Welcome to my latest list of good online reads:
Every Need Is Not a Call. “As we try to discern the often blurry lines between good, better, and best, we should prayerfully consider our passions, priorities, and providential circumstances. When we walk in dependence upon Christ, we can learn to respond to needs faithfully rather than frantically.”
Losses of a Prayerless Christian, HT to Challies. “Though God is sovereign over all things, He ordains the means of prayer. There are some things He will not do unless we pray, though He always does all He purposes (Psalm 135:6). The mystery does not change this truth: You do not have because you do not ask (James 4:2).”
Never Underestimate the Value of Ordinary, Brief, Christian Conversations, HT to Challies. It’s so true that we minister to each other in small, brief conversations and not just in official sermons or lessons. I can still remember comments made in passing decades ago that directed my thinking in certain areas. it’s so important to be in God’s Word and filled with His Spirit so He can use us in those ways.
Defending Without Becoming Defensive, HT to Challies. “There is a difference between winning an argument and winning a person. Of course, it’s easy to forget this in the middle of a tense conversation. Emotions are powerful when the stakes are high.”
A Little Poetry Improves Life: How Verse Awakens Wonder, HT to The Story Warren. “I ask the class, ‘How do you know that God intends for you to understand and enjoy poetry?’ . . . It is gratifying to see how quickly someone comes up with the correct answer. That answer is that approximately one-third of the Bible comes to us in poetic form.” Leland Ryken dispels misconceptions and shares tips for getting more out of poetry, especially Biblical poetry.
‘Redeeming Love’ Irredeemably Exploits Actors and Viewers. HT to Challies. “Debates among Christians about the presence of nudity and sex in media are certainly not new. But it’s an important topic to continually reengage and thoughtfully consider—especially as the boundaries of sexual content on screen continue to be pushed. The release of a ‘sexy’ faith-based film like Redeeming Love offers a chance to revisit this discussion, albeit from a new vantage point.”
What Happens When a Believer Dies? HT to Challies. “Every person reading this article is dying. Perhaps you have reason to believe that death will come very soon. You may be troubled, feeling uncertain, or unready to leave. Make sure of your relationship with Jesus Christ. Be certain that you’re trusting Him alone to save you—not anyone or anything else, and certainly not any good works you’ve done. And then allow yourself to get excited about what’s on the other side of death’s door.”
I don’t often read The Babylon Bee and I don’t know any of these people, but the caption about one-line summaries of classic novels caught my eye. This woman’s father had multiple sclerosis, and in the last years of his life couldn’t do much but read. He set out to read as many classic novels as he could and then wrote these summaries of them. Some are pretty funny, like Dracula by Bram Stoker: “Vampire advantage—immortality; disadvantage—limited liquid diet.” Commenters try their hand at one-line summaries, too.