Morning Mashup 04/03

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Praying the Bible | Donald Whitney | $3.19 (Kindle)

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Prayer | Timothy Keller | $7.58

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A Praying Life | Paul Miller | $10.19

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Praying with Paul | D.A. Carson | $13.25

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ARTICLES

Are We Victims of Sin? | Head Heart Hand

David Murray: One of the keys to the Christian life is getting the right balance between confessing personal sin and lamenting the universal consequences of sin.

4 Surprises in Bible Publishing | TGC

Trevin Wax describes the biggest surprises he encountered in his role in helping publish the Christian Standard Bible.

You Cannot Raise Snowflakes in Jesus’ Name | Prince on Preaching

Excellent article for parents as they consider raising their children in a world where we can’t protect them from pain.

FAQ on the Collected Works of John Piper | TGC

Justin TaylorOur basic criterion for selection has been to include everything that John Piper has written for publication in printed books, magazines, and journals. The result is forty-five books, sixty articles and reviews, twenty-three forewords, and forty-two chapters—totaling around three million words.

How Calvinists Miss the Key to Happiness | Desiring God

Tony Reinke:  The joy of Calvinism is a joy purchased by Christ and emerges from the ever-present Spirit within us.

Graceless Dads, Overly Spiritual Pastors, and Sticky Notes | Gospel Centered Family

Jared KennedyWhen I am disciplining one of my girls, I may even go beyond misbehavior and shepherd her heart motivations. But like an older brother in Christ, am I willing to confess my own sin and repent before my daughters as well? If not, I’m in danger of being a graceless dad.

VIDEOS

How to Depict the Beauty of Complementarity? | TGC

Paul George vs. LeBron James in OT

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Morning Mashup 10/12

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

Growing Young: Six Essential Strategies to Help Young People Discover and Love Your Church | Kara Powell, Jake Mulder, and Brad Griffin | $15.69

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The Disciple-Making Parent: A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ | Chap Bettis | $13.99

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ARTICLES

20 Surprising Ways a Believer Can Be Self-Deceived | Out of the Ordinary

Diane BucknellEvangelicals en masse believe they will inherit eternal life because they have “asked Jesus into their heart”,  even though many know nothing of  what it means to test themselves to see if their faith is genuine.

Why Are So Many Evangelicals Condoning Sexual Assault? | TGC

Joe CarterRecent events have shown that many evangelicals—especially prominent conservative defenders of family and public morality—side with the powerful oppressors over the vulnerable oppressed. Many have shown they are willing, even eager, to overlook admissions of sexual assault if it will lead to their preferred political outcome.

Seven Simple Daily Prayers | Desiring God

Marshall SegalAs we walk through the valley of the shadow of rut, many of us just put our heads down and hope for better days. But the Bible speaks too often and too highly of prayer for us to stay here long.

Churches Reaching Millennials | TGC

Trevin WaxYou don’t have to be the flashiest church in town, have the coolest pastor, or the most contemporary music to reach young people. The churches in this research come in all shapes and styles and sizes. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model.

Why Does Friendship at Times Feel One-Sided? | Grace Covers Me

Christine Hoover It’s so disheartening when we make ongoing efforts to extend friendship to other women and find them met with what appears to be apathy or, worse, disinterest.

Why It’s Pivotal to Make Room for Reading | Club 31 Women

Jen ThornReading is important. This is the primary way we learn about God. God did not inspire a TV series about himself. He gave us a book that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. A book that when read and studied brings about a change that lasts forever.

VIDEOS

What Is It Like to Be a Missionary? | IMB

 

Mark Dever on Sermon Preparation | For the Church

Morning Mashup 10/05

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of book recommendations, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

With: A Practical Guide to Informal Mentoring and Intentional Disciple Making | Alvin Reid | $11.47

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Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus (9marks: Building Healthy Churches) | Mark Dever | $10.60

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ARTICLES

Tim Keller’s Newest | Patheos

In which Tim Keller interacts with a skeptic in the comment section of a review of his newest book on skepticism.

A Non-Vote is Not a Vote | Analogical Thoughts

If you’ve ever alluded to the thought that a non-vote for Trump is a vote for Hillary, check this out.

When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense | National Review

In light of last night’s VP debate dealing extensively with the issue of abortion, I thought digging up this article from January would be appropriate.

11 Calls that Reveal Vin Scully’s Greatness | MLB

Even at the end, Vin Scully was the greatest.

The Sword and the Shepherd’s Staff | 9Marks

Travis Wussow on reporting sexual abuse in the church. Pastors, take note.

Faults to Avoid in Public Prayer | The Christward Collective

Nick Batzig: Those who think that they were most advanced in public prayer are often those who need these correctives the most. It would benefit all of us, no matter how much prayer we may have in our worship services to read Samuel Miller’s work and labor to avoid the faults that he set out. 

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 08/22

Morning Mashup

A daily mashup of Kindle deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


KINDLE DEALS

Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ | Matt Papa | $2.99

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Decision Making and the Will of God: A Biblical Alternative to the Traditional View | Garry Friesen | $1.99

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ARTICLES

Six Things a Godly Dad Does | Scott Slayton

Our oldest daughter just celebrated her eleventh birthday, so I have now been a parent for over a quarter of my life. There have been sins, mistakes, wins and growth as we seek to raise our four children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. I have ransacked the Bible, read books, watched other godly men, and asked them lots of questions as I have sought to discover the answer to the question, “what does a godly dad do?”

Leadership in the Church | Doctrine and Devotion

Joe and Jimmy talk about the realities and responsibilities of church leadership. Very helpful for anyone considering a call to ministry.

The 3 Minor Prophets Who Wrecked Me | Trevin Wax

In my time as editor, however, I’ve grown to love the Minor Prophets, all sandwiched together at the end of the Old Testament. There are three in particular who, I would say, have “wrecked me” – in a good way, in a powerful way in which I felt the refreshing shower of God’s grace.

Do You Pray Like a Non-Believer? | John Piper

It is possible that nominal Christians learn the language of true, Christ-exalting, God-centered, sin-confessing, Spirit-dependent, promise-trusting, holiness-pursuing prayer. But I have found that it is rare for those with little love to Christ to pray as though they love him and his kingdom.

Learning to Do Less So Parents in Your Church Can Do More | Timothy Paul Jones

When it comes to our children, we might ask a similar question: What does it profit your child to gain a baseball scholarship and yet never experience consistent prayer and devotional times with his parents? What will it profit my child to succeed as a ballet dancer and yet never know the rhythms of a home where we are willing to release any dream at any moment if we become too busy to disciple one another? What will it profit the children all around us in our churches to be accepted into the finest colleges and yet never leverage their lives for the sake of proclaiming the gospel to the nations? What will it profit pastors to lead the largest churches with the greatest discipleship programs if they don’t disciple their own households?

With Love, Your Single Daughter | Rachel Dinkledine

At first I thought of writing you a letter of apology–an apology for not fulfilling your dreams, for not giving you a son-in-law, and for leaving you grandchildless. However, an apology implies I have the ability to change the story. And, at this moment, I don’t. So instead, I want to say “thank you.”

VIDEOS

Morning Mashup 04/04

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A mashup of book deals, articles, and videos for your information, edification, and enjoyment.


BOOK DEALS

Glory Hunger by J.R. Vassar ($2.99)

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What’s In the Bible? by R.C. Sproul and Robert Wolgemuth ($1.99)

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True Friendship by Vaughn Roberts ($2.99)

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ARTICLES

10 Symptoms of Legalism – Very diagnostic of the self-sufficient human heart.

Beneath the Evangelical Earthquake – Paul Carter on the word “evangelical” and the future of evangelicalism.

18 Things to Pray for Your Church – Jonathan Leeman suggests 18 biblical prayers for your church. Would you pray for your church today?

Discipling Teen Girls – Kristen Hatton: “One of the beauties of discipleship is the front row seat to the work of Christ in the lives of the ones he has given you as an instrument to serve. Go be blessed by investing yourself in the timeless truths of God’s word for his people!”

Imagine Your Children Are Black – Amy Medina writes a compelling post on race and paying attention to the experiences of minorities.

5 Ways to Protect Your Kids at Church – I’m thankful we are doing these and more to promote safety in the children’s ministry at Trace Crossing.

Should I Be Concerned If My Pastor Uses Pre-Made Sermons? – I couldn’t agree more, Pastor John.

How Do You Know When You Are Ready to Shepherd? – Man, this is helpful for any young pastor or seminarian.

VIDEOS

 

Don Whitney discusses his new book on family worship with Justin Taylor.


Dowden Quote

 

“God’s clouds shouldn’t speak louder and clearer than his children.” – Landon Dowden

Morning Mashup 09/30

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A Quick and Easy Guide to the Planned Parenthood Videos – Shameful silence from the mainstream media. Mollie Hemingway helps them do their jobs.

I Don’t Want Your Good Vibes. I Want Prayer. – Megan Hill: “There’s no substitute for our communion with the Father.”

Speak for the Unborn Leader Pleads for Life – Great look at the work of Andrew King and Speak for the Unborn.

Every Living Thing Matters – “The Every Living Thing Campaign invites Christians to celebrate the wonder and beauty of God’s creation and commit to compassionate living by signing the Evangelical Statement on Responsible Care for Animals.”

Lies, Carly Fiorina and Abortion – Ross Douthat: “There has been an impressive amount of angry liberal commentary, which has spilled over into the mainstream press coverage (or do I repeat myself?) of the issue, about how in the last Republican presidential debate Carly Fiorina allegedly cited an entirely imaginary video in order to make a crazy claim about Planned Parenthood’s brain-harvesting ghoulishness that’s totally unsupported by the facts.”

Pope Francis Met Privately with Kim Davis – “The Pope met privately with Kim Davis and her husband, Joe, at the Vatican Embassy in Washington, D.C.”

Chipotle Church and the Problem of Choice – Brett McCracken: “Imagine if God were as fickle and restless as we are. But he isn’t. God’s covenant faithfulness to his people, even when the relationship is messy and embarrassing, should be instructive to us. A healthy relationship with the local church is like a healthy marriage: it only works when grounded in selfless commitment and non-consumerist covenant.”

When You Get Home…? – Consider asking your spouse what they want in those first few minutes you get home from work.

4 Tips for Using a Study Bible Well – Helpful article from Justin Taylor. If you use a study Bible, be sure to check it out.


If a preacher isn’t first preaching to himself, better that he falls on the pulpit steps and breaks his neck than preach that sermon. –John Calvin

3 Things to Remember When You Pray

As I was coming to the end of my study of 1 Thessalonians last week, I read a tiny two-word phrase so small that if it were not so profound I could easily pass through without even noticing. Paul closes his letter to the Thessalonians by giving them succinct and specific instructions, most likely to supply what they are lacking in their faith. We all have room to grow, even beloved congregations. Hidden snuggly in this quick-paced list of commands are two that you can easily miss, but once you notice them you will never be the same. Who knew just five words could change a person so much? “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing” (v. 16-17). These five words make up two whole verses. Whoever divided the Bible into chapters and verses must have realized the gravity of these words. Either that or he just randomly assigned verses and divided chapters. Yeah, the latter is probably true, but the point is, these five words are massively challenging for the Christian. Rejoice always? Pray without ceasing? Spend a little time meditating on these two commands and you will realize just how much you need Jesus.

But it got me thinking, while I’m praying without ceasing, while prayer is a constant attitude in my heart, what should be on my mind? How should I think about prayer? In another of Paul’s letters, I believe he gives us three things to remember when we pray. Philippians 4:6-7 calls us to pray in three ways. When you pray, keep these things on your mind.

[D]o not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1. Pray for specific things.

The word “supplication” used in verse 6 refers to an urgent specific plea. There are some people who say they only pray for others; that they do not pray for themselves. This sounds very humble and holy, but it is very biblical and right to pray for specific personal requests. Jesus teaches us to pray this way when he tells us to pray for food and for deliverance from temptation (Matt. 6:11-13). It is good to pray for specific things going on in your life. As a Christian, you are a child of a heavenly Father who desires your good and joy in all things. It is good to ask God to provide for you, your family, and your friends. It is good to ask God to forgive you and protect you. This recognizes that all forms of provision and protection come from God. Be quick to call on God to help you when you worry personally about things in your life.

2. Pray as you remember God’s goodness.

Notice that Paul tells us to pray “with thanksgiving.” Praying with thanksgiving means remembering all of the good things God has done and is doing. Praying with thanksgiving recognizes that God is not only able to answer your prayers, but he is also willing to answer them according to his goodness and wisdom. This is also encouraging when it comes to the way God answers our prayers. God does not always answer our prayers in the way we want or think he should. Sometimes we ask for things for which we do not understand.

We are like little children asking to eat playdoh. When a child asks this, his parents don’t give him what he asked for, but instead something better. Sometimes God doesn’t give us what we ask, but he gives us something better for us, even if we do not understand it. God does not always answer prayers the way we want. But he answers them according to his perfect goodness and wisdom. The way our prayers are answered is not dependent on how wise or good our prayers are. It is dependent on how wise and good God is. Know that even if there are a lot of bad things happening in your life or the world around you, they are only temporary and the God to whom you pray is eternally wise, good, and powerful.

3. Pray expecting an answer.

This can be the most exciting and frightening part of prayer. It can be exciting to expect God to answer, because we can be confident that our loving Father gives us good gifts. However, it can also be frightening, because we are unsure of how God will answer our prayers. It can be frightening in another way as well. For example, if you pray for God to use you in any way he wants, you can be sure that he will answer this. But this might mean that he could send you to another country to share the gospel. It could mean that God could send you to have that awkward conversation with your neighbor or coworker about Jesus. Praying for an opportunity to share the gospel may just mean you will get that opportunity.

So we should pray with an expectant heart. We should pray expecting God to answer. He could say “yes,” or he could say, “no.” He could even say, “not yet.” We usually want a “yes” from God, but our Father who is in heaven knows what is best for us. Like a parent who only gives good gifts to his children, God does not answer our prayers based on what we want. This is because sometimes we want things that would not be for our best. When you pray, expect God to answer according to his glorious goodness and grace.


Mathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is Associate Pastor of Children and Preschool at The Church at Trace Crossing in Tupelo, MS. He is an M.Div student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Mathew is married to his high school sweetheart, Erica. They have one son, Jude Adoniram. You can follow Mathew on Twitter @Mat_Gilbert.

5 Ways to Pray During Spiritual Battles

prayer11Can you imagine what it would be like to be put in jail for your faith? There are many Christians around the world who are put in jail because they believe in Jesus. Some of them are even killed. Following Jesus costs a lot in some places in the world. But Christians everywhere face spiritual battles on a daily basis.
In order to stand against sin and Satan in your daily spiritual battles, we must pray. In Ephesians 6:18-20, Paul gives us five ways to pray that will help us stand strong in the spiritual battles we fight.  If you are to slay the dragon, you will need constant, Spirit-led, persistent, self-less, and bold prayer in your holster. As you face sin today, fight by wielding prayer in these five ways

1. Pray at all times

We don’t have to be at church to pray. Pray at home, at school, at practice. Pray anywhere and everywhere all the time. Temptations aren’t confined to one particular area, so neither should your prayers.

2. Pray in the Spirit

We are to pray “with all prayer and supplication” in the Spirit. This is a form of worship as our prayers are enabled by the Holy Spirit. We pray in the Spirit because he intercedes for us (Rom. 8:26-27).

3. Pray with toughness

Be tough in your prayers. This is what Paul means when he writes, “keep alert with all perseverance” (v. 18). It is easy to stop praying when God doesn’t answer your prayers the way you want. The kind of prayer that helps you stand against sin and Satan is tough; it doesn’t stop asking.

4. Pray for other Christians

You are not alone in this war. Satan does not just attack you; he attacks all of God’s people. So, it is important for us to come together to fight against him. One way we do this is by praying for each other. Pray for your Christian friends at church to find strength in Christ to fight the enemy.

5. Pray for gospel courage

The last thing we see in this passage is Paul’s request that the Ephesian church pray for him. Even though we shouldn’t pray for Paul, we should pray for what Paul wanted. Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for him to boldly share the gospel. We should pray for this same kind of gospel boldness. Paul didn’t feel hatred toward those who held him as a prisoner. He loved them. He loved them so much he wanted the courage to share the gospel with them. Let’s pray for this love and courage.


396110_519885398036913_1852978654_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is the author of the forthcoming book Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.

10 Motivating Descriptions of the Greatness of Prayer

Since the beginning of June, I have been studying, thinking, and meditating on Christian prayer. Prayer is one of the most difficult spiritual disciplines to “master,” if you will. Walk up to any random Christian and ask them about their prayer life, and most likely they will be hesitant to discuss it with you. In fact, you may find some Christians who have not truly prayed privately in the last two months. Maybe longer.
Admittedly, I have struggled in my own prayer life. I would love to characterize it as vibrant, joyful, and intimate. But I would be lying. More accurately, my past prayer life would more aptly be described as absent, empty, and lackluster. I would use God when I needed him, placing him on my terms. I was trying to perform a religious rite, rather than experience an intimate relationship.

However, my prayer life has since been transformed. This is partly because I am growing in my knowledge of what prayer actually is. One book that has helped me tremendously is Tim Keller’s, Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. In the second chapter (pp. 29-32), Keller beautifully describes prayer without defining it. He makes a lot of “prayer is” statements without defining prayer. His descriptions provided me with greater motivation to pray. Keller gives nine descriptions of prayer based on George Herbert’s beautiful poem called, “Prayer (I).”

1. Prayer is a natural human instinct

2. Prayer is a nourishing friendship

3. Prayer changes those around us

4. Prayer is a journey

5. Prayer helps us endure

6. Prayer means knowing yourself as well as God

7. Prayer changes things

8. Prayer is a refuge

9. Prayer changes us

10. Prayer unites us with God himself

Think through each of these statements and use them to develop a deeper prayer life. The first step in growing closer to God in prayer is meditating on the greatness of prayer. Keller closes by saying, “Prayer is awe, intimacy, struggle—yet the way to reality. There is nothing more important, or harder, or richer, or more life-altering. There is absolutely nothing so great as prayer” (32).

Cultivating a healthy and deep prayer life is one of the hardest things you will do as a Christian. But it is also one of the most meaningful, joyful, and life-changing things you will do as a Chrisitan. But above all, prayer is an absolute necessity—the breath of the Christian life. And it is of infinite greatness—“there is nothing so great as prayer.”


396110_519885398036913_1852978654_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in East Bernstadt, KY. He is the author of the forthcoming book Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.

The Power of a Praying Mother

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My son, Jude Adoniram, is almost one month old. Erica and I have been overwhelmed with joy over the course of this month. There truly is nothing like being his father. I dream for him. I pray for him. I labor for him. Just having Erica and Jude in my life has led me to the Word to ignite my affections for God so that I might lead them in his joy.

I love to watch Erica be a mother. She was made for motherhood. It is one of the most natural things I have ever seen her do. To say that she loves Jude and would do anything for his good is a terrible understatement. She delights in Jude the way she delights in God. Oh, may he learn her passion for the ones she loves. She labors for him like a champion boxer. She absorbs blows in stride, but refuses to wave the white flag. And when she sings to him, oh, I just melt. Her new identity as mother should overwhelm her with stress. But through the stress of a radically changed lifestyle, she has shown that motherhood is greater than individualism. The cause of being a mom is far greater than any individual goal she could accomplish.

Seeing her selflessness causes me to see the face of Christ when I look at her. When she nurses, changes diapers, and loses countless hours of sleep for the sake of our little one, I see the cross. Not just suffering, but selfless sacrifice for the joy of others. And my wife who is now a mother delights in this sacrifice. She finds joy in putting Jude before herself. Are there frustrations? Absolutely. But through the sighs and the cries, this new mother shines with patience and love.

Of all the things that I have enjoyed since Jude’s birth, there is one I have enjoyed the most. I love to see Erica praying over Jude. When he is sleeping, his mother is praying. When he is eating, his mother is praying. When he is playing, his mother is praying. When he is crying, well, we are all praying! This young mother is persistent in her praying.

Is there anything greater than a praying mother? In a passage I have studied all week, we see an example of a persistent praying mother. Jesus enters the region of Tyre and Sidon and is approached by a Gentile (Syrophoenician) woman (Mark 7:24). This woman falls at the feet of Jesus and begs him to exorcise a demon from his daughter (vv. 25-26). Jesus then seems to shut her down by essentially saying that he has come first to the Jews, not the Gentiles. Well, this praying mother is not satisfied to stop now. The persistent praying mother is unstoppable. As Tim Keller says, “There are cowards, there are regular people, there are heroes, and then there are parents. Parents are not really on the spectrum from cowardice to courage because if your child is in jeopardy, you simply do what it takes to save her” (King’s Cross).

It isn’t so much courage that marks her response as it is motherhood. She basically tells Jesus, “Yes, I know the kingdom is for the Jews, but I also know it and you are so great that there is enough in the crumbs of the kingdom for someone like me to enjoy forever.” It is through the mother’s faith, through the mother’s prayer that her child is healed. The praying mother allows nothing and no one to get in her way. Theologian J.C. Ryle reflected on this mother’s faith when he wrote:

The woman who came to our Lord, in the history now before us, must doubtless have been in deep affliction. She saw a beloved child possessed by an unclean spirit. She saw her in a condition in which no teaching could reach the mind, and no medicine could heal the body — a condition only one degree better than death itself. She hears of Jesus, and beseeches him to “cast forth the devil out of her daughter.” She prays for one who could not pray for herself, and never rests till her prayer is granted.

By prayer she obtains the cure which no human means could obtain. Through the prayer of the mother, the daughter is healed. On her own behalf that daughter did not speak a word; but her mother spoke for her to the Lord, and did not speak in vain. Hopeless and desperate as her case appeared, she had a praying mother, and where there is a praying mother there is always hope (Expository Thoughts on Mark).

There is always hope when there is a praying mother. There is tremendous power in a praying mother. Whatever God will do with Jude, I know that all his future acts of faith in Christ will be partly due to the prayers of his loving, selfless, beautiful, and brave mother. Beloved mothers, please don’t stop praying for your children. Through your prayers, they will find healing in Christ.


396110_519885398036913_1852978654_nMathew Gilbert (B.A. Boyce College) is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church East Bernstadt. He is the author of the forthcoming book Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God. Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their son, Jude Adoniram.