Book Recommendation from a Pastor
“Chasing Contentment” by Erik Raymond
Recommendation by Pastor Francis Chow
For many people, the holiday season ironically exacerbates a struggle that’s common to all of us—the search for contentment. No matter who you are, we’ve all daydreamed “if only…”, thinking that our lives would be so much better if we got that thing that we want. That’s why I found Erik Raymond’s book, “Chasing Contentment,” to be such a valuable resource.
Raymond defines contentment as “the inward, gracious, quiet spirit that joyfully rests in God’s promises.” He also insightfully points out that contentment is a work of grace coming from the inside out. Have we truly learned contentment by grace, or have we simply been consoled by having the things we want? The way to learn contentment, Raymond says, is to know more deeply the God who is content in Himself.
This book is a good balance of accessible, theological, and practical. Raymond does the hard work of digging up the gems from Puritans such as Jeremiah Burroughs and Thomas Watson, and his writing style is enjoyable and easy to read. He also does a good job of framing the struggle for contentment in the bigger picture of our desires, sin, and our view of God. He takes us back to Genesis 3 to show us how the temptation to focus on created things over God has been around since the beginning. His practical helps are specific, not generic. For example, one of the chapters includes his personal devotional schedule as a means for learning contentment. Finally, chapter 7 is an excellent treatment on the providence of God that will point you to our all-sufficient Savior.
If you want to learn and grow in contentment, make this one of the first books that you pick up and I trust that it’ll be a helpful resource for you!
This unique season has afforded unique lessons. Will Anderson offers suggestions on how our lives should incorporate and keep some of these changes even after the quarantine is over.
Guilty as charged. Sometimes we can mask our laziness or selfishness with a superficial apology. As Christians who have experienced the depth of God’s grace, let us strive for genuine reconciliation that honors Him.
Most of us are familiar with this popular verse, but H.B. Charles does a service by teasing out what this means practically. In a season where we’re tempted to grumble and complain, we need to pay closer attention to the state of our heart.
“If God is sovereign, why do I need to pray?” Many have wrestled with this question, but if our sovereign God has told He works through prayer, perhaps the first question to ask is, “Have I prayed?” God may intend to grow you in specific ways only through prayer.
As 2020 winds down and 2021 is on the horizon, we have the Word of God as as firm foundation. Persevere to finish your Bible reading plan and/or plan for your next one. The Scriptures are our source of truth, comfort, and nourishment because it brings us to God.
Here’s another article on the sufficiency of God’s Word, especially as it pertains to motherhood. The Scriptures are relevant and powerful for life, including parenting faithfully.
For those who are familiar with Christianity, it is easy to dismiss the gospel when presented. But as believers united in Christ, the good news of Jesus is something we never graduate from. As we heard in yesterday’s sermon, it’s also what promotes unity in the church.
To prepare our hearts today and as Thanksgiving approaches, sing of the wonders of the gospel and the sacrifice of Christ.
A new folksy album released by a pastor/songwriter as he muses over the major themes of the gospel.
Christmas can be a wonderful holiday full of festivities and cheer. At the same time, let’s not miss the profundity of this season as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
Should you need a resource for the Advent season, consider this one. You can read some samples here.
Many have touted “The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self,” as the most important or best Christian book published in 2020. Here, Carl Trueman is interviewed on his latest book, what led him to write on this issue, and where he sees things heading.