As I promised then, I'm now sharing with you my "Top Eleven Posts of All Time." I've been writing a blog since 2011, and since then total views have been steadily increasing. As a matter of fact, none of my posts from 2011 or 2012 made this "All Time" list.
Before I share this "Top Eleven" List, I'd like to share with you a few of my favorite posts that didn't make this list. For your interest, I've included the number of total views (as of today) on these posts as well.
To continue reading, click here.
Posted 12/29/14 at 9:15 AM | Wayne Nall
As we wrap up 2014, I thought it might be interesting to share with you my most popular blog posts from this year. This year marks four years since I've started my blog (at waynenalljr.blogspot.com) , and I'm really amazed to see the growth in readership since I first started. In the beginning, a few dozen people might read what I wrote. Now, it's not unusual to get several hundred. Mostly though, I'm appreciative of the responses which I've received from people about my blog, either in person or online.
I started the blog in 2011, with just three posts that year, so I really didn't get very serious about it until 2012. Since then, I've learned a lot about blogging and how to get the message out there. This is actually only my fifty-second post on that site, so I've obviously not posted daily or even weekly, as my schedule simply doesn't permit it. I have a full time job, and a lot of other responsibilities, so I just post when I have time, and when I feel like I've got something to say that might be worth reading. I do enjoy writing, but I'm not in this to get some kind of fame (and certainly not fortune!). Although I don't have any degrees behind my name, I've been a reader (especially of history) all my life, and I feel like that may give me some insight into current events that perhaps others might not have. Even more than that, I have been a student of the Bible for many years, and I make no bones about the fact that I see the world through the lens of the word of God. I believe God's word informs my perspective and gives me a worldview that not many have who are writing about current events and social issues. FULL POST
Posted 12/23/14 at 4:41 PM | Wayne Nall
I was thinking recently about December 16, 1991. Honestly, I have no memory of what that day was like for me and my wife Kathy. I was serving at that time as a pastor of a small rural church, but, because they were not able to support me fully, I had taken a job at a Mr. Gatti’s pizza in nearby Boonville, Indiana. I was the dough maker. I suppose that that Monday morning, I went in to work early just like any other day, made my dough (not much of the green kind!), completed my shift, and went home. It was a rather silent day followed by a silent night.
We were childless and were not able to have children ourselves. A couple of years before, the Lord had called us into foster parenting. We were currently without any foster kids in the home, as we had just sent a sibling group back home to their mom. We had cared for them for over a year. So, for Kathy and I, it was a rather depressing Christmas season. The Yultide was not exactly gay that year, and would pass by pretty uneventfully for us. Silent days followed by silent nights. FULL POST
Posted 12/15/14 at 8:05 AM | Wayne Nall
I have just completed and uploaded to Amazon.com my first book, "Grace In Shoe Leather", and I'd like to share a preview of this remarkable story with you here. Here's the description:
In March, 1998, the Evansville, Indiana area was rocked by "The MotoMart Shooting" and the ensuing arrest of a local youth for murder. "Grace In Shoe Leather" is the true story of one victim's widow who refuses to take the path of bitterness and resentment, but instead chooses the path of forgiveness and grace. In a surprising turn of events, that widow, Ina Kae Simpson, eventually befriends Erick Schmitt, the man convicted of taking her husband's life. The unexpected results of this unusual friendship are inspirational!
Mrs. Simpson began attending the church where I serve as deacon several years ago, and the more I learned of her story, the more fascinated I became. She's the real deal! While suffering in a way that most people have never suffered, she chose the high road of forgiveness and actually helped turn around the life of her husband's assailant. Erick himself is an inspiration to all who have taken the wrong road, but with the help of others, has turned to God and gotten back on the right road. I could tell you a lot more, but you'll just have to read this for yourself! FULL POST