Laudable Linkage


Here are some of the noteworthy reads discovered recently:

Why Do You Want to Be Happy? HT to Challies. “Sadly, Christ-followers routinely say things like, ‘God doesn’t want you to be happy; he wants you to be holy.’ But holiness and happiness are two sides of the same coin — we dare not pit them against each other.” Yes!

My Life as a Christian Under a Communist Regime, HT to Challies. “It may surprise you, but from my perspective the main suffering for Chinese Christians is not physical persecution or lack of religious liberty but bad theology, though the reason behind bad theology is the lack of freedom.”

The Ordinary War with Irritability, HT to Challies. “If your consistent response to testing circumstances or challenging people is to become annoyed or angry, then you are irritable. But I have good news for you. Because of Jesus, believers can have godly attitudes even when our patience is tried, and we don’t have to make self-justifying excuses when we don’t. We can confess our failure as sin, knowing Jesus forgives.”

The Unbelief in My Belief, HT to Challies. “I’ve thought about both of my seat companions several times since then and wondered why the words stick in my throat when there’s nothing more important to share than my hope in Christ. . . . But unbelief stood in my way. Not theirs, but mine.”

7 Ways Not to Provoke Your Children, HT to Challies. “Parents, trust in him alone for strength to make it through this journey without provoking your children. Keep praying that he will give you the grace required to raise godly children.”

Are Christian Parents Too Protective of Their Children? HT to Challies. We may be tempted to place our children inside a sanitized theological bubble, safe from all forms of intellectual contamination. But, just like germ-conscious parents, this may not be accomplishing what we think.”

Why Long Lines Are Good for Writers and Everyone Else. “I used to feel, when I first met someone, like I had to perform. Like being a contestant on American Idol, I was expected to entertain them, and they would then judge me. And I would be sure to fail again.”

I’ve only been in Costco once that I remember, so I guess I am in the first stage. 🙂

I hope you have a happy Independence Day weekend, for those here in the USA! Here are some Ideas for Celebrating July 4th, if you need any, HT to The Story Warren.

Laudable Linkage

Here’s my latest collection of good reads online:

Seeing God’s Sovereignty in Our Suffering. “But in seasons of suffering, we have hope. Our hope is not some kind of wishful thinking that things will magically get better. Our hope is rooted in the bedrock, Bible-based truth that our God is sovereign and is orchestrating all of the events in our lives to accomplish His wise, good, and gracious purposes. ”

Calming the Soul in a Culture of Fear. How to combat fear arising from headlines and media.

Are You Storm-Tossed And Weary?, HT to Challies. “I just want them home safe—God wants to conform them to the image of his Son. I want them to be shielded from harm—he wants them to be holy. So, in prayer, I lay them at his feet, entrusting them to his care, and asking for wisdom for them and myself.”

That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief, HT to Linda.

4 Things You Can Do For Your Mental Health During the Covid-19 Virus, HT to Linda

How Do I Overcome Comparison? The True Woman blog of the Revive Our Hearts ministry is doing a series called “Ask an Older Woman.” This is the second in the series, with some good advice.

How Do We Do Church Now? We Can Start With Prayer. Several things to pray for in connection with the coronavirus and it’s affect on us.

How the World Worshipped on One of the Most Unusual Sundays in Church History. This was neat: pictures from across the globe of people doing church remotely.

Ferdi, HT to Challies. While most of us appreciate the technology that allows up to “do church” to some degree virtually, we realize its limitations. But for some, this is the first time they get to meet with other believers.

What Will We Teach Our Kids About Trusting God? “Will we trust Him with the path ahead? Will we teach our children to trust even when things get dark? Or are we offering them a faith that is contingent on whether God does what seems right to them?”

The Gospel Is Worth the Embarrassment. There’s one odd sentence here I am not sure I agree with, but overall this is a good reminder that Jesus bore embarrassment for us. For whatever reason we feel a bit embarrassed to share His truth sometimes, it’s worth it.

I’ve mentioned Ron Hamilton several times on the blog. My kids grew up listening to Patch the Pirate, and I know and love several of the songs the Hamiltons have written and performed for years. Ron and his wife, and Shelly, were grad assistants when I was a college freshman. They were active in music ministry, so they were well known. A few years after they married, Ron lost an eye to cancer. That experience resulted in one of his most well-known songs, “Rejoice in the Lord,” his Patch the Pirate ministry to children (portions can be heard on BBN Radio on Saturday mornings), and his Majesty Music ministry for forty years. Ron and Shelly also experienced the mental illness and suicide of their son, Ron’s early-onset dementia, and Shelly’s auto-immune disease. I just watched these two videos with Shelly and was blessed to hear more of the story of God’s grace in their lives and news about how they are doing now. The videos are a bit longer than what I usually share here, but I thought some of you might be interested whether you were familiar with them before or not.

Hope you have a good Saturday.

31 Days of Inspirational Biography: Walter Wilson

Walter WilsonWalter Wilson had the ability to turn nearly any conversation into a witnessing opportunity, yet with graciousness and kindness rather than belligerent buttonholing. A friend commented about him that he certainly had the gift of evangelism. True. But he also had an obedient and willing heart. He would have been the last person to have wanted people to think he was unique or that no one could do what he did. We can learn much from his spirit as well as the particular ways he had of turning conversations to the things of the Lord.

Harry Ironside urged him to write some of his experiences, which led to five books of anecdotes about various opportunities he had to lead people to the Lord. Some of the stories have been compiled into a fascinating book titled Just What the Doctor Ordered.

He was able to lead a German shop owner to the Lord when he told him the blank book he was buying was to be used for recording his prayer requests and answers. The man asked, “Can you get to Gott?” explaining that he had wanted to “find Gott” for many years.

One of my favorite chapters, “The Wrong Address But the Right Persons,” tells of a visit he tried to make while out of town to the son of a friend. After looking up the name and address, he arrived to find the man’s wife and two friends. As they began to talk, he realized that this young man, though he had the same name, was not the son of his friend. As he apologized and began to get ready to leave, he noticed a well-worn Bible on a table. He asked if they read it and loved it, which they said they did. He asked if they had learned from its pages how to be saved. Stirred, the three looked at each other, and then explained that when he had rung the doorbell, they had been on their knees praying that God would send someone who would show them how to be saved.

Another chapter tells about an atheist doctor known for his antagonism. Dr. Wilson visited him and discovered the one issue that kept the doctor from believing. He invited the doctor to church, and the Lord gave him just the right illustration that removed the obstacle in this doctor’s thinking. Another chapter tells how, as he was holding special meetings in a certain city, the pastor invited him to visit a church member who had been seriously ill in the hospital. They did so and had a good visit. Dr. Wilson took notice of a nurse in the room and went over to her to ask her if any of this man’s visitors had brought any message of comfort to her as well. She said no, she was not a Christian as these folks were. As he told her about the Lord, she began to weep. “All unknown to those who had visited the sick man, this nurse had been listening, the hunger had been increasing, and the desire to have what they were talking about became more and more acute in her soul…Although the visiting Christians had overlooked this splendid prospect, nevertheless God used their words to prepare her heart…The hungry heart may be quite close to us but may be all unobserved because we are not looking for the troubled soul.”

Other chapters are “The Case of the Japanese Barber,” “The Ticket Did Not Arrive on Time,” “God visited the Circus,” “Mrs. Fox Did Not Like It,” “A Hopeless Cripple Could Sing,” “Lost on Mount Wilson,” “The Candlestick Was Not in the Ark,” “”Lillian Was Miserable on the Stage,” “’Will I See My Little Girl Again?’” “The Intern Was Surprised,” “The Cursing Barber,” as well as others. At the end is a chapter entitled, “Hints and Helps For Personal Soulwinners.”

Dr. Wilson was not a trained or ordained preacher. He was a “medical doctor, natural scientist, salesman, businessman, author, preacher, school administrator, and more.” But he viewed sharing the gospel as his “principal business in life.” David Woehr, in his biographical sketch at the beginning of the book, says:

He translated that concern into action by taking advantage of every available opportunity to present the gospel. On the other hand, he placed great emphasis on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Each morning he would earnestly pray for the Holy Spirit to guide him to the particular person whom He had prepared to receive the gospel. During the day, expecting God to answer his prayer, he would take advantage of each favorable occasion to speak a word for Christ. He was not one to wait for some strange, inner urging of the Spirit to move him, for the opening up of an opportunity was leading enough for him.

Always a gentleman and never intrusive or abrasive, it was evident that the love of God motivated him. He was not a salesman with a product to huckster onto some unsuspecting potential client…Each one with whom he came in contact was a person who perhaps needed the water of life. He was a man under orders, ready at every moment to follow the Spirit’s leading and be the instrument by which God would bring a new-born babe into His kingdom.

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For the 31 Days writing challenge, I am sharing 31 Days of Inspirational Biography. You can find others in the series here.

(This will also be linked to Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books.)