Growing in Grace

Growing in Grace: November 2016

Watching 'Arrival' and Waiting for Advent - Travis and I went to 'Arrival' last week and left the theater feeling dazed and thoughtful. I appreciated this piece on the film, particularly in light of Advent.

The Life-Changing Power of a Table - A beautiful piece. "Tables are places to eat, connect, laugh, cry, pray, and be human. Most of all, tables are a place to belong and feel included."

Celebrate Christmas with Lore Ferguson Wilbert - This was a lovely, reflective piece.

Lecrae: Here Are Books That Have Helped My White Friends Better Understand Racial Injustice - I'm reading one of the books on this list right now, 'Just Mercy', and it's teaching me a lot.

7 Books That Changed My Life - Here's Russell Moore's list.

Cultivated Podcast - Here's a brand-new podcast that's rocking it. Mike Cosper interviews people about work and vocation and art. The episode with Bret Lott was fantastic.

They Excommunicated My Dad - This was heavy, good stuff.

The Best Two Minutes You'll Hear on TV All Year About the Election - Truth.

Denny Burk's Few Thoughts on the Election - Here's a short piece that was another excellent, thoughtful response to the election.

Set An Example in Your Purity - "Young Christian, you—you, of all people!—are to be the very model of sexual purity. God expects that older people who are struggling with sexual purity will be able to look to you and say, 'I want to be like him' or 'I want to be like her.'"

4 Portraits of Power from a Magazine Rack Near You - "Based on their faithful report, our culture grants power to the strong, the beautiful, the wealthy, and the charismatic."

My Podcast Launches on Friday! - If you're already sick of hearing about Age of Minority, I can only say I'm sorry, because you're going to be hearing even more about it. Especially since our first episode drops on Friday. Sneak preview: Dad and I spend the episode talking about who we are and what the podcast is about. We cover books, bacon, my dad's great preaching voice, hating the Disney Channel, and our cat's cold. It's a good time. You can go to our website here, follow us on Twitter (@AgeofMinority) or like us on Facebook. And watch for Friday!

Growing in Grace: October 2016

Lord, Align My Heart with Yours - I need this reminder so often. "We all have dreams of one kind or another. And in America, pursuing our dreams is a nearly sacred cultural value, a moral obligation even. But the Bible teaches us to be wary of our dreams." Related to that is ...

Is "Follow Your Dreams" the Best Advice? - Spoiler alert: nope, it's really not.

Lay Aside Every Suitcase - "A suitcase is a perfectly good thing that may just kill you in an emergency evacuation."

Why I Am a Christian - I can definitely resonate with Dr. Russell Moore's conversion story.

10 Essential Short Reads on Gospel Centrality - Jared Wilson: "In no particular order, here are 10 key short documents (sermons, articles, blog posts) that help communicate the centrality and the versatility of the gospel and thus, in my opinion, are must-reads."

Why Go to CROSS 2016? - Kevin DeYoung: "Several students from our church attended the first Cross Conference in 2013. Devon and Taylor were two of those students. Three years later, Devon and Taylor are married, have one child (and another on the way), and are preparing to go overseas with Mission to the World (the sending agency of the PCA). Devon’s story, and the role Cross has played in that story, is below."

Ben Zobrist: Major League Believer - "For Zobrist, the utility player hired fresh off his World Series victory last year with the Kansas City Royals, it isn’t all about the win. It isn’t even all about the game."

How to Pray for Pastors' Kids - Fantastic advice. Every church member would benefit from reading this.

Why Christians Love Books - "We are readers. We are writers. We are forward-looking people, bookish people, and we will not stop writing and publishing until the earth is submerged under a second global flood — a tsunami of truth."

Why NOT Read Him? - This piece focuses on Augustine, but it can apply to many old writers.

You Get What You Pay For - True in a lot of ways. A lot.

Comedy Wildlife Photography Award Finalists - So good. Try to look through these without smiling.

Growing in Grace: September 2016

Don't Be Ashamed of Your Quiet, Small Life - Truth: "Don’t be ashamed of your quiet, small life; instead use that life to glorify God by loving others, helping the oppressed and using your mundane, ordinary faithfulness to speak truth."

How to Comfort the Grieving: Click the "Like" Button - Here's an intriguing piece. I've learned people grieve in different ways (often ways that are different from me), so this is an interesting article.

Millennials Don't Need Your "Cool" - No. No, we don't.

3 Lessons from Netflix's Adaption of 'The Little Prince' - While the book was so much better (in my opinion), I did enjoy the movie. Here are some reflections on it.

The Life They Never Expected: Andrew and Rachel Wilson on Raising Special-Needs Kids - An interview on "what role lament plays in their parenting, how churches can better serve parents of children with special needs, how having a child with special needs can challenge a marriage, and more."

Saved People Love to Sing - It's true. They do. But why?

If God is Sovereign, Why Pray? - R.C. Sproul answers.

Belgium Has Euthanized a Teenager - No words.

10 Tips on Writing - Excellent. Absolutely excellent. "It’s all really up to you, but you already knew that and knew everything else you need to know somewhere underneath the noise and the bustle and the anxiety and the outside instructions, including these ones."

True Woman Conference Livestream - If you're a woman, you may want to check out the True Woman conference livestream. It starts tonight, goes tomorrow, and finishes on Saturday morning. I'll be watching from my grandparents' house as I dog-sit. It looks really good.

Save Your Soul: Stop Writing - A fascinating read for all writers, especially those of us who publish a lot on the internet.

I Have an Email List! - If you are interested in receiving email updates from me (about my writing, with random encouragement, with free resources, and other such stuff), you can sign up for those here. I'm also giving away a 5-part email series of recommended resources for teens. So, if you're interested, sign up!

More Shameless Self-Promotion: You can pre-order my book from Amazon now! Visit either or

Growing in Grace: August 2016

Wait to Date Until You Can Marry - "When should young people begin to date? Your answer probably hangs on why you think you (or anyone else) should date in the first place."

Writing and the Lie of Better-Than - I needed this today. "You will never have the voice of that better-than writer. You will never live her life, share her experiences, or see the world through her eyes. Better-than thinks differently than you and has different inputs. You will never be her, be like her, or be better than her. And that is ok. It is better than ok; it is good."

What I Want My Daughter to Know About Being a Christian Leader - Truth. So much truth.

6 Ways to Smash the Approval Idol - We all need to read this - and then read it again.

Take a Free Course with R.C. Sproul and Tim Challies - I've signed up for this course on justification, and you might want to consider doing so as well.

"I Feel Like I Was Born to Have Babies" - But what if you weren't?

3 Questions with Astronaut Jeff Williams - From the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary blog: 1) What is it like to read your Bible and pray on the International Space Station (ISS)?, 2) What is the most accurate movie set in space?, and 3) What’s your favorite snack in space?

Back to School Book Recommendations - For all you parents out there looking for back-to-school reads for your kids, Redeemed Reader has you covered.

Body Shame and Gospel Freedom - A beautiful word here for both women and men.

Hospitality from Heaven - "The call and command for hospitality continues throughout the New Testament and carried with it significant meaning. Extending hospitality in Jesus’s day was more than just practical concern for the invitee’s physical well-being. The invitation communicated a profound relational commitment, and nothing did so more intimately than an invitation to dine together."

Don't Write Just to Get Published - Yep.

Rules and Values for Hipsters to Live By - Example: "Take something simple, like brewing tea, and complicate it so that it takes several hours and can then be called a 'hobby.' (see also: making a pot of coffee, getting dressed)"

Growing in Grace: July 2016

How to Pray When Your Soul is Bone Dry - "You know you ought to pray. You know that God invites and even commands you to pray. He loves to hear from you, loves to know you. Yet there are times when your soul feels bone dry, when even opening your mouth to pray seems an impossibility. What do you do?"

Why Single Is Not the Same as Lonely - True and wise words from a single man.

A new book of Christian comics - I frequently share comics from Adam Ford (Adam4d), and he has a brand new book of them out. The endorsements are excellent.

You Cannot Out-Dream God's Plan for You - I found this abundantly encouraging. "In front of the mountain of purpose and happiness hidden for us in his glory, every other dream and ambition begins to look pale and stale."

How Should I Process the Current Violence and Tensions? - Even in Canada, I'm tuned in to the racial tension, division, violence, and conflict going on in the States. I appreciated Kevin DeYoung's post regarding processing it all.

Does the Husband Have the Authority? - Thought provoking. "It is not the husband’s right to force or coerce his wife to submit. Submission is voluntary on a wife’s part, and her choice entirely."

Pray for Christians in Russia - This is pretty crazy and terrifying. "[On Thursday, July 7], Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law an “anti-terror” package that includes measures eviscerating religious freedom. The new law requires government permits to preach and teach the gospel, and restricts evangelism essentially to registered church building sites."

The Majority of Americans Recommend Cohabitation. That's a Problem. - "Looking at this cohabitation trend, if we are to understand it and respond in love, we should ask three questions: What are you seeking? What will you find? What are you meant for?"

9 Traits of Truly Curious People - I like it. "Curiosity pointed in any direction is marked by the same traits. Whether we are investing in a marriage, a co-worker, a project, a sermon, a mission trip, a friendship, or a crisis a truly curious person shares these."

5 Reasons Why Teens Need Theology - In case you missed it, this was my latest article for The Gospel Coalition.

Growing in Grace: June 2016

The #1 Regret of a 70 Year Old Christian - "I had a lunch with an elderly woman recently, a woman whom I’ve enjoyed Christian fellowship with for years. This woman is filled with wisdom and insights and knowledge. So when I asked her about the biggest regret of her life, I knew she’d respond well. But I didn’t know her words would be so impactful."

I Forbid You to Say These Things at My Funeral - Thought-provoking words here.

A Dangerous Fairytale for Future Wives - "We all have a romance story playing in our head of what married life will be like, but eventually we’ll discover this fantasy world doesn’t match reality."

7 Crossway Books By Women So Far in 2016 - Since I'm publishing with Crossway and I'm a (young) woman, I found it fun to read through Justin Taylor's list of seven excellent books by women Crossway has published so far this year. If you're looking for a good summer read, check these out. 

Fat. Single. Christian. - Here's another thinker for you. "Dating is not easy. Dating as an overweight woman is significantly more difficult. Dating as an overweight Christian woman is seemingly impossible."

The Character of God in the Face of Terrorism - One of the best responses to the Orlando tragedy I've seen. Phenomenal.

The Two Tasks of the Writer - Very true, and very well put.

I Wouldn't Trade My Single Years for Anything - A friend of mine, Hannah Leake, penned this piece. As a fellow young single woman, I thought she treated the subject with a great depth of beauty and wisdom.

GoatMan and BadgerMan: Should Humans Live as Animals? - "Should a human try to become, or identify as, an animal? To put that question another way: is it good, true, and beautiful for a human to attempt to live like a goat, or a dog, or a badger?"

The Calvinist's Ultimate Concern - "Other Christians say that evangelism or revival is their great concern, and these things must concern us greatly, of course. But ultimately, we have only one concern: to know God, to serve Him, and to see Him glorified. That is our main objective."

5 Reasons Why Teenagers Need Theology - This is my latest piece on The Gospel Coalition. "As a Jesus-following teenager, I believe studying God’s character is what teenagers need in order to face our terribly complicated world."

Growing in Grace: May 2016

Shame, Fear, Guilt - It's been said that there are three kinds of cultures in the world - shame cultures, fear cultures, and guilt cultures. Tim Challies talks about each one and the Western Christian's response to them.

8 Arguments for Why You Should Be Anxious - This is really good stuff from Justin Taylor. "Unbelief does not just offer dictates; it offers reasons why we don’t need to trust the Lord. And to counter that, gospel-flavored belief argues with our unbelief."

Don't Waste Your Summer - Twenty good things Kevin DeYoung thinks you should do this summer. I love them.

Why Social Media (and the Church) is Making You Sad - "We’ve been warned that social media can distract us, shorten our attention spans, disconnect us from real-life relationships. But what if our Facebook and Instagram are also making us miserable?"

The Nations Are Walking Into My Classroom - What a marvelous piece this is. A teacher reflects on her calling in a multi-cultural high school classroom.

The Wonder of Waking Up to an Ordinary Day - "[G.K.] Chesterton helps me see, really see the world around me. And in seeing, I experience joy in life and gratitude for existence."

10 Articles from the NYT Archives on What it Meant to be a 20th-Century Teenager - From drugs to driving, fashion to family, less has changed than you might think.

Isn't She Beautiful? - Man, this was excellent. What is the role of physical attraction in dating?

Black and White Bible, Black and Blue Wife - Mary Kassian reviews a pretty controversial book on male headship, evangelicalism, and spousal abuse.

Lord, Make Me Viral - "Lord, make me viral. Not like a cold or the mumps, but like kittens and Dude Perfect. I know you said your word will not return empty, but these are my words, and they just might be void and empty."

7 Things Every REAL Christian Has in Their Twitter Bio - Hilarious. And true. 

There's Always More to Learn

Always. There is always more to learn.

One of the most poisonous, anti-biblical, anti-intellectual ideas in the world (and especially evangelicalism) is that you don't need to be taught. The Bible presents human knowledge as incomplete. No Christian has everything figured out. There is always more to learn and room to grow. 

How We Learn
Right now I'm taking a course on the background, nature, and purpose of the Gospels. While I was at first a little ambivalent about taking it, Dad encouraged me to sign up. "You need to keep learning," he told me. Currently I'm in the fourth week and unit of the course and am delighting in soaking up fresh, new truths. I'm delighting in learning.

That's also why I decided to take Tim Challies' reading challenge this year; they help me learn. Books are profound teachers, sometimes shockingly eye-opening and other times subtly gentle. They're catalysts for my growth.

Why We Learn
In his marvelous book, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, Donald Whitney lists learning as a spiritual discipline. In an article about this subject, he writes:

The Christian life not only begins with learning, it proceeds through a process of lifelong learning. This includes deeper discoveries of intimacy with God, an ever-growing grasp of the Bible and its doctrines, a greater awareness of our sin, an increased knowledge of the person and work of Christ, further implications of what it means to follow Him, and more. 

Learning is an utter necessity for the Christian. But, as Dr. Whitney also says, "To emphasize learning as essential to following Jesus is not advocacy for egghead Christianity. Like Jesus, we want both a heart for God and a head for God." 

Absolutely. We want to both learn and love God. 

But these aren't divorced ideas, as if one really does happen in the organ of our heart and the other happens up in the goo of our brain. Learning and loving are interconnected. Learning should be an expression and a fuel for love. Love is the motivation and the fire. Learning is a precious tool, and love is its fruit. 

The End of Our Learning
Some Christians think that when they die, there will be no more learning. All at once ... boom. They'll know it all. No more studying, reading, or listening. But this idea can be found nowhere in Scripture. In fact, it seems to present the opposite. Only God is omniscient, and that's not an attribute He will share with us. It's like His omnipotence. We won't be all-powerful after our death. Why would we be all-knowing then? 

Sure, we'll know more things and we'll know things more fully, but even after death, I believe we'll keep learning.

So there really is always more to learn. It's an idea for today and for eternity. It's not a burden but a blessing, a gift. Take joy in learning, and let that motivate your love for the source of all truth and knowledgeGod Himself. 

Growing in Grace: April 2016

Don't Disregard Your Theological Grid - "It is worthwhile considering why we hold particular convictions. Do we hold them because that's simply the way we were brought up? Or because it is the party line of the particular denomination we are part of?"

3 Ways College Students Can Do More Better - I'm not a college student anymore, but there is wise and winsome advice here for all of us.

You Have Nothin' To Do But Look and Live - I had never heard C.H. Spurgeon's testimony until now. How encouraging.

Your Train is Coming - One woman reflects on trains, marriage, and waiting for Jesus.

An Adoption Story - This is unspeakably precious. 

9 Marks of Healthy Biblical Complementarianism - "The core of complementarianism is not up for discussion. How we talk about complementarianism is. And how we practice complementarianism too."

18 Things to Pray for Your Church - The title is pretty self-explanatory.

Why We Should Jettison the "Strong Female Character" - Yes, yes, yes. This is probably the best piece I read this month. Though, full warning - it's long.

Be an Exegete - Here's another excellent comic from Adam4d.

How Christ is Building His Church in Madagascar - This was an incredibly interesting and encouraging article to me.

Making Good Art Can Shift Culture - "Sometimes, people get the pass because they talk about Jesus or Christianity or theology, even though their art sucks. I don’t think that’s doing justice to the beautiful things God has created, to the art forms God has created."

Beautifully True - There's a new video from desiringGod out. It fits in perfectly with John Piper's new book (which I reviewed on Monday).

Growing in Grace: March 2016

He Is Risen! - "Here is the watershed of human history where the misery of the race is transformed into grandeur. Here the kerygma, the proclamation of the early church, was born with the cry 'He is risen.'"

10 Tips for Evangelizing Your Muslim Neighbor - These are wise and gracious tips indeed.

15 Pieces of Writing Advice From C.S. Lewis - So very true and so very good.

How Easter Offers Hope in a Chaotic World - I appreciated this sobering and joyful piece of writing.

Do Not Weep for Jesus - "The point of Good Friday is not to feel sorry for Jesus. Jesus does not need our sympathy. The point is to feel sorry for your sin. For if we don’t, we have good reason to weep. There will be no salvation for those who reject God’s appointed Savior."

Helping the Young Engage the Sermon - Hey, parents! Joe Thorn shares a cool free resource for your kids - a sheet they can fill out to engage with the sermon. Check it out.

7 Ways to Fail Well - Man, I need to read stuff like this every once in a while. Failure is inevitable and we need to know how to deal with it.

Hyper-Evaluative - Joshua Harris made a new video that is thought-provoking and on point. 

Are Millennials Selfish and Entitled? - "Let’s stop the Millennial bashing, in public and in private. Let’s thank God that he has given us a vibrant, gospel-focused, Christ-following next generation. We can have lots of differing opinions on the finer details of eschatology, but, when it comes to the more immediate future, we should all be pro-Millennial."

Don't Like Diversity? You'll Hate Heaven - Yep. 

6 Things Every Christian in College Should Know - "I’ve been out of college for five years. As I reflect on my time in college, and my first five years since graduation, there’s a few things I wish someone would’ve told me along the way. What are they?"

5 reasons to believe Jesus rose from the dead - The ever wise and winsome Adam4d has a punchy new comic in light of Easter.

Growing in Grace: (A Little Late) February 2016 Edition

I'm two days late. Psh. It's not the end of the world, is it? Life happens. February was too short. There are extra links! Read and be edified.

Theological Study Is for Everyone - "Every Christian must be a theologian. In a variety of ways, this is something I tell my church often."

3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Dating - Here's a guest post on Kevin DeYoung's blog with three detrimental actions in a Christian (romantic) relationship. 

15 Martin Luther Quotes That Still Ring True - February 18th was the 470th anniversary of Martin Luther's death and these are some of his most excellent quotes.

Are Millennials Addicted to Convenience? - Did you hear about the Washington Post article about millennials and cereal? Even if you haven't, this response is an interesting reflection on young people and convenience.

Why This Election Makes Me Hate the Word "Evangelical" - Speaking of the Washington Post, you should check out Russell Moore's op-ed piece on the American election, Trump, and evangelicalism.

The Babylon Bee - You probably know that I share comics from Christian artist Adam4d from time to time. Well, he's branched out now and started his own Christian satire website, in the same vein as The Onion or SportsPickle. It's pretty funny.

Earth, Heaven, and Harper Lee (1926-2016) - To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my very favorite novels and like every other Mockingbird lover, I was saddened to hear of Harper Lee's death. Betsy Childs Howard writes about her at The Gospel Coalition. "In writing about religion, Lee’s strength was bringing out the earthly implications of heavenly belief."

Six Things Submission is Not - Dad preached on 1 Peter 3:1-5 on Sunday and referenced this great article by John Piper. It really is good.

Facing a Task Unfinished - The Gettys have a new song! "First penned by China Inland Mission worker, Frank Houghton, at a time when persecution in China was at its height, 'Facing a Task Unfinished' has been a rally cry for missions in the Pacific Rim for many years. In 1929, the Lord laid a vision on the heart of CIM leaders to see 200 new workers plunge into the darkness and share the light of Christ, knowing that it could well cost them their lives."

Moving Mountains - This is a good review of a bad book.

27 Books Christian Teens Should Read (And Grownups Too) - No, I don't agree with every single book on this list, but I think it's a pretty great start. You do have to put your email address in but I can vouch for the greatness of being on this email list (though I may be biased since I'm the editor-in-chief of the website ....). You can also unsubscribe if you're not cool with it.

The Bible Project Videos - Lately I've been edified a great deal by The Bible Project videos. These are videos that give creative, compelling, short, and beautiful overviews of books of the Bible. Check 'em out.

Growing in Grace: January 2016

How Lady Bible Hunters Made the Victorian Era's Most Stunning Scriptural Find - "Scottish twins Agnes and Margaret Smith were the last people you’d expect to discover one of the earliest known copies of the gospels, but in a dusty closet in an Egyptian monastery in 1859–without a university education or formal language training between them–the God-fearing twins uncovered the Syriac Sinaiticus."

The Lecrae You Don't Know - I really appreciated this candid story of Lecrae's life.

Free Course (and eBook) - In light of today being the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Ligonier is giving away R.C. Sproul's course on abortion for free. They're also giving away Sproul's excellent book, Abortion, until the end of the month.

Today is an Anniversary - Speaking of Roe v. Wade, Greg Morse points out a dark implication of the 1973 decision.

What changes a clump of cells into a baby? - This is pro-choice logic in a comic. Sad.

5 Questions With Rifqa Bary, A Former Muslim Who Risked All to Follow Jesus -  "Rifqa Bary grew up in a devout Muslim home and secretly converted to Christianity at the age of 12. When her parents discovered her secret four years later, she ran away from her Ohio home in fear of an honor killing. Her story of risking her life for her faith made national headlines in 2009."

Once Again on Wheaton and Worshiping the Same God - This is a letter from Kevin DeYoung to one of his college-aged parishioners who wrote to him. If you've been following the controversy with Wheaton College, this is a worthwhile read.

The Powerball Lottery: What's At Stake? - I appreciated Russell Moore's take on the Powerball lottery and how the gospel disarms the concept of gambling.

Seven Reasons the Bible Does Not Support Slavery"The issue of slavery often comes up when people wish to discredit the Bible—to show that it is not worth your admiration and trust. Sometimes these criticisms really sting. And sometimes, Christians don’t know how to answer—especially when the text in view is one like 1 Timothy 6:1-2."

Lots of Free Books - If you're looking for something to read, I recommend you check out Desiring God's library of free books. I recently downloaded Don't Follow Your Heart (Jon Bloom) and Don't Waste Your Life (John Piper) and love having them available to read on my phone or computer - or easily downloadable to my e-reader.

Growing in Grace: December 2015

It Was Not a Silent Night - This is an excerpt from Russ Ramsey's advent devotional, Behold the Lamb of God. It's the reading from December 21 - since I'm reading that book this month, this is what I read yesterday. It was one of my favorite readings so far.

Liberation Letter - "Nowhere is the chameleon-like character of Mormonism on display more than at Christmastime. After a richly-orchestrated, pitch-perfect 'O Holy Night,' one of the Mormon 'apostles' is now preaching. He started out by awarding Luke a brief honorable mention for providing us an account of the Christmas story, but after dispensing with this lip service, he went on to 'another record' in The Book of Mormon."

Saint Nicholas and the Origins of Santa Claus - It's always fun to read an article like this around Christmas time. The Santa who punches heretics in the face is a far cry from the velvet-suited cookie-and-milk eater we see these days.

Thinking Theologically About Islam - "Islam is in the news. Again. Actually, I don’t think it ever left. So where do we go from here? Well, as Christians, it’s never a bad idea to go to the Bible. We won’t answer every policy question, but at least we can put a few important truths in place as we try to think Christianly about Islam."

Just Drop the Blanket - "In that climactic scene when Linus shares what 'Christmas is all about,' he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words 'fear not.'”

The Incarnation is a Mystery - And that's okay.

How to Love God by Getting More Sleep - "My poor sleep hygiene was affecting my family, my work, and my physical health. And it was also affecting me spiritually."

A Day in the Life of Americans - Coolness. It's a data visualization of the typical day in America.

Children, Go Where I Send Thee - My uncle sent me this song by country A Capella group, Home Free and Kenny Rogers. It is really catchy.

Christians and Muslims do not worship the same God - In a comic that even a child could understand, Adam4d explains why this is.

The Queen Personally Thanked This Man Who Mailed Her Christmas Cards for Years - Happiness.

Growing in Grace: November 2015

Note: Growing in Grace is my monthly round-up of articles, news stories, and videos that have caught my attention and edified me. My goal is that this smattering of worthwhile pieces would allow you (and me) to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

Don't Forget These Heroes of Paris - "Even as the deafening drumbeat of automatic weapons drowned out the death-metal music that had drawn the capacity crowd, magnificent echoes of the Good News of Jesus Christ rang out from unexpected corners of the hall."

Stop Pitting Security and Compassion Against Each Other - Dr. Russell Moore writes this op-ed for The Washington Post.

Why Writers Run - I'm a writer and I run, so I found this article pretty interesting.

The Most Terrifying Thing God Can Do - Why sin is like a drug addiction - it's devastating.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss's Wedding - For all you women out there, Nancy Leigh DeMoss just got married (she's now Nancy Wolgemuth). This is a pretty cool fifteen-minute video where she talks about singleness, marriage, love, and freedom.

Thank God for Your Normal, Boring Life - Do it, because there's a lot of people who wish they could do it.

The One Thing More Important Than Your ACT Score - "Our society prides itself in being scientific, and science loves things it can measure. From the SAT and ACT to GRE, GED, GMAT, LSAT, CBSE, and ASVAB, we have a slight obsession with measurement."

How Much Should I Care About Ethical Food? - I've been thinking a lot about this subject lately. This is a pretty good response.

Don't Follow Your Heart (New eBook) - This looks really good. You can get it for free.

A Very RELEVANT Christmas - What makes Christmas music even better? One word: free. RELEVANT is offering volumes 1 and 2 of their new Christmas album for free download. You don't want to miss picking this up.

Growing in Grace: October 2015

Note: Growing in Grace is my monthly round-up of articles, news stories, and videos that have caught my attention and edified me. My goal is that this smattering of worthwhile pieces would allow you (and me) to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

What Is Reformation Day? - "A single event on a single day changed the world. It was October 31, 1517. The story has all the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster. Let’s meet the cast."

Bad New, Indeed - Playboy Opened the Floodgates and Now the Culture is Drowning - "Scott Flanders, Playboy CEO, told the media that his product had been overtaken by the larger culture. 'You’re just one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And it’s just passé at this juncture.' That is one of the most morally revealing statements of recent times."

WHO: We Never Said People Need to Stop Eating Bacon - And good thing too.

Scary Stuff - What's the difference between "horror" and "terror"? Should Christians watch and read either/both? Janie Cheaney has some good thoughts here.

8 Life-Changing Things Someone Taught Me - Lore Ferguson: "There have been seven or eight lessons I have learned over the course of my life that have altered my thinking in profound ways."

The Tolerance Jesus Will Not Tolerate - "Christians cannot be tolerant of all things because God is not tolerant of all things. We can respect differing opinions and try to understand them, but we cannot give our unqualified, unconditional affirmation to every belief and behavior. Because God doesn’t. We must love what God loves."

God, Frankensteins, and More - This is not a "here's what you should believe about Halloween" article. It's just one person's practice. I like it.

Death Is Not 'Okay' - "Death is not 'okay' because it’s the result of life in a fallen world. Death is not the way it was meant to be."

Why Marriage Is Better Than I Imagined - This is good. "I’ve been married for six months. And it’s been six months of awesomeness. But I wasn’t expecting it to be so awesome."

The Ology: Ancient Truths Made Ever New - Sovereign Grace Music has a new album out for kids. It is excellent - even for the non-kids among us.

The Curator - This is a neat video about the only curator in the MLB. Baseball fans will definitely enjoy this.

Growing in Grace: September 2015

What is a Christian's Responsibility to Government? - With election time coming up here in North America (both in the States and Canada) and this being the first time I get to vote, I've been thinking a lot about this question. R.C. Sproul answers it well.

5 Suggestions for Christians in the Midst of the Sexual Revolution - Kevin DeYoung: "Hardly a week goes by without another social media parade marching by in celebration of the sexual revolution. Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kim Davis, Kim Kardashian, Miley Cyrus, Obergefell and on and on –the talk of sex is everywhere (and not a drop you should drink). ... How should evangelical Christians and evangelical churches respond? Here are five suggestions."

6 Things That Make Single Guys More Attractive - Yep. "The beauty of the above list is that you can pursue each of these characteristics whether you live with your parents or make a six-figure salary (or both!). And although striving to live out these qualities won’t guarantee the ladies will begin flocking to you, it will make you more marriageable, while also making you a better follower of Jesus."

11 Alternatives to College Debt - I wish every highschooler and every parent could read this. The traditional college path is highly overrated (and highly overpriced). There are other options. Explore them.

Men and Women Are Not Interchangeable - As much as Christians will nod our heads in agreement to the title of this article, society's battlecries inevitably leak into our thinking. This is an excellent, wise reminder from Eric Metaxas.

I Am An Old-Fashioned Christian - This is good stuff from Tim Challies.

5 Lessons from Narnia - Anyone who has read C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia - or even if you haven't - will appreciate these five beautiful lessons.

The Promise of God in Threatening Pain - Garrett Gilkey, center and guard for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (a NFL team), writes for Desiring God about injury, suffering, and God's sovereignty. I was encouraged anew reading this.

Free Desktop Wallpapers from The Biggest Story - In last month's Growing in Grace, I linked to Kevin DeYoung's beautiful new children's book, The Biggest Story. This month, Crossway Publishing is offering a handful of visually stimulating wallpapers based on the book. Definitely check them out.

Growing in Grace: August 2015

Once a month I round up some of my favorite links and share them here in the hope that you will be edified as you "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). 

Living the American Nightmare - Jonathan Parnell writes about the American Nightmare, "the one where millions of us are murdered, and their body parts are sold for profit, all by an organization our government keeps saying we should appreciate."

Got No Secrets to Conceal - Speaking of Planned Parenthood, Doug Wilson gives some real, practical reflections here on what we can do.

Faithfulness in College is Life-Wide - This is for all you students out there. I was hit hard by this article - it's convicting. At the same time, I was renewed in my energy to look at my life (and my studies) from a Christian perspective.

The Biggest Story - Dear Parents and Fellow Children's Lit Lovers, you may want to buy this book. Kevin DeYoung, a well-known author, speaker, and pastor, has just authored a children's book (with breathtaking illustrations by Don Clark) on the story of the gospel.

Our Plates Runneth Over - I've been thinking lately about nutrition and the Christian's responsibility in our stewardship of food. This article gives some good thoughts.

Questions to Ask Before Watching an 'R-Rated' Show - "When it comes to grayer areas like determining what TV is suitable for Christians, our consciences, traditions and tastes lead us to a variety of convictions and comfort levels. ... But that doesn’t mean that Christians should indiscriminately consume whatever entertainment options are out there."

Ashley Madison and Who You Are Online - Wow. Yes. "One of the great deceptions of the Internet is that it allows us to think there are two parts to us, the part who exists in real time and space, and the part who exists in cyberspace. But events like this ought to make us realize that when you go online you display and expose who and what you really are."

Praying for Pastors' Kids - From one pastor's kid to you: please pray for me.

35 Things I Wish I'd Known in High School - Truth from Erin Davis: "Whether you are heading back to school in a few weeks or you turned your tassel long ago, I think you’ll find that these are truths you can take to the bank because they are deeply rooted in the timeless Word of God (the ultimate school for knowledge and wisdom!)."

Growing in Grace: July 2015

How Should Christians Respond to Cultural Decline? - "In the great battle that is the culture war Christians are in rapid and chaotic retreat." So how do we respond?

4 Tips for Dealing With Procrastination - "I imagine you have read Douglas Adams’ quip before: 'I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.' It’s funny because we can all identify with it."

What Does the Rainbow Mean for Gays? - Homosexuals have taken a biblical symbol of God's glory, majesty, anger, and wrath and turned it into something that celebrates their sin. Why?

But What Does the Bible Say? - In light of the SCOTUS decision a few weeks ago, Kevin DeYoung - author of What Does The Bible Really Teach About Homosexuality? (my review is forthcoming) - brings us back to a simple question and its weighty answer.

Axact-ly Zero: A Case Study Diploma Mill - Okay, I just thought this was interesting. Apparently millions of dollars are lost due to this every year. "Diploma mills are a scam where a con artist convinces students that his official-sounding college or university can give out degrees, often with minimal time and effort."

A Lot of People Want Intact Hearts These Days - Dr. Mohler reflects on the Planned Parenthood video that came out last week. Russell Moore also offers a response here: Planned Parenthood and the Atrocity of Corpse Selling.

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert - I have been wanting to read this book for a long time now and for a limited time, the expanded edition is only 98 cents on Kindle. If you're interested, you may want to pick it up

People Laughing in a Subway - This morning I did not wake up in a pleasant mood. At six I was jolted awake when one of my cats jumped on my face and scratched beneath my eye. Yet somehow this video made me smile and even chuckle a bit. It's good.

Growing in Grace: June 2015

We Long to Belong - "Though gender and sexuality have become fluid concepts, we are still working hard to define the boundaries of ethnic constructs, even as the lines of ethnic delineation are muddled by the diversity of our colorful heritage. We long for identity — we long to belong."

Why You Should Read Moby Dick - R.C. Sproul makes a good case.

10 Reasons Racism is Offensive to God - Kevin DeYoung: "As Christians we must think and feel deeply not just the what of the Bible but the why. If racism is so bad, why is it so bad? Here are ten biblical reasons why racism is a sin and offensive to God."

What Charleston Should Remind Us About Forgiveness and Justice - After the horrifying events in Charleston, Christians can learn a lot about forgiveness and justice. Russell Moore reflects.

Laying a Beating on the Neighborhood Bully - Challies: "Satan may rule as prince in this world, but his reign is fragile. He can reign only as long as the King permits. We see a powerful glimpse of his fragile power in one of Jesus’ greatest miracles."

A Self-Pity Refresher - Here are eleven reflections on self-pity and why it's a sin.

Charlie, Charlie: Contacting a Demon or an Innocent Game? - "The Internet is loaded with videos of teens running, screaming, after asking 'Charlie, Charlie, are you there?' and then seeing the pencil move on its own. (For the record, I wouldn’t recommend this Google search. If you’re wondering why, keep reading.)"

Is Suicide the Unpardonable Sin? - I appreciated Sam Storms' take on this question.

30 Ways to Challenge the Teenage Stereotype - "Imagine the impact if every college student lived each day to the max, striving to make a difference that will last beyond the summer months. Now that’s a generation I would be proud to be a part of! Here are 30 ways you can defy the Millennial stereotype and make a difference this summer!"

Jesus is Not Your Copilot - No. No, He is not.