this went thru my mind


Age of the earth & time: I Just Realized: My Age x 100,000,000 = the Age of the Earth, Which is Ridiculous by Peter Enns

“If 4.6 billion years is scaled to one mile, my life span is .00005 feet, or .0006 inches. That’s 6/10,000 of an inch. You can’t see that with the naked eye.”

Depression: How to Win Over Depression by Terry Rush

“Never will it be what others do for us that will defeat depression.”

Discipleship: Alan Hirsch on Making Disciples [2 min., 53 sec. video clip; required viewing]

“Everyone’s a disciple and no one ever stops being a disciple. … If we don’t disciple, the culture surely will.”

Hanukkah: The True Meaning of Hanukkah

“Hanukkah is one of the most widely celebrated Jewish holidays in America. But unlike Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur and Passover (or even the lesser-known Sukkot and Shavuot), all of which are explicitly mentioned in the Torah, Hanukkah gets only a brief, sketchy reference in the Talmud, the voluminous collection of Jewish oral law and tradition written down hundreds of years after the Maccabees’ revolt.”

Hell: Questions About Hell

“What does hell mean to Jesus?”

Jesus: Jesus, the King of Israel by Ted Gossard

“Jesus as Lord is to be king over the whole earth, but his rule starts over God’s people. And that rule extends beyond God’s people through conversion, never at the point of a gun, or the tip of a sword, but by the way of the cross. “Jesus and him crucified” is the message people need to hear. This king reigns on a cross and by way of a cross.”

Maturity, selflessness & service: Selflessness Leads to Spiritual Maturity by Jay Guin

“… on average only about 50% of those surveyed claim to be engaged in any meaningful service to others. (And I’m skeptical that the real numbers are even that high.) Therefore, at least 50% of our members do not sacrificially give or serve others. Just what kind of gospel are we teaching?”

Persuasion & words: The 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language

“… you might be surprised just how effective these deceptively simple words can be.”

Poverty: Profiting From a Child’s Illiteracy by Nicholas D. Kristof

“… the bottom line is that we shouldn’t try to fight poverty with a program that sometimes perpetuates it.”

this went thru my mind


Age of the earth: * The Questions Update: The Age of the Earth by Deborah Haarsma; * How Do We Know the Earth is Old?

* “Thus, the solar system, including the Earth, is about 4,560,000,000 years old.”

Friendship & ministry: Ministry Inside.84 by Jim Martin

“In some churches, a kind of uneasiness exists between ministers and elders. Or, sometimes the uneasiness exists among the ministry staff or within the elder group. In far too many instances, the relationship between these leaders has been reduced to an awkward superficial coexistence. I am not talking about situations where there is open conflict and quarreling. Rather, I am thinking about congregations where the relational investment by leaders into one another’s lives seems to be at a minimum.”

Healthcare: Christians and Healthcare by K. Rex Butts

“… I would like to make a few suggestions about the way Christians engage in the ongoing conversation, should we choose to do so.”

Justice: Speaking Up When It’s Too Late by Timothy Archer

“What would it take to get us to say ‘No’ to wrongs committed against those without power in our society? Or will we do content ourselves to let future generations lament our mistakes?”

Leadership: Four Secrets to Connecting with Old Leaders by Dan Rockwell

“Be a learn-it-all, not a know-it-all.”

Learning: 4 Reasons They Don’t Want to Learn … and 5 Suggestions by Ron Edmonson

“You can’t teach someone who doesn’t want to learn.”

Ministry: * 67 Year Old Parish Priest Gives Advice Gained From More Than 40 Years Of Pastoral Ministry; * My Interview With a 92 Year Old Pastor by Ron Edmonson, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5

Ministry & shepherding: Calm Your Storm by Tim Spivey

“The two most important things any pastor can give their church is to stay close to the Lord Jesus and to seek personal emotional health.”

Note-taking: How to Take Notes [infographic]

Same-sex couples: God Bless You vs. God Blessed You – Blessing Same-Sex Couples by Chris Altrock

“While a committed and monogamous relationship is a good step in the right direction (away from sexual relationships with multiple partners). What the church should unleash unreservedly might be called the ‘God Blessed You’ blessing.”

Spiritual abuse: Spiritual Abuse by Roger Olson

“… spiritual abuse is the control of people by manipulation of their religious needs or sensitivities by means of shame.”

Time: Jesus’ Invitation to the Discipline of “Wasting Time?” by John Huckins

“You have to listen. Drop your agendas and allow the stories of the inhabitants of the neighborhood to inform how you engage and participate. Simply be present.”

this went thru my mind, too


Discipleship: We Need Boring Christians

“Regardless of our location, abroad or at home, all ministry is inescapably local. Every worker in a global context must embrace the monotonous minutiae of a new daily grind after the plane lands—figuring out the postal service, dealing with the cell phone company, conjugating verbs in the slow and tedious study of the language.”

Evangelism: * Talking About Jesus * Answering Questions People Actually Ask

“The doc smiles, then asks in apparent good faith. ‘How does someone avoid missing heaven by eighteen inches?’ I ask what he means. He repeats the question with some explanation. ‘Suppose a person almost makes it into heaven but comes up just short of what is required. Is there some way to make sure that does not happen?'”

Facebook: * The Reboot: Deleting Your Facebook Profile Every Year as a Spiritual Exercise * Facebook is Making Us Miserable

“First, it’s creating a den of comparison. Since our Facebook profiles are self-curated, users have a strong bias toward sharing positive milestones and avoid mentioning the more humdrum, negative parts of their lives. … Second, it’s fragmenting our time … the issue with this constant “tabbing” between real-life tasks and Facebook is what economists and psychologists call “switching costs,” the loss in productivity associated with changing from one task to another. … Last, there’s a decline of close relationships. Gone are the days where Facebook merely complemented our real-life relationships. Now, Facebook is actually winning share of our core, off-line interactions.”

Government, Mennonites, politics, and voting: Lipscomb on the Mennonites

“I think no greater evil can befall the churches of Jesus Christ than for them to enter the field of politics, drink into the spirit of the civil powers, and look to them for help in enforcing morality and in carrying out the law and the righteousness of the Bible. The more widely the church and the State can be kept apart in their operations, the better for both. The reason of this is, they are diverse in nature and character, and must be run on different and antagonistic principles.”

Pacifism: Introducing Christian Nonviolence – Two Resources for the Interested and Skeptical

“In North America, the idea of Christian nonviolence or Pacifism (meaning to “pacify” not inactive passivism) is largely unaccepted by evangelical Christianity. This is odd considering that the peace teachings of Jesus and the early church are basic to New Testament teaching and theology. I want to offer two resources to give a basic introduction into this subject. I realize that many of my readers will disagree, but if you are willing to wrestle with the following resources, I promise that you will at least come to appreciate this perspective (and who knows, maybe you will embrace it!).”

Politics: The Damage of 2011

“… major reductions in the vital category known as nondefense discretionary spending, which faces cuts of around $800 billion over a decade. That category includes education, housing assistance, transportation, public health, veterans benefits, law enforcement and courts, environmental protection and many other crucial programs.

“This spending category has been the main focus of Republican pressure for decades. In the 1970s, nondefense discretionary spending represented about 5 percent of the gross domestic product; that is now down to about 2.5 percent. Over the next decade, once the new cuts go into effect, it will decline to less than 2 percent. This year’s spending bill, signed into law a few days ago, is roughly 10 percent lower than last year’s, cutting Pell grants, environmental programs and aid to desperate states. Low-income heating assistance was cut by 25 percent.

“As the economist Jared Bernstein has noted, this is the category of spending that helps people move up the income ladder, providing nutritious food, improving early education and job training and putting people to work.”

Virginal conception of Jesus: Suspending Skepticism: history and the virgin birth by N.T. Wright

“If the first two chapters of Matthew and the first two of Luke had never existed, I do not suppose that my own Christian faith, or that of the church to which I belong, would have been very different. But since they do, and since for quite other reasons I have come to believe that the God of Israel, the world’s creator, was personally and fully revealed in and as Jesus of Nazareth, I hold open my historical judgment and say: If that’s what God deemed appropriate, who am I to object?”

Young-earth creationists: A Nice Argument for the Age of the Earth

“I am regularly approached by young Earth creationists… If I have the time I try to engage them on the age of Earth, since Earth is something whose existence them and I agree upon. They will tell me that Earth is somewhere between 6,000 – 10,000 years old, and, when prompted, that the rest of the universe is the same age as well. I have taken the approach of responding to this assertion by pulling out a print of the far side of the Moon.”