Links for the Weekend (10/22/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

Churchgoers May Remember Song Lyrics Over Sermon Quotes

Jen Wilkin writes about the power of song to help us remember. She also challenges her readers to consider the particular formative effects of the songs they sing.

It matters whether those who lead us in song see their task as creating a mood or a memory. If primarily a mood, lyrics can take a back seat to vocals and instrumentation. If primarily a memory, the lyrics are critically important. Like the Psalms, they should be able to stand on their own, combined with music or not.

Not Easily Offended

Part of loving others well is learning how to be not easily offended.

If this is the common experience of true believers, then it means that we should be willing to bear long with others. If we have known the continual battle between the flesh and the Spirit in our own life, then we should be ready to walk with others who know the same experience. This is why Jesus taught Peter that believers are to forgive their brother or sister if he or she comes and repents “seventy-seven times” (Matt. 18:21–22).

Leaving a Legacy of Bible Reading

As we aim to influence others, especially our children, to read the Bible, Sarah Humphrey writes that our example is powerful.

As we lead children into the Word, the best way for them to actually become interested is by seeing us already invested. I can tell my kids to practice the piano all day long, but it’s when I sit down at the bench to play that they come and sit with me. I can encourage them to make their own toast each morning, but it’s when I show them how, that they feel empowered to make their own breakfast. Teaching the Bible is no different. It comes with the patience, explanation, and the beauty of storytelling that will engage and interest them by showing them the worth of what is inside.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Lamenting Like a Christian. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (10/15/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

“Just Say No”? 3 Practical Ways to Resist Temptation

Using the book of James, Lee Hutchings writes about how to effectively fight temptation. His three pieces of advice: focus on how temptation works, focus on the goodness and love of God, and focus on our status as new creatures in Christ.

Sometimes the battle is lost in temptation because we feel resigned to inevitable defeat. Maybe we’ve committed a sin so often, with so little power to resist, that we feel hopeless and helpless. Pastor James reminds us in verse 18 that God, “of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.” We may feel weighed down, and that we have no strength to overcome temptation, but that’s not the truth of our position, if we are in Christ. Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Live not by outrage

Samuel James wrote a helpful column at World about how social media companies profit on the outrage of their users. He includes thoughts on how Christians should be known differently.

Why have Christians not done more to rise above this ideological swamp? Part of the answer is that many of us are more excited about politics than truth. But another answer is that too few Christians are thinking critically about the consequences of technology: how constant, never-ending access to information, untethered from accountability and community, might be training our spirits in a way that is antithetical to the discipline of taking every thought captive to the mind of Christ. 

Putting Our Contentment to the Test

Amber Thiessen reflects on contentment using the perspective of a newborn baby.

When our babies cry out, they’re letting us know something’s up and they need us. As caring parents, we seek to provide for them by changing their diaper, snuggling them, or feeding them. If you’ve ever reached that frustrating moment where you’ve tried everything, twice, to help them settle to no avail, you know that feeling of helplessness and fatigue.

God knows what you need.


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (10/8/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

The Gentleness of God

God’s gentleness is one of his often-overlooked traits. And how precious it is!

So too, in light of this, we can hardly be surprised by the fact that the gentleness of God shines through in the life of the incarnate Son. He is truly the one who is gentle and lowly. In all his dealings with people in every circumstance of life – right down to his concern for his mother at the cross – his gentle spirit is manifest in his heart for others.

How Moms Can Model God’s Grace

Here’s an excerpt of a book by Gloria Furman. She writes about the way a deep understanding of God’s grace shapes the life of a mother. (As I often note, this is not just for mothers!)

As one hymn writer wrote, “All the fitness he requireth is to feel your need of him.” Grace is the most important thing for us to keep in mind as we shape the expectations of our home. Our children need to grow up knowing, “We always trust God because he’s willing and able to help us,” and, “We always praise God because he is our most valuable treasure.” And we need to get up every morning knowing, “I always trust God because he’s willing and able to help me.”

Men, Are You Submissive?

The Bible calls us all to be submissive. Michael Kruger draws out some implications of this for men. (Not just for men!)

Perhaps, then, we need to recalibrate the way we think about—and talk about—submission in the church. Rather than repeatedly focusing on just one example (Eph. 5:22), we need to call all Christians to submit to whatever authorities are over them. 

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Allan Edwards called Remember Who You Are. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (10/1/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

I Searched for the Key to Discipleship

Is the key to discipleship found in books? In experiences? Programs? When Melissa Edgington started asking these questions, she realized she was approaching discipleship all wrong.

Over time, it became painfully clear to me that the answer to the question of discipleship isn’t as easy as finding the right program. This is something that I learned from our church members by watching them live it out: discipleship isn’t nice, crisp books or carefully planned mission trips. It’s something altogether more intimate, more demanding, and more sacrificial. And once I realized that the people around me were showing me how discipleship works, I started to see it everywhere.

5 simple ways to be a better friend

Most of us long to have good friends, but we may give much less thought to how to be a good friend to others. Luke Finley writes about how to be a better friend.

It’s so easy to make our friendships all about us: our thoughts, our problems, our lives. But a great friend doesn’t primarily use their friends for their own needs, but rather are more interested in the other person than themselves. They ask good questions and are curious about the answers, whether it’s what their friend enjoys about their job, what they’d like to accomplish in the future, or what key moments have shaped their lives. They ask these questions not because they have to, but because they care about the other person and want to get to know them better, even after years of friendship. 

3 Things Overwhelmed Students Need

You likely have a student in your life (or at your church!). Chances are, if you ask them how they’re doing, the word “busy” will come up. David Murray writes about what we can do to help students like this find rest.

However, such a restless, nonstop lifestyle and culture is one of the main causes of the soaring anxiety levels among teens. The chronic stress and internal inflammation that result are extremely damaging to the bodies and minds of our teens. One of the best things we can do for them, therefore, is to help them rest. This isn’t going to be easy, but it’s absolutely essential. This rest can be encouraged in three main areas: sleep, Sabbath, and relaxation.

Thanks to Phil A for his help in rounding up links this week!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (9/24/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

The Ministry of Being a Little Bit Further Along

I appreciate this article from Tim Challies. He writes about one way ordinary Christians can minister to each other in a local church—they can offer the wisdom that comes from experience.

What most people need and long for as they face trials and encounter questions is simply the dedicated attention of someone who is a little bit further along, the listening ear and gentle voice of someone who is a few steps ahead on the path of life, or the path of ministry, or the path of suffering, or the path of parenting. Most are merely seeking someone who will informally mentor them from the perspective of their own successes and failures, their own experiences of good and bad, the godly wisdom they have accumulated along the way.

5 Reasons to Read Your Bible Beyond Practical Application

Applying the Bible is good, even essential! But, Peter Krol reminds us, immediate application is not the only reason to read the Bible.

A regular habit of Bible reading is worth maintaining, even when no urgent or timely application comes readily to mind, because you are depositing divine truth in the storehouses of your soul from which you can later make withdrawals. “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you” (Ps 119:11). “My son, keep your father’s commandments … bind them on your heart always … When you walk, they will lead you … For the commandment is a lamp … to preserve you from the evil woman, from the the smooth tongue of the adulteress” (Prov 6:20-24).

“Even To Old Age and Gray Hairs”

William Farley draws out some good challenges and opportunities that come with being a Christian grandparent.

Third, besides passion for Christ, humility, and wisdom, grandparenting is an opportunity to exemplify hope. Life is short. Decades of experience have taught you this in ways that your children and grandchildren do not yet understand. They need to see you, not living in the past, but looking to a “building from God, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Our decades of past experience will tempt us to live there, but God wants us to live in the future. “Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14). 

On the WPCA Blog This Week

Two weeks on the blog we published an article written by Sarah Wisniewski called A Man Under Authority. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (9/3/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

The Gospel According to Ecclesiastes

Here’s a nice summary of the book of Ecclesiastes and some thoughts on its relationship to the gospel.

Too often, our superficial, triumphalistic approach to Christianity in America doesn’t face the real problems of living in a sinful world. In Ecclesiastes 8:14, the Preacher, provides this depressing assessment, “There is a vanity that takes place on earth, that there are righteous people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked, and there are wicked people to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I said that this also is vanity.” Not exactly the kind of descriptions that would make a tourism brochure for the global chamber of commerce. But the preacher in Ecclesiastes follows that statement up with “I commend joy” and “to eat and drink and be joyful” (Ecc 8:15). What is the connection between gut-wrenching, painful injustice and being joyful?

What Do I Do With “Wasted Years?”

Jeremy Howard writes a personal reflection that is worth your time. He wrestles with a question many of us face—how should we think about periods of our life where there is no obvious fruit from our diligent efforts for the kingdom of God?

Due to life circumstances, I left at the end of 2014.  Shortly after that, the school had to close for a myriad of reasons. When I left 6 years after starting, I had changed exactly none of that future for them.  Years of effort and love and passion poured into a project that one day vanished like the mist.  No discernible impact from my perspective. What was it all for?  Was there a purpose in what I did? I cannot speak to the greater impact, only eternity can reveal that. 

What’s the Difference Between Sloth and Rest?

John Piper gives a helpful answer to this question. He describes the difference between the laziness of the sluggard and the restfulness of the diligent.


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (8/27/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

We Won’t Perfectly Practice What We Preach

Jen Wilkin writes in Christianity Today about being convicted by her own words (quoted back to her) on Instagram. I appreciated what she shares about sanctification and growth as a Christian.

Sanctification is not a swipe but a slog. It rarely looks like an immediate ceasing of a particular sin. Instead, we become slower to step into the familiar traps and quicker to confess when we do. Slower to repeat, quicker to repent. This becomes a mantra of hope. Our hatred of sin is learned across a lifetime.

We Agree, Right?

Holly Mackle discovered she was presuming that her conversation partners agreed with her unspoken opinions when they had other characteristics in common. In her, this led to condescension when there was not agreement. She proposes a wonderful remedy: curiosity.

Considering the opinions or beliefs of others can be hard. And it takes a supernatural, Holy Spirit level of humility and grace to grant another the space to disagree. It can be an exhausting exercise to continually remind myself to elevate others over my own opinions, plans, or preferences. But I’ve found that expecting others to agree with me all the time can quickly shade the way I approach God, luring me to attempt to poach on his lordship. This habit of presuming I’m in the right and that others will agree is a slippery slope to making God in my own image.

9 Things You Should Know About the Taliban

Sadly, the Taliban are back in the news because of their return to power in Afghanistan. If you’re unfamiliar with this group, here is a helpful explainer from Joe Carter.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Restore Us to Yourself That We May Be Restored. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!

Thanks to Leeanne E for her help in rounding up links this week!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (8/20/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

Reflections from Week One of an Empty Nest

Jared Wilson writes about the next stage of life and ministry as he drops his youngest off at college.

One thing I keep coming back to in the midst of my nostalgia about my kids’ youth — and, admittedly, in my niggling fears about things I did wrong or at the least could have done better — is that watching your kids grow up and leave the nest is kind of the point of parenting. Sending them out was the goal all along. I do hope of course that our kids remain close to us relationally throughout adulthood. But our job as parents was not to coddle them into codependence with us, but to raise them to love Jesus and neighbor, to train them to be mature grownups. All of the raising in the home and the church was training for their followship of the Lord outside. That was the whole point. It’s silly to run the race to the best of your ability and then begrudge the finish line when it approaches.

Does the Book of Proverbs Over-Promise?

How should we think about those proverbs which don’t seem true in our experience? Are the Proverbs just probabilities, or is there something more going on?

We will partially see these promises in this life—that is, unless God calls us to a higher form of blessing. But, in Jesus, we will see them fully in the next. No one has ever lived the conditions for these promises more perfectly than Jesus Christ, yet God called him to something higher than mere earthly prosperity.

Six Dangers of Podcasts

John Piper offers some potential dangers associated with listening to podcasts. (Of course, the dangers are offered on a podcast, so there’s that.)


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (8/13/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out. Note: Just two links today!

I Need You to Read Your Bible

I really appreciated this meditation from Glenna Marshall. We so often think our spiritual practices affect only us, but here is a helpful story of how God used one woman’s devotional life to bless another.

I need my own spiritual disciplines of study, reading, and prayer for my personal growth, knowledge, and affection for Christ. I want the believers in my life to do the same for their own edification and growth. But I also need the believers in my life to pursue their spiritual disciplines because I am desperate for them to do so. I want the spiritual food God has been feeding you. I don’t need worldly or even pseudo-Christian encouragement when I’m discouraged or doubting or worried. I need what is true and biblical and dependable.

Taste God’s Goodness in the Sweetness of Honey

Andrew Wilson writes about God’s good gift of honey, and in this writing he models how we can delight in God as we delight in his gifts.

We are called not just to learn about God but to experience him. We are invited to taste his sweetness and allow his golden richness—beautifully expressed in his rescue, his Word, and his grace—to brighten our eyes and refresh our souls. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Ps. 34:8).

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Erica Goehring called Broken, Yet Assured of God’s Plan. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here. 

Links for the Weekend (8/6/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out.

The Purpose of Sunday is the Re-evangelization of the People of God

Here’s a short, insightful article from Jared Wilson on the purpose of preaching on Sunday morning. It always comes back to our need for the gospel.

The sinner’s need for the gospel doesn’t end when he is converted. While the fullness of eternal life is bestowed upon the vilest sinner at that point, he still needs the good news to grow him, mature him, sanctify him. And when we stand before Christ our Judge at the last day, we will be standing on nothing more than the gospel for our acceptance even then.

Body Shaming Demeans Others and Insults God

This article is an excerpt from a book by Sam Allberry about our physical bodies. In this post, he writes about some of the ways we experience shame related to our bodies and how the Bible addresses this shame.

We’re now, it seems, hardwired to feel a sense of vulnerability when it comes to our body. We fear not just literal nakedness but a more general sense of being uncovered. We don’t want to be seen. We fear the shame it could bring. This being so, we need to be careful not to make our own words the cause of someone else’s physical shame.

5 Foundations That Lead to Compromise on Sexual Ethics

This article is a little long, but it’s a helpful diagnosis of the weaknesses of some strains of Christianity when it comes to standing firm on biblical sexual ethics.

In the landscape of contemporary Western Christianity, most roads away from orthodox faith travel through an increasingly populous pit stop called “LGBTQ+ affirming.” It’s a stop that doesn’t just change the route; it reconfigures the whole map. If we ignore, dismiss, or question what Scripture says about sex and identity, it naturally leads to further and deeper questioning of Scripture’s authority and an ever shakier faith. But more and more Christians—even those steeped in Scripture and raised in the church from a young age—are making this move. Why?


Note: Washington Presbyterian Church and the editors of this blog do not necessarily endorse all content produced by the individuals or groups referenced here.