Helping You to be in the World, Not Out of the World

Weekend Links

new-waterfallsExtremely busy week as we prepare for Holy Week and also made a trip to Bolingbrook to run in the New Song Christian Health Center (dba Bolingbrook Christian Health Center) 5k which underwrites much of the budget for the clinic. This ministry is now about 12 years old and serves between 700-800 patients a year. It also provides gospel witness and compassion to all who come and is a sweet smelling aroma to Christ. It was fun to see familiar faces, support the ministry and also get a chance to see two of my daughters, my son-in-law and our precious grandson. Enjoy the links for the weekend.

Better Thinking About Ministry

Alternatives to Obamacare aka Affordable [ha] Health Care  (More churches ought to look into these options.)
Fault Lines of an Evangleical Earthquake  (Trevan Wax –thoughful article about a growing rift among evanglicals over a wide range of cultural issues.)

20 Reasons to Buy and Read Kevin DeYoung’s TAKING GOD AT HIS WORD  (Gospel Coalition)
6 Trends for the Bible in 2014  (Barna Research Group –thanks to one of my elders at Trinity Church [Wil Koester] for pointing me to this link.)
10 Lessons from a Hospital Bed  (John Piper–suffering is a doorway to understanding and perspective. Let a fellow sufferer show you the way.)
Six Christian Leaders Answer Questions from the Audience on Same Sex Attraction, Marriage and much more  (Ligonier Ministries–Sinclair Ferguson, Robert Godfrey, Steven Lawson, Albert Mohler, and R.C. Sproul) 

Sexual Atheism: Christian Dating Data Reveals a Deeper Spiritual Problem  (Kenny Luck and pastors.com — this is an important and alarming article.)

Better Engagment with Culture and Politics

Why are they Called Homofacists?  (Read this article and find out. Christians are going to become outcasts in our culture. Unable to hold jobs, get elected to public office or decide their own associations.  It will happen in the next 30 years unless one of two things happen: 1) Jesus returns, or 2) the people of God get on their knees for revival and God graciously grants a reprieve.)

For Fun and Health

Junior Bridgeman: Former NBA 6th Man, Now Approaching Michael Jordan in Net Worth  (Great story about hard work and vision working together.)

Neil DeGrasse Tyson: N-word; Global Warning Costs; Hipster Elites; World Vision; Too Friendly Jesus and more

Weekend Links

AristotleRelaxing day off with my bride. Lazy, resting, refreshing. Some good, really good links below. Hope they are helpful. As always, inclusion doesn’t mean endorsement of all that is them.

“Those who wish to succeed must ask the right preliminary questions.”
—Aristotle in
Metaphysics, II, (III), i.

Better Interaction with Culture and Politics

Why is Neil Degrasse Tyson so Lonely?  (First Things article by Jacob Stubbs. Thoughtful, insightful, and the foil for his questions are sourced in one of my favorite books, Walker Percy’s LOST IN THE COSMOS.)
Who Uses the N-word Most Egregiously in Politics?  (N- word follies and facts. Get the history right and stop the slander.)
Leadked IPCC Report Admits Global Warming Will Not Cost the Earth (Important balance in the Global Warming Debate)
Obama and the Hipster Elite  (Please read this!  Our public discourse and even our theological discourse is being driven by a superficial worldview that robs all of us of dignity and worth.)

Are We Missing the Point in the Movie, Frozen and Let It Go?  (Great article by Trevan Wax)

Better Thinking and Practice in Ministry

Grieving For the Children  (Trevan Wax on the World Vision decision to employ same-sex couples who are “married”.)
World Vision Reverses Decision on Gay Marriage  (Good news, great news, answered prayer and yet it doesn’t solve the problem completely. How could they have ever considered the first decision to be right?)
If All Religions are True, God is Cruel (Gospel Coalition—inclusivism is enticing and deadly.)
Pagan Propitiation vs Biblical Propitiation (A Theology of the Atonement—God’s people need to think better on the issue. Here’s help.)
Starting, Staffing, and Supporting Multi-Site Churches  (Ed Stetzer–important article for multi-site churches and those contemplating and praying about becoming a multi-site church.) 

How a Too-Friendly Jesus Could Lead to Universalism  (In general, American Christians do not think doctrinally; they think emotionally. And as a result, there is considerable muddle around a whole host of issues. This is a great piece that on the surface is clarifying a position of same-sex marriage but goes well beyond that in in its implications. Good read.)
You Asked: Does God Harden the Believer’s Heart  (Gospel Coalition — Thinking hard about the Scripture.)

Better Devotional Practice

8 Causes of Spiritual Depression and their Remedies  (Fine article on the afflictions that dog our souls from time to time. Short but helpful.)
The Third Year Tithe (T.M. Moore–too often overlooked.)

 

Photo Ethics for Bloggers; Celebrity Pastors; Atheist Stupidity?; New Calvinism; Laws of Logic; etc

Weekend Links

Ethics Image“Celebrity Pastors” has been a topic all over the internet. Kevin DeYoung offers some wise words in the post below and the article on Photo Ethics for Bloggers is telling and helpful. Sometimes you break the law or the spirit of the law without intending to. It is already changing the way that I go about attaching pictures to my posts and will cause me to remove a number of photo’s. I hope all of the posts are both helpful and challenging. Enjoy.

Better Thinking about Ministry

Photo Ethics for Bloggers (Nine Reasons to Steal Pictures off the Internet … All of them Bogus)   (My posts will have fewer pictures after reading this article. Systematically, I will be replacing many pictures on my blog with personal photos that I take or images I create.)
9 Thoughts on Celebrity Pastors, Controversy, and The New Calvinism etc.  (Kevin DeYoung—Brief but wise words. So many are so quick to judge and so prideful in their judging of what they think is pride.)
Take the Initiative to Keep Growing as a Preacher  (Lee Eclov—Christianity Today article by friend and EFCA pastor. Lee loves preaching and speaks with the voice of experience.)
Jesus Calling and Other Terrible Ideas  (A truly thoughtful and helpful article on the trend to put words in Jesus’ mouth to bring him “up to date.” Dr. Sanders has done a great benefit for the discernment of God’s people.)
When Atheist Say Stupid Things (Gary DeMar—when atheists say stupid things philosophically and historically, it is important to correct them. It is also important to love them.)
12 Features of the New Calvinism (John Piper channeled through Tim Challies. Good summary of the tribe I belong to and support. It’s nice to know that things that have described my theology for 35+ years are still called “new.”)

Is God Real? Evidence from the Laws of Logic  (Defending the faith is part of the job in every generation.)

Better Engagement with Politics and Culture

Is there Wage Stagnation in the Country?  (Walter Williams takes a surprising look below the surface of oft quoted statistics.)

For Fun and Health and Joy

Survival Tricks that You Might Use Camping  (I love  these things.)
10 Year Old Boy Starts “Charity-Ball” to Inspire African Children  (Great story)

Off Grid Illegal; Congressional Suggestions; Income Inequality; Multi-site Churches; Thabiti Anyabwile; Lent and Evangelicals

Weekend Links

The snow is receding and I have detected a corresponding rise in the positive spirit among everyone I talk to.  Interesting how our happiness is so often tied to a change in weather. I think it is a longing in our hearts for the perfection of heaven, the perfection of days. This weekend’s links are not about perfection but they are about changing our thinking so that the will of God is done on earth just as it is in heaven. Personally, I’m looking forward to getting outside, doing some outdoor preaching, riding my bike and taking some walks with my wife. Enjoy. 

Marty at Outside Preaching EventBetter Engagement with Culture and Politics

Living Off the Grid is Now Illegal in Florida  (Is this America or have we gone into some type of alternative universe? Freedom is leaking away every day in the US of A.)
Does the Congress Pass Suggestions or Laws? (Trey Gowdy–on the floor of the house to applause.)
Where is Income Inequality Growing Fastest? Where is it the Worst?  (Both answers may shock the liberal elite.)
American Support for LGBT Grows  (Read this article with alarm. Read it to see how rapid the change is, how across the board it is. Read it to weep over what this must mean for the judgment of our nation.)

Better Thinking About Ministry

Multi-site: In Person vs. Video Teaching?  (If you are a multi-site church, this is an important article to digest.)
The Most Difficult Decision of I Have Ever Made  (Thabiti Anyabwile–I am delighted that this great man of God is going to be planting a church near the capital of the nation. May God give him mercy and grace and power as he seeks the will of God.)
Must Art Be Evangelistic to be Christian? (Some good thought stuff for those who want to build too high a wall between culture and Christianity.)
Evangelicals Embracing and Rejecting Lent  (Trevan Wax–good cautions for the practice or non-practice of the season of Lent and fasting.)
John MacArthur Responds to John Piper’s Comments on Strange Fire Conference  (Evaluate for yourselves.)

Just for Fun and Health

25 Uses of Coconut Oil (Andrea Fabry–The Fabry’s are former member of our church in Bolingbrook who have been on a harrowing journey with mold. But God has been faithful to them and now they are using their experience to teach all of us how to go less processed and more natural in our eating habits.)

Greenpeace Defection; Chemist Defection; Protection from Greed; Fact Checking Atheists; and more

Weekend Links

Citizens_Bank_ParkMajor defections from the science community from the progressive politically correct worldview. Truth always eventually wins out. Today I’m working on messages for March and April. Speaking of April,  . . . just 22 days till the start of the Major League Baseball season. Even baseball haters have to be overjoyed at that sign of Spring after the winter we’ve had.

Better Thinking about Cultural and Political Issues

Would Jesus Bake a Cake for a “Gay-Wedding?”  (Sound words combatting the mushy thinking being done by some Christians on the issue.)

World Famous Chemist Tells the Truth: “There is no scientist alive who understands macroevolution.”  (Academic bullying keeps this truth carefully under wraps but eventually the truth will win out. Unfortunately, it may not happen before judgment day.)
Greenpeace Co-Founder: “There is no scientific evidence for man-made global warming.”  (Testimony before the Senate.  Don’t hold your breath on your senators having the guts to go against the media on this one.)

Better Thinking about Ministry

Multi-site Churches are Here to Stay  (Ed Stetzer—good current thinking and help on being “one church in many locations.”)
What We are Saying When We Don’t Preach the Gospel (Important article.)
Seven Indicators Your Church is Filled with Fake Christians (Not for defensive Christians.)
How Was Jesus a Friend of Sinners?  (There is much good and much nonsense being taught around this concept. Kevin DeYoung does his usual thorough job of thinking thru what the Scripture says and doesn’t say in this short article.)

John Piper on Protecting Yourself from Greed  (Short, passionate and right on point.)
Do We Still Need the Local Church?  (Jim Elliff—another good article.)

Devastating Arguments Against Christianity. NOT!  (Fact checking the arguments of atheists against Christianity. Good stuff)
Young, Restless and No Longer Reformed. (Review by Kevin DeYoung: Excellent book review of a recent attack on Calvinism. Important.)

Family Equipping Ministry  (Churches for too long have followed the culture (and Dewey) on the training and nurture of children. It’s time to rethink the equipping of families in the equipping of their children. Here’s some help.)

Just for Fun

What Do Foreign Travel Agents Tell People Coming to America  (Some of these are quite comical and revealing.)

Reading for Life Change; Seven Problems of Activity; Prodigals Speak Out; Ending Abortion

Melting Snow

Okay, I know, more snow is coming this weekend. And yes I know, they are predicting a cooler summer this year because of the ice on the all the Great Lakes. But, spring is coming and I am going to rejoice in melting snow revealing grass underneath the fields of white we have been looking at for two months. Meanwhile, you might stimulate your thinking about ministry with the following links. Enjoy.

Thinking about Ministry

Seven Problems with the Activity Driven Church  (Thom Rainer—the danger of activity is that it seduces us into thinking we are significant and productive when the activity itself might keep us from both.)
You are What and How You Read (Gospel Coalition—Read well. Read good books. Read great minds. Read great theology.)
The Joy of Theological Reading Groups  (Gospel Coalition—I have thought about doing this kind of thing myself. This is encouraging.)
Put Yourself in the Path of God’s Grace  (Desiring God Ministries—why would we want to be in any other place?)
Letting Prodigals Come Home (Abraham and John Piper write about how to minister to prodigal sons and daughters.)

I Hope My Son’s Life is in Danger (A great story about the power of the gospel and a model of how to teach your children. Side note: a great reason to have children, even small children, in the worship service of the church.)  Don’t miss this.

Your Church Isn’t Doing Enough to End Abortion  (Convicting, challenging and right on target.)

Five Positive Facts about the New Movie “Noah” 

Better Worship; Better Preaching; Better Science; Better Theology; Better Politics; its all here and more

Weekend Links

I’m going to keep putting pictures of Spring up here until I start seeing something that looks like it! Thirty five days to opening day of the MLB season–can’t wait.  The links this week are heavy on ministry issues and very diverse. I am working on a video project that I am praying will have national impact on the abortion debate. Pray that it goes viral. It should come in around 5 minutes in length, have a I AM SECOND kind of texture in terms of the starkness of the backdrop and have minimalistic sound. Please pray.

Spring

Better Thinking About Ministry

Do Stars Who Self Destruct By-Pass Hell Because They Entertained Us?  (Not designed to be hurtful or insensitive but rather, to cut though the often muddled and sentimental “happy talk” that often surrounds the death of a celebrity.)
A 60-Minute Report on Homelessness by Anderson Cooper  
(What we in the church need to ask is, “why aren’t we as creative and committed to reaching into these communities as 60 minutes is?)
Three Unbiblical Positions on Christianity and Homosexuality  (Gospel Coalition–Former Lesbian reviews the positions and points to help for those with same-sex attraction.)

The Problem of Polemical Preaching  (Too many are itching for a fight when they come to the pulpit or go to the study. Here is good help for the angry preacher.)

John Walton, Evangelical Old Testament Scholar: Neither Ham nor Nye got the Bible Right  (More analysis of the Ken Ham / Bill Nye Debate.)

Five Ways to Improve Congregational Singing in Your Church  (Gospel Coalition—Keith Getty, sounds words from a voice we can trust.)
The Joy of Theology Reading Groups  (Gospel Coalition—On of the great needs of our time is sound theological discussion.)

Better Engagement with Politics

The Privileged Class of American Politics  (John Stossel—right on target!)

Better Leadership and Management Practices

Managing Your Life: Five Ways You are Sabotaging Your Workday and Effectiveness  (Brilliant, short, helpful.)

Same-sex Marriage; Al Mohler, Bill Nye and Ken Ham; David Fitch; Donald Miller; Obamacare; and R.C. Sproul on the Age of the Earth

Weekend Links

River in WinterGetting these up late this weekend, but that isn’t because they aren’t significant. Enjoy.

Better Thinking About Ministry

The Greatest Threat to Marriage is Not Same-sex Marriage  (An article that I wish every one over 15 in America would read. Every church ought to write a position paper on this issue and  then stand by it.)
Al Mohler on the Bill Nye vs Ken Ham “Debate”  (Good article even if you disagree with the position.)
Bill Nye “the Science Guy” and His Debate with Ken Ham was a Disaster for Science  (Michael Shulson of the Daily Beast reports on the debate from an evolutionist perspective.)

“Dad, I Think I Know All the Bible Stories”  (A child and father’s conversation that illumines how we train our children to hate “worship.”)
A Wise and Respectful Response to Donald Miller’s “I Don’t Go to Church”  (Thoughtful and spot on.)
David Fitch on Don Miller’s “I Don’t Like Singing”

Better Engagement with Politics and Culture

Obamacare Disaster in 5 Minutes  (Video of the contradictions between reality and what the president said to Bill O’Reilly)
How the President Pulls the Wool Over America’s Eyes   (George Will—”Rhetorical Cotton Candy”.)
I Hope Judge Judy Really Did Send this to Congress  (What a tragedy for the country, this man, this woman. We are raising a generation of semi-literate sponges.)
The Economic Disincentive to work Under Obamacare  (If people will not work, how can we pay for Obamacare?)

Lessons from the Bill Nye vs Ken Ham Creation Debate  (Three great observations from Rick Philips at Reformation 21.)
R.C. Sproul on the Age of the Earth  (Video and a free book on the Reformed view of science.)
The Nye/Ham Debate was a Missed Opportunity for Intelligent Design  (Sad that neither man opened any doors for this movement.)

Cessationism vs Continuationism; Discussing Gay Marriage; Presidential Lies; Hobby Lobby, House Church Preaching and much more

Weekend Links

Baseball Spring TrainingWith all the snow here now, all the snow predicted for today and Tuesday, it is a little hard to get excited for some of us. But here’s good news for many. It is February 1 and pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in just two weeks. I can’t wait, hence the pictures. As always, the links will help you think better about a wide range of issues but their presence here doesn’t mean I endorse everything in them.

Better Engagement with Ministry and Doctrine

Why I Am a Continuationist  (Sam Storms—on the sign gifts of the Spirit.)
Why I Am a Cessatianist (Thomas Schriener—on the sign gifts of the Spirit.)
Seven Paradigm Shifts in the American Church  (Thom Rainer is always worth listening to on these kind of topics.)
Seven Guidelines for Discussing Gay Marriage  (Mark Alan Williams—good and simple counsel.)
Three Reasons to Get Some Sleep  (Desiring God Ministries, Jonathan Parnell—some great thoughts on health and healthy spirituality.)

A Pastor Shares the Advantages He Sees to House Church Preaching and Discipleship (Steve Burchett—Great article from a Kansas City House Church leader. Well worth your time.)

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERABetter Engagement with Politics and Culture

8 Lies in President Obama’s Roe Statement  (Christians must become more discerning about the way this President parses words.)
Support Hobby Lobby Against Obamacare  (Video.  Hobby Lobby’s video to rally national support for their 20,000 employees, religious liberty and their business integrity.)

David Stockton on How the FED Robs American Middle Class of their Life Savings  (Video. 2 min. worth your time.)

For Fun and Health

Do Good Intentions and Attitudes Have Health Benefits  (I want to do this experiment!)
Get the Whole Story on Climate Change  (Is it happening? Yes. Is some of it manmade? Probably. Is it something to panic about? No. Is it at the point where we should do something about it? Yes. Now, let’s get reasonable about all of it.)

An Inspiring Story of Determination, Hope and “Will Not Quit Spirit”  (Video. Inspiring. Get it shown in your school. Show it to your kids.)

Ending Abortion; Victoria Secret Culture; Progress on Poverty?; Common Core and so much more .

Weekend Links

Winter CornfieldThe wind is howling outside and later today I will post a reflection from C.S. Lewis on what we can learn and not learn from the majesty, power and glory of nature. But for now, here are the weekend links for the past week.

Defeating Abortion Culture

Roe v. Wade’s Days are Numbered  (While I hope and pray that this is true, the church needs to get ready for the onslaught of the backlash that media will generate and the opportunity for love and compassion it will give.)
The Victoria Secret Baby is Just the Tip of the Iceberg  (Oh God, our culture is becoming inhuman. Our culture of death continues to rob babies of life. Rescue us oh God from the wickedness of our age.)
The Baby Drop-Box
 (Why can’t we help churches to do this in every major city in America, or any place where this is an issue?)
Dodging Haymakers Outside an Abortion Clinic  (Great article well worth your time, and your thought, and maybe, after prayer your action on behalf of the unborn. Do you know where the closest abortion mill is to your home?)

Six Reasons to Have a Large Family  (Great piece from a mother of six.)

Better Thinking about Doctrine

How is God Working in the World: Understanding Miracles and Providence  (Gospel Coalition Website, Justin Holcomb writing.)

Better Interaction With Politics and Culture

Three Myths about World Poverty  (By Bill and Melinda Gates—interesting and thoughtful article on what is and isn’t happening around the world.)
Common Core is Dumbing Our Children Down  (Arkansas mother has her school board for lunch. Video.)

Better Thinking about the Church

Five Bad Reasons to Leave a Church  (Short, to the point and right on target.)
Eight Guidelines for Reading Scripture Publicly (Great counsel.)
How to Listen to Bad Sermons of All Types (From the EFCA National Website.)
5 Phrases that Scare Off Millenials  (I suspect this article gets it right.)

For Better Health and Fun

Lead Developer of HPV Vaccine Comes Clean Because She “Wants to be able to sleep at night.”  (Greed over Healthcare, but the truth will win out.)
In Praise of Fat Pastors  (Jarid Wilson—this one is about more than health, and more than appearance. It’s about making an idol of our appearance and much more.)

How to Fall Asleep Faster  (For those of us that struggle to turn the engine off.)
Separating Egg Yokes from Egg Whites  (really cool trick)
Crockpot Meatloaf and Potatoes (I love simple things that I don’t have to watch or worry about. Of course it is easy for me to say. My wife does all the cooking and she’s great!)

The Remarkable Healing Properties of Pumpkin Seeds  (Might try them myself.)
Banana: The Wonder Fruit (Who knew?)