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

Think and Act 1.15.14 – Why I’m Excited About My Phone and My E-mail

Random title, yes?

Phones and e-mail represent two things that most of use more than daily. So, I get excited when something I use is improved according to what I want it to do.  Recently there have been two big improvements in the way I use these.

My Phone: Republic Wireless is the bomb!

For those of you who know me, I’m a big Apple guy. I loved using an iPhone. I hated paying for it. My iPhone was costing $70 per month and I just didn’t feel like it was worth it any more to have that big of a payment for something that made calls, sent texts, did e-mail and basic web-browsing, and took photos.

So I switched to Republic Wireless. They sell a high end (Moto X) smartphone for $300 that is designed to make phone calls on WiFi when it’s available. This keeps the cost of the plan down. Their 3G unlimited everything plan runs only $25 per month (that is NOT a misprint). I usually use a cheaper plan for around $10 per month, plus they give you the option to change twice in a month as well.

It’s been a great experience. It’s been easier than I thought to switch to Android and the phone is really high quality. The camera takes good pictures. How are the calls over WiFi?  Well, I’ll admit they’re not perfect, but only twice in two months of using the phone has anyone asked because there was too much static. I make calls from my office that sound clear. My home is the only place I’ve had any trouble, and that’s because our internet connection isn’t the greatest.

The bottom line? I have a device I really like at a savings of around $1000 over two years everything included. I’m pretty sure I’ll find a place to invest that extra money!

E-mail: Unroll.me is the bomb!

Let me introduce you to a neat little internet app I found. It’s called unroll.me. It scanned my e-mail and found 120 subscriptions. What this does is roll every subscription email into one daily digest of all your subscription emails. Instead of many subscription based e-mails each day, I get one. I can ignore the ones I don’t like and it helps me keep my e-mail organized. It even lets you unsubscribe to ones that you really don’t want anymore.

Who would have thought 15 years ago that we’d have a concern of being over-burdened by e-mail? This little site really is a big help. You can check it out right here!

Think. What’s new in your world? Are new things an end to themselves? Do our desires for new things blur how we could or should use them?

Act. In looking at your life, what is one decision you could make to bring about greater effectiveness with your time or money?

 

Tuesday Rambling 1.14.14 – Maximum Faith, Alex Rodriguez, Obamacare

Maybe I was born a rambling’ man . . . it’s Tuesday! Here is a loose collection of thoughts – the usual Tuesday format.

Maximum Faith

  • I am growing into a way of thinking through life that helps me understand that there are maximum outcomes for God’s glory in each situation that comes my way.
  • By contrast, wrong-headed (sinful) thinking can minimize the outcome of situations for God’s glory.
  • It takes effort, but I am praying I will be able to evaluate each situation, whether positive or negative, in order to maximize God’s glory in my life and in the life of those for whom I care.

Baseball

  • I realize baseball is insignificant, but the Alex Rodriguez fiasco is very fascinating to me.
  • I cannot understand how he can be so blinded. If he would have made a deal in the spring last year and admitted some measure of involvement in the scandal, he would have served his suspension by now and been ready to go by this spring.
  • A major lesson: lies spiral.

Obamacare

  • This law is proving to be very problematic. There aren’t too many people on either side of the political spectrum denying that this should have been thought through a little more.
  • Maybe there’s a lesson here that large pieces of legislation shouldn’t be rammed through until they can be thought through.
  • Regarding the law itself, I like a lot of the basic premises. I simply don’t believe that it should be the government’s place to force things upon people. I’ve always thought communities can do a good job of taking care of the needy among them. With less federal taxes, it would free local folks to form the proper initiatives to care for their own.

 

Monday Challenge 1.13.14 – Effects of Missions, A Heart-Breaking Story, And A Marriage Challenge

A quick few links to get you going for Monday. Be challenged!

Link of the Week

I am still digesting all this, but it sounds great. This article discusses a study which shows the impact of missionaries around the world, and the news is good.

Question: Simply, how does this shape your thinking?

The Christian Faith

1.Read about where on the globe life has the most meaning (according to the people living there).

Question: What defines meaning to you? How does this article challenge that?

2. Here’s a quick reminder that persecution is real.

Question: When was the last time you were persecuted? What did it look like?

3. MARRIAGE: Here are six deadly enemies of marriage.

Question: Which speaks the loudest to you?

4. This guy is right about this little girl. I encourage you to watch this.

Question: Does this affect us, or are we totally numb? What is minimal response when things like this go on in our world?

 

 

 

Friday Feature 1.10.14 – 7 Ways Pastoring Has Changed in 30 Years

I enjoyed this article. Apparently, you did too. The most clicked article from Monday’s post:

Seven ways pastoring has changed in 30 years.

After you’ve read the article, here are a few of my comments:

1. The way the position is viewed.

Rainer makes the point that both people in the community and the congregation hold the position in less esteem than they did 30 years ago. I don’t know that it’s been my direct experience, but I would agree based on reading and interacting with others. This, also, from a guy (yours truly) with a view that too much pastoral esteem is a bad thing.

2. Number 5 on the list is huge!

I think this is one thing that has changed a bunch. At our church we still see a good amount of “random visitors”. But, many barriers exist toward churches and leaders today that weren’t in place a while ago. It would benefit the average church member to know this.

3. The influence of social media.

I agree with this one, but not perhaps from the “problem management” aspect. I’ve been on the wrong end of social media attacks, but really that just makes public what used to happen in private. On the positive end of things, I think it would benefit a lot of church members to realize how pervasive social media is in networking and sharing the work of the ministry. There aren’t too many successful churches (and won’t be without a major cultural shift) who don’t have some sort of social media presence.

Think. What stands out to you on this list?

Act. If you’re committed to a specific local church (I’d argue you should be!), do what you can to support your pastor and church leadership.

Think and Act 1.8.14 – When A Creationist Debates an Evolutionist, It Matters What We Think

It should be pretty cut and dry, shouldn’t it? Bill Nye the Science Guy (a known humanist/evolutionist) will debate Ken Ham, leader of Answers in Genesis on February 4. It should be pretty cut and dry how a Christian thinks, shouldn’t it?

I hope it is, but let me offer a two warnings that make sense. Then, I’ll point to what should be the obvious crux.

Warning #1. Watch the name calling.

Many, to be clear not all, in the evolutionist camp will simply call names and make false allegations. See Ken Ham’s response to allegations some have made regarding the debate itself.

Calling names and trying to belittle someone accomplishes as much in a debate setting as it did in third grade. All it does is stir emotions – that’s why it’s a logical fallacy. Christians should rest on logic – I’m sure that’s what Ken Ham is prepared to do.

Warning #2. It’s not about winning a debate.

If the chief goal of this for the Christian community is to humiliate Bill Nye by trumping him in a debate, we’ve lost our spiritual pulse.

Do we hope Ken Ham wins the debate? Sure, but the anxiety that he might lose should not drive how we view such an opportunity. The “we are right” feeling is NOT the maximum ceiling for God’s glory in this debate.

The Crux

The maximum ceiling for God’s glory is love. God is love. He loves unconditionally. Let me offer three ways we can show and desire love as the highest good in this debate.

1. Our prayers, energy, and focus leading to this debate should be our love for those believing the lie of evolution. Our love for Bill Nye and our bitter hatred of the thought he would spend eternity in hell should consume the energy we spend. We should desire that he would experience the love of God through Jesus Christ, repent of his sins, and come to faith in Jesus Christ.

2. Our love for God and a thirst for more of His truth revealed in the Word and in creation should be our goal. As Ken Ham uses evidence and Scripture, we should desire to grow in these abilities as well, always thirsting for more knowledge.

3. Our desire to learn from Ken Ham how to treat unbelievers with respect, dignity, and love should drive our curiosity to watch this debate while or after it happens.

Think. How are you approaching this debate? What was your initial thought when you heard about it?

Act. Speak and act with love as you interact, especially if the temptation is to steer the conversation away from the love we should have and seek in this significant event.