links to 5 helpful posts

1. Don’t Tell Your Child Not to Stare at Disabled People – We are Already Invisible Enough

“What should a parent or carer do instead? Recognize our differences, but highlight our similarities. … Perhaps most important is to model the right attitude towards disabled people: exercise empathy, not embarrassment.”

2. A new Ikea report is an unsettling look at life in the 21st century

“‘Life at home is changing, profoundly, all over the world,’ the report concludes.”

3. Half Right; Totally Wrong: Shallow Things Religious People Say by Joe McKeever

“We hear them all the time. Something about these oft-repeated claims just does not seem right, we think. So – let’s look at a few of them.”

4. What do we actually know about the risks of screen time and digital media?

“So, is digital media a concern for developing minds? There’s no simple answer, in part because the uses of media are too varied for the question to really be coherent.”

5. A Brief History of the Index

“The man who publishes a book without an index ought to be damned ten miles beyond hell, where the Devil himself cannot get for stinging nettles.”

class questions for ‘Why Jesus?: home wrecker’


In the Bible class I lead on Sunday mornings, we’re currently studying some of the surprising ways of Jesus. We’re using William Willimon’s fine little book entitled Why Jesus? as our outline. Following are a dozen questions I plan to use as fodder for discussion in the 20/20 class tomorrow morning. They go along with chapter 7 in WIllimon’s book.

I’ve long been a big fan of Willimon for he never fails to feed my head. However, I do believe this chapter is one of the finest things I’ve ever seen come from his pen. Access to this chapter alone is worth purchasing the book. It’s thoughtful, potent, challenging stuff. Get a copy and devour it!

1. Family is the most important thing in life for it’s the glue that holds things together. If our country was just full of healthy, happy families, everything would be good. True? False? Comment.

2. Make a list. Recall everything you possibly can about Jesus’ biological family, their interactions with Jesus, and what Jesus had to do with them. What does this say to you?

3. Make another list. What all did Jesus say about himself, family and a life following God?

4. What surprises you the most about what Jesus said about family life?

5. What is silent about regarding the family? What surprises you the most about what Jesus did not say about the family?

6. Jesus said: “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus. Turning to them, he said, ‘Whoever comes to me and doesn’t hate father and mother, spouse and children, and brothers and sisters—yes, even one’s own life—cannot be my disciple.’ I’ve come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. People’s enemies are members of their own households. Those who love father or mother more than me aren’t worthy of me. Those who love son or daughter more than me aren’t worthy of me.” (Luke 14.25-26; Matthew 10.35-37) What does Jesus mean by this? What practical and specific application does this have to you?

7. Did it cost you something in terms of your family life to become a Christian? Tell us about it; elaborate.

8. Engage this quote: “Aside to Jesus: You know, don’t you, that today’s younger generations are decidedly suspicious of institutions and organizations? They like you but don’t care for your body, the church. That you became a new family, that you located among a gathering of sinners, that you made the poor, old church to be a sign of you in the world may be the most difficult thing for them to believe about you.” Has there ever been a time this wasn’t the case? If it’s more true than ever now, how is that? What’s the best response the church can give, given such awareness?

9. Which is more like “family” to you: your immediate family or your church family? Why?

10. Engage this quote: “To become a Christian, to have your life taken over by Jesus, is to be joined into a family, a people convened by the ‘water and spirit,’ a family bigger and better than your biological family.”

11. You live in a country rife with persecution of Christians and you’re a member of an underground church. One evening your home is invaded by a small mob of people denouncing you and your faith. A child of yours is instantly shot dead before your eyes. Someone holds a gun to your wife’s head and says: “Deny Christ now or she’s dead, too!” What do you do? Why?

12. Complete this sentence: “If I love God supremely, for my family I will __________.”

this went thru my mind


Church: * The Lego Church by Geoff Surratt; * Developing Your Church’s Lung Capacity by Tim Spivey [required reading]

* “… God gives us a bag of Legos with which to build His church rather than a model and a blueprint. He gives us principles and parameters, but he expects us to use our gifts, leadership and imagination to build a unique church to impact the unique culture and unique time in which we live.”

* “One of the best things we can do for our churches is lead them to intentional sacrifice consistent with the Gospel. That’s right–we must weave intentional sacrifice into our strategies, plans, sermons, assemblies, service, and outreach. If we fail to challenge people and be challenged ourselves, we will fail the challenges that come our way. Why? We haven’t developed the heart of sacrifice that gives away our extra tunic, our last two mites, says no to lust, rejects gossip, and follows Jesus when it’s hard…really hard.”

Facebook: Take Your Photos Off of Friends’ Pages by Kim Komando

“Facebook has revamped its relationships and friends pages to match the Timeline layout. Now, whenever you click on your relationship status on your profile or look at a friendship page, you’ll see a mini-profile of your connections with that person. It shows pictures of both of you together, mutual friends and even pages you both like. It can show off posts you’ve tagged each other in, too.”

Gospel: Moralistic Therapeutic Deism: The De Facto Religion of Many Christians by Jay Guinn [required reading]

“… there are certainly strands of Church of Christ practice and teaching that take us in an MTD direction.”

Veteran’s Day: A Non-Militarist Veteran’s Day by Tim Archer [required reading]

“As someone with pacifistic beliefs, Veteran’s Day presents a challenge, one that I haven’t always met gracefully.”

Working from home: The Perks of Working From Home [infographic]

“64 million US employees are able to telecommute at least part time. If every person only commuted to work 50% of the time, we would need 1/3 less oil and gain back an average of 109 hours of our lives a year.”