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Educating too early
Highly instructional preschool programs have been studied for years. Although they’re more popular than ever, the outcomes don’t hold up under scrutiny.

Free eBook: The Fulness of Christ
Nick Batzig has more information on this new publishing company, New Puritan Press.

Behind the scenes of the Presidency
Regardless of your politics, you’ll enjoy these behind-the-scenes pictures of President Obama. Reminds you that he’s human too!

Storytelling and your brain
For me the brain is the most fascinating scientific frontier at the moment. It’s incredible what we are discovering about that “universe” within. In this post Marc Cortex highlights a video demonstrating how “dramatic storytelling can lead to very specific brain changes in brain chemistry (increased levels of cortisol and oxytocin), which in turn correlate with a specific behavior (giving money).” Marc concludes: “If stories shape who we become, let’s be careful with the stories we allow to shape us.” If fictional stories have such an impact on our brain chemistry, how much more the real stories we are living. Lots of food for thought here for counseling.

Two sides of the counseling coin
Heath Lambert provides some helpful points of agreement and distinction between biblical counseling and nouthetic counseling.

Enjoying rest: now and in the life to come
Randy Alcorn: “Part of our inability to appreciate Heaven as a place of rest relates to our failure to enter into a weekly day of rest now.”

Tweets of the Day

Living with your eyes wide open

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In this week’s episode of The Connected Kingdom, we talk to Steve DeWitt. Steve is the author of Eyes Wide Open, (Tim’s review and my review). It is a book about beauty, about learning to enjoy God in everything. We talk to Steve about:

  • Getting married (just a few weeks ago) at the age of 44 and after 20 years in ministry
  • Why God created this world to be beautiful
  • How beauty is meant to motivate worship
  • Whether beautiful art is objectively good or whether there needs to be an explicit gospel message
  • Why beauty can be so closely associated with lust

And lots more.

If you would like to give us feedback or join in the discussion, go ahead and look up our Facebook Group or leave a comment right here. You will always be able to find the most recent episode here on the blog. If you would like to subscribe via iTunes, you can do that here or if you want to subscribe with another audio player, you can try this RSS link.

Soul Care Garage: Rest & Recreation

Yesterday we visited the first two bays in the Soul Care Garage. Today we visit Service Bays 3&4.

Service Bay 3: Recreation

In the garageBodily exercise is profitable (1 Tim. 4:8). Moderate physical exercise helps to expel unhelpful chemicals from our system and stimulates the production of helpful chemicals. Outdoor exercise has the added benefit of the sun’s healing rays. Spurgeon said: “The next best thing to the grace of God for a preacher is oxygen.”

John Wesley attributed his great age and remarkable usefulness even in his eighties to God’s power, prayer, and his regular exercise in the fresh air! William Blaikie said: “It is very certain that due attention to physical exercise is an essential condition of sustained vigorous preaching. The command to be ‘strong in the Lord’ includes strength of body as well of strength of soul.”

Is God glorified in our bodies (1 Cor. 6:20) when we rob them of what they need to function properly? Do we glorify our Creator when we remain willingly ignorant of or reject the knowledge He has kindly provided in His created order, information that we need to keep our re-create our bodies and stay healthy?

Service Bay 4: Rest


A Christian psychologist said to me that he starts most depressed people on three pills: “Good exercise, good diet, and good sleep!” That’s great advice, and I would encourage you to make use of the plentiful resources available today on these subjects.

Daily rest

As regular sleep patterns enable the body and mind to repair and re-charge, set fixed times for going to bed and getting up, and try to get at a minimum of seven, and an ideal of eight hours, of sleep per night.

Weekly rest
And remember God’s gift of weekly rest. Secure a weekly intellectual Sabbath to refresh your mind. The devotion of one day to rest will not lose you time but rather help you to gain it as the other days will be more decisive and vigorous.

My wife has forced me to take one day off a week throughout my ministry; usually it was a Monday as we were home-schooling. Perhaps twice I managed to persuade her that I really needed the rest day to be a work day, but both weeks were a disaster. Overall I accomplished less than I would have had I taken the day off and properly rested my body and mind.

Small print for pastors?
It doesn’t say, “Six days you shall labor…unless you are a pastor who must work seven.” It’s a command…”Six days you shall labor, but the seventh is to be a Sabbath of rest.” It takes faith to obey this. Reason and society says, “If you work seven days you’ll get more done!” But as you practice weekly Sabbath, you will begin to see how gracious, merciful, and wise God’s commands are.

Tomorrow we’ll visit another two service bays in the Soul Care Garage.

This is an edited version of an article that was first published at Gospel Centered Discipleship.

Check out

Church Planting in the Urban Jungle
I used to watch Gavin Peacock play professional soccer in the English Premier League. Here he writes about his commitment to supporting church planting in the Scottish equivalent of the Bronx.

Engaging your kids in discussing their day
How to get past “Fine!”

A Young Preacher’s Library
Advice for younger guys from some older guys. Interesting to see the different choices of UK men.

Economics Curriculum
Marginal Revolution University has a new Economics Video Curriculum online and it’s free! These teachers have quite a gift for making the complex and boring simple and interesting. R C Sproul Jr does a similarly great job in Economics for Everybody, which looks at the subject from a Christian worldview.

10 Tips for Getting Through Seasonal Depression
Not the whole answer, but a good part of it.

A Note to Moms in Crisis
From someone who knows all about it.

Tweets of the Day