7 Facets of Christ from Dane Ortlund’s book, Deeper

Some of our staff is slowly reading through Dane Ortlund’s Deeper: Real Change for Real Sinners together. Like his book, Gentle and Lowly, it’s beautifully written and is simultaneously rich in theology, warm and pastoral in its tone, and immensely practical. I appreciate how he communicates deep truths in uncomplicated ways.

The thrust of the book is that to change or to grow, we grow in Jesus, meaning knowing more of who he is and then what means for us who are united to him. “Our growth is not independent personal improvement. It is growth in Christ.” 

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A Few Books and Articles on Death and Grieving

“Grief gives the full measure of love, and it is somehow reassuring to learn, even by suffering, how large and powerful love is.” Wendell Berry

As I’ve been processing my dad’s recent death, one of the ways I do that is by reading, which usually leads to reflection, prayer, and writing. Below are a few books and articles I’ve found helpful this week in finding hope and even rejoicing while facing the pain of death and loss.

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Favorite Quotes from Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

If I had to pick my favorite fictional book, it would be a neck and neck finish between two Wendell Berry novels. It might depend on which I read most recently. But the two finalists would be Jayber Crow and Hannah Coulter.

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HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY!

It’s hard to believe it, but today marks one year from when The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks was published by Moody Publishers. Thank you to all of you who have read it (or listened to the audiobook). I’ve been greatly encouraged by the interactions, feedback, comments, and conversations. Once a book releases, you know little about who’s reading it and what they might be gleaning from it, so it’s always nice to hear what people learn from it or find helpful in it.

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10 Recommended Books to Understand and Respond Faithfully to Expressive Individualism

In The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, Carl Trueman writes, “Understanding the times is a precondition of responding appropriately to the times. And understanding the times requires a knowledge of the history that has led up to the present.”[1] Over the last few years, several helpful books have been written explaining the expressive individualism defining our culture today. This is not the culture of the world “out there.” All of us live and breathe in these waters and are more affected by it than we realize.

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Recommended Books from 2020

Books have always been a big part of my life. They encourage, challenge, teach, and grow our imagination. They clarify what we were feeling or thinking, and they stretch us to see the world in ways we never would have. Books are a blessing.

There were many books I’d like to recommend that I don’t have space to include, but here are ten books (in no particular order) I read in 2020 that I’d recommend to all believers.

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Wendell Berry and the Gift of Remembrance: November Gratitude Reading Plan (Day 26)

(This devotional is day twenty-six of a 30-Day Thanksgiving Challenge. Each day includes a daily reading that will be accompanied by a post on this blog.)

Read Psalm 105

“[Tol Proudfoot] had become an elder of the community, and had recognized his memories, the good ones anyhow, as gifts, to himself and to the rest of us.”[1]

Maybe it’s my small-town upbringing, but I feel at home when reading Wendell Berry’s fictional stories. His characters aren’t larger-than-life heroes or villains but they capture the ordinary, beautiful, flesh-and-blood people I’ve encountered in life. His plots aren’t moved along by intense action, but in their familiarity as true to life stories you might hear at your own family gathering.

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Resources on Thanksgiving and The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks

With the release of The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks, I’ve had the chance to write a few articles on thanksgiving and gratitude. For anyone interested, here are a few of those recent resources.

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Group Discussion Guide for The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks

If you picked up a copy of The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of A Lost Spiritual Discipline, there’s now a Discussion Guide available. Reading, discussing, and responding to books is always better when done with others than on your own.

You can download the Discussion Guide here.

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Gratitude & Thanksgiving Book, Grumbler’s Quiz, and Discussion Guide

My book, The Grumbler’s Guide to Giving Thanks: Reclaiming the Gifts of a Lost Spiritual Discipline, releases today. It’s exciting to see the work become a reality, and I pray that God will use it to stir up gratitude in the hearts of his people.

Maybe you think you’re not really a grumbler, so a book on gratitude isn’t for you. Here’s a Grumbler’s Quiz (excerpted from the book) to help you know if it’s for you or not.

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