Links for the Weekend (7/2/2021)

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

Host as You Are

I find Rosaria Butterfield’s writing on hospitality very helpful and challenging. Here she’s writing on how children play a vital role in hospitality.

Sometimes we American Christians privatize hospitality in false ways. Hospitality isn’t a Butterfield thing. It’s a church thing. And children are a blessed part of our church. Jesus loves children and so do we. As the church seeks to evangelize the world, the homes of church members become gospel outposts, places where we bring the gospel to the neighborhood.

This is very good news for people with young children. It means that the burden is not on you to be different. It means that your unsaved neighbors will benefit from seeing that you also decorate with plastic dinosaurs and LEGOs. And it also means that you do not always have to be in hospitality mode. As Edith Schaeffer said, doors have hinges for a reason.

Why Do You Want to Be Happy?

If you’re familiar with John Piper, this article by Randy Alcorn about happiness will go over familiar territory. But it’s important territory! Alcorn writes about how our desire for happiness is not inherently sinful, and he explains how to ultimately satisfy that desire.

Based on books I’ve read, sermons I’ve heard, and conversations I’ve had, it’s clear many Christians believe that humanity’s desire for happiness was birthed in the fall and is part of the curse. Hence, the desire to be happy is often assumed to be the desire to sin.

But what if our desire for happiness was a gift designed by God before sin entered the world? If we believed this, how would it affect our lives, our parenting, our ministry, our entertainment, and our relationships? How would it affect our approach to sharing the gospel?

Was the Trinity Torn Apart at the Cross?

What exactly happened on the cross? How was the relationship between the Father and the Son affected? Jonty Rhodes answers this tricky question about the Trinity.

Jesus “had to” be made like us in order to make propitiation for us. It was in his human nature that he endured the suffering necessary for our salvation. This suffering is still the suffering of the Son of God, of course. There is no Jesus Christ, the man, who is not God the Son. But it’s important we understand that all his suffering—including his wrath-bearing, justice-satisfying death—is suffering according to his human nature. Again, there is no tearing apart of the Trinity, but rather God the Son suffering in the flesh.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Resisting Revenge is a Whole-Church Effort. 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 (6/25/2021)

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

The Ordinary War with Irritability

Here’s a diagnosis of irritability and an offer of the gospel to the irritable. I wish I didn’t need this to read this as much as I do!

As a recipient of God’s unmerited favor, convince yourself that the momentary relief of yielding to the fleshly outburst of anger pales in comparison to yielding yourself to be a witness of God’s mercy and grace. Also acknowledge that we don’t make good self-vindicating judges. We are too prideful and too self-righteous, and we aren’t omni-anything. We don’t have all the facts. We don’t know why someone cut us off on the freeway. He may be rushing to get his pregnant wife to the hospital. There may be good, or at least acceptable, reasons for someone’s behavior of which we are unaware.

My Anchor Holds

You may remember that Tim Challies tragically lost his college-aged son last year. As he continues to grieve, he continues to write. In this article, he writes movingly about how the anchor of his faith has held from the first moment he learned of this tragedy.

The anchor of my faith held in the moment of the first alarming text messages, when the winds began to rise and the waters began to swell. It held when I received the dreaded phone call, when the storm unleashed its fury and great waves began to pound against me. It held through the memorial and funeral services, when the eye of the storm passed over us with its preternatural calm. It held through the aches and agonies that followed, when I could barely hear above the howl of the wind, barely see through the driving rain. My faith, my anchor, has held, but not because I have been rowing hard, not because I have been steering well, not because I am made of rugged stuff, not because I am a man of mighty faith. It has held fast because it is held firm in the nail-scarred hands of the one who died and rose for me.

Gently Now

This article is a bit hard to describe, but you should read it. Courtney Ellis has written a reflection on gentleness that we all need to hear.

I expected Anna, dear friend that she is, to advise me to do everything in the easiest way possible. To go easy on myself and look for the easy option. I’ve given that advice out dozens of times to others. It’s part of our cultural vocabulary. Easy now. I was not expecting the word gentle.


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 (6/18/2021)

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

Midlife, Christ Is

I promise I’m not just recommending this article because I’m jealous of its excellent title. Jared Wilson writes about faith in midlife, describing the ways Christ meets us.

I still think that phenomenon is a weird thing, but I think I understand it a bit better now. Midlife brings new insecurities and awakenings to long-dormant regrets. Many of us face empty nests and the prospect of, in effect, starting over with spouses we’ve only related to for so long as co-parents rather than as partners or friends. Many of us face the reality of aging parents and any fears or worries or responsibilities that come with that. And of course we daily face the reality of lost youth, waning strength, more difficult processes for maintaining health. Time moves a lot faster the older you get. That’s a cliché too, but it’s true.

Young Mom, You Can Read the Bible

I appreciated reading this article from Abigail Dodds on Bible reading for young mothers. She describes her own experience and how the “get up early” advice is well-intentioned but not always practical!

When you’re a mom of very young ones, an important tool you need to keep yourself fed with God’s word through those very short (yet very long) years is flexibility in how you read, along with consistency that you read. Be flexible about how you read God’s word, and be unwaveringly consistent that you read it. “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8).

Why Our Secular Age Needs Ecclesiastes

Kevin Halloran encourages us to read Ecclesiastes, noting how relevant it is to the needs of today!

Yes, creation and our lives under the sun were subjected to futility, but Christ gives us joy-producing hope in the present as we await our glorious future. Yes, this world is a difficult place to live; but we won’t always live here. Christ will set us free to enjoy Him and His glory forever.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Banking on God’s Justice. 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 (6/11/2021)

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

Rich and Miserable — How Can It Be?

It is so, so easy to believe the lie that happiness increases proportionally with the number in our bank account. But it’s just not true! Scott Sauls describes several successful, wealthy people who were far from happy. He ends with a needed call for our imaginations to be “shaped by God’s vision for work.”

So how can we explain the apparent contradiction between the words and lifestyle of Jesus and the apostles, and the Old Testament prosperity passages? Can God’s people today lay claim to those Old Testament promises of prosperity? The answers to these questions lie in the fundamental differences between the Old and New Covenants.

Chasing Rest

Here’s a great reflection on sleep and rest by Kristin Couch. It is humbling to think that one of the ways we best acknowledge that God is God and we are not is by closing our eyes at night.

The soul of gentle waters trusts God moment-by-moment in contentment, and remains calm through absolute submission to God, who is wisdom and authority and perfect power. Nothing startles the Lord, and unflappable tranquility is the result of a heart set upon him.

God Has Not Forgotten You

Vaneetha Risner reflects on the promises of God which have sustained her in the hardest times. The promise that God will not forget us is powerful indeed.

But somehow, knowing that God had not forgotten me stirred me to press into him with renewed hope. Those simple words turned my mind and helped me focus on the truths that I needed to remember. That the Lord was with me and would sustain me through this trial. That God was using my suffering to accomplish something far greater than I could see or understand. And that my pain wouldn’t last any longer than was absolutely necessary.


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 (6/4/2021)

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

What Does Ongoing Sin Say About Me?

The title of this article is a common question for Christians. Scott Hubbard gives us some helpful categories to think through our relationship with ongoing sin.

Some of the clearest displays of our loves and hates appear on the battlefield. While some fight their sin half expecting and (if truth be told) half hoping to lose, others learn to fight like their souls are at stake — like Jesus spoke seriously, even if not literally, when he talked about cutting off hands and tearing out eyes (Matthew 5:29–30).

Going Beyond Clouds That Hide the View

Sylvia Schroeder writes a beautiful meditation on waiting, God’s timing, and beholding his glory.

When clouds draw shadows dark and foreboding, when mist dims His splendor, we can take heart because we know the certainty. We have seen His glory, and nothing less can satisfy.

This Week’s Free eBook: ‘Evangelism as Exiles’

It looks like this deal at The Gospel Coalition is only good through June 6. But hey, free book!

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called How to Find Hope When Hope Has Perished. 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 (5/14/2021)

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

Even Dementia Is Not Dark to God

This is a beautiful article by Cynthia Fischer, writing about her mother’s dementia and Psalm 139. It’s worth your time.

My mother can’t call on Jesus to help her. She’s no longer clear who he is. She cannot seek God for peace. She cannot pray to him. She cannot cry out to him—at least not in any verbal way. Who among us has contemplated the end of our days and considered we might not be able to pray aloud?

The Missing Conversation in Our Accountability

At Desiring God, Ryan Griffith writes about an old practice called “holy discourse” which may be able to make our notions of accountability deeper, richer, and more effective.

Holy discourse seeks to apply the blood-bought benefits of Christ to the deepest recesses of the human heart. Holy discourse fans zeal for Christ, strengthens understanding of Scripture, reinforces doctrinal orthodoxy, unearths destructive patterns of thought, addresses beleaguered souls, nurtures preserving prayer, bridles gossip and backbiting, deepens compassion for others, and develops skills of soul care.

Your Weird Church is “Plan A” and There is No “Plan B”

We all know there’s no perfect church, but since we see our church up close, we see its flaws and weirdness more clearly than most. Jared Wilson reassures us about our weird church and about how God calls us to this glorious weirdness.

It’s almost like He prefers losers, cast-offs, and ne’er-do-wells. Like He’s recruiting sinners, in fact. God is prioritizing broken people from broken situations to be His chosen emissaries to a broken world. Which means that as weird and messy as your church may be, you are exactly suited to this weird and messy time. There is no other church than your church to be the church to the people in your community. There is no other people than the church to be an outpost of heaven in your city, in your nation, in this world.


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 (2/5/2021)

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

What Do You Mean by ‘Unity’?

I appreciated this article by Quina Aragon about what unity is and is not, according to the Bible.

It’s important for us to keep in mind the biblical vision, especially when we hear hollow unity calls that fail to also call us to repent of damage done to others. If we really want true and virtuous unity among God’s people, that both reflects him and also expresses the unity his Son secured on the cross, then we must examine ourselves. Are we insisting on our own way or dismissing others’ pain (Phil. 2:3–4; Luke 10:25–37)? Then we must repent, resolving anew to love our neighbor as ourselves.

The Lost We Love the Most

If we’ve already shared the gospel, and if there’s been no response, how do we continue to love our friends and family?

But what if evangelism is about more (not less) than sharing the content of the gospel? What if people are more complex and unpredictable than we may think? And what if the situation with our spouse, friend, child, parent, or neighbor is more dynamic than Satan would have us believe? In the face of an apparent stalemate, it’s refreshing and encouraging to remind ourselves of three dynamic realities in any relationship with a lost loved one.

Do Not Despise the Gentle Nudge

While there are exceptions, we often need many small nudges instead of large shoves in order to stay on a faithful path with God.

These little adjustments to our spiritual lives, while seemingly small and insignificant by themselves, make all the difference in avoiding spiritual danger and experiencing intimacy with God.


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 (1/15/2021)

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

Are Paper Bibles Better?

At Desiring God, David Mathis urges us to read our Bibles deeply and meditatively. And, for some people, this might mean that they need to spend more time with a physical Bible.

I want to invite you, here at the outset of a new year, to join me in doing something countercultural: get a paper Bible and learn to read it differently from your phone and other screens, and make the words of God your rock in a world of multiplied words of sand. You don’t need an old tattered, torn, marked up, and re-covered Bible like mine. You might consider, though, whether paper might make a difference in your time alone with God. There is some research to consider, not just my experience.

A Word of Hope for Those with Chronic Pain

This was written during Advent, but I think it is still helpful. We all experience chronic pain or know someone who does. What does it look like for people with such pain to wait in hope?

Waiting in chronic pain can wear you down, shrivel your love, fill you with self-pity, and poison your heart. Or it can refine your character, build your patience and endurance, and increase your longing for God. Whether our waiting does the one or the other largely depends on what we believe is on the other side of this suffering.

How to Overcome Temptation

Jared Wilson reflects on Jesus’s temptation by the devil and what we can learn from it about fighting sin.

Thanks to Jesus, temptation doesn’t have to be our undoing. Until he returns, we will struggle with sin, but we can fight against it and the constant attraction to it we face, if we will cling to Christ’s grace and follow Christ’s example in staying alert, staying focused, and staying in the word that gives power.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article by Sarah Wisniewski called I Am Not Enough. 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 (1/8/2021)

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

Begin with Worship

Zach Barnhart writes about how we can use the first hours of our day to glorify God. And without making it seem mandatory, he commends private worship early in the day.

On many occasions, people have asked me whether I see any difference between Bible reading in the morning compared to at night. The spirit of the question seems to be asking permission not to study the Bible in the morning. Reasons abound. We are “not morning people.” Our children need our attention. Our morning duties render the thought of meaningful Bible study impossible at sunrise. Each family has its own particular challenges to navigate with time, of course. And no time spent with the Lord, whenever it may be, is deemed inferior or a waste. But the more I have experienced the choice of beginning my day with purposeful worship, the more I believe there is something to it. It seems Scripture itself tells us so.

The Quiet Power of Ordinary Devotions

This seems a good article to pair with the previous one. While we may long for powerful devotional times, filled with dramatic insight and joy, more often we find our times ordinary. And yet, as the title says, there is power in ordinary devotions.

Yet the cause does not always lie in us. If we are reading our Bibles rightly, in fact, we should expect many mornings of ordinary devotions: devotions that do not sparkle with insight or direct-to-life application, but that nevertheless do us good. Just as most meals are ordinary, but still nourish, and just as most conversations with friends are ordinary, but still deepen affection, so most devotions are ordinary, but still grow us in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

The Gospel in a Democracy Under Assault

What happened at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was shocking, and Russell Moore has written a helpful reflection for Christians.

2021 Bible Reading Plans

If you want to plan your Bible reading for the year but haven’t done it yet, Ligonier has a long list of options for you. You may also want to see what reading plan Tim Challies uses.


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