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March 11, 2013 – Thoughts on Leadership, Gospel Proclamation, The Family, Kid’s Ministry & more.

Creating Kingdom Kids by Clayton King

Gospel Proclamation by Ed Stetzer
… the mission of God involves both proclamation and demonstration but that focusing too much on demonstration without proclamation is not the best approach for Christians to save a dying world.

Designing for Spiritual Growth by Eric Geiger
Spiritual growth is a process.  It always has been.  Thus, it would make sense for church leaders to design their churches around the process of spiritual growth.

The Tension Between the Ideal Family and Reality by Andy Stanley
“Jesus is inviting you, in fact I think Jesus is instructing you and is instructing me to follow him into the complexity of family life and carry the tensions between what’s real … and what’s ideal,” he preached.

“The question is, will we embrace the standard that many of us have fallen short of … or will we redefine terms so that we can feel better about where we are?” he asked the congregation.

“Are we willing to embrace [the] standard … or will we decide those verses don’t count anymore in order to create a system and a view of family that’s comfortable?”

Seven Warning Signs of a Leader’s Fall by Chuck Lawless (via ThomRainer.com)
The story of Peter’s fall is filled with warning signs for today’s leaders. Though these signs don’t always happen in a linear fashion, each one should cause us to slow down and evaluate our lives.

Thankful for the Little Things. Like Water by Jon Huff, Missionary to Togo, W. Africa
We should be thankful for something as simple as clean water, because in some places it is a very difficult thing to get.

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Thursday – Do You Fear the Lord?, Dinesh D’Souze debunks the morality of Universal Healthcare, We Wait to Long to Train Our Leaders, The Sovereignty of God, & Rethinking Christmas Songs

Do You Fear the Lord? Regi Campbell
If you believe He’s (God) completely and totally good, then He’s to be revered, respected, honored, worshipped, and surrendered to….not feared, dreaded or run away from. If you’re not sure God is good, you’ll never totally trust Him, and you’ll never have real peace about the events of life. I’m not saying it’s easy, even when you believe God is good. I’m saying it works. And I personally believe it’s true. More…

Dinesh D’Souza presents the faults of Universal Healthcare in a comical, yet poignant way.

We Wait to Long to Train Our Leaders Jack Zenger
When I looked back at our database of some 17,000 worldwide leaders participating in our training program, who hailed from companies in virtually every sector throughout the world, I found that their average age was 42. More than half were between 36 and 49. Less than 10% were under 30; less than 5% were under 27.

leadershiptraining.jpeg

But the average age of supervisors in these firms was 33. In fact the typical individual in these companies became a supervisor around age 30 and remained in that role for nine years — that is, until age 39. It follows then, that if they’re not entering leadership training programs until they’re 42, they are getting no leadership training at all as supervisors. And they’re operating within the company. More…

‘The Great I AM’, Not the ‘I Wish I Was’ David C. Price
If you’re anything like me, you’re getting “sick and tired” (two inseparables there) of hearing armchair theologians declaring that God was not present at Sandy Hook because “we systematically kicked Him out of society.” I’m getting to the point that I may actually scream out loud if I hear it again (now, waiting for someone to say it just so I have to follow through).

One more time: 1. God is sovereign and omnipotent. That means He is all-powerful and cannot be over-ruled or pushed around.  He does not submit Himself to mere man or else He would cease to be God (and man would step into His place).  He is in His heaven and does whatever He pleases (Psalm 115:3).  2.  He cannot NOT be somewhere. He is omnipresent. David worships God because of this in Psalm 139 (7-12).

It is maddening to continually hear people with good intentions who want to see prayer in public schools restored use bad theology to do it as if the end justifies the means.  More…

Let’s Rethink Our Holly-Jolly Christmas Songs Russel D. Moore
Sometimes I learn a lot from conversations I was never intended to hear. This happened the other day as I was stopping by my local community bookstore. It’s a small store, and a quiet store so it was impossible not to eavesdrop as I heard a young man tell his friend how much he hated Christmas. And, you know what, the more he talked, the more I understood his point.

This man wasn’t talking about the hustle and bustle of the holidays, or about the stresses of family meals or all the things people tend to complain about. What he hated was the music. More…

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tuesday – Txting is Kllng r Communication Skillz, A Baby Not A King, Everyone Wants to Know Why He Did It, The Brain on Lust

How Txting is Kllng Our Communication Skillz Philip Nation
You simply cannot communicate tone in the same way in print as you can with speech. So, it allows for more passive-aggressive communication. As long as you attach a smiley-face emoticon, then everyone is simply supposed to forgive or laugh off what you stated.

A Baby, Not A King Ron Hutchcraft
Oh, we like the little Baby Jesus. We like a lot of things about Jesus. As long as He runs the universe, but I run me. Which is messed up.

Everyone Wants to Know Why He Did It Lee Tomlin
When we crave the position and power of God we experience great destruction. When we imitate the character of Christ, we make an eternal impact.

The Brain on Lust Sharon Hodde Miller
In our culture we are inundated with a very particular image of women. Whether it’s on t.v., the internet, magazine covers, catalogs, or billboards, women are portrayed as beautiful objects, as seductresses. Even the most wholesome images communicate this message, using a beautiful female face to draw one’s attention.

Exactly what this does to the brain is hard to say, but I imagine it is shaping our brains rather profoundly. The category of “womanhood” as portrayed by the media is so powerful that when I look in the mirror, all I see is the ways I fall short. Clearly, those neural pathways for “woman” have been created and reinforced over and over again. What’s more, when many men look at women, they are tempted to view them the way culture teaches men to view women–as sexual objects.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Monday – What Happens When Children Die, Three Reasons Why Christians Get Offended, Let Your Church Be About the One Stray Sheep This Christmas, & How Christians Should Respond to the Horrors of a Broken World

Words of Comfort for Newtown by Dr. Johnny Pope
What Happens When Children Die?
As the day progressed Friday, our hearts were filled with grief. Grief for the families of Newtown, Connecticut who did exactly what many of you did last Friday — you dropped your kids off for school, casually said good-bye and planned to get some things done before you joined your kids at the supper table. I was wondering how many parents had already purchased Christmas for their children when they quickly received a robocall on their cell phones that all parents of kids at Sandy Hook School should come immediately to the Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire Department. What a picture in my mind as I see a mother and father are told there will be no more children brought over from the school. It was reported the wails of mothers were heartbreaking. Children die every day, but rarely so many and so nightmarish as what transpired Friday in Connecticut. What happens when a child dies?

Three Reasons Why Christians Get Offended by God & What To Do About It Frank Viola
If you’ve not yet met the God who refuses to meet all your expectations, you will. And how you react in that day will reveal whether you are worshiping Jesus Christ or Santa Claus (see John 6:26). It will show whether or not you love God more than His promises (or really, your interpretation of those promises).

Let Your Church Be About the One Stray Sheep this Christmas Rick Warren
Jesus loved lost people. He loved spending time with them. He went to their parties. From the Gospels it is obvious that Jesus enjoyed being with seekers far more than being with religious leaders. He was called the “friend of sinners.” (Luke 7:34)
Take the cue from the Good Shepherd in Luke 15 and let your church be all about the one stray sheep this Christmas.
The brokenness of the world is on full display this day. Don’t be afraid to talk about it. All the silly “positive thinking religion” collapses on days like this. This world is broken and only God has the ultimate fix.
 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Friday – Christmas & the Founding Fathers, Biblical Manhood, The Importance of Fathers, and Looking Forward to 2013

Bill O’Reilly Unleashes on ‘Secular Clown Posse,’ Lectures Media About the Nativity & the Founding Fathers Billy Hallowel via The Blaze
Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly isn’t backing away from his claims surrounding the annual War on Christmas. In fact, on Thursday night, he doubled down,dismissing a “secular clown posse” comprised of media figures who purportedly have little knowledge about the nation’s founding.

While he noted that conservatives have won some of the battles in the the annual debate over Nativity displays, crosses and “holiday trees,” O’Reilly warned that the War on Christmas is far from over and that it is, in fact, ”symbolic of the entire culture war.”

What the Bible Says About Being a Man – Thomas, Baptist Press
We live in a world that wants to remove gender differences, from the Easy Bake Oven to the Supreme Court. Anyone who has reared boys and girls knows that natural differences exist, and in the case of my children, those differences emerge in almost every area of life. I believe God created men and women equal yet different. Instead of fighting against God’s intended design, we should embrace the biblical model. We need to teach, foster, and encourage men to be biblical men. So what does this look like?

Without a Dad Ron Edmondson

Looking Ahead to 2013: What Should the Church Expect? Sam Rainer
So what trends should the church expect to help define the cultural climate of 2013? More specifically, what assumptions do people have about organizations right now? The Ford consumer environment report has a lot of commonalities with current church research. I’ve listed below a few general, qualitative assumptions for church leaders to consider.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Wednesday – Three Dangers of Being Crazy Busy, A Seriously Dumb Question, Using Caution in Social Media, Communication Tips w/ Your Spouse

Three Dangers of Being Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung

  1. Busyness Can Ruin Our Joy – Busyness is like sin: kill it or it will be killing you. Most of us fall into a predictable pattern. We start to get overwhelmed by one or two big projects. Then we feel crushed by the daily grind. Then we despair of ever feeling at peace again and swear that something has to change. Then two weeks later life is more bearable, and we forget about our oath until the cycle starts all over again. What we don’t realize is that all the while, we’ve been a joyless wretch, snapping like a turtle and as personally engaging as a cat. When busyness goes after joy, it goes after everyone’s joy.

  2. Busyness Can Rob Our Hearts – For most of us, it’s not heresy or rank apostasy that will derail our profession of faith. It’s all the worries of life. You’ve got car repairs. Then your water heater goes out. The kids need to see a doctor. You haven’t done your taxes yet. Your checkbook isn’t balanced. You’re behind on thank you notes. You promised your mother you’d come over and fix faucet. You’re behind on wedding planning. Your boards are coming up. You have more applications to send out. Your dissertation is due. Your refrigerator is empty. Your lawn is too long. Your curtains don’t look right. Your washing machine keeps rattling. This is life for most of us and it’s choking the spiritual life out of us.
  3. Busyness Can Cover Up the Rot in Our Souls – Busyness does not mean you are a faithful or fruitful Christian. It only means you are busy, just like everyone else. And like everyone else, your joy, your heart, and your soul are in danger. We need the word of God to set us free. We need biblical wisdom to set us straight. What we need is the Great Physician to heal our overscheduled souls.

There’s no such thing as a dumb question – check that – yes there is.
Read about “The Dumbest Question Ever” by Amber Lee (@AmberMLee79)

A Cautionary Note for Those of Us in Social Media Thom Rainer
I do indeed love the world of social media. From my perspective, this new world of communication has done much good for our society. But like any other instrument, something that it used for good can also be used in a harmful way. We who engage this world of social media should be certain that what we say and write is a positive contribution to the world and society.

How to Speak to Your Spouse…Without Losing Your Mind
Guidelines for Communication in Marriage by Ritchie Miller
Admit it. You have had a moment when you wondered if your spouse was from another planet. If you have been married for longer than a minute you have had problems communicating. Sometimes you wonder if they even speak the same language as you do. Without trying to get into all the ways men and women are different let me give you a few Biblical principles that will help you communicate better with your spouse whether you have X/X or X/Y chromosomes.

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tuesday – Jesus is Lord – What does that really mean?, Principles for Discipline, Thankfulness, Christmas Customs

What Does It Mean To Preach Jesus is Lord Ed Stetzer (an excerpt from Subversive Kingdom)
To the first-century Christians, however, “Jesus is Lord” meant something far more. With Caesar as the obvious ruler of the entire known world, it was not only commonplace, but expected that when someone was greeted publically, he was supposed to say, “Caesar is Lord,” and to say it like he meant it. It was sort of the “Heil Hitler” of the day.

So when the early Christians chose to say, “Jesus is Lord” as their declaration, they were literally choosing to align everything with Jesus, even their own lives. Their words were not trite statements. They were downright treasonous. They echoed a subversive rebellion against the establishment that clearly resonated their allegiances and alliances. Those three words changed everything…

Eight Paradigm Shapers for Making Discipline Decisions as a Parent Ron Edmondson

Where Are the Other Nine?  Thoughts on Thankfulness by Frank Viola
Those of us who have been touched by Jesus Christ are cleansed lepers. Let’s not be among the nine.

Where Did Our Christmas Custom Originate? Susan Garland
The Christmas season abounds with holiday customs and traditions, but most of us probably never stop to wonder about their origins. We decorate our homes inside and out with lights, candles, and greenery. We stuff stockings and send Christmas cards to family and friends. But why do we do these things year after year? Of course, we’re celebrating the birth of Jesus, but did you know that many of our modern-day Christmas traditions have their roots in ancient cultures and practices, some of which actually predate Christ?

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Monday – Being an Effective Critic, A Song You Don’t Want to Hear in Church, What Makes Jesus Angry, Family Christmas Activities

Seven Characteristics of an Effective Critic Thom Rainer

I Hope My Church Never Sings this Song Ron Edmondson (Isaiah 5:1-7) 1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a wine press therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. 3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge , I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? 5 And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up ; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: 6 And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned , nor digged ; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.

What Makes Jesus Angry Frank Viola Don’t be deceived: the “odious complacency of the self-consciously pious” is what infuriated our Lord the most. Philip Yancey was dead-on when he said that some Christians get very angry toward other Christians who sin differently than they do.

Seven Christmas Things to Do with Your Kids Eric Geiger

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Friday – The Gift of Worship, Even God Can’t Change the Past & The Injustice of Helpful Parents

The Gift of Worship Kim Gentes
The Christmas season is often lost in commercialism, shopping and busyness. Even our well-intentioned family agendas can sometimes obscure the focus from the celebration that is God coming to dwell with man- Emmanuel, Christ with us. The foundation of the Christian Christmas celebration is the acknowledgement and honoring of first of all, God’s gift to us in the person of His Son, Jesus.

Even God Can’t Change the Past Regi Campbell
Maybe I’m weird, but I find great comfort in this – in knowing even God can’t change the past. That ‘what’s done is done’. That you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. Spilt milk back in the jug. I believe it’s a gift from God…this dark black line between the past and now. It’s why He gave us His grace the way He did – through Jesus’ ‘once and for all time’ sacrifice to cover our sins, past, present and future.

The Injustice of Helpful Parents – Yet More Insanity Albert Mohler

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Thursday – 10 Reasons to Share Musical Opinions Humbly, Living by Faith, Exposing Christmas Myths, & Controlling Your Speech

Top Ten Reasons to Share Musical Opinions Humbly Bob Kauflin

Some of my best work… by Ron Edmondson

Is done when I can’t understand all that I’m doing…

  • When things are messy…
  • When my head is cloudy…
  • When I have more questions than answers…
  • When my faith is being stretched…
  • When I am unsure of my position…

If you wait until you have all the answers…where doubt is removed completely… You’ll often find yourself stagnant on making decisions… You’ll seldom achieve “the best you can do”… And the rewards you receive will be less than monumental…

Part of living the Christian faith is actually using it!

Separating Fact from Fiction in the Nativity Story – Christmas Myths Exposed Frank Viola If you’ve ever heard the Christmas story retold or watched it dramatized on film, you may not have realized how many myths were added to the story found in the Gospels . In this piece, I address some of them.

Controlling Our Mouth: Are We 0 for 3? Jonathan Pearson

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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