Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!
On praying with your spouse: (note–this 31-day challenge has already started, but I would still highly recommend signing up!) Pray With Your Spouse 31-Day Challenge by Mike Leake
Every day we will post a particular focus for our prayers along with a sample prayer. You can comment with your own prayers, etc. Also you will be challenged to “like” that status if you prayed with your spouse that day, as a means of accountability. I also would love to share testimonies of what the Lord does through your prayers with your spouse. (click here to read more)
On quiet times / personal devotions: Christian Life Beyond the Quiet Time by Jared C. Wilson
What we are talking about here is the process of formation: allowing ourselves to be formed a certain way. Most of us have already done great at being formed by the consumer culture we’re immersed in. We have adapted quite well to the rhythms of a self-centered lifestyle. Sometimes we even adapt our religious activity to that lifestyle. But to cultivate Spiritual formation means to find ways to immerse ourselves in the work of the Spirit, to re-sync ourselves to the gospel.
So this is the primary purpose of that quiet time: not to primarily focus on the things to do, but to primarily focus on the reality that the work is done. Spiritual formation will take off with much more energy and much more joy when we are centering first on the finished work of Christ in our quiet times and only secondarily on the ongoing work of obedience. (click here to read more)
On self-esteem: Find Your Self-Esteem in Someone Else by Jon Bloom
We tend to think self-esteem comes from each of us being a star shining forth our own unique glory. The way we measure our glory is in how it is reflected back to us in the approval and admiration of others. We figure the more approval and admiration, the brighter our glory, and the greater our self-esteem. But anyone who’s really experienced those things knows this is not true.
Healthy self-esteem doesn’t come from prominence; it comes from being who we are designed to be. And we’re not designed to be stars; we’re designed to be parts of an organism. (click here to read more)
On the Christian and social media: The Gospel and Social Media by Ronni Kurtz
Not all, but many selfies are taken for two different reasons, both of which the gospel speaks to. They’re either out of an actual self-centered personality that seeks to celebrate oneself – to which, the gospel would speak a word of humility and remind that Jesus is the hero of our stories, not us. Or they’re out of a position of insecurity, looking for someone on our friend list to affirm the way we look, dress, act, whatever – to which, the gospel would speak a word of acceptance. Christian, your affirmation isn’t in what others think about you on a particular day. It’s in the fact that Jesus is, right now, mediating by his blood on your behalf and has given his righteousness freely to you.
I’m not willing to say that selfies are intrinsically bad within themselves, and I’m even willing to say that there are times when they can be good. Yet when striving to follow a resurrected savior whose primary message was “selfless,” a constant presence of “selfie” seems hard to justify. (click here to read more)