15 tips on blogging from John Newton - I think this is perhaps the most wonderful post I've read on how to write for the encouragement of others. Tony Reinke.
You do not belong to your children, you belong to Christ - This is gold. "It is because I have lived at the two extremes of neglecting family, and making family my idol, that I can say some of the hard things I’m going to say..." The importance of neglecting your children for Christ. Really. Luma HT Challies.
This changes everything - What's my goal for my children? That in humility they might serve, putting others' needs before their own. Like Jesus. Phil 2:1-11. Bob.
The art of the surprise visit - Drop in on a friend. The art of the impromptu visit. Great stuff from the ever-inspiring Cathy.
Food that serves - Ideas for hospitality - and family - cooking. This looks like a fantastic and very usable website! With thanks to Jane.
A herniated disc, a three-year-old's suffering and the love of the Father
- A beautiful post about a son's suffering, and what it taught his
father about the love of the Father when we suffer. HT Challies.
Six simple ways to avoid burnout
- Seven signs of burnout and six ways to avoid it. This infographic is a
fantastic resource. I especially like the point about green
space! Shared by David Murray.
I could never do that: A look at the counselling you do every day - We are all counsellors, in all our relationships, every day. And we are all in the counselling room with others. We may not have the answers, but we know where to point people. Eliza Huie.
The quotable Elizabeth - part 1 and part 2 - I enjoyed this two-part interview with a pastor's wife, especially what she says about reading the Bible and praying when you have young kids, the iron in submission, and the importance of being kind to your children. (And the bit about coffee shops and naps. A kindred spirit!)
Church in creche - Is creche just non-church, fill-in-time-while-others-hear-the-sermon, or is it more? Brilliant stuff. Thanks, Nicole.
Why family time is part of a pastor's job description - "All Christians need to consider family time important, but for the pastor there is more at stake. Churches should recognize this and should never allow leaders to neglect family for the sake of the ministry." Clint Archer.
Saddling your emotions
- I like the simple, practical suggestions here for managing your
emotions. Changing locations, having a sleep, looking out for the early
signs: all tips I've learned over the years. Hayley Satrom.
Is your gospel big enough? - "Is my gospel big enough to account for a man who three times denied that he knew the Lord?...Is it big enough to allow a man like this to be a leader in the church?" This made me think. Challies.
You don't have to obey (sin, that is) - "Sinful passions can be denied, and ruthlessly...When you deny yourself, don’t try rationalizing with your fallen self. You already know your weak spots too well." Jon Bloom.
When you identify a sin in your life - Getting serious about sin. This series on John Owen's Overcoming sin and temptation is life-changing. Really.
Leave it to the imagination - Is reading scary stuff in a book the same as watching it in a movie? Should I let my kids watch it? This post doesn't give answers, but helpfully teases out the issues. Barnabus Piper HT Vitamin Z.
Mothers' day and the infertile - On mother's day, "infertile women, and their husbands, are still often grieving in the shadows." A helpful reminder - although I'm not sure about the solution. Russell Moore.
The top 5 things introverts dread about church - Not that we should necessarily stop doing them - they can be helpful to pull introverts like me out of our shell - but it's good for leaders to be mindful of how introverts feel. Chelsey Doring HT Challies.
Why read fiction? An interview with Russell Moore - Why read fiction? What is appropriate for Christians to read? When should / shouldn't I recommend a book to others? I thoroughly enjoyed this interview with Russell Moore. Challies.
Why men should read more fiction - This is a fascinating post! I never realised fiction was so useful in teaching empathy and a "theory of mind" - essentials for healthy relationships, more common in women than in men. Brett and Kate McKay.
Money and missionaries: how much? - You'll find some interesting thoughts from Vanuatu missionary Rachael about the living standards for missionaries in her comment on this post by Tom Richards.
Should Christianity be more masculine? - An interesting take on an increasingly common idea. "Jesus and his buddies were 'dudes: heterosexual, win-a-fight, punch-you-in-the-nose dudes." Real Christian men like Jesus and Paul "are aggressive, assertive, and nonverbal.' Seriously?" Michael S. Horton.
The downside of cohabiting before marriage - Good to hear this discussion in a secular paper: The New York Times. Meg Jay HT Challies.
Loneliness: A substitution fantasy gone wrong - An excellent secular article about how online relationships are a poor substitute for real ones. An interesting article from The Age. Sarah Berry HT Natalie.
My new book - I'd like to read this: Twelve Types: A Collection of Mini-Biographies by G.K. Chesterton. Love Chesterton. Love the idea of mini-biographies. A great way to start with biography reading! Cathy.