this went thru my mind


Apocrypha, Bible, & canon: The Second Canon

“Just how Protestants came to lose these books is a curious story. Reformation-era debates over the Bible naturally focused on issues of canon.”

Complaining, criticism, leadership, ministry, self-pity & whining: * No Whining; * How To Respond to Rejection and Unjust Criticism

* “Just about the worst thing a leader can nurture in his heart is self-pity. And just about the worst thing a leader can do in front of his people is murmur and complain. I understand there is an appropriate place for lament. I know it is not always wise for leaders to quietly endure injustice. I’m not encouraging leaders to be stoic and indifferent to pain. What I am saying—and rather forcefully I hope—is that leaders must not be whiners.”

* “Many Christians cannot get over rejection, let alone misunderstanding. And that is why there is no resurrection in their lives. In our own natural power, we are incapable of responding to pain the way Jesus did. But the good news of the gospel is that He lives inside of us, giving us both the power and the will to do His good pleasure. The secret is in letting go.”

Culture and the U.S.: A ‘Whom Do You Hang With?’ Map Of America

“The idea here is to show America not as 50 states, but as regions where people do stuff together. In other words, a ‘Whom Do You Hang With?’ map.”

Discipleship: Five Reasons We Don’t Disciple (links to parts 1, 2, & 3)

“Seven years ago Christianity Today magazine asked John Stott to assess the growth of the evangelical church. This was his reply: ‘The answer is “growth without depth.” None of us wants to dispute the extraordinary growth of the church. But it has been largely numerical and statistical growth. And there has not been sufficient growth in discipleship that is comparable to the growth in numbers.’ Sadly, seven years on, that assessment still rings true. Although our growth has been wide as the ocean, it’s often about as deep as a puddle. Why is that?”

Faith & grief: One Month by Keith Brenton

“Will I choose to continue believing, go on trusting?”

God, church, power & self: How Shall We Keep Going On? by Terry Rush [required reading]

“In actuality, if it is to be it is up to Him. Why do we need this reminder? When we think church is up to us, we become overwhelmed and inwardly overwrought with exasperation because WE CAN’T DO IT.  Frustration, guilt, and bummerism subdue the spirit of each servant.”

Preaching: * 5 Strategies to Get More Out of the Sermon by Sean Palmer; * When Your Sermon is Only a Single by Philip Nation

* “You have a role to play in helping your preacher preach better.”

* “Each week, we hope that our sermon will be a homerun. However, I’ve hit a lot more singles and doubles than triples. I’ve hit even fewer homeruns. In all honesty, there are many Sundays my sermon feels like a poorly executed bunt that I have to hustle out to first base. So what are you to do when you just hit a single?”

Productivity: How I Improved My Workflow, 90-Minutes at a Time

“Timing is everything, as they say, and your workflow is no different. The human body is hard-wired to pulse. To operate at our best, we need to renew our energy at 90-minute intervals — not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.”

10 things persecuted Christians don’t say


“I’m just burned out on singing the same old songs all the time.”

“I’ll tell you this: I’m not coming anymore if they can’t even make it a comfortable temperature for me.”

“You can bet your bottom dollar on this: get to know the movers and shakers in this town and we won’t have any worries.”

“For crying out loud, I’m telling you if we don’t get a better location and a better building, we don’t have a prayer.”

“How am I supposed to worship when these uncomfortable seats are killing me?”

“I think our teachers and preachers need to use more stories, humor, and illustrations in their lessons and less Scripture.”

“If we could just get more publicity and visibility we’d really be doing something toward being on the upward way.”

“If you can’t dress any better than that, don’t be surprised if we talk about you when you pass the communion around.”

“Why can’t we do things more like the Christians do on the other side of town?”

“If we sing another new song I think I’m going to scream!”

It is estimated that about 200 million people in this world who claim Christian faith live in places where there is some degree of deliberate, organized effort being made to exterminate, drive away, or subjugate them because of their faith in Christ. Over 100,000 Christians every year are murdered because of their faith.

And so, this is what we need to hear: “He is risen!

But, is he risen in you?

See you Sunday.

this went thru my mind


Architecture, boomers, church buildings & millenials: Will Big Church Buildings Become Dinosaurs? by Timothy Archer

“I’m optimistic about the future of the church; less so when it comes to buildings.”

Civil disobedience: When and How I Changed My Mind About Civil Disobedience by Tony Campolo

“… I didn’t know what to do with that story, except to reflect on it time and time again until I changed my mind about civil disobedience.”

Civility, job, rudeness & work: You’re Rude Because Your Boss Is Rude

“What drives employees to be rude? Over 60% blame their bad behavior on being overloaded at work. They say they have no time to be nice. Mental overload and stress short-circuit our capacity to be fully attentive about anything — even those with whom we work.”

Complaining, leadership & whining: Even Whiners Can Lead by Dan Rockwell

“The line between the whiner and the leader is optimism. … The next time you hear yourself whining, take responsibility. Stop complaining about what others aren’t doing. Do something yourself.”

Generation Z: Gen Z Shows Brand Loyalty

“… Gen Z members, aged 18 to 23 … Gen Z is the first generation born into a digital world. They are true digital natives who have grown up in the age of technology. The only world they know is a digital one — where they can connect anytime, anywhere, and to anyone. As a result, they are highly promiscuous when it comes to media consumption; they will be the first generation to consume more media online than offline.”

Ministry: A Game-Changinging Perspective: Knowing the Difference Between a Decentralized and Fragmented Ministry by Will Mancini [required reading]

“Most ministry activity is fragmented not decentralized because there simply no clarity of shared intent, no cultivation of shared values, and no development of shared abilities within the church. In short, their is no shared vision, just many little mini-visions everywhere a ‘piece’ of the ministry gathers.

The few ministries that operate a decentralized ministry have gone to great lengths to build a well defined vision first. Something other than a central pastor or central church building define the what, why and how of reality where ever groups, classes or events meet. That something always brings shared meaning in the form of  ideals, goals, dreams, tools, approaches, stories, etc.”