Best of the Week for December 4

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.

When Community Isn’t Gospel Community

“When believers discuss biblical community, we talk about it in different ways: doing life together, life on life, “one another”ing each other. While this sounds good in principle, we often get it wrong in practice.”

This one is short and really practical, and it touches on a good point: being friends with people who love Jesus isn’t the same as gospel community. How do we pursue a life that is filled with “God-talk” and purposeful interaction that spurs us toward love and good deeds?

Prepare Your Heart to Lead Your Home

“You are the one shepherd who was off somewhere else when the angels appeared, and because you were so grumpy about that, they left you to watch the sheep while they went into Bethlehem. And then it started to rain. You made it into no nativity sets, and yours was the original blue Christmas.”

This one is written to fathers, but could apply to single mothers and single adults who lead themselves just as much. To lead ourselves and our homes this Advent, we have to prepare ourselves, and the first thing that needs tending is the heart. From there will flow the readiness for the season and a river of joy.

The True Story of Pain and Hope Behind “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

“He heard the Christmas bells that December day and the singing of ‘peace on earth’ (Luke 2:14), but he observed the world of injustice and violence that seemed to mock the truthfulness of this optimistic outlook.”

For me, this was a good read that pointed my heart toward worship, which is the point of all good Christmas carols. I love the more feel-good Christmas songs (I love almost all Christmas music!), but the gospel-saturated songs are the ones that stir me the most. Knowing the history of this song has intensified the glory I feel when I hear or sing it.

The Ultimate Advent Activity List for Toddlers

“We are in that awkward stage of marriage where the holidays are no longer the “free and easy” of our dating days, when events could be attended without coordinating a babysitter. But we’re not quite to the stage of parenting where our girls can really engage with the holiday, either. But I don’t want to wait until our girls are older to start making family traditions and enjoying the Christmas season.”

If you’ve got smaller kiddos, this here is gold!

So Many Presents!: A Few Gospel-Rich Gift Ideas

I’m not going to quote myself. This one is from me and gives a little thought to what we give, along with a few ideas.

Have a good week.