Monthly Musings: January 2018

Something else I’ve been thinking about implementing this year is a monthly list of media I’ve “consumed” over the past month. I read a number of blogs, books, articles, cereal boxes, etc. as well as watch video content. I thought I’d just make some observations about some of my favorites from the past month, listed by category. If you find something you’re interested in, don’t just read my comments. Click the links for the full post or more information about the resource!

The Bible and Faith

Does Jeremiah 29:11 Apply to You? – Another article from The Gospel Coalition which offers some thoughts on the popular bible verse, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” This is not a verse to be taken out of context, as many in the prosperity gospel camp tend to do. It does not say “If you just follow your heart, God will bless you”. This verse, in it’s biblical context, is written to a people heading into exile from the things they thought God should be doing for them. But God had a different plan for them, and he has a plan for us as well. Your plans may evaporate. Your dreams may be crushed. Your life may be snuffed out. But the God who raised Jesus from the dead will raise you up with him, if you have entrusted your life to him.

Apologetics is Secondary to the Gospel – This is a blog post from Stand to Reason. I appreciate the comment the author made that “Many times … people don’t accept Christ and express doubts, objections, or concerns with Christianity. That’s when apologetics comes in. The purpose at that point is to listen carefully to the person’s concern and ask God to help you clarify the truth. Apologetics, therefore, is about removing obstacles people have to the Gospel.” The gospel is the Christian’s primary message, as Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:3 – “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, …” But Peter also admonished us with, “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect …” (1 Peter 3:15)

The Case for Christ – This is a book that I’ve read (and taught from) several times, but I just re-read it to refresh my memory of it. I sometimes give this book as a gift to people who have doubts about the gospel. There was a recent movie depicting the path of discovery that Lee Strobel went through as he tried to debunk the foundational belief of Christianity, that Jesus physically rose from the dead. If you haven’t read it, or at least seen the movie, then I strongly encourage you to do so.

The Lost World of Genesis 1 – This is another book I read this month. It offers an interesting (and I believe valid) perspective on the interpretation of Genesis 1 regarding God’s activity during creation. No matter your view on the subject, it encourages one to carefully consider the original audience (the new Israelite nation) and the cultural views and influences they had (c. 1500 B.C. Mesopotamia).

This is How You Find the Right Church – This blogger wrote an good reminder of the importance of considering the doctrines and beliefs of a church with which you choose to affiliate.

Over Our Dead Bodies – Charles Spurgeon said, “If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” This challenging article reminds us of how precarious a position people have who refuse to acknowledge and submit to God.

Science and Faith

The Human Genome: ENCODED for Design – This is a video of a 20 minute talk that Fazale Rana of Reasons to Believe gave at a conference. I found it to be an interesting reminder of the intricacies of the human genome, and he addresses the so-called “junk” portions of our DNA, which are not junk at all!

Did Neanderthals Self-Medicate? – Fazale (Fuz) also wrote an interesting blog post about some recent discoveries of the dietary practices of Neanderthals. I always appreciate reading Fuz’s observations. The RTB creation model (with which I largely agree), continues to emphasize the special creation of humans and not as an evolved species.

Marriage and Relationships

Why God is So Thrilled When You and Your Husband (Wife) Make Love – Julie Siebert is one of the marriage bloggers that I regularly read. You can find links to all the marriage blogs I follow on my Marriage and Relationships page.

The 3-Second Phrase Every Marriage Needs Regarding Sex – Julie has been a prolific blogger so far in 2018, posting a new article every day. This one is a good reminder of the importance of following biblical principals in our marriages.

RV Living

2017 Travels – RVing the West and Flying to Thailand & Cambodia – I follow a lot of RV blogs and YouTube channels. Check out the page where I list some of my favorites. I found this summary entry from Roads Less Traveled interesting. I especially like the way they have their site organized!

How Much Does It Cost to Full-Time RV? – Tom and Cait Morton put together a very interesting analysis of their full-time RV budget, along with a YouTube video on the subject.

Keep Your Daydream January newsletter – KYD is also one of my favorites. In this newsletter, I thought they had a great idea of doing a “homebound” postcard program. This is a very interesting ministry idea.

6 Ways I’ve Made Money Since Leaving Corporate America – People who live full-time in their RVs often look for ways to supplement their income. I thought this article had some pretty good ideas.

 

 

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