this went thru my mind

 

Daily risks, health, life expectancy & situational awareness: That Daily Shower Can Be a Killer by Jared Diamond

“The other morning, I escaped unscathed from a dangerous situation. No, an armed robber didn’t break into my house, nor did I find myself face to face with a mountain lion during my bird walk. What I survived was my daily shower. … This calculation illustrates the biggest single lesson that I’ve learned from 50 years of field work on the island of New Guinea: the importance of being attentive to hazards that carry a low risk each time but are encountered frequently.”

False teaching & heresy: 7 Steps to Becoming a Heretic by Mike Leake

“Heretics usually start by staring in the mirror and saying, ‘Today, thou shalt be a difference maker.’”

God & suffering: How Could a Good God Allow Suffering? [93 min. video link]

“… a Veritas Forum discussion held at MIT in 2011. This presentation features four MIT professors, two Christian and two non-Christian. The forum begins with a ten minute presentation by each person presenting their world view or their story.  The last half of the video is a question answer panel session.”

God & politics: Divine Rhetoric: God In The Inaugural Address by Scott Neuman

“President Obama mentioned him five times in Monday’s inaugural address — God, that is. In modern times, religion has become so intertwined in our political rhetoric that the failure of any president to invoke God in a speech as important as the inaugural could hardly escape notice. … But the inaugural references to a Supreme Being have evolved over time.”

Guests, greeting & welcoming: Making Visitors Feel Welcome (Part 1): The Greeters by Sarah Bowler

“How can we make the people in our church feel welcomed?”

Immigration & injustice: The Truth About Immigrant Detention Facilities by Matthew Soerens

“Last week, I read the following passage in Amos, speaking of God’s judgment on the people (and, in particular, the rulers) of Israel: ‘They sell the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals. They trample on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and deny justice to the oppressed (Amos 2:6-7). … Because their profits increase the more people that they detain, companies like GEO have a strong incentive to encourage the federal government to detain more people.”

Short-term missions: Musings on Missions and Evangelism: Are Short-Term Missions For Us or Them?

” …  I have begun to change my feelings about who STMs are about.”

Work: God at Work: The Priesthood of Burger-Flippers by Jonathan Storment

“On average, most of us will work 100,000 hours in our lives, the majority of our lives will be spent doing our job. And if the only thing you ever hear from church is about how you should work/serve/volunteer more inside the building, there’s a chance that you might miss out on how important God thinks your job is.”

this went thru my mind

 

Alzheimer’s: Is Alzheimer’s Type 3 Diabetes? by Mark Bittman

“The idea that Alzheimer’s might be Type 3 diabetes has been around since 2005, but the connection between poor diet and Alzheimer’s is becoming more convincing … The studies are increasingly persuasive, and unsurprising when you understand the role of insulin in the body.”

Awe & creation: Which Is Greater, The Number Of Sand Grains On Earth Or Stars In The Sky? by Robert Krulwich

“If you took 10 drops of water (not extra-big drops, just regular drops, I’m presuming) and counted the number of H2O molecules in those drops, you’d get a number equal to all the stars in the universe.”

Christianity & culture: When Christianity is at its Greatest

“Sometimes the priorities and perspectives of American Christians who are striving to bring America back to its alleged Christian roots end up being against the gospel. An examination of the Christian faith before it was legal helps us to put things in proper perspective.”

Divorce & statistics: Curing Pastoral Stats Abuse: How Not to Be a Stats Abuser or Confuser by Ed Stetzer

“It is a mistake of category to take census Christians (those who identify as Christians on a survey form), and use statistical quotes as if they are representative of born-again genuine followers of Jesus Christ (in other words, not all who identify as “Christian” fit the description of a genuine believer).”

Ministry: Willingly Walking into a World of Pain by Dan Bouchelle [required reading]

“This is what congregational ministry is really like.”

Politics & poverty: VIDEO: Obama, Romney Answer Faith Leaders’ Call to Address Poverty in Election [required viewing]

“Christian leaders asked, and the presidential nominees answered. The poverty rate in America is still at a staggering 15 percent and 46.2 million Americans remain in poverty — what is your plan to address the problem? The Circle of Protection, composed of Christian leaders from across the religious spectrum, released President Barack Obama’s and GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s video responses today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.”

Smartphones: 10 Smartphone Habits You Should Avoid

“The secret of a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow. … This thought has made me more and more attentive to all encounters, meetings, introductions, which might contain the seed of depth that might be carelessly overlooked.

“This feeling has become a rarity, and rarer every day now that we have reached a hastier and more superficial rhythm, now that we believe we are in touch with a greater amount of people, more people, more countries. This is the illusion which might cheat us of being in touch deeply with the one breathing next to us. The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.”

Suffering: Suffering, Tragedy and Doubt: 5 Mistakes Christians Make by Derek Flood

“Here are five things we Christians often get wrong, and what we can do to fix them …”

Time management: * Ministry Inside.94 by Jim Martin; * How to Avoid Procrastinating When You Feel Overwhelmed by Lucille Zimmerman

* “I have found the following practices to be helpful as I attempt to manage my time …”

* “Here are some tips we can all use in order to avoid procrastination …”

Vocation: 7 Tips for Finding Your Vocation by Brad Jersak

“A vocation is a ‘calling’ that can span over many careers.”

Bruner on John 4.31-32

 

“Meanwhile, the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, please have something to eat!’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat you fellows know nothing about!’ So the disciples were saying to each other, ‘You don’t think somebody brought him something to eat while we were away, do you?’ Jesus says to them, ‘My food is to do the will of the One Who Sent Me and to complete his mission.’” (John 4.31-32)

Fulfilling work, we learn from Jesus’ remark, is physically full-filling. When one feels one’s work is the very will of God, Jesus seems to be suggesting, one feels even physically nourished in body, not to mention what such a conviction does to soul and spirit. Jesus is teaching his disciples here to find the will of God for one’s work and in one’s work, and that this finding feeds, even physically.

A wag once said that every time one goes to the refrigerator one is looking for God. What he meant is that sometimes life is so unfulfilling that only food (or drink or drugs) can satisfy the soul, not to mention the body. (Might our passage address addictions?) An antidote to addiction is fulfilling work. One fruit of this passage for Christian readers is the provocation of questions such as: Am I in the will of God? Do I have even a physical sense of the satisfaction my work can bring? What vocational decision should I make to be “filled”? (“Do a thorough moral inventory.” The Twelve-Step Programs, founded on Christian premises by the Rev. Samuel Shoemaker and Bill W. – have been deply helpful in raising basic questions like these.)

In our story Jesus is now the model Christian worker. He has already taught us the basics of Christian Evangelism (vv. 7-15) and of Christian Worship (vv. 16-26). He is now teaching us the basics of Christian Work or Mission (vv. 27-42). The fulfilling will of The One Who Sent Jesus does not need to be direct evangelism. “Are all evangelists?” asked Paul in effect (1 Cor. 12.19; cf. Eph. 4.11). The fulfilling will of The One Who Sent Jesus is to be about the work for which God gifted one in creation and for which God calls one in Jesus’ re-creation of his people into New Life. The Reformation doctrine of vocation taught disciples to find in their humblest work the highest service of God and neighbor.

Jesus’ earlier vocational teaching in the Synoptic Gospels (often in connection with his disciples’ all-too-human quest for “greatness” or recognition) taught disciples to find their greatness and their greatest satisfaction in service, in going down. I believe our present text is the Johannine equivalent of Jesus’ Synoptic texts and is saying, quite simply: “You will find that doing the will of God is even the most physically satisfying way to live.”

Frederick Dale Bruner, The Gospel of John: A Commentary (Eerdmans, 2012), pp.274