Reading Roundup- May 2024

I have to admit that I’ve been in a bit of a reading funk this year. I’m way behind on my reading goal for books. Part of the reason I started this monthly series is to keep myself accountable to reading something, and there are lots of great writers and articles out there. Here is a list of my favorite articles from May.

Also, just a reminder that if you’re a preacher, professor, researcher, student, or anyone who likes to highlight and take notes on what they’re reading, Readwise (and its corrensponding reading app, Reader) has been a great tool. You can sign up for a free trial and get an extra month with this link. (I get nothing from sharing this link, I just really like this tool.)

10 Ways to Know We’re Leaning Toward the Son

Chuck Lawless

This is a list of helpful reminders from Dr. Lawless that help me reflect on how I’m abiding in Christ and evaluating the evidence of abiding in Christ.

Rethinking Rest

Amanda Martinson
Center for Great Commission Studies

I’ve been on a years long quest to learn the true meaning and art of rest, and the longer I’m on this quest, the more convinced I become that soul rest is at the center. No matter how rested or tired my physical self is, my soul my first be at rest before I can rest in any other way. Amanda Martinson writes a helpful article on this idea.

“While our minds may default to thinking rest is only physical, you may also need mental, emotional, and spiritual rest at times.”

The Christian’s Keystone Habit

Reagan Rose
Redeeming Productivity

Referencing Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, Reagan Rose discusses what a Christian’s “keystone habit” should be. I’ve written a bit on habits, including keystone habits, and get a little more granular than Rose. However, I agree wholeheartedly with his position.

“When you start with prayer and the Word as the keystone, the arch of an orderly Christian life almost starts to build itself.”

Google Spent Months Learning Why Habits Fail. The Answer Comes Down to 1 Powerful Word. And That Word is Definitely Not ‘Routine”

Jeff Haden

Despite some major Michael-Scott-writes-a-press-release vibes in the title, this is an interesting study about habits, routines, and flexibility. Life happens, so relying on rigidity in habit formation can’t work in the long run, for even the most disciplined of people. The article helpfully distinguishes between the terms “routine” and “practice.”

“Routines are what you do. Practices are also what you do, but more importantly, they become who you are.”

The Hidden-Pregnancy Experiment

Jia Tolentino
New Yorker

I’m 36 and still remember the day my mom came home with her first cell phone—a giant monstrosity of a flip phone that really only worked outside where there were no trees blocking the signal. I was probably in middle school, maybe late elementary school. It’s so creepy how much data our technology reaps from us, and I’m thankful for more stories that shed light on the issue. Though I don’t agree with the underlying agenda of her article, this lady’s story of trying to hide her pregnancy from her phone is fascinating.

“More often…parenting tech exacerbates, even calls into existence, the parental anxieties that it pledges to soothe.”

The Secret of Contentment in Motherhood

Katie Faris

I’ll just leave this one here with this quote:

“If our good Father, who loves to give good gifts to his children (Luke 11:13; James 1:17), says yes to her and no to you or me, then he must have a greater good in mind. These are hard truths to swallow, but we can swallow them because we know the goodness of the one who first spoke them. It’s possible to both lament our losses and delight in Christ’s love for us.”

Behind-the-Scenes: Christian Publishing

Tim Challies

Since publishing my book, I’ve been asked quite a few times on how I got published. And I’m the least helpful person when it comes to answering that question (you can read about it here). That’s why I was glad to come across this article by Tim Challies. I still find the publishing world confusing and complicated, but Challies breaks it down in a way that’s helpful and encouraging to potential authors.

25 Christian Books I Love to Recommend

John Piper
Desiring God

I mentioned above that I’m in a bit of a reading funk this year, so after I finish the one or two books that I’ve been slogging through, I may come back to this list for my next reading recommendation.

Other Good Reads

A Letter from CS Lewis
(Twitter) (Because “X” is still so dumb.)

I never really know if quotes attributed to CS Lewis are actually from CS Lewis, and I didn’t look this one up to confirm, but I still love this writing advice.

You Are Not Forgotten: Discovering the God Who Sees the Overlooked and Disregarded
(Christine Hoover, B&H, 2024)

This month, I had the opportunity to read and review Hoover’s new book for Lifeway Research.

You can find previous roundups here.