A Few Good Reads

February 23, 2015 — Leave a comment
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

Wendell Berry, Burkean
I mentioned my appreciation for Berry’s fiction in a post last week and enjoyed reading this interview with him in The American Conservative on a range of issues. While I would disagree with Berry’s definition of the core of Christianity, I appreciate his thoughts on localism. war, and the simple life. “When neighbors replace local stories with stories from television, and when they sit in the house and watch television instead of talking on front porches, a profound disintegration has taken place.”

Your Life Depends on Little Words
I once heard John Piper say the most important words in the Bible were the connecting words. Writing for Desiring God, Dan Brendsel shows why as he works through Philippians 2:14-15. “There is big significance in the little words of Scripture. They are God’s gift to help all of us “eat this book” for our health and life. You need not be a world-class theologian, and know all the big words and technical terms, to read your Bible and understand it. In fact, it’s actually the simplest little words — the ones we’re all familiar with — that most often change everything.”

How to Keep the Urgent from Dominating the Important
Why do we feel so busy and yet seem to accomplish so little? Brian Howard reminds us about the four quadrants of work activities that we do and how we should evaluate the tasks in each of these quadrants. “The Important are things you don’t necessarily have to do right away, but are essential for long-term success. Important activities on the personal side include things such as time with God, exercise, rest, investment in your family, and investment in quality relationships. Important activities in leadership include things such as professional growth, vision and strategy, leader development, planning, and goal setting. The Important is the world that most leaders simply don’t spend enough time in, and suffer long-term consequences for failing to do so.

Three Tips for Better Bible Reading
Every person can and should invest more quality time in Bible reading. Andy Naselli offers three pieces of advice for better Bible reading. Implementing any one of the three would help your Bible reading immensely. (The chart about how long it takes to read each book of the Bible is helpful as well.) “I understand the objection: “There’s no way I could possibly find time to do this.” But aren’t there other activities you do in life for prolonged periods of time? Do you read other books for a few hours at a time? Do you ever spend an hour watching a TV show or two hours watching a movie or three hours watching a football game? Why not prioritize lengthy, undistracted time in the life-giving word?”

Crazy Busy
Speaking of busyness, Kevin DeYoung tackles the motivations and insecurities behind our hectic lives in this helpful little book. It’s only .99 on Kindle, so this would be a great time to pick it up.

portwilliam_closeupFor the last year I’ve been reading through Wendell Berry’s Port William novels. Berry, a writer and farmer from Kentucky, uses the stories of life in the fictional town of Port William from 1888 through 2008 to show the importance of responsible farming, avoiding debt, and connection to people and a place. Currently comprising eight novels and forty-four short stories, the Port William novels reflect a deep understanding of human nature, relationships, and how we are shaped by the events taking place around us.

I turned to these novels after looking over my reading lists for the last several years and seeing that I was reading from a narrow pool of authors. Reading about life in a fictional Kentucky town felt like a detour from theological reading, but what I encountered were profound truths about God, life, and community. So far I have read Hannah Coulter, Nathan Coulter, Jayber Crow, The Memory of Old Jack, Remembering, and several short stories in That Distant Land. This post shares the first of several lessons I’ve learned from spending some time in the fictional town of Port William.

Know the People Around You
Berry speaks of Port William as a “membership.” My favorite of Berry’s characters, Burley Coulter, explains membership, “The way we are, we are members of each other. All of us. Everything. The difference ain’t in who is a member and who is not, but in who knows it and who don’t.” This idea becomes clear as the reader observes the people of Port William live interconnected lives. They know each other, serve each other, and look out for each other. Whether it’s the men helping Andy Catlett with his harvest after he loses an arm or Burley Coulter letting Jayber Crow live in his place by the river, the people of Port William have a strong sense of belonging to each other and to the place where they live.

The characters in Port William know each other and know each other’s stories. Sometimes this takes the form of the town gossip, but more often then not it exists because the people genuinely know and care about each other. They speak of each other’s families, burdens, and business. This knowledge generates a community of mutual respect and concern as well as helping each other see blindspots and warning signs. Jayber Crow watches with horror as Troy Chatham mishandles his father-in-law’s farm and life’s work. Nathan and Hannah Coulter spot the deficiencies in their daughter’s marriage from a distance before disaster strikes in the form of her husband’s infidelity.

Berry’s emphasis on knowing our neighbors and belonging to a community echo the concerns of the New Testament writers. Christians can make a durable difference in this world by knowing the people in their community, hearing their stories, and making themselves available to help. Unfortunately we have erected barriers that keep us away from this kind of community. We either pack our schedules so full that we have no margin to be around people or we barricade ourselves in our homes and drone away in front of the television. Further we tend to bring a consumer mentality instead of an investment mentality to our communities.

The New Testament doesn’t leave Christians with this option though. The first century church was a family. They shared meals from house to house and gathered each day to fellowship and learn. Their love for each other told the world they were Jesus’ disciples and they lived their lives in such a way that people were asking what the reason was for the hope that was within them. They learned this from Jesus who said the greatest commandment was to love God and the second was to love our neighbors as ourselves. Nothing is more difficult than loving people we don’t know because we don’t make the time.

The Port William novels warn us about the unthinking adaptation of technology for technology’s sake. Many times, the technology we think has made us more connected has actually had the opposite effect. We stay connected to people who are distant from us while not making the time for the people who are the closest to us. It sounds like talk from a bygone era, but what if we learned to slow down and increase the margin of time we had for other people? What if our homes were not fortresses and our dinner tables knew the sound of friendship and laughter? Would followers of Jesus not make a greater impact if we learned more of how to listen, celebrate, and mourn with our friends and neighbors?

A Few Good Reads

February 19, 2015 — Leave a comment
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

Please Address Me as Mister. I Insist
Our culture tends to think of formality as inauthentic and informality as inauthentic. This has led us to jettison many of the ways we used to address each other based on our station in life. Michael Strain believes this informality hurts us and calls for a return to thinking through how we address other people. “And, ultimately, equality in all things is false. A PhD has added to the stock of human knowledge; an undergraduate hasn’t. A priest can transform bread and wine; a layman can’t. Chancellor Merkel can affect the near course of history; I can’t. My friend’s father has successfully raised four children; I haven’t. The way we address each other should reflect these differences because these differences are real and material, and obvious.”

Answering ‘No’ to One of These Questions Will Kill Your Evangelism
Those who follow Christ want to see our friends and neighbors come to faith in Jesus. We know Jesus died to save sinners and that people are in peril apart from Jesus. Trevin Wax shares six questions we must answer ‘yes’ to in order to increase our evangelistic passion. “Sometimes we talk about Jesus but never arrive at the point of inviting someone to repent of their sins and put their faith in Christ. We spend time sowing seeds but are reticent to reap the harvest. Maybe it’s because we are afraid they will say no, but maybe it’s because we are afraid they will say yes! If someone receives Christ, we now have the responsibility to bring them into the church through baptism, and “teach them to obey everything Christ has commanded.”

Death to the Chicken Finger
We have four children and often deal with picky eaters. Adam McDowell had the same kind of childhood I did where children ate what the parents ate and offers some thoughts on how parents can help their children eat healthier. “Sit with children and serve them the same meal you get. Serve them challenging foods and encourage them to eat, but don’t force them. Fighting about it can create negative associations for that food. Listen to kids’ ideas about what they want to eat, but don’t turn the menu into a point of negotiation once dinner has been decided upon. Involving children in food preparation sharpens their appetites, so involve them whenever possible in grocery shopping and gardening, and let them watch you cook.”

A Great Kindle Deal
I recommend Jared Wilson’s Gospel Wakefulness often and it is only $1.99 for Kindle right now. ” Wilson reminds us of the death-proof, fail-proof King of kings who is before all things and in all things and holding all things together, and of the Spirit’s power to quicken our hearts and captivate our imaginations. The message of Gospel Wakefulness will make numbness the exception (rather than the norm) and reawaken us to the multifaceted brilliance of the gospel.”

Romans 8-16 for You

February 16, 2015 — Leave a comment

Romans 8-16 For YouThe book of Romans holds a place of honor in the history of Christian exposition and theology. Paul’s longest letter sets forth the basic message of the Christian Gospel from beginning to end, showing both its power to save and its ability to change the lives of those who believe on this side of glory. Few bookshelves could hold all the scholarly literature written on Romans, but few resources combine exposition of the text with timely application to the life of Christians.

Tim Keller writes on Romans in the “God’s Word for You Series” and helps to fill this noticeable gap in Romans literature in Romans 8-16 for You. In this volume, Keller explains the biblical text and theology while mixing in thoughts on how the text should shape the life of the Christian.

His handling of Romans 12:1 provides a small sample of how Keller works through the text of Romans. He explains that the main point of this passage is to give the reason why Christians obey God and present their lives as sacrifices to him. He briefly unfolds the meaning of the text by focusing on several phrases such as “therefore” and “in view of God’s mercy.” These phrases remind Christians of the good news of the Gospel and provide the motivation for why we should obey God. Moving into the text’s application, he contrasts fear-based obedience with obedience motivated by the Gospel. The main point in this section is to show why fear provides an inferior motive for obedience and why the Gospel provides the motivation and power to obey God for the long haul.

After showing the motive for obedience in the beginning of the verse he transitions to the second half of the verse to show what this obedience looks like in real life. He does this by walking word by word though the rest of the verse. He explains the meaning of the words and theology behind the text. Throughout the explanation he mixes in relevant application with illustrations to illuminate the text.

Christians need to give greater attention to the book of Romans in their personal lives. The book’s rich theological vision mixed with its in depth practical application form a deep foundation on which Christians can build their lives. Tim Keller’s Romans 8-16 for You serves as an able guide for the Christian’s study. Someone working through Romans in their personal devotions could read a section from the text and follow along using Keller.

(I received a complimentary copy of Romans 8-16 for You through the Cross Focused Review program in exchange for an honest review.)

A Few Good Reads

February 12, 2015 — Leave a comment
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

No Grey Area
With the approaching release of 50 Shades of Grey, Kevin DeYoung writes about why Christians should avoid this movie that so many are celebrating. “But the Bible never titil­lates with its description of sin. It never paints vice with virtue’s colors. It does not entertain with evil (unless to mock it). The Bible does not dull the conscience by making sin look normal and righteousness look strange.”

Vaccination and the Christian
A recent measles outbreak has brought to light the recent skepticism about vaccines. Scott James, a Pediatrician in Birmingham and elder at the Church at Brook Hills, shares some helpful thoughts on Christians and vaccination. “When faced with the various questions that arise from so many different perspectives, the vaccine conversation sometimes sounds more like a cacophony. In the midst of the confusion, Christians should lead the way as those who wisely weigh the evidence and act accordingly for the good of those around them.”

“Lessons in Manliness from Atticus Finch”
Last week many were surprised by the news that Harper Lee would be releasing another novel this Summer. This has led to renewed interest in her previous classic To Kill A Mockingbird. The Art of Manliness shares some lessons we can learn from the novels protagonist Atticus Finch. “His manhood was not displayed in great showy acts but in quiet, consistent strength, in supreme self-possession. The manliness of Atticus Finch does not leap off the page; instead, it burrows its way inside of you, sticks with you, causes your soul to say, ‘Now that is the kind of man I wish to be.'”

Experiencing the Trinity
I’m looking forward to the release of Joe Thorn’s new book Experiencing the Trinity at the end of this month. In a time where many Christian devotional books offer little substance, this will be a feast for the soul. “For Christians, there is only one simple yet profound answer: turn to the triune God. Born out of lessons learned during one of the most spiritually challenging periods of his life, Experiencing the Trinity by pastor Joe Thorn contains 50 down-to-earth meditations on God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Overflowing with scriptural truth, pastoral wisdom, and personal honesty, this book reflects on common experiences of doubt, fear, and temptation—pointing readers to the grace that God provides and the strength that he promises.”

EqualityAlabamaToday is the first day same sex couples are allowed to marry in the state of Alabama. News outlets in the state have covered this issue extensively, and by extensively I mean that have run many articles in favor of same-sex marriage and only allowed Roy Moore to speak for those who believe marriage should be between a man and a woman. A couple of these articles have focused on the Bible’s teaching on marriage and represent the crassest form of dealing with the biblical text.

The first offender was Kyle Whitmire’s article “A Guide to Biblical Dating and Marriage in the 21st Century” and the other written by Leada Gore shares a message from Rev. Ellin Jimmerson’s reasons why she will be performing a same-sex marriage in Huntsville.  In his post Whitmire treads out many of the same worn out arguments against the Bible to claim that conservative Christians cherry pick verses. He runs through some of the Deuteronomic laws concerning marriage of a woman who was raped or who was captured in battle. He holds these up as something that conservatives ignore and would do if they didn’t cherry pick Bible verses. If Whitmire had spent time doing research for this article instead of writing tired old talking points he would have come across a basic discussion about Old Testament law. For centuries Christians have recognized the Old Testament pentateuch contains civil laws, ceremonial laws, and moral laws. Some of these laws governed life in Israel and Jesus said the laws were written because of the hardness of the human heart. Ceremonial laws regulated religious worship and were fulfilled in Christ. The writer of Hebrews and the Gospel writers show these laws no longer govern the life of a Christian. Then there are moral laws whose validity transcends the Old Covenant. For example, the prohibition on murder existed before the giving of the law and is repeated again in the New Testament.

Verses not appearing in in Whitmire’s discussion are Matthew 19:1-10 and Ephesians 5:22-33. People like to say Jesus never spoke about homosexuality, but he also never spoke about spousal abuse, identity theft, or nuclear weapons. We don’t assume he’s for them because he didn’t mention them. Instead we look at what Jesus affirmed and see there are other things that are excluded by his affirmation. In Matthew 19 someone asks Jesus about divorce and he appeals to Genesis 2, reminding his hearers that a man was to leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. These two people are now one and Jesus says what God has joined together no man should separate. Notice what Jesus affirms here as marriage. Jesus says marriage is between a man and a woman. He excludes everything else by affirming this.

Now, Whitmire and Jimmerson would object that the Bible shows many marriages that are not just between a man and a woman, but between a man and many women. In particular, Whitmire focuses on Solomon’s seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Clearly amused with himself by this point of his article Whitmire says, “The Almighty seems to have no problem with a man having multiple wives at the same time.” He assumes the Bible endorses everything it reports. If he would have continued to read the account of Solomon’s life instead of running after he found his talking point, he would have discovered that Solomon’s many wives were his downfall. They turned his heart away from the Lord. The Bible’s verdict on Solomon’s multiple marriages is not positive.

One of the Bible’s longest teachings on marriage comes from the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 5:22-33. When dealing with this passage it is first important to note that Paul intends to teach in this passage. Those wanting to read the Bible need to understand this important distinction. The Bible contains historical passages and didactic passages. One should not treat these passages the same. In Ephesians 5 Paul paints a picture of the marital relationship pointing to the relationship between Christ and the church. He shows how the husband’s love for his wife should mirror the love of Christ for the church and how the wife’s loving submission to her husband demonstrates the love the church has for Christ. The metaphor breaks down when you add multiple spouses to the mix or change the gender of the spouses.

This issue is important because of the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Traditional marriage should not be the church’s main message, but it is a logical extension of it. The church has as it’s primary message the cross of Jesus Christ by which God reconciles sinners to himself. Every person, no matter their race, gender, or orientation must have faith in King Jesus who died for them to come back to God. We hold out this message as the only hope for our world, knowing that it changes lives and eternal destinies.

Another word is in order as well and it’s pointed to those who would agree with everything I have said. The words of the Apostle James “the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God” should be on our hearts frequently in these days. Barking at our neighbors and using demeaning epithets will accomplish nothing of lasting value. When you are tempted to get angry about this issue, remember the dying love of King Jesus and the grace you have been shown. Show that same love to your neighbors.

(We welcomed our fourth child into the world this weekend. Please forgive any grammatical errors, as they are due to a lack of consistent sleep.)

Ordinary-MeridaThe last decade has seen a surge in Christians coming awake to social justice issues. Unfortunately, many engage social justice issues in a manner that’s devoid of the Gospel and many who claim to be most committed to the Gospel don’t believe these issues are a priority. In addition, many Christians want to make a practical difference in the world and do not know where to start, so they sit powerless believing the task is to big for them to engage. In his new book Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down, Tony Merida walks through the Bible showing ordinary Christians how they can make a difference through their everyday lives.

Merida takes Steve Timmis and Tim Chester’s phrase “ordinary people doing ordinary things” and asks how ordinary people can make a genuine difference in the world for the glory of God. Our tendency for so long as been to think that the only way to make a tangible difference in the world is to move to another nation and work, but Ordinary shows how carpenters, housewives, lawyers, plumbers, teachers, and doctors can turn the world upside down where they are right now.

Ordinary advocates for what we would often call “social justice” issues, but calls Christians to give attention to these issues from a Gospel-centered point of view. For example, Merida doesn’t advocate for adoption by slinging together heart wrenching orphan stories. He reminds Christians they were orphans who were separated from God because of sin. Through the Gospel, God adopts those who believe as his children, providing for us a motivation to be a father to the fatherless. In addition to the proper motivation for adoption, Merida provides volumes of biblical admonitions to care for orphans, stacking up evidence from both the Old and New Testaments.

Merida carries the same Gospel-centered focus into his discussion of hospitality. While many of us choose to treat our homes as fortresses where we escape from the world, he reminds us of the biblical command to show hospitality. Readers are rightfully reminded that hospitality is not about entertaining friends, but about sharing what we have in common and extending kindness to strangers. Again he piles on the biblical rationale for why Christians should do so and provides several ideas for ways in which Christians can open their homes for the sake of the Kingdom.

Christians would benefit from a careful reading of Ordinary. Tony Merida writes straightforwardly and succinctly, so a person who has not read many Christian books would find this enjoyable and easy to read. Most of all, Ordinary will guide the Christian into a greater understanding of what the Scripture teaches about Christian living. The Bible is the controlling influence in Merida’s argument, and his application accurately guides the Christian into how to put God’s word into practice. For the Christian who wants to know how to make an impact in the world around them, Ordinary is a great place to start.

(I received a complimentary copy of Ordinary through the Cross Focused Review program in exchange for an honest review.)

A Few Good Reads

January 7, 2015 — Leave a comment
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

Faithful with Fifteen Minutes
Often we think about reading the Bible and get overwhelmed at its size. Rondi Lauterbach tallies up how much time you would cumulatively spend in God’s word if you spent 15 minutes a day in study. “The reality is, there are many times where fifteen minutes are all you get, and if that’s all you have, don’t just spend it, invest it. Don’t let it peter away to nothing. Don’t despise small amounts of time. Grab it and make use of it. Guard it. It’s not just ‘better than nothing,’ it’s an investment that will produce dividends over time.”

What Would Jesus Say to Someone Like Leelah Alcorn
Pastor Garrett Kell asks what Jesus would say in light of the death of a transgender teen. His post points a helpful way forward in speaking with both truth and love. “On December 28, 2014 a 17-year old high school student apparently committed suicide after a difficult journey with confusion over gender identity. In his suicide note, Josh Alcorn said that since he was 4 years old he felt like “a girl trapped inside a boy’s body.” Because of this Josh desired to be called “Leelah” and wished for people to relate to him as a woman.”

Ordinary
How does God intend to change the world through ordinary people through ordinary things? Tony Merida’s new book answers this question. I’ve enjoyed reading through it so far and hope to have a review up later this week. “Through things such as humble acts of service, neighbor love, and hospitality, Christians can shake the foundations of the culture. In order to see things happen that have never happened before, Christians must to do what Christians have always done­. Christians need to become more ordinary.”

photo credit: Colin-47 via photopin cc

photo credit: Colin-47 via photopin cc

Every Christian struggles with assurance at some point in their journey. We sometimes struggle to believe the Gospel is true and other times we doubt whether God is working within us. The good news for us is that God does not want to leave us in the struggle but rather gives us resources so that we can find assurance. Christians have wrestled with this issue for centuries and one of the best explanations of where we go to find Christian assurance comes from the 1689 London Baptist Confession . The authors of the Second London Confession tell us that we can go to three places to find assurance: the promises of the Gospel, the fruits of faith, and the internal witness of the Holy Spirit. In pointing us to these three sources, they summarize 1 John’s teaching on assurance. Going to these three sources in 1 John can give us what many Christian authors have called “full assurance.”

The Promises of the Gospel
While Christians need to go to all three of these sources for assurance, we could argue that the promises of the Gospel are the most fundamental place we should go. Jesus Christ died for our sins and by faith we are forgiven, made right with God, and adopted by God as his children. John explains this when he says “if we confess our sins ,God is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Further, John teaches in 1 John 2:2 that Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. He bore our sins in his own body on the cross dying as our substitute. The first question we have to ask ourselves is not whether we can pinpoint a place and time where we think we prayed a prayer and wonder whether or not we really meant it. What we need to do is ask ourselves the question “am I trusting in Jesus Christ this moment?”. Don’t look into yourself and into your past experiences to ultimately find assurance. The first place you should look for assurance is to Christ himself who died for you and promises to save you when you have faith in him. The most important thing you can know is that you are presently trusting and resting in Christ.

The Fruits of Faith
The Bible’s talk about trusting in Christ does not mean that we never look to ourselves, but that we do need to realize our present experience is not the ultimate source of assurance. Christ’s work never changes and the promises of the Gospel can never be altered. Measuring our growth in grace is a subjective enterprise, but we can look at several areas of our lives and determine if we have the marks of a Christian.

John gives several tests for evaluating whether or not our lives match up with what it looks like to follow Jesus. First John lays for us the test of obedience. In 2:3 he says, And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.”. The person who knows and loves Jesus will have a desire to obey Christ’s commands and will begin to do so. John does not mean we will have a perfect life after coming to Christ, but that the direction of our lives will change so that we begin to obey Christ as Lord. 1 John 2:15-17 also shows us that the person who loves Christ will not love the world. This does not mean at all the people of the world, but rather this world system that is opposed to God. This world system is marked by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. The Christian will find himself losing a desire for these things and growing in a desire for the things that pertain to godliness. John’s final test is the test of love. In chapters three and four he teaches that the person who loves God will love other people. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” The New Testament holds this out as one of the chief marks of the Christian. The one who has discovered the love of God in Christ Jesus will love other people.

The Witness of the Holy Spirit
1 John 4:13 says “by this we know that we have come to know him because he is given us of his spirit.” This is possibly the most subjective of the three sources of assurance, but it cannot be ignored. God’s Spirit, the guarantee of our future inheritance, consistently reminds us that we are God’s children.  Paul also speaks of this in Romans 8 telling us that the Holy Spirit testifies to our adoption as God’s children and leads us to cry from the heart for God our Father.  The Christian who struggles with assurance should ask himself if there is something in him crying out for God and telling him that he is a Christian.

A growing Christian will be a person who is confident that he knows God. He will know he belongs to God and cannot be separated from him. So Christian, when you face difficult times and don’t know if God still loves you or wonder if God is abandoned you, come back to these sources and find assurance. Look to Jesus Christ who gave his life for you. Look at the direction of your life and see the change that God has been working in you. Pray that you will feel the strong witness of the Holy Spirit letting you know that you are indeed a child of God.

Related Posts:
Your Worst Days and Best Days Don’t Define You
The Gospel is Better Than ‘God Gives Second Chances’

For Further Reading
Gospel Wakefulness by Jared C. Wilson
How Can I Be Sure I’m a Christian by Donald Whitney

A Few Good Reads

December 26, 2014 — Leave a comment
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

How I Select and Schedule Discipling Relationships
Many times pastors and church leaders struggle to figure out how to make time for discipleship with other men. Greg Spraul, an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist in Washington, shares some thoughts on this important issue. “A new elder recently asked a more experienced elder of his church how he finds time to disciple younger men in the faith and to evangelize. After all, this new elder has an intense Washington DC job, a busy home with children, a long commute, and all the other duties that come with being a non-staff elder in the church. Surely there is little time left for discipling and evangelism, no? Here is the elder’s reply, most of which he says he also learned from asking and watching other elders.”

Seven Rules for Being Kind to Waiters
Many of us find ourselves eating out often. Having a server provides the opportunity for Christians to show the love of Christ to someone who often gets mistreated by customers. David Mills gives some basic instructions for how we can make the most of these opportunities. “Ask for everything you want when you order. When you want something else, like more water, say ‘When you have a chance’ and mean it.” Also, I wrote about this issue here a couple of years ago.

20 Aphorisms That I Thought Were Dumb as a Boy But Now Appreciate as a Grown Man
The older I get the more I realize my father and grandfather were wise men and I should have listened to them more. What I do remember from them are short, witty statements. Art of Manliness shares a list of these types of sayings. There is a treasure trove of wisdom here. “An aphorism is a short, pithy statement that conveys a principle or contains a pearl of wisdom. Part of what makes them so powerful is that they can stand on their own without context; as the philologist Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel put it, ‘An aphorism ought to be entirely isolated from the surrounding world like a little work of art and complete in itself like a hedgehog.’”

Kindle Deals
Amazon has Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken for a fantastic price on Kindle. They also have a deal on all of the NAC Studies in Bible and Theology.