“America’s Greatest Deficit is Spiritual, Not Merely Financial” by Brian McLaren. Do I hear an “Amen?”
Such wise words on a rarely mentioned subject! “Why Speaking Well of Your Spouse Is So Important” by Michael Hyatt.
Increasing technology and mobility will have as big an impact on how folks “do church” as did the introduction of electricity and air conditioning. How so? Just one word is enough: mobility. Anthony Coppedge’s article “Why Mobile Technologies Will Force Churches to Change” by Anthony Coppedge will make you think. Here’s a link to it: http://bit.ly/fK12ca
And who uses technology and moves toward greater mobility more than youth? I’ve never cared for an expression I’ve heard so much in church across the years: “Our young people are our church of the future.” Every time I’ve ever heard it spoken it made me just want to stand up and shout in response: “No, they’re just as much a church of the present as you are.” The younger generations do not make up “the church in waiting;” they’re a part of the church that is. Which means they should be empowered and exercised, not put on hold until a generation or two dies off. Matt Dabbs’ “Jesus on Discipling Young Adults” is spot-on and well-said. Enjoy and be challenged.
It’s not about a method or technique. It’s not about having certain gifts or skills. It’s not about having great connections or happening to be a part of a great network. It’s about simply sharing the life you have found so abundant in Christ with others. Terry Rush’s “Breathe Evangelism” is required reading.
It’s not a pleasant thought, but it is reality: some folks are simply about manipulation. Could you be one of them? Jim Martin’s article “Are You a Lover or a Manipulator?” should give all of us pause, whether as a wake-up call to what’s really going on around us or as challenge for a bit of introspection.
Common wisdom has always said “Give, but don’t give money to the poor.” But when money has been given to the poor, how did it usually happen? Usually in the form of extremes – just a few dollars or giant windfall – and no real interaction or follow-up. However, what if money – not just a couple of bucks and not a truckload – was given to the poor along with serious interaction and follow-up? What might happen? That’s the thought behind a small charity project with some of England’s homeless and the basis for an interesting article entitled “Giving Money to the Homeless Might Actually Work.”
How it hurts to see so many afflicted by the massive earthquake and devestating tsumani in Japan! How are Churches of Christ responding and attempting to help? Read this article in the Christian Chronicle: “Christian relief organizations prepare to respond to Japan disaster” – http://bit.ly/fXZn8S
Read Romans 8:31-39.
In one of the most inspiring passages in all that is now called Scripture, Paul soars here to new heights in describing the lengths to which God’s love in Christ Jesus has gone. Even more, what makes this passage truly inspiring is that the man who wrote it was a living embodiment of the experience of this love.
When Paul said no outward trouble – not even trouble, distress, harassment, famine, nakedness, danger, or sword – could separate God from his love for us, he writes as one who had faced all of those very things numerous times. They were not for him as they are for me, hypothetical situations. No, Paul had seen the worst come his way because of his faith in God, yet none of that diminished his perception or reception of God’s love.
When Paul said no charge or conviction could be successfully leveled against him that would remove God’s love from his view, he was a man with a past so heavy, well, suffice it to say people have committed suicide over far lesser things. Yet Paul grasped that God’s own son, Jesus Christ, died for him, was raised for him, and was yet even at that moment at God’s right hand interceding for him.
But this is not something that is limited to Paul’s experience. Paul says this is available to “all.” How many times does he use the words “us” or “we,” and not in an editorial fashion. This abiding assurance that God is on my side and rooting for me, that he is not against me, can be mine. This clear confidence in Christ even in the face of crisis or disaster, Paul says can be yours and mine because Christ is greater than anything and all.
So how should I respond to all of this?
Holy, heavenly Father: I am yours. I accept your love and embrace you. Lead me not into times of temptation; I do pray, “Deliver me from evil.” But when great evil does come my way, from without or from within, may my eyes not only remain locked on your great love and fixed on your Son, but may my lips be attuned to give you praise. Amen. And amen.