Recommended Resources: January 4, 2021

STORY
Author:
Ministry:
Date: January 4, 2021

Book Recommendation from a Pastor
“Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments,” by Winston Smith
Recommendation by Pastor Wayne

“Marriage Matters: Extraordinary Change Through Ordinary Moments,” by Winston Smith is an amazing resource that connects theology with everyday life. Filled with pastoral insights, personal illustrations, and practical advice, this book details how the gospel can truly transform our hearts and how we can truly grow in real Christlike love empowered by grace. There is also a study guide that you can work through with your spouse or even with another couple. Whether you are seeking growth in your own marriage or helping others, this resource will truly benefit your soul.

Here are some quotes from the book:

  • “The path to change in your marriage is built on this truth: God is involved in every moment of your marriage. In that sense, there are no ordinary moments, only moments filled with God’s activity, of which you may or may not be aware and in which you may or may not choose to participate” (8).
  • “Your ability or willingness to love your spouse says as much about your relationship with God as about your relationship with your spouse” (18).
  • “No matter why you married, no matter what sins damaged your marriage, God’s restoration will make it beautiful, not by hiding the past or camouflaging the scars but by helping you to see God’s faithfulness and love in it and even using it to draw others to himself” (251).

 

Articles

How to Pray for a New Year

It’s now 2021. If there’s anything 2020 has taught us, it’s the necessity of prayer. Let us be diligent in this grace, because it is a compass for navigating life and it bring us closer in our relationship with God.

Reading the Bible Requires Rules We Already Know

As a follow up to Pastor Ryan’s message two weeks ago, here are some questions to ask when approaching any passage in the Bible. May you employ them as tools to dig into God’s Word.

Proactive and Reactive Bible Intake

This is a helpful distinction as we endeavor on the life long journey to be students of God’s Word. We can utilize both proactive and reactive Bible intake to abide in Christ and His Word in us.

Expecting Less from Church

As we look forward to holding outdoor services, there is much to be excited about. At the same time, we want to temper our expectations and remember our motives and responsibilities to church. 

Real Darkness Requires Real Hope

Here’s a good recap our Advent series. While Christmas is in the rearview mirror, we keep our gaze fixed on Christ, because He is the only real source of hope for our darkness.

Grief Should Always Make Us Better

We don’t welcome grief, but we can trust in God’s sovereignty, wisdom, and goodness it is never pointless. Our suffering is hard and painful, yet God can work it for our good as we trust and obey.

3 Ways the Gospel Encourages Weary Christians

The gospel is an inexhaustible treasure trove of comfort and truth. Wield it in such a manner that your life is transformed by this foundational bedrock.

 

Music

Help My Unbelief

An older song, but one that echoes the sermon from yesterday. Give it a listen and let it incline your hearts to continue to meditate on God’s Word as well as His goodness.

All of Our Tomorrows

Blurb taken straight from the description: “The song is a prayer that acknowledges and prays for God’s careful, wise, personal, and faithful involvement in the lives of those Christ has redeemed. It speaks to our need for guidance in the future, comfort in loss, and strength for all our days.”

Christ Our Hope in Life and Death – New Irish Choir & Orchestra

It seems like so long ago when we had a virtual choir of this song for our Easter service. Yet the truths contained in this hymn still ring true. Let’s carry our hope in Christ into the new year.

I Asked the Lord

Another song related to yesterday’s message. Here’s the hymn that Pastor Francis mentioned in his sermon.

Miscellaneous

2021 Bible Reading Plans

Need a Bible reading plan? Here are a bunch to choose from. Whatever you decide, the important thing is to be in the Word and allow it to nourish your hearts to love God and love others.

Will You Pray for Awakening? Download Your Free Prayer Guide

You’ve heard of Bible reading plans, but here’s something different: a free prayer guide. This booklet provides you with suggestions each week on how to pray for spiritual revival in our lives, society, and world.

Most Read Articles of 2020

Here’s a recap of the most read articles on this Christian resource site. If you’re looking for additional encouragement, peruse these articles.