1. “Stop Trying to Be a Man, and Start Trying to Be a Good Man” by Brad Williams
The whole “man-up” culture of modern Evangelicalism is annoying and misguided. Brad Williams hits the nail on the head with this witty and cutting piece. He states:
The goal isn’t to become a man; we’re already men, thanks to biology. But pursuing that goal has led to confusion. Let’s keep it simple: If you have the parts, congratulations! You’re already a man. Reject those ideas that add to or subtract from the essence of masculinity. Those ideas ultimately define masculinity in a narrow way that’s all about a packaged male-ness that appeals to pre-existing cultural ideals. Our goal ought to be becoming Christ-like men.
The little kid in me is freaking out about this news. I was obsessed with Dinosaurs as a kid. I used to memorize their names and categories and test myself. I still have a love for these creatures, and in this piece from the Atlantic readers will find seismic shifts in the way Dinos are categorized.
3. “New Research: Volunteering Gives Purpose and Help to Veterans with PTS” by Charles Hodges
As a country we have struggled long and hard to properly treat Post-Traumatic Stress. In this article from the Biblical Counseling Coalition, Dr. Hodges points to new research that reveals the power of volunteering. Of course as Christians this isn’t too surprising.
4. “What’s Really Going on in PTSD brains? U-M Experts Suggest New Theory” by Kara Gavin
Speaking of PTSD, here’s a new theory about the causes and roots of PTSD. The authors, professors at University of Michigan, suggest that the root of the issue is a “disrupted context processing.” That is, a struggle to take cues from context that allow individuals to rightly interpret sounds, smells, etc. in their environment and thus draw on the right emotions, memories, and responses. It’s a fascinating theory but only time will tell of its validity.
5. “3 Ways to Recognize Workaholism in Ministry” by Eric Geiger
If this piece is too short, it nonetheless highlights three quick evidences of workaholism in pastors and church staff. It’s easy to develop and can come and go throughout a person’s ministry career. It’s important, then, that pastors not only keep a watch on themselves, but invite others to keep a watch on them too. Make others aware of these types of evidences and ask them to keep a watch out for symptoms.
6. “Manipulative Repentance: 8 Red Flags” by Brad Hambrick
Brad’s insight on the mannerisms of false repentance is always helpful. This piece highlights eight common phrases that reveal a type of false or manipulative repentance. In other words, there are ways we can “repent,” that are actually an effort to avoid responsibility or get the upper hand in a conversation. It’s important for counselors to know these types of responses, but all of us should know them so we personally avoid them.
7. “When Women Face Their Curse-Ravaged Homes” by Kim Ransleben
This is a brilliant article especially crafted for stay-at-home-moms who struggle with the task they’ve been given. The author unpacks the difficult nature of caring for homes and the needy children and husbands who live in them. She speaks to the doubts, struggles, and even idols that mothers are tempted towards. She then turns to the Biblical record to give hope for women from women whom God used in mighty ways. A powerful and inspiring piece.
8. “The Perfect Sunday Routine” by Krista Dunham
I know I am biased, but this is some of the best writing I’ve read all month! My wife writes here about her own struggle with having a “perfect” life, which is broader than just her Sunday mornings. Sunday morning, however, serves as the case study and she highlights what she wants versus what she gets. In the midst of it she reminds herself and all of us, that God delights to take the messiness of our lives and use it it to strengthen our faith and grow our dependence upon Him.