Recommended Resources: June 1, 2020
Book Recommendation from a Pastor
Over the recent weeks we have looked at a couple of books in our Sunday sermons meant to encourage us as we pursue God. I wanted to highlight them this week and encourage you to consider them as a resource not only for your benefit, but for those you invest in.
First, Seven Arrows by Matt Rogers and Donny Mathis. It’s aim (pun intended), is to “aid all of God’s people in the task of reading, understanding, and applying God’s Word.” It is meant to provide a “clear, orderly, and memorable guide for studying any passage of Scripture.” I personally feel it accomplishes these goals, and I have seen my older kids already grow in their ability to study the Word using the Seven Arrows: A 52-Week Devotional for Teens. Maybe a better endorsement comes from Thomas Schreiner. He is one of my favorite biblical scholars (to say he is 10 times smarter than me would be an insult to him). He writes, “The entire book is wise and useful and will help many to apply the Bible to their own lives.”
The second book is Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney. I mentioned this during our prayer service, but it is a very clear and understandable explanation of how to use scripture to guide your time of prayer. Whitney writes, “So basically what you are doing is taking words that originated in the heart and mind of God and circulating them through your heart and mind back to God. By this means his words become the wings of your prayers.” What I appreciate is the simplicity of the method, coupled with its ability to guide your prayer time while still providing the freedom to pray for a wide variety of topics.
I believe both books would not only encourage your own pursuit of God, but be a grace as you disciple and invest in others.
Two weeks ago, Pastor Kim referenced a helpful method for studying Scripture. This article summarizes the seven “arrows” or questions we can ask to better understand our Bible. For even more information on this approach, feel free to visit the Seven Arrows website here.
In light of this past week’s sermon on prayer, Don Whitney models what praying Psalm 23 could look like. This is an insightful yet simple example of how to use Scripture to shape your prayers.
In addition to this global pandemic, the death of George Floyd and a multitude of reactions, we can feel confused, upset, and despondent. When our hearts are heavy, we do well to remember our identity as sojourners. We are born to a living hope, long for a better country, and entrust ourselves to a loving, sovereign, and wise God.
This past week has been particularly unsettling. The topic of race is charged and thorny. We need to handle it patiently and graciously, as we search the Scriptures, pray to God, and converse with others. This article suggests a starting point for how to do so.
This is not the summer any of us expected, but it doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable and profitable. Timothy Z. Witmer offers some ways on how to redeem the time individually and together.
I’m sure many of us feel weak and small. This can actually be a good place and position to be in, because it teaches us our faith is not in ourselves or others. Our faith is in God, a God who is not weak or small. May the encouragement found in this article comfort and strengthen your heart.
With some churches beginning to reopen, there’s been a lot of debate over church rights and responsibilities. Two lawyers weigh in on the legal consideration of this.
I miss the physical gatherings of the church and how meeting together fosters joy in Christ. Here are some reflections on how God might be teaching us to look forward to the consummation of our joy in Christ.
The Gettys recently released a song fixing our attention and affections on Jesus. During troubling times, there’s no better Rock to plant ourselves on. Let this song minister to your soul and cause you to praise our Lord and Savior.
This new album by Greg LaFollette focuses on hymns that set our sights on God and His promises as we struggle through our lament and longing.
We can never sing too much of Jesus. Here, Alistair Begg shares a personal story while also reflecting on the rich words from the hymn, “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds.” Here’s one rendition, if you want a listen.
By creating a free account, you can participate in this course on Systematic Theology by Bruce Ware. This is a solid 28 hour introduction that covers the basics of systematic theology and the attributes of God.
With most, if not all, kids now on summer break, here’s a compiled summer reading list put out by a Christian school to help in keeping your kids busy and learning.
John Piper models what it looks like to pray in light of recent tragedies as well as the coronavirus. There’s much to glean and implement in our own cries of lament, petition, and hope.
Here’s another example of prayer by Kevin Deyoung that brings our burdens and concerns about COVID19 and protesting/rioting before our great God.
Listen in on a roundtable conversation concerning reopening churches, grieving the loss of lives from the pandemic, and the topics of racism and justice. Much to consider and pray.