This Week’s Good Reads

morning-paper2Every week I compile a list of interesting articles from around the web. Check out this week’s list and find something that interests you.

 

1. “Jonah and the Art of Being Broken” by Irene Sun

A beautiful meditation and short exposition of Jonah chapter 2. The author explores in particular the ways in which Jonah is not broken, and how his approach to God is all about himself. It severs as more than a warning, it’s serves as a plea to genuine repentance. Brokenness is an essential part of repentance.

2. “Abuse Inside Christian Marriages – A Personal Story” by Isabella Young

The author of this piece shares her own experience of domestic violence and urges the church, particularly her Anglican church in Australia, to be willing to acknowledge the reality of this sin in its midst. As we prepare for our upcoming workshop on Biblical counseling for Domestic Abuse this is a good reminder; the way we respond to victims can either increase their trauma or offer them gospel hope and healing.

3. “Balancing Family and Ministry” by Heath Lambert

This is a much-needed reminder about the importance of this balance. Lambert gives some good suggestions about what we can do, and while they might seem obvious, they warrant actual discussion and detail. Part 1 discusses the priority of family and your individual ministry capacity. Part 2 discusses unique situations, stage of life, and accountability. Overall this is a good series of posts for young ministers like me who feel the pull of two very important worlds.

4. “Food For All” by Anna Worley

Oh man! This is everything I want rolled up into one beautiful little descriptive article. Here Worley describes her experience as part of a dinner cooperative, where eight families get together four nights a week for meals. The shared experiences, the laughter at the table, the breaking of bread and building of friendships are personal dreams of mine. I love these sorts of gatherings. We had a short experience with this in Ohio, but this sounds just lovely. Reading this makes me want it more.

5. “Without Shame: Letting Abortion Stories Supplant Stigma” by Amber Stamper

This is an interesting piece from Amber. It’s possible, even likely, that it can be misunderstood and misrepresented, but she recommends to the church that it be a safe place for people to share their stories of abortion, regardless of feelings, outcomes, and thoughts. She notes that the world is developing “safe havens” for people to do this without shame, and as a result the opportunity to speak into the lives of these women is being lost to the church. We, as the church, need to be willing to hear all these stories of abortion. She writes:

What storytelling does do though is give us insight into the contexts and circumstances, the mindset and needs, that lead to abortion. Storytelling can prepare us to intervene and assist in the crucial moments before a woman’s decision. And storytelling helps us better understand the post-abortive reality and how we can speak the truth and healing of Christ over these lives.

This is an interesting piece that should be given some thought.

6. “Making the Church a Safe Place for Mental Illness” by Stephen Altrogge

If it’s a bit of a simple treatment, and a rather common one regarding the subject, it’s still a good reminder that the church continually needs to reevaluate its sensitivity to and compassion for those who suffer from mental illness.

7. “The Terrible Loneliness of Growing Up Poor in Robert Putnam’s America” by Emily Badger

Putnam continues to help willing readers think through the collapse of America’s social capital. This time he is exploring the opportunity gap between poor and wealthy children. This NYT piece gives a good introduction to his research, it is well worth reading. It makes me anxious to read another great Putnam book, and then thinking about the role of the church in proposing solutions.

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