How to Help Aleppo, Talking with Your Spouse, & Hillbilly Poverty

Your weekly installment of what we’ve been reading (and watching) around the web.

Book Review of the Week

A New Poverty, by Rod Liddle. (A review of Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance) As a general rule, I (Chris) try to avoid the “it” thing, whether it’s a popular piece of technology, a hot new store, or a widely acclaimed book. So I was reluctant to pick up J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. I did pick it up, however, and Vance grabbed me by the collar in the first few paragraphs. So I join the chorus of many, without shame, declaring this the best book I’ve encountered in 2016. Liddle’s review does more than simply praise Vance (which would be my inclination), and points at the deeper ideological issues that Vance so colorfully unfolds. Read this review. Better yet, read Vance.

Video of the Week

Can a Christian Love Jesus but Not the Church? Trip Lee. The answer to this question may seem rather obvious, but I (Chris) love how Trip Lee approaches it. This is an encouraging example for those of us who want to motivate people to engage in the church, even if they bring a lot of baggage to the conversation.

Articles of the Week

240 Things to Talk About with Your Spouse, Brad Hambrick. Nearly every married person would like to improve “communication” with their spouse. Fixing “communication problems,” of course, is about as generic and helpful as fixing the “funny noise in my car” (not a hypothetical, at the moment). So keep in mind that what Hambrick offers here isn’t the cure-all for every communication ill. But if you’re having trouble knowing what to talk about with your spouse, here’s a wealth of topics. Dive in and swim around a bit. You might just have fun.

Four Ways You Can Help Aleppo Right Now, Relevant Mag. The battle for Aleppo is over, and it was a brutal one. The horror of what has happened in Syria—over the past several months in general, and in the past few days specifically—can be almost too overwhelming to comprehend. We may be tempted to throw up our hands in despair. The evil is too great, we may say. Or we can get involved. In addition to praying for the people there, here are four ways you can help those affected by the violence in Aleppo right now.

Even If He Doesn’t, Melissa Edgington. In the midst of great pain, or in the face of great uncertainty, an immature faith says, “If I just trust God enough, I know he’ll preserve me from trouble.” You’ve probably heard prayers like this, or even prayed them yourself. Edgington reminds us of three young men who trusted God’s power and God’s compassion far more than we usually do, but who still said, “Even if he doesn’t save us, we know our God is good.” Isn’t that a faith we all want?

On the Lighter Side

Ron Swanson – Government Joke. Remember the good ol’ days when our biggest grievance with the government was their lack of efficiency? I miss those days.

Wisdom For Your Weekend is presented to you by Chris Pappalardo, with occasional guidance from J.D. Greear. This is our attempt to reflect Proverbs 9:9: “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.”