31 August 2013

What Your Passions Say About You, from Desiring God: 
Apart from Christ, sinful and self-centered pleasures will lead us toward unimaginable pain and eternal judgment away from the presence of God. But in Christ, no matter how strong those old desires tug at you, your sins have all been paid for, you have been covered with God’s righteousness, and as a result of God’s saving grace you will find in yourself new desires that only God himself can satisfy

26 August 2013

The Mother of All Swear Words - from Jen Wilkin: 
In order to guard your child from acting on natural curiosity in a potentially harmful way, you must become the fountainhead of “forbidden knowledge”, starting with swear words and progressing to sex. You want to be the go-to when your child has a question. Don’t ask an internet filter service to be your first line of defense – attack the problem at its root by inviting your child into dialogue early and often about their questions concerning the forbidden, the embarrassing, the secret. Invite them to trust you as the most reliable and safe search engine they can consult when their curiosity on any topic is piqued.

05 August 2013

1. How to Look at Art: squint at it, flip it over, find the negative space, define the moment, re-construct it, let the artist guide your eyes, say what you see, use background knowledge, and THEN look at the label on the wall.

18 July 2013

Seven Ways to Pray for Your Heart from the Desiring God blog:
Whatever it takes, Lord--
give me delight in You as the greatest treasure of my heart,
align the desires of my heart with Yours,
increase my awareness of my dependence on You in everything so that I will live continually by faith,
teach me to discern good from evil through the rigourous exercise of constant practise,
keep me desperate for You because I tend to wander when I stop feeling my need for You,
discipline me for my good so that I may share Your holiness and bear the peaceful fruit of righteousness,
increase my resolve to do Your will with all diligence.
Whatever it takes, Lord.

14 July 2013

Training Heart Identities in Boys and Girls --wise blog post about this critical issue from Luma Simms over at Desiring God

13 July 2013

Solid career advice from Carolyn McCulley: Pay your dues, get to the point, address conflict, and put your confidence in the Lord.

09 July 2013

Fairy tales, then, are not responsible for producing in children fear, or any of the shapes of fear; fairy tales do not give the child the idea of the evil or the ugly; that is in the child already, because it is in the world already. Fairy tales do not give the child his first idea of bogey. What fairy tales give the child is his first clear idea of the possible defeat of bogey. The baby has known the dragon intimately ever since he had an imagination. What the fairy tale provides for him is a St. George to kill the dragon.
—G. K. Chesteron, “The Red Angel” (1909)

07 June 2013

1. Listening to Young Atheists
2. Lay Aside the Weight of Sluggishness
Identify the doubt. Sluggishness has a cause. What is sapping your faith?
Repent. Unbelief is a sin. Seek to actively turn from it.
Target that unbelief with biblical truth. Stop whatever else you may be doing for devotional reading and focus on and pray through texts that deal directly with this issue. Lay aside your other book reading and read things that address this doubt.
Don’t go it alone. Humble yourself and share your struggle with trusted counselors God has given you. Our great Coach often speaks through assistant coaches (Hebrews 3:13).
3. When the Not-Yet Married Meet
4. How Jack Miller Saved My Life

09 May 2013

05 May 2013

From Francis Chan and David Platt's introduction to the new edition of Piper's ‘A Hunger for God ’ :
If we really want to be a part of seeing disciples made and churches multiplied throughout North America and to the ends of the earth, we would be wise to begin on our knees....There is spiritual delight to be found in God that far supersedes the physical diet of this world, and fasting is the means by which we say to God, “More than our stomachs want food, our souls want you.” Once we “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8), the things of the world no longer appeal to us in the same way....We fast because we’re hungry for God’s Word and God’s Spirit in our lives. We fast because we long for God’s glory to resound in the church and God’s praise to resound among the nations. We fast because we yearn for God’s Son to return and God’s kingdom to come. Ultimately we fast simply because we want God more than we want anything this world has to offer us.

02 May 2013

Telling the Story from the Bible, from the Gospel Coalition: wonderful story Bibles for people of all ages. Yes.

28 April 2013

Nine Keys for Leading Women's Ministry by Hilary Tompkins, The Resurgence. 

Do you want the women you lead to be honest and transparent? Then you gotta go first, sister.Women follow many types of women leaders, but they see Jesus in a woman who is real, repentant, grace-giving, and living that out in front of her team.

26 March 2013

stop asking Jesus into your heart

1. J. D. Greear in an interview about his new book: 
“If you are right now trusting in Christ’s finished work and submitting to his Lordship, that proves you are saved. If you are not, then it doesn’t matter what “ceremony” you went through. Assurance doesn’t come through a memory of a past event, but through our present posture....
“For every one look we take at our sinful heart, we should take 10 looks at Christ....
“You will never have the strength to say “no” to sin until you realize the unconditional “yes” that God has given to you in Christ. You’ll never give up your life in radical obedience until you are radically assured of his radical commitment to you.”

2. On adoption: My Child's Backstory is None of Your Business
“I think the thoughtless telling of our children's stories stems from forgetting something that all parents are prone to forget: my child is my neighbor. Yes, I am his parent—with all the authority and responsibility that entails. Of course. But my child is not simply my possession or an extension of myself. He is a human being, made in the image of God, with a soul that will never die. And his story does not belong to me.”

21 March 2013

1. “Learning to design is, first of all, learning to see. Designers see more, and more precisely. This is a blessing and a curse — once we have learned to see design, both good and bad, we cannot un-see. The downside is that the more you learn to see, the more you lose your ‘common’ eye, the eye you design for. This can be frustrating for us designers when we work for a customer with a bad eye and strong opinions. But this is no justification for designer arrogance or eye-rolling. Part of our job is to make the invisible visible, to clearly express what we see, feel and do. You can’t expect to sell what you can’t explain.”
Oliver Reichenstein, via Swiss Miss

19 March 2013

1. Nine Reasons You Can Face Anything
2. Ten Big, Daily Reminders

I like lists. I need reminders like this. Because God is really really big and I am so prone to forget that truth.

17 March 2013

Dude, Watch Your Jargon
“We need to do the hard work of incorporating new words and concepts in order to crisply articulate truths that fly under the radar of a noisy world. The truths don’t change. The content is unshakable. But our communication should be infused with life. Bright-eyed, soul-soaring life.”

16 March 2013

1. From "Contentment, again."
Contentment is a deep satisfaction with the will of God in your life. Contentment receives the portion God has carved for you (as the Puritans would say) with pleasure and gratitude. Contentment rests in God’s providence, knowing He is a good and gracious Father who loves His children. Contentment believes God’s promises. Contentment rejoices in all things. Contentment is informed....
“Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you’ “(Hebrews 13:5).

Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet would ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Saviour

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

12 March 2013

1. Single, satisfied, and sent.

“While marriage may bring joy, help, and relief in certain areas, it immediately multiplies your distractions because you’re intimately responsible for this other person, his or her needs, dreams, and growth. It’s a high calling and a good calling, but a demanding one that will keep you from all kinds of other good things.

Therefore, for the not-yet married, our (temporary) singleness is a gift. It really is. If God leads you to marriage, you may never again know a time like the one you’re in right now. A season of singleness is not merely the minor leagues of marriage. It has the potential to be a unique period of undivided devotion to Christ and undistracted ministry to others.

With the Spirit in you and the calendar clear, God has given you the means to make a lasting difference for his kingdom. You’re all dressed up, having every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3), with literally everywhere to go.”

2. Lecrae on hope when life is hard.

“The biblical promise that I turn to most is that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called by him (Romans 8:28). I have to lean on the reality that even if it doesn’t look good to me, or feel good to me, God is ultimately being glorified. And in the end, even if it’s not until I am in heaven, it will work out to my benefit. Even if I don’t realize it until heaven, it will work out for my benefit.

I lean on that because life is difficult. Life is hard. It’s complicated. It’s not peachy keen, as a lot of people would like to make it seem. It takes a lot of leaning on the hope that is in Jesus. Without that hope we are just left to go insane, to be at our wit’s end. So this is the promise I hold to.”
3. What is God's will for my life?
“[God's] ultimate concern is not to get you or me from point A to point B along the quickest, easiest, smoothest, clearest route possible. Instead, his ultimate concern is that you and I would know him deeply as we trust him more completely. ”

01 March 2013

1. More Than Body Parts Indeed (response to the debate over a transgender first-grader in CO)
2. Seven Things to Pray for Your Children: ‘Jesus promises us that if we ask, seek, and knock the Father will give us good in return (Luke 11:9-13), even if the good isn't apparent for 40 years. And because Jesus regularly asked those who came to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51), we know that he wants us to be specific with our requests.’
3. How do I help my friends stay satisfied in God?: ‘It comes down to whether we taste and see that the Lord is good. I have said this to the church and I have said to pastors, and I have said to my wife. What I want from you, Noël, what I want from my staff, is for them to be happy in Jesus. The greatest ministry you can have to me is for you to enjoy Christ. And so I think when we turn that around and say, “Now how can I be the greatest blessing to the people around me?” The answer is: Get up in the morning. Go to the Word of God and, like George Mueller said, “Get your heart happy in God before you meet other people.”’ (John Piper)

16 February 2013

1. "The best preparation for the hard things we all face is the confession that we are sinners who have been rescued by his grace alone. This may seem like an odd way to prepare but when we humbly bow before the will of the Suffering Servant and trust him with gratitude, we will come to know that suffering will not have the final word." - Ed Welch, Spiritual Protection for Your Growing Child (or anyone else)

2. What Christians Do About Modern-Day Slavery, Ben Reaoch. 

31 January 2013

1. Nick Bogardus, in '3 Things You Need to Know About Sin' :
Many men [and women!] stand idly by, like their father Adam, believing the lies that if they just ignore it, it will go away. They can just deal with it next time it comes up or "it's just how the other person is.” At the bottom of it all is selfishness and the idol of comfort. It does not love the person the way the cross shows us to. The cross shows us that God saves by first condemning, God heals by first wounding, God builds up by first crushing, God makes alive by first killing. You cannot get to the gospel without suffering, and trying to circumvent that is what Bonhoeffer called “cheap grace.” The sin of omission is giving someone else cheap grace. It belittles both sin and Jesus.
2. "[S]aint...[=] someone who is clean-cut, lives upright and has strong standards" (from this article). Thankfully, this is NOT TRUE. "Paul says [in Ephesians 1:1] that if we're 'in Christ Jesus,' which is simply a say of saying we're true Christians, then we're 'saints'" (Mark Driscoll, Who Do You Think You Are, p. 30).

12 January 2013

1. Christian Hedonism in 155 Words: Sally Lloyd-Jones on how to explain 'glorify' to a child. 
2. How Prayer Glorifies God: John Piper. 'If we come to him thinking he needs our help, we make him look needy. But if we remember that his strength is shown in working for us, then we are motivated to come with new confidence. Okay, Lord, here is my impossible situation. Please show yourself strong. Help me.'