Maybe it was the way he said her name. The inflection. The tone. The Galilean accent. Maybe it was the memory associated with it, the moment she first heard someone say her name without demons screaming it in her mind. “Mary.” She’d come to the tomb early that morning. Before the sun was up. Before anyone knew the Son was up. She found the tomb to be empty except for some angels she mistook for grave robbers. She told them that she would retrieve the body if they would disclose the location. That’s when Jesus spoke her name. “Mary.” When … Read More

I once waded into the Jordan River. On a trip to Israel, my family and I stopped to see the traditional spot of Jesus’ baptism. It’s a charming place. Sycamores cast their shadows. Birds chirp. The water invites. So I accepted the invitation and waded in to be baptized. No one wanted to join me so I immersed myself. I declared my belief in Christ and sank so low in the water I could touch the river bottom. When I did, I felt a stick and pulled it out. Well, what do you know–a baptism memento! Some people get certificates … Read More

Several months ago, I was asked by Parade.com to contribute to an article by finishing this statement: “If I were elected president…”   I want to repost it today as our country inaugurates a new President. May it serve as a timely reminder to pray for President Trump, Vice President Pence, our country and its citizens. — Max  (article first appeared at Parade.com 9/9/2016) Best I can guess from looking online, there are twelve steps from the door of the oval office to its desk. I’ve never been there. Doubt that I ever will. But if ever bequeathed the title “President of the United States” I … Read More

An excerpt from Max’s Worship Night in America message… Of all his names, Father is God’s favorite. We know he loves this name most because this is the one he used most. While on earth, Jesus called God “Father” over two hundred times. In his first recorded words Jesus explained, “Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). In his final triumphant prayer he proclaims, “Father, I give you my life” (Luke 23:46). In the Gospel of John alone, Jesus repeats this name 156 times. God loves to be called Father. After all, didn’t Jesus … Read More

Suppose I were to drop by your house holding a foil-covered saucer. “Hello, friend,” I say. “A few days back Denalyn made a strawberry cake. It was so good. It came out of the oven hot, moist, and sweet. I wish you could have tasted it. Today, as I was eating the last piece, I thought of you. Just before I took the final bite, I put my fork down and thought, I’m taking these crumbs to my friend.” How would you feel? Contrast that emotion with the one you feel if I were to knock at your door holding … Read More

When Christ was born, so was our hope. Of all the delights of the season, this is why I love Christmas. The event invites us to believe the wildest of promises: God became one of us so we could become one with him. He did away with every barrier, fence, sin, bent, debt, and grave. Anything that might keep us from him was demolished. He only awaits our word to walk through the door. Invite him in. Escort him to the seat of honor, and pull out his chair. Clear the table; clear the calendar. Call the kids and neighbors. … Read More

Do any of these words describe you? Hurried. Scattered. Stuffed. Forgetful. Busy. Behind. Broke. If they do, you aren’t alone. Christmas is our annual reminder of why Santa takes the sleigh rather than the interstate and how the mall got its name. Strange how a season of peace so often becomes a season of panic. For some, however, this time of year brings more than hassle…for some it brings heartache. Many use sadder words to capture their Christmas feelings. Words like: alone, discouraged, depressed, angry, hurt. The sight of happy children is a reminder of a vacant crib. The busy … Read More

Whew, what a year! We couldn’t wait to get past the election and all of its stress and strife. Maybe the holidays will be better, we thought. Maybe people will be nicer, we hoped. Then came Thanksgiving with the in-laws. Surely another helping of pumpkin pie will cure all that ails us. Now as Black Friday turns into another Monday and the calendar and the world turn the page to December complete with headlines blaring about school violence, election recounts, and dictator passings, one has to wonder, should we bother to pull out the tinsel and garland or just fast-forward … Read More

Let’s make a list. The advantages of anxiety. We have so many opportunities to practice. Just look at the front page of any newspaper. It’s voting day, for goodness sake. Within a few short hours a new leader of the free world will be chosen. This is a perfect day to be anxious, right? This is a perfect opportunity for us to rehearse the many wonders of worry. Here’s the first entry: worry helps our health. Lose sleep and you’ll live longer. A nervous stomach is a happy stomach, isn’t it? Actually, no. Worry has been cited for a swarm … Read More

Today is the 98th birthday of Billy Graham. He is, for millions of us, a hero of faith and hope. He certainly is for me. My office has limited wall space, yet I made certain to find a spot for a personal note I received from Dr. Graham many years ago. I often tell about the time I served on a prayer team for Dr. Graham. He was in San Antonio to speak at a Graham Crusade. We members of the prayer team were invited to meet with him prior to the event. We were led down the hallways of … Read More