Laudable Linkage

A collection of good reading online

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.

Is There Such a Thing as Bad Missions? HT to Challies. “Good motives do not overcome bad methodology. Make sure your missionaries know what they are speaking into before they speak.”

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.

Happy Saturday!

Laudable Linkage

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I don’t want to “laud” my own link, but I wanted to share once again a post from a few years ago about grieving over Christmas. My mother, father, and grandmother (as well as a family friend and our only family pet) all died in December, though in different years. The first few years after my mom passed away were the hardest, especially with how much she loved the season. It seems like every year, someone I know is facing their first Christmas without a certain loved one. So I hope these thoughts will be helpful: Christmas Grief, Christmas Hope, Christmas Joy.

Now, on to some good online reading and listening found recently:

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).”

Gentleness Is a Christian Virtue, HT to Challies. ‘Christians should be the absolute opposite of mean and angry. Jesus’s people are to be kind, gentle, joyful, patient, peaceful, good, and self-controlled. None of these character traits define American culture today, but they must define Christ’s church.”

Must You Remain Silent on Abortion Unless You Adopt a Baby? HT to Challies. Perhaps you’ve heard the argument that unless a pro-life person is willing to adopt babies (supposedly babies that would be saved from abortion), then that person has no voice in the abortion debate. This article explains what’s wrong with that reasoning.

Gospel Parenting During the Little Years with Melissa Kruger and Jen Wilkin (one of my favorite authors). This is an almost 50-minute video, but well worth a listen. I wish I had had this when mine were little, though I think I came to many of the same conclusions over time.

Jen Wilkin on Women in the Church with the Gift of Leadership. Jen speaks from a complementarian background, but encourages that there is a place for women to exercise their gifts. Different ones of us will fall on different places in the spectrum of this discussion, but the issues are worth contemplating.

People’s Choice; Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021, HT to Laura. These are always so fascinating.

If you need a good laugh this morning, try this “12 Days of Christmas” skit, HT to The Story Warren.

This is as good a time as any for my occasional reminder that linking doesn’t always indicate 100% endorsement with everything and everyone linked to. But the links contain food for thought.

Happy Saturday!