Links for the Weekend (2023-01-20)

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

A Family Vacation, a Broken Transmission, and a God Who Is with Us

This story of the practical (and surprising!) provision of God on a family vacation is wonderful.

It was the second day of our much-anticipated family camping trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. We were a good five-hour drive from home, and our vehicle’s transmission had just completely failed.

I Am Not My Own: How Heidelberg Healed Me

This article provides some background on the Heidelberg Catechism and some meditation on that wonderful first question and answer.

The poignancy of her reply struck me. She had recited the answer to question 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism, a centuries-old doctrinal statement that beautifully captures the central elements of the Christian faith. Over time after this conversation, when the wages of sin encroached upon my own life, I too found myself repeating these words, and thanking the Lord that when our own fallenness overwhelms us, we can rejoice that we belong to the One who laid down his life for us (John 10:11; 1 John 3:16).  

What is covenant theology?

Sinclair Ferguson answers this question in a 5-minute video.


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 (2023-01-06)

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

What Not to Expect from New Year’s Resolutions

There are some helpful and sobering truths in this post about New Year’s resolutions.

While nothing is wrong with celebrating progress, these juxtaposed images can influence us in subtle ways. A steady diet of before-and-after pictures can slowly skew our expectations and perspective on reality. They whisper lies that can trickle down even into our spiritual lives.

Winning Your Child’s Heart with Winsome Words

This article offers a brief glimpse at the power of our words and how a small change in our intentions can have a big effect.

My years as a parent have helped me understand that my words do more than guide my children through their day. They shape how they think about themselves, other people, and how the world works. Most importantly, my words are one way my children learn about the gospel.  

Encouraging in a distinctively Christian way

Encouragement is not the same as a compliment, nor is it gratitude. This article looks at 1 Thessalonians to get a grip on encouragement from the Bible.

Christian encouragement has gospel content rather than simply nice platitudes. For example, if someone is grieving a loss, the best many people can offer is to say that they are “sorry for your loss”. Some well-meaning people saying things like “they are looking down on you” or something like that. Yet if we are a Christian trying to comfort and encourage a grieving brother or sister in Christ, we can say so much more than this. We can speak of the comfort we have in Jesus. We can speak of our future hope with no more crying or mourning or pain. In other words, we can point people to Jesus, not just express empathy to them.


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 (2022-10-07)

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

Be Angry and Do Not Sin

Is there such a thing as godly anger? If so, what does it look like? In this article, Ed Welch gives some guidance about righteous and selfish anger.

And wise people pray. Before anger is at a full boil, we pray. Godly anger is slow to gather momentum because it first turns to God and listens to him. We submit ourselves before our creator and rescuer, and we pray that we would know and follow the counterintuitive ways of Jesus.

Don’t Let ‘Discernment’ Give Doctrine a Bad Name

This article describes the difficult task of genuine Christian discernment.

But those quick to champion discernment often place everyone into camps of “safe” or “dangerous.” And ironically, once you’ve got everyone properly placed and labeled, there’s really no need for discernment anymore. Just avoid the “bad” and embrace the “good.” The result is tribal factions that compete with the Corinthian church for the trophy of divisiveness.

Seek God’s Face Before You Seek His Hand

Sarah Walton describes the difference between seeking God’s face and seeking his hand.

However, the Holy Spirit has been gently opening my eyes to see my recent tendency to allow what I can see and understand to interpret God’s Character, rather than his character to interpret what I can see and understand. Therefore, I’ve been giving the enemy an easy target since it hasn’t take much for a difficult circumstance to make me question God’s faithfulness.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Thank You, God, for Failure. 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 (2022-07-15)

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

Community: A Struggle to Fit

I enjoyed this article about the church and what we can learn by living in community with people different than us.

I might have to grow in patience as I listen to others who take longer to formulate their thoughts. At the same time, others will have to grow in gentleness in how they respond. God does not want my rough edges rubbing against you, though they will, and will continue to do so until glory. But my rough edges will make you smoother, and your edges will help shape me. When I embrace people who are different from me, it stands to reason that my heart will need to be reshaped so we can fit together. This is not always a pleasant prospect, but it is a beautiful one.

How to Keep Yourself from Loving Money

The biblical antidote to the danger of loving money is contentment. How can we pursue contentment?

How do we resist the pull? By pursuing the ordinary ways God has given to grow our faith. When we worship together each Sunday or pray and meditate on his Word, he reorients our perspective. The routine rhythms of the Christian life, almost imperceptibly, steel our spine against the allure of “more.”

Nipping Gossip in the Bud

This article lays out three steps to take in order to battle gossip.

One reason gossip can be so difficult to define is that it so often masquerades as something more mundane, perhaps even beneficent. I’m sure you have witnessed plenty of prayer requests shared on someone’s behalf that seemed to include unnecessary details or salacious information. You’ve probably heard your share of “words of concern” that bordered on insinuation or improper speculation. Maybe you’ve offered such words yourself. I know I have.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called How Do We Obey the Gospel? 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 (2022-05-06)

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

Inviting God into the Hard Places

Here is a helpful and provocative article. What if, instead of delivering us from hard circumstances, God wants us to get used to walking through the hard places with him? How might it change us to ask God to meet us in the difficulty?

But what if God wants something different? What if—rather than deliverance from the hard—he wants you to invite him into it? What if he wants you to seek his presence in the hard, more than his protection from the hard? His provision in the midst of life’s hardships, rather than relief from them?

Reepicheep’s Purity of Heart

Within the last year, the folks at Mere Orthodoxy put out a call for essays arguing for each of the seven books of The Chronicles of Narnia as the best. Had I written an essay, I would have argued for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, my favorite of the books. Here’s the essay that made the case for that book and its valiant mouse, Reepicheep.

Sure, a lot of things happen in Voyage that also give it the claim to being the best novel, the discussion of science and modernism versus tradition and religion (although religion and science aren’t actually at loggerheads), Eustace’s Pauline conversion, the growth of Lucy, Edmund, and Caspian, and of course the quest to find the seven lost Narnian lords, which gives the entire book its shape. All of these things add up to a tightly plotted and fast moving adventure. But I think that the reason it’s the best isn’t just Reepicheep, but what he and the other characters go through in the novel, which is growing up and becoming adult Christians.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Obeying the Good Law of Our Good God. 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 (2/11/2022)

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

Burial is Hopeful

What does a hope in resurrection look like for our dead bodies? Here’s a very hopeful answer!

When we take a departed friend and carefully prepare their body, we say that this is them, even though they are briefly not inhabiting it. We stand against the lie that our bodies are sacks of meat that we carry around while our minds are what matter—we say that these bodies are us, for all soul and body can be parted for a time.

An Open Letter to a Distressed Sufferer

Here’s a letter from a CCEF counselor to a friend who is in the midst of great suffering. Perhaps you or a friend might also be helped by the way he points to Jesus.

Dear friend, I have no definitive answer for why God has permitted this particular tsunami to flood your life. But while we can’t penetrate the mysteries of suffering, we can be sure of this: our gracious and strong Lifeguard will not let us be swept away. Whether we are flailing about in our panic or nearly comatose with grief, he holds us fast next to his heart and swims with us toward safety. Our suffering as believers is never the end of the story even when it looms large in our eyes—sometimes as large as death itself.

All This Wasted Worry

Glenna Marshall has a great word for you if you tend to stay awake at night worrying.

I went to bed that night with a personal imperative which I now quote to myself nearly every night when I turn out the light: Go to sleep, for God is awake and he loves you very much. Sometimes the things we worry over are real and serious realities. Kids get sick. Friends die. Bodies break. Finances crumble. Careers slip away. Relationships end. Cars crash. Storms rage. We can’t ignore the difficult things that we face in this life, and we don’t have to pretend to be impervious to the hurts and dangers of life on a broken, fallen planet. And yet, we also don’t have to pretend that we’re somehow preventing all the imagined bad things from happening by lying awake hatching together a rescue plan. The Rescuer has already come. We can trust him with today and tonight because he has promised us an eternity of peace. We can trust him with forever.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called The Winsome 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 (4/23/2021)

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

Engaging Our Emotions, Engaging with God

Alastair Groves writes helpfully on what the Bible teaches about our emotions.

God doesn’t call us to avoid or squash our emotions (as Christians often suppose). Neither does he call us to embrace them unconditionally (as our culture often urges). Rather, he calls us to engage them by bringing our emotions to him and to his people. I like the word engage because it doesn’t make a premature assumption about whether the emotion is right or wrong, or how it might need to change. Instead it highlights what the Bible highlights: our emotions (good and bad) are meant to reveal the countless ways we need God.

Does Fasting Seem Strange To You?

Here’s a nice article from The Gospel Coalition Africa with a refresher on the practice of fasting. I liked the emphasis here on what fasting is for, not just what fasting is against.

Understood this way, the emphasis is more on what fasting is for—not for what fasting is against. Fasting is for focusing on God. It is a mindset of persistence that Jesus commends (Luke 18:1-8). It is urgent and daring. Fasting coupled with prayer desires to see the purposes of God come to pass.

The Gift of True Words

Melissa Edgington writes a lovely story about a woman finding a love letter from her husband years after he died. And there’s a lesson in here for all of us, too.

As I sat in her sunny room and listened to the quiver in her voice while she read her husband’s words, I remembered once again the immeasurable impact of expressions of love. We don’t say what we know and feel and appreciate often enough. We assume things are understood, and we underestimate the impact of our words. Write letters. Leave notes. Drop words into the space between you, and fill the unsure hearts around you with concrete understanding of all that’s inside of you. We will never regret gifting sweet words to another.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Erica Goehring called Tending a Fruitful Life. 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 (1/29/2021)

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

4 Misconceptions about Contentment

It is difficult to grow in contentment if we have the wrong idea of what it is. Melissa Kruger writes to correct some of our misconceptions about contentment.

Contentment does not mean that we are free from desires, longings, or heart-wrenching circumstances. If you are hurting or someone you love needs healing, cry out to God in prayer. Contentment isn’t apathy or a sort of “grin and bear it” mentality. We can seek solutions and help in our trials. We can tell others we are suffering. Crying out to God for relief is not in opposition to contentment.

An Open Letter to a Sinner

How do we fight against strong temptations when the battle has raged on so long? Mike Emlet helps us understand in this article.

I see that you are at a true crossroads. You’re getting weary and discouraged, fighting against desires that threaten to take you far afield of God’s design for your life. But it’s more than that. I heard notes of cynicism as you spoke. You’re entertaining voices that say, “God wants me to be happy, not miserable” or “It shouldn’t be this hard” or “What’s the point of these oppressive rules?” Increasingly, obedience seems pointless to you. You’re thinking, “Why not give in and give up, once and for all?”

Foundations Podcast with Ruth & Troy

Here is a podcast suitable for the whole family. Using Scripture, hosts Ruth and Troy Simons talk through 12 key truths (one for each episode) to connect all family members’ hearts to God. This might make a good choice for your next round of family devotions.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article by Erica Goehring called Work as for the Lord. If you haven’t already seen it, check it out!

Thanks to Maggie A 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 (10/30/2020)

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

Loving Difficult Neighbors Isn’t Optional

We can all provide a bushel of reasons why we can’t love our neighbors. Will Anderson reminds us this isn’t an option.

Though many justify neighbor-avoidance based on differences, the real issue isn’t some impassable chasm of incompatibility; it’s our own discomfort, pride, and fear. As we huddle within the bounds of familiarity, we’re robbed of serving those who don’t look or think like we do.

God Wants You to Call Him “My Father”

Ed Welch reflects on what it means for us to pray to God as our father.

My Father—the Spirit of Christ teaches us to address our prayers—to my Father. So like the disciples, we, too, will gradually learn this most remarkable feature of New Testament prayer. Jesus is the Son and we, joined with him, share in this relationship. The same easy confidence with which Jesus prayed to his Father can now be our own (Heb 4:16). And given how this closeness and familiarity are the most unexpected features of how we pray, “My Father” can always leave us amazed. Go ahead and insert it into the beginning of any psalms you read and place it next to the other names of God. Scripture will immediately be more intimate, as your Father intended it to be.

What Was Reformed in the Reformation

Here’s a nice, short summary of the central doctrines recovered during the Protestant Reformation.


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 (10/16/2020)

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

For the Heart that is Overwhelmed

With all that is going on in our country, are you feeling overwhelmed? Christina Fox has a good reminder for you.

The truth is God doesn’t call us to depend upon ourselves; he calls us to trust in him to provide what we need to live for him. He gives us just what we need for each day and promises to be there on the next to provide for us again. And he is not stingy with his grace, for as John wrote “he gives us grace upon grace” (John 1:16). God doesn’t tell us what tomorrow brings; rather, he calls us to follow after him, trusting he will lead and guide us.

The Absurdity of Pride

We may acknowledge that pride is at the root of many of our sins, but have we seen how ridiculous it is? Pride goes against every part of our created design, and yet sometimes we just cannot put it away.

As followers of Jesus, we have insight into how our pride is out of place and odd. Human beings are the crown of creation but it is because God made it so. From that high place, we take our cues from our King who gave up his rights, knowing that his place with the Father was secure. So we put on humility which, in contrast to pride, turns out to be wonderfully human—quite attractive and surprisingly powerful.

Christians, Diversity is Not a Bad Word

Like many good words, “diversity” can be twisted and used in a distorted way. But, Amy Medina cautions, let’s not get rid of something beautiful because some misuse it!

The question should be Why wouldn’t you want diversity? Living in an international community has indescribably enriched my life. Hearing the stories of those from diverse backgrounds has broadened my perspective, opened my eyes to new ways of looking at the world. These friends have given me more understanding, more compassion, more wisdom. They have challenged and stretched my faith, forcing me to cut away the chaff and focus my vision on the treasure that is Christ alone.


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