With all that is going on because of the pandemic, it seemed good and right to finally start the blog I have been thinking about for years. We now find ourselves separated from our Christian brethren and home because of shelter-in-places orders. Life has already changed dramatically in the past weeks. In adapting myself to the changes, I have been assembling some goodies that I felt may be beneficial for you as you are in you homes with your families. I will be updating this list occasionally (and Pastor Wade may be adding to it as well). He and I will be contributing to this blog together, and we hope that it will be a blessing for you, and a theological/enjoyable outlet for us.
Let us know if you have any good things for the good of our church family in the comments!
St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church Website
Facebook Live streaming schedule
- 9am - Morning Prayer
- 4pm - Afternoon Update
- 8pm - Evening prayer
Prayer Request Facebook Post - If you have facebook, please comment prayer requests here. If you wish prayer requests to remain private, please call, text, email, or facebook message Pastor Wade or Pastor Jones directly.
Items of Interest
Presently App: A Daily Gratitude Journal
- I started using the Presently app just before the news of the pandemic broke. Melissa has since started using it as well, and she gives partial credit to my use of the app for my state of mind in the midst of this crisis. There is something good about expressing gratitude - even a sentence at a time - that helps aid good mental health. I love this app, and I haven't missed a day in a month since I began using it.
- You can find this in the Google Play Store. It is not available for iPhone.
Help with Homeschooling?
- Nirandfar author Nir Eyal wrote an article to assist with the new normal of students learning from home. Read "Survival Tips: Homeschooling During Coronavirus Closings"
Things to do at home
- I cannot express my love for Audible enough. The library of audiobooks that my family has collected is delightful. I love being able to listen to books while washing dishes, woodworking, or if I need to drive somewhere. Melissa and I are also listening to the Lord Of The Rings trilogy together in the evenings. I have listened to good science fiction and fantasy, history, and some classics, like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain (narrated by Nick Offerman, which, if you know Offerman, you know you couldn't get a better narrator for a Twain novel).
- Books I recommend
- The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
- The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson (this is currently my favorite series of books)
- The Green Ember Series by SD Smith (this is Melissa's favorite. Rabbits with Swords! You'll love it!)
- The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
- Empire of the Summer Moon by SC Gwynne (This book was a fascinating look at a bloody part of American history).
- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman (This is a great collection of stories about Odin and Thor, it was funny and exciting and well-narrated by the author)
- Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie (This book will be very encouraging for you if you are now educating your children from home. Mackenzie also has a great podcast called Read-Aloud Revival that Melissa and I love.)
- The Gospel for You (obviously :D)
- Table Talk Radio (This is one of my favorite podcasts. Revs. Bryan Wolfmueller and Evan Goeglein are hilarious and insightful and...mediocre. You'll have to listen to it)
- Fighting for the Faith (This is one of the best discernment podcasts in existence. Listening to Rev. Chris Rosebrough will help you understand what false teaching is and looks like. You will also hear the Gospel proclaimed very clearly. I have been listening to Rosebrough for years, and he was formative for me in how I articulate the Gospel in my own preaching and work as a pastor.)
- 1517 network (1517 is loaded with sound biblical resources and podcasts. Some of my favorites are The Thinking Fellows podcast, Ringside With the Preacher Men, and For You Radio)
- Jocko Podcast (Jocko Willink is a retired Navy Seal. His podcast covers topics of leadership, but my favorite thing he does on his podcast is interview authors of books. Most of his topics have to do with war and military history, and the subject matter can sometimes be intense and disturbing, but it is a clear and unafraid look at humanity in its violence and darkness as well as its shining lights of heroism. I just listened to one of my favorite episodes this week, which is an interview with author and Holocaust survivor Rose Schindler. You can find it here.)
- Read-Aloud Revival - Reading aloud is not just for little children. Sarah Mackenzie has made it her mission to remind families of the delights of reading books to each other. Now that we are shelter-in-place, this is a great time to rediscover the joy of reading out loud together as a family. We read to our little kids, but Melissa and I also often read aloud together. Our favorite things about this podcast are the author interviews and the book recommendations. It's a terrific listen.)
- Good Websites and blogs
- The Art of Play - I love this website, and I want to buy everything on it. This website was started by Dan and Dave, brothers who got interested in card magic and developing the art of Cardistry (which I recommend you look up). This website is dedicated to the joy of playing, be it cards and games, puzzles, or just interesting oddities. They have a great email newsletter that they put together during the pandemic called The Daily Puzzle (and they are some tough brain teasers and puzzles!).
- The Art of Manliness - This is a great blog, and Brett McKay also has a great podcast.
- The Rabbit Room - The Rabbit Room is a publisher, and they have great books, articles, and podcasts. It is run by one of my favorite authors, Andrew Peterson (The Wingfeather Saga).
- 1517.org - I mentioned these guys above, but there is ridiculously good theology from these authors, pastors and theologians. Enjoy!
- Chris Ramsay's YouTube Channel - I love this guy. He is a very talented magician (especially with cards). However, my favorite thing he does on his YouTube channel is solve puzzles. I could watch him solve puzzles all day (I have, in fact, and Melissa still makes fun of me!) He got me interested in puzzles and teasers again. You can find a playlist of his puzzle videos here
- Barbell Medicine - How to Exercise at Home
- Barbell Logic
- Strength Side and his YouTube Channel
- Sarah Beth Yoga YouTube
Resources for learning about the Pandemic
I think you should quit reading the news - CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. - and find better sources for objective information about what is going on in the world. If you stop reading/listening to the news, you will likely find that you have less anxiety, and you are not less-informed (in fact, you may be more informed). Here are some good sources for information about the pandemic.