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A Few Good Reads

A Few Good Reads June 20, 2016

photo credit: solidether via photopin cc
photo credit: solidether via photopin cc

4 Ways to Reach a Child’s Heart
I share a lot of posts about parenting in this space and it has everything to do with where I am in life. We have a daughter entering middle school, a daughter in elementary school, a preschool-aged daughter, and a toddler son. Every day confronts me with the realization that I have a lot to learn about parenting and need God’s grace every step of the way. Richard Phillips’ post on engaging our children’s heart proved to be especially helpful to me this week as I think about what it looks like for me to enter into their world and engage their hearts. “This all requires time, for time is the currency with which I purchase the right to say, ‘My son, my daughter, give me your heart.’”

25 Reasons Fathers Still Matter
Yesterday I read someone who said we should do away with Father’s Day because it is disrespectful to single mothers and same-sex couples. Our culture tends to downplay the role of fathers in a child’s development and men are tempted to abandon their responsibility to their children. Joe Carter shares research on the importance of fathers in the life of a child and in doing so demonstrates why they are indispensable. “Christians, of course, should not need to be told the importance of fatherhood. The Bible is filled with dozens of passages on the significance of fathers and the responsibilities of fatherhood. But when making that case to a secular culture it can be helpful to be armed with empirical evidence of the reasons why fathers are essential to the well being of their children.”

Four Reasons We Don’t Share the Gospel
The more I talk with people the more I become convinced that many people in our culture have never heard the real Gospel or have had its message confused by the many false gospels permeating our society. This means it is imperative for individual Christians to talk about the good news about Jesus, but we often don’t do it. Steven Lee shares four reasons why and what we can do to overcome them. “All Christians need fellow believers to help them grow in their understanding of the gospel. We all need others in our lives who spur us on to a greater compassion and zeal to love the lost by sharing the good news of Jesus willingly, winsomely, and boldly.”

Three Obstacles to Church Revitalization
This is a post I wrote for J.D. Greear’s site “Conventional Futures.” Often when those in the ministry talk about the obstacles to bringing new life in a church we focus on outward problems. In this post I write about inward barriers pastors face and offer practical steps of overcoming them.

 Living by the Book
Yesterday’s post on Bible reading reminded me of this important work on how to read the Bible. William and Howard Hendricks explain how Christians can get the most out of God’s word by learning how to observe what is in the text, interpret the text accurately, and apply the text to everyday life. The time spent in this book will pay great dividends.

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