Truths for Troubled Times

Truths For Troubled Times

Posted May 18, 2020

“Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers” by Dane Ortlund

Recommendation by Pastor Francis Chow

It was the book’s subtitle and its language of “sinners” and “sufferers” that first caught my attention for how this might be a helpful and relevant resources, especially for ministry at Lighthouse. Ortlund’s book was exactly that—not just for ministry to others, but for my own heart as well. Pastor Kim has often encouraged us to “fuel our faith” with truth about God. How can we expect to trust a God who we don’t really know? There’s a world of difference between knowing facts, for example, about your spouse versus knowing your spouse’s heart in relationship (an illustration that Ortlund apparently stole from Pastor Kim in the book).
Ortlund’s goal is to show us “the heart of Christ. Who is he? Who is he really? What is most natural to him? What ignites within him most immediately as he moves towards sinners and sufferers? What flows out most freely, most instinctively, Who is he?” (pg. 1). He does that by meditating in each chapter on a passage of Scripture or some teaching from the Puritans on what is said about Christ’s heart for us. (Discovering some of the quotes and works from Puritans like Goodwin, Sibbes, and Bunyan might be worth the price of the book alone!) The title, “Gentle and Lowly,” comes from Matthew 11:29, which Ortlund points out is the only place in the gospel accounts that Jesus tells us about his own heart.
One of the things that I appreciated most about this book was Ortlund’s ability to move beyond just “doctrine” to what that teaches us about the heart of Christ. For example, I am aware of biblical truths such as the fact that Jesus is our intercessor and advocate or that we as believers can call Him friend. But the book skillfully presents those ideas in a way that shows us Jesus’ heart and makes us run back to Him. Ortlund understands that it’s our natural sinful desire to believe otherwise (chapter 20 is titled “Our Law-ish Hearts, His Lavish Heart”), and so it’s especially necessary to refresh our understanding of Jesus’ heart for us from Scripture. On top of that, Ortlund is a gifted writer, as I found myself highlighting and underlining quotes that I’m sure I’ll return to later on.
Read this book! I’m confident that it will warm your love for Christ, whois gentle and lowly in heart. Here are some quotes for now:

  • “Every human friend has a limit. If we offend enough, if a relationship gets damaged enough, if we betray enough times, we are cast out. The walls go up. With Christ, our sins and weaknesses are the very resume items that qualify us to approach him. Nothing but coming to him is required—first at conversion and a thousand times thereafter until we are with him upon death.” (pg. 64)
  • “For those united to him, the heart of Jesus is not a rental; it is your new permanent residence. You are not a tenant; you are a child. His heart is not a ticking time bomb; his heart is the green pastures and still waters of endless reassurances of his presence and comfort, whatever our present spiritual accomplishments. It is who he is.” (pg. 66)

Posted May 11, 2020

“The Gospel Comes With a House Key” by Rosaria Butterfield

Recommendation by Pastor David Lee

Few books have shaken me up as much as “The Gospel Comes With a House Key.” The author, Rosaria Butterfield, paints a picture of the Christian life as one of “ordinary radical hospitality,” where Christians open our lives and homes to the strangers and neighbors around us for the ministry of the Gospel.

Butterfield boasts an intimidating pre-conversion resume. If ever the world were to have a champion of secular ideologies, Butterfield would have been the undisputed title holder. A distinguished professor in a liberal university, an active homosexual, a prominent leader in the LGBTQ community, an articulate and intelligent skeptic of the Christian metanarrative; one could hardly imagine a less likely candidate to be a follower of Jesus.

And yet God saved her miraculously (as he does in all salvations), not through academic arguments, but through the kind hospitality of a Christian pastor and his wife, who invited Butterfield into their home and life, and subsequently into the life of Christ. She has experienced firsthand the barrier-shattering potential of hospitality, which brings the Gospel to bear on the heart not through power and force and imposition, but with gentleness and kindness and sacrificial love.

So Butterfield is uniquely qualified to speak to the necessity of Christian hospitality for Gospel ministry:

“Radically ordinary hospitality is this: using your Christian home in a daily way that seeks to make strangers neighbors, and neighbors family of God. It brings glory to God, serves others, and lives out the Gospel in word and deed. If you are prohibited from using your living space in this way, it counts if you support in some way some household in your church that is doing it. The purpose of radically ordinary hospitality is to build, focus, deepen, and strengthen the family of God, pointing others to the Bible-believing local church and being earthly and spiritual good to everyone we know” (31).

While hospitality may look different now as we are confined to our homes, we are also more exposed to our neighbors than ever before. We may not be able to invite them into our home, but the sidewalk conversations, the bag of groceries, the batch of cookies, the empathetic questions about the difficulties of life can make the path straight for the King and his Gospel. The biblical call to hospitality is more important than ever, and Butterfield sounds that call with an unparalleled clarity and beauty.

Posted May 4, 2020

“Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament” by Mark Vroegop

Recommendation by Pastor Eric Cai

“Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy” is a book that I purchased last year when I decided to take our high schoolers through the book of Psalms. I wanted to touch on an aspect of the Psalms, and the Christian life, that had been largely neglected—the aspect of lament. Little did I know that this neglected aspect of the Christian life would come to the forefront of our lives, roughly half a year later when the coronavirus became a pandemic.

What do you do when your life plays out in the minor-key, when the mood of your life shifts from fullness, celebration, and joyful abundance to trial, sorrow, loss and pain? What do you do when you know that God is good, but life is also hard? Pastor Mark Vroegop believes that the faithful response is biblical lament. Biblical lament is “how we bring our sorrow to God, how [we] live between the poles of a hard life and trusting in God’s sovereignty (21).”

Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy is immensely practical (if you don’t believe me, there are ‘Learning-to-Lament’ worksheets found in the appendix). Each chapter concludes with reflection questions. More importantly, it shows us how there is mercy and grace to be found when we bring our complaints, sorrows, and laments before the living God. And if you or your family aren’t going through difficulty or suffering yourself, this book equips you on how to faithfully weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. Pastor Mark believes that this minor-key song is vital to the life of God’s people and his book offers a guide on how to faithfully lament during a time such as ours. Perhaps through this book’s eye toward Scripture, we can learn the apostolic example of being “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10).

There are many helpful applications strewn throughout the book, but let me offer you a few quotes to motivate you to see why his book is necessary for our church and for your relationship with God:

  • “Without lament we won’t know how to help people walking through sorrows. Instead, we’ll offer trite solutions, unhelpful comments, or impatient responses. What’s more, without this sacred song of sorrow, we’ll miss the lessons historic laments are intended to teach us.” (21).
  • “A third of the official songbook of Israel wrestles with pain,” (30).
  • “Choosing to trust through lament requires that we rejoice without knowing how all the dots connect. We decide to let God be his own interpreter, trusting that somehow his gracious plan is being worked out—even if we can’t see it,” (79).
  • “[Lament] is the prayer language that stakes its claim on the promises of God in the pains of life. Dark clouds may come, but divine mercy never ends,” (191).

Posted April 27, 2020

“Caring For One Another” by Ed Welch

Recommendation by Pastor Mat

Like most of you, I find it difficult and even painful to know that for however long God has us, physical distancing will continue to be the norm. We look forward to the days when we can greet each other with warm hugs, share a meal in person, laugh and cry together. But while physical distancing is the norm, relational distancing does not have to be. In the absence of physical presence, how can we continue to be involved in each other’s lives? How can we grow in relational closeness when physical closeness is a near impossibility?

In a short book spanning 8 chapters in 71 pages, Ed Welch’s “Caring for One Another,” helps us answer that question thoughtfully, wisely, practically, and biblically. It is a book that we’ve given to all our small group leaders to help personally and actively take steps to cultivate meaningful relationships and one that I have come back to time and time again. In this book I am reminded that although I might not be able to offer much, God uses my everyday conversations to move people toward Christ and build up His church. Especially in a time like this, this book reminds us that we can not only grow deeper with each other despite the absence of physical presence, but more deeply build each other up in Christ. Along with the discussion and study questions at the end of each chapter, we have also written one for you to help practice the contents of each chapter.

Here are some quotes to whet your appetite:

  • “Humility simply acknowledges our many sins and limitations, and it responds with, ‘I need Jesus, and I need other people.’”
  • “We do not deny the hardships of life. Rather, we want to speak them to the God who hears, remember his promises and faithful love, and grow in trust him.”
  • “Prayer joins together our knowledge of others, our love for them, and our knowledge of God and his promises.”
  • “God uses ordinary people and their increasingly wise, childlike, God-dependent conversations to build his church. These do not depend on our brilliance in order to be helpful; they depend on Jesus.”

Posted April 20, 2020

“When God Weeps” by Joni Eareckson Tada

Recommendation by Pastor Tim

The honor of counseling those who are suffering seems to always come with challenging questions like: “Why me, God?”,“How long will I have to suffer?”, and “What is God’s purpose for allowing all this pain?” Joni Eareckson Tada’s book, “When God Weeps,” takes up these challenging questions and answers them biblically, personally, and with a focus on Christ.

In the beginning, Joni recommends that you not read the book if you’re still angry. But Joni’s writing is so personal that I think you will find your heart softening as you read the book, even if your heart is still wrestling with present suffering. The theology of suffering is focused on Christ and is beautifully woven with stories of her own suffering and the stories of those she has ministered to. Her stories of suffering have been forged during more than forty years in a wheelchair as a quadriplegic. Yet every one of her stories are Christ-centered and as you read you get to witness how she wrestled through her suffering again and again to center her heart on Christ.

However Covid-19 is touching your life, this book can comfort you through the pain, help you see Christ’s purposes in your suffering, and equip you to care for those hurting around you. If you’d like to use it as a discipleship tool, our counseling ministry has written a study guide to go with it. You can download it here.

Here are a few quotes to help you see the personal, practical, and Christ-centered qualities of this work:

  • “Gut-wrenching questions honor God. Despair directed at God is a way of encountering him, opening ourselves up to the One and only Someone who can actually do something about our plight. And whether we, like Greg, collide with the Almighty or simply bump up against him, we cannot be the same. We never are when we experience God.”  (155)
  • “God, like a father, doesn’t just give advice. He gives himself. He becomes the husband to the grieving widow (Isaiah 54:5). He becomes the comforter to the barren woman (Isaiah 54:1). He becomes the father of the orphaned (Psalm 10:14). He becomes the bridegroom to the single person (Isaiah 62:5). He is the healer to the sick (Exodus 15:26). He is the wonderful counselor to the confused and depressed (Isaiah 9:6). This is what you do when someone you love is in anguish; you respond to the plea of their heart by giving them your heart.” (125)

Posted April 13, 2020

“A Praying Life” by Paul Miller

Recommendation by Pastor Wayne

COVID-19 has been a wake-up call to the world that we are not at all in control of our lives. With each passing day, we are left wondering when and how life will return to “normal” and when this pandemic will finally end. At the same time, as Christians we know that God is sovereign and actively working in and through all the circumstances in our lives for His glory and our good. But how do we make sense of life when it does not make sense?

With those thoughts, I highly recommend “A Praying Life” by Paul E. Miller. This book explores the ideas of what it means to pray helplessly like a child, what it means to trust Jesus in a world of cynicism, and how to live not in our story, but in our Father’s story. This resource also provides very practical and helpful suggestions on how to cultivate a life of prayer.

Here are a few quotes that I hope will encourage you towards a life of prayer during this season of uncertainty:

  • “If God is sovereign, then he is in control of all the details of my life. If he is loving, then he is going to be shaping the details of my life for my good. If he is all-wise, then he’s not going to do everything I want because I don’t know what I need. If he is patient, then he is going to take time to do all this. Whenwe put all these things together – God’s sovereignty, love, wisdom, and patience – we have a divine story” (10).
  • “The only way to come to God is by taking off any spiritual mask. The real you has to meet the real God. He is a person” (21).
  • “When you stop trying to control your life and instead allow your anxieties and problems to bring you to God in prayer, you shift from worry to watching.You watch God weave his patterns in the story of your life. Instead of trying to be out front, designing your life, you realize you are inside God’s drama. As you wait, you begin to see him work, and your life begins to sparkle with wonder” (60).
  • “God wants to do something bigger than simply answer my prayers. The act of praying draws God into my life and begins to change me, the pray-er, in subtle ways” (148).

Posted April 6, 2020

“A Small Book for the Anxious Heart” by Ed Welch

Recommendation by Pastor Gavin Kajikawa

Yesterday you heard Pastor Kim preach on how Jesus changes our anxious and worrying hearts, so I’d like to recommend Ed Welch’s book, “A Small Book for the Anxious Heart.”

This topic is something I was thinking about and wrestling with before Covid-19, and now the virus has turned up the heat. The range of my worry is vast, multilayered, and complex, so I’m glad that this book has helped put descriptors to what I’m feeling and, more importantly, has pointed me to Christ, my rock and salvation.

The book is broken into 50 daily meditations focused on a particular theme. At the end of each day are a few questions for you to reflect and meditate on. This book can be read individually, but you may benefit more by reading it with others and sharing your thoughts to the questions via emails, texts, or a phone call.

Here are a few quotes that you’ll read as you treasure Christ more.

  • “The rhythm of your journey is simple: You speak and God listens; God speaks and you listen . . . Whenever God speaks to you about your fears, you can be sure he will say something about being close.” (4-5)
  • “Worries can be born in the past, live in the future, and invade the present. They focus our attention on things over which we are relatively powerless, and they take our attention away from the mission that is right in front of us. Stay in the present.” (27)
  • “The basic idea is that what we fear controls us. Rather than being controlled by things and people in creation, we want to be controlled by the Creator.” (164)

Posted March 30, 2020

“God’s Grace in your Suffering” by David Powlison

Recommendation by Pastor Kim Kira

“In these unique times, suffering is a common experience. Though the type and intensity varies, I don’t know anyone that has been untouched in some way by the Coronavirus. In light of this, one book I would recommend is “God’s Grace in your Suffering” by David Powlison. 

It is a small book, but possibly my favorite on the topic. It is the right blend of being theological, personal, and practical and has the unique ability to draw our gaze to Christ amidst the storms of life. The structure is a simultaneous walk through of the great hymn, “How Firm a Foundation” and various passages of Scripture.

Here are a couple of powerful quotes:

  • “God’s voice speaks deeper than what hurts, brighter than what is dark, more enduring than what is lost, truer than what has happened” (page 28).
  • “Paul wrote, “The firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are his'” (2 Tim. 2:19). This excellent Word never changes. The Lord knows you. This reality is the single most important thing about you. You are his. This truth makes the decisive difference in how you walk down hard roads” (page 33). We need these glorious truths during times like these!”

Posted May 18, 2020

Navigating Different COVID-19 Recovery Convictions

News of SIP being extended can be deflating and discouraging. The novelty of working from home has worn off. Many of us are itching for our society’s reopening. We can feel very strongly on how this should take place. Let us heed the wise counsel to consider our convictions and those of others with grace.

Encouragement for the Disappointed 2020 Graduate

For students, commencement ceremonies have been canceled, delayed, or taken place online. It’s not what they have envisioned as the culmination of all their labor and hardwork. Sara Barratt outlines ways we can encourage our graduates.

The Way We Shape These Days is Shaping Us

Our days are blurring and blending together. It’s easy to lose track and forget our purpose as Christians. In this article, the author gives practical advice for establishing rhythms of grace that will help us live today and the next in light of eternity.

Biblical Counseling as Mission in a COVID-19 Age

During this season of life, we’re facing more trials and challenges than we expected. As we administer the Word to one another, let us keep our sights set on one of the goals in our counseling: a deeper trust and obedience to God that honors Him.

Of Oceans, Thimbles, and Talking to Your Kids about Death

Death is unavoidable. The global pandemic has brought this reality to the forefront. Alasdair Groves and Julie Lowe provide some suggestions on how to speak to our kids about death. Much of their counsel can be profitable for us regardless of age.

Trusting God’s Hand When I Couldn’t See His Face

Our theology is the starting point for the difficulties we face. Timothy Paul Jones shares lessons he learned when his family discovered his daughter had COVID-19.

Posted May 11, 2020

Come to Me All Who Have COVID Weariness, and I Will Give You Rest

It is so good to know we can come to Jesus. The qualification for approaching Him is simply that we are burdened. This article teases out how Matthew 11:28-30 applies to all of us as we navigate through different life changes caused by the coronavirus.

10 Keys to Solving Marriage Conflict in Quarantine

To further unpack this past Sunday’s sermon, here’s an article that helps us get to the root of our marital conflicts. The author provides 10 principles that are practical in considering how God can be pruning and maturing us in our relationships.

Apart for Now

By now, many of us are over the novelty of Zoom and other video technologies. Marshall Segal considers what our longing to see each other may be teaching us about relationships, fellowship, and how to minister to one another in this season and the next.

COVID-19 Has Helped Our Church to Pray More Fervently

One of the benefits of the coronavirus is how we’ve been driven to pray. It’s not too late; join us for our monthly prayer meeting tonight.

10 Simple Ways to Evangelize During a Pandemic

This global pandemic has forced us to consider creative ways to evangelize. People are sensitized to God, heaven, hell, the meaning of life and death. Let us call others to repentance and faith, because the gospel can’t be quarantined.

5 Insights Into Your Feelings Under Lockdown

COVID-19 has afforded us with ample opportunity to examine our own hearts. Walking through Psalm 73, Peter Mead has us inspect our feelings and how to process them in light of God, His promises and character.

Posted May 4, 2020

9 Ways the Gospel Speaks to Us During COVID-19

Here’s a helpful article on the manifold ways the gospel addresses this current season. It’s also a good example of thinking through how to apply the gospel in whatever life situation we find ourselves in.

The Great Physician for COVID-19

Joshua Ryan Butler suggests which character in the Bible best represents us during these COVID-19 times and then draws some comforts we can receive from knowing Jesus is our Great Physician.

Drawing Closer to Your Kids during a Pandemic

For those of us with children, we may have been trying to survive and maintain order in our household. But we have a unique opportunity to not only survive, but nurture our children towards Christ.

Help! I’m Irritated With My Work-From-Home Husband

This is an honest confession from a mom and wife, which can help those in a similar position as well as nudging fathers and husbands to be more cognizant and sensitive in encouragement. While it’s shared from the author’s particular standpoint, there are still many principles to take away and apply regardless of marital status and number of children.

All Is Not Lost: 6 Lessons to Learn When Losing Your Job

Some of us have lost our jobs or we know people who have. Dr. Jim Stitzinger shares some counsel from his own personal experience to help us through this trial and equip us to encourage others wrestling through this hardship.

After the Virus Has Passed

This global pandemic has thrown us all for a loop. While we are disoriented and uncertain, this article shows us how we can find our footing and still labor in the Lord.

Posted April 27, 2020

Stay Safe — Forever

Church, we have a deeper definition of “stay safe” than the world’s. May this reality make us zealous in our evangelism, fierce in our love, and clear in our ambition. Christ, and life in Him, are of utmost importance.

The Proverbial Pandemic

We need wisdom, especially in times like these. Drawing from the book of Proverbs, Dr. Jim Shaddix provides helpful insights and practices for how to apply proverbs to our lives as we navigate through the global pandemic.

Glorify God in Your Habits

In this season, many of us are afforded more time. One way to redeem it is to examine and work on developing habits that will steer us towards God and maturity in the faith.

Sanctification By Homeschooling

Parents, when it comes to homeschooling, we often think we are the only ones teaching. This article reveals ways God may be teaching and sanctifying us through homeschooling.

Productivity in a Pandemic

For some of us, the novelty and convenience of working from home is starting to wear off or take a toll. Daniel Patterson has us consider what productivity might look like in a time of quarantine.

Why Funerals Are Better Than Feasts

Our natural inclination is for what’s pleasant, fun, and pain-free. But there’s much to be considered over the Bible’s shocking teaching that “It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting…” (Eccl 7:2). The author of this article expands upon what can be gained from following this wisdom teaching.

Posted April 20, 2020

Do We Really Want to Go Back to Normal?

Expanding on some of the things Pastor David preached on, Trevin Wax has us consider what “normal” will look like for us as Christians through the coronavirus and after.

The Importance of Lament in the Midst of COVID-19

Sometimes we assume the Christian response during trials, like the coronavirus, is to maintain a happy demeanor. Philip Graham Ryken shows us lamenting and sadness can be a proper response in times of suffering.

Is Everything Sad Going to Come Untrue? Why We Need Eschatology Now More than Ever

The Bible teaches us our hope is certain. Let’s be active in preparing our minds by remembering the glory of Jesus Christ and what’s to come. Our longing for reprieve from the pandemic should catapult us to when all things will be made new.

Help for Quarantined Marriages

In this article, a couple shares what they have learned about their marriage in this season of quarantine. The same principles can be applied towards others we live with: children, roommates, parents, etc.

Is This A Judgment?

One of the humbling realities of this pandemic is in how our sin has surfaced. This article walks us through some considerations on how this virus could be God’s pruning judgment for our good. This season provides us unique ways to grow, but only if we will first admit and address our need to repent.

Where’s God When COVID-19 Kills My Business?

This pandemic may result or has resulted in the loss of jobs or businesses. To comfort our hearts, here are some considerations of what God may be doing in our lives.

Posted April 13, 2020

We’re All Children Now

Knowing who we belong to adds ballast to our soul during these desperate times. It is good to be a child of God and to be able to call him our Heavenly Father.

Coronavirus Could Kill Consumer Christianity

Sometimes it may be hard to see any good coming from this pandemic. Brett McCracken considers how God could be using the virus for the purity and growth of the church.

COVID-19: Anxious About Money?

The coronavirus has affected all of us in different ways, but one common area is in our finances. Many of us are struggling with anxiety over money. Ed Welch helps us diagnosis our heart in order to address our worries and seek God.

Generosity in a Time of Hoarding

Part of combating our anxiety over money is to think through ways we can be generous. While we may think of finances, generosity is so much more.

Evangelism in a Time of Social Distancing

We may reason that social distancing prevents us from evangelizing the lost. Instead, the times have shown us the urgency and need of proclaiming the gospel.

We Will Still Feast

It is so easy to focus on what we lack or what has been taken away. Instead, let these things catapult to all we have in Christ. Do not forfeit the lessons God wants to teach us by merely trying to survive this season. Meditate on His Word. Pray. Praise. These can’t be stolen.

Posted April 6, 2020

Easter Week in Real Time

Remember, this week is holy week, the week leading up to Easter. In this article, Russ Ramsey provides context to each day of the week as well as Bible passages to read.

Anxiety, Waiting and the Coronavirus

Waiting is normal to the Christian life. But as Christians, we don’t wait like unbelievers. Our waiting is active and filled with hope. This article encourages us to wait well.

We May Be Confused, but God Isn’t

In uncertain times, we draw comfort in knowing the God who knows all things. As we heard this past Sunday, we have every reason to trust and obey our heavenly Father because of His sovereignty, wisdom, and love.

In Every Season Give Thanks

A thankful combats an anxious heart. Joey Parker exhorts us to reign in our thoughts, center them on the gospel, and allow the truths of Scripture to cultivate gratitude to God.

7 Suggestions for Finding Joy in Isolation

Kimberly Wagner provides a very practical guide for finding joy in isolation. Both extroverts and introverts will be helped in this article.

Leverage Your Loneliness

Since isolation is a common struggle for most of us, here’s another article on how to redeem isolation and make it spiritually profitable. Our loneliness can be a surprising teacher on our deep needs and the sufficiency of Christ.

Talking to Children About Coronavirus

John Piper offers some suggestions on how to talk to our children about the coronavirus. Truth be told, this counsel is fitting and encouraging regardless of your age, number of children, and marital status. Much to glean and mull over

Parenting Anxious Kids in an Anxious Time

Adults aren’t the only ones who grow anxious. Parents have the opportunity to not only grow in trusting God, but to also shepherd their little ones towards Him as well.

Posted March 30, 2020

Make Fear Your Friend. Turn to Christ.
In light of Pastor Kim’s message two weeks ago and the daily devotionals, let fear cause you to flee to Christ, not from Him.

What Courage Might Corona Unleash?
When the world is cowering with fear, the gospel frees us to be wise and courageous in how we sacrifice and love one another. During this pandemic, we have been afforded a unique opportunity of ministry.

Practice Hospitality, Especially during COVID-19
Here’s an article that expands on the topics Pastor Tim preached on this past Sunday. While we are locked in with shelter-in-place, we can still practice hospitality. It may not necessarily mean opening our homes, but getting creative in how we care and love one another.

9 Ways to Work Efficiently from Home
For those of us not accustomed to working from home, Devin Maddox takes a practical approach on how to adjust to this new season of work life.

Never a Better Time for Family Prayer
In God’s providence, the coronavirus has given us the opportunity to spend more time together as a family. What better way to spend that time than in prayer together.

Posted May 18, 2020

Peace to All Who Enter Here

Josh Garrels released a new album focusing on encountering and rejoicing in the peace of Christ. There are few truths we need more than to cling to God’s goodness and sovereignty during these times of uncertainty.

The Gray Havens Online Concert

Like many artists, the Gray Havens played an online concert a couple weeks ago. Give it a listen and consider the biblical truths beautifully nested within their lyrics.

Posted May 11, 2020

Keeper of Days – Jon Guerra

A new album released by a pretty unique musician, Guerra describes his style as “devotional music, less Sunday morning worship music and more Monday morning prayer music.” For more insight, there’s an interview conducted here.

‘All Creatures’ by Rain for Roots: Music We Need Right Now

This collaboration album features eminently singable Scripture songs for kids and grown-ups. A veritable who’s who of Nashville Christian singer-songwriters meld a warm, folksy, Americana sound to biblical truth.

Getty Family Hymn Sing LIVE feat. Joni Eareckson Tada

A few weeks ago, Joni Eareckson Tada made a guest appearance at the Getty’s weekly family hymn singing.

Posted May 4, 2020

Your Will Be Done (Acoustic)

CityAlight released a new song that encourages us to remember God is infinitely wise, kind, and in control. Even in the midst of this global pandemic, we can rejoice to know God’s good and gracious plans will not be thwarted.

In the Hands of Christ My King

Along similar veins, this song calls us to trust in Jesus Christ. We put our hope and confidence in a king who would die for His people.

Sovereign Grace Kids Live Stream

If you missed the livestream of the Sovereign Grace Kids sing along, you can still watch and participate in it on Facebook.

Posted April 27, 2020

Songs of Comfort for Anxious Souls (Free Playlist)

Here is an ever growing list of songs (150!) to encourage our hearts with comforting truths and to focus on sights on our great God.

Songs from Home

For the Phil Wickham fans, here’s a playlist where he leads us in singing songs he’s written or other praise songs.

In the Garden

In God’s economy, life often comes through death. Jesus outlines the principle in John 12:24, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” This song puts these truths to music.

Posted April 20, 2020

Christ Our Hope in Life and Death

Just in case you missed it. If you enjoyed our church’s rendition of the song, “Christ Our Hope in Life and Death,” from Easter Service, there’s good news. You can now listen to it on repeat.

Something Greater

In the midst of difficult times, we need something greater to put our hope in. Jesus has conquered the grave, so we can trust Him to be powerful over death, virus, and our fears.

Resurrection Letters Live: Quarantine Edition

The resurrection is not only to be celebrated on Easter Sunday, but everyday till Christ returns. Andrew Peterson played a “quarantine” concert focused on resurrection songs he wrote. The lyrics are both theologically rich and beautifully crafted.

Posted April 13, 2020

Jesus, Strong and Kind

This has been on repeat in our household. While the words are simple, the truth is profound. In light of Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, in light of a pandemic that reminds all of us of how little, needy, and child-like we are, it is comforting to know Jesus is strong and kind.

14 Hymns of Hope to Sing During COVID-19

Here are 14 hymns to plant us on solid theology and comfort the soul during COVID-19. There’s also a link at the top to join the Getty’s for a family hymn singing time every Tuesday at 6:15pm.

Easter Family Night of Worship

Speaking of family night of worship, Shane & Shane, put on a quarantine concert celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Give it a stream and sing along.

Posted April 6, 2020

“Lord From Sorrows Deep I Call” – Matt Boswell and Matt Papa

A hymn inspired by Psalm 42 that puts the oft loved psalm to song. What a helpful and instructive way to sing Scripture to your soul.

Upbeat Songs for Quarantined Kids

Here’s one for cooped up kids to release some of their energy while making a joyful noise to the Lord. Click on the link to see the tracklist as well as Spotify and Apple Music playlists.

Posted March 30, 2020

“Christ Our Hope in Life and Death” – Keithy and Kristyn Getty 
A new song by the Gettys; perfect for the times we are currently in and beyond. “Though many believers may be singing at home, unable to gather with their churches as usual, we can still sing with confidence, because we know the One who conquered the grave by his resurrection…” Watch the “Behind the Song” video as well and be encouraged!

25 Hymns to Sing in Troubled Times 
In a time of uncertainty, we need the robust and unchanging theological truths to grant us a sure footing. Here are 25 hymns that fuel our faith by directing us to the might and majesty of our God. You can click on each title to examine all the verses and listen to all 25 hymns on Spotify here.

Posted May 18, 2020

Gentle And Lowly: A Book Review

In addition to pastor Francis’s endorsement, here’s another review on the book recommendation if you remain stubbornly unconvinced.

Resources from T4G20

T4G has flung wide open their doors. All resources from T4G20 are now available online. You can listen to a sermon or panel discussion while going about your day.

Christianity Explored

If you missed the opportunity to sign up for Christianity Explored, here’s good news. They have made the video sessions available free on YouTube through June 30th because of COVID-19.

Study the Book of Galatians

Tim Challies is hosting a study of Galatians along with Tom Schreiner that began on May 11th. Check out all the details in the Facebook group.

Posted May 11, 2020

Rosaria Butterfield on Hospitality in a COVID-19 World

In keeping with the book recommendation, here’s a recent interview that Rosario Butterfield did for Liberty University’s Convocation, specifically addressing the need of hospitality during the pandemic.

The Way Home: Scott James on the Unknowns of COVID-19 and How We Can Pray

In this podcast, a pediatric infectious disease physician discusses COVID-19, the struggles of the unknown, and how to pray for healthcare workers.

A Prayer in a Time of Coronavirus

Speaking of prayer, Daniel Darling models for us how to pray in response to COVID-19.

Embracing God in Your Trials

Available for free, Crossway has released a 7-day video devotional led by pastor Dave Furman. Consider spending this week encouraged to turn to God in the midst of these trying times.

Posted May 4, 2020

Theologians on the Christian Life

Want to get more familiar with Christian theologians of old? In partnership with Bethlehem College & Seminary, TGC has put together a course that introduces you to the lives of Spurgeon, Packer, Newton, Lloyd-Jones, Bonhoeffer, Edwards, and Lewis.

Download Study Guides for Free

If you need something to do during this time, Ligonier has made all of their study guides available for free.

What Are the Spiritual Dangers of Technology?

In this short podcast, John Piper has us dissect our hearts and how technology can be redeemed for spiritual benefit or a pitfall that distracts us from Christ. It’s incredible that this insight was made almost four decades ago, but there’s still relevance today, especially as all of us are reliant upon technology during this quarantine season.

Psalms in 30 Days

We’re now in the first week of May. Why not make it a goal to pray through the psalms? Here’s a prayer guide put together for that purpose.

Posted April 27, 2020

Zoe Kids Online Bible Lessons

Pastor Wayne and the rest of the children ministry staff have been doing an excellent job in providing resources for our church family. If you want even more, check out what our church plant, Zoe Community Church, has been producing.

“When The Earth Stood Still”: A Poem on the Pandemic

Here’s a video poem that helps us cast our longing and hope in God.

Themelios 45.1

Need more resources? The new April 2020 issue of Themelios with jam packed with lots of content touching on topics related to the coronavirus.

Posted April 20, 2020

TMAI Pictures of Hope

It’s easy to forget that God is not only doing something among us during COVID-19, but He is also doing something globally. This video series highlights encouraging reports of what God is doing around the world.

Crisis, Christ, and Confidence Episode 5: Coronavirus – A Call for the Church to Rise

In this video, some of the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary as well as an experienced physician discuss how we can love each other during these uncertain times. The church is afforded an occasion to testify to the gospel by our kindness and care to each other before the watching world.

Free (or Discounted) Books to Read in Quarantine

Here’s a wide range of books for all ages and interests. This is an accessible way we can all redeem the time.

Your Rod and Staff, They Comfort Me

A poem based on Psalm 23. It is so good to know God is with us.

Posted April 13, 2020

How Can Christians Live as Lights in a Dark Time?

Amidst dark times, we have the opportunity to shine and reflect God’s light. In this video, H.B Charles Jr., Sinclair Ferguson, and Burk Parsons discuss how we can testify to the peace we have received from God.

#PsalmsoftheDay

Professor and theologian Don Whitney leads us in praying through a psalm a day. This is an excellent way to read Scripture and then to petition to God with His own Word.

The Biggest Story Animated Short Film

Kevin DeYoung’s popular children’s book has been animated and you can stream it for free. There are helpful suggestions on how you might use the film for edification and evangelism.

Read Slow

Westminster Books has offered a great resource. “We’ve collected 15 of our favorite chapters that help us slow down and understand ourselves and our God in the midst of scary and uncertain times. These readings are available to download for free.” Included is a chapter from the book Pastor Gavin recommended last week.

Coronavirus and Christ

John Piper has written a short book on the coronavirus and made it free for download. In it, he considers six biblical answers to the question on our minds, “What is God doing through the coronavirus?”

Posted April 6, 2020

Share Your #JesusChangedMyLife Story

This week is holy week. While we can’t gather for Good Friday or Easter service, this is a creative outlet to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you’re on social media, you can also search the hashtag and be encouraged with stories of grace.

Don Carson on the Ground of Our Assurance

In this video clip, Dr. Carson illustrates how our assurance comes not from the strength of our faith, but the object of our faith. A truth that is especially pertinent during these times.

Truth in Love: The Bible And Anxiety

Dr. Heath Lambert discusses how the Bible addresses anxiety in this audio snippet. Lambert walks us through a biblical framework and how to encourage someone (or ourselves) struggling with worry.

A Prayer for Working from Home – Will Sorrell

This prayer can serve as an example for how to petition to the Lord for those working from home.

Adventures in Odyssey

In case you missed it last week, Adventures in Odyssey is offering a free 4-week trial to all their content including devotionals, activities, puzzles, and videos. A fun and edifying way to keep your kids (and you) busy.

Posted March 30, 2020

How Do You Do Family Worship?
The idea of family worship sound daunting or you just don’t know where to start? In this clip, Don Whitney gives a simple outline and suggestions to structure the time.

John MacArthur: The Gospel, the Church, and This Present Crisis
In this video, Ligonier Ministries talks to Pastor John MacArthur about the coronavirus pandemic. MacArthur highlights some good theological truths to assure our hearts and practical exhortations for our witness to each other and the watching world.

WingFeather Saga
Andrew Peterson is reading his great WingFeather saga every night. Kids (and adults) can tune in and follow along at 5pm PST.

Free and discounted resources galore!
Who doesn’t love free or discounts? Tim Challies has put together a continuously updated list with such resources. Noteworthy to check out are Ligonier Ministries, Crossway (free access to ESV.org basic subscription), and Lifeway (free digital curriculum).