Good Reads 03.08.17 (on: change, creativity, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered from across the internet this past week. Enjoy!

On being creative: Are You Suffocating Your Creativity? by Erik Raymond

In recent years I’ve observed the drag upon my creativity, particularly in preparing my sermons, writing, and planning. I would schedule my days full with blocks of time after blocks of time. Building off of each, often with little margin, I would feel incredibly productive while at the same time miserably uncreative. I wondered why I got so many ideas when I was falling asleep at night, taking a shower, or riding my bicycle. The answer was clear: I had created a margin for my mind to wander and think. These seasons of free time have served to be something of a gust of fresh air into a stuffy room. (click here to read more)

On change: The Aseity of God and the Power to Change by Mike Leake

He alone can bring the change that is needed. He can create something out of nothing. He can take a stone cold heart and turn it into a fully alive heart of worship. And he can also take this negative and cynical man and stir up deep wells of hope. He truly can bring the change that I long for. I don’t have to worry about living in an unfamiliar world and being alone to navigate it’s waters. What I have to do is cling to Jesus and trust Him. (click here to read more)

On lies we tend to believe about ourselves: Three Lies We Might Easily Believe by Ray Ortlund

Lie #2: “You’re a loser. You’ve ruined your life. You’re too damaged by now. You’ll never amount to anything for the Lord. You might as well give up.”

Answer: “. . . the poor, . . . the brokenhearted, . . . the captives, . . . that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations” (Isaiah 61:1-4). (click here to read more)

On prayer: Prayer Isn’t Magic by Jared C. Wilson

When some Christians talk about the “power of prayer,” one gets the impression that there is some force inherent in our words, sourced in ourselves, that can make or break reality. The “name it and claim it” crowd operates as if the one praying is in control rather than the one prayed to.

Is prayer powerful? Yes, definitely, but specifically because the One being prayed to is powerful. The one doing the praying is in fact by his praying demonstrating that he has no power in and of himself. That is functionally what prayer is—an expression of helplessness. If we were powerful, we wouldn’t need to pray. (click here to read more)