This article by Tim Challies may be helpful to those of you with teenagers and soon to be teenagers.
A reader recently asked the question: Do you have a suggested list of books for teenagers, something like a “Ten best books every Christian teenager should read?” It surprised me that I have never compiled such a list, especially since I’ve got two teenagers of my own. I decided I’d better remedy this oversight straight away. Here, then, is a list of ten great books every Christian teen ought to read—or at least consider reading.
Please note that these are not necessarily the ten best books your teens will read in their lifetime. Not all of these books will stand the test of time as Christian classics. But each of them is suited to twenty-first century teenaged readers and together they will provide a foundation for the Christian life that will prove both deep and wide. I list them in no particular order….
Click below to see the list and the rest of the article:
7 On the first day of the week we came together to break bread. Paul spoke to the people and, because he intended to leave the next day, kept on talking until midnight.8 There were many lamps in the upstairs room where we were meeting.9 Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third story and was picked up dead.10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms around him. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “He’s alive!”11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left.12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.
We’ve all been there haven’t we. .. fighting to stay awake while the pastor goes on and on and on… and on! (not my pastor, of course but I’ve heard that there are pastors who do this). So how do you stay awake so that you don’t find out after the service that you a pic of you has gone viral that you had no clue was even taken. A few tips…
Doodle on your bulletin – outline words, draw boxes around announcements, try to write your name backwards abd upside down
Count all the number of bald headed men that you can see
Shout out a loud “Amen” even when the sermon does not call or it
Stand up and stretch , lifting your hands up above your head – people will think that you are really engaged in worship
Kneel and lean on your chair and pray – this way people will think you are really spiritual but you can take a nap.
And if those don’t work, keep these cartoons in mind…
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
As I read these verses this week they seemed especially poignant in view of all the political pervasiveness. They do not need much commentary.
Read them. Ponder them. Pray them. Encourage others with them. And find joy in the God of endurance and encouragement and hope!
I arrived at corporate worship more than slightly distracted: tests were on the horizon, papers loomed heavy, I was exhausted. I wanted a nap. I wanted to stay home and watch Netflix. I didn’t want to think about the Bible. To be honest, I desired a hundred things other than Christ’s presence.
Then worship began, and we sang this lyric:
I will glory in my Redeemer, My life he bought, my love he owns. I have no longings for another, I’m satisfied in Him alone.
I felt the cognitive dissonance immediately. In that moment my heart wasn’t like Asaph’s who sang, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you” (Psalm 73:25). How then could I sing that I have no longings for another and not be a complete hypocrite? I felt like crawling under the pew in front of me.
So what do we do with passages of Scripture — or lyrics in worship songs — that describe an ideal that does not match our reality? Is it possible to affirm them from the heart without pretense or posturing?
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(This post is a bit tongue in cheek)
I had never really understood what Paul was talking about in this passage until 2002. There has been much conjecture about what Paul is describing in this passage – what exactly was he being tormented with – but it is now absolutely clear to me. He is absolutely, unequivocally, and decidedly talking about…
I have never heard a better description of those little boogers than what Paul gives.
1) “a thorn in my flesh” – if you have experienced an ATTACK then you know exactly what I’m talking about. These tiny little thorns are capable of making grown men cry and reducing them to shriveled up balls of humanity that lie in fetal positions in the middle of public spaces. Trust me – I know of that which I speak.
2) “a messenger of Satan” – it is as if the evil one has developed the perfect weapon designed to cause God’s image bearers to curse the day that they were born. I realized back in 2002, perhaps for the first time, that my salvation was indeed real and that sanctification was indeed taking place in my life when I did NOT revert back to the language of my B.C. days and cuss up a storm of foulness – but believe you me I was mighty tempted.
3) “Three times I pleaded with the Lord” – If ever there was an understatement then this is it. Pleaded! Begged! Implored! Beseeched! Just take it away or kill me right now. There are many things that I want to ask God about one day: Why did you make mosquitos? Why do I not have hair on my head but do have it in so many other places? And what were you thinking when you created those little nephritic terrors?
This much, however, I do know… God’s grace is indeed sufficient for me. An no matter what comes my way in this lifetime, the Lord will sustain me because His promise to me is that He “will be with me”… even when the dreaded kidney stones march boldly through my body.
Furnish thyself with arguments from the promises to enforce thy prayers, and make them prevalent with God. The promises are the ground of faith, and faith, when strengthened, will make thee fervent, and such fervency ever speeds and returns with victory out of the field of prayer… The mightier any is in the Word, the more mighty he will be in prayer.