links: this went thru my mind

Baptism, Carrie Underwood, joy & music: The Truth Behind This Song Had Me Yellin’ ‘Amen!’ You’ll Love This Super Star’s Song About Baptism [4 min. video; essential listening]

“I don’t know that there is anything better than hearing a song about baptism coming through my speakers! Preach it, Carrie!”

Choice, focus, mindset, mission, perspective, productivity & vision: 3 Mindsets You Must Conquer to Live Your Mission Each Day

“Jesus’s lived his mission each day by conquering three mindsets.”

Christian faith, evil, Hitler, martyrdom, Nazism, nonviolence, pacifism & WWII: The White Rose Martyrs

“I don’t know about you, but I always get a bit depressed when I think about the lack of Christian resistance to the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany. Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the main figure who comes to mind here. But were there any others? Any other heroes of the faith? Christians who pushed even harder than Bonhoeffer?

“Yes there were. The White Rose.”

Conflict, history & war: The Greatest Buildings You’ll Never See: 19 Priceless Monuments Lost in Conflict

“It is a cruel irony that a region so blessed with the treasures of early human civilizations is also among those most troubled by conflict. As the violence threatens to annihilate some of history’s greatest monuments, we count the cost of our irreplaceable losses.”

Prayer: Encountering God in Prayer

“If we are going to be imbalanced, better that we be doctrinally weak and have a vital prayer life and a real sense of God on the heart than that we get all our doctrine straight and be cold and spiritually hard.”

this went thru my mind

 

Annihilationism, conditionalism & hell: The Legacy of Edward Fudge & the Future of Conditionalism

“The inaugural Rethinking Hell conference will be held on July 11th-12th, 2014, at the beautiful Lanier Theological Library in Houston, Texas. This will be an historic occasion for the movement of Evangelical Conditionalism/Annihilationism, representing the first gathering of its kind.”

Anxiety, fear & worry: The Dark Doctrine All Churches Hold Dear [required reading]

“How do we become obedient to God’s stark call to refrain from worry?  Stop it.  It is a choice; not a circumstance.  It is obedience; not a mood. To ignore this strong Word from God is indeed to hold a very dark doctrine of rebellion.”

Change & conflict: The Reality of Change and Conflict

“Change invites conflict. You can’t escape that fact. But … avoiding change stifles growth. Which eventually leads to conflict. (Ever been a part of a declining organization…or church?) And … avoiding conflict allows tension to build. Which in the end creates more conflict. (Ever seen what happens when someone is silently angry with you long enough?) Therefore … In my opinion… avoiding conflict or change is impossible.”

Church & witness: Why the Church Can’t Seem to Get Traction in Society

“The reason the church cannot seem to gain traction in this mega-troubled society is we have joined the masses in trying to escape.  Ours is not the call to dodge incoming arrows of rejection; but rather for staying put in pain upon the cross that the hurting may find perfect and ultimate healing.”

Cicadas: The Return of the Cicadas [7 1/2 min. video]

“I’ve been working an a 1-hour documentary on cicadas since 2007 …”

Consumerism & minimalism: Living With Less. A Lot Less.

“Our fondness for stuff affects almost every aspect of our lives. Housing size, for example, has ballooned in the last 60 years. The average size of a new American home in 1950 was 983 square feet; by 2011, the average new home was 2,480 square feet. And those figures don’t provide a full picture. In 1950, an average of 3.37 people lived in each American home; in 2011, that number had shrunk to 2.6 people. This means that we take up more than three times the amount of space per capita than we did 60 years ago. Apparently our supersize homes don’t provide space enough for all our possessions, as is evidenced by our country’s $22 billion personal storage industry.”

Dignity, modesty, respect & swimwear: Jessica Rey – The Evolution of the Swim Suit [9 1/2 min. video; required viewing]

“… he had to hire a stripper to wear it.”

Meaning, significance, and work: God at Work: Not in Vain

“The things we do with our life will find their way, through the resurrecting power of God, into forever. Your work is important, not just because you can contribute to church, but because you get to partner with God! The resurrection of the world means that some of the best ministries, don’t have the word ministry in them!”

Ministry: The Pastor’s Job Description

“Three pastoral acts are so basic, so critical, that they determine the shape of everything else. The acts are praying, reading Scripture, and giving spiritual direction. Besides being basic, these three acts are quiet. They do not call attention to themselves and so are often not attended to. In the clamorous world of pastoral work nobody yells at us to engage in these acts. It is possible to do pastoral work to the satisfaction of the people who judge our competence and pay our salaries without being either diligent or skilled in them. Since almost never does anyone notice whether we do these things or not, and only occasionally does someone ask that we do them, these three acts of ministry suffer widespread neglect.”

this went thru my mind

 

Conflict & relationships: Sometimes Fault Really Is on Only One Side by John Stackhouse

“Jesus ran into conflicts all the time. Was there fault on both sides?”

Homeless: * Learning to See Homeless People by Jeremy Myers; * Homeless People: Your Neighbors With No Address by Jeremy Myers

* “I don’t know any poor or homeless people, do I?”

* “How can I help people like these? Should I even be helping them?”

Ecology & technology: The Periodic Table of iPhones [infographic]

“Right now, more that 90% of rare-earth minerals come from China, mostly because mining for rare-earth metals has been an environmental nightmare. But new processes are reviving rare-earth mining in the United States and elsewhere.”

Listening: How to Listen by Seth Godin

“The listener has nearly as big a responsibility as the speaker does … The hardest step in better listening is the first one: do it on purpose. Make the effort to actually be good at it.”

Marriage: Everyday Idolatry: The (Wrong) One by Jonathan Storment

“We always marry the wrong person. We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.” [Stanley Hauerwas]

Pharisees: Pharisees: Revisiting an Old Problem by Scot McKnight

“…  I am asking for the many who are still using “Pharisee” in the old-fashioned ‘religious bigot’ sense to be much more careful.”

Super Bowl: * Super Bowl 2013 Commercials; * 7 Life Misconceptions Portrayed in the Super Bowl Ads by Joshua Becker

* [Links to the Super Bowl Commercials on one page]

* “… as somebody who has developed great frustration over the consumer-driven culture that we live in, I observe marketing with a skeptical eye. I often seek to determine the underlying promise of any advertisement and uncover what else, other than the product itself, marketers are trying to sell me. Far too often, I discover their underlying message promotes foolish misconceptions about life. We would be wise to recognize and intentionally reject each of them. Consider just a few misconceptions on display during Sunday night’s Super Bowl.”

this went thru my mind

 

Archaeology: Book of Nehemiah Found Among the Scrolls

“Scroll scholars find first fragment of Nehemiah [in the Dead Sea Scroll.]”

Biblical imagery: Desert Moments [4:43 min. Ray Vander Laan video clip]

“… a high percentage of the Biblical images that teach us about who we are, who God is, what life is, come out of the desert.”

Conflict: 5 Reasons We Argue When We Agree by Ron Edmonson

“Have you ever argued with someone only to discover you agreed?”

Do Not Track: Twitter Supports “Do Not Track”

“Do Not Track (DNT) is a privacy preference that users can set in their web browsers. [It is a] … a simple way for users to inform integrated web services … that they do not want certain information about their webpage visits collected across websites when they have not interacted with that service’s content on the page.”

Facebook: * As Facebook Grows, Millions Say, ‘No, Thanks’ ; * Why I Won’t Be Quitting Facebook

* “Facebook still has plenty of room to grow … As it is, about 80 percent of its users are outside U.S. and Canada.”

* “More than just a daily habit, Facebook has become the place where I get important, often surprising glimpses into the lives of the … people with whom I’ve chosen to connect.”

GestationAlexander Tsiaras: Conception to Birth – Visualized [9:38 min. TED talk video]

“Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares for TEDTalks a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond.”

Parenting: Would You Take Your Son to a Brothel?

“Would you have allowed your ten-year-old son to accompany you on that mission?”

Poverty: Sight-Seeing: Creating a Community of Love and Mutuality by Siu Fung Wu

“My experience in our community has convinced me that sharing lives with the poor and marginalised will help us come to a better understanding of the Scripture and God’s heart.”

Racism: Undoing Houston’s Racism: A Pastor’s Apology by Marty Troyer

“… if we in the church are going to lead the way in undoing racism, we need to understand this social evil.
So what does racism look like today in Houston?”

The Obama administration: The White House: Faith and the White House: Things I Bet You Didn’t Know by Mark Love

“The office for Faith Based Initiatives was formed during George W. Bush’s administration. It was an attempt to bring churches, synagogues, mosques, and other explicitly religious organizations into the mix in addressing pressing social needs. The Obama administration has not only continued the office, but greatly expanded its reach in virtually every corner of the federal government.”