Links for the Weekend (2024-05-17)

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

Did the Jews Kill Jesus?

With Israel in the news a lot recently and anti-Semitism on the rise, Kevin DeYoung answers an important question: Should we say that the Jews killed Jesus?

But what about the Jews? Isn’t it the case that the Bible repeatedly affirms that the Jews as a people were responsible—perhaps uniquely responsible—for killing Jesus? After all, the crowd in Jerusalem, in clamoring for Jesus to be crucified and for Barabbas to go free, exclaimed, “His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matt. 27:25). Even if the statement is unpopular, aren’t we obliged to say with the Bible that the Jews killed Jesus?

The short answer is: It depends.

Cling to the Light: How to Cope When Suffering with Depression

This article may be helpful for some in our church family, and it may be helpful for others who have friends and family members in this situation. Kathryn Butler offers counsel for Christians suffering with depression.

Dear friend, if you’re among those who cry out to God and yearn for his comfort, know you’re not alone. Your walk in the darkness cannot hide you from the Light of the World (John 8:12). Even when you can’t feel his presence, Jesus remains with you until the end of the age (Matt. 28:20), and nothing—not your shame, your despair, or the agony of depression—can separate you from his love (Rom. 8:38–39).

Jazz

Our poem of the week: A four-stanza poem about jazz and much more. This one will repay multiple readings.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Ordinary Ingredients of Christian Growth. 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 (2024-05-10)

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

Fulfilling Your Personal Definition of Happiness Is Not God’s Goal

Here’s a great reminder and explanation from Paul Tripp: God’s goal in all of his dealings with you is your holiness.

The message is consistent throughout all of these passages. God is not working to deliver to you your personal definition of happiness. If you’re on that agenda page, you are going to be disappointed with God and you are going to wonder if he loves you. God is after something better—your holiness, that is, the final completion of his redemptive work in you. The difficulties you face are not in the way of God’s plan, they do not show the failure of God’s plan, and they are not signs he has turned his back on you. No, those tough moments are a sure sign of the zeal of his redemptive love.

Social Media (and Overprotective Parents) Changed Childhood

This 8-minute video is worth your time. It distills some ideas from Jonathan Haidt’s book The Anxious Generation into a short, understandable form. It’s especially timely for parents as they consider how their children should interact with social media and opportunities apart from screens.

Judas in the Upper Room

Our poem of the week: a sonnet from the perspective of Judas at the Last Supper. This is worth some time and contemplation!


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 (2024-05-03)

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

Why Daily Bread Is Better

Caleb Davis reflects on the fact that God gives us daily bread, not a year’s (or a lifetime’s) supply at a time.

He’s an artisan baker who crafts fresh loaves each day, not a mere delivery truck driver. Our Father knows what we need better than we do. He gives us better provision than a stockpile. He gives it daily so we’ll keep coming back to him. After all, he’s the best gift.

Warblers and the Question of Gratuitous Beauty

This is an especially appropriate link for the springtime. Kevin Burrell is a birder and he writes about how the “gratuitous beauty” of the warbler points to God as an extravagant Creator.

If God reveals himself in both Word and world, shouldn’t we expect to encounter instances of lavishly prodigal beauty in creation as well as redemption? Look up. There are warblers in the trees, each adorned with prodigal artistry. As artist and writer Makoto Fujimura says, “Beauty is a gratuitous gift of the creator God; it finds its source and its purpose in God’s character. God, out of his gratuitous love, created a world he did not need because he is an artist.”

At a Gathering

Our poem of the week: A delightful sonnet about laughter and the Lord’s Supper.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Charissa Rychcik called Immanuel: God with Us. 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 (2024-04-26)

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

Toward Healthier Habits for News Intake

I find that Trevin Wax frequently offers wise, godly advice. In this article he shares how he has thought through his media consumption particularly as it relates to current events and the news. His job is likely not your job, so you may not arrive at his conclusions, but his approach is worth your time.

These are just a few principles I hope make for a healthier news and commentary intake. Whatever you do, be intentional. At all costs, avoid the dreadful “scroll” as your primary (or even secondary) news source. Look for sources that stimulate thought and reflection, and avoid any site or writer that confirms all your previous opinions. Get off the jet skis and go diving.

7 Questions That Teens Need to Answer

If you have a teenager in your house, your family, your neighborhood, or your church, you might want to read this article by Paul Tripp. These questions help teens prepare to live on their own as followers of Jesus.

Since you will be asked to grapple with life-shaping issues in your teen years, you will need reliable, true, and trustworthy guidance. What will be your life GPS? Whose plan for life will you follow? I love what the Bible says in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God gave you his word to be a guide to you. As you walk through the forest of life, often dark with roots that will trip you up, the Bible has been given to you to light the way so you can be sure of where to go and how to get there. The central theme of the word of God is the story of the transforming grace that is ours because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. 

Grace Winter Woods

Our poem of the week: This lovely, short poem compares God’s grace to snow falling on your face.


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 (2024-04-19)

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

Why Gentile Inclusion Doesn’t Affirm Same-Sex Marriage

One of the arguments made in support of same-sex marriage among Christians is that the opening up of the gospel to the Gentiles demands a radical rethinking of Old Testament positions. Rebecca McLaughlin does a good job in this article showing why the broad inclusion of the Gentiles in the church is the reason we have New Testament teaching against same sex relationships.

Like me and every other sinner who repents and trusts in Jesus, my young friend has been washed, sanctified, and justified in Jesus’s name. The invitation to repent and trust Jesus is on offer to you now, regardless of your sexual attractions, history, or long-embraced identity. The only person who has ever loved you perfectly—so much that he endured the most excruciating death for you—is reaching out his arms to you today. He’s paid the price so you and I and any human on this earth can enter into everlasting life with him. Don’t buy the claim that anyone is barred from this by Christian sexual ethics. And if you have not repented and believed in him, don’t wait.

Why Christian history?

Why should Christians pay attention to the history of Christians and the church? This article provides ten short, compelling answers.

Morning After Solstice

Our poem of the week: A delightful sonnet reflecting on time after the summer solstice (the day of the year with the most daylight).

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Six Ways to Respond to God’s Steadfast Love. 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 (2024-04-12)

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

Prioritizing Our Marriages During the Child-Raising Years

Far too often a couple’s lives revolve around their children and their marriage suffers. This article offers some good counsel.

She was a year away from all the kids being out of the house. While some look forward to this stage of life, my friend was dreading it. She and her husband had grown apart after years of focusing solely on their children. Their marriage was sustained by the distractions of football and soccer games, teen gatherings in their home, and shuffling kids to and fro. Now, the looming prospect of a quieter house with no distractions between them was unwelcome.

Try to Be More Awkward

In order to show love to others at corporate worship, Brianna Lambert wants us to embrace our awkwardness. Find out what she means!

The small greetings I hear from the men and women beside me in church remind me I’m loved. They tell me of the beauty of the fellowship of the body of Christ. They pull me out of my singular focus and remind me I’m part of something bigger—bigger even than the group of families in my small group or who share my similar life circumstances. They lift my eyes to the beauty of the diverse group of church members God has placed around me—people I want to get to know better and learn from. I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to revel in this had the people beside me stayed silent. 

What does it mean that God rested?

CCEF counselor Darby Strickland shares a video meditation on what it means that God rested. She suggests some implications this has for us as well.


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 (2024-04-05)

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

Christ’s Resurrection Is the Amen of His Promises

It’s so, so important that we properly understand Christ’s resurrection and what it means for his followers. An eternal existence floating among clouds is not resurrection at all!

If this event is historically true, it makes all other religions false, because Jesus claimed to be the only way to God. To prove this, He predicted He would rise three days after His death. And He did. John Boys (1571–1625), the Dean of Canterbury, put it beautifully: “The resurrection of Christ is the Amen of all His promises.”

God Delivers from the Suffering He Ordains

Many people (including Christians) struggle with the description of God as sovereign. How can God bring us into suffering and then also deliver us from it? Here’s John Piper’s attempt at an answer.

This is why thousands of people have found that the sovereignty of God over their suffering is a precious reality, because it means none of our suffering is meaningless, none of it is owing to the weakness of God or the folly of God or the cruelty of God, but all of it is owing to wise and loving and holy purposes of God for those who trust in his goodness in the midst of it. And the very power and wisdom and love that governs our sorrows now is the same power that will deliver us in God’s all-wise timing.

Tea Cakes with Jesus

Our poem of the week: What might it look like if Jesus visited our messy home and showed us his love there?

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Now, We Laugh. 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 (2024-03-29)

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

Good News! You Can’t Engineer an Experience with God

In this article, Trevin Wax explores the mystery of prayer and why it might be a good thing that we cannot manufacture feelings of closeness with God whenever we want.

Prayer can be frustrating. We’re fully aware of prayer’s importance in the Christian life, but it’s easy to be disappointed by lackluster results. Maybe you see God answering your prayers, but maybe you don’t. Maybe you feel a sense of God’s closeness at times, but maybe you don’t. Maybe your Bible reading pops with insight that leads you to respond to God with thanksgiving, but maybe it doesn’t.

How (and How Not) to Fight Sin

This is a direct, no-nonsense article about sin, providing ways we should (and ways we should not) fight against it.

To avoid the prowling tempter, you must set up intentional protection against temptation. You must “make no provision for the flesh” (Rom. 13:14) by setting up barbwire, as it were, at all access points. Make it as difficult as possible for you to access something that is sin or might lead you to sin.

dependency

Poem of the week: dependency, by Abigail Moma. This is a great little poem about what it means to come to God like a child.


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 (2024-03-22)

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

Truthful Thinking Is Greater Than Positive Thinking

I appreciated this alternative to positive thinking: truthful thinking.

The world is broken, and people are complex. Life isn’t easy. Positive thinking won’t change the fact that our world is hurting and full of trauma. Sure, positive thinking may change the way we perceive the world around us, but it won’t address anything beyond our own self-absorption.

More than a Social Gospel

A lot of Christian ministries and ministers like to quote Charles Spurgeon; he was very quotable! This article shows that Spurgeon is not easily categorized as an only-evangelism or an only-social ministry historical figure.

For those who embrace the social gospel, social ministry is at the heart of the gospel. For Spurgeon, social ministry flows out of the gospel. Spurgeon believed ministry to the poor, though not the gospel itself, nonetheless enhances the witness of the gospel. In this sense, social concern serves gospel ministry. It serves the preaching of the gospel by validating the message and providing a tangible expression of Christ’s love toward those in need. In this way, the two are inextricably linked together.

In the Home Depot Parking Lot

Our poem of the week: a delightful meditation on baby babble as holy speech and the privilege of having a front row seat.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Does God Just Tolerate Me? 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 (2024-03-15)

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

We Who Have Few Talents and Sparse Gifts

If you’ve ever thought God might use you more for his kingdom if you had more talents, money, or influence, this post from Tim Challies is one you should read. It’s a great lesson about contentment with what God has given us.

The fact is, the God who used spit and dust to cure a man of his blindness can most certainly make use of you. And I assure you that if you had great talents, you would simply compare yourself to those who have more still. If through greater gifting you had greater opportunity, you would still not be satisfied. If you cannot be satisfied with little, you will not be satisfied with much.

How does the Holy Spirit help me pray?

This is another one of those videos from Ligonier that answers an important question in a short, helpful way. Here, Michael Reeves talks about how the Holy Spirit helps us to pray.

Lenten Sonnet | February 26, 2018

Poem of the week: Andrew Peterson with another Lenten sonnet. This one is about nature warming in the spring.


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