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I don’t usually post these two weeks in a row, but I came across a number of good reads this week!

Answering Claims That the Bible Contains Errors, and Why It Matters That It Doesn’t, HT to Challies.

What Expository Preaching Is Not, HT to Challies.

God Has a Heart for the Vulnerable. Do you?

Feel the Love

Doing Church Away From Church Isn’t Church, HT to Challies.

Nine Questions to Ask Yourself to Prepare for 2018, HT to Challies.

100 Years. 100 Million Lives. Think Twice, HT to Challies. I’ve been quite alarmed in recent months to see young people lauding communism. “For many students, casually endorsing communism is a cool, edgy way to gripe about the world.” “Communism cannot be separated from oppression; in fact, it depends upon it. In the communist society, the collective is supreme. Personal autonomy is nonexistent. Human beings are simply cogs in a machine tasked with producing utopia; they have no value of their own.”

On Leaving Jerusalem. “While the media is great at capturing events, they are not so great (or so interested) at capturing context or proportion.”

Living Out Our Faith. Great ways to serve the Lord as a family.

Crying in Home Depot at Christmas.

Lastly, I don’t know anything about the speaker here or the film he talks about, so this is not an endorsement, but a friend shared this on Facebook and I found it interesting. I had never heard what he shared about the significance of Jesus being wrapped in swaddling clothes before.

Happy next to last Saturday before Christmas!

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Here’s my latest round-up of thought-provoking, noteworthy reads discovered in the last few weeks.

Bibles are not talismans. It’s all about the words.

The Importance of Margins.

What Would Jesus Do About Transgender? HT to Challies.

13 Things a Pastor Should Never Say to a Congregation, HT to Challies. Yes.

7 Hard Truths About Retirement, HT to Challies.

Ban the bike! How cities made a huge mistake in promoting cycling, HT to Challies.

If you like writing about imagination, children’s literature, and families, you might be interested in writing for Story Warren: they’re looking for new contributors.

Finally, I was looking for this yesterday in talking about my young grandson’s imagination. I couldn’t find it then but found it later in the afternoon.

Happy Saturday!

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My latest round-up of newly discovered noteworthy posts:

Doing Spiritual Warfare Without All the Weirdness, HT to Challies.

Dear Mormon – I Can’t Call You a Brother in Christ, HT to Challies.

A Beautiful Table and a Bitter Heart, HT to Challies. Good not just for Thanksgiving!

What Is Thanksgiving Anyway?

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones on Obsession With Polemics, HT to Challies. It’s necessary but shouldn’t be the main thing. Some helpful considerations.

Which Are Better: Old Books or New?

The Last of the Iron Lungs, HT to Challies. A handful of people with polio still rely on them, but they’re not sold or maintained by the the manufacturers any more. Fascinating article. And, though this is not the main point of it, I was inspired by those who are trying to make the best of their circumstances, like the man who took his iron lung to college, practiced law for the few hours a day he could go without the iron lung, until he started needing it almost 100%. Now he’s writing his memoirs while encased in it.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but in case you missed it, I announced the Laura Ingalls Wilder Reading Challenge for February 2018 and included a long list of related books to consider for those who might want to read beyond just the Little House series.

Finally, I didn’t listen to all this, but overheard a good bit while hubby was listening. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders began the last press briefing before Thanksgiving asking the reporters to share something they were thankful for before asking their questions. What we found amazing was the way they whole atmosphere changed by doing that, from confrontational and adversarial to convivial!

Happy Saturday! It’s Christmas decoration day for us!

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Here’s another round of notable reads found recently:

Please Stop the Mad-ness re “Christian outrage” responses.

Tempted to Quit [Church]? Do You Know Why You Shouldn’t?

Faith Going Forward: A Midlife Following. “If the Proverb is to be trusted, and my mostly silver hair is to be seen as a crown of glory and wisdom, don’t let me be guilty of false advertising.”

How to Engage a Fanatic, HT to Lisa.

I’m a Mom Who Doesn’t. You Don’t Have to, Either, HT to The Story Warren.

30+ Thanksgiving Activities For Kids, HT to The Story Warren.

And, this is the night!!! Daylight Savings Time ends tonight, so don’t forget to turn your clocks back before going to bed. I hate losing the hour in the spring but I love getting it back in the fall!.

(Links here do not imply 100% endorsement of site or author)

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Here’s my latest round-up of noteworthy reads online:

Glory Thief, HT to Challies.

25 Bible Reading Tips, HT to Challies.

5 Things Not To Do In Your Marriage.

Dear Older Women, We Need You.

5 Parenting Myths I Used to Believe, HT to Challies.

Single-minded, HT to True Woman. “Singles need the church . . . But the church also needs them, and not just as nursery help or cleanup crew.”

Friendship Is Not a Two-Way Street, HT to Challies.

5 Lessons From Reformation Women, HT to True Woman. With the 500th anniversary of the Reformation coming up, there have been a lot of articles about it, and this was unusual in focusing on some of the women involved.

How Carnival Games Scam You (video). A little long, but interesting. I always thought they were pretty much scamming, but this shows some of the science behind it.

I wrote about Veggie Tales a while back. Somehow I came across this video yesterday, and I had never seen it nor heard the song before, but it touched my heart. God loves me whether I have had a good day or a bad one

Happy Saturday!

(Linking to a site does not imply full endorsement or site or writer)

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Here are more good reads discovered in the last week or so:

The Transgender Matrix: It’s Time to Choose the Red Pill, HT to Challies. From a man who had transgender surgery on why it didn’t solve his problems and facing reality. He had other issues, but those weren’t even dealt with before his psychologist approved him for surgery.

A Three-step Strategy for Fighting Sin, HT to Challies. Probably one of the most helpful articles I have seen on the subject. On the same topic from the same blog: 20 Practical Ways to Kill Sin.

5 Ways to Pray for Persecuted Saints, HT to Challies.

You Were Created for More Than Motherhood.

The Neglected Stepchild of the Bible, Ecclesiastes. There are some weird approaches to this book, and this article helps rightly divide it.

Do Christians Have to Care About Everything? HT to Challies. “You’re not Christ. You’re part of His body. And there is a difference.”

Happy Saturday!

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I have kind of a longish list today, but found all of these noteworthy or thought-provoking in some way. Hope you find something you like!

Where Is God in a Mass Shooting? HT to True Woman.

Letter to a Church Member (Or a Letter to Myself). “Your church is here, not to give you a good self-image, but to give you a true self-image.”

Exegesis Without Embarrassment, HT to Challies. The first of a series dealing with why God would command the destruction of the Canaanites.

Ten Things You Should Know About Temptation, HT to Challies.

God Is With You in Your Panic Attack.

Let’s Get Real About Women’s Discipleship, HT toChallies. “If Instagram is any clue, most Christian women think discipleship is limited to hosting thoughtfully curated Bible studies in tasteful homes where shrieking children and dirty dishes don’t exist. This glossy ideal sits like a yoke on many women’s shoulders rather than spurring them onward in Christ’s Great Commission.”

The Holiness of Small Things.

Worship Isn’t About Feelings, HT to Challies. “Sometimes I serve my neighbor out of obedience to Christ, and love for Christ follows. Sometimes I am filled with love for Christ, such that I look for an opportunity serve my neighbor.

When You Don’t Need God’s Guidance, HT to True Woman. “We don’t need to seek guidance where guidance has already been revealed in Scripture. How easy it is to convince ourselves we’re “confused” about what we should do when we’re reluctant to do what we know is right. It helps us feel better to label questions of morality “complicated” when they require us to pick up a cross or suffer rejection. The serpent’s ancient whisper—Did God really say?—trips off the tongue when God’s commands are costly.”

Heroes, Hagiography, and Villainy. I’ve been thinking for some time now about writing a post concerning flawed heroes. This says some of the things I have been thinking.

Four Reasons to Read Slowly. “The Information Age isn’t slowing us down, but subtly and constantly pressuring us to speed up. As we browse, surf, and scroll, we’re training ourselves to quickly see new facts and then look for the next figures, rather than feel the weight of what we read.”

Advice for Reading the Bible when a learning disability makes it hard.

Benny Hinn Is My Uncle, But Prosperity Preaching Isn’t For Me.

Theological imagination.

I Stopped Praising My Kids for a Week: This Is What I Learned, HT to Story Warren.

Some years ago I was wandering around the local library’s video collection looking for something to watch and saw the 10th anniversary production of Les Miserables. I decided to get it and see what all the fuss was about – and that started a love affair with the musical and then the book. Since the particular singers there were the first I heard, and though I have seen some wonderful clips of a variety of singers singing some of the songs, this cast will always embody the characters for me. Recently I stumbled across this video of Philip Quast, who played Inspector Javert, telling how he approached one of the solos. I had no idea such thought and intention was involved behind every word. In the song he’s discussing, Javert has just had an encounter with ValJean, the man he has been trailing all his adult life. ValJean has just carried a wounded Marius through the sewer system when he runs into Javert and begs Javert to let him see Marius to safety. Previously ValJean had held Javert’s life in his hands, and let him go. Javert can’t compute this: he upholds righteousness and The Law, and in his mind, once you’ve fallen, there is no mercy or grace. “Once a con, always a con” is his mindset. So how can it be that this man no longer acts like a con and even shows mercy and compassion?  I’ll post the video of this song from the musical after this interview:

A couple of other things I love about this: Javert’s previous solo was about the comfort he found in the stars as “sentinels” of God’s order in the world. But here, “the stars are black and cold.” Also, there is so much parallelism between this song and Valjeans’s soliloquy when when the bishop shows him an undeserved kindness: the same tune there and here, similar phrasing about “allowing this man” to have an influence, an offer of freedom, “I am reaching, but I fall…,” escaping the world of Jean ValJean, but in two different ways. Although ValJean had to wrestle with it, he accepted the bishop’s grace. Javert either thought he didn’t need it, since he was always in the right in his own eyes, or he couldn’t accept it from this man. When his entire worldview was turned on its ear, instead of adjusting, he could only escape. Grace accepted saves and changes a person. Grace rejected leaves one out in the cold darkness.

 

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