Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross // Nancy Guthrie

This book is short and small in stature, yet it is a treasure trove of bite-sized meditations on the cross and resurrection of Christ which makes a big impact. It’s a step ladder allowing you to stand on the shoulders of Christian giants from across the centuries and to see the events of the first Easter as the most central, God-glorifying, mankind humbling, faith building events in human history.

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Disability and the Gospel: How God Uses Our Brokenness to Display His Grace // Michael S. Beates

In all honesty, as a Christian parent of a child with multiple disabilities, I wanted to love and be gripped by this book, but while it started strongly and ended strongly, the middle section caused my attention to wane at times.

The book is divided into four parts: The Voice of God, Voices from the Past, Voices of Today and Speaking into Tomorrow.

I was interested to read Beates’s explanation of the ways scripture speaks to the issue of disability and how it relates to the gospel in Part 1. As a Christian, I am less interested in how secular voices in the past, and even voices of believers throughout church history, have spoken about this issue. This was the type of content covered in the middle two portions of the book. To me, the most critical part, having laid the groundwork in Part 1 was Part 4, looking at what the church must say to the world on this issue and looking at God’s sovereignty in the area of disability.

Had the book ended at Part 3, or not hit home the key points it does in Part 4, I would have been very disappointed, but the final section contained many, many beautiful truths and made me really appreciate Beates’s work on this topic.

I hope many Christians, particularly church leaders, will read this and be convicted and provoked to think more deeply about disability and the gospel, as I was, thanks to this book.

Good Friday; the most beautiful collision

Today is Good Friday. It’s a day that has always carried somewhat confusing or conflicting emotions for me, at least as long as I can remember. It is a day to remember something that is brutal and yet beautiful, horrific and yet heavenly, tragic… and yet triumphant. It is a day that I want to mourn over the way that humans just like me treated the only one who can save us from our depravity and sin, but it is also a day on which I am reminded of how blessed I am to live on this side of the cross. I know that in suffering for my sake, Jesus who was perfect and was in very nature God, humbled himself and became obedient to death on a cross, paying the price that bought me out of slavery to sin and death and therefore separation from God into a new life that will last for forever.

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