Links for the Weekend (2022-12-30)

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

Help! I Failed My Year-Long Bible Reading Plan

Most of us who have tried to read the Bible in a year have failed to read the Bible in a year. Here’s some advice for your next attempt to read the whole Bible.

But thankfully, the past decade has been a process of reengaging with Scripture and the God of Scripture—and meeting a lot of dear friends who are on the same journey. Here are four redefining elements of my Bible study over the past decade that have restored both my joy in and practice of yearly Bible reading.

Can Cancer Be God’s Servant? What I Saw in My Wife’s Last Four Years

Randy Alcorn writes about what he and his wife learned about God and his sovereignty in her final four years with cancer.

That reader is not alone in trying to distance God from suffering. But by saying sickness comes only from Satan and the fall, not from God, we disconnect Him from our suffering and His deeper purposes. God is sovereign. He never permits or uses evil arbitrarily; everything He does flows from His wisdom and ultimately serves both His holiness and love.

Hyper-Headship in Marriage

Here’s an article by a Christian counselor addressing a distortion of Biblical teaching he sees in some marriages.

What we are speaking about is oppression in marriage. What it looks like from one marriage to the next will be cloaked in many different garbs—constant conflict, a depressed and docile wife, isolation, perpetual walking on eggshells in the home, and the list goes on. But what is central to all of them is the notion that the wife must serve the wants, desires, needs, and whims of her husband. In other words, men who control their wives.

Things for Christian Men to Think About

Tim Challies offers some direct but helpful words for men. Applicable for men, obviously, but also for anyone raising a boy or anyone part of a church containing boys.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Sarah Wisniewski called Movie Recommendation: The Star (2017). 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 (12/17/2021)

Each Friday, I’ll post links to 3–5 resources from around the web you may want to check out. (Programming note: After the post you’re currently reading, there will likely be no more posts on the WPCA blog until the New Year.)

Advent Collection: Week Three

The Rabbit Room is a delightful website to which I’ve linked before. The folks behind that site have a compelling vision for excellent art produced by Christians (which is not the same as the “Christian art” with which you may be more familiar). The editors there are curating weekly “collections” during Advent—posts that recommend music, poetry, paintings, etc., which are appropriate for the Advent season. You can find their week three Advent collection here. (You can also check out week one and week two.)

When the Soul Feels its Worth

Andrea Sanborn wrote a brief article connecting the Incarnation of Jesus with our innate desire to matter and be seen.

Life is a vapor. A wisp, a breath; warming, for a time, the souls around us. Holy breath mingles with ours, infusing life into our simple offerings, our stumbling words. God invites us to draw close, as we reach to touch the scepter of grace with trembling fingers.

The Great Challenge of Every Marriage

We move away from the Advent theme for this final recommendation. Tim Challies wrote an article about how God has surprised him in the way marriage has been used for his growth as a Christian. I think all husbands and wives (and, frankly, anyone who merely aspires to be a friend) would benefit from reading.

Certainly there have been times when each of us has helpfully and even formally pointed out where the other has developed patterns of sin and selfishness. There have been times when we have each helped the other fight a particular sin or a general sinfulness. Yet as we look back on the past twenty-three years, we see that this has been relatively rare. It’s not that we don’t see plenty of sin in one another and not that we are firmly opposed to pointing it out. No, it’s more that there is another way that marriage has helped us grow in sanctification—a way in which our efforts are directed at addressing ourselves more than fixing each other.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article by Philip Rychcik called The Gift of Presence During Advent. 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 (11/12/2021)

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

A monument of gift

T. M. Suffield reflects on two occasions in the Bible when God’s people built monuments to remember the Lord’s saving work. Is there any place for this practice for modern day Christians?

You see, the house is not the gift. It is the monument, the pile of stones, the signpost to the gift. The gift is the gift the God of gifts always gives: Jesus, my friend, my master, he is the gift. Our home whispers a story, that I am loved, that I am known, that I am wanted, and that despite the ongoing trials and struggles of my daily life, I always will be.

Shire Reckonings

This essay by Rebecca D. Martin touches on wandering, travel, belonging, and maturing in life. But most of all, this is an article about home, with a helpful aid from Frodo Baggins.

After an eighteen year childhood stretch set firmly in one city, I have been repeatedly carried away to someplace new. I haven’t always liked it. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Yes, Bilbo. Agreed. 

What Does the Bible Say about Marriage?

This article from Crossway walks through an explanation of the historic Christian view of marriage. It includes Scripture references, reflection questions, and an FAQ.

Thanks to Phil A for his help in rounding up links this week.


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 (5/7/2021)

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

3 Reality Checks for Your Marriage

In this excerpt from a recent book, Paul Tripp helps us have realistic expectations about marriage.

It is not an accident that you have to deal with the things you do. None of this is fate, chance, or luck. It is all a part of God’s redemptive plan. Acts 17 says that he determines the exact place where you live and the exact length of your life. He knows where you live, and he is not surprised at what you are facing. Even though you face things that make no sense to you, there is meaning and purpose to everything you face. I am persuaded that understanding your fallen world and God’s purpose for keeping you in it is foundational to building a marriage of unity, understanding, and love.

Aging Doesn’t Make You Faithful. Jesus Does.

Spiritual growth doesn’t happen automatically, simply as the calendar turns. Glenna Marshall writes about her own journey with spiritual disciplines.

As someone who long neglected her faithfulness but has been drawn near by the grace of God through trials and suffering, I can tell you that the time spent knowing Him through His Word, prayer, and the body is never wasted. It is for your endurance and patience with joy that you get to know and love Him through His prescribed means of growth (see Col. 1: 11, Heb. 10:19-25). Were it not for the kindness of the Lord in bringing me to the beauty and sustenance of Scripture and prayer, I might still be hoping for a far-off, future faithfulness. I would have missed years of nearness to Christ as I learned of His faithful character through the pages of Scripture and hours of intercession.

We Must Learn the Skills to Resist Sexual Temptation

Randy Alcorn has a helpful warning about sexual temptation, and this article has links to some resources designed to help.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called The Lord Has Become Like an Enemy. 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 (4/23/2021)

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

Engaging Our Emotions, Engaging with God

Alastair Groves writes helpfully on what the Bible teaches about our emotions.

God doesn’t call us to avoid or squash our emotions (as Christians often suppose). Neither does he call us to embrace them unconditionally (as our culture often urges). Rather, he calls us to engage them by bringing our emotions to him and to his people. I like the word engage because it doesn’t make a premature assumption about whether the emotion is right or wrong, or how it might need to change. Instead it highlights what the Bible highlights: our emotions (good and bad) are meant to reveal the countless ways we need God.

Does Fasting Seem Strange To You?

Here’s a nice article from The Gospel Coalition Africa with a refresher on the practice of fasting. I liked the emphasis here on what fasting is for, not just what fasting is against.

Understood this way, the emphasis is more on what fasting is for—not for what fasting is against. Fasting is for focusing on God. It is a mindset of persistence that Jesus commends (Luke 18:1-8). It is urgent and daring. Fasting coupled with prayer desires to see the purposes of God come to pass.

The Gift of True Words

Melissa Edgington writes a lovely story about a woman finding a love letter from her husband years after he died. And there’s a lesson in here for all of us, too.

As I sat in her sunny room and listened to the quiver in her voice while she read her husband’s words, I remembered once again the immeasurable impact of expressions of love. We don’t say what we know and feel and appreciate often enough. We assume things are understood, and we underestimate the impact of our words. Write letters. Leave notes. Drop words into the space between you, and fill the unsure hearts around you with concrete understanding of all that’s inside of you. We will never regret gifting sweet words to another.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Erica Goehring called Tending a Fruitful 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 (6/5/2020)

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

God Never Forgets His Promises

At Ligonier’s website, Derek Thomas reflects on Joseph’s life and what it teaches us about God’s providence. Though we often want to read the events around us and make meaning for ourselves as individuals, Thomas tells us we should keep God’s promises in mind.

Providence has wider issues in mind than merely our personal comfort or gain. In answer to the oft-cited question in times of difficulty, “Why me?” the forthcoming answer is always, “Them!” He allows us to suffer so that others may be blessed. Joseph suffered in order that his undeserving brothers might receive blessing. In their case, this meant being kept alive during a time of famine and having the covenant promises of their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, reaffirmed before their eyes.

What Makes Any Marriage Difficult

Let me say this first: this is not a great title for this article. With that out of the way, I think this could be a really helpful article for married couples! Darren Carlson provides three questions that he and his wife worked through to strengthen their marriage.

Those who know me best know some of these weaknesses; my wife knows them all. Living with someone leads to the unavoidable exposure of one’s shortcomings. Pride tells us we are good at everything, that we are not the issue, that it’s really our spouse who has all the weaknesses. Be careful: God stands against people like this (Proverbs 16:5; James 4:6). Love is not proud (1 Corinthians 13:4).

5 Contemporary Poets Christians Should Read

I would wager that most of us don’t read much poetry. But poetry can put into words some reactions, moods, and emotions that prose just cannot. English professor Mischa Willett points us toward five of his favorite contemporary Christian poets. Troubled times may issue an especially pointed cry for poetry.

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article written by Sarah Wisniewski called When the House of God Doesn’t Feel Like Home. 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 (5/29/2020)

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

There is No Faith So Little That It Is Not Saving

Here’s a nice meditation on the life of John the Baptist. Jared Wilson observes the weak faith of John’s father, Zechariah, as well as some doubt from John. But faltering faith was no match for God’s grace!

Your little strength is no hindrance for God. In fact, our weakness is God’s primary means of demonstrating his power, power that will be revealed gloriously even when our strength gives out totally and we die. For when we die, we will know only his power, which in the end will raise us up.

What Is God Up To?: The Temptation to Overinterpret Suffering

Ed Welch writes about a common response to suffering—we want to know what it all means. But many times this is not our business to know.

When we feel as though we are in the dark and need more interpretive knowledge, we look to Jesus, meditate on his sacrificial love, and speak of this to others as we also learn from them. Doing this won’t answer our immediate questions about what is happening in the world, but it helps answer an even bigger question: How can I know and trust in the One who created all things and established their course?

Still Growing

Melissa Edgington writes a lovely reflection on the way God has used her marriage for her growth. She shares how she and her husband have grown for each other, toward each other, and because of each other.

Our marriage has been the single most influential factor in our growth as human beings and as Christians in the past two decades, and I think that is how God designed marriage to operate. We should be doing more than growing old together or even growing up together. We should be growing as Christ followers, and as those who understand what it means to lay down your life for someone. Ideally, our marriages should make us more like Jesus, but growth, like most things that matter, takes time. In 21 years we have changed a lot. Not all of those changes have been easy or welcomed or good. The changes that have made us more Christ-like have been the hardest of all to endure, yet those are the changes that have made us love each other more with each passing year.


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 (3/6/2020)

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

Confessions of a Recovering Political Idolater

About 20 years ago, Jared Wilson realized he had an idolatry problem. The way he paid attention to politics was unhealthy, and it was not honoring to God. I commend this article to you, because Jared talks about his repentance in ways that are specific and helpful (whether your idolatry problem is with politics or with something else).

My repentance consisted of a few practical things. I swore off all cable news, realizing how much the constant bombardment of news both real and speculative was eroding my joy and buttressing my anxiety. In the twenty years since, I haven’t watched but a handful of hours, usually when at other people’s homes when it is the background noise of choice. But other habits die harder. Here are some symptoms of my ailment I need to stay in constant vigilance about. Maybe you do too.

Marriage Was Never Supposed to Fill the Empty Spaces

Sometimes God uses hard situations to teach us important lessons. Lauren Washer has found herself in just such a situation, apart from her husband while he is deployed in the military. She’s learning a lot about trusting God and the design of marriage during this hard season.

Yes, he’s helpful, trustworthy, and loves me enough to be honest, rebuke me, and walk me through my struggles.  His wisdom is invaluable and I’m a better person having been married to him for the past thirteen years.  But he’s not God.  And try as I might to make my marriage relationship fill my soul, it never will.  Neither will anything else.

No Condemnation

Kristen Wetherell writes about her sense of inadequacy, the way she wonders if she’s disappointing God. She shares two questions she asks herself in those moments. I’m guessing these will be helpful for you, too.

Rather than buckling under the dark cloud of condemnation and listening to your fears, you can speak back to them. You can confidently confess your need for a Savior––”Jesus, I need you!”––and desperately seek him for change. His grace wasn’t just for the moment you believed by faith, but is for each and every moment of faith, for your every failure and every need.


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 (2/14/2020)

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

A New Year’s Resolution: Don’t Try to Be With It

At the end of 2019, Kevin DeYoung wrote an article about the trivial nature of so much of the media we consume. Without being a scold, he urges us toward contentment in not keeping up with every last thing.

It can be scary to detach, even a little bit, from the screams of social media, Netflix, and cable news. But let’s not mistake knowledge for wisdom, or a multimedia platform for kingdom usefulness. There is no way to possibly stay with it, so why bother? Look out the window. Put down the phone. Lose touch with pop culture and reconnect with God. If you get to the end of 2020 and can’t recall any of the big style stories from CNN, don’t fret: in a few minutes no one else with either. 

The One Life Dream That Makes a Girl Blush

Here’s a wonderful article on the high calling of marriage and motherhood and how sad it is when young women feel ashamed to desire such a calling.

I wish we loved the strength it takes for a woman to become a wife and a mother. We marvel at her physical strength when she births a child. But we forget what invisible strength she shows when she lays down her life for her home every day after that.  

5 Necessities for Engaging Skeptics with the Gospel

This article is geared slightly toward preachers, but there is a lot here for the rest of us to learn as well. How can we engage skeptics with the gospel?

On the WPCA Blog This Week

This week on the blog we published an article I wrote called The Bible is for Everyone. 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 (8/23/2019)

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

I’m so glad our vows kept us

Jennie Cesario writes about her marriage and her vows and what’s like when two people are joined together over decades. It’s hard and exposing and beautiful. If you only read one of the recommended articles this week, make it this one; it’s the best writing I’ve read in quite a while.

But this is the trade-off: Our hearts are so very tender toward one another now with the long years, softened to a sweetness hard-won. I can’t imagine a context in which I’d throw a glass now or cut off my hair just to spite him. In my mind, if there are still disappointments, they are not mine but ours. Not me against him, or him against me, but the two of us pressed together. His flaws folding into my imperfections like our fingers entwined on the dance floor.

How To Be Lonely (To The Glory Of God)

Loneliness is all too common these days, both inside and outside of the church. In this article, Cole Deike directs us to Psalm 102, whose author knows deep loneliness.

The gospel, after all, is not the good news that if you believe in Jesus, you will be spared from loneliness. Loneliness discriminates against nobody. You can rip Psalm 102 out the Scriptures and sand down the edges of the cross if you wish to believe that nonsense. The gospel is better. It is the good news that if you believe in Jesus, then Christ will be present with you in your loneliness.

3 Reasons Drifting from the Faith Starts with Drifting from the Church

If the book of Hebrews is an encouragement to persevere in faith, and if one of the commands in that book is that we must not neglect to meet together (Hebrews 10:25), what does this teach us about the church? Michael Kelley gives us three reasons to help us see the importance of church to our perseverance.

We must not abandon the church if we want to persevere in the faith. We must keep going to keep ourselves going. The church is God’s gift to us – each one of us – not so that we have a perfect experience there, but because we are weak, and we really do need the help.


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