this went thru my mind

 

Baptism, children & parenting: Baptism – When are Kids Ready? by Brandon Baker

“Every kid is different and I don’t believe there is a magic baptism age. But I think this is a good starting point for children in the church even if they aren’t asking about baptism.”

Bible interpretation: The Superman Verse – Phil. 4.13 and What It Does Not Mean by Ben Witherington [required reading]

“Here is a rendering of the verse in context. ‘I know a humbled state, and I know also surplus. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of how to be satisfied, even if hungry and being able also to do without. I am able/strong enough [to endure] all things in Him who empowers me.’ What Paul is saying is that no matter what his circumstances, God has given him the strength or ability to endure and be satisfied, even when he must do without, even when he must go hungry.”

Church & the Lord’s Supper: Picture of the Week: Pompeii, House of Sallust, Atrium by Seth M. Rodriquez [required reading]

“In 1 Corinthians 11:17-34, Paul describes an extremely dysfunctional church event. When the church gathered to observe the Lord’s Supper, there were divisions and factions (v. 18-19) due to the fact that people were not sharing food with those who were hungry and were eating before the others arrived (vv. 21, 33-34). What could have possessed them to act in such an unloving way during one of the holiest events in the life of their church?”

Facebook: Scary Facebook Setting You Have to Change Now! by Kim Komando

“All the person has to do is search for any mobile number using the site’s mobile search function. If you have your number on Facebook – or have the Facebook app on your phone – your name will pop up. … When the security researcher went public with this information, Facebook said it’s a feature, not a bug. That means it probably won’t be fixed.”

Humor: Fellowship Triage by Larry Carter

“I love this time when we roam around the auditorium looking for everyone we haven’t seen for a few days. We greet and grin, shake and howdy, and otherwise say ‘Hi’ to a whole bunch of people. There are some rules, though, some stages of the fellowship time. I call it triage. I determine, based on certain criteria, exactly how I’m going to approach each person during this sacred time [fellowship time].”

Money, personal finances & savings: The Conversation You’re Not Having, But Should Probably Start by Joshua Becker

“* 50% of Americans have less than one month of savings saved for emergencies. * One in four Americans has no savings at all. * More than 30% of households earning over $100K still live paycheck to paycheck. * Among indebted households, the average amount of credit card debt tops $15,000. * The average U.S. household debt is 136 percent of household income. * 57% of households do not have a budget. * Almost half of Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets. * In one survey, money more than sex, children or in-laws—was the most common conflict for American couples.”

Preaching: When You Preach a Lousy Sermon by Justin Buzzard

“… we must always remember that God doesn’t need a good sermon to do his work. I felt my sermon was terrible, not at all up to my standards, but I still preached the text/the gospel, I still got on base. And, God still used the sermon. That’s always amazing to me, to hear that people were still deeply helped by my lousy sermon.”

Work: “All-Consuming” Work, parts 1 & 2

“God says to us you don’t need more time to serve and worship me – you just need to realise that all time is for serving and worshipping me.”

this went thru my mind

 

Church welcome: I Wish Every Church Said What This Church Says in Their Bulletin by Jon Acuff [required reading]

“We extend a special welcome to those who are single, married, divorced, gay, filthy rich, dirt poor, yo no habla Ingles. We extend a special welcome to those who are crying new-borns, skinny as a rail or could afford to lose a few pounds.

“We welcome you if you can sing like Andrea Bocelli or like our pastor who can’t carry a note in a bucket. You’re welcome here if you’re “just browsing,” just woke up or just got out of jail. We don’t care if you’re more Catholic than the Pope, or haven’t been in church since little Joey’s Baptism.

“We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60 but not grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast. We welcome soccer moms, NASCAR dads, starving artists, tree-huggers, latte-sippers, vegetarians, junk-food eaters. We welcome those who are in recovery or still addicted. We welcome you if you’re having problems or you’re down in the dumps or if you don’t like “organized religion,” we’ve been there too.

“If you blew all your offering money at the dog track, you’re welcome here. We offer a special welcome to those who think the earth is flat, work too hard, don’t work, can’t spell, or because grandma is in town and wanted to go to church.

“We welcome those who are inked, pierced or both. We offer a special welcome to those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a kid or got lost in traffic and wound up here by mistake. We welcome tourists, seekers and doubters, bleeding hearts … and you!”

Forgiveness: Forgiveness

“Here are two videos on forgiveness that I found helpful. Lewis Smedes and Miroslav Volf …”

Grace & legalism: * Max Lucado Goes Overboard on Grace an interview by Mark Galli [required reading]; * The Attraction to Legalism by Matthew Olson

* “… [let me speak regarding] this tendency we have to fall back into legalism though we have been saved by grace. There are a few reasons for this. First, everything else in the world is based on legalism. If I have to pay money to buy bread, then surely at some point I have to pay for my eternal bread with some type of work. Second, down deep within us, we believe grace is too good to be true, and we feel better if we make some kind of contribution. Third, teachers fear what people will do with grace: ‘If I really teach grace, is that couple in the fourth pew who are living together—are they really going to get out of that relationship and get married?'”

* “Why is legalism so attractive? It is attractive because it feeds the sinful flesh. … The problem is that we can’t see it. … What makes our own legalism hard to see is that on the surface we can be doing a lot of things right.”

Humility: 7 Ways To Put On Humility by Mark Altrogge

“We must put humility on. This doesn’t mean we fake it, but that we begin to do it, even though it takes effort. Putting on humility isn’t easy. After all, it’s not easy to be humble when we’re as great as we are.  But it can be done.”

Internet addiction: * Silicon Valley Says Step Away From the Device by Matt Richtel; * What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Michael Hyatt

* “Stuart Crabb, a director in the executive offices of Facebook, naturally likes to extol the extraordinary benefits of computers and smartphones. But like a growing number of technology leaders, he offers a warning: log off once in a while, and put them down.”

* “On average, Americans stare at some type of computer screen for eight hours a day.”

Lord’s Supper: A Lord’s Supper Home Meal — A Method by John Mark Hicks

“On many different occasions, and some recently, I have been asked about how I conceive or conduct the Lord’s supper as a home meal. … In my small group, several of my classes and other occasions I have led or participated in group meals as the ‘Lord’s supper.'”

Leadership: * 4 Words of Advice for a Newbie Leader by Ron Edmonson; * How I Coach People into True Missional Leadership by Hugh Halter

* “Learn the people first … Go slow to change … Think intentionally in all you do … Pace your leadership for the long-term.”

* “I am giving you four key aspects of a leaders life that must be coached for a true missionally incarnational leader must be:
Deep in Character, Clear in Calling, Culturally Savvy, and Able to Lead Inclusive Community.”

Parenting: If You Are Not Praying for Your Children by Jim Martin

“If you as a parent are not praying for your children, then who is?”

Skype & privacy: Can Skype ‘Wiretap’ Video Calls? by John Sutter

“The video calling service Skype recently made a change to how it routes calls. Yawn, right? But here’s where it get a little juicier … the changes, which push some of the video calling process onto Skype’s own computers instead of onto random machines on the Internet, could help the app spy on users’ calls, presumably at the request of a court or government.”

Texting while driving: Driving While Intexticated [infographic]

“In the 5 seconds you read a text at 55 mph, you travel the length of a football field.”

Violence: * The Myth of Redemptive Violence by Shane Claiborne [required reading]; * Gleanings in Pacifism by J. Daniel Kirk; * Gun Laws, None Dare Call it Time by Sandy Levinson; * Assault Deaths within the United States; * Mark 15:1-20 – The Crowd Chooses Violent Revolution Rather than Jesus by John Mark Hicks [required reading]

* “I had a veteran friend once tell me, ‘The biggest lie I have ever been told is that violence is evil, except in war.’ He went on, ‘My government told me that. My church told me that. My family told me that … I came back from war and told them the truth – ‘Violence is not evil, except in war… Violence is evil – period’.”

* “… Christians must actively work for peace: blessed are the peacemakers. That should typify kingdom people.”

* “The GOP is in bed with the NRA; the Dems learned from Al Gore’s opposition to gun laws, which many Dems supported, that they can’t win elections with that platform. So today no party is willing to re-examine our gun laws.”

* “… it’s well-known that there are strong regional differences in the assault death rate in the U.S. by state and region. Here’s what the patterns look like by state from 1999 to 2009. … As is well known, the South is more violent than the rest of the country, by some distance. … Despite their large differences, all of the U.S. regions have higher average rates of death from assault than any of the 24 OECD countries we looked at previously.”

* “The crowd chose violent revolution rather than the nonviolent revolution of Jesus. … What do we choose?”

word for the weak: week eighteen

 

Communion is the theme for this week’s reading in the Uncommon Truth for Common People project at MoSt Church. The schedule looks like this:

• Mon., Apr. 30 – Exodus 12.1-30
• Tues., May 1 – Jeremiah 31.31-34; Luke 22.7-23
• Wed., May 2 – John 6.26-59; 1 Corinthians 10.16-17
• Thur., May 3 – Hebrews 9.1-28; 10.19-22
• Fri., May 4 – 1 Corinthians 5.6-8; 11.17-34

This week’s memory verse is: “…we who are many are one body, because we all share the one loaf of bread.” (1 Corinthians 10.17 CEB)

this went thru my mind

 

Anger: 2 issues hiding behind your anger by Doug Fields

“The default question most people ask is ‘What?’ What triggered my anger? That’s not a good question. It’s too easy! It’s too general! It’s not that helpful. … The why question forces you to peel back a layer from the surface and look inside your heart. Instead of asking what triggered me [that’s too easy]… ask, ‘Why did that trigger me?’ When you ask what… you’ll continue to blame the triggers… and that won’t help you stop the pain.”

Anti-intellectualism: * The Bondage of Ignorance by Paul Smith * Colleges Viewed Positively, But Conservatives Express Doubts – Pew Research study

* “I point all of this out simply to illustrate the folly of a life that is content only with maintaining a level of knowledge that was obtained in the last century, the last decade, or last year, or last week.”

* “There were substantial differences among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in opinions about the effects of colleges and universities: Just 38% of those who agree with the Tea Party viewed their impact positively; that compared with 62% of Republicans and leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party.”

Availability: The Trap of Availability by Sam Rainer

“How do leaders—especially pastors—balance a desire to be there for people without falling into the trap of endless availability?”

Burnout: Turning Pickle Barrels into Wine Casks by Dan Rockwell

“Burnout is more about organizations than individuals.”

Change: Why Change is So Hard for God’s People by Joe McKeever

“It’s a common perception in our churches that the Lord’s people seem to be resistant to change. And there is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence, as flockless shepherds step up to tell how they lost their pulpits when they tried to change a schedule or a program. But, look around at the people attending our churches. They seem to handle change fairly well in other areas of their lives.”

Communion: 3 Reasons I Don’t Discourage Non-Christians From Taking The Lord’s Supper by Brian Jones

“I’ll share three reasons why I don’t discourage non-Christians from taking the Lord’s Supper …”

Depression: What To Do About Your Depression by Joe McKeever

“The Bible has great powers, and Scripture can do many things. In some cases, no doubt, memorizing or quoting or meditating upon God’s Word does indeed banish the “blues.” But to make it a panacea, a cure-all, for all kinds of depressions is not wise.”

Forgiveness: Ohio School Shooting: Parents of Slain Student Forgive Suspected Shooter TJ Lane

“You have to accept things done and move on. … I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s all I’d say. I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine. You have to forgive everything. God’s grace is new each and every day. … Until you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, you don’t know what made him come to this point.”

Gossip: GCB: Desperate Christian Housewives by Mark Moring

“If Sunday’s pilot episode of GCB is any indication, it not only highlights the problem of gossip in the church, but underscores it with audacity and an exclamation point.”

Just for fun: How Waiters Read Your Table

“If a waiter reads the needs of your table correctly, you’re likely to end up with a good experience. Inadvertently giving off the wrong signals can doom a table to service that’s too rushed, too slow or just off kilter. Here, how to work the system.”

Leadership: Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Leaders by Steven James

“Time-tested practices to ensure complete and utter failure.”

Millenials: Millennials Will Benefit And Suffer Due to Hyperconnected Lives

“Teens and young adults brought up from childhood with a continuous connection to each other and to information will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who count on the Internet as their external brain and who approach problems in a different way from their elders, according to a new survey of technology experts. … But the experts in this survey also predicted this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as ‘fast-twitch wiring.'”

Nationalism: No More Cheesy Fourth of July Church Services, Please by Brian Jones

“Don’t get me wrong. Fourth of July is a great holiday to celebrate, but never, under any circumstances, at any time, in any way, inside the confines of a church building and endorsed by a community of followers of Jesus Christ. Never. No way. Forever, and ever, amen. There are three reasons a Fourth of July service is just a really bad idea.”

Worship: * Is the Sunday assembly worship? by Timothy Archer * The difference between worship and Worship by Timothy Archer

* “Not argumentative. Information seeking.”

* “Can we make a biblical case for such a separation?”

this went thru my mind

 

20-Somethings: The Religious Views of 20-Somethings (parts one, two, and three) by Brandon J. O’Brien

“… those students who do consider themselves religious—most of them Christians—saw their religious beliefs having very little impact on their personal or professional goals.”

Communion: The Argument for Excluding Wine from the Lord’s Supper by John Mark Hicks

“Interestingly, the extended argument was needed and pushed by the Temperance Movement because churches generally, until very recently, had all used wine in the Lord’s Supper.”

Criticism: Criticism by Joshua Graves

“If you have the gift of criticism and gossip, you should consider what this says about the state of your own emotional health and the toll others are paying for your anxiety, toxicity.”

Depression: Depression and Serotonin

“One after another, the experts grant that there is no real evidence linking depression to low serotonin. Amazingly, they justify the propagation of the ‘low serotonin story’ simply because it is easy to understand. In other words, it doesn’t have to be true to be helpful.”

God: All Religions Are Not One

“I am for tolerance, but tolerance isn’t ignorance. Tolerance doesn’t equate to pretending differences don’t exist. Tolerance falls short of its own goal–both in inter-religious and inter-racial dialogue.”

Grief: Good Grief (parts one, twothreefourfivesixseveneight, the way of gracepost mortem & sermon on earthen vessels) by Ben Witherington

“When a person suffers the devastating loss of a loved one, you should — however well-intentioned you might be — keep your mouth shut. Or at the very least, you should think long and hard before you say anything. Here are some of the things I recently heard that did not help, and frankly were not true.”

Marriage: What I’ve Learned After Being Married for 33 Years by Jim Martin

“I knew very little about marriage when we began. At this point in life, I am still learning.”

Parenting: * 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters by Michael Mitchell; * Should We Read Our Kids’ Texts? by Jonathan McKee (thank you, Adam Marshall, for pointing me to this article!)

“… to all you Dads out there – be sure you pay close attention and heed these wise words …”

“I agree with all my parents’ guidelines except the one about them being able to read my texts at any time. I’m not gonna do that one with my kids when I’m a parent.”

Personal preferences: Scripture and Our Druthers by Timothy Archer

“It’s time to take the ‘I feel’s and ‘I like’s and put them in a drawer. It’s time to seek what’s best for the body as a whole.”

Reading: How to Read a Book by Chad Hall

“For several years I’ve used a method I call the “Reading Pyramid,” which provides five categories of reading. Perhaps it will be helpful for you. Here goes …”

Time management: The Biggest Myth in Time Management by Peter Bregman

“The idea that we can get it all done is the biggest myth in time management.”