All Posts, Faith

Ruth’s Roundup – December 2021

When I get a moment (they are few and far between, but few is still something, right?), I tuck into a book, read an article, come across a thought-provoking message and think, this needs to be sharedRuth’s Roundup is a post released once a month where I will share with you some content I have been engaging with over that month, or that I have written. You may laugh, cry, get mad, dig deeper, unfollow… who knows. Maybe it will be of use to you or someone you know. Happy browsing! And a Happy New Year!

Articles

In Word, In Power, With Full Conviction – I find myself agreeing with a lot of Blake Long’s tweets and I am really appreciating his blog posts. They point me to Jesus and it’s refreshing to read the truth online, especially when so many Christians have lost sight of sharing the gospel in pursuit of other issues (including myself, too).

Tim Keller: Growing My Faith in the Face of Death – Pastor and author Timothy Keller has been going through Stage Four pancreatic cancer since 2020. He has written this article which caught my eye as someone who has experienced cancer for the second time and who has wrestled with the fear of death for the first time. Tim’s honesty in this article resonates, and he is still reaching people with the hope of Christ even now. Thankful for his ministry and reflections in the face of suffering.

When days are cold, Jesus is near – I added this one last minute. Such an encouragement to my heart.

Books

The Dawn of Redeeming Grace by Sinclair B. Ferguson – This has been my Advent devotional and it is like a little Advent calendar for the soul! Each day there was a short chapter to read that looked at the first two chapters of Matthew’s gospel. It’s such a great little book that I enjoyed on the run-up to Christmas. It’s the only book I have focused on this month, reflecting the busyness of the season and the very real need to slow down!

The Gift by Glen Scrivener – Glen has a way with words. Whether he is communicating the Christian faith clearly through speaking at an event, writing truth that needs to be shared or creating videos that inspire through spoken word and poetry, he is a blessing. I have had the privilege of meeting him a few times whilst at university and at the Premier Digital Awards in 2016, and was blessed to interview his lovely wife Emma in 2018. This short little book was easy to understand, packed with hope and has made for a gift that I have given to a few friends this Christmas. Worth looking into for next Christmas – go make a note now so you don’t forget!

The Life You Never Expected by Andrew and Rachel Wilson – This book was a Christmas gift this year that I finished on Boxing Day! It’s a book of honest reflections from two parents on raising two children with special needs. They are writing with only a few years under their belt, but this keeps it real as they are both learning and struggling in a very real way. It’s refreshing to read as the vast majority of parenting books talk of milestones children should be reaching, and what works and what doesn’t work for certain scenarios; but often that does not cover the unique challenges and issues that arise when raising children with additional needs. The Wilson’s give a voice to the hidden struggles and the triumphs of raising two severely autistic children, and speak into broader issues including suffering, marriage under strain and fighting for joy.

Podcasts

The Journeywoman Podcast – Ok, confession. I haven’t yet listened to an episode! I’ve been following them on Instagram for a while. This is a podcast that I am going to be listening to more of because the content looks super helpful for me. Plus, they seem to get some really great guests on their show!

Stop Trying to Live Someone Else’s Life – Karen DeBeus – I really love listening to Karen on YouTube. She shares great devotionals. However, I tuned into this podcast episode and, after about 7 minutes in, (she is promoting a bit of what is up and coming up in her ministry to that point), I really enjoyed what she shared. In an age of social media comparison and discontentment, her words were a gentle balm with much-needed wisdom in handling the challenges that come with being online and offline. I love her perspective as a homeschooling mother too.

Quantum 178 – 2021 Christmas Special…Joy to the World in the Vale of Tears for the Virgin Birth – I’ve been following David Robertson for a few years on social media and interviewed him in 2019. he has been a blessing to me on YouTube as he shares daily insights from the Book of Job (Coffee for Job) and he honestly analyses matters of culture and faith. As my interview shows, he has also faced a lot of hostility on his views too. He has a podcast called ‘Quantum’ where he discusses faith, culture and politics from a Christian perspective. I’ve only listened to a couple of episodes, but with how crazy our world seems to be at the moment, I’ll be tuning in a little more now.

Social Media

We support and follow the work of Open Doors. Sometimes it is hard to know how to pray for those believers who are persecuted for their faith. This tweet provides seven ways to pray for Christians facing persecution in Nigeria. Open Doors also helpfully compile a list every year called the ‘World Watch List‘ which shows the countries where following Jesus costs the most. It’s a challenge to Christians in the West and I am always humbled to read the stories of those who are under intense pressure for their faith.
Another excellent poem recited by Elijah Sims! I shared another in my last Roundup (November 2021) – go check it out if you missed it.
The Duchess of Cambridge was as elegant as ever as she played the piano for the first time in public for ‘Royal Carols: Together at Christmas’. She hosted the event at Westminster Abbey which was broadcast on Christmas Eve. I was hooked at how beautiful she played (and looked!).
This girl, through tears, grief and pain, displayed the strength, forgiveness and love of God toward her father’s murderer. That is Christ in her. There isn’t much I can say, except watch this video and hear her words for yourself.
A GP speaks out against vaccine mandates. Turns out there’s a Together Declaration where you can add your voice against the introduction of vaccine passports. Find out more about it here.

Videos

I came across this video by chance and I am glad that I did. It’s a challenging 46 minute message, but it was a comfort to see a Pastor take a stand on the issue of vaccine mandates. It was bold, clear and controversial in that it challenges the widely accepted narrative that the majority of UK churches have gone with. You may not agree with him on all aspects (or any aspects), but I think this view is well worth listening to considering any view contrary to what the mainstream media are publishing is side-lined or silenced.
Another brilliant, passionate call from Leonard Ravenhill. I shared another video of Ravenhill in last month’s Roundup, so be sure to listen!

And Gateway to Joy Begins – This was a good listen as it features clips of Elisabeth Elliot speaking on her Gateway to Joy radio programme that ran from 1988 to 2001. It also includes clips from her daughter Valerie. I am always inspired by the wisdom and down-to-earth, honest teachings of Elisabeth, and I am grateful that it has been made available as a podcast too. I listened to her talk ‘The Call to Surrender‘ and it reminded me again of who it is that I am surrendering my life to – listen in to find out more.

My Blog Posts for December

GUEST POST – Unexpectedly Alone: When An Instamum Hits the Skids – Delighted that author Ruth Leigh wrote a guest post this month. Do check it out and be sure to check out her website (found at the end of the post).

BOOK REVIEW: Truth for Life by Alistair Begg – Really thankful to The Good Book Company for sending me a copy to review. I really love Alistair Begg’s teaching and writing. I wrote a review of his book ‘Pray Big‘ too. Truth for Life is a 365 daily devotional that is biblically rich, clear and engaging. Have a read of the review so I don’t repeat myself here!

What are you looking at this Christmas? – ‘Regardless of what Christmas Day means to you, I can guarantee you’ll be drawn in. The question is: what to? What will have your gaze and attention?’ Have a read to find out more on my post published a week before Christmas!

Joy to the world? – This was my Christmas Day post (it fell on a Saturday, as does New Year’s Day, so you’re in for a treat!). It’s not quite the Queen’s Speech, but it’s my blog’s equivalent! If you missed it, have a read – it’s still relevant even if it’s no longer Christmas!