Gospel-centered = Creator-centered

You can read today’s blog post at Gospel-Centered Discipleship. It’s the substance of the first address I gave on “Soul Care” to the Plantr Network in Austin, Texas. The article begins:

Most pastoral problems, such as burnout, backsliding, depression, etc., begin with neglect of the body.

Let me say that again in a different way. From what I’ve seen and experienced, most pastoral soul-care problems begin with neglect of the body.

Soul-care problems do not usually begin with channel-surfing or with a click of the mouse, nor with wandering eyes or hands, nor with shortening or missing private devotions. They begin by neglecting the body, by denying or ignoring its many varied needs. The other problems inevitably and inexorably follow.

But this is not merely a practical problem or a physical issue. This is also theological problem, a problem that’s associated with a wrong view of God. And it’s not just a slightly wrong view. Its error is fundamental and foundational because it concerns the fundamental and foundational truth that God is our Creator.

That’s the very first truth that’s revealed to us in Scripture. And it’s first for a reason. It’s because if we go wrong there, we run a great risk of going wrong everywhere else.

The article is structured around four main points with practical applications under each:

  • We are Complex Creatures
  • We are Limited Creatures
  • We are Dependent Creatures
  • We are Fallen Creatures

I conclude with the good news that God is in the re-creating business; He is re-making creative creatures (and preachers!).

Read the whole article here.

Check out and Tweets of the Day are on vacation!

Children’s Bible Reading Plan

This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first 12 months of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s an explanation of the plan.

What girls should know about guys (adult edition)

And finally, we come to the adult edition of what girls should know about guys, what my wife taught the girls at their workshop. Shona wanted me to make clear that she got most of her points from two books, including one survey of 400 guys all around US, ages 15-20:

For Young Women Only: What you need to know about how guys think by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A.Rice.
Lies Young Women Believe and The Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Again, usual qualifications apply. These are general observations, and are not true of all guys/girls. Don’t get too worked up if it doesn’t match you/her/him. Just because it’s not in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s not true; God asks us to “read” the world as well as His Word, etc., etc. These are only bullet points that were further explained and qualified in the workshop, and so on.

1. Guys need respect (that you trust them, believe in them)

  • For who they are not for how they do
  • Don’t knock a guy down in a group setting
  • Don’t try to humiliate him
  • Don’t compete

2. Guys are insecure, even if they appear cocky

  • Need affirmation

3. Guys do have feelings, even though on the outside they may appear tough

  • 86% of the guys in the study either always or sometimes withhold their inner feelings
  • Generally very guarded, don’t confide in girls and fear rejection.

4. Guys are visual

  • Look pretty without looking provocative

5. Guys are attracted to girls who are happy, not grumpy and nagging

6. Guys are more attracted to a girl with personality than a girl with good looks or a good body

  • BUT some physical attraction does play a part in initial relationship

7. Guys talk less than girls

  •  Guys are less likely to want to talk about their problems
  • They are more likely to clam up, whereas girls want to talk it all out

8. Guys are put off by fakeness, in personality and appearance

  • Your desire to be perfect may well be the major flaw that puts him off!

9. Work is VERY important to guys

  • When in a committed relationship, support and encourage
  • Don’t belittle how much work builds up their God-given self-esteem

10. Guys need guy time just like you need girl time. Don’t grudge it.

REMEMBER: Our differences are God-given, although the fall and sin distorts these differences.


Check out

Your desk is making you stupid
As if killing us is not enough.

Why creativity is important for ministry, and how to do it
Creativity is not just for creative types.

Best 5 Books on the Puritans
Not sure Joel Beeke would agree with this post (read to the bottom of this post), but it’s an interesting perspective.

The rise and rise of influence
“There’s even anecdotal evidence that Klout scores are being considered by some employers when looking at the resumes of potential new hires, which may be directly relevant for jobs in, say, social media marketing and a less-direct measure of your personality for other jobs.”

(Hardly) Shocking!
“This seems to be a week in which “informed opinion” has caught up with what conservatives have known — and said — for some time.”

How the Internet has changed women
For good and bad. Hasn’t affected men at all, of course.

Tweets of the Day

What guys should know about girls (adult edition)

So, we all got a few laughs and not a little insight over the past couple of days as we looked at what teenage guys wanted girls to know about them, and then at what the girls wanted the guys to know.

Today I’m posting the bullet points of what I thought the guys should know about girls – a little bit more sober and serious today! Obviously I filled out these points in the workshop, but I hope they’ll give some further talking points for your families! Thanks again to my research assistant (and his wife!) for valuable input.

Ten Things Guys Should Know About Girls
(NB: does not apply to every girl)

1. Girls value relationship more than things.

2. Girls want you to value their opinion and to discuss major decisions with her.

3. Girls want undivided attention when communicating, and want you to listen (esp. to their feelings) before fixing.

4. Girls have a biological cycle that impacts their moods, attitudes, behaviors, etc.

5. Girls talk more when stressed (men retreat and clam up) and imagine worst-case scenarios.

6. Girls want to feel loved:

  • Value her more than your friends, mother, children, family, job, etc.
  • Praise and affirm frequently (do not praise other women)
  • Romantic surprises and gifts (big AND small)
  • Prefer to be held & hugged rather than reasoned with.

7. Girls have an unfathomable connection with their children.

8. Girls want you to see a person (with inner beauty, personality, aims, hopes, dreams) not a body, not body parts.

9. Girls want you to put some effort into your appearance & hygiene (without becoming vain).

10. Girls value stability and want you to give steady leadership especially in spiritual matters, finances, and children.