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Someone is wrong on the Internet
R C Sproul Jr: “There is someone wrong on the Internet. It’s probably you. Log off, hug your kids, kiss your wife, and go get some of His rest. The world will not only be there when you get back, it will have been made better.”

Love covers a multitude of sins
Tim Challies helps us to decide what to do when a Christian sins against us: Lovingly overlook that sin or lovingly address that sin?

Before we demand that apology
Challenging OT-prophet-style writing from Pastor Lance about the past and present racial sins of the church – of both colors.

10 Writing Tips from a Real Life Editor
“Blog posts containing tips are a dime a dozen, but every now and then you come across some real gold—tips offered by someone who actually knows what they’re talking about. ”

This might sting
“We have all had those requests for “a word with you” after the morning sermon.   A listener has listened and now they would like to speak, to voice their take on a particular section of the message. I can usually tell by the expression on their face if they want to correct something I have said.  A furrowed brow forms a fleshy umbrella over their concerned eyes.  Perhaps they hazard a light hand on my shoulder.”

Toddlers and Discretion
“I agree that we must protect the privacy of our teenagers.  But I don’t think we need to stop there.  Remember; things on the internet don’t go away.  Junior may not care today about the fact that we have just described in lurid detail the contents of his diaper at nap time.  But he might care later.”

7 Reasons Why I’m Not Buying Facebook Shares

OK, I couldn’t even if I wanted to. But If I could, I still wouldn’t. Want to know why?

1. I’ve never clicked on a Facebook Ad in my life
If 85% of Facebook revenues are from ads and I’ve never clicked on one in my life, either I’m a weirdo or else I’m normal and the advertisers are wasting their money.  The General Motors decision to stop FB advertising is a “Facebook has no clothes” moment that’s only going to gather momentum.

2. It’s so ugly
As a Mac user, so used to beautiful, minimalist simplicity, I can hardly bear to look at the dump-truck of the FB interface. Did they ask Bill Gates to design the Timeline? Maybe it’s only PC users that keep FB alive. Google+ is a model of Zen compared to this fiasco.

3. Immobile Apps
Mobile is a huge threat to FB. There’s just not enough screen estate to get ads on to. FB’s solution? Invent the slowest, junkiest mobile Apps in the world. “Oh, that’ll work!”

4. Security
How would you feel if your bank changed its privacy rules every other week without telling you? And when you find out via the media, you discover you need an IT PhD to figure out the pages and pages of privacy settings.

5. Stupidity
In the course of the last few weeks I’ve seen at least two ministries potentially ruined by the Yahoo and Socialcam FB partnerships. In case you didn’t know, when you read Yahoo articles or watch Socialcam videos, FB will often post those facts on your Facebook Wall, Page, or whatever they call it. No, of course, people shouldn’t be reading or watching certain things, but how insensitively stupid for FB to set this up without MEGA FLASHING LIGHTS WARNINGS.

6. Facebook Mail
How difficult is it to design email software that maintains a chronological thread?  What a mess!

7. Everything else
Farmville, Facebook Chat, Group Invites, Event Invites, Pokes, Photo quality, Notifications, Quizzes, Breakfast updates, Lunch updates, Dinner Updates, Supper Updates, Midnight Feast Updates, etc. (Want to make a million? Create an App that only lets FB status updates through if they pass a certain IQ/EQ threshold).

And please, please, don’t anyone ever add me to a Group again without my expensive and explicit permission. Oh, and one last thing, don’t ever TAG me in a photo. And if I remove a TAG, it’s because I do not like your photo. And if you add it again, prepare for a menacing knock on your door.

Apart from that it’s quite good.

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Free People Rest: Do you?
“When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.”

Getting Healthy: Fighting Spiritually
What more can I do to get you to buy and read Note to Self!

Caring is wearing me out
Understanding and responding to ministry stress. And along similar lines, here’s David Sunday on Embracing the Biblical Tension between Family and Church Ministry

5 Ways to Immediately Improve Your Preaching
Eric McKiddie expands one of Erik Raymond’s five points in 3 Reasons to say “You” more often in sermons.

4 Reasons to Remember Your Creator in Your Youth

Our enemy says, “Youth for pleasure, middle age for business, old age for religion.” The Bible says, “Youth, middle age, and old age for your Creator.”

But as it’s especially in our youth that we are most inclined (determined?) to forget our Creator, it’s especially in these years that we must work to remember our Creator (Ecc.12:1). Remember that He made you, that He provides for you, that He cares for you, that He watches you, that He controls you; and remember that He can save you too. That’s a lot to remember, but it’s much easier to start memorizing when we are young!

1. Energetic years
However, that’s not the only reason why God commands us to remember our Creator in our young years. It’s also because these are our most energetic years.

Why wait until we are pegging out, until we are running down, until our gas is almost empty, before serving our Creator? The God who made us deserves our most active and healthy years: our bodies are strong and muscular (well kind of), our minds are sharp and clear, our senses are receptive and keen and sensitive, our enthusiasm is bright and bushy, our wills are steely and determined. Remember Him in your energetic years.

2. Sensitive years
Why do far more of us become Christians in our youth than in our middle or old age? It’s because youthful years are sensitive years. Without giving up our belief in “Total Depravity” we can say that it’s “easier” to believe and repent when we are younger. It’s never easy, but it’s easier. And it’s easier because as we get older our heart is hardened thicker, our conscience is seared number, our sins root deeper, our deadness becomes deader.

Let’s use our youthful sensitivity and receptivity to remember our Creator before the evil days of callous indifference set in.

3. Teachable years
We learn more in our youth than in any other period of life. That’s true in all subjects, but especially true in religious instruction. All the Christians I’ve met who were converted to Christ late in life have expressed huge regrets about how little they know and how little they can now learn. I encourage them to value and use whatever time the Lord gives them, but they often feel they have to study twice as hard to learn half as well.

4. Dangerous years
Young years are minefield years: hormones, peer pressure, alcohol, drugs, pornography, immorality, testosterone, etc. Few navigate these years without blowing up here and there. Dangers abound on every side – and on the inside. How many “first” temptations become “last” temptations! How much we need our Creator to keep us and carry us through this battlefield.

Remember to remember

Let me then give you some helps to remember your Creator during these best of years (and “worst” of years):

  • Be persuaded that you have a Creator: Get well grounded in a literal understanding of Genesis 1-2 and shun all evolutionary influences.
  • Get to know your Creator: Study His Word using sermons, commentaries, and good books. But also study His World using microscopes and telescopes and any other instruments He gives.
  • Join with your Creator’s friends: Build friendships with other creatures that love to remember and respect their Creator.
  • Follow your Creator’s order: He set and gave the pattern of six days work followed by one day of rest for contemplation of His Works.
  • Ask for your Creator’s salvation: Even if your rejection of your Creator has broken you in pieces, He’s willing to re-create you in His image.
  • And while we’re on the subject of salvation, I don’t want elderly readers to be discouraged. Compared to the aeons of eternity, you are still in your “youth.” It’s not too late to remember Him, before these evil days come even nearer.
This post was first published at Ligonier Ministries blog. HeadHeartHand readers can get a 15% discount on all Ligonier Store products. Use HHH15 at the checkout.

God’s Two Planning Departments

All Christians believe that God has a “Salvation Planning Department.” Although Calvinists and Arminians disagree about what goes on in that department, with Calvinists favoring “Big Government” here and Arminians demanding more “Limited Government”, yet all agree that God plans our salvation.

But God also has a “Good Works Planning Department.” He has not only planned our salvation, but also all the good works that follow our salvation. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).

God planned not only His good work of conversion but our good works in sanctification. He has mapped out every single day of our Christian life, and every single good work of each day.

Think of every Christian, in every country, and every good work that each will do each day, and then think of the solo-staffed planning department that has plotted, organized, and arranged all this!

That changes the way we view each day, and every opportunity to serve that comes along. Whether it’s cleaning a drain, typing an email, preaching a sermon, sharing the Gospel, visiting the sick, seeking justice, or phoning a widow, etc., none of these “good works” come by chance.

The Planner has planned it all; long before He was in your plans.