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Have a Real Prayer Closet

As I sit writing these words with my old Swan fountain pen on an oak roll-top desk, my left forearm rests on a book about Writer’s Houses[1]. On end in a cubbyhole to my right is another book of photographs called The Writer’s Desk[2]. As a writer, I enjoy looking at pictures of the private […]


Tribute to the most prayerful man I’ve known

Lepanto is a tiny town of some two thousand people in Poinsett County in northeast Arkansas. In the 1930s it was even smaller. But during the Great Depression, four Lepanto boys grew up together and changed the world. One of them, James R. Hendrix, was a sharecropper’s son who left school after the third grade to […]


Doug Sweeney’s Review of Finding God in Solitude

This review was originally written for the Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Donald S. Whitney, Finding God in Solitude: The Personal Piety of Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) and Its Influence on His Pastoral Ministry, American University Studies (New York: Peter Lang, 2014) This first-ever survey of the whole of Edwards’ devotional life and […]


The Jesus Movement Followed 1968. What Will Follow 2020?

Perhaps no year in modern history so parallels the turmoil of 2020 than 1968. The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, the widespread riots, the major cities aflame (literally and socially) with racial tensions, the political turmoil of an election year epitomized by the violence surrounding the Democratic National Convention, the […]


10 Questions to Ask when Providing Pastoral Care by Phone or Video Chat

Circumstances sometimes limit pastors and other church leaders from ministering to people face-to-face. When this happens, we have to be even more diligent to ensure that none of God’s flock are neglected. Otherwise, the “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” syndrome will likely lead to their spiritual decline, which in turn will make them less likely to return to […]


A Helpful, Free App for Praying the Bible: “Five Psalms”

Most readers of this blog know that I’ve written a book on Praying the Bible and frequently teach in conferences on the subject. I propose that there are ways— from any part of the Bible—to turn the Scriptures into prayer, but that the Psalms are generally the best place to do so. As a way […]


The Blessing of Denominational Meetings

I’m writing from Phoenix, where I’m attending the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention. It’s my 34th consecutive meeting, having attended every year since 1983. I am blessed to be here again. Some people might see the term “denominational meeting” and imagine it as enjoyable as a convention sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. […]