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In many ways its been a week that will be long-remembered – even if it’s one we’d rather forget. Here’s seven links, some of which I’ve particularly appreciated after what our news-screens have shown us:

1) Hoping when the night is dark and full of terrors – After some horrific events this week, not the least the sad, sad news of Jo Cox’s killing, I appreciated this piece from Chine McDonald.

2) 13, Right Now: This is what it’s like to grow up in the age of likes, lols and longing – Fascinating piece looking at the life of a thirteen-year old girl and the way social media is weaved theoughout it. If you’re not thirteen, then you’ll probably find this eye-opening. And if you imagine it’ll be all about Facebook, you definitely need to read it!

3) Free Music: When Trials Come – Resurrection Songs for a World of Suffering – This varied collection of songs from different Christian artists (such as Sandra McCracken, Shane & Shane, Jenny & Tyler, Page CXVI, Jackie Hill-Perry, Keith & Kristyn Getty, and Beautiful Eulogy) has been compiled to remind you afresh of the glorious hope Christians have in Christ even amid suffering – download it for free now. (By the way, if you thought all Christian music sounds the same, I reckon this will be a pleasant surprise by this).

4) What book shall I preach on next? 10 things to think about – If you’re a church minister, how do you decide what books of the Bible you preach on at any particular point? (Ok, I know some of you are gonna say ‘the Lectionary’!) Some helpful points and questions here to get us thinking and to open up potential blind-spots.

5) Top Tips for Starting a WhatsApp Bible-Study – Fantastic to hear how in Burundi the messaging app WhatsApp is being used as a tool to encourage people to engage with God’s word. Roland Cubahiro, a student worker in that country, offers advice – as well as lessons learnt – from how they went about it.

6) Ten Thoughts on Speaking (And Not) in a Digital World – Kevin DeYoung shares some reflections on social media’s culture of ‘speaking out’ and the notion of virtue-signalling. A breath of fresh-air in many ways:

“Does the world really need my opinion here? If I tweet something am I just trying to prove my moral bona fides by showing forth the appropriate outrage? There are a thousand sad things in the world right now, why must I comment on this one?”

7) The Story Behind Tumbling Sky and Matt Searles Album Give-Away – There’s still about 36 hours left to enter to win one of three copies of Matt Searles’ latest Psalms album, Tumbling Sky: Psalms for Weary Souls. In the midst of dark times, songs like tha e are particularly precious. It’s been really encouraging to read people commenting on their favourite psalm. And whilst doing that, you can also read my interview with Matt about the project.

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