Sunday Supper November 8, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you a collection of random items of interest from the past week.

 

What Does Paul Mean by Baptism for the Dead? The Bible is quite clear in its core doctrines, and even little children can understand the gospel. However, there are also a great many difficult passages that lead to hard questions. Dan Doriani,  professor of theology at Covenant Seminary, deals with one such difficult question in this article on Paul’s reference to baptism for the dead.

 

Church, Stop Doing So Many Good Things! We’ve all heard that good is the enemy of great and that is certainly true in the Christian life and church. There are lots of good things that we could be involved in, but we must use God’s wisdom to determine which good things he wants us specifically involved in so that we can best serve him.

 

That Vital Moment in Every Preachers Week Some great thoughts for preachers on the importance of trusting God for the results of our labor.

 

How the Doctrine of Election Fueled Jesus’ Work An interesting look at how Jesus’ life and ministry manifested confidence in the doctrine of election.

 

My Spouse Is My Best Friend His perspective is certainly worth considering. His main point is basically this: “Men and women need best friends of the same-sex. I find it a real pity when the spouse takes the place of those necessary relationships.”

 

5 Things Every Small to Mid-Sized Church Struggles With This is some great insight into the problems that often prevent growth and effectiveness in a small church.

 

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

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Sunday Supper November 1, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

 

“Ironically, a pastor can be so busy caring for his people that he never makes time to stop and pray for them.” – What Is the Most Common Ministry Priority Neglected by Pastors?

 

Mission Agencies Send No One – There is a big difference between a church that “has” missionaries (like a budget item) and a church that sends missionaries. Sending is purposeful and should be done with care.

 

Thresholds of Violence is a long but interesting article about the history of school shootings.

 

One of the sweetest attributes in an individual is gratitude, but it is not all that common. Here are Six Ways to Cultivate Thankfulness and Joy.

 

Here are some thoughts about the morality of Daily Fantasy Leagues.

 

Forgiveness Is an Act of Worship – “Forgiving is releasing the grievance and the offender to God’s all-knowing perspective and to the perfect balanced of justice and mercy. This honors God by placing matters into His hands and His timing.”

 

We all face seasons of difficulty and suffering in our lives. Here are 4 Ways to Live Faithfully While in Exile.

 

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

Sunday Supper October 11, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

Though, in my opinion, saying churches are living in the 1980’s is probably generous, this is a great article by Thom Rainer – Eight Reasons Many Churches Are Living in the 1980’s

When Can A Child Respond to the Gospel? “While the Bible does not provide a fully-developed treatment of child-development, a careful study of the Old Testament (OT) reveals several presuppositions about the nature of children which can be applied to questions regarding their readiness for the Gospel.”

Four Gospels? – Great explanation of the importance for all four of the Gospel accounts.

Never Humble Enough – “Humility does not come naturally to me. It does not come naturally to any of us. But I have gone looking for it. I have gone looking for it in God’s Word and I have gone looking for it in God’s people. I am convinced it can be learned, and that’s because humility is not a feeling or an attitude—it’s action. You learn humility by seeing humility and then doing humility.”

Great defense of the reliability of the Gospels – How Do You Know Jesus Really Rose from the Dead?

Captive and the Christian Film Industry – a somewhat critical perspective on all the Christian movies coming out.

Here is a thoughtful consideration of technology and the church presented through a list of 5 Warning Signs for the Church in a Facebook Culture .

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

Sunday Supper September 27, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

 

Here are 4 Fake Grammar Rules You Don’t Need to Worry About

 

Private Sin, Public Fallout: “Treat sin as it will treat you; spare it not for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the world; treat it therefore as a murderer should be treated. Kill it before it kills you.”

 

Tim Keller answers 3 Objections to the Doctrine of Election

 

How Social Media Can Hurt Your Church – “We’re living in a microwave culture. We all want it fast and we want it now. However, the best way to serve your church and your online audience is by slowing down, measuring the right things and delivering high value to your audience.”

 

Just for fun! 10 Surprising Facts About Lego

 

You are Wasting Your Weekly Staff Meeting If… – Some brief but helpful thoughts on weekly staff meetings

 

NBA player Landry Fields shares some thoughts on how Injury Interrupted My Idolatry

 

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

Sunday Supper September 20, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

 

“The point is, love is a verb, sure. But it’s an impossible verb. It’s the kind of verb that pulls us out of our Western enlightenment secularistic bubbles into the country of the supernatural.” – Love Is Not a Verb

 

10 Things You Can’t Expect from Church Volunteers provides some helpful insight to the challenge of volunteerism.

 

5 Ways to Talk to Your Children About Death offers some helpful thoughts on discussing death with children.

 

For fear of being legalistic, we can rob ourselves of the benefits of a regular pattern (or “spiritual disciplines”) of walking with God. Is this biblical or beneficial? Not at all! – Don’t Lose Spiritual Disciplines for Fear of Legalism

 

Your Child Is Your Neighbor presents a case for the practical application of biblical “people” principles to parenting.

 

Here are some great lessons about legalistic churches, as a former member shares “5 Things I Learned in an Unhealthy Church.”

 

5 Pastoral Pet Peeves is funny and helpful.

 

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

Sunday Supper September 13, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

The Best Ways to Spot a Liar – There is no fool-proof form of lie detection, but using a little tact, intelligence, and persuasion, you can hope that eventually, the truth will out.

“I’m convinced that inconvenience is often a gift. It feels counterintuitive, but it’s true. Inconvenience can be God’s way of slowing us down when we don’t want to.” – Learning to Linger in a Spotify Age

The Curse of a Godly Wife – Rejoice in your wife’s godliness, and thank God for such a precious gift. Celebrate it by pursuing godliness of your own.

“Let’s not make the mistake of thinking that what we do or think or feel matters less than whether we admit to doing and thinking and feeling those things. To act in a way that is right and proper, even when you feel something different, is not hypocrisy. It’s called maturity.” – Christian Virtue in the Age of Authenticity

Is the “Five Second Rule” Real? A food scientist explains about the amount of bacteria transferred to food when it is dropped on the floor.

“For many years, our public schools have been seen as battlefields. Nothing much grows on a battlefield, though. Instead, our schools should be viewed as gardens to cultivate.” – Planting Seeds of Truth in Your Public School

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

Sunday Supper September 6, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

Though I don’t believe that sexual sin is limited to men, this Plea to Christian Men is a heartfelt cry for men to stand up and pursue holiness.

Hey Christian, Polity Matters is a well written piece primarily espousing the virtues of church membership. You may not agree with all he says, but it’s worth the read.

“I look to my newsfeed and see, ‘My body, my choice.’ I look to Judges 19 and watch a coward say, ‘My concubine, my choice.’  And then I look to John 19 where Jesus Christ, hanging on the cross, makes the definitive statement: ‘My body, for your choices.’” – Your News Feed is Not New!

God, You’ve Got the Wrong Guy reminds us that that “the God who calls is the God who equips. Right there you will find your comfort and your confidence.”

“If the goal of every conversation is conversion, you’ll find yourself frustrated and ready to move on. So don’t try to ‘close the deal’ in every conversation. Instead, here’s a more realistic goal: put a stone in their shoe.” – My Goal in Every Conversation With Mormons

How Telephone Etiquette Has Changed – Understanding social norms for the phone means accepting the fact that the things we call “phones” are actually computers.

How Do I Talk to My Kids About Abortion? – As the video exposés about Planned Parenthood continue, those with children may be wondering how they can talk to them in age-appropriate ways about the value of life and the reality of abortion.

Sister Wives star cites gay marriage ruling in polygamy defense – The polygamous family starring in the hit TLC reality show Sister Wives believes the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage gives them grounds to live their lifestyle unpunished, according to an appeal filed last week.

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

Sunday Supper August 30, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

Here are some of John Pipers’ personal Reflections on a Planned Parenthood Protest.

Children, Race and the Gospel considers how we can equip our children to overcome racial tensions through honest conversation and a better understanding of the gospel.

“If we assume that there is, to a certain degree, a fixed amount of work necessary for society to function, how can we at once be more productive, have more workers, and yet still be working more hours? Something else must be going on.” – You Really Don’t Need To Work So Much

Is There Any Actual Demand for Same-Sex Marriage? This is an interesting statistical assessment of just how many same-sex marriages there are and are likely to be.

Paul House has written a compelling critique of modern theological education and a case for pastoral training that’s best described as “life together.” Bonhoeffer’s Seminary Vision: A Case for Costly Discipleship and Life Together

A Biblical Perspective on Time – “What mattered to the patriarchs was the calling at hand, not the next bend in the road.  They lived within the present reality of the covenant relationship, enjoying it and responding to its development. What mattered was right in front of them – faith, life, and family – and to these things they gave themselves with timeless focus.”

“…the power of lust and desire for sexual gratification, even through brief visual stimulation, is compulsive and controlling. It is the most immediate and powerful impulse. Everything else, for that moment or two, becomes unimportant, in order to get a hit. Sin is addictive. And the worst part? This sin resides deep in the heart of each and every one of us. ” –  A Note to Christian Men

Congregationalism Doesn’t Stop at 8 p.m. – great thoughts on church membership. You should read this even if you don’t like the word “congregationalism.”

 

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

Sunday Supper August 23, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

“… the invisible God, who once made himself visible in Christ, now makes himself visible in Christians, if we love one another. It is a breathtaking claim. The local church cannot evangelize, proclaiming the gospel of love, if it is not itself a community of love.” – The Together of Evangelism

Little Screens and Corporate Worship tackles the issue of personal technology in worship. H.B. Charles says, “I am becoming increasingly convinced that when we start sharing or recording the moment we are no longer worshiping God. Worship is our response to God’s intoxicating worthiness. Worship happens as we forget about ourselves and are consumed with the greatness of God. How do you stand in awe of God and share it on social media at the same time?” I’m not sure where I stand on this, but it’s worth thinking about and his thoughts are excellent.

“When we’re wronged, we can trust God who will someday make everything right. ‘Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?'” – When You Get the Raw End of the Deal

4 Verses that Transformed My Evangelism reminds us that “we need to believe God is in charge of which desk we sit at. We need to believe God has put particular persons around us because he wants them to hear about his Son. We need to grasp God’s sovereignty—and align our days with his mission.”

“So much of the Christian life comes down to this simple discipline: Taking God at his word. God speaks to me through the Bible and makes so many precious promises. The question is, will I believe, and will I obey? Will I take God at his word?” – Where Is God Asking You to Take Him at His Word?

Guardian Angels? – “While many other objections may be raised about any sort of biblical teaching regarding individual “guardian angels” entrusted by God to watch over individual believers, of this much we can be sure–God will not spare to send the entire host of heaven to the aid of His people if He so chooses.”

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.

Sunday Supper August 9, 2015

 In a feature reminiscent of my childhood in which Sunday supper consisted of a smorgasbord of leftovers and a random assortment of other foods, I bring you an assortment of random items of interest from the past week.

What Should We Do When They Stray? – some pastoral thoughts on dealing with a rebellious child.

“God wants us to know that waiting is far from a passive activity in which we do nothing. In fact, Scripture teaches us that God wants us to actively participate in the work he desires to accomplish. Waiting strategically can cultivate good fruit in in our lives such as patience, perseverance, and endurance. It also draws us closer to our Savior and points those who are watching us to the gospel.” – What to Do While You’re Waiting on God

15 Wisdom Principles on Deciding When to Stop Having Children – This articles does not try to give an answer to the question of how many children a family should have. Instead, the author encourages readers to be sure they have a biblical decision making process in place.

In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions. Here’s a calm and well-informed voice in regard to the Zimbabwe Lion controversy.

Video Killed the Pulpit Star. Interesting perspective on the multi-site church phenomenon. Well written, even if I don’t agree with all of the conclusions of the author.

Repentance is a foundational element of the Christian life. However, repentance must be sincere and Jim Elliff offers insight on How to Repent Without Really Repenting.

Enjoy this random collection of stuff and be sure to let me know what you’ve been reading or watching that is interesting, enjoyable or helpful.