January Links

Once or twice a month, I gather up links to some of my favourite reading and resources from the past fortnight. I’d love to know what you’ve been reading in the comments too.


In the first line, Jon Bloom writes: “My favorite songs are ones that make my heart burn with longing.” Mine too! I’ve always said that my favourite verse of any hymn is the “death verse”, where we’re reminded what bliss will be ours when we pass into eternal life. I’m thankful to have been introduced to this song.


I wept the whole way through this one. In terrible circumstances, a pastor explains why we desperately need the church: “I can’t help but plead pastorally with all of you: be an actual, committed, formal member of a local church. You need it to obey Jesus. You need it to be more like Jesus. You need it for moments like the one I’m in.”


I love the Puritans! I’ve been reading more of their writings over the past year or two, and I’ve noticed all these important themes. If you’ve never read any Puritan writings, this article will encourage you to change that!


There’s been an interesting and helpful discussion recently about blogging, starting with this article from Tim Challies. He expresses concern about the decline of personal blogging due to the rise of ministry blogs. There’s some wonderful encouragement to “plodding” bloggers here. Others have joined the conversation—I’ve enjoyed the contributions from Kristen Wetherell, Samuel James, and Abigail Dodds.


“It has been happening most mornings recently. I’ll wake up feeling crushed and exhausted.” Mornings are hard for me too. I need to constantly fight for joy in God, and Sam Allberry’s words here have helped me to do that.


Self-control doesn’t seem as appealing to us as some other fruit of the Spirit, like love or joy. I enjoyed reading about how John Stott embodied this virtue for the good of other people.



Raise the Bar When Teaching Children (Help Me Teach the Bible)
Crucial topic for everybody in the church, not just kids ministry leaders or parents. Kids need to learn the whole counsel of God rather than simply being given cute stories.


How Do Introverts Guard Against Selfishness? (Ask Pastor John, episode 1284)
John Piper helpfully challenges our obsession with personality types, while not disregarding their importance. “I should focus all my thinking toward this: How can my peculiar bent and gifting in this comfort zone that I’m staying in become an instrument of grace for others and for the glory of Christ?”


Over the past couple of months I’ve been catching up on the latest season of Christine Hoover’s By Faith podcast. She tackles various topics relating to friendship. Full of encouragement, rebuke, and useful counsel!



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