Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Monday Links and Bullets 2.28.11

Here are this week’s links:

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Stats you’ve heard on the Christian divorce rate are wrong.

CHRISTIAN FAITH

–Pre-adulthood:  Where are the real men?

–Take 6 minutes and watch this powerful testimony about how Jesus changed this guy.

Signs you’re growing in grace.

–A good article for both pastors and non-pastors about burnout.

–Excellent article about how to talk to your kids about sermons.

GENERAL INTEREST

–These photos tell a lot about the New Zealand earthquake.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Modem fixed, now router issues.  Yay!!
  • Tomorrow will be a very long day, including 2-3 meetings and a memorial service.  Whatever office work can get done in the meantime will be a plus.
  • We got a LOT of rain last night.  Lots of folks in our area are having basement issues.  Apparently there was a sewer issue with water backed up in basements in certain parts of our community.
  • If you are reading this, I plead with you to submit EVERYTHING you do, say, think, and feel to Jesus.  Would he do what you’re doing? Say what you’re saying? Wear what you’re wearing? These are such challenging things.
  • If I asked you what your number one sinful struggle is, you would answer: ” ________________ .”  Are you okay with that or is there something you want to do about it?
  • The challenges of this life only increase my yearning for the next!

 

Monday Links and Bullets 2.21.11

Almost didn’t make it today.  Here goes:

LINKS OF THE WEEK

–Two links on tolerance: 1) as the supreme virtue 2) why it’s intolerant

CHRISTIAN FAITH

–Should accountability groups shift their focus?

Don’t be offended when non-Christians mock you

How to pray for Egypt

How the Bible gets mis-interpreted.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • After plunging and snaking at least once a week for a year, we finally replaced our toilet.  Not big news to you, but a huge deal to me.  There has been nothing more frustrating for me in the past several months than messing with this thing, and it’s now over.
  • Looking forward to a week of opportunity.
  • Praying for friends facing surgery this week.
  • Praying for many people sick and struggling at church.
  • Praying for the Holy Spirit to grip our hearts as a family and as a church.
  • On the improvements front, our internet is finally functioning again.  Another big relief.
  • The Yankees as underdogs this year?  Wow.  That’s an expensive $200 million underdog.
  • Tomorrow could be a huge day – praying it goes well.
  • So glad to have good friends.
  • There are times when I feel so selfish.  I really wish I could reduce the times when I’m blinded by frustration.
  • Hoping for a relaxing Monday next week.  Seems like it’s been a while since I’ve had one.
  • Praying tonight for good friends who will soon face losing a wonderful husband and father figure to cancer.  At this point, I am praying the Lord will take him home.

 

Monday Links and Bullets 2.14.11

The “I’m not into Valentine’s Day Very Much” edition.  Here are this week’s links:

LINK OF THE WEEK

GO KID!! – This is really worth your watch

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Smash your idol.

Ways parents can sin against their kids.

How do you measure a great preacher? (this was challenging to me)

–Up for reading two paragraphs?  The first two of this article say a lot.

–The goal of parenting is NOT to have good kids.

I kid you not (unbelievable!).

MISCELLANEOUS

A sad article about the Refrigerator, William Perry.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Got our federal taxes done today.  Yippee.
  • Can you imagine a time when Facebook and Texting are “yesterday”?
  • The unrest in the Mid-East is fascinating in many ways.
  • I’ve been really challenged recently regarding how to pray.
  • My love for my wife has nothing to do with February 14th.
  • I went looking all over today for my paycheck.  Then I found it right where I put it last night.  Grrrr.
  • I have mentioned it here before, but I need prayers for wisdom!  I truly want to honor Jesus in all I’m doing.
  • What are your idols?  I am struggling with mine.

Monday Links and Bullets 2.7.11

Bullet Thoughts First This Week!!

  • I am satisfied with the results of the Super Bowl.
  • Don’t make non-extreme issues into extreme ones (from yesterday).
  • Are the Buckeyes good or is the Big Ten bad?
  • I really wanted to score a long run today before the weather went cold.  Looks like that’s not going to happen.
  • I really like to take care of the little girl we are fostering.  I just don’t think I’d be cut out to do it every day, all the time.
  • I obviously don’t encourage it, but people who find themselves in the situation of being single parents certainly have my respect.
  • My wife is someone I truly respect.  I just don’t think I’d have ever believed we’d be doing the things we’re doing if you’d have told me almost 12 years ago.
  • I’m excited that Red’s new album is out – and terrific.
  • Definitely looking forward to this week.

LINKS FOR THIS WEEK:

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Gotta speak out – abortion in this country is horrific.  And Planned Parenthood should be shut down.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

–The Gospel helps us understand and react to sexual sin.

–Research says . . . teens need strong families.

–Great article regarding guys and sexual sin.  Women should read this too.

–An excellent example of pride, and how to react to it – from a woman’s perspective.

–Very VERY good thoughts on having family worship.  Families, parents, PLEASE read this and let me know if there is any way I can help you start this sort of thing in your home.

Do we have Groundhog Day faith?

–Not a gifted evangelist?  Read this.

A FEW MISCELLANEOUS LINKS

–If a lockout happens, the Browns stand to lose a lot.

–Do you buy things in panic?

–Found this good review of Until We Have Faces, Red’s new album.

Where Was This Album When I Was In High School?

I rarely write much besides my typical Monday Links and Bullets postings, but today I feel compelled to write about an album that I anticipated with much excitement – and haven’t been let down.

I’m not sure I’ve been this excited about an album since the River of Dreams album from Billy Joel in the 90’s.  What album?

I’m talking about “Until We Have Faces” by Red.

A bit of background:  I have listened to Red for a couple years now, intrigued by their ability to be just edgy enough so as not to turn me off.  Seriously, a bit much harder and it would be over the top for me.  It is the type of music that can be too much or too loud for a lot of folks – I even have some friends who don’t like it.  We’re all entitled to our opinion.  But, as the band claims, they try to put something on their albums for everyone.

And the latest had something very identifiable for me as I listened to it:  the power of Jesus Christ to change your identity.

Until We Have Faces never explicitly uses the name God or Jesus, but contains specific references to Scripture, the hope of Christ, and the ability to overcome spiritual warfare.  It is full of songs whose themes have taken me back to places in my life where I struggled deeply in spiritual warfare, fighting daily for my identity because of anger or just feeling generally lost.  I am vastly changed now, and it’s because of the hope these guys are singing about.  A few examples:

The lead track is called Feed the Machine.  It’s a real screamer and the hardest song on the album.  It exposes the way so many people, and I fear specifically young people, navigate daily life.  Pain, drama, brokenness.  All of these feed the machine of messages we blindly buy into.  Love the end of this song with the call to “Kill the Machine!”  Only possible through Christ!

The popular song (everywhere on Christian Radio and soon to be featured on a couple late night shows) is called Faceless. What a stinging endorsement of how hollow life can feel until we’re exposed to real relationship in Christ.  Check out this powerful lyric:  Shadows growing in my mind/ Ones I just can’t leave behind/ I’m not strong enough to pay this ransom.

Destined to be a well known Red ballad, Not Alone sends the message we ALL need to hear from time to time.  We are not alone, when it feels like everything is crashing down and wasting away.  Sung from God’s perspective, this song is a powerful reminder of Jesus’ close friendship with us when everything seems like a pile of junk.

I heard a talk a couple years ago about living life (and specifically our faith) as an album experience, not just an iTunes one track at a time experience.  From start to finish, this album weaves themes together that will speak to me for a long time.  I hope they speak to you too – if you’re up for a good rocking.