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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Friday – Subversive Preaching, Drowning Out Disturbing Music, How to Pray for Your Pastor in December

Subversive Preaching: An Exerpt from Subversive Kingdom Ed Stetzer
Each of us has been raised on certain givens, standards, and traditions that may or may not find their basis in scriptural truth. The ideas that motivate us, determine our priorities, frame our ethics, and inform our behaviors can come from anywhere–books, interviews, random trails of thought that float into our ears and bounce around in our heads. But only the Word can produce kingdom fruit. If our lives don’t start there, they cannot lead to anything that eternally matters.

Drowning Out the Disturbing Music Ron Hutchcraft
“You can’t stop the world from playing its alluring attractions for your children, but you can play the music of Jesus louder.” How do you do that? Impress His teachings on your children. It doesn’t just say tell them or teach them. It says to impress them.

How to Pray for Your Pastor in December Paul Chappell
In case you haven’t already noticed, December is a busy month. Whether or not you are a pastor, your schedule is surely more filled this month than is comfortable.
As a pastor, December is literally the most challenging month of the year for me. There are three specifics I pray for (and ask others to pray for on my behalf) this month.

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Posted by on November 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Thursday – Lotteries are Bad for the Poor, 30 Things You May Not Know About C.S. Lewis, Will You Be a Torch Passer

Lotteries are Bad for the Poor.  Please don’t Celebrate or Participate. Ed Stetzer
There is not really a verse that says, “Thou shalt not gamble,” but Christians and their love for the poor should keep them away and, I think, lead them to oppose efforts to expand the lottery.

30 Things You May Not Know About C. S. Lewis Greg Breazeale
November 29th marks the eleventy-fourth (114th) year since C.S. Lewis was born. Last year I listed some of my favorite quotes from his writings. This year I thought I would share some of the more interesting facts about his life.

Will You Be A Torch Passer? John Ortberg
The question is who are you building into? Who are you passing the torch to? Who are you investing in? When you get to the end of your life, who is going to say, “I’m a better person. I walk a little taller. I stand a little straighter. My faith is a little stronger because I was loved by a torch-passer?”

Are Christian Teens Too Accepting of Homosexuality? Lee Tomlin

Just for Fun…Anamorphic Illusions from Yahoo Games

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tuesday – Improve your People Skills, Help for Insecure Leaders, Transformational Leadership & Taking Mature Disciples to the Next Level

Eight Ways to Improve Your People Skills Michael Zigarelli
Interpersonal skills are critical at work, in your home, at church, and around your neighborhood. Practice these time-honored and battle-tested skills to improve your effectiveness as you minister to the adults in your church family.

Five Ways to Fight Insecurity as a Pastor or Leader Ron Edmondson

Two & a Half Men Star says Show is “filth.” Erica Ritz, The Blaze
“Two and a Half Men– if you watch Two and a Half Men, please stop watching [it]…I’m ​on ​Two and a Half Men; I don’t want to be on it.  Please stop watching it. Please stop filling your head with filth.

Please– it’s, you know, people say it’s just ‘entertainment.’  The fact that it’s entertainment– do some research on the effects of television and your brain, and I promise you you’ll have a decision to make…it’s bad news.

Four Steps to Transformational Leadership Thom Rainer
Transformational churches have strong leaders. Their leaders understand the importance of every man and every woman. Superman is for comic books, not for the body of Christ. I fear church leadership has devolved to a counterproductive, bishop-driven system. The result is a disengaged, underchallenged, and underutilized missionary workforce.

Four Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah – part 1 Eric Geiger
Leading the organization, ministry, or church to actually live the vision and values is a chief responsibility of leaders. Aligning the people and systems to the overarching mission is essential.

How to Take Mature Disciples to the Next Level Randy Pope
For most of my 35 years of ministry, I’ve taken an annual study leave to evaluate my life, family and ministry. While I was away one year assessing the ministry of Perimeter Church, I began to realize that while we had been applauded and recognized for doing good things and being successful, in reality we were drawing a target around an arrow once it had been shot. We had been lauded for how far we had been shooting our arrow. But how foolish we had been to celebrate an aimless shot where the target is determined by the shot.

 
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Posted by on November 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Monday – Be Receptive…on steroids, The Church is Full of Hypocrites, Balance is Bunk, Established Churches and Inward Drift, 7 Requirements to be a Leader

Tip: Be receptive…on steroids!  – Dr. Robert Rohm
Reprinted with permission from the “Tip of the Week”. To subscribe for the free “Tip of the Week” please go to  http://www.personalityinsights.com and receive Dr. Rohm’s weekly Tip every Monday morning.

This may be the most difficult Tip you have ever read. I would recommend setting aside three minutes of uninterrupted time to read through and process what I am about to say. It is one of the most important concepts I have ever learned in my life, and I must admit that it is a hard pill to swallow! Really hard!

What I mean by being “receptive on steroids” is being open-minded enough to listen to what other people are telling you. I am not saying that you have to immediately do what they say or even believe what they say. I am simply asking you to be 100% open when listening to what someone else is saying to you without interrupting them or dismissing what they have to say.

I believe that the vast majority of people who are reading this Tip consider themselves to be the kind of person who wants to learn and grow. You believe you are open-minded and receptive to new ideas. No, you are not! I don’t mean to be unkind or difficult; I am just saying this is a huge blind spot from which we all suffer.

We all have a natural, built-in defense mechanism set up to protect us from any information which includes unsolicited advice from others. I cannot tell you how often I encounter it whenever I am trying to gently insert some information that I believe would be helpful to someone. The immediate response I get is, “Oh, I’ve already done that.” Or, “I’ve already thought about that.” Or, “I was just getting ready to do that.” Or, “I’ve already taken care of that.” That is when I wonder, “If that were the case, then why in the world would I be telling you this at this moment?” Their response lets me know that they are not receptive on steroids. In fact, they are barely receptive at all.

You can see this at work in marriage, with children, and in the business world as well. Almost everyone you know, including you, has a built up wall that basically says, “I don’t want anyone to tell me anything.” Now, I realize that this is a huge pill to swallow and that you may disagree with me on this issue, but I decided over sixteen years ago that I would quit trying to be “right” and would work on being “happy and cooperative”. It has not been a perfect journey, but it has been a much better journey than it would have been had I not decided to be receptive on steroids.

Your assignment this week is to listen and be receptive when someone is trying to tell you something. Rather than use any of the tired excuses I mentioned above, politely smile and thank them for their in put. Remember to let them completely finish before you say a word. Sincerely nod you head “yes”. Let them know that you appreciate them taking the time to share their thoughts, or comments, or concept with you. I have discovered that the more you do that, the more other people will feel “safe” in your presence.

This Tip is not for little children. It is for mature adults who want to take their relationships and their opportunities in life to a whole new level. Any push back you may feel to this Tip is an indication of your level of receptivity. I hope you will at least give it a chance to “seep in” and allow it to help you become a brand new person. You can become receptive on steroids! You will be the winner for it. That is my hope and desire in sharing this golden nugget Tip with you this week!

Tip: Be receptive…on steroids!

Have a great week! God bless you!

Dr. Robert A. Rohm

The Church is Full of Hypocrites… Regi Campbell

Balance is Bunk Thom Rainer
There is no such thing as a balanced life. It’s a false goal, a mirage propagated by a culture that doesn’t recognize a blunt fact of life. Some things are just more important than other things in life. Everything is not equal and no, everyone and everything doesn’t deserve a few moments of your time.

Established Churches and Inward Drift Thom Rainer

All organizations tend to lose their focus and forget their original purposes over time. I call this almost imperceptible movement “inward drift.” The attitude becomes one of protecting the way we’ve always done it rather than looking back to the original purposes and reasons for existence. Numbers of stagecoach businesses failed, for example, because they thought their primary purpose was to make stagecoaches rather than to provide reasonable and rapid transportation.

The primary dangers with inward drift are twofold. First and foremost, the organization can forget the very reason it was created. Second, the drift is often imperceptible. Many organizations don’t realize there is a problem until it’s too late.

7 Requirements to be a Leader Today Ron Edmundson
As Christian leaders, we must understand the context of culture in which we find ourselves. The way we lead, motivate and recruit people has changed. If we don’t recognize that, we will be less successful in accomplishing our God-given assignments.

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Monday – Leadership & Change, A Call to Teens to Love Jesus, The “Googilization” of Bible Study, and Redeemed Characteristics in Your Children

Read Today’s Turning Point – a daily devotional message from Dr. David Jeremiah.

A Father’s Fright of Twilight Mark Driscoll

When Leaders Change to Quickly Thom Rainer

Calling Teenagers to Treasure Christ More than All Things Richard Ross
Many teenagers in the church value their faith because of the advantages it brings to them. They tend to think Jesus exists to make their lives happier and better. This is another indication of the moralistic therapeutic deism that permeates many of them.

The Googilization of Bible Study Mike Leake
If I have an intellectual problem I tip my hat to Mr. Google and get an answer.  Very quickly.  I read through some sort of answer and then move on.  The problem with this, though, is that I havean answer but I do not own that answer.

Redeemed Characteristics in Your Children Michael Kelley
Think with me for a minute about that one thing in your child. That one thing that can both lift your heart and make you roll your eyes. That one thing that might even be a mirror of yourself. That one thing which, among many other things, makes your child unique.

That they get so focused on whatever they’re doing they lose track of time and can’t focus on anything else.

That stubbornness that can be so frustrating.

That creative way they seem to draw all their pictures.

That way they have of thinking that reminds you they have a whole world constructed in their minds.

That one thing.

Got it?

Now think with me not of what that one thing looks like right now, because right now, it might indeed be frustrating. It might be maddening when you know they need to stop being so focused on the television that they listen to you asking them what they want to drink for dinner. It might cause you to want to pull your hair out that no matter how many times you logically explain a situation they are still committed to their own ideas. It might be endlessly aggravating that they always seem to be moving on from the small things like making the bed or cleaning the toothpaste out of the sink.

Don’t think about what it looks like right now. Think of what that same characteristic might look like having been filtered through the redemptive hands of God in Jesus Christ.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Friday – Adultery & Leadership, Irresponsible Speech, The World Watches How Christians Treat One Another, At the Car Wash

Today’s Turning Point – a daily devotional message from Dr. David Jeremiah.

Adultery and Leadership Thom Rainer
It’s somewhat surprising that the media is making a fuss about the David Petraeus and Paula Broadwell affair. After all, adultery is normative according to most media standards. This time, however, there is the potential damage of compromising highly sensitive security information. And there are the unanswered questions of “Who knew?” and “When did they know?”

But the spectacle does raise the question: What is the impact on a leader and his or her leadership when he or she is involved in an affair? I have been disgusted as I heard different pundits attempt to answer this question.

The Danger of an Irresponsible Tongue Ritchie Miller
According to Solomon, irresponsible talk makes a mess of things. This is true in marriage, with your children, with your friends, and with your work. If I am irresponsible with the things I say and the way I say them I am throwing a potential grenade in the middle of all my environments.

Warning: The World is Watching how We Christians are Treating One Another Frank Viola
“If Christians cannot extend grace through faithful presence within the body of believers, they will not be able to extend grace to those outside.” ~ James Davison Hunter

It’s not uncommon for some Christians to throw verbal assaults at one another on Facebook, blogs, Twitter, and other Internet venues. As a result, the world sees people who profess to follow Jesus .  . . fighting, misrepresenting one another, and even “blocking” one another.

At the Car Wash Amber Lee
It was March 4, 1999 and I was living in Jacksonville, Florida going to Trinity Baptist College.   I left my dorm one afternoon and sought out a car wash to clean my Chevy Blazer, better known as “The Blaze of Glory!”  I came upon the Sonshine Car Wash and thought it was as good as any!  Now, when I clean my car, I do it right.  I washed and dried the outside and made the tires all shiny then drove forward to the vacuums to clean out the inside, all the while not noticing that the sun had gone down and it was dark.  I was on the driver’s side of the car vacuuming out the floorboard and had just put the quarters into the vacuum when all of a sudden someone grabbed my arm and turned me around.  I was pinned up against the open car door & I dropped the vacuum.  This man who grabbed my arm demanded that I give him the keys to my car.

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Thursday – The Burden of Earning, Return to What?, Give Up on Some Goals, & Editing the Name

Today’s Turning Point – a daily devotional message from Dr. David Jeremiah
The Lord in his suffering… provided a path of triumph which we can walk. The Word, watchfulness, prayerfulness. That’s it. No magic. That’s how you deal with [temptation]. Pour the Word in. Stay alert. 
John MacArthur

The Burden of Earning Eric Geiger
Serving as an attempt to pay God back for His grace is futile—not only because our best efforts would prove woefully inadequate in paying Him back but because there is nothing to pay back. The gospel reminds us that the debt of our sin has already been paid in full.

Ministry, then, must not be unintentionally promoted to the people in our churches as a means of restitution for what Christ has done. Believers who live with that burden will serve out of obligation as they drift from the grace of God. Churches who place that burden on believers are peddling a new law that enslaves.

Return to What? Arun Andrews, RZIM
The moment was electric with emotion. Before this group of two to three million people lay the waters of the Red Sea. Behind them rose the spiraling dust from the hoofs and chariots of their former slave-masters, the Egyptians.(1) There was no way to go forward. No way to slip out into oblivion. As they faced their moment of challenge, they discovered there was room to go in one only direction—backwards!

Give Up on Some Goals Regi Campbell
Are you willing to trade ‘being a better man’ for being closer to Jesus?

Editing the Name Ron Hutchcraft
What’s the power that pushes back the darkness and changes people’s lives? The power is in the Name of Jesus Christ. What’s the problem people have with Christianity? Oh, you know, we can talk about God; nobody cares. About problems? About church? Fine. We talk about love or life or family values? That’s okay. But it’s when we talk about Jesus that people say, “Whoa! That’s too far!” See, nothing has changed over 2,000 years. The power of Christianity is in the Name of Jesus; the problem people have with Christianity is the Name of Jesus. But there is no other Name, the Bible says.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Wednesday – Flirting with Fire, Give Me Scotland or I Die, The School of Joy, Are You Calm in the Storm, and Spiritual Gifts

Today’s Turning Point – a daily devotional series by Dr. David Jeremiah

Flirting With Fire 

And don’t give the devil a chance.
Ephesians 4:27 (CEV)

The age-old question “Why did Eve go near the tree of knowledge of good and evil?” hits closer to home than most of us might care to admit. If asked, “Do you flirt with temptation?” We may answer “No,” But do we prove it in our daily pursuits by showing discernment as we use the Internet, choose movies, and prioritize our time with God? How close do we allow ourselves to get to temptation?

Temptation reveals what’s in our hearts. When we walk away from a tempting scenario — and you probably know your weaknesses — our hearts reveal what we truly believe. Each time we flee from temptation, it’s not just a single victory. That victory is one step toward more victories because resisting temptation builds spiritual muscles. When temptation strikes again — and it will — we’ll be stronger in dealing with it because we’re becoming more like Christ.

The daily habits of holiness built through reading the Word and prayer are the best ways to guard ourselves against temptation. The temptation itself has a way of strengthening us through the process to be holy and righteous people. Are you stepping toward temptation? Or away from it?

Every time we say yes to temptation, we make it harder to say no the next time.
Jerry Bridges

Give Me Scotland or I Die Ed Stetzer
Until the church dies to its comfort, preferences, wants and desires, it will not be able to reach the community. But like a grain of wheat, it must die so that it may bring new life.

The School of Joy: “Seven Secrets of a Happy Prisoner” Philippians 1:1-11 Dr. Randall Smith
Joy is not a random gift; it can be learned – but it takes practice.

Are You Calm in the Storm Regi Campbell
Keeping our eyes on Jesus reassures us it’s going to be all right. Jesus is “seated at the right hand of the Father”. Every situation coming at us comes through His hand first. Knowing He loves us so much, knowing the outcome’s going to be all right, and the situation is under His control gives us the confidence we need to be “calm in the midst of the storm.”

Gifts & Talents Tim Keller
Find the jobs in the church that need to be done and then do them.

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tuesday – There is no Proof of God’s Existence followed up with Why I Am a Christian & Is Facebook a Bad Influence?

There is No Proof of God’s Existence Frank Viola

Get clear on this: God will let you down. He won’t meet all your expectations. He will allow things that will cause you to conclude that He is unfaithful and doesn’t keep His promises. If you haven’t met this side of God yet, you will. And at that moment, you will discover if you are serving Santa Claus or if you’re serving the God who is.
He will not always be faithful . . . according to your standards of faithfulness.  Read More
Be sure to read the follow up article Why I Am a Christian.

Youth Culture Update: Is Facebook a Bad Influence? Paul Asay, freelance writer

 
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Posted by on November 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Monday – If I Were Satan, Leadership Lessons from Abraham Lincoln, and Why Church Attendance Matters in Education

Today’s Turning Point – a daily devotion series by Dr. David Jeremiah

If I Were Satan Thom Rainer
If I were Satan I would focus on the churches. I would get members to demand their own preferences. I would urge them to complain about the length of the pastor’s sermons and the color of the carpet. I would set member against member to fight over the right worship style. And I would make the business meeting the time where the most carnal members spoke and fight and destroyed.

Five Leadership Lessons from the Life of Abraham Lincoln Trevin Wax
Lesson #1: Know When to Act and When to Wait.
Lesson #2: Don’t Take Things Personally.
Lesson #3: Be Strategic in Your Diversions.
Lesson #4: Tell a Story and Paint a Picture.
Lesson #5: Do the Right Thing Even When It is Costly.

Want Your Kids To Attend College? Go To Church, Study Finds Melissa Steffan, Christianity Today
Churchgoing youth are 70 percent more likely to enroll in college than unaffiliated peers, research finds.

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

 
 
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