Friday, September 20, 2019

Weekly Reads

                                                                                              Image: Lightstock

Where is God Asking You to Take Him at His Word? by Tim Challies
So much of the Christian life comes down to this simple discipline: Taking God at His Word. God speaks to me through the Bible and makes so many precious promises. The question is, will I believe, and will I obey? Will I take God at His Word?

What You Share When You Show Christian Hospitality by David Qaoud
Showing Christian hospitality is always worth it. It's not always easy and fun, but it is one of the biggest expressions of love you can show your neighbor.

Nothing On Your Phone Can Replace the Local Church by Brett McCracken
The church is and will always be central to the Christian life: a priceless jewel we should treasure and not trade for anything.

The Ministry of Presence by Tim Challies
I am convinced every church needs more of these people - more people who see their presence as a great contribution to their church. The local church doesn't need people of outsized talents or rare abilities as much as it needs normal people with full-out commitment.

He Must Increase, Our Churches Must Decrease: Thoughts on the Desire for Revival by Jared Wilson
No, a gospel-centered church doesn't aim to be the anything-est church in town because it's not comparing itself to other churches, but to the holiness of God.

Preparing Your Children For Adulthood With Scripture Memory by Dakota Lynch
Whatever your family chooses to memorize this year, may God's Word be found right where it belongs: in your heart and at the center of your home.

Minor Prophets in My Home: How Children Reveal Our Idols by Darren Carlson
We live in a society that is growing in its animosity toward children, primarily because we view them as a limitation, a shift that has sadly infected the church... the Psalmist says, "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward" (Psalm 127:3).

How to Help Your Teens Use Their Phones for Good by Katherine Forster
Teens don't just need more productivity or better time-management skills. We don't need to "take back our lives" from technology. No, we need to submit them to the Lord Jesus - every part of them - including our smartphones.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Weakly Reads

Where Did Family Come From? by Tim Challies
We are at an interesting and perhaps unprecedented time in history when our understanding of family is being confronted and our definition of family is being rewritten. So what is a family, anyway? Where did it come from? Who has the right to define it?

Cheerful Confidence After Christendom by Timothy Larson
The world is used to Christians who are alarmed, angry, fearful, despondent, grumpy. I have found they are confused and intrigued by Christians who are confident, witty, and cheerful. They start to wonder if we know something they don't know about what is really true and things are really going to turn out. And do we not?

Bearing One Another's Burdens by John MacArthur
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Gal. 6:2).

What Jesus Has to Say About Our Sexuality in a #MeToo Culture? by Sam Allberry
Sexual injury is not the same thing as a grazed knee. Our sexuality gets to the very heart of our personhood. It's why Jesus is so protective of it.

The Eclipse of God, the Subversion of Truth, and the Assault Upon Religious Liberty by Al Mohler
God is not dead. Truth is not a dream. And liberty is ours to defend.

5 Ways to Help Kids Communicate Well on Social Media by William P. Smith
Perhaps it was the content of what you said or how you said it or the visual you attached, but haven't we all put something out there we wish we hadn't?

Don't Squander the Little Years by Dane Orlund
Your kids, even while they are so young and needy, don't diminish your life - they enrich it, if you will collapse into enjoyment of them.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Weakly Reads

Five Ways to be a Godly Grandparent by Avery Foley
You've done your job: you raised your kids and watched them leave the nest to start families of their own. It's time to relax with, enjoy, and spoil the grandkids... right? Well, yes and no.

How Do I Pursue a Discipling Relationship in my Church by Aubrey Coleman
I will never outgrow the need for discipleship, nor will I outgrow the command to disciple.

Pastor, Keep Preaching the Gospel by David Prince
Be encouraged, keep your head down, keep planting and watering by faithfully preaching the gospel of Jesus, and you can know God is working through it even when you don't know.

Three Ways Your Faith Should Shape Your Work by Jeremy Treat
It is the workplace, not the sanctuary, where most Christians live out their faith. If God's reign shapes all of life, then it must shape one's view of work.

Something Profound For Our Generation by Ray Ortlund (Francis Schaeffer)
"True Christianity produces beauty as well as truth. If we do not show beauty in the way we treat each other, then in the eyes of the world and in the eyes of our own children, we are destroying the truth we proclaim."

Help! My Kids Are Bored This Summer! by William P. Smith
The summer season doesn't have to be something parents dread. Make it a time instead that help your kids learn how to take their God-given place in His world.

Real-Life Ways to Disciple My Grandchildren by Karen T. Mason
You want to teach your grandchildren? You can and you must. It is indeed a joyful calling!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Thursday Reads - 9/20/18

Advice to Christian Apologists by Douglas Groothuis
"Since all Christians should be witnesses to the reality of the Gospel, every Christian is an apologist."

Disruptive Conversations by Alan Noble
"The gift of time demonstrates to someone that they matter, and that their questions and thoughts and fears matter."

3 Boundaries You Absolutely Need in Your Marriage by Ryan Frederick
"The first step toward living with integrity in your marriage is being transparent."

4 Ways to Become an Effective Role Player in Your Church by Joseph Dicks
"Sports fans also know there's no greater competitive experience than when your team is firing on all cylinders because everyone is doing their job."

Pray for Revival - In the Other Guy's Church by Andy Johnson
"God has a big plan for His whole world, and God will accomplish His work in the world... Sometimes He may do that through us. Sometimes He may do it through the church down the street."

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Happy 1st Birthday, Cara!

Dear Cara,
We named you Cara because we thought it was such a beautiful name, and we knew you would be so beautiful. But we also named you Cara because it means “beloved,” and you are oh so loved. <3 What a year this has been! At the beginning it seemed like you would overcome one challenge only to be faced with another (learning how to drink out of your bottle without any suction, only to have to relearn after we started using the NAM, and then relearn again after surgery! Struggling with silent reflux, pain from your dairy allergy, etc.), but God really helped you to overcome each challenge! He gave us all strength, and wow! Here we are: you are a happy, adorably cute, funny, active, almost-walker who is turning 1 year old!
I will never forget the moment you were born. I heard the sweetest little cry I’d ever heard in my life and the midwife handed your tiny, warm little body to me. I laid you on my chest and you stopped crying right away and started looking for something to eat. ;) Jonathan and I are so proud of how you kept trying, right from the very start, even when it was hard or seemed impossible for both of us! You are such a strong baby girl. J  God made you so perfectly, from your fuzzy round head to your beautiful smile to your chubby thighs to your little toesies. Never forget that, Cara. God knit you together purposefully and perfectly and lovingly.  And we are so thankful that He gave you to us. It has been so much fun watching you grow and learn! I love hearing you say “mama” and sometimes “hi,” to watch you wave and sign “milky (very enthusiastically I might add ;))” or “all done.” We love to watch you light up when Daddy gets home and crawl across the floor toward him so fast that you face plant in the carpet! I love to watch Daddy read Bible stories to you as you stare at the pages (short-lived though it often is). I love to rock you and kiss your soft head while you drink your bottle, and then to put you in your crib and watch you reach for your tedsters, tuck them under your tummy, and snuggle in.
It has been such a gift from God to be your Mommy this past year. You have taught me more about who God is and His strength in my weakness, you have helped Daddy and me to grow in our love and intentional communication with each other, and you have taught me all about a new kind of love I never knew before – my love for my baby girl. <3 I love you, Cara!


Monday, May 7, 2018

Monday Reads - 5/7/18

Rosaria Butterfield: Christian Hospitality is Radically Different Than "Southern Hospitality"

Four Lessons I've Learned From the Puritans by Brian G. Najapfour

Learning To See the Glory In The Frustration In Parenting by Dustin Coleman
By the grace of God, we can not only survive these years, we can thrive in them. We just need to have the right perspective.

Violence Against Women Begins in the Womb by Elaine Storkey
It starts with recognizing the failure of two fundamental human rights: women being denied safety and girls being denied the basic right to be born.

A Dream Deferred by Jasmine Holmes
A reflection on trusting God through the heartache of miscarriage and childlessness: And my hope remains in eternity where my dreams will no longer be deferred, where my heart will explode with the reality of God's good providence where He will dry my every tear and remind me that even broken mamas are woman enough in Him.

Look Up From Your Lists: Letter To My 30-Year-Old-Self by Rick Segal
If I could do it all over, people would become the unrivaled objects of my fascination and service in my work.

The Christian's Job Description by John MacArthur
That's what I do - I tell people how to be reconciled to God. It's my job; it's my life. And it's yours, too, if you've been reconciled to God through Christ. That's what Christians do - it's our primary function. We preach the forgiveness of sins and redemption by God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

The Dad I Want To Be by Daniel Darling
God calls us to something better and empowers us. We can't change where we've already failed, but we shouldn't let past failures paralyze us. Right now, in this exact moment, I can be faithful. I can put down my phone. I can seek peace in this conversation. I can turn away from selfishness and toward service.