Good Reads: A late October 2018 edition

After a hiatus, we are back and sharing a collection of blogs or articles on topics that are relevant for our church body. We hope it edifies you, makes you think, or teaches you something that you can apply in your life. Here’s to learning and Good Reads!  They are organized by topic, so feel free to skim and find something relevant to you. 

Discipleship

Quit Asking God to Join Your Side:  Eric Geiger:  I need to stop bringing my plans to God and hoping He will bless myagenda. As a parent, I need to stop praying God will help my plans for my kids come to fruition. Because when I became a Christian, those plans aren’t really mine anymore anyway.

15 Scriptures for Your Kids When Dealing with Racism:  If you are like me, you wish by now we would have decided as humans to treat others the way we want to be treated. You wish the next generation would be further along than we are and that racism would be a thing of the past. The reality is kids today are still battling this issue. If your kids have come home in tears after being bullied for their race, here are 15 truths to talk about as a family.

He will hold me fast:  Here’s the story and theology behind a great song. “Paul pressed on. He was diligent. He labored. He applied himself. He strained to endure and increasingly make Jesus his own. But he knew that all his striving and enduring was enabled decisively by the power of Christ, who had made him his own and would certainly hold him fast.”

Leadership

Do you fight the comparison game?  Are you content with who you are and who you’re becoming? Are you focused on running the race marked uniquely for you? What steps can you take to compare and criticize less? Make a commitment today to become more secure in your own calling and celebrate the Kingdom success of others in the trenches of ministry.

Practical Ministry

The Duties Required by the Ninth Commandment in a Social Media World:  “With the rise of modern communications technologies, and especially social media, I am convinced we need to diligently apply ourselves to a fresh consideration of all this commandment requires of us.”

10 Simple Ways to Reach Your Neighbors for Jesus:  Most believers will never share the gospel with anyone, and many will never even invite anyone to church. Sometimes, in fact, we overstate the hard work of evangelism, and our folks never even try to reach anyone. Here are some simple ways to start correcting this problem by reaching your neighbors….

Relationships

Rebuilding Parental Authority:  Parental authority is not about force, or power, or dominance. It is about wise influence. It is about relationship and Christ-like leadership that values the good of those being led. So, instead of becoming more authoritarian with your kids, invest in your relationship with them. Show them you care and are committed to their good. It may not be well received at first, and it may take time. You may need to limit activities, time with their peers, and the multitude of ways your family gets pulled away from each other—but the results are well worth the effort.

3 Ways the Gospel Changes the Way You Apologize: “Christians, of all people in the world, should be the best apologizers. Not because they necessarily have more to apologize for, but because the gospel frees us to apologize rightly, changing our apologies in at least these three ways:”

12 Questions To Ask Ourselves In Conflict:  “Usually our first impulse in conflict is to look at all the ways the other person is wrong. All the ways they hurt us or messed up or all the ways they are thinking incorrectly about an issue. But over the years I have found it helpful to examine myself before focusing on the other person. Here are 12 questions I have found helpful to ask myself when I find myself in conflict:”

Discernment in Marriage:  “Areas that need to change will vary in every marriage. When it comes to our spouse, we must remember that there are things to let go of and things we can not let go of. There are things to be overlooked and things that must not be overlooked. We need wisdom and discernment from God to know the difference.” We sure do, even after 20 years of it!

You Won’t Make It Alone – Five Reasons You Need Good Friends:  “What next steps might you take to cultivate deeper friendships? Identify a few people and plan time to get together, such as a weekly rhythm of coffee or lunch. Reach out to a friend you’ve lost regular contact with. Plunge your conversations below the shallows and into the deeper waters of life. Oxygenate your friendships with affirmation and encouragement. God helping us, let’s make it to our deathbeds without relational regret.”