this went thru my mind

 

Christian radio, church, ministry & creativity: * Killing Becky (On Creating in A ‘Safe’ Church) by Sean Palmer [essential reading]; * John Cleese on Creativity [essential viewing; 36 min. video]

* “… it’s foolish to believe Becky and the Christian music aimed at her is anywhere near the neighborhood of a holistic Christian experience. And that’s the problem! Problems arise when the ‘Becky experience’ becomes synonymous with the ‘Christian experience.’ Very little of life with God is safe.”

* “… creativity is not possible in the closed mode.”

Church, discipleship & evangelism: Francis Chan Challenges People to Experience God Through Making Disciples

“Chan’s desire to cultivate boldness in discipleship led him and his wife, Lisa, to start a church planting movement in the inner city of San Francisco. ‘We have church on Sunday afternoons, which consists of me speaking for 5-10 minutes, us singing for 5-10 minutes, then everyone going out for two hours and witnessing in lower income neighborhoods. After that we come back and share with each other what happened and how the experience was,’ Chan described, adding that he is also working to launch a nationwide discipleship movement.”

Exploitation & the poor: Targeting the Dove Sellers by Richard Beck [required reading]

“… going after the dove sellers we see Jesus directly attacking the group who were having economic dealings with the poor. When the poor would go to the temple they would head for the dove sellers. The point being, while we know that Jesus was upset about economic exploitation going on in the temple, his focus on the dove sellers sharpens the message and priorities. Jesus doesn’t, for instance, go after the sellers of lambs. Jesus’s anger is stirred at the way the poor are being treated and economically exploited.”

College, David Lipscomb, learning & understanding: My Top Nine List of What They Will Not Tell You in New Faculty Orientation Meetings by Lee C. Camp

“If you don’t know it, you will, unfortunately, not find it in our current publications: David Lipscomb was a socio-political radical, a pacifist who refused to fight for either the Confederacy or the Union; said that trying to prop up human governments was akin to whoring with the Beast and, quoting the book of Revelation, admonished those thus whoring that they should “come ye out of her”; insisted that a sectarian refusal to listen to the arguments of people who fundamentally disagreed with you was ignorant; and thought that too much affiliation with wealth ruined young people, because it made them incapable of being at ease in the homes of the poor that were filled with unpleasant odors and foul disease. And he believed all of this because he, first and foremost, sought first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness. Whether we agree with all his conclusions or not, let us not forget his witness, and let us talk more about what brother Lipscomb had to say.”

Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, privacy, Twitter & social media: * The Ultimate Complete Final Social Media Sizing Cheat Sheet [infographic]; * Facebook Privacy Fail [infographic]

* “… an infographic listing all of the sizing information for images on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.”

* “Here are some of the biggest issues with Facebook and their privacy issues.”

First impressions & guests: First Impressions by Your Church by Philip Nation

“People never get a second-chance at a first impression. Neither do churches. My family recently visited a church (no, it wasn’t your church) and were able to get in and out undetected. Had it not been for our toddler’s need for childcare, we could have avoided human contact altogether. Needless to say, we didn’t feel very welcome. Nearly everything about a Sunday morning worship service communicates something to first-time visitors. From the church bulletins to the parking lot layout, churches demonstrate how much – or how little – they care about people. Here are some things I learned from my last church visit.”

Near death experiences (NDE): Can We Chemically Induce Near Death Experiences? by Caleb Wilde

“… what happens if these NDEs are simply concoctions of end-of-life chemical reactions?”

Prayer: 13 Thoughts About Pastoral Prayers by Brandon Cox

“Be sure you don’t pray the same phrases every time. Change it up. If you don’t prepare and think about the prayer, you will automatically resort to old familiar cliches — which wear out quickly in public usage.”

Red Letter Christians: Authors Ask: ‘What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said?’

“Best-selling Christian authors Shane Claiborne and Tony Campolo say discussions about Christian doctrine are important, but believers today have gotten away from living out the simple, practical life-teachings of Jesus Christ. In their newest book, Red Letter Revolution: What If Jesus Really Meant What He Said? they tackle a number of controversial issues – the Middle East, abortion, national debt, immigration and more – in an attempt to show how Jesus’ words could transform modern Christianity and the world.”

this went thru my mind

 

Control, influence & life: It’s a Wonderful Life, If … by Dan Bouchelle [required reading]

“Love does not seek to control others.”

Church: What You Don’t Like About Your Church (And why that’s good) by Daniel Darling [required reading]

“I often say to people … ‘I don’t like everything in our church. And this is good, because if everything here was geared to what I like, it would be great for me, but not-so-great for the other members.’ And so it is with you.”

Christmas: * How December 25 Became Christmas by Andrew McGowan; * Separating Fact from Fiction in the Nativity Story – Christmas Myths Exposed by Frank Viola

* “How did December 25 come to be associated with Jesus’ birthday?”

* “If you’ve ever heard the Christmas story retold or watched it dramatized on film, you may not have realized how many myths were added to the story found in the Gospels. In this piece, I address some of them.”

Muslim: Why So Many Muslims Are Angry at the West by Frank Bellizzi

“Every semester, I teach a freshmen-level course at Amarillo College titled “Introduction to World Religions.” It’s the toughest teaching assignment I have.”

Near Death Experiences (NDE): NDEs and Heaven

“The near death experience as a foreshadowing of Heaven is a beautiful theory perhaps, but wrong.”

this went thru my mind

 

Afterlife, heaven & near-death experiences: Proof of Heaven? by Roger Olson

“This is folk religion, not Christian belief. Churches need to pay attention to Christians’ tendency to base their beliefs on popular culture, stories of private experiences, rumors, urban legends (‘evangelegends’), novels, etc. And they need to counter this tendency with strong biblical and theological teaching about what the Bible and Christian tradition really say about, for example, life after death.”

Bible application & interpretation: If My People [2 Chronicles 7.14] by Brad Morrow [required reading]

“… we can’t hijack the verse and use it as a promise of spiritual revival for America or wherever Christians reside; that would misuse the verse.”

Climate change & global warming: Katharine Hayhoe: Evangelical Christian, Climate Scientist [3 brief video clips; less than 7 minutes total]

“Katharine Hayhoe is a highly-respected expert on climate change. An associate professor in the Department of Political Science and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, her focus is developing new ways to quantify the potential impacts of human activities at the regional scale. … As an evangelical scientist, Katharine Hayhoe is already a member of a rare breed. As a climate change researcher who is also married to an evangelical Christian pastor, she is nearly one of a kind. In these three videos, Hayhoe divulges her beliefs about God, climate change, and the difficulties of believing in both those things.”

Clutter, possessions & stuff: 10 Creative Ways to Declutter Your Home by Joshua Becker

“The decluttering journey doesn’t need to be as painful as some make it out to be. … Consider this list of 10 creative ways to declutter your home.”

Evangelism: Evangelism: What is It and How It Would Look? by Terry Rush [required reading]

“Evangelism: it isn’t a one-way for all. It is all-ways to win one.”

Holy Spirit: 5 Misunderstandings About the Holy Spirit by Jack Levison

“Let’s look at some of the most common misconceptions.”

Militarism: Are American Evangelicals Seduced by Militarism? by Preston Sprinkle

“… America is becoming more and more militarized. I would also argue … that America’s recent militarism is an aberration of its original ideals. … God does not think too highly of military might. In fact, He condemns it as idolatry.”

Ministry, pain & shepherding: * From the Shepherd’s Nook: Pain by John Frye; * My Top 10 Youth Ministry Fails by Brandon Baker

* “For whatever convoluted reasons, I avoided conflict for many years in ministry. I liked to think of myself as a “peacemaker,” but what I was really was a pain-avoider. Later in ministry I got some very wise counsel about my jitters regarding conflict. I avoided conflict because it kept me distant (safe) from my own personal pain.”

* “These certainly are not the only mistakes I’ve made and my psyche has probably blocked out some of the worst ones.”