Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On suffering and difficulties: 3 Things to Remember When Life is Darker than You Expected by David Qaoud
I don’t know why your life is so hard. I’m not sure why God sends so many trials your way. I have no idea when it will end. But I know this: your hardships are not because God doesn’t love you. Yes, remember the love of God in hard times. But don’t forget to also remember these three truths. (click here to read more)
On cancer and faith: What Cancer Cannot Kill by Ricky Alcantar
Around that time an unexpected and uninvited thought began surfacing at different points throughout my day: “What if I get cancer?” And there were variations of it: “What if my wife does? What about my sons? What about the rest of my family?” At times I could swat it away but other times it seemed to just sit there, unmoving, staring back at my throughout the day.
But a surprising thing happened: One day as I spent time with God and my Bible I gave in. I said, “Okay, what if it happens? What would I do?” And in that moment God met me in a surprising way. God brought to mind what I’d heard over the last year from the very people battling cancer, truths that the each held on to in different way. (click here to read more)
A series of posts on family life:
9 Marks of a Christian Family by Paul Tautges
What makes a Christian family distinct from a non-Christian one? Is it the number of times those in it attend church each week, or are there many more fundamental differences? Recently, at a parenting workshop at our church, I passed on the following outline that I had developed about fifteen years ago and have taught numerous times. You may want to use it for personal Bible study or work through it in your small group. (click here to read more)
The Two Kinds of Conversation You Need to Have with Your Children by Tim Challies
One of my most formative conversations came when my oldest child was seven or eight. I was speaking to a friend who was both older and more experienced in parenting—his oldest child was already into her late teens. The counsel this friend gave me was as simple as it gets and just about as helpful as any I’ve heard.
He told me about the various conversations you will need to have with your children as they grow and mature. Those simple and direct talks with seven-year-olds eventually give way to much deeper and more nuanced ones with seventeen-year-olds. And then he offered advice on two different ways to have such conversations. (click here to read more)
Five Awkward Conversations Every Teen Needs to Have with Their Parents by Jaquelle Crowe
Awkwardness is something we humans love to avoid. Nobody likes how it makes us feel. But for Christ-following teenagers and parents, awkwardness is an inescapable part of learning. Jesus himself could be called the master of awkward conversations. He modeled the reality that hard conversations are necessary for the sake of gospel growth. His young disciples in first-century Palestine learned this, and his young disciples in modern-day America need to learn it, too. (click here to read more)
Four Ways to Help Your Teenagers Discover Their Identity in a Confused World by John Majors
Consider the confusing path teenagers must navigate today on just one subject—their sexual identity. Understanding sexuality is difficult enough for any adolescent, but our culture is crammed with confusing questions and messages about gender roles, peer expectations, sexting, pornography, sexual morality, homosexuality and transgenderism. Sexual images and messages bombard us continually.
Without a doubt the teen years are some of the most confusing when it comes to understanding who you are—your identity. But knowing what shapes your identity can make all the difference between flourishing and floundering. (click here to read more)