In January 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that “insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic” linked to everything from vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and chronic diseases ranging from hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity and even cancer. 

We’ve all heard variations on the notion that the world is comprised of “two kinds of people.” Coke people and Pepsi people. Dog people and cat people. Beach people and mountain people. You get the idea. 

When one of our sons was about 4, he was really into his toy fire truck. It was a ladder truck with flashing lights, sirens, doors that opened, even a working steering wheel. One day, we were walking down the sidewalk and parked across the street by what was not only a real ladder truck, but…

In January 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that “insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic,” linked to everything from vehicle crashes, industrial disasters and a host of chronic diseases ranging from hypertension, diabetes, depression, obesity and even cancer.

Even in the days when Christianity was a “new” movement, the earliest Christians grew in a faith that was not a new invention. Instead, they saw it as a continuation and fulfillment of all that God had been doing in redemptive history in anticipating the coming of Jesus. It wasn’t that Chris…

A British friend once told me that among the first differences he noticed between people from the United Kingdom and the United States is how often we Ameri-cans employ the term “awesome.”

A while back, my kids put me on to an online spoof called “real slogans.” It showed pictures of well-known products with made up slogans thought to better represent the actual product.

A character in Tolkien’s “Fellowship of the Ring,” an Elf named Gildor, makes this observation about his people: “Elves seldom give unguarded advice, for advice is a dangerous gift, even from wise to wise, and all courses may run ill.”

As I write this, my inbox and social media feeds are being flooded with appeals to “become a better me” in 2019. Anyone who knows me knows that there is plenty of work to be done in this regard. I would do well to exercise more, to eat better and less, lay off the screen time and read more.

Like most married people, my marriage was preceded by a period of engagement. The reason most people endure this period — rather than running off to Vegas — is to ready and prepare themselves not only for a wedding ceremony but for a life together.

When I was in college, I spent a summer overseas studying at an old university. My housing accom-modations were what a real estate agent might call “homey” or “charming.” I would characterize it as “cramped” and “drafty.”

Between 2011 and 2017, it is estimated that there have been 259 people who have died by reason of selfie, perishing in the act of attempting to capture a memorable, social media-worthy image of themselves.

On my very first visit to Jacksonville, Florida, I saw dolphins jumping out of St. Johns river. I was thrilled, as this was the first time I’d ever seen dolphins in the wild.

In his book “The Road to Character,” David Brooks identifies a significant gap between success and satisfaction. He proposes that most of us spend our lives focused on success in seeking to secure the “resumé virtues” measured by the usual metrics of educational and/or financial success.

It must have been around 1978 when I started to hate the idea of having a king. It was around that time, curled up on the sofa in my footie pajamas, I became captivated by a three-minute cartoon called “No More Kings.”

When preaching from the Old Testament, a friend of mine likes to refer his congregation to “the part of the Bible that’s toward the front.” Of course, it’s the rare Christian who doesn’t know where to locate the Old Testament in their Bibles. But the joke reveals a more serious issue: Many C…

The Beatitudes are often thought of as that particular teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5 and Luke 6. But the Bible is full of Beatitudes, most prominently in the Psalms. Psalm 41 begins with a striking one: “Blessed is the one who considers the poor.”

Coming from a pastor, it may come as no surprise to say that I’ve been thinking a lot about the church lately. It’s a bit like your local butcher saying, “I’ve been thinking a lot about meat lately.” But the church is something that everyone, especially Christians, ought to be thinking about a lot.

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of speaking to some students at Tivy High School for Career Day. Realizing that there would likely be few students interested in my particular profession, I focused instead on charting an educational and experiential path that might apply to any number of…

In Galatians 5:25, Paul gives an exhortation for how Christians are called to live.

I once had a friend who visited the United States Embassy in what was then the country of Czechoslovakia. At the time, the ambassador was the famous former child movie star Shirley Temple Black.

“I once was lost, but now am found/T’was blind, but now I see.” That line from John Newton’s “Amazing Grace” is perhaps the most memorable line in all of Christian hymnody, and for good reason. Perhaps more than any other verse, it potently — and poetically — encapsulate the “before and afte…

This Sunday is Easter, the day the Church celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is celebrated as a matter of “first importance … that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scripture…

In the film “The Shawshank Redemption,” perhaps no character was more tragic than Brooksy Hatlen. Brooksy was a kindly older prisoner who served as the librarian, but certainly not an innocent one, as he had been there for nearly 50 years.

Benjamin Franklin was a man who liked to go to bed every night with a sense of accomplishment and wake up every day with new accomplishments to master. One day, he got especially ambitious, creating a list of 12 virtues to make him a better person.

On Jan. 4 of this year, a little girl in Kasur, Pakistan, headed out the door to go to her aunt’s house for Koran class, but along the way disappeared. Five days later, her body was found in the local dump.

Everyone has heard of the tech bubble of the ’90s and the real estate bubble of the early 2000s, but one of history’s earliest and most studied economic bubbles occurred in the mid-1630s in Holland. It has come to be known as the Tulip Bubble.

There is a great difference between having information and having wisdom. One might understand the chemistry and physics that create fire, but it’s wisdom that guides one in the proper use of it. Wisdom then becomes the difference between warming a home and burning it down. 

Someone once asked Fred Rogers, the famed “Mr. Rogers” of the show that ran for decades on PBS, about how to talk to children about tragedy. Rogers replied that when he was a boy, his mother would tell him to look for those who come to help. You see, it’s vital to see not only the disaster, …

I’m continuing in a series on the Reformed understanding of the Christian faith summarized in “the Solas,” which tell us that salvation comes by Scripture alone, grace alone, faith alone, through Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. This week we’re considering what is meant by “faith alone.”

For nearly two decades, McDonald’s advertised with the slogan “You deserve a break today.” McDonald’s wanted every hardworking American to know that with a little extra money to spend, but not enough time to put dinner on the table, the food you’re buying from them is (ironically), well earned.

The Rev. John Standridge is pastor at Christ Church Presbyterian. He can be reached at

The Rev. John Standridge is pastor at Christ Church Presbyterian in Kerrville. He can be reached at

I recently took my kids to see “Wonder Woman.” It lived up to expectations as a fun superhero flick. What I didn’t expect was an in-depth reflection on the nature and origin of evil.

The Bible is the most published book in the history of the world, long ago taken off the best-seller list for the simple reason that it would perpetually hold the No. 1 spot. In that respect, it’s the Usain Bolt of books — no other book even comes close.

I remember learning as a child that the Inuit people have over fifty words for “snow.” Having lived the earlier parts of my life in snowless places, it seemed more than sufficient to have one term for the fluffy, frozen white stuff that falls from the sky.

We’re less than a week past Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And there’s a reason that Easter is the most important day in the church year: The resurrection is the foundational event of the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul calls it the “matter of first importance…

By the end of the Oscar-winning film “Braveheart,” the rebel leader of the Scots, William Wallace, has been captured, imprisoned, publicly tortured and executed for treason. But before giving up the ghost, in front of a cringing crowd, Wallace musters his strength and bellows one last word: …

When I was in seminary, a couple hired me to be their regular driver to the airport. It just so happened that the wife in this couple was a well-known Christian writer, speaker and radio personality, so the rides were a very frequent need of theirs as they traveled for regular speaking engag…

Of all the miracles that Jesus performed in His earthly ministry, only one of them was destructive. In Mark 11, Jesus comes upon a fig tree which He discovers is not bearing fruit and curses it. When they pass by it the next day, it’s dead to the roots.

To understand Jesus Christ, you must first know that He is a gift

Reflecting on the death of his wife, Joy Davidman, who died at the age of 45 from bone cancer, C.S. Lewis described his experience of her loss.