Good Reads 11.01.17 (on: parenting, God as refuge, and more!)

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

On God being our refuge: The Type of Refuge God Is by Mike Leake

God is not a reluctant refuge. He isn’t a passive refuge like a cave. He is one who delights in those who take refuge in Him. Therefore, I am emboldened to cast all my cares and anxieties upon Him. I don’t have to pretend that I’m someone that I’m not. And I don’t have to fear that when I come into this cave and spill all my guts and things get ugly that somehow I’m going to be rejected and booted out of this source of refuge. No, I’m loved and known deeply. (click here to read more)

On battling depression: What I Learned in My Season of Depression by Shona Murray

When I was a pastor’s wife and a mother of four children, I was T-boned by burnout and depression. As an energetic, motivated, organized, and outgoing person, I could never have anticipated the anxiety, fear, and endless despair that enveloped me. But God, in his love and wisdom, chose this very specific trial for me. Perhaps he has chosen it for you, and you too are bewildered. Let me give you some hope by sharing some of the lessons I learned from this shocking providence. (click here to read more)

On loving and serving moms: 3 Ways to Love Moms in Your Church by Allyson Todd

As you pursue and love moms in your church, let those moms also pursue and love you. This can be a life-giving opportunity for women to be reminded that their identity is not just in their motherhood. Let women with children disciple you, serve you, and love you as you love them.

I have some friends who would regularly invite me over for dinner when I didn’t have a kitchen. Since my friend was already cooking for her family, my presence at their dinner table wasn’t a burden. This same family let me live in their basement when I was in-between homes. We may feel like a burden to our mom-friends, but we can communicate our needs and let women with children meet us where they can. (click here to read more)

On parenting: 18 Things I Will Not Regret Doing with My Kids by Tim Challies

It baffles me that one of the things that most intimidates me is praying with my kids. I don’t mean praying with the whole family before or after a meal, but praying with my daughter for my daughter or with my son for my son. Yet this kind of prayer lets them see that I am concerned for what concerns them and it lets us join in prayer together for those very things. I know I need to prioritize this because I will never regret praying with them for them. (click here to read more)

Good Reads 09.28.17 (on Bible reading, depression, and hope)

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

On kids and Bible reading: How to Help Your Kids Get Excited about Reading the Bible by David Murray

It doesn’t need to be like that. Indeed, it shouldn’t be like that. While I welcome the beautiful graphics, videos, and other resources that we now have to us help teach the Bible to kids, there’s nothing more infectious than an enthusiastic teacher or parent. That’s contagious and will stick long in the memory after other images have faded.

We can communicate our delight in the Bible by the way we conduct family worship. Let our body language, our expressions, and our tone of voice all transmit vigor and vitality. Work at showing how even one part of the passage applies to our children’s lives. (click here to read more)

On battling the “dark seasons of the soul”: Truth I’m Trying to Hold Onto by Mike Leake

At times it’s just my depression talking and kind words are being filtered through a wickedly unhelpful lens. And at times it’s just that I’m enduring criticism on a daily basis for something or another. And I’m usually right there in the crowd yelling, “crucify him”. And so when my feelings are all jacked up I try my best to meditate upon things that I know to be true.

I don’t feel confident enough to write anything original today. But, I came up with this list a few years ago: (click here to read more)

On our future hope: Like a Dream Come True by Jared Wilson

To practice followship of Jesus is to believe the descriptions. It is to believe that around the corner where we cannot yet go is the most wonderful thing we could ever imagine—in fact, it is beyond imagination, beyond what we can conceive of. Even the descriptions cannot do this revelation justice. We hear the rumors of this place, read the travelogues of those precious few who trembled as though dead having spent mere seconds in that sacred space, and though we do not see it, we believe.

By God’s grace, we believe.

We believe that just around the corner is the end to all our searching, the satisfaction of all our yearnings, the desire of all our longings. We are not there. Not yet. But just around the corner, brothers and sisters, is the wildest dream come true. (click here to read more)

Good Reads 05.24.17 (on: battling depression, spiritual gifts, and more!)

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

On the Old Testament: Seven Ways the Old Testament Deepens Our Love for Jesus by David Murray

One of the ways that children sometimes try to deepen their relationship with their parents is to travel back to where their father or mother grew up. They might visit historical societies, read archives, and gather newspaper stories and artifacts from old friends. Doing so, they build a bigger and better picture of their father or mother and experience a deeper sense of connection with them and love for them.

In a similar way, Christians go back to the Old Testament to build a bigger and better picture of Jesus Christ. By connecting with his past, we connect better with him and deepen our love for him. The Old Testament connects us with Jesus’ past in the following ways: (click here to read more)

On dealing with personal darkness and depression: What Do You Do When You’re in the Pit? by Godwin Sathianathan

Well, that’s all very true.  But last I checked we are all still human!  The Bible never calls us to be anything other than human.  And in our humanity, we hurt. To express this hurt to God isn’t necessarily sinful communication; it can come from a very deep place of trust in our Father’s tender care.  Kids who scrape a knee and then bury their tearful faces in mamma’s lap communicate profound trust in mamma.  Likewise, God’s children run to their Father when they hurt too.  This is child-like trust, not godless defiance. (click here to read more)

On loving your church: Love the One You’re With by Jon Bloom

The earthly church has always been a motley crew. It’s never been ideal. The New Testament exists because churches, to differing degrees, have always been a mess — a glorious mess of saints still polluted by remaining sin, affected by defective genes, brains, and bodies, and influenced by life-shaping pasts.

This mess rarely looks glorious to us up close. It looks like a lot of sin and a lot of blood, sweat, and tears invested into a lot of futility. It often looks like something we’d rather escape than join.

But this is the way it’s supposed to be. Because the mess is what draws out the one thing that advances the church’s mission more than anything else. And this one thing is why we must not, for selfish reasons, leave the church. (click here to read more)

On Spiritual gifts: The Only Spiritual Gifts Test You’ll Ever Need by Stephen Altrogge

As I skimmed it, I thought, Is this spiritual gifts test really necessary? Is figuring out my God-given gifts really this complex? 

Thankfully, I don’t think things need to be so difficult. In fact, I think determining your spiritual gifts is incredibly simple.

God wants you to know your gifts. He’s not hiding them from you. You don’t have to embark on a lengthy, soul-searching journey culminating in transcendent mystical revelation.

Figuring out your spiritual gifts requires only two questions… (click here to read more)

Good Reads 05.11.16 (on: depression, discipleship, and more!)

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

On sharing about Jesus and making disciples: 10 Great Commission Thoughts to Challenge You Today by Chuck Lawless

A single 30-minute sermon is more time in the Word than 3 billion+ people in the world have had engaging the Word in their entire lifetime. We who have access to the Word through preaching, study, books, the Internet, etc., have great reason not to take these gifts for granted. (click here to read more)

On discipleship: A Helpful Way to Think about Personal Discipleship by Mike Leake

What if we used my friends helpful principle to think about discipleship? First, I make a concentrated effort to spend time with people. Secondly, every time I spend time with them my goal is to leave them better than when we started—to help them take one step closer to Christ. That’s it. Every time I meet with you I want to love you and want to help you see Jesus a little better. (And quite likely you’ll help me see Jesus better too).  (click here to read more)

On politics and the Christian life: A Gentle Political Recalibration by Erik Raymond

Here in the United States our news is dominated by the Presidential election cycle and as a result, we are inundated with up to the minute analysis of debates, rallies, interviews, editorials, and tweets. Many have observed that this is a particularly important election. I happen to agree with them while also noting that the same thing is said every four years. It is always important.

Without minimizing the importance of the election or impugning anyone who is a political junkie, I want to offer a gentile reminder for Christians who might be getting a little too wrapped up in the election. Call it a gentle calibration. (click here to read more)

On the Christian and depression: Jesus Died for Your Depression Too by Cody Barnhart

I first felt the effects of depression late in middle school. It led me into a short stint of melodrama freshman year, a longing for suicide in my sophomore and junior years, and, thankfully, a softening in my heart toward the gospel my senior year. Adolescence was tough. I felt like I would never be known. I remember thinking that nobody could ever truly love somebody who hated himself that much, so instead of being honest with those who loved me, I pushed my feelings deeper down until they consumed me altogether. (click here to read more)

On culture and grace: The Idea that Changed the World by Steve Bezner

In the desire to be holy, Christians often comfort themselves with the words of Jesus: “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matthew 10:34) Left unchecked, we will tend to believe that it is good for us to create division with our faithfulness. In fact, when we are drifting away from our theological mooring, we can default to a position of cultural antagonism without a redemptive goal. (Orthodox Christians would argue cultural antagonism with a redemptive goal is ultimately a unifying good.)

But have Christians oversold the position of “taking a stand”? (click here to read more)

Sunday 08.30.15 (even prophets get depressed, 1 Kings 19)

This Sunday we’ll talk about the darkness of depression and how even Elijah, the great man of God, suffered from it. Yet Jesus gives a greater hope!

Schedule
@945 Small Groups / Sunday School for all ages
@1045 Worship Gathering
@6pm Adult Bible Study in church library

Sermon Notes
Even Prophets Get Depressed ~1 Kings 19

  • Depression is a period or prolonged state of sadness and/or disinterest that can affect relationships, actions, and attitudes
    • Everyone has periods of sadness, some people suffer clinical depression
    • There are multiple potential causes: spiritual, physical, circumstantial, chemical, or a combination of these
  • Elijah faced depression at the threat of his life, though he had seen God do many great things
  • We battle depression and dark times by:
    • Treating the things that need to be treated (19:5-8)
    • Realizing you cannot depend on the spiritual highs of the past to carry you (19:1-4, 9)
    • Remembering that God doesn’t always work the way we expect but he is always at work (19:9-18)
    • Setting our hope on Jesus, the better Prophet

1 kings 19

Good Reads 08.19.15 (on: parenting, relationships, depression, and more!)

Here is a collection of good reads gathered over this past week:

On parenting: Three Motivations for Parents to Avoid by Jason Allen

Over the past decade, I’ve witnessed in others—and, unfortunately, in myself—three parental motivations to avoid. Like weeds that force their way through the best-cultivated garden or thickest concrete, these motivations seem stubborn, always reappearing; resilient, always resurfacing. In fact, if I could wish away three parental motives from my heart, and from others, it would be these: ambition, fear, and pride. (click here to read more)

On God’s work during the dark seasons of life: When the Clouds Gather by Collin Huber

Yet, our collective longing for peace has its place. We were created for peace and our hearts will not rest until we find it. Everyone suffers, but not all suffer well. Becoming mired and entangled in the pain often serves as the easier, though altogether enslaving option. Hope requires courage, and for the Christian, the presence of God sustains us in the difficult days. Spafford’s story, along with countless others, points to a singular truth that has rippled throughout the currents of history—God crafts beauty in the darkness. (click here to read more)

On battling fear: Pull the Mask Off of Fear by Kristin Tabb

Since death empowers the fear that drives the human race, Jesus killed death’s power, defeating it by dying himself, and then rising as Victor over it. He is the ultimate Conqueror. He did this to “deliver all those who through fear or death were subject to lifelong slavery” — you and me. (click here to read more)

On relationships, sex, and reality: My Own Personal Bollywood by Tim Challies

This fantasy is not harmless. It teaches those who watch it. It presents a form of reality that we may desire, but cannot attain. The Bollywood hero can’t actually stop a train and human begins created in God’s image cannot actually experience that Hollywood kind of intimacy just the way it is presented. This Hollywood fantasy allows us to believe that sex precedes love, that I can’t possibly know I love you until I’ve slept with you and a lot of other people besides. It allows us to believe that sex is powerful enough to be a unique form of union between a man and woman, but that sex is also meaningless enough that it can be experienced with many people over a lifetime without regret and without consequence. It allows us to believe that a sex life can be carried on through the passion of a relationship that doesn’t involve investment, difficulty, and self-denial. It is a particularly unhealthy and unrealistic fantasy. (click here to read more)