Best of the Week: Posting Online, Worship With Small Kids, and How to Read the Prophets
In Best of the Week we link to a handful of the best articles, videos, books, etc. that we have come across in the last week. We hope this will point you to some of the right places and give you gospel-rich tools and thoughts for life and mission.
“The line between vigorous exchange of ideas and a kind of social war is sometimes thinner than we may think. What is this particular controversy that I would be contributing to good for? When is it unhelpful? How much time will it take up? Is this an unavoidable primary issue, or a matter about which disagreement is fairly unimportant? Will this controversy play into any other division that threatens the unity of our local church?”
“As we see the constant glamor of others’ lives on Facebook or Pinterest, it can spawn anxiety and jealousy. As we scroll through one happy post after another, we may start to assume God blesses others while overlooking us.”
Keeping with the theme of technology and being online, this reminds us that there is a happy and effective way to use technology and the internet, but it can also be the means to ends that are unhealthy and unhelpful. The difference is in how we moderate it and how we approach it.
“In those moments of wondering if there is any real purpose to our being present in worship, we may benefit from reminding ourselves of God’s sufficiency, the nature of worship, and our calling to minister to our children.”
Anyone with small children has wondered if all the distractions and frustrations we deal with in corporate worship are worth the little we seem to get out of it sometimes…including the pastor. This article does well to say to us a hearty, “YES!” Sometimes it’s our expectations and approach that need to change, because only the Lord knows if our kids will!
“Some things are easier to read than others. When we open a newspaper or a website or a novel, we normally know intuitively what’s going on. We don’t have to labor to understand what the author is trying to say or what literary devices he’s using to communicate his message. But when we try to read the prophetic books of the Old Testament, we’re often waist-deep in a mix of unfamiliar genres with rules and conventions we don’t understand.”
Maybe fewer of us are asking this question, but most of us struggle at some time or another with how to read, study, and know the Bible. And the prophets are at the top of the list of places we struggle, I’m guessing. This article gives 5 great pointers in how to read and understand the prophets, followed by an example. This is well worth your time to read and process.
“December is a month for making lists, and my favorite annual list to make is top books of the year.”
To be honest, I’ve not read any of these books, but I do have a few of them in my “next up” stack. I feel confident these books are well worth the read because they come from a trusted source (a great way to determine if an unfamiliar book is worth reading, by the way). I’d encourage you to peruse these titles, but also to think through what you’ve read and make a “top books/articles/posts” you’ve read. One of the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and others are grace-filled, gospel-rich tools.
Now for a little humor. Once again, John Crist.