Book Recommendation from a Pastor
If you’re like our family, this season of having more time together with our kids has brought about its share of both blessings and challenges. We’ve had more opportunities to create fun memories, experience meaningful conversations, reflect on our priorities and life direction, and grow in prayer and spiritual disciplines. At the same time, we’ve also had to navigate times of conflict and frustration, see more of our sin, constantly humble ourselves to ask each other for forgiveness, and look to Christ for grace and hope.
A resource that has been a blessing to my heart time and time again in my parenting struggles is the book, “Parenting,” by Paul Tripp. What I love about this book is that it not only provides insight into how to shepherd the hearts of my kids, but it also provides constant encouragement and guidance for my own heart when I am disoriented in my parenting. Exploring topics such as control, authority, inability, process, and calling, each chapter points parents back to the gospel and realigns their heart and motivation on the grace that we have received from Christ.
This book is filled with amazing gospel truths and I cannot recommend it enough! Here are several quotes from the book:
- “Parenting is not first about what we want for our children or from our children, but about what God in grace has planned to do through us in our children” (14).
- “Humble, confessing parents encourage their children to be humble and confessing too, and the result is that they have many opportunities to talk about the rescuing love of Jesus” (40).
- “Parenting is not a behavior-control mission; it is a heart-rescue mission” (109).
- “Self-righteously pointing out the sin of others never works; it is offensive and condescending, and it will close down the hearts of your children. Ask God to give you the grace to come to them to talk to them about their sin as a person who is much more grieved by the sin that is inside you than the sin that is in them” (177).
- “Your best opportunities to get at issues of the heart in your children won’t be on your schedule. They will come when you’re in a moment you neither planned nor expected… It is important to see these moments as opportunities of grace and resist turning a moment of ministry into a moment of anger” (206).
In this season of coronavirus, many of us can definitely relate with the monotony and routine of our days. While it seems like there’s little to glean from this repetitive season, God can use the seemingly endless mundane to stretch our faith and make us more like Christ.
Some of us may have grown accustomed or even prefer worshipping from home. Regardless where you fall on the spectrum, here’s an article highlighting the necessity of gathering together in person. Please pray for the leaders for wisdom on how to lead our church through this process as well as our love and graciousness towards one another.
Kevin DeYoung takes a stab at teasing out what is going on with the latest issues in our country. With clarity and wisdom, he provides helpful considerations to make sense of what’s going on, how our nation is reacting, and what we can do.
Our culture has reacted strongly to the recent events. As Christians, our reaction may appear similar to a certain extent, but there should be some aspects where our response is counter-cultural and filled with the aroma of Christ.
I am thankful for this article. With so many writing on race and injustice (and rightly so), Randy Alcorn sheds light on how we should think of, honor, and encourage good police officers who risk their lives to do their jobs.
These days, we are so quick to act. We want to do something about the wrong we see and we want to do it right away. So let’s pray. As Christians, let us never forget one of the greatest privileges and powers we have at our disposal: prayer.
Along the same lines, here’s a very practical way to evaluate whether you should engage online or post something to social media. Let’s be wise, thoughtful, and loving in all our interactions. While this article is written primarily to pastors, it has application for all.
A song that encapsulates our hearts’ longing. Turn your prayers and burdens into praise by bringing them to God with voices raised.
A rich hymn with rich theological truths so appropriate during this season. Added bonus! This is my favorite rendition and it’s done by our own Pastor David. For those curious about the background and story of this hymn, John Piper tells the story here.
Just an interesting list to read to see what songs the church has gravitated towards in this pandemic. Some are no surprise, like the classic, “It Is Well With My Soul.”
For those interested, Grace Community Church has released all their children ministry music. A great selection of songs to teach kids about God and the gospel.
This one’s for the ladies. There’s a new podcast for women from The Gospel Coalition. Featuring Jackie Hill Perry, Jasmine Holmes, and Melissa Kruger, these women talk about various topics like fighting sin, godliness in social media, etc., from a Christian female vantage point.
For the month of June, Just Mercy is free to rent and stream on various platforms. The film is based on the life work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson. Please do some research and exercise discernment on whether it’s appropriate for you and those you watch with.
Pastor David Platt takes us through a familiar passage extracting some biblical insight. He then models for us how to pray over the Word by impassionately crying out to the Lord.