this went thru my mind


Arguments & debate: Winning Arguments by Ted Gossard

“I prefer to think in terms of sharing, as much preferable to debating.”

Decision-making: Why Basing Your Next Ministry Decision on Precedent Might Lead You to the Wrong Choice by Eric McKiddie

“When a leadership team faces a dilemma, ‘What did we do last time?’ is a question that tends to pop up. The assumption is that past precedents help you make the right decision now. While this is true, it’s not true as often as leaders expect. Here are five reasons why arguing from precedent might lead your ministry in the wrong direction.”

Politics: A Visual History of the US House poster and Interview [infographic]

“It depicts the progression in political ideology of every House seat from 1789 to 2010.”

Shepherding: Ministry Inside.97 by Jim Martin

“Shepherds should expect people to change. … Shepherds move people toward Jesus when they practice being authentic believers. … Shepherds need to remember that the goal of ministry is discipleship, not pacifying the least mature. … Shepherds who will compromise their integrity in order to keep people happy will find that in the eyes of the immature no compromise is ever enough. … Shepherds are called to help a congregation move toward maturity in Christ.”

this went thru my mind


Attitude: 7 Mental Mistakes That Stop You From Living a Life of Freedom and Peace by Henri Junttila

Biblical interpretation: Meaning: The Thin or Thick of It by Mark Love

Charitable giving: Remembering Those Who Truly Need a Holiday Gift by Joshua Becker

Children & technology: The Emergence of Digital Childhood — Is This Really Wise? by Albert Mohler

Church: Why Corporate Church Won’t Work by Mike Breen

Encouragement: After They Said “Brain Tumor” by Robert Ratcliff

Facebook: 12 Things You Didn’t Know Facebook Could Do by Paul Boutin

Failure: How to Compost Your Failures by Michael Hyatt

Gambling: What Do You Think About Gambling? by Michael Harbour

Gratitude: A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day by John Tierney

Homelessness in America: Hard Times Generation: Families Living in Cars

Just for fun: Find Out What Flights Are Overhead With Wolfram Alpha. Several dozen planes fly over our neighborhood every day. I’ve often wondered, “Where did that one come from?” or “Where is that one going?” Now I can know and it couldn’t be more simple. Amazing.

Leadership: A Leader of Uncommon Strength by John Johnson (on Teddy Roosevelt)

Money: The Money Chart (an infographic). Wow!

Of left and right: Moving Right is Never Wrong by Scot McKnight is “required reading.”

Politics: How the GOP Became the Party of the Rich by Tim Dickinson

Productivity: 27 Productivity Killers: Why Nothing Ever Gets Done!

President Obama: Obama Delivers Very Christian Message at Christmas Tree Lighting

Twitter: The Beginners Guide to Twitter by Michael Hyatt

this went thru my mind

Creativity: 55 Ways to Be Creative by Pete Wilson

Heroes: Elie Wiesel on “Being a Hero”

Just for fun: Famous Photographs Recreated With LEGOS

Leadership: When An Elder Isn’t On Board by Brian Pipping

Luke-Acts: My favorite teacher of all time, John Willis, has begun a series of posts on his on my favorite book in the Bible, Luke’s Gospel. The best meets the best. Here are links to part one and part two.

Memory: Google and Your Memory

Missions: A Missionary Rants on Short-Term Missions by Timothy Archer

Money: Preachers Confront ‘Last Taboo’: Condemning Greed Amid Great Recession

Politics & the media/press: My Disappointment in Obama and the Unbalanced Reporting of Fox News by Tony Campolo

Preaching: Is Preaching the Most Dangerous Profession? by Dan Bouchelle

ReconciliationTerri Roberts, Mother Of Amish Shooting Perpetrator Cares For Her Son’s Victims

Security: What to Do If Your Email Account Gets Hacked

a letter to my congressmen

Dear _____,

Though I pray nearly daily for my government leaders, I am not in the habit of writing my legislators. Forgive me for this, please. However, due to the present crisis, I feel compelled to contact you now and to do so with candidness.

I was raised to believe that “playing well with others” consists of an “everyone has a say, but no one gets their way” approach to virtually all group functions. As a Christian minister for over thirty years, I have found this to be true again and again through personal experience. “Compromise” is not a dirty word, but an essential word in everyone’s vocabulary.

All of which leads me to say that I am somewhere beyond weary of how things are playing out in terms of raising the ceiling on the federal debt, balancing the budget, taxes, etc. Let me speak plainly: it appears to me that we’re playing “chicken” until the eleventh hour and that partisan politics reigns. This is reckless, humiliating, and totally unacceptable.

You should know that for the overwhelming majority of my years as a voter, I have consistently voted straight-ticket, or very close to straight-ticket, Republican. At the moment, I am scratching my head and wondering why on earth this has been the case. It won’t be in the future.

May I respectfully urge you and your colleagues – on both sides of the aisle – to do whatever is necessary to get it together and learn afresh what we all began learning in kindergarten, namely, the fine art of compromise for the sake of progress for all.

Respectfully and prayerfully yours,

David Smith