Links for the Weekend (2022-05-13)

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

Your Money Will Trick You

We should beware when we do not talk about money the way the Bible does.

Jesus says “Watch out!” and “Be on guard” as if there’s a silent, stealthy enemy creeping up on an unsuspecting person, ready to pounce. We like to think of wealth and possessions as inanimate objects, helpful to us if we use them correctly, but basically neutral. And so, in our churches, we warn against the abuse or misuse of wealth, and we teach on good stewardship so we can maximize and increase our wealth. But rarely do we sound the alarming note of Jesus and the apostles in this matter.

Is Heaven Going to Be Boring?

Heaven will not be saints and angels twiddling their glorified thumbs. No, heaven will be a glorious party.

Food, family, and friends are great, but the primary reason heaven isn’t going to be boring—the best thing about heaven—is that God will be there. The Psalmist understood this, saying, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.” (Ps. 73:25) The Psalmist recognized that there’s nothing that compares to the beauty of God. For all eternity, God will captivate our hearts at the feast. His infinitude will never grow dim, and we will never be distracted. It’s the best party because he is the Lord of the feast, and God is a lavish host. 

Does Science Really Contradict Scripture?

Some Christians feel embarrassed with the way the Bible seems to be out of step with scientific theories. Vern Poythress assures us we have nothing to fear, and gives us principles for dealing with the apparent tensions between Scripture and science. (This is a longer post, but it’s worth it!)


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 (2022-04-29)

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

Friendship and Belonging in Middle Age

Here’s an article by Alan Noble on some of the reasons it’s hard for people in middle age to make and sustain friendships. And yet, we need friends!

The way our lives are set up is broken. The structures, habits, practices, and values. Our city planning, markets, careers, laws, and entertainment—all have been designed with a false idea of what a human being is. Collectively we assume that to be a human is to belong only and ever to yourself. Thus, friendships can be a nice perk of a successful life, but friends can’t demand anything of you that you don’t choose to give. At any point, if a friendship is holding you back or bringing you down, you can bail. Because the only person you owe happiness to is yourself.

Jesus, Friend of Sinners

One of the main accusations that Jesus faced was that he hung out with sinners too much. What are the implications of this for our churches today?

Some Christian circles assume that if a pastor or church is drawing in sinners, they must be compromising the message of the Bible. Maybe they’re seeker-sensitive, watering down the more offensive doctrines of Christianity. On the flip side, pastors who have a reputation for castigating sinners, faithfully exposing the sins of society, must be doing something right. But the truth is, neither approach captures the complexity of Christ’s gospel ministry. Jesus had the ability to attract notorious sinners with the offer of grace without ever compromising truth. It wasn’t the outwardly sinful who were typically put off by Jesus, but the sanctimonious! Ministries that repel sinners through so-called boldness can be just as unfaithful as those that attract them through compromise. 

Go to Funerals

I love the way this article talks about a church body attending funerals. The author encourages everyone who is able to go—especially children—because a church is a family.

The Christian community can be distinct by going to funerals of everyone in your church. At funerals, we display to the world what the body of Christ is like. At funerals, we display what commitment looks like in a covenant body. When we take our membership vows, we are not joining a hobby or a club. We join a body. A body needs all its members—especially at a funeral.


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 (2022-04-15)

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

Only One Empty Tomb

Clarissa Moll wrote a powerful article about celebrating Easter in the light of her husband’s death. How do we celebrate Jesus’s empty tomb while we grieve all those tombs that are still full?

I confess I am impatient. I don’t want just an empty tomb 2,000 years ago. I want resurrection and a fully realized new creation now. Jesus’s victory over sin, death, and the Devil has brought me new life; but I want the hands on God’s clock to spring ahead. The empty tomb has whet my appetite. That’s what firstfruits do. Every day since my husband died, I have prayed, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” But, so far, the answer is a dramatic “not yet.” So far, only one tomb is empty.

The Risen Christ Knows Us By Name

Here’s a short meditation on Jesus’s words to Mary after his resurrection.

It’s very important for us to realize that Jesus’s first words out of the tomb aren’t a speech or public discourse in front of the masses. Instead, his first words are a personal conversation with a friend. That’s because he’s a personal Savior and that doesn’t change after the resurrection. Even now as the crowned King—who conquered death itself and thus rules over all the living—he’s still intimately interested in you and me.

You Don’t Have to Suffer Alone

Vaneetha Risner wrote about the way her church stood by her when her husband left.

In those long, hard days, I also heard truth from friends and people in my small group who individually encouraged me, prayed with me, and wept with me as they pointed me to Jesus. It was through their faithfulness that I experienced firsthand the church as the body of Christ, redeemed people who love, serve, and sacrifice for each other. Their love came in many forms — providing for our practical needs, sharing testimonies of how God had met them in their own grief, and reminding me of truth when I was tempted to doubt.


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 (2022-04-01)

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

Prayer Requests for a Critical Heart

Gulp. This one strikes a little too close for my liking! As someone who is often critical in spirit, I appreciated these suggestions of ways to pray for those who need to fight this temptation.

A heart that rejoices in finding fault in others may align with contemporary culture’s values, but it falls short of the character of Christ. As followers of Jesus, we must fight our sinful critical flesh and renew our minds to be transformed into the image of our Savior. This change can happen because we are already new creatures in Him; the old has gone, and the new has come (2 Cor. 5:17). Not only that, but we’ve been indwelt with the Holy Spirit, so we do not fight alone. But fight we must.

FAQ: Does Predestination Mean God Is the Author of Sin?

If you haven’t wrestled with this question yet, you probably will! Does predestination mean God is the author of sin?

God is never the author of sin. God is the author of weaving even our sin into a tapestry that displays his glory and mercy. The Bible doesn’t say that all things are good because God predestines them. It says that God works all things together for good for those who love him, who are called according to his purpose (Rom. 8:28).

Spiritual Lessons from My Dumb Phone

Dru Johnson bought himself a “dumb phone,” in part because he didn’t like what his smart phone was doing to him. In this article he describes some of his experience and what he learned.

Making myself still, mentally or physically, has always been hard for me. I often have many irons in the fire. But maintaining the discipline of stillness requires a certain level of security with oneself and with God. My smartphone, on the other hand, offered an all-too-easy way to focus my constant motion, without truly slowing me down.

“I, Myself, Will Go Down With You.”

This article is a meditation on God’s promise to be with Jacob. I love thinking about God’s presence, and I’m grateful to have come across this helpful example.

The primary promise that Jacob receives is the promise of presence. I myself will go down with you. Jacob gets a guarantee that the God of his father will be with him. He also receives a secondary promise of presence: the guarantee that his long-lost son will be with him at the time of his death. Joseph’s hands will lower Jacob’s eyelids over his vacant gaze.


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 (5/21/2021)

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

Mothering at the End of Me

Liz Wann has written a wonderful article about embracing dependency as a mother.

God has a purpose for us in coming to the end of ourselves. If we always felt strong and put together, then we wouldn’t feel our need for Jesus. Like the old hymn says, “Every hour I need you.” Motherhood can make us feel needy every hour. God regularly brings us to this place so that we can lay our burdens down before him and learn to embrace the humble dependence that our Savior modeled for us.

6 Questions about the Book of Job

Christopher Ash has written extensively about Job. At Crossway, he answers some common questions about this often-perplexing book.

Sure, there is a huge amount of suffering in the book. In almost every verse there is pain or some allusion to distress. It is an agonizing book to read. But to say that it contains suffering is not the same as concluding that it is fundamentally about suffering.

Why Confessions Matter

Why do we need confessions if we have the Bible? This article by William Boekestein gives a persuasive answer.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Prayerlessness Springs From Pride. 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 (10/16/2020)

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. 

Links for the Weekend (7/3/2020)

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

Christ Our Rock and Refuge

Christina Fox highlights some of the Psalms which refer to God as a rock. She writes about how helpful this image of God has been for her over the last several uneasy months.

Christ is the fulfillment of all God’s promises to be our rock and fortress. He is our true shelter and dwelling place. He is the answer to the psalmist’s cry for salvation and deliverance. He rescued us from sin and death. He united himself to us through faith in his life, death, and resurrection. He made us his own. He is our place of safety. Our refuge. Our strength. Our fortress.

Listen Quickly, Think Slowly

Craig Thompson applies the wisdom of James 1:19 to life in modern America, and he writes about some of the implications of being slow to think (not just slow to speak).

Slow thinking doesn’t fit well within the age of social media and immediate news. Slow thinking looks more like philosophy and conversation and less like soundbites and tweets. Slow thinking looks like books and newspapers, coffee shop conversations, and complicated intellectual wrestling matches. Slow thinking takes hard topics and resists the temptation to boil them down to their least common denominator and instead wrestles with the hard and complicated truths.

How Can I Be Free from Materialism?

Here’s an eight-minute episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast in which John Piper talks about materialism from Hebrews 10:34.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called The Surprising Transformation of the Disciples of Jesus. 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 (1/24/2020)

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

Kill Whatever Kills Your Love for God

Our sin is deadly and dangerous, and yet we so often hesitate to put it to death. Why is that? Garrett Kell helps us think through the matter.

The apostle Peter pleads with us to “abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul” (1 Peter 2:11). As long as we are in this world, sin will seek to sap our love for God and stoke our love for every other god. We must do whatever it takes to put it to death. Love for God and sin cannot coexist. Kill your love for sin, or sin will kill your love for God.

20 Benefits of Being in God’s Word According to Psalm 119

The Bible offers countless blessings, comforts, and encouragements. Here’s a list of many of these benefits, pulled from Psalm 119.

If only the world could grasp the benefits available to the soul who seeks God through His Word—willing to see it as truth, clinging to it at every turn. For the Word of God is life-changing and life-sustaining and life-giving. And it’s so much more, as the author of Psalm 119 testifies. The psalmist offers us numerous reasons to run to the comfort of Scripture and never turn away from it.

True Friends Confront Sin

In the church we are called to love one another, even when it is painful. Sometimes this means we need to point out and/or help our friends with the sin in their lives.

If you want to grow in grace, surround yourself with godly friends. These are the people who aren’t afraid to wound you every now and then so that you get your act together. Woe to you when your friends only have kisses for you, those aren’t your buddies. Blessed are you when like king David in 2 Samuel 12, you have a Nathan in your squad. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad! “Let the righteous man strike me – it is kindness; let him rebuke me – it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.” (Ps. 141:5) Choose the friends who are going to love you enough to be real with you when you’re falling. If you don’t – if you surround yourself with people who won’t call you out, or worse, who share the same idols you do – you’re digging your own grave.


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 (10/25/2019)

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

Christianity Is Not a Frowning Contest

Too many non-Christians view Christianity as a profoundly unhappy experience. Why would they ever want to sign up for that? Sadly, some of us who have the most joyful news tend to be dour and grumpy much of the time. Randy Alcorn writes about how happiness in Christ can be one of our greatest evangelistic tools.

Imagine if God’s people stood out in stores, workplaces, schools, and even on social media for all the right reasons. What if, while not apologizing for biblical truth, we let our “reasonableness be known to everyone” (Phil. 4:5) and, “as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved,” we clothed ourselves “with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” (Col. 3:12)? People are attracted to Jesus when they see his attributes in others’ lives. When they observe them, they will notice and want to know the source of those qualities.

6 Ways to Help Your Kids Love Reading the Bible

There aren’t many habits we’d rather our children develop than reading the Bible regularly! Stephen Nichols gives us some ways to help children love this discipline.

Pick a book of the Bible and stay with it for a month—or even two. Read a chapter a day together one week. If it’s a small enough book, and you’re not taxing young attention spans too much, read through the whole book in a sitting. Or two. The next week, focus on some key verses. Memorize one of them. Read the book, reread the book, and read it again. Mastering biblical books one book at a time can become a lifelong delightful task.

How to Share God’s Love Through Hospitality

Here’s a short article at Core Christianity by William Boekestein offering suggestions for how to show hospitality at home and at church.

Hospitality isn’t merely a command. It is also one of the ways that God invites his children to flourish as we share his provisions in anticipation of the marriage supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9). “In biblical hospitality, the gospel of Christ becomes visual, concrete, and practical to the stranger”

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called How God Rebukes 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.