Tim Challies

Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God

I have often said that I don’t know what I think or what I believe until I write about it. Writing is how I reflect, how I meditate, how I chart life’s every journey. In the waning weeks of 2020 my dear son Nick passed away very suddenly and very unexpectedly. And when that sorrow was still new in my heart, when the tears were still fresh in my eyes, when I barely knew up from down and here from there, I began to write. I had to write because I had to know what to think and what to believe, what to feel and what to do. I had to know whether to rage or to worship, whether to run or to bow, whether to give up or to go on. I had to know how to comfort my wife, how to console my daughters, how to shore up my own faith. I put fingers to keyboard and pen to paper to find out.

In the weeks and months that followed, I wrote a series of meditations, some of which I shared through this blog, but many of which I did not. As that first year drew to a close and I came to the first anniversary of Nick’s death, I wrote one final meditation, then sent it all to my publisher in the hope that it would be able to bless and serve others. The result is Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God which will be published on September 13. The book is not a thorough theology of grief or an exhaustive tome on suffering, but neither is it meant to be. It is a real-time, first-person, present-tense series of reflections on the pain that comes with loss and the comfort that God provides. It is my fervent prayer that it will give help, hope, and comfort to others who are enduring hardship as well as to those who may be seeking to help them.
I sent the manuscript to some friends and asked if they would consider reading it and providing some words of endorsement. All were kind enough to do so and you can read their words below.
It would mean a lot to me, and be helpful to the publisher, if you would consider pre-ordering Seasons of Sorrow. Pre-ordering a book helps the booksellers gauge interest and, if the results are good, to determine how they will give it attention as it releases. In other words, if it is something you would order anyway, it would be helpful if you would order it in advance. Here are a few of the stores that already have it listed for pre-order:

Endorsements

‘If ever there was a book Tim Challies needed to write, it’s this one. And it’s a book I needed to read. Within these pages, you will do more than enter Tim’s story of enormous loss; you will come out on the other side having gained a softer heart and a renewed courage to persevere through your own dark seasons of affliction.’ — Joni Eareckson Tada, founder of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center
‘Seasons of Sorrow is a beautiful book. Reading it is like holding a precious gift, like standing on holy ground.’ — Paul David Tripp, pastor, speaker, author of New Morning Mercies and Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
‘Seasons of Sorrow cut straight to my soul. I read it within a few weeks of the unexpected deaths of two close friends and while my wife struggles bravely with stage 4 cancer. Tim’s heartfelt pain and Christ-centered perspective spoke to both my heart and my head.’ — Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven and If God Is Good
‘Tim Challies has taken us into his confidence by writing with such self-searching honesty. It is a painful pleasure to be invited into these sacred moments of grief and to be helped by the reminder that God is too kind ever to be cruel and too wise ever to make a mistake.’ — Alistair Begg, senior pastor, Parkside Church, and host of the Truth for Life radio program
‘Believers need this book, and only Tim Challies could have written it. I am so thankful that Nick was a student at Boyce College, and his influence as a young Christian was remarkable.’ — Albert and Mary Mohler
‘In the pages of this book, grieving people will find companionship, insight, and genuine encouragement for the journey.’ — Nancy Guthrie, author of Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow and cohost of Respite Retreats for grieving parents
‘This book is brilliant, not because of Tim Challies’s eloquence, but because of his tears! The buoyancy of faith that shines from every page often left me teary-eyed, thanking God for his grace to his people during their darkest times. What priceless grace!’ — Conrad Mbewe, pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church and founding chancellor of the African Christian University
‘If you have lost a loved one to death, as everyone has, or if you have buried a child, as many have, Tim Challies is your friend. Your brother. Your lifeline.’ — Robert and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, bestselling authors

A La Carte (May 19)

There is once again a sale on some new kids’ books at Westminster Books.

Today’s Kindle deals include one single solitary book.
(Yesterday on the blog: The Dead Seriousness of Careless Words)
The Blessing of Rest
“Because of the way I am wired I have always viewed rest as weakness and a colossal waste of my time. Why should I have to spend such a large chunk of every day doing nothing when there are books and articles to write, things to do, and people to see? From my skewed perspective, rest has always seemed like an impediment to keep me from accomplishing all the things that I have really wanted to do.”
Are You Afraid of the Dark? 
Here’s an article about being afraid of the dark—the darkness of discouragement and depression.
Vox Out Does Itself In Ignorance and Misogyny
Anne Kennedy is pretty unhappy with Vox. “Tragically, heretofore, society understood that babies coming into the world was so important that when women were going to have them, they really had to do that as the main thing for many years and couldn’t do anything else. Prevailing opinion thinks this was mysogyny, that ‘staying home’ with babies and young children was a terrible thing to do, and not gracious and life giving, and also the glue that kept a lot of society together.”
The Flood
“This is a poem about the joy of giving and looking beyond ourselves.”
Is “Be True to Yourself” Good Advice?
Brian Rosner: “Self-determination, rather than being a principle for nations at the end of the First World War, is now the responsibility of every individual. Self-definition is thus the culturally endorsed route to identity formation in our day. Today, we have a do-it-yourself self or a self-made self, which looks only inward to find itself. Academics call this expressive individualism.”
A Sentence to Bring Down Abortion
John Ensor writes about a single sentence that redirected his life.
Flashback: No Man Left Behind
As Christians, we are charged with caring for one another–the shepherds first and every church member after them. It brings all manner of joy, comfort and security when we affirm, and when we insist, that we will not leave even one person behind.

In the day of prosperity we have many refuges to resort to; in the day of adversity, only one. —Horatius Bonar

The Dead Seriousness of Careless Words

A technician for an airline neglected to check the logs from previous flights and therefore failed to take action on a control problem that had recurred multiple times over the past days. His carelessness was one of the factors that led to the plane crashing on a subsequent flight.

An engineer failed to set the brakes on parked tanker cars which soon begin to roll of their own accord until, out of control, they skipped the tracks and exploded. His carelessness led to widespread death and destruction.
A truck driver became distracted by a problem with his trailer, failed to notice a stop sign, and sailed through an intersection at high speed, putting it immediately in the path of a fast-moving bus. His carelessness claimed the lives of many passengers and earned him a long sentence in prison.
Each of these people was called upon to account for his carelessness, for his neglect, and for all the devastation that came from it. And rightly so, for carelessness is no small matter. Carelessness is a moral issue that can have severe consequences.
Carelessness was on Jesus’ mind on a day when the religious authorities confronted him about his failure to keep their interpretation of the religious law. He remarked that their words were evil because their hearts were evil. “How can you speak good, when you are evil?” he asked. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” And in that context he offered the most solemn of warnings. “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”
Words have immense power—power to do such good and power to do such harm. Words can strengthen the weak or crush them, comfort the sorrowful or grieve them, relieve the burdened or weigh them down all the more. Words can be a taste of life or a savor of death, a scent of heaven or a whiff of hell. They can do the work of God or of the devil, serve the cause of Christ or of his enemies. Words are so wonderful and so terrible, so beautiful and so horrible, so precious and so dreadful.
Little wonder, then, that the Bible addresses our words so often and with such solemnity. For our words put a choice before us every day and in every moment. Every time we open our mouths, every time we swipe our screens, every time we tap our keyboards, we take to ourselves the power of life and death.
What we may need to be reminded of is that we will be held to account for our words—for all our words. There will be a reckoning not only for the words we intentionally used poorly or that we deliberately used to hurt others, but also for the words we used carelessly. We will be responsible before God for not only what was fully malicious, but also for what was merely negligent, apathetic, irresponsible, reckless, or impetuous.
For just as carelessness is a moral issue when it comes to transportation, it is a moral issue when it comes to communication. As carelessness can be expressed in actions, so too in speech. And as it is right and just that there be an accounting for the careless performance of tasks, it is right and just that there be an accounting for the careless uttering of words. For words can bring harm every bit as much as deeds.

A La Carte (May 18)

Good morning! May the Lord be with you and bless you on this fine day.

There are some really good Kindle deals today that include A Puritan Theology and Stott’s study of the Beatitudes.
Recovering an Erased Gospel
“Two hundred years ago, a nobleman on the Greek island of Zakynthos presented a visiting British soldier with a handwritten copy of the readings from the Greek gospels used in church services. On his return to London, General Colin Macaulay gave this manuscript, Codex Zacynthius, to the British and Foreign Bible Society.” Thus begins a really interesting article.
The Internet Is More Powerful Than the Printing Press
“Okay, so I know this is going to feel like a bad-opinion hot take, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. The internet is the most consequential technological advancement in human history.” I think I’d tend to agree, though obviously it’s still early days.
Create cultures not strategies
“Whatever our strategy is, no matter how strong it is, no matter how well discussed and diagrammed it is, it’s effectiveness depends on the culture of the organisation with that strategy. Put simply the culture of a church or organisation is where our strategy either stands up or falls flat on its face.”
Why You Should Read More Biographies
“In recent years, however, I’ve made an intentional effort to read more biographies, and now I’m hooked! In fact, I’ve come to believe that good biographies are essential for every library, and I regret not reading more of them when I was younger. Here’s why.”
How to Wait Patiently for the Lord’s Return
“The days are evil, and some professing Christians are wandering from the faith. Others are sick, and many are suffering. Considering all of this, be patient until the coming of the Lord (James 5:7).” Here’s how to be patient as we await that day.
Why Gentleness in Ministry Matters More Than You Think
“Preparation for ministry involves more than intellectual-doctrinal development. It also involves the development of one’s character.” Michael Kruger explains the importance of gentleness for ministry.
Flashback: Two Questions To Ask about Your Apps
As I’ve thought more and more about my apps and my commitment to them, two questions have been both challenging and illuminating.

There is something very strange in the tendency, which seems so common in human lives, to hide the joy and tell the misery. —J.R. Miller

A La Carte (May 17)

Yesterday we made the long drive from Louisville back to Canada and are once again settled into home. The newlyweds, meanwhile, headed off on what I pray will be a joyful honeymoon.

Between getting home and calling it a night I did have time to dig up a few new Kindle deals.
Westminster Book is offering a great deal on what they’re calling Bavinck’s Christianity 101.
(Yesterday on the blog: Who You Most Truly Are — A Wedding Speech for Abby and Nathan)
Where Our Ends Meet
This is a sweet celebration of adoption. “Adoption means that your child is a wide-open adventure, unbounded by your DNA and history, by your looks and peculiarities. Whether your child is lovely or homely has nothing to do with you. So many things that were determined when sperm met egg are completely outside your influence, but it is yours to unwrap and nourish the gift of their design.”
Loving Across the Ideological Fence
“Society and the mainstream media tries so hard to pit everybody against one another. And they are successful for the most part. Christians must resist this. We must not cave into the cultural pressure of hating those who don’t see things the way we do.”
Substack and the Future of Online Christian Writing
Samuel James has some interesting thoughts on Substack, blogs, and the future of online Christian writing. I agree by and large, though I’m not quite as sold on Substack as he is. (It seems to me to be too much of a single point of failure if it decides to divest itself of people who won’t swear to some secular creed.)
No ordinary life
Susan Lafferty tells about her dad’s life and mission. “Pages torn out of old journals rest in my hands. Stapled together. Written by my father at 28 and 29. Newly arrived on the field overseas.”
Lemons and Thorns
“There are moments when suddenly it’s like you see the good news of the gospel for the first time. Have you ever had one of them? Where it’s all fresh and new and you almost want to ‘get saved’ again because you need to respond to the wonder of these truths?” Yup!
Every knee shall bow
Al Mohler: “Many Christians fail to understand the political nature of Christianity—even the politics of the empty tomb. In truth, the gospel of Jesus Christ is profoundly political, but not in the way many now understand politics.”
Flashback: The Whole Christian Life Every Sunday
We trust that the downcast are lifted up and encouraged…We trust that they can take what they have experienced on Sunday morning and imitate it through the week as they live the Christian life—they, too, can pray and read and learn and sing and serve.

Love was always at the heart of God’s law. It was given by love to be received in love and obeyed through love. —Sinclair Ferguson

Pastoring in Hard Places—Why We Must Run Toward Difficult Places

This week the blog is sponsored by Acts29 and is written by Matthew Spandler-Davison the vice president for global outreach for Acts 29 and manages Acts 29’s Church in Hard Places initiative. He is also a church planter and pastor of Redeemer Fellowship Church in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Charles Spurgeon, the known Baptist preacher in Victorian England once said, “One night alone in prayer might make us new men, changed from poverty of soul to spiritual wealth, from trembling to triumphing.” There is a powerful truth conveyed in this statement, that even in our hardest times and in the hardest places, we can trust that God is always at work. 
Few of us would claim to be comfortable in the hard moments of life, let alone the hard places. And yet, this is the day-to-day reality of many pastors and Christians. Much of our world lives in the midst of real suffering, conflict, or a mixture of the two. One billion people live on less than $1USD a day. Over three billion people live in isolated and remote places that are often cut off from resources. Today there are over 50 countries where the risk of persecution for Christians is either “extreme” or “very high.”
There are places where life is hard in every nation and in every city. In the United States; for example, over 32 million people live under the poverty line, and cities like Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia have high crime rates. The hardship in these contexts is real—and yet God’s work through his pastors and churches is undeniable. 
In all these areas, God is making a way. This has been his promise for generations: “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” (Isa. 43:19 ESV). He is a God who pursues those who wander and has compassion on those who suffer. He is the one who takes the old clay and fashions it into something new. Right now God is at work to rescue and redeem the lost and hurting in the most hard to reach places.
Let me share a story of a friend of mine named Gabe. Gabe grew up in Liberia, and in 1989 civil war broke out and ravaged his country. In the midst of violence, poverty, and famine caused by the war, Gabe fled to a refugee camp. There, he learned of Jesus and felt a burning passion to preach the gospel to all he met.
Gabe was in a hard place preaching God’s Word. That should seem like enough of a challenge.
But soon, as some in contexts of poverty do, Gabe fell prey to the prosperity gospel, and the teaching infiltrated the church where he was pastoring. In the midst of teaching heresy, Gabe reached out to me. He was looking to become a better pastor but needed help. Many ministries would not risk investing time and resources in someone preaching a false gospel as Gabe was. But, we took the risk and enrolled him into the two-year Acts 29 Church in Hard Places Apprenticeship program. There, Gabe learned about the true gospel and gained valuable training even as he continued to be in community with other pastors and Christians in Liberia. Gabe saw how he was deceived and turned course, leading his church away from the prosperity gospel. Today, he preaches and plants churches that are offering lasting hope for those wounded by the 14-year war in his nation. 
We want to be like Jesus, who runs toward those who wander and has compassion on those who suffer. We want to be where he is at in the hard places of our world because we believe that by doing so, we will see him work in remarkable ways. And we can’t be content to sit back and wait for those working in the hard places to come to us for support. We want to be like Jesus—we want to go where they are, see how God is working, and partner with pastors and planters in those communities so they can extend the hope of Christ in the midst of great darkness.
Through Acts 29’s Church in Hard Places initiative, we see God working in incredible ways in some of the most difficult contexts—in urban centers blighted by violence, racial strife, and poverty; in rural communities facing drug epidemics and generational poverty; in restricted-access nations where persecution is real; and in remote populations seemingly left behind by a world in fast-forward motion, we are seeing disciples being made as churches are being planted.
Christian pastors and church planters who are working to make disciples in the hard places need our partnership. They need to know they are not alone—and they need the support of others to help them continue when there seems no end to the suffering they see. I believe that God is the master potter who is creating something great for his glory in the darkest of places, and that he is asking us to walk with his people who see that, even in the forgotten and forlorn places of our world, he is there drawing people to himself and as he does He is making all things new.
Check out This brief video so you can discover how Acts 29 is working to make disciples in the hard places and find out how you join us in this work. 

Who You Most Truly Are — A Wedding Speech for Abby and Nathan

Yesterday we celebrated Abby and Nathan’s wedding—the first of a whole new generation for the Challies side of the family (though certainly not the last since Abby is one of 16 children/nieces/nephews). The day was every bit as beautiful as we had hoped. I’ll try to share a few pictures in the near future, but in the meantime thought I’d share the speech Aileen and I delivered together.

Tim: This is a day of great joy. It’s a day of great joy and we are so thankful to each of you that you’ve chosen to share it with us. Thanks to those of you who drove from the Deep South, to those of you who drove from the Great White North, and to those of you who came from somewhere in between. Welcome to all the Elfarrahs and their friends; welcome to all the Challies and our friends; and welcome, of course, to the many friends of the couple. We consider it a tremendous honor that you would spend this day and this evening celebrating with us.
Aileen: We wanted to start off telling you all a little bit about Abby. As a child Abby was always a bit of a force to be reckoned with. She has always been competent and capable and so very determined. At 9 months old Abby crawled for about two days, then decided that was enough of that and got up and walked. At 9 months. I have no pictures of her crawling because she didn’t crawl long enough for me to get them! At 15 months she decided she had had enough of diapers and potty-trained herself in one afternoon. And at 4 years old, after watching me struggle for a solid couple of months to teach her older brother how to ride a bike, announced she wanted to do away with her training wheels. I told her no—that I needed a break. My neighbor told me to let her try, and then watched open-mouthed as Abby jumped on the bike and rode around and around, no guidance, no help, and with a look of absolute triumph on her face. And that pretty much set a theme for her life.  She showed the same determination with her schooling, ballet, working, and pretty much everything else. Abby has always been so very social and fiercely loyal, and anyone and everyone she met was an instant and life-long friend. We knew with how capable, competent and friendly she was, she would do well when she made the decision to move down to Louisville and attend Boyce College.
Tim: Before she left we bestowed some parental advice upon her:
Abby, we think it would be wise to not date in your freshman year. You have to remember that college courses will be difficult and demanding; you may need some time to adjust. We also think it would be really good for you to focus on developing some strong female friendships. And then you need to know that at Bible college the boys all seem to get into a kind of frenzied state when a fresh batch of girls shows up.
(As an aside: We felt we had to give her this advice this since Nick had come to us a few weeks before they set off for college to say he had just found out that there was a certain young man on campus who had spotted Abby on a preview day two years before and was waiting for her to show up. We thought that was a bit weird and we decided not to tell her about it since we didn’t want to freak her out too much.) Instead we said:
Abby, we aren’t telling you what to do; we’re just saying that we think it would be wise for you to hold off and just tell any boys, “I am very flattered, but I have decided not to date in my freshman year.”
Well, as it turns out, Abby began dating on her freshman day or in her freshman week, at least. Before school had even begun, while she was in the quarantine foreigners had to go through at that time, she and that certain young man had been communicating on Instagram and developing the beginning of a relationship. By the time she set foot on campus for the first time, they had pretty much already decided that they were meant to be.
Aileen: But it turns out that Abby knew better than her parents did. The “Mom, there is this boy” phone call came a little sooner than we expected, but she still managed to do it all. We watched from afar as Abby settled into college life, watched as she grew spiritually, watched as she made what we expect to be life-long girlfriends, watched as she made the Dean’s list and, yes, watched as she found a guy.
Tim: Nathan, you have wooed to yourself a wonderful young woman and we are thankful to you and thankful for you. We are thankful that in the Lord’s vast wisdom and kind providence he had been preparing your heart to join this family by already causing you to be loyal to the Bills and Blue Jays rather than, say, the Patriots or Yankees—loyalties that might have proven insurmountable. We sent Abby off practically still wearing her ballet shoes and she came back wearing sports jerseys and camo and wanting to settle in with me to watch Monday Night Football. That’s a remarkable change and one that made me very happy. But far more importantly, you have proven your character and godliness by being there through a very difficult couple of years, and we know that bonds forged in the fire are the strongest and most lasting of all. It’s a blessing to us to be able to express our love for you and our confidence in you; and to formally welcome you into this family.
And Abby, my precious Abby, we are so proud of you and so proud of the woman you’ve become. You’re competent; you’re capable; you’re loyal; you’re fun; you’re godly; you’re all a father and mother could ever hope for in a daughter. You’re our kid but you’re also our friend, a friend whose wisdom we value, a friend whose godliness we admire, a friend we just love to spend time with. We love you dearly and we love your husband and we are so thankful that the Lord has brought the two of you together. We know you’ll be very happy and will love serving the Lord side-by-side. We are so excited to see what the Lord has in store for the two of you.
Aileen: I think we are supposed to offer just a bit of advice to the new couple, so here goes: Your job in marriage isn’t to fix one another. So be patient with each other’s sins and weaknesses. Put your spouse before your own desires. And above all, be kind to one another. But, if God has not brought you together to fix each other, he has brought you together to support and strengthen one another. He has determined you are better together than apart.
Tim: As for me, I want to remind you that who you are at home is who you most truly are. Life doesn’t flow toward the home, but from it. If your home is marked by joy and love, your whole life will be full of joy and love. If your home is a place of worship, your whole life will be one of worship. If your home is a place of singing, your whole life will be a song. And so it’s my counsel that you work together to make the Elfarrah home one that’s marked by godliness, one where you display Christian character, one that is shaped and formed by the Word of God. If you honor the Lord at home, you’ll honor him everywhere you go and in everything you do.
And now in place of a toast I would like to offer you a blessing from the Word of God: “May the LORD our God be with you, as he was with our fathers (or in this case, as he has been with your parents). May he not leave you nor forsake you, but incline your heart to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep his commandments. May He maintain your cause, as each day requires, that everyone may know that the LORD is God and that there is no other. And may He keep your heart wholly true to Him today and every day. Amen.”

A La Carte (May 16)

It was a late night last night and thus a bit of a slow start today. But we successfully pulled off a wedding and had a great time of it. Congratulations to Nathan and Abby!

Today’s Kindle deals include a nice little collection of books on a crucial topic.
(Yesterday on the blog: Two Lives Blending Into One Life)
Why Pro-Lifers Support Laws to Punish Abortionists but Not Mothers
Denny Burk explains why the majority of pro-lifers support laws that would punish abortionists but not mothers. ”One of the perennial points of debate between pro-lifers and abortion advocates is why pro-lifers don’t support laws to punish women who obtain abortions. Some abortion proponents even argue that this is some sort of inconsistency on the part of pro-lifers—as if not prosecuting women who get abortions reveals that we don’t really believe an abortion actually kills a human being.”
The FAQs: Senate Democrats Unveil Their Roadmap for Protecting Abortion
Also on the subject of abortion, Joe Carter explains how the Senate Democrats hope and plan to protect abortion. “Fearing that the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade sometime this summer, Senate Democrats forced a vote on Wednesday to advance a bill that would enshrine abortion rights into federal law.” Though it failed, it did show their roadmap.
6 Basic Realities about a Man’s Identity
This is great stuff from David Powlison. “Your true identity is who God says you are. You will never discover who you are by looking inside yourself or listening to what others say. The Lord gets the first word because he made you. He gets the daily word because you live before his face. He gets the last word because he will administer your final ‘comprehensive life review.’”
Photos Show Ukraine’s Bible Belt Struck Down But Not Destroyed
This is an interesting dispatch from Ukraine.
Can a Christian Fall Away? How to Hear the Warnings in Hebrews
“I get asked two questions every time I teach Hebrews. You can probably guess both. (1) Who wrote Hebrews? That one’s always first. And (2) what are we supposed to do with Hebrews’ warning passages? Does Hebrews teach that believers can lose their salvation?” The second gets a good treatment here.
Two Stones In My Pocket
“Now I watch my own children. The most secure one is also the friendliest and happiest. The most insecure one can be the most irritable and mean. Feeding my parental fears, I listened to a YouTube psychologist explain that narcissists are deeply insecure. Which rings true.”
Flashback: Fathers (and Mothers), Do Not Provoke Your Children!
Do not provoke with impatience and injustice, but instead shepherd with nurture and tenderness, and do this through discipline and instruction.

I cannot protect my children from my weaknesses. As hard as I may try, at some point my sin will affect their lives. However, the way I deal with my failure can provide an example for them to follow. —Melissa Kruger

Two Lives Blending Into One Life

I’ve got marriage on my mind today as we prepare to gather this evening to celebrate Abby and Nathan’s wedding. One little gift I have given them is a copy of J.R. Miller’s The Wedded Life, a sweet little book he wrote for just such an occasion. This particular copy was given to a couple in 1906 and contains the signatures of all those who attended their ceremony over a century ago. I love that it will be present in the early days of their marriage as well. Here’s just a small snippet of the wise counsel Miller offers in his book.

No marriage is complete, which does not unite and blend the wedded lives at every point. This can be secured only by making every interest common to both. Let both hearts throb with the same joy and share each pang of sorrow. Let the same burdens rest on the shoulders of both. Let the whole life be made common.
In another sense still, should their lives blend. They should read and study together, having the same line of thought, helping each other toward a higher mental culture.
They should worship together, praying side by side, communing on the holiest themes of life and hope, and together carrying to God’s feet the burdens of their hearts for their children and for every precious object. Why should they not talk together of their personal trials, their peculiar temptations, their infirmities, and help each other by sympathy, by brave word and by intercession, to be victorious in living?
Thus they should live one life as it were, not two. Every plan and hope of each should embrace the other. The moment a man begins to leave his wife out of any part of his life—or that she has plans, hopes, pleasures, friendships or experiences from which she excludes him—there is peril in the home. They should have no secrets which they keep from each other.
Thus their two lives should blend in one life with no thought, no desire, no feeling, no joy or sorrow, no pleasure or pain, unshared.

Weekend A La Carte (May 14)

Good morning! Here’s a little collection of links that I thought you might enjoy.

There are a few Kindle deals you may want to look at.
(Yesterday on the blog: Laying Ambushes — A Family Update on a Special Weekend)
How does Reformed theology view the future of Israel compared to dispensationalism?
Obviously not everyone who reads this site will agree with the take presented in this video from Ligonier Ministries. Yet it’s a good explanation of how Reformed folk have traditionally understand the future of Israel.
5 Ways Pastors Can Care for Those Struggling with Sexual Identity
“It’s easy to talk about LGBTQ+ stuff in the abstract. It’s hard for a pastor to sit in his study and look somebody in the eye, while being engaged, and talk to somebody for whom this is their agonizing struggle.” This is very true.
Your Money Will Trick You
Trevin Wax: “Jesus says ‘Watch out!’ and ‘Be on guard’ as if there’s a silent, stealthy enemy creeping up on an unsuspecting person, ready to pounce. We like to think of wealth and possessions as inanimate objects, helpful to us if we use them correctly, but basically neutral. And so, in our churches, we warn against the abuse or misuse of wealth, and we teach on good stewardship so we can maximize and increase our wealth. But rarely do we sound the alarming note of Jesus and the apostles in this matter.”
A Biblical Case for Surrogacy?
Is there a biblical case to be made for surrogacy? This article says there is not.
Two Temptations for the Post-Covid Church
“After two years of the coronavirus, Christians are facing two temptations in relationship to the body of Christ. You might experience one or even both of these tendancies in your own life. I call them ‘a failure of heart’ and ‘a failure of nerve.’”
Suffering Is No Accident
Randy Alcorn reflects on the fact that suffering, while still very difficult, is never an accident.
Flashback: Satisfaction at the Cost of Obedience
Temptation is not a kidnapper who drags you into his van kicking and screaming and takes you where you don’t want to go. You climb in all on your own! You are a willing participant in your own kidnapping, in your own temptation.

Through the grace shown to us in the gospel, there is something distinctly Christlike about a mother’s love for her child. —Gloria Furman

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