Best of the Week for February 6

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.

True Compassion Will Cost Us

“Much good can come from donating money and offering a handout, but God inspires more. Visiting orphans and widows demands more than the swipe of a Visa. Tweeting about refugees is of some value. Caring for refugees—specific displaced men, women, and children—will require much more of us.”

A very timely word for a people who love to “social media” about everything, but aren’t as quick to put down the phone and get involved in ways that “cost” us. Are we the people of a loving, compassionate, sacrificial Savior–commanded to walk in the way he walked–or the people of social media justice for all?

We Need Black History Month

“Black History Month isn’t simply about ethnic diversity in general, but remembering the horrors of our shared history and celebrating the progress that has been made, in God’s common kindness, and specifically the many successes of black Americans despite such a history…It helps us understand the awful plight of a people made in God’s image, many of them fellow believers…”

Race discussion is a hot button, it seems now as much as it ever has been. And that fact, in and of itself, is probably as good an argument as any for why we need to have the discussion. Discussion–not argument or debate, but genuine, loving, humble, Christ-exalting, ears and heart open listening-before-we-speak dialogue from all sides–and Black History Month is as good a conversation starter as any.

Community Requires Vulnerability

“What I didn’t yet realize was that community isn’t something that comes to us; it’s something that we go toward. We make choices that either invite community or hinder the very thing we long for. The reasons I struggled with friendship were many…but primary among them was that I chose not to take the risk and be vulnerable.”

This is from a church planting wife written toward women, specifically pastors’ wives, but take that specific target out, and it easily applies to all of us, men and women from all places. If we desire genuine community (and we do because the Bible does), we must risk vulnerability and trust God with our hearts and relationships. So true community, like everything else, is really a faith issue at its core.

How Much Entertainment is Too Much?

“We are to enjoy entertainment purposefully, as a means of achieving rest…We have rested enough when it has prepared us to return our hands to the plow; we have rested too much when the plow has grown rusty or the field lies fallow.”

This one was challenging to me because I am a relaxer. In my spare time, I like to turn down the volume of work and busyness and relax, often in the form of being entertained. It is both challenging and necessary to be reminded that I was created to work out the purposes of the one who created me, not to chill.

How IKEA Names Its Products

This one may not have any eternal value, but it is interesting. It’s an explanation of how IKEA comes up with all those wacky names none of us Americans understand. There actually is an organized, fairly simple, system. Who knew?

Have a good week.