Today’s Kindle deals include all sorts of books from several different publishers.
In case you missed it yesterday, you’ll want to check out the free material from Christian Audio and Logos.
If you live in or near Rome, I’d love to see you next Tuesday. I’ll be speaking on productivity (since my book on the subject has recently been published in Italian).
Speaking of Rome, Leonardo De Chirico (who pastors in the city) has a fascinating one here about Catholic mariology. “At the conclusion of the evening, a nun, visibly shaken and displeased, publicly asked me: ‘In short, how can you not pray to Mary? She is our mother after all!’ Here, again, in this question and in this statement lies the whole of Roman Catholic Mariology. Mariology is not so much interested in biblical teaching but is enveloped in deep aspirations of the heart that are apparently not met by the living person of Christ, who has restored fellowship with the Father in the Holy Spirit.”
I’m going back-to-back here with articles on social media. First up is Dan DeWitt. “Let’s be quick to celebrate and slow to condemn. Let’s quit using our social media platforms as bully pulpits to minimize the accomplishments of those we don’t particularly like and maximize other’s mistakes to build our own brand.” (You might also enjoy this one from Matt Walsh.)
And then there’s a common sense challenge from Cal Newport. “Digital activities that are mildly positive in isolation, combine to crowd out other real world activities that are potentially much more satisfying. This is what allows you to love Twitter in the moment when you discover a hilarious tweet, but at the end of the day fear that the app is degrading your soul.”
I really enjoyed this look at history and theology. “The church has always been a counter-cultural witness to the world. We normally think of the church’s witness in her preaching and good works, and rightly so. But sometimes, it’s her very structure and polity which bear witness to God’s kingdom here in this world.” Geoff Chang shows a fascinating example of this.
Jon Coombs offers 10 tips for reading more and better in 2019. “There are no rules. You can read anything you like! It’s not like your English teacher is breathing fire down your back as you choose which book you want to read, or how to read it. There’s no set textbooks in life like there are in school. Just read what you like! But of course, some people like rules, and without any rules chaos reigns or no reading gets done as you’re stuck on where to start.”
Laura Denny also shares some reading wisdom she gained from her brother-in-law. “Drew describes reading as a ‘reinforcing habit’. The why influences the how, and the how reinforces the why. He makes time for reading because he sees how it impacts his life, and so he orders his life in a way that continues to make time for reading. He admits he has very little sympathy for the complaint of not having enough time to read—especially when you understand how influential it can be. He says ‘You get done what you prioritize… To me, not reading is like not eating.'”
Kimberly reflects on a tough year and, as she does so, offers some really helpful reflections and lessons. “The moment I realize I’m caving to self-pity (which normally manifests itself in a grumpy attitude), I have a choice. I can keep heading down that road, or I can drop to my knees to do some serious crying out for help (Hebrews 4:16). God rushes in every time we ask Him for grace and help—but the problem is, so often it is tempting to stay at the pity-party rather than going to our knees.”
I encourage pastors to gladly, humbly, confidently read books by women. Don’t read them with fear or suspicion, don’t read them to simply screen them for your wife or your congregation, but read them to learn, to grow, to know God better.
A home, and not a grave, is the true ending of our earthly life; we depart not to be dead, but really to live. —P.B. Power