why I post what I do in ‘this went thru my mind’

 

When I post a series of links (as I do at this point, every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday), under the heading of this went thru my mind, this is what’s going through my mind …

1. I hope to widen your world as well as mine. As a part of my personal development, I try to read widely. As I do so, I deliberately read quite a bit of material written by people who don’t swim in the same little part of the lake that I do. Doing so helps broaden my horizons and, therefore, my understanding of things. Unless I read widely, I will be about unintentionally shrinking my world. Here’s to a bigger world and a better understanding of it!

2. I don’t link with the thought of “endorsing” in mind. Consequently, you’ll see some links posted here to things I disagree with as well as links to articles with which I’m largely in agreement. Do any of us agree 100% on everything? No. But can we learn something from each other? Yes. And so, the fact that I link to something here shouldn’t be considered my “endorsement” of anything. Consider it simply for what it is: a link to something someone else has written. You’re big boys and girls; what you decide to do with it is up to you.

3. I believe it’s good to deliberately expose myself to material that challenges my thinking. Why? Because what I’m after is about being sharpened (cf. Prov. 27.17). You can’t sharpen a knife by simply running it parallel to the face of a whetstone. It’s the deliberate application of some angle that puts the edge on the blade. So, whether I agree with what’s being said in someone else’s post or not is almost immaterial to me. What is important to me is whether or not what’s said in the post truly stimulates my thought processes. How boring this world would be if everyone thought just like me. So if it helps you, think of reading these links as something akin to what many experience sitting in a college classroom: mind are deliberately exposed to various views and then everyone is allowed to draw their own conclusions on the matter.

4. I want to share with you some of the helpful stuff I’ve come across online. We all make choices as to what enters and rests in our mind. We can fill up our minds with trivial matters or we can fill them with matters that, well, matter. As a friend of mine used to say, “You have to move a lot of dirt to find a little gold.” What you find here in ‘this went thru my mind’ is my sharing some links of “gold” that I’ve uncovered so you don’t have to move so much dirt in your search for things worthy of consideration.

this went thru my mind

 

Attitude, martyrdom & violence: Called To Be a Martyr? by K. Rex Butts

“We are all going to physically die one day any ways. The question is: what sort of story will we tell in our life and in our death? Will it be the story of God’s reign in Jesus, who though crucified by his enemies, was raised by God and exalted in victory as the Lord and Messiah? Or will it be a story that says death has not been defeated in Christ and therefore must still be resisted at all cost, even by violence if necessary?”

Children & poverty: Young Child Risk Calculator

“[Use this] Young Child Risk Calculator …  to see the following information for your state: the percentage of young children in a state, within a specified age range, who are experiencing selected risk factors [and] the percentage of young children in a state, within a specified age range, who are experiencing both selected risk factors (such as teen parent, residential mobility) and economic hardship at a specified level (extreme poverty, poverty, low-income).”

Children & violence: Welcoming Children: How Jesus Plans to Stop Violence in the World by Richard Beck

“All of these teachings of Jesus–“welcome children,” “do not cause a little one to stumble,” and “recieve the kingdom like a child”–may be less about Precious Moments and more about addressing the generational darkness within families that produces so much of the violence in our world.”

Evangelism & the unchurched: 10 Reasons We Have Not Reached the Unchurched by Ed Stetzer, parts 1 & 2

“We only reach one person for Christ each year for every 85 church members in the United States.”

Giving: Giving by Bruce Hulme

“Thinking about giving as a spiritual discipline might make us wince a little. …Giving is relational; as soon as it becomes merely functional in our lives, it has moved from mercy to sacrifice. ‘Discipline’ in proper perspective, however, actually frees rather than restricts.”

Identity theft: Warning About Online Fraud as Information Theft Rises

“Fraudsters traded 12 million pieces of personal information online between January and April this year … The figure represents a threefold increase on 2010.”

Immigration: Looking at Some Immigration Myths by Timothy Archer

“Christians have no excuses for any lack of hospitality toward immigrants. Let the politicians fight this one out.”

Journaling: The 7 Benefits of Keeping a Daily Journal by Michael Hyatt

“The main thing is I am writing for myself rather than an audience. I have found this tremendously liberating and deeply satisfying.”

Ministry & parenting: How Can a Pastor Help His Children Appreciate His Work, Not Resent It? by Brian Croft

“Pastors, teach your children how important your work is to God, how essential it is to the care of God’s people, and that it is worth suffering for it.  The question is…do you pastor, believe that, especially when our families suffer from it?”

Ministry & pettiness: On Christian Pettiness by Frank Viola

“I know we’re all different, but I cannot understand – for the life of me – how a Christian can hear a message on Jesus Christ, and when it’s all over, only hear one fleeting word from an illustration. To my mind, this is a case of straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel . . . zeroing in on one insignificant thing and tuning everything else out. It goes along with my previous post that Christians are the most easily offended people on the planet.”

Prayer: How to Pray for Your Pastor by Trevin Wax

“… will you consider praying for your pastor the way I ask my people to pray for me?”

Sleep: You Can’t Do Your Job if You Don’t Sleep by by Tony Schwartz

“… the average American … gets between six and six and a half hours of sleep a night … thirty percent of working Americans … get less than 6 hours. And yet the research suggests that nearly all of us require between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a night to feel fully rested, and only a tiny percentage of us feel rested with less than 7 hours. The costs show up physically, emotionally, and cognitively.”

Small groups: Preventing Heresy in Your Small Group by Sam O’Neal

“Use the magic words. When most people hear the phrase ‘magic words,’ they think of please and thank you. And those certainly are good, useful terms. But for small-group leaders, the real magic lies in the ability to say, ‘I don’t know.’ … the worst thing a group leader can do is attempt to give an answer without really understanding the concepts or doctrines at stake. Sometimes the best thing a group leader can do is say, ‘I don’t know, but I’ll find out.'”

Widowhood: What Took Me By Surprise–Widowhood by Bev Hislop

“What took me by surprise was the power, the all-consuming grip, the sudden shock of an emotion rolling over me, literally rendering me unable to function for a moment or sometimes longer.”

Work: Work is a Battlefield by Ed Cyzewski

“When you know that someone is trying to sabotage your job, negative thoughts and anger are tough to stop.”