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

Monday Links and Bullets 4.30.12

Some challenging reading as always.  Some of my bullet thoughts are below.

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Yes, there is sex trafficking in America.  You should read this.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

–How convicting: The idol will never love you back.

–Are you a Christian who’s blowing in the wind?

Suffering is a gift – from someone who’s in a position to say it.  Here’s one about suffering for the spiritual well being of others.

The sin of envy.  This is definitely challenging.

Some great music to check out.

MISCELLANEOUS

–Sports:  Here is some really good perspective on a baseball trade from a couple seasons back.

–Local: A good story of self sacrifice when a concrete truck loses its brakes and heads straight for a school bus.

–Tech: Interesting article highlights the differences between Apple and Google when it comes to making apps.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Definitely in a season where I’m being challenged with what satisfies me.  Is the answer “not Jesus” too often?
  • I’m glad the kids’ bus schedule is more regular now.  I should probably thank the bus driver for getting it together.
  • Browns’ draft:  B- says Mel Kiper.  Personally, I’ll take it.  McCoy never was the answer at QB.  Never would be.  Got what they wanted otherwise.
  • It will be interesting to see if the Yankees can stay competitive over the long haul when they only have 1.5 starting pitchers who are effective.
  • Disciples: make them.
  • Going to be a jam packed summer, that’s for sure.  Family breaks, missions trip to Haiti, our annual summer Project Shine outreach in our community.  And time for what else?  Whew . . .
  • Very close to signing up for the ultra marathon.  Gonna be a lot of fun!

Have a great Monday everyone.

On My Mind #28: Three Things I Wish I Did Better

It is easy thing (for me, anyway) to spend some time reflecting at life’s mile markers. For me, tomorrow is my 36th birthday, and I find myself thinking a bit.

It has been a difficult year in many respects. Most of the difficulty is natural stretching occurring as a result of continuing to adjust to a new role, establish better boundaries, and evaluate priorities.

So here are three things I wish I did better. Note the emphasis on doing them better (I’m not inferring I’m not doing them at all). Perhaps a little self evaluation will give you some things to think about. As always, the goal of my writing is challenge for better Christian living.

1. MAKING DISCIPLES

I really hope next year at this time I can honestly say I am making progress investing in people’s lives, making disciples. By definition, I don’t mean simply conducting services, preaching sermons, having events, etc. These are good and challenging things to do as part of sharing Christian life. God can work in these in powerful ways. But, people’s real needs and challenges can be hidden in these times and therefore discipleship may never occur if connection isn’t made beyond these structures. So, I’d like to be more effective making disciples.

2. DISCIPLINE

I think this one is directly related to the first one. If I’m really passionate about it, I’ll make it a priority. If I don’t, I won’t. Isn’t that true of anyone? The bottom line is that in this season of life my choices with my time must be intentional. Commitment to preaching will be a priority. Marriage and family will be a priority. Running will be a priority. I will need to be disciplined to live out what God has ultimately called me to do.

3. BEING INTENTIONAL ABOUT MISSIONS

There is real adventure going on in the Christian mission field around the world. The work is active and incredibly meaningful. Totally un-reached people groups are being reached and need to be reached. I want to continue to challenge my thinking about what is important in supporting this type of work.

Well, that’s it for now. Be challenged!

Monday links and bullets 4.23.12

Another week, another good batch of helpful articles. You’ll find some of my bullet thoughts below.

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK OF THE WEEK
Six unbiblical ways to change. This is a fantastic website. I’ll continue to share articles from here.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
–Here’s a great read about the Norway killer’s trial. It’s good to wrestle with some heavy things.

–It is amazing to me how atheists will misrepresent Bible believing Christians. Check this one out.

–Here’s a very challenging piece about abortion. Are you ashamed?

Why should this law have to come about?

–Ever wondered how pastors decide who they will marry? Someone wrote a good article. Read it.

VARIOUS TOPICS

Health care.

Plight of women in Somalia (really worth your read to education yourself).

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

* I have been really moved on behalf of the older folks in our church during a time of several losses of long time friends.

* I am glad we worship Jesus who offers us hope beyond death. I don’t know how people deal with death any other way. I really don’t.

* I am processing a message I listened to within the past 24 hours. It is about the cross of Christ and its power to break the curse of sin. It was fantastic.

* There are a lot of things I hope to get better at doing.

* I wrote last week that I plan to run a 50 mile race this November. I am 90%+ convinced I can do it.

* I really think parents need to have a plan to begin talking to their kids about sex at (relatively) early ages. Our daughter turns nine this year (gasp) and I am not convinced we’re that far away from needing to begin stirring what she thinks. Further, I don’t believe in “the talk” model. I think ongoing conversations are the best.

* I am so fed up with some of the shows I watch that I’m about to quit watching. It is becoming very difficult to watch TV due to blatant immoral sexuality and homosexuality. My favorite show? Good luck Charlie. Seriously, my kids watch it on Netflix and Disney runs it. It would have been 8:00 prime time TV when I was growing up. Not now.

* I am praying hard for a number of situations. I really believe God is moving in a number of situations in a number of people’s lives.

* It is only Monday and I am already very excited to preach this coming Sunday. I heard a sermon recently about the passage I’ll be preaching and it stoked me greatly.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday Link Highlight 4.20.12 NO BIBLICAL FORMULA FOR RAISING GOOD KIDS

Read the following article which drew the most interest from my Monday post:

http://www.crosswalk.com/blogs/brooke-mcglothlin/is-there-a-biblical-formula-for-raising-good-kids.html

That’s right, there is no Biblical formula for raising good kids.  It’s a challenging read, isn’t it?

Now, that doesn’t mean there are no guidelines.  There are plenty of those.  Here are a few thoughts.

1.  Don’t turn your successes into formulas.

The bottom line is what works for your kids may not work for other kids.  Same with parents.  There are hard and fast things every child needs and every parent is responsible for (Biblically), but let’s try to distinguish our kids’ strengths from rules that should apply to everyone.

2. Love the point about reliance on God.

The people on their stump about parenting often lose this.  Great parenting comes out of submissions to and reliance on God, not one person’s emphasis and teaching.  If there was some neat formula, we would definitely lose our need for faith in the specific situations that come our way.  Love this point!

3. Get your kids to the cross.  Often.

Continuing to repeat to them that the only thing that can save them is the cross of Christ will be a constant reminder that your ability to parent can’t do it.  Neither can any formula someone comes up with. 

Be challenged and chew on this!

Have a great Friday everyone.

On My Mind #27: Why 2012 will include something I’ve never tried before

This year will be memorable for something I’ve not tried before.

See, I’ve failed a lot of times trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon – eleven to be exact. There is no secret the odds of failing would be high if I tried to qualify this fall. Sooooo…. I’m trying something different.

I’m going to train for an ultra marathon. It will be a race of FIFTY MILES, probably in November. I think it will take 10 hours or less. But I’m excited. It will be new, adventurous, and potentially, a way to honor God.

I’m thinking about doing it to raise some money for a cause, but for now I’m researching races and training tips. More later. 50 miles here we go!