Links for the Weekend (2022-06-10)

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

Let Nature Do Its Job

This article seems appropriate at this time of year, when we’re able to spend more time outdoors. Daniel DeWitt reminds us that nature was designed to point us to God.

So, let nature do it’s job this summer. Get out there. Don’t stay locked up. Put on the sunscreen and bug spray on and brave this beautiful world. George Washington Carver put it this way, “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”

God Gives Our Waiting Purpose

Vaneetha Risner writes about what she has learned from the Psalms about waiting.

Waiting patiently for the Lord (Psalm 40:1) is a common theme in the psalms. In those years of waiting, I was often impatient, ready to move on and move past my pain. If impatience is being discontent with the present moment, then patience is embracing the present and letting God meet me in it. I can enter into a holy experience with God in the deepest pain as I breathe in and out his presence. When all I had to hold onto was his presence and his promises, I discovered that he was and is more than enough. 

God Matures Us through Suffering, Not Miracles

This one was interesting to ponder. It’s hard, but true: our spiritual maturity comes through suffering.

Suffering, not miraculous deliverance, is the primary way God matures his children. A supernatural event can encourage us, of course, but it doesn’t mature us. Maturity comes through trusting God when things are really hard, even seemingly unbearable.


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 (2022-06-03)

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

Our Hope in the Ascension

Protestant Christians don’t always do a great job understanding the ascension of Jesus. Here is an article that explains why the ascension should give us great hope.

More important than history, of course, is the Bible. And here we find that Christ’s ascension is more prominent in Scripture than many realize. Luke describes the Ascension in the most detail, first in his Gospel and then in Acts. Peter’s Pentecost sermon is, in part, about the Ascension and enthronement of Christ. Likewise, John’s Gospel is full of references to the Ascension of the Son of Man and the importance of Jesus returning to the Father.

Submit Your Felt Reality to God

What we think and feel does not always match reality, and it takes some humility (and perspective) to realize this. I appreciated the language and categories this article gave me.

Reality and felt reality aren’t the same. Sometimes they align — what I think and feel fits with what is actually happening. Other times, my felt reality is out of accord with reality. In such cases, I might be believing lies, or framing reality wrongly, or overreacting. My perspective might be distorted by my emotions or my sinful desires or my own limitations.

Building Deep Community in a Lonely World

Here’s a podcast episode in which Collin Hansen interviews Jennie Allen about her book on building community. It’s hard to make and keep friends, and this conversation was helpful on the topic.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called The Christian Life is a Waiting 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 (2022-05-27)

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

The Psalms Know What You Feel

With distance, we might be tempted to think that the Psalms are repetitive, sounding only a single note. But this article shows how the Psalms offer something for all of our emotions and lead us ultimately to praise.

And through mountains and valleys, through trials and triumphs, through ecstasy and agony, we hear one common, beautiful thread: praise. In the throes of fear, praise. In the vulnerability of uncertainty, praise. In the darkness of doubt, praise. Even in the heartache of betrayal, praise. The praise doesn’t always sound the same, but we still hear it, in each and every circumstance. And so the book ends, after every high and every low, with a call: “Praise him. . . . Praise him. . . . Praise him.” Can you praise him where you are right now?

Did Jesus Have Female Disciples?

The short answer to this question is “yes!” But Rebecca McLaughlin’s article is still worth reading, as she shows us from Luke’s gospel what Jesus’s female disciples were like.

Luke notes that many of the women who traveled with Jesus had been healed by him—whether physically or spiritually—and that his ministry was supported financially by his female followers. This is significant. Luke often focuses our eyes on the poor and marginalized. But here we get a glimpse of the rich women who were drawn to Jesus—so captivated by him that they left their homes and followed him wherever he went. 

Not Enough Wisdom

How should a father answer when a daughter asks for his best wisdom for her college years? Here’s a touching attempt to describe that effort.

It is an earnest question from a humble heart. And all of a sudden I felt it. Her question hits me in the chest and my heart drops. What more wisdom can I offer? What bullets are left in the chamber? What gold nuggets are left in the chest? I search and come up empty.

Charles Spurgeon’s Battle with Depression

We may think of Spurgeon as simply a prolific preacher, and his sermons certainly offer us a lot. But we can also learn from his battle with depression.


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 (2022-05-20)

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

Lemons and Thorns

Sometimes our circumstances are really hard and it is a struggle to believe that God is for us. But he is!

They say that when life gives you lemons you should make lemonade. Pithy wisdom, though it rather assumes you’ve got the equipment, a ready supply of water and sugar and some customers. In my experience you just have the lemons and feel like you need to learn to enjoy sucking them. When life gives you thorns, and you’d give your left arm for a lemon, it is a fight to believe that God is for you.

Why You Should Read More Biographies

What is your reading diet like? Here’s some encouragement to consider adding more biographies to your intake.

There’s just something about reading a good biography that stirs my affections for Christ, awakens my passion for his glory, and reveals my need for his grace. Seeing God work in the lives of ordinary, flawed people like me softens my heart toward him. Seeing the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of history’s most admired (and sometimes despised) people causes my soul to long for his presence afresh.

For Christians Whose Testimony Seems Boring

On an episode of the Ask Pastor John podcast, John Piper answers a question from a Christian whose testimony is not a flashy tale of deliverance from flagrant sin. If we are envious of those with more exciting testimonies, how should we adjust our thinking?

The church throws a party for one amazing convert out of a life of flagrant sinning — why? Well, doesn’t Jesus say in Luke 15 that one sinner who repents is more to be celebrated than ninety-nine faithful Rachaels? No, that is not what it says. These three parables are not about a church with ninety-nine godly, faithful, lifelong Christians who know they need grace, and who live by the mercy of God. That’s not what these parables are about.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Six Things Lament is Not. 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 (2022-05-13)

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 (2022-04-15)

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 (2022-03-04)

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

The Blissful and Trivial Life

Marshall Segal wrote about the media we consume and the effects that can have on our soul.

The medium is not the enemy — television and YouTube and Instagram are not the enemy. But if Postman was right, the medium can be wielded by our world, our flesh, and our enemy when we soak up entertainment and ignore the consequences. What, if any, of your entertainment habits need to be curbed or redirected for the sake of your soul? What are ways you are seeking to cultivate the spiritual gift of your mind — slower Bible study or memorization, reading substantive books, meaningful conversation with friends, more time in unhurried reflection and meditation? 

What’s in Your Mind, Believer?

The role of the Law in the life of a Christian has been a difficult issue for centuries. In this article, Sinclair Ferguson helps us answer this question by looking at the role of the Law in the Bible as a whole.

The anonymous author of Hebrews was fascinated by the relationship between the Law and the gospel. He explained how the Mosaic administration was like a shadow cast backwards into the old covenant period by the work of Christ in the new covenant (Heb. 8:5). Now that the new covenant has been forged in the blood of Christ, the old is revealed for what it always was, shadow rather than reality. Now it is “obsolete” (8:13).

Christ Will Be My Hideaway

This song is one of my favorites that I’ve discovered in the past year. Christ Will Be My Hideaway is a song based on Psalm 91, written by Sovereign Grace Music.


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 (1/21/2022)

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

If You Want to Be Content, Stop Looking Back

This article about contentment emphasizes the difference between focusing on the blessings we have instead of on the blessings we had. That was a helpful distinction for me!

But the truth is, there’s always something missing, and there always will be until we’re home in glory. If we don’t accept this reality, we’re likely to keep reaching to have it all—because, we reason, if we don’t have it all, we haven’t yet found where God wants us to be. So we leave one place—a home, a church, a relationship—for yet another in hope of something just a little bit better, more fulfilling, more tailored to who we’ve become at this point in our lives.

Never Underestimate the Value of Ordinary, Brief, Christian Conversations

This writer points out how we underemphasize the importance of everyday interactions as Christians. We don’t need an hour to have a significant impact on others for Jesus!

Such interactions function as tiny course corrections as you drive down a long, straight highway. Many of them don’t even register on your consciousness. But thank goodness you make them. Individually, they don’t count for much. But cumulatively, they keep you on the straight and narrow.

Caring for the Chronically Ill

This article is full of loving, practical advice for caring for those with chronic health problems.

Faithful friends weep with those who weep (Romans 12:15). They acknowledge how difficult their situation is. They let their sick friends vent for a time, and then encourage them to put their hope in the Lord Jesus. They assure them that God will never leave them, and reassure them that their suffering will not be wasted. They remind them of the glory that awaits in heaven, where there will be no more pain or tears.

On Fasting

I appreciated this article about the Christian practice of fasting. T.M. Suffield writes about some of the reasons Christians fast and what fasting can accomplish.


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 (1/14/2022)

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

3 Reasons to Use Better Bible Study Resources than Strong’s

For Christians of a certain age, the best resource to reach for during a Bible study was Strong’s Concordance. This article explains some of the misconceptions about and misuses of Strong’s. Mark Ward, the author, also points to some better options.

3 Ways to Use Social Media More Wisely in 2022

Most Christians who use social media would probably admit they could use some advice on using social media. Chris Martin comes to the rescue in this article. He admits his own temptations and weaknesses with regard to social media and gives some basic principles to follow.

Social media is at the center of our lives in more ways than we often realize, so I think it would be wise for us to examine the role of social media in our days and do what we can to use it more wisely. How might we do that? I could list a dozen ways, but here are just three, and they all revolve around one principle: intentionality.

Discipled by Algorithms

This article is related to the previous one, but with a different angle. If we use technology, we are obviously influenced by technology. But how often do we acknowledge the extent to which we are shaped by technology? What does it mean to practice wisdom in this area?

Whether we realize it or not, algorithms are discipling each of us in very particular ways — by curating the news we see, the things we purchase, the entertainment we enjoy, at times functioning in ways that seem almost human — all feeding the sense that this world is ultimately all about you. While AI may seem innocuous at first, it can also have devastating effects on our relationship with God, our spouse, roommates, those in our local church, and our broader communities as we opt for efficiency over wisdom and the virtual over the embodied.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called The Grief of Finite Joy. 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 (7/30/2021)

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

Even to Your Old Age

At Desiring God, William Farley writes about the opportunities that come with being a 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 forward to “a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1).

I Miss My Son Today

Tim Challies continues to grieve the death of his son. I appreciate the way he is letting us see what it might look like to trust God day to day with such a hard providence.

And just so, while God has called me to bear my grief for a lifetime, and to do so faithfully, he has not called me to bear the entire weight of it all at once. As that pile was made up of many bricks, a lifetime is made up of many days. The burden of a whole lifetime’s grief would be far too heavy to bear and the challenge of a whole lifetime’s faithfulness far too daunting to consider. But the God who knows my frailty has broken that assignment into little parts, little days, and has promised grace sufficient for each one of them. My challenge for today is not to bear the grief of a lifetime or to be faithful to the end, but only to carry today’s grief and only to be faithful on this one little day that he has spread out before me.

Back to School Book Deals from Crossway

Crossway+ is a free members program from Crossway. And if you join, you can get 50% off some excellent books until August 4. Some of these books would make great gifts for any college student in your life.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Solid Bible Promises for Times of Suffering. 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.