Friday, August 3, 2012

online meanderings: when life is more than you can handle, rebellious children, grief and grace, and more

Top quotes
This life, therefore, is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be, but we are growing toward it; the process is not yet finished but it is going on; this is not the end but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory but all is being purified. - Martin Luther

God...will almost always give us more than we can handle on our own...Over and over again in the Bible, we see men and women who are given far more than they can handle...So maybe we need to stop seeing the trials and adversity in our lives as a burden, as an indication that God doesn’t love us. Maybe we need to start seeing them as proof that God indeed loves us very much—so much so that He will not let us try to rely on our own strength, but continue to show us that we must rely on Him to endure suffering and persevere until the end. - Aaron Armstrong

So often...I attempt to provide good works as repayment for mercy. God gives us grace as a gift and does not expect us to repay Him for it...The gift is cheapened when we attempt to repay it....“Anything we do with a motive of adding to the work of Christ so as to win the forgiveness of God becomes the ground of self-satisfaction in our own goodness, rather than trust in God’s grace.” Challies quoting John Ensor.

Top 5 posts.
The unfortunate things people say (to parents of disabled children) -  "Disability is hard and we know it is way more than we can handle....We will not learn dependence on God if we can ‘handle’ it ourselves." John Knight.

When your child isn't doing well in the Lord - When your child is struggling in their faith. A short, helpful post. Mark Altrogge.

Celebrating alone - A grieving man writes about the loss of his wife. "I woke up each morning astonished at what God had done for me. I went to bed each night beside His grace." RC Sproul Jr.

Truth, grace and my father's conversion at age 84 - This post reminded me of two important things: Never give up hope. Never water down the truth. Randy Alcorn.

An hour long conversations with Paul Tripp - I'm listening to this interview with Paul Tripp about the gospel, counselling, dating, marriage, parenting, pornography, talking with your kids about sexuality, etc... Some great stuff here. Paul Tripp with Justin Holcomb

And 12 more.
My favourite Olympic story - "Walking or running, stumbling or limping, it doesn’t matter. Finish the race. Fix your eyes on Jesus and finish the race." Sandy Grant.

Why we don't fear those with power over us - "Our comfort comes not from the powerlessness of our enemies, but from our Father’s sovereign rule over their power." John Piper.

Where did the universe come from? - "If the physical universe is not the ultimate Fact...then the best way to see it is as a kind of laboratory, preparing us for whatever (or Whoever) put it here." Gavin Ortlund.

4 ways to sing the "I'm persecuted" psalms - When you read an "I'm persecuted" psalm, stop and pray for those who are persecuted. David Murray.

Why you don't have to fear terror (and how to read the Psalms) - "The life of fearless faith has been lived for us." Jonathon Parnell.

Introversion, escape and ministry - "I finally had to admit that leaving church early...was a comfortable way to manage my fear of getting too close to people." Karen Waddles.

Church: thrilling, depressing, messy, brilliant - Let's stop pretending. Mark Buchanen HT Alistair Bain.

How to pray for your pastor - Really helpful suggestions. Trevin Wax.

How God helps with low self-esteem - A woman writes about her battle with low self-esteem (and how low self-esteem is not really her problem at all).

The gift of a child and the struggle with depression - A woman talks about post-natal depression and God. Erin Davis.

The sanctifying job - I enjoyed these reflections on love, sanctification and the workplace. Carolyn McCulley.

Who is doing more, my husband or me? - "There is no scale that could ever perfectly balance the contributions that wives and husbands make. With that in mind, there is only one good solution. Let’s ditch the scale altogether." Erin Davis.

Ministry
Why creativity is important for ministry and how to do it - Fantastic suggestions for growing in creativity in any area of life. Daniel Threlfall.

Pulpit sins - And Bible study leading sins. And Sunday School teaching sins. And ... John Koessler via Alistair Bain.

The "mum with a newborn" test - "My preaching has to make sense to real people in real life". I made a mental note of this. Mark Lauterbach.

Books
The single best book on Christian suffering available - says Carol Trueman: "A grief sanctified" by Packer and Baxter. Justin Taylor.

Technology 
Thinking out loud in public - Facebook, Twitter, commenting and blogging are thinking out loud in public (so be careful what you say). Sean Lucas HT Challies.

Should you sent that email? - A great flow chart. HT Vitamin Z.

Random stuff
The scientific power of naps - You hate naps? You love naps? Either way you'll find this fascinating.

Your desk is making you stupid - Walk while you think. Works for me! Jessica Stillman HT David Murray.

If you just can't get enough links, or want to see my links as I read them, check out

2 comments:

Jane Lister said...

Jean, I really like reading all your links - and synthesising them into one blog is terrific for me. Thanks for keeping me company during the day with stimulating reading that encourages me to keep living for Jesus.

Jean said...

"Keeping me company through the day" :) I like that. Nice to think of you reading along... Half the time I feel like I'm bugging people, so it's comments like this that keep me going. Thanks!