Favorite Faith Resources

Hi friends! One of the questions I get a lot on Instagram and in emails is what my favorite faith-based resources are. I'm happy to answer, though I'm not a pro, just trying to study God's word the best I can. It doesn't always happen the way I want it to or for the amount of time I want it to, I'll be honest. But I think God sees our hearts! My husband and I have made a goal to try to fill either our ears or eyes with God's word every day in 2019. This might come in the form of an in-depth Bible study or it might be simply listening to a podcast or Christian music. Either way, we want to set our minds above and learn as much about God as we can this year.  

Here are some of my favorite resources for deepening our walks with God.

1. I have read a couple books in the past year that I absolutely loved. Here they are:
- None Like Him, Jen Wilkin
- In His Image, Jen Wilkin
- How We Love, Milan & Kay Yerkovich *This is a marriage/relationship book but they are Christians and infuse their faith in it.
- The Broken Way, Ann Voskamp
- Growing in Gratitude, Mary K. Mohler  *not quite done with it, but loving it!

A couple more of our favorites:
- Nothing to Prove, Jennie Allen
- Women of the Word, Jen Wilkin
- The Holiness of God, R.C Sproul
- Mere Christianity, C.S Lewis
- 1000 Gifts, Ann Voskamp
- The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer

2. A couple podcasts (and one movie) that have also been encouraging, convicting and equipping:

- Ask Pastor John, with John Piper: a couple times a week John Piper answers questions in 15 minutes or under. He's one of the most solid Bible and gospel teachers I know, so my husband and I really value these! Desiring God is also one of our favorite websites to read faith-filled content.

- Journeywomen Podcast, with Hunter Beless: I have a hard time finding true gospel-rich resources, but friends, this one is SO on. Each Monday Hunter brings on a woman who loves the Lord to interview them on a specific topic for about 45 minutes to an hour. Even if I am not interested in the topic that week, I always listen and I'm always convicted and pointed to Jesus. You can head here to check out all the episodes and play the topics that interest you! I think you'll find Hunter + all the guests she has on to be really Christ-focused. It's practical and encouraging! (By the way, they're on a break now and returning in April with new episodes.)

- Fierce Marriage, with Ryan and Selena Frederick: these two are cute, funny and really have a heart for Godly marriages! I love listening to them discuss topics about marriage in their roughly 50 minute podcast episodes that come out weekly. 

- Knowing Faith, with Jen Wilkin, JT English and Kyle Worley of The Village Church: I really like Matt Chandler, the pastor of The Village Church, and Jen Wilkin, the women's bible study leader at TVC. I've found this church is saturated in the gospel, the scriptures, and loving people well, so when I found they had a podcast, I was excited. The three hosts discuss different topics and questions each episode and they're typically pretty in-depth, which I appreciate, even if I don't understand ALL of it.
- The American Gospel: In Christ Alone. This is a documentary my husband and I watched a couple months ago and we were shook in the best way. I'm not sure I've heard a more clear version of what the gospel really is according to the Bible, what it's not, and how to live in light of those things. It's 2 hours, so it's long, and you have to rent it or buy it, but friends, trust me when I say it's so worth it! Some of the best, most biblically-sound pastors from all over the US are interviewed and then other believers share their stories of redemption, faith, and coming out of distorted and false theology that the film talks about being the "American Gospel". I can't recommend this enough!

3. Bible study tools:
- Give Me Jesus Journal: I've had this journal for a while and really like it. It's by Well-Watered Women and I pretty much love everything they produce.

- ESV Illuminating Scripture Journals: these are really cool because it's literally just the bible text on the left side and a blank page on the right side to journal and take notes. This is awesome if you're wanting to study the bible inductively (which is just the word for comprehension, interpretation, application...in that order). I don't have one yet, but I'm thinking of getting one!

- Highlighters: I just ordered these highlighters that don't bleed through Bible pages...yay!

The She Reads Truth App: I have been following along with She Reads Truth studies for years-- since the beginning of college actually! When they came out with the app to make it easier to do the studies on our phones, I was really excited. I did their Advent study, along with numerous others last year and they're great. The best thing is, they get you reading the Bible...and A LOT of it! Right now they're in Luke. I'm not doing this study, as I'm doing one in James right now, but I do recommend SRT! They even have a really beautiful Bible.

ESV Gospel Transformation Bible: this is the Bible both my husband and I have. All the commentary seeks to point out Jesus and the gospel, whether it's in the old testament or new testament, which is awesome, because that's who and what the Bible is all about anyways!

Jen Wilkin's Women's Bible Studies: right now I'm doing the James study from 2014 (I think). I'll link to her studies here, but you can listen on the podcast app by searching "Flower Mound Bible Study Jen Wilkin". I printed out the workbook that goes along with the study by scrolling down and finding the study I'm in on this page. It's been so good already and I just started last week. I have done two of her studies before this one.

4. Music: my husband and I both love music. I usually have some on at least during one part of my day. I have noticed that while driving I don't listen to music very loudly, but I love listen to it at a soft decibel (maybe I'm trying to focus in the car ha!) 

- I will often play these playlists created by other resources I've share above: 
Well-Watered Women Word before World
Journeywomen Jams

Shane & Shane (love their Psalms albums)
Rivers & Robots (an indie-folk feeling, really beautiful! We had one of their songs play at our ceremony called The Bridegroom)
All Sons & Daughters
Sovereign Grace Music
Christy Nockels
Rend Collective

One last thing that I got asked about on my instagram last week and didn't cover above: how do you discern what author's to read and listen to? This is such a great question and one my husband and I are really passionate about! Here are the main things I look for:

1. Does what the person says line up with scripture? So important to read the bible for ourselves and not just take what author's say as true at first glance! Dig deep and read in context.
2. Does the author talk about sin as well as hardships and pain? If not, I think they're avoiding something real and crucial to our faith. If they avoid these, then I avoid the author ;)
3. What's the author's main focus in their writing? Consider all their works. Is it mainly about you and how you can improve yourself or live your best life OR do they mostly write about God, Jesus and his sacrifice and his character? For me, I choose not to let in all the "inspirational" writing out there and try to focus on getting sound biblical teaching in my heart, so I always choose the latter. It's all about Jesus, friends!

I hope this is helpful for you. I don't have this all figured out...but these are some things I think are great. Please add to my list in the comments if you have more resources!

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  1. These are great resources, thanks for sharing! I can't wait to check out the podcasts you mentioned. I listen to Journeywoman and recently discovered Ask Pastor John (it's SO good!!). Also now I really want those Illuminating Scripture journals!!

    1. Hi Sydni! I'm so glad you liked these! I'm so glad you listen to both of those. They're so right on, right?! Thankful for such biblical resources in a sea of not-so-helpful things these days! ;)

  2. Love you Michaela! This is great! I have one to add...beinhealth.com (the book is A More Excellent Way by Dr. Wright) teaching the spiritual roots to diseases. Truly eye-opening. Most people are taught that disease just happens. No! That's a lie of the enemy! There has to be an open door. I think you would get a lot out of it (sanctification, breaking off generational iniquity, etc)


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