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 (2022-04-22)

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. 

Links for the Weekend (2022-03-18)

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

Chasing Sunsets

I’ve been on a sunset kick recently, so I was intrigued to see this article from Glenna Marshall. It did not disappoint! She describes watching a recent sunset with her son and ponders why God gave us sunsets.

Why did God give us sunsets? He could have made the shift from light to dark an instantaneous change. One moment it’s day, the next it’s night. One moment you can see, the next you can’t. But written into creation is a gradual movement in colors that hurts our eyes with brilliance and bends our brains with wonder every single day that we care to pause and notice. Sunsets aren’t hard for Him, and maybe they weren’t even necessary to the created order. But He gave them to us anyway. 

How Do I Know I’m Really Repentant?

Jared Wilson writes about indicators of a genuinely repentant heart.

While I don’t think it’s normally a great idea to be going around “measuring” other’s repentance, sometimes this kind of discernment is indeed necessary. And it’s always necessary in evaluating our own efforts of daily taking up our cross and following Jesus in our participating in the Spirit’s work of sanctification in us. Paul tells Timothy to “keep a close watch on yourself (1 Timothy 4:16), so a grace-driven examination of our own souls is not out of spiritual bounds.

Seeing Dignity Instead of Misery Among the Poor

Amy Straub and her husband are missionaries in Zambia, and she has written a great article about honoring the poor as fellow image-bearers of God.

Poverty does not equal misery or failure any more than wealth equals contentment or success. Rich and poor alike are marked by the image of God, and it is this imago dei that endows each person with intrinsic and sacred value. This is what shines through when joy and laughter are found among those in poverty. They are not oblivious to their suffering; they are putting it in its proper place. It is momentary and fleeting, and it will someday be overshadowed by a weight of glory. Not having treasure on earth, they have the opportunity to see the eternal with unclouded eyes.


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 (8/20/2021)

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

Reflections from Week One of an Empty Nest

Jared Wilson writes about the next stage of life and ministry as he drops his youngest off at college.

One thing I keep coming back to in the midst of my nostalgia about my kids’ youth — and, admittedly, in my niggling fears about things I did wrong or at the least could have done better — is that watching your kids grow up and leave the nest is kind of the point of parenting. Sending them out was the goal all along. I do hope of course that our kids remain close to us relationally throughout adulthood. But our job as parents was not to coddle them into codependence with us, but to raise them to love Jesus and neighbor, to train them to be mature grownups. All of the raising in the home and the church was training for their followship of the Lord outside. That was the whole point. It’s silly to run the race to the best of your ability and then begrudge the finish line when it approaches.

Does the Book of Proverbs Over-Promise?

How should we think about those proverbs which don’t seem true in our experience? Are the Proverbs just probabilities, or is there something more going on?

We will partially see these promises in this life—that is, unless God calls us to a higher form of blessing. But, in Jesus, we will see them fully in the next. No one has ever lived the conditions for these promises more perfectly than Jesus Christ, yet God called him to something higher than mere earthly prosperity.

Six Dangers of Podcasts

John Piper offers some potential dangers associated with listening to podcasts. (Of course, the dangers are offered on a podcast, so there’s that.)


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 (8/6/2021)

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

The Purpose of Sunday is the Re-evangelization of the People of God

Here’s a short, insightful article from Jared Wilson on the purpose of preaching on Sunday morning. It always comes back to our need for the gospel.

The sinner’s need for the gospel doesn’t end when he is converted. While the fullness of eternal life is bestowed upon the vilest sinner at that point, he still needs the good news to grow him, mature him, sanctify him. And when we stand before Christ our Judge at the last day, we will be standing on nothing more than the gospel for our acceptance even then.

Body Shaming Demeans Others and Insults God

This article is an excerpt from a book by Sam Allberry about our physical bodies. In this post, he writes about some of the ways we experience shame related to our bodies and how the Bible addresses this shame.

We’re now, it seems, hardwired to feel a sense of vulnerability when it comes to our body. We fear not just literal nakedness but a more general sense of being uncovered. We don’t want to be seen. We fear the shame it could bring. This being so, we need to be careful not to make our own words the cause of someone else’s physical shame.

5 Foundations That Lead to Compromise on Sexual Ethics

This article is a little long, but it’s a helpful diagnosis of the weaknesses of some strains of Christianity when it comes to standing firm on biblical sexual ethics.

In the landscape of contemporary Western Christianity, most roads away from orthodox faith travel through an increasingly populous pit stop called “LGBTQ+ affirming.” It’s a stop that doesn’t just change the route; it reconfigures the whole map. If we ignore, dismiss, or question what Scripture says about sex and identity, it naturally leads to further and deeper questioning of Scripture’s authority and an ever shakier faith. But more and more Christians—even those steeped in Scripture and raised in the church from a young age—are making this move. Why?


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 (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 (3/19/2021)

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

6 Questions about the Fear of God

The fear of God is a fundamental phrase in the Bible, yet it is also an easy one to misunderstand. Here is an article by Michael Reeves on the fear of God, adapted from his recent book on the same topic.

I want you to rejoice in this strange paradox that the gospel both frees us from fear and gives us fear. It frees us from our crippling fears, giving us instead a most delightful, happy, and wonderful fear. And I want to clear up that often off-putting phrase “the fear of God,” to show through the Bible that for Christians it really does not mean being afraid of God.

An Elephant in the Room-Sized Post on Gluttony

Jared Wilson wrote a longish post on gluttony at For The Church, and I found it helpful. He says what gluttony is and what it isn’t, and he points to the heart posture that gluttony reveals. This is one I’ll be saving and re-reading.

If you’ve ever given much thought to combating this sin, you’ve probably run into the same problem I have: there doesn’t seem to be much help out there. Certainly the sentiments of the world aren’t going to do us any favors. We live in the land of all-you-can-eat buffets, Big Gulps, and super-sizing. When portions at restaurants aren’t big enough to feed three people we feel cheated. We’ve even turned eating into a competitive sport, with one of the umpteen ESPN stations broadcasting battles to eat the most hot dogs.

It Was Finished Upon That Cross

Just in time for Easter, CityAlight released a song about what Jesus did on the cross.

Some lyrics:

Now the curse it has been broken
Jesus paid the price for me
Full, the pardon he has offered
Great, the welcome that I receive
Boldly I approach my Father
Clothed in Jesus’ righteousness
There is no more guilt to carry
It was finished upon that cross


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.