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

Friday Link Highlight – 7.29.11 – Praying for Pastors

Here is the most clicked article from my Monday posting:

It’s about how to pray for your pastors.

As usual, I really don’t agree with everything in here.  However, there are a couple main points I’ll elaborate on:

1.  Feeling Good About Growth

This IS true about a lot of churches.  It should NOT be a pastor’s main concern to grow a church numerically.  Sometimes numbers are evidence of a spiritually growing church, sometimes they’re not.  But what this article points out well is that our churches AND our pastors need to guard against this goal.  Let’s keep spiritual maturity at the top of the list.

2. Use of Time

In most churches under the 500-1000 range in attendance, pastors do a lot of things that stay under the radar.  It is an ongoing theme of the things I write on my blog that I need prayer for wisdom.  Bottom line is I want to stay committed to teaching and preaching above anything, but there are a lot of factors that compete for that time.

3. Most Risky?

A catchy title, but I don’t think it’s “the most risky”.  Maybe a successful title to get people reading.  Just my opinion.

Have a great Friday everyone.

Monday Links and Bullets 7.25.11

Last Monday post for July.  Wow.  Here we go with this week’s links.

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Here’s an excellent article on praying for pastors.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

What higher ed says about Adam and Eve.  I find this to be totally ridiculous, but that’s my opinion.

Sin CAN be killed.  This is great hope and good encouragement.

MISCELLANEOUS

–Sports:  More good stuff on why college athletes should be paid.

–Homosexuality:  It is interesting to see a secular publication wrestle with the notion that people can convert their sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual.  According to the secular view, these people shouldn’t exist.

–Society:  A 2nd chance for prostitutes.  Excellent idea, Nashville.

–Society:  Modern day poverty. This is a good read.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Our kids are earning a dollar a week for chores.  Something is telling me we’re going to get our money’s worth out of this.
  • Dessert for breakfast is great.  Today I had my normal Monday morning plate of eggs, veggies, meat and cheese.  Then I ate a chocolate Honey Bun and had coffee with my breakfast dessert.
  • From last night’s service:  For God, raising people from the dead is natural.  How is our mind stretched by this?
  • Praying for lots of friends who have been traveling or are traveling.  A little jealous, but that comes with the territory.
  • Julie was looking for her phone this morning with her bag over her shoulder trying to get on her way out the door to work.  I called her phone and it was . . . in her bag.
  • VBS last week was great.  I loved watching the excitement of the kids and volunteers.
  • I miscalculated last week (because I’m dumb??).  NOW I have run 29 straight days with a total just over 210 miles.  I’m now into the 5th week of my training plan.  I should make a decision by the end of this week on whether or not I’m going to race at the end of August.  The bottom line is not that I will achieve a high level of confidence in achieving my goal.  My question ultimately will be this:  am I in good enough condition to be close to achieving my goal?
  • God is really so much bigger than I’m capable of thinking.  When I think too narrowly my faith shrinks.  God, help me to think big!

Friday Link Highlight 7.22.11 “Parenting Is A Calling”

No doubt this week on which link received the most clicks.  If you missed it Monday, here it is:

Motherhood is a calling.

Here are a few thoughts I have after reading this:

1. Bold

No, not just the typeface.  It is bold to write such an article.  Well meaning, well educated people will read this and laugh.  It’s just bold to write something that flies in the face of what so many people value.

2. Calling

Motherhood (parenthood by extension) is NOT a job.  It’s not FUN.  IT’S NOT EASY!!  But it’s awesome.  And as the article says, it ranks well below other pursuits which seem more interesting and gratifying.  So it is a calling, something God empowers people to do, and not as a side gig.

3. Christian view of children

When you hear others talk about large families, what is often said?  Don’t you know what causes that?  Did they intend to have that many children?  I fear that the Christian view of children may be the same.  Last I checked, I didn’t read in the Bible that the goal of life was to make things easier.  Instead, I think I read something about doing whatever you can do to extend the kingdom of God.  Let’s be honest – having, raising, adopting, caring for, and loving children is an excellent way to be active in that pursuit.  It should be encouraged and supported, not looked down upon.

4.  Some Closing Questions

What is your calling, at your stage in life, regarding children?  If you’re older, can you help support younger families who are raising children – how about a random giftcard for groceries or a night of babysitting?  Could you foster teens or younger children?  If you’re younger, are you waiting to get your ducks in a row before having kids?  Do you view them as an inconvenience?  Can you assist families who do have kids in order to see what it’s like?  What is your calling, regarding children and the kingdom of God?  What will you need to “lay down” to achieve it?

Have a great Friday everyone!

Monday Links and Bullets 7.18.11

Another week, another set of links.  Check ’em out!

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Parent or not, everyone should read this short piece about parenting as a calling.  Seriously, if you don’t read anything else on here this week, click through and take less than 5 minutes to read this.

CHRISTIAN FAITH

–Just a quick glimpse into the media’s view on homosexuality.

–Here is one of the best articles you’ll ever read about knowing God’s Will.

MISCELLANEOUS

–Society:  Where do you text?   Can we de-slave ourselves to the vibrating smartphone in our pocket?

–Society:  Are colleges giving too many A’s?

–Sports:  why college athletes should be paid.

–Gloabal:  terror in India.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • It’s a nice Monday morning here at our house with everyone home.  VBS tonight!
  • As of this morning, it’s been 29 consecutive days of running.  Almost half way through my modified plan!
  • I feel like I’m a bit behind on the details of life.  Need to spend some time going through mail, making appointments, etc.
  • There are two cucumbers in our fridge that we grew in our backyard.  Woohoo!
  • We meet the guardian ad litem today for our foster daughter.  In the event that the agency files for permanent custody, the guardian (a neutral voice to the court) has a pretty strong voice in how adoption decisions are made.
  • Jesus the name that charms our fears and bids our sorrows cease.
  • I know it’s only midsummer but I’m definitely thinking about the 2 year blog anniversary give-away (in November).  Last year it was an iPad.  What will it be this year?
  • Would you rather: 1) have 2 weeks expenses paid for rest and relaxation or 2) have 2 weeks expenses paid so you could visit a third world place, learn about its culture, and live among its people?
  • I’m struck by God’s phenomenal compassion.  He plays by rules we really can’t comprehend.

Friday Link Highlight 7.15.11

One of the links I posted Monday that seemed to draw the most interest was this one about the dark consequences of unforgiveness:

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/five-benefits-of-unforgiveness-then-the-better-way

I hope you’ll take time to read it.  It should challenge each of us.  Here are some additional thoughts:

We all do this.

It is very difficult to imagine that at some point in our lives we haven’t been guilty of it.  It’s fascinating to read about things and think they apply to everyone else, but this applies to us.

It makes us feel better about ourselves.

When we don’t forgive, it is very easy to feel better about ourselves.  As the article talked about, feeling like we have power over people makes us feel good.  It’s also a horrible expression of pride.  I hope and pray that anyone reading this will consider letting go of situations where not forgiving has falsely built our self confidence.

Forgiveness IS better.

There is no doubt that forgiveness releases us of many of the emotions that lead us to sin.  It’s harder to forgive, especially when you don’t think someone deserves it, but there’s no doubt that the benefits outweigh the control it brings.  Life is short.  It’s difficult to imagine why we’d think it’s worth it to spin our wheels in situations where just forgiving someone would make so much of a difference – for us and most likely them as well.

Have a great Friday everyone!