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5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time
“Leaders should ask these questions both on a daily basis and during critical moments. Of course, these aren’t the only questions to ask; context certainly matters. But I have found these five to be a very practical and useful way to ensure understanding, generate new ideas, inspire progress, encourage responsibility, and remain focused on what is genuinely important.”

On Family Worship and Failure
You’re bound to pick up some tips here. Most important point: “It’s better to do 4 minutes of something than no minutes of nothing.”

You Are Not Your Pain
“Perhaps our wounds have become so entangled with the identity we now claim that surrendering them would require also surrendering who we mistakenly believe ourselves to be.”

2 Ways Boredom Destroys Ministry Leaders
“Don’t let boredom ruin you. Look to Him and you won’t get bored. Seek new ways to fulfill the mission the Lord has given, but don’t seek a new mission. Seek ways to communicate the message in new ways, but don’t seek a new message.”

The Wisdom of Sex
“Marriage involves the encouraging of purity in each other by making ourselves delightful to our spouse and giving ourselves to each other regularly. That is, I believe, one of the best ways to preserve ourselves from the troubles of impure hearts and impure people.”

Disability Makes a Church Strong | Desiring God
This from a pastor and fatehr of a child with special needs: “Without intending to add one ounce to an already heavy Sunday morning load, as both parent and pastor of the disabled, I offer to families with disabilities seven pleas from my heart.”

Kindle Books

The Great Exchange: My Sins For His Righteousness by Jerry Bridges $2.99.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity $2.99.

Drawn by the Father by James White $2.99.


Introducing the New City Catechism
Beautifully produced catechism, simpler and shorter than the Westminster Shorter Catechism, and way shorter than the Heidelberg. Might be a great starter if you are feeling intimidated. See also 10 Things You Should Know about Catechesis.

How Can Justification Make me Joyful?

This is a guest post by Danny Hyde, author of Can Justification Make me Joyful?

Joyful JustificationI wrote How Can Justification Make Me Joyful because I want my fellow brothers and sisters to have the same assurance and confidence that the Holy Spirit has given me with this biblical teaching.

You see, after I was converted there was the inevitable spiritual joy of a newly born child of God. But only a year or so later, I was in despair. When I looked at so much of the sin and hypocrisy that was going on among other believers my age, I wondered if my conversion was real. Then I was promised assurance if I would just be open to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I prayed for that and had others pray for that for me…it never came.

So there I was, 19 years old, at college, feeling isolated and disillusioned until a required course on philosophy and theology. I heard the word “justification” for the first time. I heard that Jesus Christ’s perfect birth, life, death, and resurrection were mine through faith alone apart from any of my own efforts. I remember seeing my professor write on the whiteboard the words of Westminster Larger Catechism, Q&A 70, and me hurrying to copy it down before he erased it. Then I ran back to my dorm’s computer lab (yeah, we didn’t have personal laptops back then!) to type it out, print it, and post it above my desk to read every day. The Lord had given me the assurance I sought by teaching my heart and mind what Jesus had done for me and what the Holy Spirit had brought to me.

The Lord can give you this same measure of assurance and joy. How Can Justification Make Me Joyful? It doesn’t come from speaking in tongues. It doesn’t come by sitting around and waiting for a spiritual experience. It doesn’t come by your effort. It comes from the Holy Spirit who applies the Word of God to needy hearts like yours and mine.

Can Justification Make me Joyful? by Daniel Hyde.

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Preaching in a Secular Age
Al Mohler: “With the advance of secular pluralism, expository preaching must become the church’s strategy for survival.”

Having just one black teacher can keep black kids in school
Having just one black teacher in third, fourth or fifth grade reduced low-income black boys’ probability of dropping out of high school by 39 percent, the study found. And by high school, African-American students, both boys and girls, who had one African-American teacher had much stronger expectations of going to college.

10 Things You Should Know about the Trinity
#6: It’s the doctrine of who God must be if salvation is what we think it is. The Father who gave his Son and Spirit to save us must be a Father who always had a Son and Spirit. The Bible bundles Trinity and gospel, and so should we.

What do you do when you’re in the pit?
Three practices for pit-dwellers.

Ultimate Blame-shifting
A French man’s adulterous affair was discovered when his Uber app sent location updates to his wife’s phone.

And now with all the arrogance of one who had wanted to have his cake and eat it, he is seeking to blame Uber for the mess.

His lawyer said after lodging the case, “My client was the victim of a bug in an application. The bug has caused him problems in his private life.”

Check the language: “My client was a victim”—surely the aggrieved wife was the victim?? The ‘bug’ has caused the problems—seriously?!? The bug?? How about his unfaithfulness?

Kindle Books

A Woman’s Wisdom: How the Book of Proverbs Speaks to Everything $2.99.

Unparalleled: How Christianity’s Uniqueness Makes It Compelling $1.99.

The Murder of Jesus $0.99.


Julia Bayer’s Cancer Testimony
This is a stunning proof of the power and beauty of Gospel hope.

Julia Bayer was diagnosed a year ago with ovarian cancer. This past year has been a very difficult year with the treatments & major surgeries and then the quick return of cancer this past April. Through it all Julia has found that she has grown so much in her faith. She says “As hard as it’s been, it’s strangely been one of the best years of my life. I’ve learned so much more of the character of God, how He faithfully walks with us in each step. I’ve learned about and experienced true joy, unexplainable peace and deep-rooted hope in Christ. God has been teaching Julia so much through this journey.


20 Lessons from a Ministry Burnout

I’ve got to know Dave Jenkins over recent years through his various online ministries and podcasts (Servants of Grace, Equipping you in Grace, etc). He recently published articles about his own experience of ministry burnout:

Part 1: My Story of Ministry Burnout: Idolatry, Unbelief, and the Gospel

Part 2: Resting in and Being Renewed by Christ

Part 3: Accountability, Friendship, and the Gospel

Part 4: Care for One Another in a Manner Worthy of the Gospel

Dave will be joining me to discuss these articles today at 1pm on Facebook Live, but here are some of the most important takeaways:

1. Burnout can come from doing too many good things.

2. Burnout ofter results from an inability to say “No.”

3. Some of the most common signs of burnout are anxiety and depression.

4. Overworking is counter-productive because in the long run it leads to less work being done.

5. A godly wife is the best source of accountability.

6. Draw up your schedule with your wife.

7. If overworking is your default, you will always be vulnerable to burnout and therefore have to take active life-long measures to combat it.

8. We are Christians first and ministers second, therefore growth in grace is more important than ministry.

9. Burnout may be the consequence of resting in our own efforts rather than in Christ’s blessing on our efforts.

10. Ministers have an influential role in modeling healthy life-work patterns.

11. Anxiety and stress produce serious physical problems like ulcers, high blood pressure, heart attacks, etc.

12. Conversely, inner peace is curative for the whole person—body, mind, and soul.

13. Prioritize spending quiet time thinking about the Gospel, meditating on Scripture, and praying.

14. Worship gives a new perspective and helps us to prioritize the most important things.

15. Be fully present with your wife (translation – get rid of the phone!)

16. Do a few things well and the big things first.

17. Turn of the laptop at 5pm each day to force yourself to have finished your work by then.

18. Gospel-centered friendships are vital for both encouragement and accountability.

19. You are not alone. There are lots of people in your situation.

20. You need the community of the local church – be open and honest with your elders and fellow-members.

I’d encourage you to read all four articles in full. See you at 1pm.

More Grace-Paced Life resources here.

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Our Family’s Experience with ‘The New City Catechism” | Besty Childs Howard, TGC
“We know in this world our children will face many troubles. Athletes begin training months before competition. Soldiers train for years in preparation for potential conflict. We want our children to be ready with a reservoir of deep theology when the day of trouble comes.”

5 Ways Exercise Helps the Leader’s Mind | Eric Geiger
Summarized from Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by Dr. John Ratey.

Research Claiming Sex-Change Benefits Is Based On Junk Science | Walt Heyer, The Federalist
Written by a man who transitioned to female and back again. He now mentors people who struggle with their gender identity. A unique and first-hand perspective on the issue. “Sex-change studies base their conclusions on as few as 10 percent of study subjects. The truth is, many people who follow Caitlyn Jenner’s path will deeply regret it.”

Why United’s PR Disaster Didn’t Fly | Michael Hyatt
“While it’s good to see United’s CEO do the right thing, even belatedly, the rest of us can take a lesson right now from his mismanagement of the crisis. If circumstances ever force you to address a public disaster, take a deep breath first and remember these three facts.”

Interview With the Satanist | Rutledge Etheridge, Gentle Reformation
“I asked him, ‘Didn’t you realize that Satan hates you?’ His reply was simple, and tinged with just a little of the condescending tone I deserved to hear in my naivete:  He said, with a slightly pitying smile, and a glint in his eye which suggested fond memories resurfacing, ‘Yeah, we knew Satan hated us.  But he gave us power.’”

Who Would Jesus Abort? Confessions of a “Christian” Abortion Doctor | Russell Moore
“Willie Parker is an abortion doctor. He says he’s not ashamed of that. Willie Parker also says he is a born-again follower of Jesus Christ. That one’s more complicated. His new book on why Jesus would support his abortion practice shows us the end-result of a cultural Christianity in which the self can redefine anything: Jesus, the gospel, morality, justice, even life itself.”

Young People Also Need an Abundance of Counselors | James Faris, Gentle Reformation
“What follows are brief sketches of six older men who influenced me significantly through my high school years. The Lord used many other wonderful coaches, teachers, and family members, including godly women, to shape me, but these are six men that the Lord used in special ways:”

The Navy Captain Who Said No to the Dream | TGC
“Voresa Booker is a retired Navy captain who served our country for over 30 years. A graduate of Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee, she now calls Memphis home.”

Kindle Deals

Long Story Short: Ten-Minute Devotions to Draw Your Family to God by Marty Machowski ($9.99)

Salvation by Crucifixion by Philip G. Ryken ($2.99)

14 Words from Jesus by James Montgomery Boice, Philip G. Ryken ($2.99)


12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You
Buy Tony Reinke’s new book of the same title here.