Book Recommendation from a Pastor
“Sipping Saltwater” by Steve Hoppe
Recommendation by Pastor Kim Kira
It’s not too often that one of my kids reads a Christian book before I do, but last year one of my sons was looking for a book to read and so I gave him Sipping Saltwater by Steve Hoppe. I didn’t think much about it, until a little while later he told me, “It’s really good.” So there is your first endorsement, a teenager thought it was good (that probably carries more weight than a pastor saying it was good!). I then decided to read it, and proceeded to have my other two teenagers read and my wife ended up reading it as well.
The analogy is simple. We thirst and are tempted to turn to the world to see what it offers, but really it only offers saltwater. It looks appealing, but is actually deadly. Hoppe writes this, “Drinking saltwater means turning a gift from God into a god. It means looking for salvation in something that was never meant to save us. It means deifying something we were merely supposed to enjoy. It means turning a good thing into an ultimate thing. It means worshiping something that was never meant to be worshiped. Drinking saltwater is what the Bible calls idolatry.”
A few things I appreciate about the book:
- It is hopeful. It is not a book simply telling you what good Christians do or don’t do. It paints a picture of Jesus as the one who truly satisfies. As we have often said, Jesus isn’t just right, he is better.
- It is practical. After laying out the foundations, it spends a chapter each on very specific topics such as sex, control, comfort, busyness, people, food, and work.
- It is helpful for believers and unbelievers. You could give it to either with great benefit.
All that to say, I think this is a book well worth your time.
In light of Sunday’s sermon, we can be stewarding this season to better perceive God’s grace. One of the lessons God made me teaching us is a longing for the church, so we would not take it for granted when we can gather again in the future.
No one denies shelter-in-place has made our lives inconvenient, but have you considered loving is inconvenient? This is a time where the cost of love is obvious as an opportunity to truly grow and serve.
Perhaps God is using this painful circumstance to expose sin hidden in your heart. Take this as God’s grace to be pruned so you might bear more fruit for your joy and His glory.
Patience is what we want to be, but not what we want to learn. Yet as the coronavirus has forced us to press pause and wait, this is the season to be stretched in patience.
Let’s be honest. This series of questions and answers can be applied not only to our children, but to us as well. Many good principles to really deliberate over.
Here’s the article Pastor Kim referenced this Sunday. Use it as a springboard to analyze your heart and how you are interpreting various circumstances.
This article contains some practical ways to address real concerns coming up. Consider how you can serve and be a witness to Christ. Our own seminar on schooling at home might provide insights as well.
A short collection of songs inspired by the Psalms. May this album prompt you to linger over God’s Word until it nourishes your soul.
We can find our souls weighed down and weary by all that’s going on around us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Doesn’t hurt that Shane & Shane use their gifts to encourage us towards our Lord and Savior.
Anxiety puts at a crossroad of trusting God or something else. Trevin Wax calls us to rehearse God’s love to provide us a firm foundation in uncertain times.
Ligonier hosted a Q&A with Dr. Steven Lawson in which various questions pertaining to the Bible, church, and the Christian life are asked and answered.
If you don’t know about this vault, ACBC have categorized their resources so we might have biblical truths to face the challenges of COVID-19.
ACBC weren’t the only ones; CCEF also made many videos and articles available. The floodgates are open.