Bible reading: Six Steps for Reading Your Bible
“So, how is it going with your Bible reading for 2012? I know many of you have made the commitment to read through God’s Word this year, and I am proud of you for accepting the challenge. … Here are a few tips for staying the course and completing the process of reading through God’s Word.”
Church contribution: Five Ways to Make Giving Easier to Your Church
“We have to make it easy for people to give!”
House church movement: The Struggle With House Churches
“Despite the assertion from the house church movement that the house church is the normative, biblical model it’s not. House churches are culturally formed models that meet cultural conditions. So far our experience is that the congregational model, a mid to large size community of God’s people, is still the most effective form or model for new churches in America.”
Life in Christ: Converting from Christianity to Christ
“When I was young, I decided to convert from my self-centered life to the religious life. Since then, I have been converting from the religious life to Christ’s way of life. There is a difference. A huge one.”
Meditation: Resist “Swish and Spit” Devotions
“What did you read yesterday? No, not what chapter, but what did you read? What from God’s Word got a hold of you to produce a response? Did anything evoke conviction or delight? Did something particular from your reading explode in your heart with thanksgiving?
“Hopefully the answer is yes. But too often the answer is, ‘Wait. Hold on. …I can’t remember.’
“This reminds me of childhood trips to the dentist. Do you recall after the dentist put that horrific fluoride treatment in your mouth? He then would spray in a bunch of water that you would lean over and (try to) spit in the small circular sink next to your head.
“Sadly too many of us have a ‘swish and spit’ devotional life. We grab a little Bible reading, swish it around in the morning, then spit it out on the way out the door. The treasures from the Word don’t get swallowed and digested but rather spit out quickly.
“How do you combat dental chair devotions? One word: meditation.”
Millennial generation: How to Lead Millenials
“A good friend asked me the other day my thoughts on how to lead the millennial generation, basically those born after 1980. We gather thousands of leaders who fit this category on an annual basis, and most of our Catalyst staff are under the age of 30.”
Nationalism: The Nazis and Christianity: Is History Repeating Itself?
“For now, I just want to point this out for two reasons. First, this is, in my judgment, the biggest problem facing Christianity in America. Secondly, I also want to stress the need for teaching the Bible, as well as Christian theology and church history among churches. We can learn from what happened in Germany that both nationalism as well as biblical, theological, and historical ignorance are cancers to the Christian faith as well as cancers to society.”
Possessions: Don’t Just Declutter, De-own
“… organizing our stuff (without removing it) has some other major shortcomings that are rarely considered …”
Reversal: Black Church Wins Klan Shop Ruling
“After a lengthy legal battle between a black South Carolina church and members of the Ku Klux Klan, a judge has ruled that the church owns a building where KKK robes and T-shirts are sold.”
Success: The Dangerous Side of Success
“An article out of the business section of this week’s Wall Street Journal, ‘Kodak Teeters on the Brink,’ tells the painful story of Kodak. After thirteen highly successful decades, the film and camera company is on the ropes. It is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection. … There’s much the church can learn from all of this, for church cultures are prone to the same thing—to achieve some success and then become satisfied, content, turning insular, rigid—oblivious to the warning Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, who once said: ‘When the rate of change inside an organization is slower than the rate of change outside of an organization, the end of the organization is in sight.’”
United States of America: America Shall Not Be Exceptional
“We had it right in 1998 when we published these words to the United Nations: “Torture is prohibited by law throughout the United States. It is categorically denounced as a matter of policy and as a tool of state authority. Every act constituting torture under the Convention constitutes a criminal offense under the law of the United States. No official of the Government, federal, state or local, civilian or military, is authorized to commit or to instruct anyone else to commit torture. Nor may any official condone or tolerate torture in any form. No exceptional circumstances may be invoked as a justification of torture.”
War in Iraq: The Forgotten Wages of War
“As is our habit, the discussion focused on the costs to America in blood and treasure, the false premises of the war and the continuing challenges of instability in the region. What happened to Iraqis was largely ignored. … We rarely question that wars cause extensive damage, but our view of America’s wars has been blind to one specific aspect of destruction: the human toll of those who live in war zones.”
Wonder: How to Stay Astonished in Five Simple Steps
“I know…we’re too busy to be astonished. … So here’s five simple things to turn up your astonishment on any given day.”