Reading Roundup- April 2024

I’m a few days behind on this one, thanks to our family passing around what my 3-year-old calls, the “bug in my tummy.” Sharing is caring…until it’s not!

April’s articles included a lot of encouraging reminders that seemed to specifically address my struggles this month plus a few good entertainment pieces listed at the bottom.

Run to the Rock When Life Causes You to Faint in Psalm 61

D. Ray Davis
Facing Loss

D. Ray has chronicled his experiences and lessons with the loss of his wife several years ago, and I’ve followed his writing for a while. I appreciate his desire to steward what God has taught him through tragedy, and the hope with which he writes. This article is a great reminder to rely on God as our refuge and strength in all times, but particularly in challenging ones.

“We always need to recognize our dependence upon God, and we need to be suspicious of our own strength.”

My Dear, Sweet Girl

Tim Challies

This is written as a letter to his daughter, but Challies once again speaks to some of my own struggles. So often, I compare myself to others and find that I don’t measure up—that my level of sinfulness is much worse than theirs. Challies reminds the reader that the only comparison that matters is that with Christ, who took our sin and gave us His goodness. While comparing ourselves to others leads to despair, looking up at Jesus and dwelling in the gospel brings hope and joy.

“…the gospel is a huge trade—a trade we make with Jesus. Jesus takes our sin and he gives us his goodness.”

Bring Her Out and Let Her Be Burned

Tim Challies

A few years ago, my friend, Jake, preached a sermon on Judah and Tamar that was perhaps the most hopeful and redemptive sermon I have ever heard. I can see why Challies says that this has become one of his favorite passages of Scripture. God took a story full of so much sin, shame, and bad decisions and brought redemption out of it.

Thanksgiving, Cancer, and God’s Faithfulness

Adrianne Miles
Center for Faith and Culture

This is an older one I came across while looking for something else. But it’s a much needed reminder that God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we think He will—or the way we want Him to—but He is good and faithful, regardless.

“God’s plans do not always match our plans, but His plans must be good because He is so very good.”

Young People and the Hundred Pushup Challenge of Life

Tim Challies

There were a few Challies articles this month. As I considered my response to a younger friend who asked me if life would ever get less busy, this article was a great encouragement to answer her with grace and honesty. As I move into an age where I look at people in their 20s and am tempted to dismiss or scoff at their perspective of busyness, this was a much needed read from someone more mature than me. Also, the hyperlink to this article made me laugh. I don’t know if that was his original title and he changed it without changing the hyperlink, but it struck me as funny nonetheless.

“It’s wrong of me to make light of their little sorrows by comparing them to their future greater sorrows. It’s right of me to support them as they build the strength and endurance that will carry them into and through the trials to come.”

Fulfilling Your Personal Definition of Happiness is Not God’s Goal

Paul David Tripp

I’ve called this article to mind more than once in the last couple of weeks as I’ve struggled to find joy, rest, and contentment in the Lord. So many of my “trials” are internal—stemming from my own sinful struggles with anxiety—but even these are opportunities for God to sanctify and refine me into Christlikeness.

“God is after something better—your holiness, that is, the final completion of his redemptive work in you.”

Evangelism in Ordinary Life

Joe Holland

I’ve been convicted lately of my lack of sharing the gospel with those around me who need to hear truth. Presently, we are anticipating new neighbors both next door to us and directly across the street. As I pray about how to be intentional with these new neighbors, whenever they arrive, I appreciate the reminder that evangelism doesn’t have to be complex. It just requires me to open my mouth and speak the truth.

“…evangelism isn’t a complex algorithm that needs prescribed circumstances or just the right words said just the right way at just the right moment. It can be as simple as being clear about the gospel, introducing non-Christians to Christian families and friends, and inviting non-Christians to worship with God’s people.”

A Mother’s “Call to Worship”

Gloria Furman

Daily life with two little ones is full of a thousand interruptions, and I admit I don’t always respond graciously to my kids when they’ve asked for eighteen things in the span of ten minutes. I appreciate Furman’s point that nothing is outside of the Lord’s sovereignty, not even these small, seemingly constant interruptions. Each of these is an opportunity to show the love of Christ to my kids and to respond in a way that honors Him.

“Have you ever noticed that a young child will not stop inviting you to share in her joy until you relent and do so? Jesus’s joy is neither shortlived nor easily distracted; it is complete and reaches to the uttermost depths of our heart.”

Honorable Mention

I read several fascinating and/or entertaining articles this month that I’m listing below:

How do you get siblings to be nice to each other? These Latino families have an answer (NPR)

Nothing Could Prepare Me for the Bizarre “Live Birth” Experience at Babyland Hospital (Thrillist)

The Day I Put $50,000 in a Shoe Box and Handed It to a Stranger (The Cut)

Chicken Littles are Ruining America (The Atlantic)

You can find previous roundups here.