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

Friday Feature 1.29.16 – 45 Minutes A Day With God

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Not too many clicks, but nonetheless Friday calls for its Feature. Here we go:

A simple way to spend 45 minutes a day with the Lord.

A few comments:

1. Take any and all help!

As soon as you have this figured out, let me know! I know I sure don’t.

So, I am usually a sucker for articles like this that give practical suggestions.

2. They’re suggestions.

It’s helpful to remember that these suggestions aren’t the only ones that will get you close to God. Take what works. Maybe you start with 25 minutes and some combination of what’s mentioned here?

3. Draw close!

The idea isn’t the structure, it’s the result. A life lived more in communion with God keeps our minds set on the truth found in His Word. Closer to God in prayer means less self dependence and more easily led.

Think. Do you have a workable strategy to prioritize daily disciplines such as prayer and Bible reading?

Act. Take this and use it!

Highlights from the Pastors’ Conference

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I had the joy to attend the conference for pastors sponsored by Bethlehem College and Seminary this week. I flew out Monday morning to Minneapolis and returned safely this afternoon (Thursday).

This conference stood out. Indeed, not all conferences are created equal. Some speak in certain ways due to life situations, ministry needs, and specific helpfulness in certain areas. I definitely felt the tug to go as soon as I heard the theme, and then I saw God provide for me to go.

The theme revolved around encouraging pastors in the face of suffering. As Christianity gets pushed to the cultural margins, pastors will need to respond with courage.

Some highlights from the conference.

  • Perhaps the only thing surprising about Christians suffering is that we’re surprised we’re suffering.
  • Persecution comes from both outside and inside the church.
  • The harshness of words used in the face of opposition depends on who opposes you.
  • Persecution escalated in the book of Acts. That pattern bears watching in all societies including the U.S.
  • The United States, with respect to the length of time of Christian influence upon society, represents the exception rather than the rule in the scope of world history.
  • True, saving faith in Jesus Christ cannot be defeated. Attempting to defeat true faith in Jesus Christ only leads to more victory and glory for Christ.
  • The sermon D.A. Carson gave on Revelation 12 was one of the more powerful sermons I’ve ever heard. It felt like 2,000 people were drawn into an event together. Praise God.
  • Evil is confronted and conquered by the blood of the Lamb and the testimony of believers. If we want the kingdom of God to strengthen, believers need to speak up and share the message of forgiveness in Christ!
  • God encouraged me through several meaningful connections both in the course of travel and at the conference.
  • I was encouraged to connect yet again with a pastor friend from Washington state I met randomly five years ago at the same conference.
  • The respectful, public disagreement among committed brothers in Christ always enlightens me.

Tuesday Rambling 1.27.16 – How Feelings Fail

Emotions are good. God gives them to us. Often, though, they can play too large of a role.

Time to ramble about how emotions can fail us:

– Just because something feels right doesn’t mean it’s what we should do.

– Excitement in general can lead us to bad decisions. Just because we are excited doesn’t mean God approves.

– In Scripture we generally don’t see people determining God’s will by their emotional state.

– Example: having excitement over a ministry opportunity may lead someone to over-extend themselves, taxing their personal resources of time and/or money.

– Over-excitement or being down about something can unintentionally steal the spotlight from God.

– Just because someone is depressed, it doesn’t mean that they are unspiritual.

– However, lamenting or grieving without truth and hope can lead someone to selfishness or extended struggle.

– Not “feeling like it” can breed inconsistency and undependability.

– What else would you add to this list?

Monday Challenge 1.25.16 – When Abortion Stopped Making Sense, 45 Minutes With God, Above Reproach

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Monday yet again. Time to be challenged:

Roe v. Wade

Fifty-three years ago the Roe v. Wade decision altered the course of our country considerably. This articles challenges us near the anniversary of the historic decision: “When Abortion Stopped Making Sense”. In a related article, the abortion industry is losing its glamour.

Question: Have you ever made a decision without knowing future consequences?

45 minutes

I’d venture to guess most people have forty-five minutes per day. This articles shows a very practical way to spend 45 minutes per day with God.

Question: Does anyone have other systems or models they use?

Above Reproach

Great questions, good thinking. As believers, Scripture demands living “above reproach”.

Question: Does lack of honesty keep reproach in your life?

Don’t Be Bored

A great article encouraging us to “wonder”.

Question: The last time I got frustrated was Sunday night because my internet was slow. You?

 

Friday Feature 1.22.16 – The Topic of White Privilege

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White privilege. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day this article got the most clicks. Today’s Friday Feature:

Richard Rohr on White Privilege

A few comments of my own:

1. Richard Rohr is a fallible human being.

Hard to agree with someone on everything, even your closest friends. So I don’t share this article to say he perfectly nailed it. The question: who can challenge our thinking? Only people with whom we totally or largely agree? For me that would prohibit learning.

2. When minorities are majorities.

Rohr makes this assertion: People in power don’t have a problem acting like they’re in power, no matter their race. I find the topic of power as it relates to the dominant race very intriguing. Makes me think of the horrific Rwandan genocide from the mid-1990’s.

3. Recognition is slow.

The author shares how he was slow to understand much of what he knows now. Like the author, I haven’t learned much of what I’ve learned until I’ve listened to people outside the majority culture.

Think. Does anything in this article challenge you?

Act. How can you increase healthy dialogue, striving toward unity?