Required Reading

No video this week as I am still in Scotland visiting my very ill father-in-law. In the rush of leaving Grand Rapids, I didn’t have time to record an additional video for this week. But I’ve found a number of good articles to keep you busy.

8 Ways for Men to Make the Friends They Won’t Admit They Need
Bill Boekestein on male friendship

“Many men today struggle with maintaining male friendships. This claim doesn’t need to be argued. We know it. I personally have a sporadic friendship track-record. Particularly in my early years of ministry, my lack of male friendships was actually inhibiting the full expression of my humanity. I still have a long way to go. But I’m learning.

It has become more clear to me that Jesus and his disciples were genuine friends (John 15:15). They spent time sharing deeply of themselves. And even before Jesus had disciples, before he created the world, he was a friend to the Father and the Spirit. By being a friend we show forth the image of God. By being a friend we show forth the image of God. So how can men succeed in the old-fashioned but desperately needed art of friendship? Here are eight suggestions.”

Reclaiming Friendship in the Social Media Age
And another on the same subject: “The paradox of social media is that we know many people while not feeling known by anyone.”

12 “Hard Truths” For Graduates to Help Them Not Be Broke
How I wish I’d had this kind of guidance thirty years ago:

“If you are young and just starting out, wise stewardship (handling God’s money God’s way) is actually less about literacy and more about behavior. Sure, there are some things you need to know, but what you do is most important. And a lot of what you need to do will be hard—and that’s the truth! Why, because it’s not what everyone else does and it’s hard to be different. Plus, it will be hard because you won’t necessarily want to do them, or they will take time, patience, and perseverance. Here are some of the major ones in that understanding and/or doing them can have a big impact on your financial future”

Jesus, give us more men with high Christian character
“If the leadership skills are the what of leadership, then character is the why and the how behind that what. Character is king because it’s like the filter through which all of your skills pass on the way out into the world. Your character colors everything you do.”

7 Things to Do When You’ve Blown It (Again) with Your Kids

“Every parent knows how easy it is to say hurtful things to their children. Some of us explode in streams of words. Others of us coldly level our kids with sarcasm. Still others drip with manipulation and self-pity. The ways to speak foolishly are endless, but each one proves false the adage that “words can never hurt me.” Words can and do. So what do you do afterward, when you can’t take back what you’ve said?”

Read the answer in this article.

Walk with Me Through a Midlife Crisis
John Piper guides us through his midlife crisis, finding many lessons along the way including this one: “Perhaps the reason the crisis comes at midlife is to show us, at the cresting of our natural powers, who is truly sovereign. And merciful.”

Podcast: Why You Probably Need a Digital Detox
I always learn from Tony Reinke on this subject, and need to keep relearning too.