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

Think and Act 8.27.14 – As School Begins

Tomorrow is the first day of school in Akron. I know many other districts (most?) have already started. Naturally, as a parent a few things come to mind.

1. If we’re like anyone else, structure is a struggle.

I pray for the structure kids and families need to balance projects, activities, important dates.

2. Their best will always be enough.

I simply want them to do their best. They don’t need to live up to my standards. They don’t need pressure from their parents added on to the many other burdens kids today must carry.

Independent living will require them to prioritize, make decisions, and meet deadlines. We will do our best to simply help them work toward that goal according to their level of development and ability.

3. I will pray daily for the safety of our schools and for those in leadership.

I desire God’s peace in my community. I desire peaceful schools. I pray that people in our local schools will work for peaceful conflict resolution and peaceful environments for students to learn.

The Bible commands us to pray for those in authority. Principals, teachers, school board, and the superintendent are in need of prayer. They must exercise wisdom every day in resolving disputes, developing relationships, and making short and long term plans.

Think. What do you think about school starting? Is how you think about school dependent on whether you have kids in school or not?

Act. Find a meaningful way to pray for or support some aspect of the important process of education.

 

Tuesday Rambling 8.26.14 – Pet Peeves

Some of my pet peeves:

  • People in crowded spaces who have no clue there are other people around.
  • Drivers on phones.
  • Time unnecessarily wasted.
  • Poorly designed buildings.
  • People in the first world who have no clue what goes on in the rest of the world.

What do most of these show about me?

  • I value time.
  • I value things running as smoothly as possible.
  • I value perspective.
  • I think driving large machines at high rates of speed shouldn’t be taken lightly.

How would a similar thought process turn out for you?

Monday Challenge 8.25.14 – Ferguson, Iraq, Porn

Wow. It seems that so much is going on in our world today. Big surprise – I’m challenged! I hope these links will challenge your thinking too.

Ferguson

1. John Perkins talks about the sin of racism and how it played into the blow-up in Ferguson.

Question: Is it hard to minimize racism as something other than sin?

2. Read this article and think about the differences in the way races view Ferguson.

Question: Well?

Iraq

It is a humanitarian crisis. A group with the mentality of the Nazis is at work in the Middle East. They are targeting anyone who disagrees with their radical Islam faith, of course including Christians.

Here is something you can do to help.

Question: Is it worth it to you to help?

Porn

Maybe we don’t have a porn problem. Maybe the problem is we are minimizing the sin? Read the comments on this article too. Very good interaction.

Question: How easy is it to minimize sin in our culture?

The Christian Faith

1. Remember specifically.

Question: Why is it important to remember specific things, as opposed to general? What are some of your Biblical favorites? What about your own experiences?

2. In conflict, there are times when it’s not all or nothing.

Question: When is it all or nothing? When is it NOT? If you were discussing this article with someone else, could you come up with an example of each?

Monday Challenge 8.18.14 – Did I Give Bad Info?, Four Faith-Shaking Moments, Worshiping the Family?

It’s Wednesday night. I’m beginning to dig out of the physical hole created by many nights in a row of very little sleep. I’ve been off my regular blog schedule due to an extended hospitalization of our daughter. We’re glad she’s home, and I’m glad to be back to blogging.

These are the articles I would have posted Monday had I posted a Monday challenge!

Link of the Week

If you read one article about Ferguson, read this black pastor’s one fear of moving back to the U.S. I found it very challenging and informative.

Question: What is important to you as you interact with this story?

Fact Checking on ISIS Stories.

Last week I posted a link to an article saying ISIS is systematically beheading children. This article from a trusted source challenges that claim WITHOUT diminishing the killing ISIS is doing. Either way, getting the truth right is important.

Question: Does this help you think about the importance of truth?

Christian Faith

1. Seven positive ways to use social media as a believer in Jesus.

Question: Which of these can you add to your use of social media?

2. Do you worship your family?

Question: Where do you come closest to having the family be an idol?

3. This article is four youth ministry, but I resonate with it as a senior pastor as well. Four situations YM should prepare students to face.

Question: Which do you find most thought provoking?

Tuesday Rambling 8.12.14 – Character, Mine and Others’

I read a quote yesterday that stopped me in my tracks and will lead to some rambling.

A famous pastor is involved in a scandal.  Not sexual, this time more character-based instead. In his early years, everyone wrote it off to immaturity but his influence widened. His character flaws never changed and now much has changed.

From Tim Challies, about character:

The Bible says little about skill and less still about results. It heralds character.

  • This has made me think about my private character, and sins which can bud into larger problems.
  • This has made me think about results. The most important results involve my change by grace  through faith in Christ.
  • I remember listening to my Theology of Ministry lectures. The first thing the professor emphasized, out of many cassette tapes (what are those?) worth of lectures: your ministry will be judged success or failure by the development of your personal relationships with Christ. Or, something to that effect.
  • No matter the specific wording, what a huge concept.
  • Shouldn’t this give us pause when discerning leadership?
  • Shouldn’t this give us pause for how we encourage leaders to grow?
  • Shouldn’t we return to the lists in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus again and again and again?
  • Results can mask character flaws, even significant sins.
  • The Biblical message is that character development is most important to leadership. Wow.

If this takes back a bit, let it challenge you. Get into the relevant passages. If you lead, seek the Lord for change. If you work with leaders, pray for them and encourage them!