Good Reads 02.08.18 (on: joy, midlife crisis, and more!)

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

On praying and pastoring: How to Pray for Your Pastor by Todd Benkert

As a pastor, one of the greatest encouragements is to hear the words “I’m praying for you.” Truly, one of the great blessings of being a pastor is knowing that prayers are being lifted up on your behalf. Often, people ask how they can be praying for me. While there are particular needs that I have from time to time, here are some prayers for pastors that are always in season… (click here to read more)

On joy: I Am Eeyore by Adam Kareus

My mom nicknamed me Eeyore. She thought it truly expressed my soul. By nature, I have always been melancholy. Where others might reside on a baseline of 5 on the joy scale I was always resting at 2. My life has been good. It is not circumstances that have me down. Rather it is part of my personality. I experience joy and happiness, it just seems to be smaller peaks of happiness than others. Something pretty extraordinary has to happen for me to experience true joy. And because of that, I have looked upon others who seem to be happy in small stuff and it is hard not to wish to be more like them.

But that might explain my fanatical feeling toward God. For it was from Him and Him alone that I have found true lasting joy. This is joy uplifts all that I do so that I can now find joy in the most mundane task or everyday circumstance. In fact, this joy transforms my world in that circumstances aren’t the main thing that determines what I feel, rather what determines it is who I am in God’s eyes. (click here to read more)

On guilt: Christ Turns the Tide of Guilt by Amy Mantravadi

For the redeemed, the arms of the Lord are wings of protection in which they feel utterly at peace. For the sinner, there is only the arm of judgment spoke of by the prophets. They are not children wrapped in a familial embrace, but “sinners in the hands of an angry God”, to quote Jonathan Edwards. Overwhelming guilt and absence of trust: this is why the prisoner of the sinful nature takes no comfort in the phrase, “I am not my own”. (click here to read more)

On growing older: Why I Thank God for My Painful Midlife Crisis by Akos Balogh

If the root of midlife struggles is a wrong interpretation of life, then we are faced with a choice: will we let the theology of Scripture exegete and interpret our life, or let life reinterpret our theology?

In other words, will I let my midlife pain overtly shape my view of Godleading to doubt and uncertainty in Him? Or will I let Scripture interpret my painleading me to my suffering Saviour, who knows my distress?

The choice is clear.

Looking back, I had let a secularised view of reality frame my experience of midlifewhich is why I felt so fearful and starved for meaning.

But a biblical view of reality provides a different interpretation, a different narrative: one that gives meaning, hope, and joy. (click here to read more)

Good Reads 07.20.17 (on: the Bible, health, and more!)

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

On the Bible and inerrancy: The Bible Is Better than Google by Margaret Bronson

The beautiful truth in all of this is that GOD WANTS US TO KNOW HIM. Learning about God isn’t googling “God” and reading millions of opinions on God. Instead, we open His Word, and we hear His very words breathed out. All other doctrines hinge on a sure source of evidence, a witness that we can trust. Without inerrancy, we cannot know anything about God with any certainty, and the “study of God” would be a guessing game, just like trying to figure out why my kid’s hair smells. Instead, with inerrancy, we can approach God and His Word with certainty, eager to learn of His ways and discern how to live faithfully in the world.  (click here to read more)

On godliness and health: Guard Your Health by Tim Challies (note: Challies is writing this “Run to Win” series for young men, especially, but it has truths which all can learn from)

You need to steward your body. As you surrender your body, you acknowledge that it does not belong to you but to God. Just as you are responsible to faithfully steward your time and money, you are responsible before God to faithfully steward the body he has assigned to you. You are to use your body wisely, to put your body to use in ways that bring glory to God. After all, “You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). (click here to read more)

On Jesus as the “way, the truth, and the life”: The Most Controversial Claim Jesus Made by David Mathis

Jesus gets the glory of being “the way,” (not “a way”), “the truth” (not just true), and “the life” (not just life), and as he does, we get the joy and peace and stability of having such a Lord and Savior and Treasure. “The way” is not centrally belief in certain principles and execution of particular actions, but trusting and treasuring a living person. At the heart of Christianity is not pillars to follow, but a person to know and enjoy. (click here to read more)

On the pastor and his character: A Pastor’s Character Over His Competence by Chris Thomas

Character over competence is a biblical idea. Note that I’m not saying that competence doesn’t matter—we’ll soon see that it doe. But that the vast weight of Scripture leads me to believe that God is primarily concerned with the type of man who shepherds, rather than the skills that man brings to the role.

There are two ‘go-to’ passages that deal with the qualification of a shepherd, both are found in letters written by Paul to emerging leaders of the first century church… (click here to read more)