20′s, choices, decisions & wisdom: 10 Ways to Ruin Your Life in Your 20s [essential reading; spot-on]
“No one ever plans to ruin their life. … but it does happen. It happens far too often. And it happens because of the choices we make, even though that is not a result that anyone would ever willingly choose. Most of those choices take place when people are relatively young—old enough to be making important decisions about their life, but young enough for those decisions to snowball and grow to have disastrous consequences. … How can we avoid making such mistakes? Below are 10 things people can do to ruin their lives while still in their 20s. It is a list of what not to do, or things to stop doing immediately if you don’t want to suffer the results.”
Beauty: The Race We’re All Losing
“If beauty is fleeting, why do we chase it? … Our clay will never turn into the beautiful clear glass we are wanting because it is meant to clay.”
Change, development, spiritual growth & spiritual maturity: Bearing Fruit in Old Age
“If I am the same person today I was ten years ago, I have stagnated.”
* “It’s easy to say that I’d like to start a new church that will ‘do things right.’ Or choose to withdraw from the gathered body all together, focusing on my relationship with God outside the confines of organized religion. So here are some tempering thoughts, presented in no particular order …”
* “With all of those caveats aside, I want to share 5 different sorts of churches that I personally would avoid if I were moving to a new city and were not a pastor of a church.”
Doubt & outreach: 3 Things to Remember in Discussion with Doubters
“Saying your church is a safe place for doubters doesn’t make it so. … Doubting is never just intellectual. … Strengthened faith should lead to the strengthening of other people.”
God, perception, understanding & worship: The Myth of Worshipping an Identical God
“… we worship our individual projection of God, not a perfectly identical God. And this projection is formed by hundreds, if not thousands, of individual experiences, lessons, traditions, people, and revelations we each have had. In a sense, our personal view of God is like a thumbprint. It’s that unique.”
Nonviolence: At Gunpoint
“Daniel told us he’d kill anyone who tried to come in and take his family away from him.”
Parenting: Teen Spirit
“Helicopter parenting has crippled American teenagers. Here’s how to fix it.”
Oral interpretation & Philemon: David Rhoads Performing Philemon [5 min. video; outstanding!]
“David Rhoads performing Philemon at SBL 2103 in Baltimore, MD.”
Teachers & teaching: What Can You Do?
“Do at least one thing really well, and that will mean doing at least a few other things barely adequately. As the saying goes, ‘If a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly,’ and a lot of duties imposed upon many of us nowadays are worth doing … but just barely.
“If, instead, we try to do everything asked of us reasonably well–say, at a ‘B-’ level–we’ll feel ‘B-’ about it all. And exhausted in the process. And that’s a lousy way to live.
“Work at something, at least one thing, at an ‘A’ level. It might be small. It might not even be noticed by others. But you’ll know you did a great job of it, and the feeling of excellence you draw from that task will inspire you in the rest of what you do.
“Meanwhile, practice ‘prudent neglect’ of the stuff that doesn’t matter much.”