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

Monday Links and Bullets 7.30.12

Wow.  July is almost over.  Can’t believe it.  As usual, here are some GREAT articles to check out.  Hope you’re built up and encouraged by taking a few short minutes to read.  Below, as usual, find some of my own thoughts in short bullet form.  Happy Monday!

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK OF THE WEEK

Here is how NOT to minister to people who are hurting. This contains an ACTUAL LIST OF STUPID THINGS people said to a family in a very difficult spot.  Don’t do this!

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

–This guy is a little wordy, but I like reading his take.  This article shows us why the Chick Fil A dust up is related to racism.  Good thoughts.

–Is prayer a code for getting what we want?

Ten years after a double Russian adoption.

FOREIGN

Is there mental slavery still in Africa?  Good short article about how Africa was abused by the Europeans.

MISCELLANEOUS

Stop rewarding kids for just showing up.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • I’m back.  I’ve been on vacation and to Haiti in the past two/three weeks, with spotty appearances at church.  I am thrilled to be back and ready to get going.
  • Regarding Haiti, here is my first blog entry about the trip if you missed it.  More to come.
  • Regarding vacation, isn’t it a good reminder that your identity isn’t your work?  While I’m happy to be home, I’m happy to have had time with family as well.
  • The Olympics have been fascinating so far.  It’s sad to see disappointment of favorites not doing well, but it should teach us a lesson in reality as well.  Sometimes you work really hard for a goal and just don’t get it.
  • Haiti thought quick: we have no right to complain about anything!
  • Church softball tonight: what’s that?
  • And when it comes to these shooting tragedies, we’re still asking why?  Don’t we know the answer? I hate that these things happen. So heartbreaking.
  • I’m enjoying being a baseball fan this time of year.  The sport overall is very interesting.
  • As a Christian, are you all in? Or just interested in doing only a little?

Friday Link Highlight 7.27.12 – Chick-Fil-A and the Irony of the Tolerance Police

Here is this week’s most clicked link, and one WELL worth your read.  If Christians (or otherwise sensible people) fail to stand up to this sort of stuff, these type of fascist thinkers WILL end up dictating policy.

http://www.dennyburk.com/chick-fil-a-and-the-irony-of-the-tolerance-police/

Here are a few of my thoughts:

1) This is ridiculous.

Enough said, right?  Carrying this further, I guess those in favor of gay marriage would say I hate them every time I perform a heterosexual ceremony.  Simply not the case, and tragic logic.  We need to leave the emotion out of this, and start thinking.

2) Think.

Yes, think.  Stop name calling.  You and I do business every day with people with whom we disagree.  Every day.  And we don’t hate them, and they don’t hate us.  It is NOT true that if I disagree with someone, it automatically means I hate them.

3) In fact, I love people I disagree with.

Can that be true?  Ask the opposition.  But, I do and they have to at least admit that’s a possibility. Or do they?

Have a great Friday everyone.

Haiti Trip #1: The Haitian people are richer than you are

What?

Read it again and I will explain why it’s true.

Kevin, what are you snorting?  Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, with 40% unemployment and annual income in the hundreds per person.  It can’t be that the Haitian people are richer than we are in the United States.

Let me say it again: the Haitian people are richer than you are.

Why is this? Because they have things we as Americans DON’T VALUE.  And it makes them richer people in the quality of life they live.

Without knowing more than a handful of words in the Haitian language called Creole, it was very easy to discern that the Haitian people have a great sense of community and a faith that cannot be questioned.  See, America is geared toward independence.  Personal rights, property, possessions – these things dominate our history and development.  Haiti, however, is geared toward community.  You may like your air conditioning, carpeted floors, flushing toilets, and big  screen T.V.’s. C’mon, who doesn’t?  But the lack of these things in Haiti seems to bring them together.  So many times we saw people OUTSIDE their homes, enjoying fellowship with neighbors and family and whoever else seemed to be around.  And that included us.  Strange white people – invited right into their community.

And what of their faith?  Sure 90% of Americans claim to be Christian.  Then why doesn’t it look like it?  Because here, like other parts of the world, Christian is only a term.  It’s not a way of life driven out of conviction based on Scripture. In Haiti? The opposite.  In one stop on a random Tuesday afternoon we got to know a man whose rent was due and he had no way to pay it.  He faced losing his home and the shelter that protected his family.  We prayed for him . . . then he led his family in singing praise songs.  No stress lines of worry, no panic in his voice.  Deep, genuine, faith.

I’d tell all the stories we heard, but suffice it to say this was not an isolated incident.

Community built on love for each other and faith that runs deep through trial?  Yes, American friends, the Haitian people are richer than the average American.  And the salaries these rich values pay sow deep seeds of joy and peace into their community living that truly made me envious.

 

Monday Links and Bullets 7.23.12

It’s Monday.  Time for good articles (links) and a few of my own thoughts (bullets). Enjoy!

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Do Christians contribute to unbelief?

CHRISTIAN FAITH

–Parents: How to respond to drama from your teens.  This article offers some great perspective.

–Deep, powerful love. Strong love.

–Joel Osteen: I’m not a big fan of everything this guy does, but I found this interview by a local NE Ohio reporter helpful.

–Homosexuality: Is anyone with a traditional view of family allowed to do anything? This should send chills down your spine. Also, here is an article which clearly explains things from a Biblical perspective.

MISCELLANEOUS

Talk about dominating the market!

BULLET THOUGHTS OF THE WEEK

HAITI

  • Our trip to Haiti last week was a very deep experience.  I will be blogging at various points about the trip.  There are several themes that emerged which were very enriching.  Bottom line: Haiti is an amazing place!
  • A few highlights: I was proud to be the pastor of our church’s team.  They were excellent in passionately representing Christ in a difficult place.  God did several physical healing wonders among our team and used our physical bodies despite some pretty extreme conditions. Seeing God work never gets old.

PENN STATE

  • The punishments for the most part are adequate.  I don’t like the vacating wins; they didn’t cheat at football.
  • The fines seem like they will help promote healthy atmospheres.
  • The response of the university has seemed appropriate.
  • While I agree Penn State needed to be punished, I wonder about the precedent this sets for the NCAA to be able to levy this type of punishment.

DISCIPLESHIP

  • Jesus told us to make disciples.  I know a lot of people in the Christian church who are struggling with what that looks like.  Great!
  • It will be exciting to challenge our church in the coming weeks to make disciples.

QUESTION

  • Would you be willing to give up anything and everything if it meant that God would move in your life and in your country?

 

Monday Links and Bullets 7.9.12

Good articles. Good thinking.  Enjoy this week’s links and bullets.

WEEKLY LINKS

LINK OF THE WEEK

–Parenting:  Parents should ask themselves if they are in charge.  This is such a great little article.  I found it very challenging.  Hope you do too.

THE CHRISTIAN FAITH

Jerry Sandusky is not guilty of anything without Christianity.  Wow!  Good stuff to think about.

–Is circumcision a crime?  Read a good article about a blaring double standard.

All men should read this article.

MISCELLANEOUS

The mayor dressed like a sausage.  Yeah. And some people didn’t like it.

BULLET THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK

  • Being away from home makes me feel out of sorts.  I think mostly that is a good thing.  Definitely looking forward to the next several weeks of different experiences and opportunities.
  • My summer training is going very well.  I am going to attempt a 20 mile run Friday morning. For the middle of July it will be a great test to see where I am.
  • Disciples. Make them. That’s what Jesus commanded, right?  So, do you do it? Do you have anything that is of higher importance if you are a believer?
  • Looking forward to watching the home run derby tonight.
  • I will always remember 2012 as a year where a lot of stuff happened in our lives and in the lives of our family.
  • I am praying for friends to find work.  It is in God’s hands!
  • When was the last time you tried something that was new to you?
  • Do you live your life from destination to destination, or do you live each day in the moment?  If we are driven only by events on calendars, we will lose focus on how we can experience each day.

Have a great week everyone!