Links for the Weekend (2023-05-12)

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

Young People, Go Outside

This article by Becky Wilson explains how God uses nature to declare his glory and to help us fight sin.

I admit that I can be rather ridiculous in my enjoyment of nature. My daughters have rolled their eyes at me many times when I squeal with delight at the sight of some little bird or ladybug or lizard. Imagine my reaction to watching baby sea turtles find their way into the ocean a few years ago. Forget about it. I might have (definitely) cried.

What’s the Difference between Venting and Lamenting?

Understanding the difference between venting our emotions and lamenting before God is an important part of learning to lament.

Christians today are increasingly aware of the importance of emotions. This growing emotional awareness is a positive development—especially when we learn how to process those emotions with God! At the same time, and perhaps even connected to this heightened emotional awareness, there is a growing recognition of the importance of lament.

But as we think through processing our emotions and practicing lament, there is an important distinction to make. That distinction is the difference between venting and lamenting.

“That’s Just Your Interpretation”

You may have heard this rebuttal when making an argument from Scripture. This article helps us think about that comment and how to engage with it.

When someone says “That’s just your interpretation,” or when critics slander conservative Christians as believing not just in the infallibility of the Bible but in the infallibility of their interpretation of the Bible, the next step is almost never to strive for a supposedly better interpretation. The critics don’t mean to dive deeper into the text so as to determine what the Bible teaches. The charge of “just your interpretation” has the opposite effect; it short-circuits the interpretative process altogether.


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 (2023-05-05)

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

Union with Christ: An Unbreakable Fellowship

The doctrine of union with Christ is deep and wonderful and sustaining for a Christian. This short article gives an introduction to union with Christ.

The doctrine of union with Christ changed my life. It changed the way I conceive of my relationship with God. It changed the way I read the Bible. It changed the way I pray. It changed the way I pastor. It changed everything.

The Power of Encouragement

It’s worth considering: in any given day, we often have the most impact on the people we encourage.

It’s interesting that near the end of Moses’s life, God tells Moses not once but twice, to encourage Joshua. God knew the leadership burden and the opposition that Joshua would face. He knew the shadow Joshua would live in as the leader following Moses: the man who led the Israelites out of Egypt, who had met God face-to-face on Mount Sinai, and who delivered the Ten Commandments to God’s people.

Midlife and the Striver’s Curse

In this article the author describes three lies that we tend to believe as we head into middle age. He also offers helpful, corrective truths.

While there is some debate on when midlife occurs, I’m going to suggest that it begins sometime between ages thirty-five to forty-five. This season is revealing to me where I have unknowingly believed some lies. While always susceptible to them, they have a tendency to creep up with intensity in midlife.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called How to Ask Better Questions. 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 (2023-04-21)

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

What is Gluttony?

Here’s an explanation of what the sin of gluttony is and what it isn’t.

One of the keys to grasping gluttony and mortifying this sin is to know from the get-go that it starts in the heart, not in the stomach. Gluttony certainly involves the body, but it’s not limited to the body and cannot be reduced to bodily appetites and cravings.

Why We Need to Talk About Obedience

There are good reasons we hear so much about mercy and grace in the Christian life. But obedience is important too.

Avoiding legalism is a worthy endeavor as we follow Jesus. Certainly, he was no legalist. At the same time, obedience to the Father was of primary importance to him, and we walk in his footsteps when we prioritize obedience as well. Rejecting legalism and pursuing obedience aren’t mutually exclusive postures. Rather, they’re nuanced attitudes that work in tandem to produce a heart of wisdom.

Don Whitney on the Gospel in Spiritual Disciplines

In a short video, Don Whitney answers the question, “How is the gospel connected to the daily effort in the spiritual disciplines?

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called What My Daughter Taught Me About 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 (2022-09-23)

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

A New Song: In the Valley (Bless the Lord)

Tim Challies recently released a book on sorrow, and the group CityAlight wrote a song inspired by the book. The words are simple but powerful. Here’s the second verse.

When the road that I tread

Fills my heart with despair

And it seems like my grief has no end

Still to Jesus I hold

Who will walk with me there

And the Lord he will give me His strength

Age with Joy

I enjoyed this meditation on aging. Our approach to aging can distinguish Christians from the world!

Just as Death has lost its sting, so aging has lost its ability to cheat us. We may momentarily lose loved ones or abilities, our outward self will waste away; but it is only a momentary loss, and as the Holy Spirit renews us day by day, our inward lives are strengthened, more robust and alive. Even as our flesh decays and we are nothing but bones in the ground, this is but a temporary reality. Because the grave is indeed swallowed up in Christ’s victory. We are laid to rest, yet we will rise again with bodies imperishable.

Can you summarize the doctrine of the believer’s union with Christ?

In a video from Ligonier Ministries, Sinclair Ferguson gives a 2-minute answer to this question about union with Christ.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Let the Guilty Lament. 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 (2022-09-02)

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

Sometimes I Struggle With the Bible

As Christians we know that we should read the Bible, but sometimes that feels like a tall task. Scott Sauls confesses the difficulty he has reading the Bible at times, but explains why he keeps at it.

Indeed, honest Bible readers—even skilled teachers of the Bible like C.S. Lewis—have found parts of it difficult, puzzling, mystifying, and even offensive. As much as we can rejoice in, get inspired by, and find comfort in certain parts of the Bible, other parts will disturb us—namely, the parts that contradict our feelings, instincts, hopes, dreams, traditions, and cultural values. I recently saw a quote that said, “Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself. They reject it because it contradicts them.”

Why Does Justice Matter?

We may mean different things when we refer to “justice,” but that doesn’t mean we can ignore it. Jonathan Noyes tells us why justice should matter to Christians.

Justice is a universal moral principle, and it’s an objective moral good. It’s the single best word to capture God’s purpose for human conduct, individually and corporately (i.e. governments). The standard of what’s just and unjust is not a matter of personal opinion or preference. In this way, justice is a category of truth, with an important difference. Standard truth claims correspond to what is. Justice corresponds to what ought to be. Justice tells us what should be. 

The Problem with the Self-Help Movement

What’s the difference between self-help and sanctification? Jen Wilkin has a good, short video explanation.


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 (2022-08-19)

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

Is Your Gospel an Urban Legend?

What’s the difference between Santa Claus and Jesus? From our behavior and our stories, our children should be able to see a big difference.

I imagine that it was not too difficult, even when our girls sort of believed Santa was a real person, to separate the importance of Santa from Jesus because our familial life didn’t revolve around Santa. We didn’t read every day about Santa or discuss how Santa would want us to treat our friends at school. We didn’t talk about the importance of Santa for our everyday life. Dad didn’t write books about Santa or preach on Sundays about Santa. When we sinned against our kids, we didn’t come to them for forgiveness out of a desire to make Santa look beautiful. We didn’t tuck them in with prayers to Santa. And the community of faith we raise our kids in isn’t devoted to Santa. In the grand scheme of things, learning Santa wasn’t real was not a huge deal.

Look Until You See

Cassie Watson urges us to behold beauty in all areas of our lives, especially those where it might be hardest to discover.

When I’m feeling crushed by my to-do list or discouraged by my weakness, I need to slow down and look ever more carefully until I see. In my ordinary days, there’s my niece’s giggles, letters in the mailbox, delightful endpapers in picture books, and Australasian figbirds. The more I look, the more I see. 

Overcoming Sinful Anger

With some help from Jonathan Edwards, Nick Batzig takes a look at sinful anger.

The issue of sinful anger is one that is not addressed enough in theologically conservative circles. It is one leading mark of self-righteousness; and, is a sin of which we need to repent and against which we must watch and pray.

A Sonnet on the Transfiguration

The poet Malcolm Guite has written poetry celebrating and reflecting on different parts of the church calendar. This poem on the transfiguration of Jesus is particularly good.


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 (2022-07-01)

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

Why Female Eyewitnesses Authenticate the Resurrection

Here’s an article discussing the role of the women who followed Jesus and their witness to his resurrection. This is good evidence for the authenticity of the Gospels!

From Celsus’s perspective, Mary Magdalene and the other weeping women who witnessed Jesus’s so-called resurrection were a joke. If the Gospel authors had been making up their stories, they could have made Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus the first resurrection witnesses: two well-respected men involved in Jesus’s burial. The only possible reason to emphasize the testimony of women—and weeping women at that—is if they really were the witnesses.

Hospitality: God’s Workroom for the Weak

Zach Barnhart writes about hospitality in this article. He acknowledges that not everyone feels they have the “gift of hospitality,” but he argues that when we feel we don’t have much to offer, that might be an occasion in which the love of Christ shines brightly.

When it comes to biblical hospitality, most of us recognize its importance and will certainly value it when it is offered to us. But when it comes to the prospect of inviting others into our homes (and lives), we tend to defer to our weaknesses to get us off the hook. I’m familiar with the arguments because I’ve made them myself over the years: “That just isn’t my spiritual gift.” “We don’t have a home conducive to hosting.” “I’m not a good cook.” “My house is never clean.” “No one wants to be around all of my crazy kids.” Our protests rattle off like Moses taking exception with God’s commission (Ex. 4:1–17). Hospitality is viewed as a Christian ideal that’s simply out of reach.

4 Thoughts on Spiritual Fatherhood

Though “fatherhood” is in the title of this article, it’s really about mentoring (and being mentored) in the faith. Jared Wilson has some good thoughts on discipleship for your consideration.

Similar to my thoughts from point 1, I just want to make the case that real spiritual growth — of all kinds — comes from the Holy Spirit normatively through the discipleship of the local church. Undoubtedly the people we read, go to hear at conferences, follow online, etc. can edify us and positively shape and influence us. But there’s no substitute for a dad. I think about this in terms of my own father quite a bit these days. I’ve had numerous Christian men speak into my life, including one or two who I would say have fathered me spiritually, and I’ve benefited from countless theologians and other ministry leaders, but the single greatest impact on my commitment to Christ’s church, I’m convinced, was having a dad and mom who were undeterred churchfolk.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called God’s Immutability Secures Ten Thousand Promises. 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 (2022-04-29)

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 (2022-04-22)

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

The Bible’s Not an Instruction Manual

The Bible’s main message is not about what we should do; it’s about what has already been done. That’s a crucial difference!

The Bible is incredibly practical. We don’t have to make it that way. It’s already that way. There are lots of practical things in it, and we do need to teach them. But we must never teach the practical points as the main points. The practical stuff is always connected to the proclamational stuff. The “dos” can never be detached from the “done” of the finished work of Christ in the gospel, or else we run the risk of preaching the law.

Are You Discouraged? Run to the Word of Christ.

It’s marvelous that we have the Word of God to read. Kristen Wetherell reminds of us three things the Word does for us.

Jesus gives you his Word to strengthen your faith in Him. In your doubts, do you need to remember who God is today? In your discouragements—in all the trials that make life hard, that make you forget how loved you are, that bring you to suspect God of holding out on you—do you need to remember all the ways Jesus has served you?

I Am Proud Of You

All of us need encouragement, and our youth are no different. Craig Thompson writes about the difference it makes to tell young people he is proud of them.

To be honest, it shouldn’t be this easy to make kids cry. They should be built up and encouraged so regularly that a kind word doesn’t reduce them to tears. But, we apparently live in a world where many kids need are not being built up. We desperately need moms and especially dads to step up and step in. Kids need to know that they are precious and important.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called Learning to Embrace Tension. 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.