Jonathan Edwards | Advice to Young Converts


I have a booklet that includes both Jonathan Edwards' Resolutions as well as his short Advice to Young Converts (see online & Amazon). Most of us think of Resolutions this time of year, but his Advice to Young Converts is a nice, quick read and reminder toward what the aim of our lives as disciples of Jesus should be. Here are a few of my favorite points. He explains his points further in the booklet and has a total of nineteen.

1. I would advise you to keep up as great a strife and earnestness in religion in all aspects of it, as you would do if you knew yourself to be in a state of nature and you were seeking conversion.

2. Don't slack off seeking, striving, and praying for the very same things that we exhort unconverted persons to strive for, and a degree of which you have had in conversion.

3. When you hear sermons, hear them for yourself...

6. Be always greatly humbled by your remaining sin, and never think that you lie low enough for it, but yet don't be at all discouraged or disheartened by it.

7. When you engage in the duty of prayer, come to the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or attend any other duty of divine worship, come to Christ as Mary Magdalene did.

13. When you counsel and warn others, do it earnestly, affectionately, and thoroughly.

15. Under special difficulties, or when in great need of or great longings after any particular mercies for your self or others, set apart a day of secret fasting and prayer alone.

18. In all your course, walk with God and follow Christ as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of Christ's hand, keeping your eye on the mark of the wounds on his hands and side.

19. Pray much for the church of God and especially that he would carry on his glorious work that he has now begun. Be much in prayer for the ministers of Christ.

Best Albums of 2012 | Critics/Metacritic


I geek out for critic's lists (magazines, significant review sites, etc) of "Best Albums of..." each year. Metacritic does a great job of compiling them all with a final artist list of how many times they made a list, what places, etc. Then they award points for achieving certain places on lists, which leaves us with the Metacritic "best of" list.

Check out Metacritic's list of lists for 2012, just released yesterday. It changes as each reputable critic or site posts their list. This page from Metacritic is one of the best sources for checking out new music that I missed in a particular year. The lists tend to sway a few older artists into a place they don't deserve because of their lifetime of work, in my opinion. But otherwise it's solid.

Here's the top 10 points earners as of 12.5.2012 at about noon. Album link is to their list of reviews on that album. Click "buy it" to check it out on Amazon.

  1. Channel Orange by Frank Ocean (buy it)
  2. Lonerism by Tame Impala (buy it)
  3. Visions by Grimes (buy it, $5)
  4. Blunderbuss by Jack White (buy it)
  5. Good Kid, m.A.A.d City by Kendrick Lamar (buy it)
  6. Tempest by Bob Dylan (buy it)
  7. Tramp by Sharon Van Etten (buy it, $6.99)
  8. Old Ideas by Leonard Cohen (buy it)
  9. Boys & Girls by Alabama Shakes (buy it)
  10. World Music by Goat (buy it, $6.99)

If you click over you will find their longer list. Scroll down to see top 10's from magazines, websites, critics, and stores.

$5 Albums | December 2012

Black-friday-2010-deals-roundup-0Another month, another list of $5 albums from Amazon. Some really good ones. Here are my recommendations as well as a link to the rest.

The Reader Speaks | Best Albums of 2012

Working over the next few weeks on my Best Albums of 2012 list. Here is my list from last year with links to all previous years. Most of my readers don't post lists of their best albums of the year, so I'm wondering what your "Best Of" list would look like. Let us know what you liked in 2012. Put them in order, list them without rank, or just share that *one* that you wish everyone would hear. 

Some Lists | Best Albums of 2011


Some year-end lists of the best albums of 2011 are coming out. Some are right up my alley and some challenge, uh, my alley. Best of lists aren't only good to compare your own favorites, but to discover albums you may not have found otherwise. I'm already listening to a couple of albums I would have ignored if not for showing up on a respected list. Check some of these out (several compiled by the excellent Stereogum).

T4A | Featured Bloggers - Everything


Here's my best shot at creating one post with links to everything from Together for Adoption featured bloggers. Not every blogger wrote on everything or was present for every main session. I expect more posts are still coming with reflections on T4A in the days to come. I know I have some unfinished posts on some talks and a handful of other reflections to share. If you see things I've missed, let me know. FYI: I know other bloggers/twitterers said a lot at T4A, but I'm focusing on the "featured bloggers." If you want to put a link to other helpful posts in the comments from non-featured bloggers, that would be a great addition to the list.

Check out tweets still coming out from #t4aCon attenders and others RTing good quotes. Also go back in the Twitter accounts (listed below) for a ton of great quotes. That may be the best way to get direct quotes, while the posts often contain interaction on the quotes and topics.

BLOGGERS - Name [link to Twitter account] (abbreviation)


Darrin Patrick | Session 1 - The Church & Social Justice


Tullian Tchividjian | Session 2 - Surprised by Adoption


Dan Cruver | Session 3 - Adoption & The God Who Cares


Bryan Loritts | Session 4 - The Church as the Theater of Transracial Adoption


Jeff Vanderstelt | Session 5 - Gospel-Motivation for Missional Living


Tim Chester | Session 6 - Relaxing in Trinitarian Love



  • A Mom at Rest by Dr. Donna Thoennes || DBJG | DP
  • Missional Church, Missional God, Missional Story by Tim Chester || AA: Sessions 1, 2, 3 | JR: Sessions 1, 2, 3
  • Attachment & Family Growth by Mark & Kristen Howerton || JG: Pt 1 | Pt 2
  • Gospel-Centered Parenting by Tim Chester || DPBT
  • Trans-Racial Adoption by Vermon Pierre || DP 
  • Missional Living & Orphan Care by Jason Kovacs || JR
  • Grief In Infertility || MLA