Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On body image and beauty: Why Did God Make Me Ugly? by David Qaoud
For me, I’ve always found comfort from Psalm 139:13: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
Who created you, designed you, made you? God. When I wish I wasn’t born with a heart defect, I remember this verse. When I wish I were a little taller or my tendons a little stronger, I remember God was the One who designed me. (click here to read more)
On the responsibility of a husband in his marriage: Marriage Manifesto for Men by Ed Welch
I want nothing that could possibly minimize my responsibilities which are to pray for our marriage, pray for my wife, take spiritual initiatives during our times together, share the important features of my thoughts, and invite her to speak of her pleasures, personal struggles and marital concerns. My responsibility is to love her in an increasingly active and noticeable way, like Jesus Christ loves his bride and in his power. (click here to read more)
On quiet times and silent prayers: Stop Having Quiet Times by David Powlison
You and I can do the same thing. Our relationship with God isn’t meant to become so interiorized that we lose the words of direct speech. Close the door, take a walk, get in the car—and speak up. Of course, in group contexts throughout the Bible and in public gatherings, God’s people naturally pray and sing aloud, just as they hear Scripture aloud. We naturally do the same in corporate worship, when we join in the Lord’s prayer, or in small-group prayer.
The standard practice for both public and private prayer is to speak so as to be heard by the Person you’re addressing. Prayer is verbal because it’s relational. It’s not a psychological experience. It’s not contemplative immersion in an inner silence beyond words. It’s an honest verbal conversation about things that matter, talking with someone you know, need, and love. (click here to read more)
On aging gracefully in the church: Five Things I Pray I Will Not Do as a Senior Adult in the Church by Thom Rainer
I attended a business meeting of a large church some time ago. The total attendance at the meeting represented fewer than five percent of the worship attendance. One of the men who recognized me approached me before the meeting, “We come together at these business meetings to keep the pastor straight,” he told me. In reality, they came together to criticize the pastor and staff. I pray I will not become a perpetual critic. I don’t want to grow old and cranky; I want to grow old and more sanctified. (click here to read more)