Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On singing together as a church: What’s So Special about Singing? by Bob Kauflin
People sing. Everywhere. In their cars. In the shower. In choirs. At football games. At birthdays. At weddings and funerals. At rock concerts. In musicals and operas. When there’s sunshine. When it rains. When it’s stormy. In the morning, afternoon, and night.
But when the church gathers on Sunday morning (or Saturday night, etc.), our earthly voices join the choirs of heaven and the singing is like no other. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been moved as I added my voice to the beautiful, engaging, powerful, awe-inspiring, robust singing of a congregation.
But sometimes our sound is halting and weak. Out of tune and out of time. And not so beautiful. What should we do then? (click here to read more)
On accountability as Christians: Over-Complicating Accountability by Barnabas Piper
Accountability only works if it is rooted in relational investment. It works if it is not merely a Q&A but rather life lived alongside life, through conversation, meals, fun, crisis, ups, and downs. This is relationship, the kind out of which real accountability grows. The kind where it’s safe to be humble and honest. (click here to read more)
On our need for recreation and play: Play Hard by Jared C. Wilson
Why is playing hard so important? Because in our play we create and imagine and therefore tap into the very creative heart of God. We echo his story with our narratives of play. This is why on the playground little boys are playing cops and robbers or doing battle and little girls are playing house. They are vanquishing evil, subduing the earth, building civilization. And because all of this effort reflects the heart of the great Author of everything, their hearts never grow weary of it, even if their bodies do. (click here to read more)
On marriage: Dear Wives: This Is the One Thing You Can’t Afford Not to Do for Your Husband by Jarred Lopes
We can all change our behavior temporarily. We can fool others, and even ourselves that we are doing better, simply by changing our behavior. But Jesus never set out to change behavior, he set out to change hearts.
This is what is so profound about what Leila did. By waking up every night and begging God to change my heart, she was humbly admitting that she was completely out of control. She recognized that she does not posses the power to change hearts, so she went before the One who can. (click here to read more)
On living life in the midst of hardships and trials: Love the Life You Never Wanted by Marshall Segal
The reality is that all of us can imagine something better for ourselves than our circumstances today. The greater reality is that, if you love and follow Jesus, God always writes a better story for you than you would write for yourself. The “better” is based on this: God himself is the best, most satisfying thing you could ever have or experience, and, therefore, fullness of life is ultimately found not in any earthly success or relationship or accomplishment, but in your proximity to God through faith. (click here to read more)