While wasting some time on social media, I came across this picture posted by someone in a group.
This week I've found some good stuff for you guys. Al Mohler celebrates 25 years at Southern Seminary,
Turkey Releases US Pastor After Two Years: "I love Jesus. I love Turkey,"
Hurricane Michael Flattens Beach Towns: "Flooding destroyed 1,000 homes in the small town of Port St Joe, not far from Mexico Beach."
Washington State Abolishes Death Penalty: "The court ruled that the death penalty is imposed in an arbitrary and racially biased manner and is invalid. The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights, it does not deter crime or improve public safety, and it should be ended once and for all."
Catholic Archbishop Resigns Over Sex Abuse: "More than one-third of Catholics believe the pope is doing a “poor” job on the issue of sexual abuse – three times the proportion in 2015."
5 Critical Issues In Galatians: David DeSilva reflects on 5 critical issues in the book of Galatians after writing his new commentary on the book. This is a great read.
The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You: "We ignore the fact that never facing this nothingness is the same as never facing ourselves. And never facing ourselves is why we feel lonely and anxious in spite of being so intimately connected to everything else around us." (NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS NOT WRITTEN FROM A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW, however, for the Christian, this is a thought provoking article that should cause us to reflect on why we are so busy).
The Christian Duty Of Imagination: "Imagination may be the hardest work of the human mind. And perhaps the most God-like. It is the closest we get to creation out of nothing."
How Do Christians Fit Into A Two Party System? We Don't: "So Christians are pushed toward two main options. One is to withdraw and try to be apolitical. The second is to assimilate and fully adopt one party’s whole package in order to have your place at the table. Neither of these options is valid."
Grace Means Christians Can Live Differently From The World: "But this “it’s all about grace” talk goes wrong when we say that the amazing grace that saves the Christian doesn’t also make him distinct from the unbeliever in love, action, and speech."
Four Steps To Becoming A Great Church (Of Any Size): "We’ve convinced ourselves that it’s not possible to become a great church without becoming a big church. But the truth is, any church can become great. No matter what size it is."
I haven't had a lot of time to listen to podcasts this week, but here are a few things for you.
The Briefing (Thursday): Hurricane Michael, the left turns on their own, and chivalry. (23 min)
Solid Joys (Beware of Serving God): "This sounds very strange. Most of us think serving God is a totally positive thing. We have not considered that serving God may be an insult to him." (3 min)
New Covenant Baptism: A couple of friends of mine sit down and talk about baptism. (79 min).
After an extended hiatus (can you have a hiatus a week after just starting something 2 weeks ago?) due to my wife being out of town and watching the kids, Week in Review is back. Here are some resources and recommendations from the first week in October, 2018.
Here are two awesome things for this week:
Practical Shepherding: This week Brian Croft is speaking at the Cultivate Conference at our church. He started a ministry called Practical Shepherding which has blessed me over the last couple of years since I found it. Great resource for pastors.
The Real Jack Ryan: This 8 minute video is insightful and interesting. A former CIA agent talks about his time as a field operator and shares some amazing stories. The coolest part for me was hearing him talk about his decision to get out of the CIA (5:56 min mark). If he failed as a father, being in the CIA wouldn't have mattered.
Around society and within the evangelical world, there is a lot of discussion happening on the issue of social justice. Both sides are digging in and many are listening to the conversation finding aspects of both sides that they can both affirm and deny. In a conversation like this, it is important to understand some context, define terms and think through it from a Biblical worldview. Enter Al Mohler. If you are not familiar with Mohler, he is the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has a gift for thinking through social and secular issues in a way that is gospel-saturated, Christ-centered, and comes from a carefully thought out and applied Biblical worldview. He recently did a question and answer session at Southern Seminary and I would commend this to you for thought and consideration as we think through these issues.
This is a new thing. In an effort to write more regularly, I'll be starting a weekly post that recaps notable articles, resources, videos and whatever else I think of, in one place for your enjoyment and benefit. Since I'm finding this stuff anyway throughout the week, I figured I'd pass it along to you. There are three categories: News, Reading, and Podcasts (be sure to listen to the first recommended podcast if you're a parent). Enjoy!
If I see a great idea, I'll gladly steal it. Barnabas Piper, a blogger and podcaster had one such idea that I am now stealing. Every week, he posts 3 things he loves that he has seen throughout the week. So, Barnabas, thanks for the idea. It is now officially stolen. Each week, I will highlight a few things I come across that are fun, amazing, or I find to be awesome. There is enough garbage in the world that it's easy to miss the good stuff. The stuff worth noticing. This helps me find and focus on some greatness in the midst of the stuff that clutters live. So, here are 2 things that I thought were awesome that I saw this week.
Here is the problem... I like to read. Specifically I like to read a lot of different stuff. From Red Sox updates to news to blog posts, it can get overwhelming quickly. Especially if you want to keep up with some specific sites. My email inbox has become cluttered with all the subscription emails notifying me that there is a new post, so much so that it has become counter productive. Instead of reading the email, I normally just delete it sight unseen so I can get to the important stuff. As a result, I have to hunt down specific blogs or sites and check them manually which is tedious and annoying. 1st world problems right?
Enter Feedly. Feedly is an rss reader (I will explain that in a minute) that catches all the content I tell it to from various sites and gathers it in one place. The app is free and it basically consolidates all content I want to regularly check in on into one place and allows me to sort it for easy access. I have had a couple of people ask how to subscribe to my blog. Feedly is the easiest way. If you want, skip down to the instructions at the bottom of the post to get that info. I've also added a video tutorial at the bottom for you visual people.
Today is the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I vividly remember watching the news in unbelief of what was happening and feeling the palatable fear and anger in the air. As I have skimmed through social media today, I have seen many posts on 9/11 ranging from political posts to tributes to the heroic actions of those who risked their lives to rescue ordinary people like you and me. Throughout the posts, videos, articles, and reflections though, something interesting has emerged. An emphasis this year seems to focus on the fact that there are now people for whom 9/11 is history like World War 2 and not something they experienced. I have read stories of adults who didn't know what had happened until much later because they were young when the attacks happened. There are those who are in high school now who have not known life in America when we were not at war and were not alive when the impetus for that war occurred. I have read posts from parents who lived through that terrible day and are asking the question "how do I talk to my kids about this"? While there are many answers out there, I would like to offer up a suggestion for Christians when it comes to the topic of talking about 9/11. Redeem it.
I recently saw a video on Facebook that interviewed three generations and asked them a simple question: What was (is) your favorite thing to do growing up? Grandparents and parents recounted stories of building forts, playing outside, fishing, and making a sled from an old sign. Then they asked the question to a group of kids ranging from about 7-10 years old. Their answers were quite different: video games, texting, spending time on the tablet and watching TV. I see this all the time in my generation of parents. If you kid is crying, hand them a phone and put something on. If you're having a conversation and they are there, parents place an electronic device in front of the kid and I watch in horror as a glazed trance overcomes the kids and they zone out. This is routine... not an abnormality, and I see it regularly with children as young as 4. Since this is my blog, I get to say what I think and you can choose to read or not read, but in my opinion, this is nothing but lazy derelict babysitting... not parenting. This is what one would expect from a 14 year old babysitter watching your kids while you are on a date with your spouse, not what one should expect from a parent who is forming a child and shaping them in a way that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
Jon is husband to Carlee, Papa to Finleigh and Ainsley, a pastor at Arbor Drive Community Church in York, Ne, and co-host of The Pastor Discussions Podcast