Book Recommendation from a Pastor
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the Phil Wickham fans, here’s a playlist where he leads us in singing songs he’s written or other praise songs.
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.
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.
Need more resources? The new April 2020 issue of Themelios with jam packed with lots of content touching on topics related to the coronavirus.