links: this went thru my mind

Bible classes, community, intergenerational faith formation & spiritual education: Why Bring the Generations Back Together in Churches [essential reading]

“… why did churches in the 70s, 80s, and 90s begin separating the generations by age and stage? … The move toward age segregation in society in general is one key factor that has contributed to age segregation in American churches. … Another factor, and from my perspective the main reason for age segregation in our faith communities, is that we have allowed educational and developmental psychology to influence our praxis too strongly. …

“Why bring the generations back together? … for the spiritual benefits of intergenerational Christian experiences and relationships. … ‘intergenerational relationships in faith communities are crucial.'”

Bible reading, community & interpretation: Misreading Scripture Alone

“Personal piety and a desire for truth are not guarantees that we always read Scripture aright. Consequently, we must rely upon our brothers and sisters in the faith to correct and rebuke us when we err, demonstrating our errors by Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16). And this reliance on brothers and sisters refers not merely to those Christians who happen to be alive at the same time as us. Instead, it refers to the whole Christian Church, throughout time. We rely on those who have gone before us. They too get a say in the matter. As G. K. Chesterton has wonderfully put it, this sort of tradition is a ‘democracy of the dead.'”

Children, families, parenting & traditions: 3 Low Cost/High Impact Family Traditions

“Traditions are the building blocks for strong families.”

Focus, life, peace & stress: End Your Day Well to Start Your Day Well [essential reading]

“When you find the rhythm of evening and morning you will have good days.”

Listening: How You Can Learn the #1 Persuasion Technique of FBI Hostage Negotiators

“What do you hear about great groups? Not that the members are all really smart but that they listen to each other. They share criticism constructively. They have open minds. They’re not autocratic. And in our study we saw pretty clearly that groups that had smart people dominating the conversation were not very intelligent groups.”

links: this went thru my mind


Bible classes, children & Sunday School: I Wonder If Sunday School Is Destroying Our Kids

“Here is how we destroy the gospel message. Look at almost any Sunday school curriculum. You’ll find …”

Church membership: I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer

“I will be a functioning church member: The church is a unified body made up of many parts. All parts must function in their role or the church becomes weak. I will be a unifying church member: Unity is every church members’ responsibility. Gossip and unforgiveness break down unity. I will not let my church be about my preferences and desires: Church membership is about servanthood. I will pray for my church leaders: Without ongoing prayer for leaders by church members, our churches will not be healthy. I will lead my family to be healthy church members: Show your children and spouse how to love the church unconditionally. I will treasure church membership as a gift: When we view membership as a gift, our sense of entitlement fades.”

Culture & society: How the Last Decade Changed American Life

“One of the greatest self-perception changes over the past decade is in how Americans see themselves in relation to others. For all the technological advances in the past decade, the desire for human connectedness remains. Ten years ago, slightly over one out of 10 Americans self-identified as lonely. Today, that number has doubled—a paradoxical reality in the full swing of the social media age.”

Israel & Palestine: What God May Be Up to In the Land of the Bible

“Regarding day-to-day life in Israel and the West Bank …”

Ministry: Ministry Fence Posts (parts 1 & 2)

“Without properly set and upheld boundaries, individuals will more likely experience exhaustion of both body and spirit.”

Galatians: Christ has set us free! (start)


Christ Has Set Us Free! is the title of the upcoming Sunday morning adult Bible class study of Galatians at MoSt Church. Our focus on Galatians during the fall class quarter (Sept.-Nov.) will begin this coming Sun., Sept. 9 and run through Sun., Nov. 25. At least three of our adult classes at MoSt Church will be engaged in this study of Galatians: the auditorium class, the builder/boomer class, and the class I lead, the 20/20 class.

In addition, I intend to post once each weekday (Mon.-Fri.) here on my site regarding Galatians.

Following is the outline/schedule we’ll use during this quarter. It’s basically the outline, with some slight adaptation, given in Tom Wright’s For Everyone Bible Study Guide.

Sept. 9  –  Galatians 1.1-24  –  A Different Gospel?

Sept. 16  –  Galatians 2.1-14  –  Agreement & Confrontation

Sept. 23  –  Galatians 2.15-3.9  –  A New Identity

Sept. 30  –  Galatians 3.10-22  –  A Promise Fulfilled

Oct. 7  –  Galatians 3.23-4.7  –  The Coming of Faith

Oct. 14  –  Galatians 4.8-20  –  No Turning Back

Oct. 21  –  Galatians 4.21-5.6  –  Freedom in Christ

Oct. 28  –  Galatians 5.7-18  –  Using Freedom Well

Nov. 4  –  Galatians 5.19-21  –  Works of the Flesh

Nov. 11  –  Galatians 5.22-23  –  Fruit of the Spirit

Nov. 18  –  Galatians 5.24-6.5  –  Walking With the Spirit

Nov. 25  –  Galatians 6.6-18  –  Practical Words

I encourage you to read Galatians through this week before our class work begins. Just a chapter-a-day, every day, starting today, will take you all the way through the letter before class this Sunday.

this went thru my mind

Church dropouts: Six Reasons Young Christians Leave Church (Barna Group)

“No single reason dominated the break-up between church and young adults. Instead, a variety of reasons emerged. Overall, the research uncovered six significant themes why nearly three out of every five young Christians (59%) disconnect either permanently or for an extended period of time from church life after age 15.”

Hell: Interview With Edward Fudge by Matt Dabbs

“… the traditional notion that God will intentionally and actively keep millions of people alive forever just to torment them endlessly is inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture, contradictory to the character of Jesus, and, even worse, is a horrible slander against the heavenly Father.”

LeadershipThree Irrational Beliefs … that I constantly have to fight by David Slagle

“#1: “I absolutely MUST, at all times, perform outstandingly well and win the approval of significant others. If I fail in these important—and sacred—respects, that is awful and I am a bad, incompetent, unworthy person, who will probably always fail and deserves to suffer. #2: Other people with whom I relate absolutely MUST, under practically all conditions, treat me nicely, considerately, and fairly. Otherwise, it is terrible and they are rotten, bad, unworthy people who will always treat me badly and should be severely punished for acting so abominably to me. #3: “The conditions under which I live absolutely MUST, at practically all times, be favorable, safe, hassle-free, and quickly and easily enjoyable. If they are not, it’s awful and horrible and I can’t ever enjoy myself at all. My life is hardly worth living.”

Millenials: 20 Points on Leading Millenials by Brad Lomenick

“… my thoughts on how to lead the millennial generation, basically those born after 1980.”

Persecution: Youcef Nadarkhani’s Letter to His Church by Trevin Wax

“What we are bearing today, is a difficult but not unbearable situation, because neither he has tested us more than our faith and our endurance, nor does he do as such. And as we have known from before, we must beware not to fail, but to advance in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, And consider these bumps and prisons as opportunities to testify to his name.”

Racism: Rubel Shelly and Odessa Porterfield by Joshua Graves

“’I’d rather her marry a black man with a heart like Jesus than a white man with a heart like yours,’ responded the preacher.”

Sexuality: Why Young Christians Aren’t Waiting Anymore by John Blake (CNN)

“… 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex – slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults …”

Sunday School: The Sociology of Sunday School by Bill Leonard

“As the sociology of Sunday changes can Sunday school remain an effective vehicle for addressing the escalating biblical illiteracy evident among American Protestants?”

War: Does Just War Theory Bring Peace or Just War? by Timothy Archer

“Has there ever been a war that Christians were considering entering into, but applying the criteria for ‘just war’ talked them out of?”

Women: Voices on Female Deacons in the Stone Campbell Movement by Bobby Valentine

“Possibly the most surprising discovery for contemporary members of Churches of Christ is that many early ‘restoration’ writers took the work of female deacons nearly for granted. They simply assumed that a restoration church true to the New Testament ‘pattern’ would have deaconesses or a female deacons.”