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

Tuesday Rambling 9.29.15 – Love Akron

Love Akron

It’s Tuesday. Time for some rambling.

  • Early this Tuesday you would find me at a breakfast for Love Akron. This event gathers nearly 700 people from the business and faith communities in the Summit County area.
  • That, folks, is a large event!
  • Love Akron does much to unify the body of Christ in the Akron area.
  • Love Akron’s presence makes the Akron area stronger.
  • Love Akron has a strong and viable history in the Akron area.
  • I think Love Akron represents Christianity in a healthy, realistic, and meaningful way to the city of Akron and Summit County as a whole.
  • Mark Ford, the director of Love Akron, has been an encouragement to me through my years of ministry in the Akron area. He’s helped me grow as a leader.
  • I’m sure not everyone agrees with Mark’s decisions or Love Akron’s approach. To each his own.
  • For me, I count it a joy to develop as a leader, pastor, and Christ-follower in connection with this organization.
  • The quarterly times of prayer sponsored by Love Akron feed the souls of many pastors and leaders throughout the course of a calendar year. I always benefit by attending these gatherings.
  • Knowing believers from different backgrounds almost always increases my personal value of the body of Christ. Love Akron facilitates this for leaders.
  • Every community should have a “Love Akron” type of organization whose goal is to unify believers for encouragement and positive witness without reaching too far so as to water down the message.
  • You can read more about Love Akron at www.loveakron.org
  • TLAN in the graphic stands for “The Love Akron Network”.

Monday Challenge 9.28.15 – Pastors’ View of the Pope, African View of America, Managing Emotions

2014 Pastoral Visit of Pope Francis to Korea Closing Mass for Asian Youth Day  August 17, 2014  Haemi Castle, Seosan-si, Chungcheongnam-do  Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Korean Culture and Information Service Korea.net (www.korea.net)  Official Photographer : Jeon Han This official Republic of Korea photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way. Also, it may not be used in any type of commercial, advertisement, product or promotion that in any way suggests approval or endorsement from the government of the Republic of Korea. If you require a photograph without a watermark, please contact us via Flickr e-mail. --------------------------------------------------------------- 교황 프란치스코 방한 제6회 아시아 청년대회 폐막미사 2014-08-17 충청남도 서산시 해미읍성 문화체육관광부 해외문화홍보원 코리아넷  전한

2014 Pastoral Visit of Pope Francis to Korea
Closing Mass for Asian Youth Day
August 17, 2014
Haemi Castle, Seosan-si, Chungcheongnam-do
Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Korean Culture and Information Service
Korea.net (www.korea.net)
Official Photographer : Jeon Han
This official Republic of Korea photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way. Also, it may not be used in any type of commercial, advertisement, product or promotion that in any way suggests approval or endorsement from the government of the Republic of Korea. If you require a photograph without a watermark, please contact us via Flickr e-mail.
—————————————————————
교황 프란치스코 방한
제6회 아시아 청년대회 폐막미사
2014-08-17
충청남도 서산시 해미읍성
문화체육관광부
해외문화홍보원
코리아넷
전한

Happy Monday? Does such a thing exist? Well I’m not sure, but Monday happens. That means it’s challenge day at the blog. Check these articles out. Friday stop back for a summary on the article clicked most.

Pastors and the Pope

From anti-Christ to brother in Christ, pastors seem to have a wide range of views about Pope Francis.

Question: Why do you think such a wide range of views exist?

Through African Eyes

An African pastor comments on the American sexual revolution. Very fascinating.

Question: What do you make about the statement later in the article about cultural view of the Bible?

Emotions

Is it a myth that your emotions will lead you astray? Good question. This author says not always. Check out these good thoughts.

Question: Can you identify a time when your emotions led you to positive action?

Google Auto-Complete Theology

I commented a bit more deeply on this article last Wednesday, but in case you missed it, it’s worth your time.

Question: Are Christians mean, lame, etc? Or, do these searches have their basis in faulty or narrow views?

Friday Feature 9.25.15 – A Woman’s Desire To Be Desired

IMG_60531

Good Friday afternoon. Today, let’s shine the light on the article that got the most attention from Monday’s post:

The Desire to Be Desired – by Ed Welch.

I’m not a woman. I claimed that Monday. It hasn’t changed. I assume Ed Welch isn’t a woman either, so here we have the awkwardness of men writing about women.

But, I’m not afraid of it. Regardless of who wrote it, the challenge remains practical.

A couple summary thoughts:

1. Repentance.

I love how the article points women struggling with this certain genre of literature, or the base desire featured in this type of literature, to God.

The answer to any problem we have begins with repentance. We MUST see things accurately, so I pray God grants repentance in this specific sin and all others men and women face.

2. Base desires.

This article also challenges base desires humans have. God always shows us how His Word can govern our desires. Sadly, twisting these desires comes way too easy for us.

Some honesty regarding desires as found in this article is helpful. Lord, help us match our desires with yours!

Think. Male or female, how do our private desires line up with God’s Word?

Act. Take proactive steps to destroy sinful patterns of thinking or longing. Confess. Open up to others. Most importantly, long first and foremost for God!

Think and Act 9.23.15 – Why Are Christians So Mean?

Google

I briefly caught a discussion yesterday on WCRF’s morning show about an article regarding Google searches and Christians.

Reading the article will definitely not waste your time. Click here to see it.

The autofills showed some promise, users searching in a way that shows spiritual interest and curiosity.

But top among some searches include people wondering why Christians are mean and annoying.

The challenge? Why do people think Christians come across so mean?

It made for some good radio show call ins. Let me summarize with two quick points.

1. Some Christians are indeed mean.

Unfortunately some believers, preachers, churches, etc. twist the mighty grace of God into a license to spew judgment rather than love.

This saddens my soul, as outward behavior simply cannot bridge the gap between man and God. Mean Christians distort the nature of God’s grace, offering love and forgiveness where works will never suffice.

The goal has nothing to do with being known more for what you’re against than for your love for people, but in reality some have Christianity 100% backward.

2. Our culture doesn’t understand love.

Let me raise an important question. Does our culture think Christians are mean simply because we speak regarding right and wrong?

Every child feels suffocated by parents who lovingly apply discipline and correction. But does that make the parent evil?

If you follow that, you might get a glimpse at why some people feel Christians are mean. At a conference last May, I heard Tim Keller say that one of the top sins you can commit in our culture is tell someone they can’t do whatever they want (that’s my paraphrase just for clarity’s sake).

And Dr. Keller is exactly right. And it has nothing to do with how mean we are. It means we stand for right and wrong and that restricts the personal freedom our culture embraces to the hilt.

Think. My challenge tonight cries for a little discernment. I think the vast majority of Christians fall outside the “mean Christian” description in m first point. Think for yourself: why DO people think Christians are mean?

Act. By all means, act in love. Don’t be a mean Christian. But, perhaps we should know that telling the truth as lovingly as possible will still get us in the “mean” column of many in our culture.

 

Tuesday Rambling 9.22.15 – Making the Day Off Better

rest

Some ways I’ve made my day off better recently:

  • I’ve limited the amount of time I’m in my email. The point of a day off is not having to feel “caught up”.
  • I’ve had a “project” on my radar. For me right now that involves ridding our home of stuff. Yesterday I went through a bunch of baseball cards and reduced thousands down to hundreds.
  • Extra communication with God. Reading, listening, engaging – I want my day of rest to center on the worshiper God has created me to be.
  • Something I enjoy – for me that usually means sports and some sports commentary I don’t get into on other days. That also might mean a trip somewhere for coffee.
  • Intentional time with family. Not having “work” responsibilities should (should) free up some time to be intentional with my wife and kids.
  • As usual, not much happens without intentionality. How can you take the precious time you have away from work responsibilities and maximize it for eternal benefit?