Here are some of the most encouraging and interesting articles I've read on the internet recently. Perhaps they will be a blessing to you as well...
“Make no mistake, Christian, our theology is on display in the midst of conflict. Our belief in the gospel and its permeation in our lives comes through in those confrontations, apologies, stalemates, and arguments. God, the ultimate reconciler, though, has given us clear directives for the ministry of reconciliation. Conflict does not surprise or bewilder Him, He has made a way and set an ultimate example of humility, obedience, and persistence through His Son. Trust Him. Believe Him. We will always be disappointed by people but never by Christ.”
“Conferencing, in a nutshell, is something of a mix between accountability partners and small groups. You would conference with your pastor, your friend(s), and your family at least once a week. While the format was fluid, conferencing was guided by two fundamental questions:
1. Was the pastor right on Sunday?
2. What did your heart do when you heard that sermon?
Notice the balance. First, Christians were expected to have a deep and growing knowledge of Scripture, forcing congregants, families, and friends to search the Scriptures together. Even if you did believe the pastor was right, you had to use your own means to prove it. Second, you had to talk about the truth of your heart in relation to the Scripture and the doctrine of the sermon.”
“In our cozy kitchens, amid roasted chicken and good conversation, how easy it is to forget that we’re in a war. We are daily assaulted by thoughts and suggestions that ease into our stream of consciousness. They fit the situation perfectly and bend to our way of thinking. So we welcome them, though they are meant for our destruction.
The warning is clear in the word of God. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but it is against an entire demonic force (Ephesians 6:12). Schemes are crafted against us, flaming arrows shot at will (Ephesians 6:11, 16). And many of those schemes and arrows target our thoughts — including what we accept as true.”
“The call to a gospel-focused engagement is not a call to a retreat. On the contrary, it’s a call to a more vigorous presence in public life, because it seeks to ground such witness where it ought to be, in the larger mission of the church. Even some sectors of religious activism chafe at the honest accounting of apostolic Christianity as a minority viewpoint in Western culture. Minorities do not exert influence, they will contend, on the culture or the systems around it. The temptation is to pretend to be a majority, even if one is not.”
“It takes practice to read aloud well. Read with expression, with emotion, so that even if your children don't completely understand the details of the content you are reading, the form that you read it in makes its meaning show forth. I think it should be more like a theatrical production than a 'reading,' if you get my meaning. Do voices for different characters (they don't have to be amazing, and luckily children are the least judgmental humans you will meet; have fun with it and they will too), and use onomatopoeia whenever possible. Understand that it will take you years to become an excellent reader, and make the commitment to strive for that goal. Time is on your side: there will be lots of bedtimes to practice.”