Hi Friends,

As you know, we live in a media saturated world. Throughout our day we are constantly bombarded with countless options of things to read, videos to watch, and content to listen to. A few minutes scrolling on Facebook or Instagram give us more options for content than we could possibly have time to consume. And while much of the content that comes across our devices should be avoided like the plague, in God’s kindness there is also a lot of really great, edifying, soul nourishing material online. There are thoughtful articles, blog posts, podcasts, etc. that have the potential to strengthen our faith, help us think more biblically, and as a result grow us to bring greater glory to Christ, as we are shaped by what we read, listen to, and watch.  

In an effort to help point you to more of this type of material, we will be introducing a new section to our blog that will be published in the middle of the week called “Midweek Miscellanies”. This will be a collection of assorted articles, book recommendations, blog posts, podcasts and other links that myself (Pastor Matt), or other members of the Pastoral Team have found, not only to be good articles, but to be helpful and encouraging in thinking about life as a disciple of Jesus. And while we won’t necessarily endorse every single aspect of everything we link to, nor expect you to have the time to read and listen to everything we post, we hope ultimately that you are able to interact with some of what we post, and find that it too strengthens your faith as well. 

Here are some links for this week:

Watch Your (Knowledge) Diet in the COVID-19 Crisis:In a world like this—with more and more information but less and less wisdom—what are we to do? How can we stay sane, mentally and spiritually healthy, and wise? A few years ago these questions led me to create ‘The Wisdom Pyramid,’ a visual aid inspired by the food pyramid but applied not to food groups but ‘knowledge groups.’ The idea was to help people build a knowledge diet conducive to wisdom in a world glutted with untrustworthy sources.”

Riots in John Piper’s Neighborhood: This article is a little long, but provides a great example of a church serving their city over the long haul, and stepping into the brokenness around them. “After 40 years in the neighborhood, Piper would do it all again. ‘I really believe that preaching the whole counsel of God decade after decade in a way that grows a life-giving church—mingled with regular calls to do crazy things for Jesus, undergirded with big-God theology, and an example of urban presence—makes a big difference.’ ”

Podcast pick: An interview with Rosaria Butterfield on Christian hospitality. I appreciated this insight, “Christian hospitality embraces the awkward. If you get through a whole night of Christian hospitality and there weren’t places of severe awkwardness; you did something wrong.”

Book Recommendation: Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers This book has been my favorite read of the summer, and may be the most spiritually refreshing book I’ve read in the past few years. It gives us a beautiful picture of Christ’s heart for us, and His ongoing work on our behalf. Highly recommended!

Looking for a Gospel Opening? Ask About Their Tattoo: Some practical thoughts on sharing our faith.

To Grow, You Must Practice: Helpful thoughts on Christian growth. “In other words, if I want to grow in self-control, I need to find small ways in my day-to-day life to exercise self-control. If I want to grow in loving others, I need to find small daily ways to put others before myself.”

Grace and peace,

Pastor Matt