word for the weak: week eighteen


Communion is the theme for this week’s reading in the Uncommon Truth for Common People project at MoSt Church. The schedule looks like this:

• Mon., Apr. 30 – Exodus 12.1-30
• Tues., May 1 – Jeremiah 31.31-34; Luke 22.7-23
• Wed., May 2 – John 6.26-59; 1 Corinthians 10.16-17
• Thur., May 3 – Hebrews 9.1-28; 10.19-22
• Fri., May 4 – 1 Corinthians 5.6-8; 11.17-34

This week’s memory verse is: “…we who are many are one body, because we all share the one loaf of bread.” (1 Corinthians 10.17 CEB)

this went thru my mind


Anger: 2 issues hiding behind your anger by Doug Fields

“The default question most people ask is ‘What?’ What triggered my anger? That’s not a good question. It’s too easy! It’s too general! It’s not that helpful. … The why question forces you to peel back a layer from the surface and look inside your heart. Instead of asking what triggered me [that’s too easy]… ask, ‘Why did that trigger me?’ When you ask what… you’ll continue to blame the triggers… and that won’t help you stop the pain.”

Anti-intellectualism: * The Bondage of Ignorance by Paul Smith * Colleges Viewed Positively, But Conservatives Express Doubts – Pew Research study

* “I point all of this out simply to illustrate the folly of a life that is content only with maintaining a level of knowledge that was obtained in the last century, the last decade, or last year, or last week.”

* “There were substantial differences among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in opinions about the effects of colleges and universities: Just 38% of those who agree with the Tea Party viewed their impact positively; that compared with 62% of Republicans and leaners who do not agree with the Tea Party.”

Availability: The Trap of Availability by Sam Rainer

“How do leaders—especially pastors—balance a desire to be there for people without falling into the trap of endless availability?”

Burnout: Turning Pickle Barrels into Wine Casks by Dan Rockwell

“Burnout is more about organizations than individuals.”

Change: Why Change is So Hard for God’s People by Joe McKeever

“It’s a common perception in our churches that the Lord’s people seem to be resistant to change. And there is certainly plenty of anecdotal evidence, as flockless shepherds step up to tell how they lost their pulpits when they tried to change a schedule or a program. But, look around at the people attending our churches. They seem to handle change fairly well in other areas of their lives.”

Communion: 3 Reasons I Don’t Discourage Non-Christians From Taking The Lord’s Supper by Brian Jones

“I’ll share three reasons why I don’t discourage non-Christians from taking the Lord’s Supper …”

Depression: What To Do About Your Depression by Joe McKeever

“The Bible has great powers, and Scripture can do many things. In some cases, no doubt, memorizing or quoting or meditating upon God’s Word does indeed banish the “blues.” But to make it a panacea, a cure-all, for all kinds of depressions is not wise.”

Forgiveness: Ohio School Shooting: Parents of Slain Student Forgive Suspected Shooter TJ Lane

“You have to accept things done and move on. … I would tell him I forgive him because, a lot of times, they don’t know what they’re doing. That’s all I’d say. I taught Demetrius not to live in the past, to live in today and forgiveness is divine. You have to forgive everything. God’s grace is new each and every day. … Until you’ve walked in another person’s shoes, you don’t know what made him come to this point.”

Gossip: GCB: Desperate Christian Housewives by Mark Moring

“If Sunday’s pilot episode of GCB is any indication, it not only highlights the problem of gossip in the church, but underscores it with audacity and an exclamation point.”

Just for fun: How Waiters Read Your Table

“If a waiter reads the needs of your table correctly, you’re likely to end up with a good experience. Inadvertently giving off the wrong signals can doom a table to service that’s too rushed, too slow or just off kilter. Here, how to work the system.”

Leadership: Seven Habits of Highly Ineffective Leaders by Steven James

“Time-tested practices to ensure complete and utter failure.”

Millenials: Millennials Will Benefit And Suffer Due to Hyperconnected Lives

“Teens and young adults brought up from childhood with a continuous connection to each other and to information will be nimble, quick-acting multitaskers who count on the Internet as their external brain and who approach problems in a different way from their elders, according to a new survey of technology experts. … But the experts in this survey also predicted this generation will exhibit a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes, a loss of patience, and a lack of deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as ‘fast-twitch wiring.'”

Nationalism: No More Cheesy Fourth of July Church Services, Please by Brian Jones

“Don’t get me wrong. Fourth of July is a great holiday to celebrate, but never, under any circumstances, at any time, in any way, inside the confines of a church building and endorsed by a community of followers of Jesus Christ. Never. No way. Forever, and ever, amen. There are three reasons a Fourth of July service is just a really bad idea.”

Worship: * Is the Sunday assembly worship? by Timothy Archer * The difference between worship and Worship by Timothy Archer

* “Not argumentative. Information seeking.”

* “Can we make a biblical case for such a separation?”

this went thru my mind


20-Somethings: The Religious Views of 20-Somethings (parts one, two, and three) by Brandon J. O’Brien

“… those students who do consider themselves religious—most of them Christians—saw their religious beliefs having very little impact on their personal or professional goals.”

Communion: The Argument for Excluding Wine from the Lord’s Supper by John Mark Hicks

“Interestingly, the extended argument was needed and pushed by the Temperance Movement because churches generally, until very recently, had all used wine in the Lord’s Supper.”

Criticism: Criticism by Joshua Graves

“If you have the gift of criticism and gossip, you should consider what this says about the state of your own emotional health and the toll others are paying for your anxiety, toxicity.”

Depression: Depression and Serotonin

“One after another, the experts grant that there is no real evidence linking depression to low serotonin. Amazingly, they justify the propagation of the ‘low serotonin story’ simply because it is easy to understand. In other words, it doesn’t have to be true to be helpful.”

God: All Religions Are Not One

“I am for tolerance, but tolerance isn’t ignorance. Tolerance doesn’t equate to pretending differences don’t exist. Tolerance falls short of its own goal–both in inter-religious and inter-racial dialogue.”

Grief: Good Grief (parts one, twothreefourfivesixseveneight, the way of gracepost mortem & sermon on earthen vessels) by Ben Witherington

“When a person suffers the devastating loss of a loved one, you should — however well-intentioned you might be — keep your mouth shut. Or at the very least, you should think long and hard before you say anything. Here are some of the things I recently heard that did not help, and frankly were not true.”

Marriage: What I’ve Learned After Being Married for 33 Years by Jim Martin

“I knew very little about marriage when we began. At this point in life, I am still learning.”

Parenting: * 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters by Michael Mitchell; * Should We Read Our Kids’ Texts? by Jonathan McKee (thank you, Adam Marshall, for pointing me to this article!)

“… to all you Dads out there – be sure you pay close attention and heed these wise words …”

“I agree with all my parents’ guidelines except the one about them being able to read my texts at any time. I’m not gonna do that one with my kids when I’m a parent.”

Personal preferences: Scripture and Our Druthers by Timothy Archer

“It’s time to take the ‘I feel’s and ‘I like’s and put them in a drawer. It’s time to seek what’s best for the body as a whole.”

Reading: How to Read a Book by Chad Hall

“For several years I’ve used a method I call the “Reading Pyramid,” which provides five categories of reading. Perhaps it will be helpful for you. Here goes …”

Time management: The Biggest Myth in Time Management by Peter Bregman

“The idea that we can get it all done is the biggest myth in time management.”

this went thru my mind

Children: * Six Important Qualities Children Possess by Jim Martin; * Seven Things Your Children Desperately Need to Hear You Say by Trey Morgan; * Will Our Faith Have Children by Dan Bouchelle.

Communion: Communion Meditation: Jesus Gave Thanks by Jay Guin.

Creation/evolution: Ask An Evolutionary Creationist by Dennis Venema.-

Preaching: I Got Nothing From the Sermon by Chris Gallagher.

Presence: Practicing the Presence of God in Ministry by Bruce Epperley.

War: The Costs of War.

9/11: * From Hyperpower to Declining Power* How Evangelical Leaders Have Changed Since 9/11; * Ten Years and Counting: Christianity and the End of War by Stanley Hauerwas is required reading; * A Mother’s Reflections on 9/11 by Karen Spears Zacharias; * With 9/11 anniversary on a Sunday, pastors prepare their sermons; * What Should be Preached on 9/11 by Jim Martin.

this went thru my mind

Government: America’s newest congresswoman, a Democrat from California, is a member of Churches of Christ.

HealthThe ‘heart attack proof’ diet? The work of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute is something that will make you sit up and pay attention.

Humor: A cartoon on “the first annoying vegan.”

Interpretation: * What Can You Assume People Know About Jesus? (6 min. video) * Exodus in the Bible and the Egyptian Plagues. * “Sound Doctrine,” “Pattern,” “Timothy:” Reflections on Restoration Hermeneutics by Bobby Valentine (part one and two) is required reading.

Just war: * The Effects of a Just War (4 min., Shane Claiborne video). In a word: “Wow.” * Air Force’s Use of Christian Messages Extends to ROTC * Peter Leithart’s post Killing Civilians is a short reporting of some rather sobering, historical stats.

Learning: What Do You Wish You Knew Then That You Know Now? by Michael Hyatt.

Marriage: 31 Stupid Ways to Kill Your Marriage by Trey Morgan is good, practical stuff.

Social media: How to Create a Social Media Policy for Your Church by Eric Dye.

Sunday night servicesUpdate on Our Communion Services on Sunday Nights by Matt Dabbs.

this went thru my mind

Archaeology: I dig Ben Witherington’s two part series entitled The Oldest Temple in the World. Here are links to part one and part two.

Church: Joe McKeever’s 6 Things We Have To Get Right in Church or It’s All Over is spot-on.

Communion: I really like Matt Dabbs’ Sharing the Lord’s Supper Around Tables.

Dumbness: In droves, apparently. Scroll down here and read the item at 5:14 p.m. and weep. Good grief, this is almost enough to make me adopt the NIV 2011, the successor to the TNIV.

Fathers: Tomorrow is Father’s Day. Let me tell you, when it comes to being blessed with a good Dad, I am so blessed. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Ray Paul Smith of Duncan, OK! And while we’re thinking about all things father-related, take a look at the PewResearch Center’s post entitled A Tale of Two Fathers: More are Active, But More are Absent. May all of our fathers comes to worship our Father.

Giving: Our Governor Rick Perry’s monetary religious giving has been in the news of late. Seems as how Perry gave a grand total of (wait for it) … goose egg to his church or any other religious organization in 2009. Actually, that almost sounds better than owning up that he only gave a total of $90 in 2007. In fact, according to his tax returns, he’s given of 0.5% of the $2.68 million he’s earned as governor since 2000. Given how he’s been banging the drum lately about prayer, etc., that’s got to be a wee bit embarrassing. Especially when the average American Christian gives a whopping … 1.2%. (sigh) The Gov, and many of us, can do better.

Immigration / racism / scapegoating: Roger Olson’s post entitled Scapegoating: an old human habit still around in attitudes and actions towards illegal immigrants? should give us all some pause.

Just for fun: Stormtroopers 365 is very creative photography of Star Wars stormtroopers in “real life” situations.

Research: ATLASerials® is an online, full-text collection of 177 major religion and theology journals (327,700+ articles). But did you know that if you’re a graduate of Abilene Christian University that you have free online access to ATLASerials®? ‘Tis true! Claudia Greer’s post entitled For Those Who Preach will tell you what you need to do. If you’re an ACU graduate, contact Craig Churchill, ACU’s Theological Librarian, for information as to how you can gain access. If you’re not an ACU graduate, check the listing of other participating institutions that offer such access to their graduates.

this went thru my mind

Among the things I read online this week, the following you too might like to read …

Cancer: 7 Things I’ve Learned From Cancer by Trey Morgan is required reading.

Church, technology, preaching & worship: When Chuck Swindoll speaks, I (can’t help but) listen. An interview with Swindoll entitled The Problem With Pizzazz can be found right here. Read Chaplain Mike’s take on this interview while you’re at it.

Cynicism: We all should bookmark Jim Martin’s Experiencing Life Without Becoming Cynical and read it once a month for life.

Evernote: Are you an Evernote user? Then Michael Hyatt’s post How to Organize Evernote for Maximum Efficiency will definitely be on your “to read” list.

Giving: (a) I don’t know, but I strongly suspect Tim Spivey’s post entitled Are Christians Generous? The Rule of 1/3 is spot-on. (b) Now having read Spivey’s post, read Eugene Cho’s powerful reporting entitled homeless man donates thousands. Wow!

Lord’s Supper: So if we exchanged grape juice for wine in communion, why didn’t we trade unleavened bread for leavened? If you’ve ever wondered such, Bobby Valentine’s post entitled The Bread on the Table is enlightening.

Persecution: View this ten minute view on Christian persecuted in Romania under Ceausescu years ago and you’ll surely be humbled and convicted of many things. It makes me realize just how far up the shallow-end of the pool of Christian faith I’m swimming when I hear these kinds of stories come out of the mouths of persecuted believers. With Every Blow You Give, I Pray for Your Forgiveness by Trevin Wax.

Reading: Every minister needs to love to read, but how to read well, ah, that’s the question. Trevin Wax steers us in his post D.A. Carson on Different Ways to Read.

Student-bullying: Here’s an eye-opening infographic on student bullying.

Youth: The suggestion at the end of The Red Bull Gospel by Drew Dyck has real potential.