this went thru my mind


ApologeticsA New Kind of Apologetics by Scot McKnight

“Perhaps it is wise to remember that apologetics tell us about the Age in which we live as much as they provide a coherent reason for the faith.”

Association: Going Outside the Camp: The Holiness of Standing With the Losers by Richard Beck

“This is the disgrace of being outside the camp. The disgrace of being a loser and standing with losers. But when we go outside the camp to stand with the losers there we find the body and blood of Jesus, the sacrifice that makes us pure, holy and clean.”

Bible archaeology & geographySeven Wonders of Israel by Todd Bolen

“Seven wonders of Israel were selected last year in an online vote sponsored by an Israeli television station.”

Death: Funeral Lessons: Things You Learn or Relearn When a Close Loved One Dies by Joe McKeever

“… lessons you learn or get reinforced in family funerals that you might otherwise miss.”

Emotions & leadership: * 5 Hidden Emotions of Many Leaders by Ron Edmonson; * How to Disarm Your Inner-Critic by Dan Rockwell

* “Wouldn’t it be easier if we dropped the game playing and revealed the true emotions we have in leadership? Call me a Snitch if you want, but I’m breaking the silence. Be honest if you can often identify with this any of these hidden emotions.”

* “I live with an inner critic who loves pointing out my faults, failures, and shortcomings. I’m never good enough … my inner fault-finder never shows me the path to success and happiness. He yells, but he never yells, ‘Go Dan! You can do it.'”

Evangelism: * Creating a Vision for Evangelism by Matt Dabbs; * Positive Evangelism, a series of posts by Paul Smith – parts one, two, threefour, and five [required reading]

* “We have been doing our Church Steps program for one month as of this week. Here is an update on what has happened so far.”

Generational differences, harmony & leadership: * Gen-Xers and Religion by Michelle Boorstein; * The Keurig Generation vs. Church Leaders by Mark Woodward

* “Generation X-ers — people born between 1965 and 1972 — are bucking previous demographic trends by becoming less religiously affiliated and less Republican even as they’ve aged, according to one of the biggest surveys of American religiosity.”

* “… people love having all those choices … [and] church leaders tend to resist lots of choices. If you have tension in your church between elders and ministers and/or leaders and members, chances are good that it has to do with those who want choices and those who don’t.”

Grace & graciousness: Wanted: Moments of Grace by Jim Martin

“Consider the people you are with today. Your family. Co-workers. The lady at the bank. If they are human, they will make -mistakes. What if I didn’t roll my eyes. What if I didn’t roll my eyes behind my eyes. … What if I simply showed grace.”

Outreach, evangelism & communityBelonging: Outreach is Not the Same as Belonging by Ed Cyzewski

“I had conversations with four neighbors the other day that I’ve yet to meet. … To think I took all of these classes in seminary and at different churches in order to learn how to “reach out to my neighbors.” What a waste of time and money. A garden and a little generosity was all I needed in order to be a normal member of my neighborhood.”

ParentingWhy Stay-at-Home Moms Are More Depressed Than Working Moms by Ellen Morgan Peltz

” A new Gallup poll found that stay-at-home moms are more likely than moms who are employed outside the home to feel negative emotions such as worry, sadness, stress and anger on a daily basis, as well as to have been diagnosed with clinical depression. … financial strain and lack of appreciation as the two leading causes for the negative emotions of stay-at-home moms. … In other words, the average stay-at-home mom is more likely to be a woman who stays home because she needs to, not because she wants to.”

Vision: * Why Vision Matters by Michael Hyatt; * Making Vision Stick by Andy Stanley

* “When times are tough, vision is the first casualty. Before conditions can improve, it is the first thing we must recover.”

* ” I found Andy Stanley’s book Making Vision Stick extremely helpful in understanding how to get an organization to catch and maintain a vision. This goes beyond forging mission statements and having meetings. This book gets to the core of leadership itself. “

this went thru my mind


Books: Why Do Old Books Smell? by AbeBooks [2 min. video]

“Walk into a used bookshop and you will encounter the unique aroma of aging books. The smell is loved by some, disliked by others, but where does it come from?”

Benevolence: Early Christian Charity [9 min., 30 sec. video clip of speaker, Dr. John Dickson]

“… an overview from the time of the New Testament up to Constantine.”

Comfort: How Not to Minister to the Hurting by Joe McKeever

“You will not believe what some people say to a bereaved parent or the family member of someone tragically injured.”

Elders meetings: A Noble Task by Tim Woodroof

“We don’t expect much of elders’ meetings anymore. We do not attend with the anticipation that God’s Spirit will show up or lives will be transformed or the gates of hell might quiver and fall because we meet. … To be fair, we come by this lack of imagination honestly. We’ve learned to be modest in our hopes.”

Faith & politics: “Hide It Under a Bushel? Yes!” by Bryan Dyer

“… American Christians should keep faith hidden in the public sphere in order to preserve that identity’s integrity. If Christian identity is just another brand loyalty, then it is pointless.”

Graciousness: Graciousness: Daring to Live a Graceful Life by Jim Martin

“… the final act of grace is graciousness.”

Groups: Six Tips for Keeping New Small Groups Healthy by Brett Eastman

“Here are six tips for keeping new small groups healthy so they can make the impact God wants …”

Ignorance: Amazing Grace: Is Ignorance of God’s Will an Excuse? by Jay Guin

“… all my life, Church of Christ preachers have argued that ignorance of the law is no excuse. I’m a lawyer. And ignorance is not an excuse – in civil court. But when we begin applying American legal principles to Christianity, well, we just might be legalists.”

Internet: Why One in Five U.S. Adults Doesn’t Use the Internet by Amy Gahran

“… one in five U.S. adults still does not use the Internet at all …”

Meetings: A Problem-Free Meeting by Dan Bouchelle

“I think every church should periodically have a problem-free meeting where we simply assess our gifts and strengths and then use the results as a basis to inform our ministry plans. What has God given us? What are we able to do well? How do we steward these strengths well in our context? We would doubtlessly be more effective in our service if we focused on these matter rather than spend all our time trying to shore up our weaknesses. Let’s change the self-talk of our churches by focusing on God’s power in us rather than our weaknesses.”

Poverty: “David Lipscomb and the Poor” (parts 1 & 2)

* “The sealing testimony in behalf of Jesus Christ being the Son of God is his own estimation, as divine to the disciples of John, was, ‘The poor have the gospel preached to them.” The world to-day needs this same sealing testimony, that it may believe that, Jesus is the Son of God. Every preacher that pretendedly, in the name of Jesus Christ, seeks the rich and the learned and the fashionable to preach to, instead of the poor and simple-hearted and unpretending, by that course nullifies the power of the great truth, that Jesus is the anointed one that was to come into the world to save the world. Such a preacher is no co-laborer with God; no true minister of Christ, but a servant of the wicked one in the livery of Heaven.”

* “Do we create spaces, relationships and opportunities where the poor feel welcome? Given our upper middle class buildings and fashionable dress and expensive stuff, it is little wonder that the poor are generally uncomfortable.”

Unchurched Christians: Better Conversations Between Churched and Un-churched Christians by Rachel Held-Evans

“While too many among the ‘churched’ seem unwilling to change, too many among the ‘un-churched’ seem unwilling to compromise.”