There was much wealth this week on the internet. Much that encouraged me and made me think. Comfort in failure and in sorrow. Gold. (And a lot of Challies.)
On loving and speaking.
How do you love the way Jesus loves? - The very question I've been asking about the year ahead. I'm adding this to my reading list. A book by Phil Ryken reviewed by Justin Taylor.
Evangelism uncomplicated - Cathy says lots of things about relaxing into evangelism - things I'm finding to be true in my own life.
On sorrow, discouragement and failure.
Looking forward - I love the way Amy writes. I love this post. Hope expressed in small things, in the face of sorrow.
Crushed (written)/(podcast) - Challies talks honestly about his struggle with pride and failure when his sermons, books and blog posts don't measure up to his standards, or to others' achievements. How comforting it is to know that I am not alone! - and that "all is well with my soul".
Post prayer satanic whispers - A truly helpful post for all who feel discouraged about their prayers (hands up, everyone!) by David Murray. HT Challies.
Self-centredness in woundedness - "'Woundedness’ is compounded self-doubt and guilt, resentment and disillusionment...As badly wounded as persons may be, the resulting self-absorption of the human heart was not caused by the mistreatment. It was only magnified and shaped by it.'" A really helpful post by Ali quoting a chapter from the Keller's book on marriage.
On failure in parenting.
For parents who have failed - Such comfort! "Even if we haven’t gotten it all right, even if we’ve trained little Pharisees or have a house full of prodigals." We've got both kinds. We are both kinds. But we have God's grace. From Elyse Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson's Give Them Grace via Justin Taylor.
Parents beware: Proverbs are not promises - Why we can't assume that because the kids turn out badly, the parents have done a lousy job. David Mathis quotes Richard Pratt HT Challies (yes, that's another 4-way link.)
On the related topic of raising boys.
Raising boys: A pep talk on The Talk - Jeff Robinson discusses a book which looks worth reading: Time for The Talk: Leading Your Son Into True Manhood (Shepherd Press) by Steve Zollos.
CS Lewis on "little cyclones" (young boys) - Now I know why I'm sometimes (often!) so tired. The main refrain of our holidays: "Quieten down! GO OUTSIDE!". Tony HT Challies.
How to serve "the singles" in the local church - A very helpful article by Carolyn McCulley.
On communication: oral, written and technological.
A short history of communication - "In an oral culture...word-for-word accuracy was less important than thought-for-thought accuracy." Challies answers a question I have long had about the differences between the gospels.
Empty minds, empty hearts, empty lives - “We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools...The experience of losing our Internet connection becomes more and more like losing a friend.' ...What we are seeing is the death of memory." Challies is helpful, as always, when discussing the impact of technology on memory and friendship.
Pondering Psalm 139 - Ashley, a woman with a disability, writes, "I believe with every fiber of my being that I was no accident...My heart grieves for the little ones gone and the mothers and fathers who never held their tiny bodies or kissed their sweet new skin. No earthly thing can fill a chasm so deep as a child lost. The grace of the cross, though, is a greater thing than the weight of our sin, and redeeming love awaits us all."
Where does blackness and whiteness come from? - "The genetic difference between blacks, whites, browns, etc. is so marginal that we’re left to affirm Acts 17:26: 'He made from one blood all nations of men.'”
In China, human costs are built into an iPad - The human cost of our toys. (The last three are all HT Challies.)
Nothing nothing - This quote keeps popping into my mind. I used it to discuss the existence of God with my eight-year-old just the other day. "The first basic answer is that everything that exists has come out of absolutely nothing...Now, to hold this view, it must be absolutely nothing. It must be what I call nothing nothing. It cannot be nothing something or something nothing." Francis Shaeffer quoted by Challies.
And just for fun.
A rap for crochet - For my friend Jenny, crochet-er extraordinaire. Well done, Ali! But when do I get mine?
I must write something again some time - Please do, Meredith! (But only if you're putting your family and other relationships first, and have fulfilled all your primary responsibilities, and aren't just doing it out of people-pleasing, and, and, and... :) )