Pandemic Sin

Have you been irritable stuck in your home during this pandemic? Are you fearful about the future? Have you been reaching for food or drink to calm your anxiety? Fantasy or pornography to alleviate your loneliness?

Have you been making the most of your time at home, or are you drifting from God in complacency? Things are starting to open up. How is your heart?

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‘Of the Incomparable Treasure of the Holy Scriptures’

A dear friend, Mary Katherine, recited this anonymous poem to me by heart. Initially it appeared as a Scottish poem, and then began in 1578 to be included in the preliminary material of most Geneva Bibles.

Here is the spring where waters flow,
To quench our heart of sin;
Here is the tree where truth doth grow
To lead our lives therein;

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While We Were Yet Unworthy…

The third article on God’s display of his character at the cross from The Good Portion: Christ.

A disproportionate amount of my time sheltering in place was spent watching videos of people I don’t know hanging out of their apartment windows and clapping. This nightly occurrence all over the world had an emotional grip on me, in part because of our innate desire to honor and celebrate those who are worthy of our praise. Even in our increasingly divided and polarized political world, we find common ground offering a meager gift to those who risk their own well-being in order to serve their fellow man. At a minimum, we should all be able to agree that doctors and nurses treating critically ill patients at risk to their own health deserve nothing less than a hearty round of applause.

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Glorious Justice at the Cross

The second article on God’s display of his character at the cross from The Good Portion: Christ.

How do you react when you go through trials you don’t deserve? What do you do when you witness the unfair treatment of another? In the current climate, what are you thinking about justice?

We often associate Jesus with mercy. A common theme in the Gospels is that he showed mercy to societies’ outcast. Tax collectors, those in poverty, and even lepers benefited from his compassion. We don’t have to linger long in the text to see examples of this aspect of Jesus’ character. But what does Jesus have to do with justice?

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Holiness Displayed

When I was a toddler and my older brother Matt was in first grade, he rode the school bus each morning to school. One particularly memorable spring morning, the bus full of children arrived at its usual stop while my mom was still urging my brother to put down Batman and hurry to the bus stop. By the time my brother reached the bus, its doors had just closed, and the other neighborhood children were already finding their seats. I’m still not sure if the bus driver did not see my brother or just wanted to teach him a lesson about timeliness, but he drove away toward the next stop while my brother was still trying unsuccessfully to pry open the doors. My mom, watching this all unfold from our front door, saw my brother’s superhero self-assurance take over, as he decided he could catch the moving bus – whose wheels were taller than he was.

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Sneak Peak Interview: Natalie Brand

Read Natalie’s Sneak Peak Interview on her new book, The Good Portion: Salvation, with Melissa Kruger:

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m a Christian, wife, mom, and theologian. I just love a flat white in one hand and a book in the other! 

I’m married to a fellow bibliophile, Tom, who I met at a theological college more than a decade ago. Tom serves as the ministry director for the Evangelical Fellowship of Congregational Churches, and he’s involved in pastoring pastors and supporting churches in the U.K. 

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The Status Change We All Need

Here’s a little taste of my book, The Good Portion: Christ, from The Gospel Coalition Blog.

As a mother of five young children, it’s not unusual for complete strangers to ask about my family. The question I hear most often at the grocery store or the playground is, “Are they all yours?” The most awkward I hear is, “Do you not believe in birth control?” But the most surprising came one spring afternoon when my children and some of their entrepreneurial friends set up a lemonade stand in front of our house. Someone stopped their car to ask me the name of our school. I took that as a compliment. They could’ve asked, “What is the name of your circus?” 

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Pitiful Christians in a Pandemic

As a brand-new, twenty-something Christian, spending a year doing intern youth ministry, I had just shared the gospel to a class of jaded twelve-year-olds, when a boy swamped in an over-sized school blazer approached me. By the look on his face the cogs of his mind were spinning fast. He politely asked if he could ask me a question and said, “What if you’re wrong? What if it all just isn’t true?”

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Sneak Peak Interview

My family has lived in the Middle East for almost eight years, although we never set out to be cross-cultural church planters. I used to envision at this point in my life I would be a U.S. senator or governor—or at least attempting to be one. I was serving as the chief of staff to a senator when my husband, Josh, and I could no longer resist the urge to put all our energy into local church ministry. 

After seminary, friends of ours told us about an Arab sheikh who gave a plot of land on the Arabian Peninsula for the Christians in his emirate to have an evangelical church building. It was an incredible opportunity for a gospel presence in the Middle East. 

So we moved hemispheres and cultures, planted a church with people from dozens of nations, built a church building, and are now raising our five children in a multicultural context in the Arab world. We still love keeping up with the American political scene, but we do so safely from 7,000 miles away. 

Jenny Manley is the author of The Good Portion: Christ.

Read the rest of Jenny’s interview here.

Mother’s Day Book Giveaway!

Mothers who delight in the doctrines of God are gifts to their children and models for younger women. At The Good Portion Books we want to increase your delight. So to celebrate Mother’s Day, we are having a drawing to give away two sets of the 4 books currently in our series.

To enter the drawing, Like our Facebook page and tag one other woman in the comments on the Mother’s Day post. You’ll be entered into the drawing along with the mother, daughter or friend you tagged, and if your name is drawn both of you will win the books!

You may enter as many times as you like, as long as you tag a different person each time.

We’ll draw the winner on Mother’s Day, May 10th.

Happy Mother’s Day!