29 April 2009

Fill in the margins of life; a list of resources for the thirsty

The answer is Jesus. I'm not sure what the question is, but I'm sure that somehow it's resolved in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ. That conviction may elicit some blank stares but it is true, no matter the situation, a growing knowledge of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18, 2 Peter 1:3-4) gives life (John 14:6) and freedom (Gal. 5:1).

So the dad who is struggling to find direction, motivation and wisdom in parenting needs to be thrilled by the Gospel and so does:
  • the tired mom whose patience is fading
  • the single women longing to be a wife and mother
  • the cancer sufferer
  • the discouraged ministry leader
  • the victim of abuse
  • the frustrated spouse
  • the addict
  • the lonely
  • the human
To the obvious question ("How do I grow in the knowledge of Christ?"), I have no novel response. Pray for it (Eph. 1:17,18), read the Bible (Acts 20:32, Romans 15:4, 2 Tim 3:16), and subject yourself to the full counsel of God in a local church (1 Tim 3:15). Acknowledge that you need God's help and revelation and give the Holy Spirit a vocabulary to answer.

That being said, we live in a time of unprecedented access to thirst-quenching resources for the thirsty. Think of the margins in your life. Drive time. Exercise time. Date nights. Down time. Why not fill in the margins with things that will increase your knowledge of God and your passion for His glory?

Margin-Fillers of All Kinds...
(these high-quality videos have been the substance of quite a few "movie nights" in our home over the last year)
  • Mars Hill Video; Mark Driscoll (podcast on iTunes or directly from the website)
  • Resurgence Video; A mix of interviews and messages. I recommend "A Day with Dr. Don" and "Shepherding a Child's Heart" (podcast on iTunes or directly from the website)
  • The Gospel Coalition Video; this site has a collection of videos from a multitude of sources - some interviews, some answers to specific questions, some messages
  • Desiring God Video
  • John Piper Sermons (podcast on iTunes or directly from the website)
  • "Desiring God" a seminar from January 2009 on Christian Hedonism - a good starting place
  • Desiring God Conference Messages (podcast on iTunes or directly from the website)
  • Don't Waste Your Life Videos (podcast on iTunes or directly from the website)
  • Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley; pastor Francis Chan (podcast on iTunes or directly from the website)
  • A collection of Ravi Zacharias videos (apologetics at its best)
  • A collection of videos from C.J. Mahaney - C.J. is one seriously happy pastor, I could watch him all day.
  • Other conferences:
  1. "Advance09" Conference (Piper, Driscoll, Chandler, Stetzer, Eric Mason, JD Greer, Tyler Jones, Bryan Chapell) - these messages moved me to repentance and an increased Christ-centeredness every one is fantastic.
  2. "Entrusted with the Gospel" - The 2009 Gospel Coalition conference.
  3. Together for the Gospel 2010 (If you watch one, watch C.J. Mahaney and Matt Chandler's message on suffering)

(All of the above video resources are available in audio)
  1. Listen to the Bible: ESV audio (daily reading podcast on iTunes and from the ESV website: to download $$ and to stream-free)
  2. Four great messages by Paul Tripp (a very gifted teacher)
  3. "The Prodigal God" and "The Reason for God" from Tim Keller; free
  4. "Together For the Gospel" (from the 2006 and 2008 conferences, great free audio)
  5. "Next 2009" Conference (Josh Harris, Kevin DeYoung, Sinclair Ferguson, D.A. Carson - the whole conference was about Jesus)
  6. ChristianAudio.com (a free audio book every month!)

Free Reading
Blogs (make blog reading easy get an RSS Reader and have content deliver to you when updated)
  • Justin Taylor - RSS -Justin does a great job of resourcing and cultural commentary
  • Tim Challies - RSS -Tim is a prolific reader and reviewer and he writes some solid original pieces along the way
  • Tim Keller - RSS - Keller is slowly becoming my go-to for a deeper understanding of the Gospel. He's blogging now and that means bite-sized gospel goodness.
  • Kevin DeYoung - RSS - Solid, convicting, clear thoughts on the gospel and our culture.
  • The Resurgence - RSS -This is the online theology cooperative created by the folks at Mars Hill in Seattle, a great source of helpful posts, interviews and recommendations
  • Desiring God - RSS
  • Faithwalkers Daily Devotional from pastors in Great Commission Churches - RSS
  • The Curator - RSS -a webzine by International Arts Movement focusing on the arts and culture
  • Premeditated Parenting -a great blog by a good friend and humble parent, Steve Nelson
  • Rick Whitney's Site for Dads
  • John Meyer's (my co-pastor) Blog

Book Lists

Music (not necessarily worship, serious talent, amazing lyrics)
So there. Download. Fill in the margins and enjoy Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Yup. I find that if I fill in the margins of my life with Jesus, it is easier to recognize when I have my hand in the coconut and helps me pull my heart up outta there!!!! :) Thanks! Knowing more who Jesus is makes it easier to teach my AWANA kids about Him as well as handle scraped knees, fights over toys, and tantrums in the love yet firmness Jesus would. Thanks again!