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10 things our kids will never experience
Some I’m glad about, some I’m sad about. (via Chris Larson)

A Christian in Silicon Valley
Nathan Bingham interviews the inventor of the laser printer.

How Jesus confronted and corrected others
Nick Batzig: “In a day when the “cult of nicenesss” has permeated the church, and politeness and tolerance has taken a front seat to truth and the fear of God, we need to be reminded that the Savior of the world often corrected the errors of his enemies in a less than winsome manner. Many times He also corrected His disciples in shocking and uncomfortable ways.”

Sex and the mystery of marriage
Tim Challies finds some sacramental parallels.


30 “I will’s” from Hosea

A couple of years ago I was asked to prepare a month of meditations on Hosea for a daily devotional. My initial thought was, “That’s impossible. I might manage 5 or 6.” But when I got started I was stunned to find so many divine “I will’s” in this little prophecy and they became the basis for my 30 meditations. Here they are (the thirtieth was this list).

  1. I will avenge (Hosea 1:4).
  2. I will hedge up your way with thorns (2:6)
  3. I will allure her (2:14)
  4. I will…bring her into the wilderness and speak comfort to her (2:14)
  5. I will give her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope (2:15)
  6. I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth (2:17)
  7. I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field (2:18)
  8. I will betroth you to me (2:19)
  9. I will betroth you to me forever (2:19)
  10. I will betroth you to me in righteousness (2:19)
  11. I will betroth you to me…in judgment (2:19)
  12. I will betroth you to me…in lovingkindness (2:19).
  13. I will hear (2:21).
  14. I will sow her for myself in the earth (2:23)
  15. I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy (2:23)
  16. I will say to them which were not my people, You are my people (2:23)
  17. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you (4:6)
  18. Therefore will I change their glory into shame (4:7)
  19. For I will be to Ephraim as a lion (5:14)
  20. I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge their offence, and seek my face (5:15)
  21. I will not execute the fierceness of mine anger (11:9).
  22. I will place them in their houses (11:11)
  23. I will make you to dwell in tabernacles (12:9)
  24. I will be your king (13:10)
  25. I will ransom them from the power of the grave (13:14)
  26. O death, I will be your plagues (13:14)
  27. I will heal their backsliding (14:4)
  28. I will love them freely (14:4)
  29. I will be as the dew to Israel (14:5)

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Eight GetReligion comments after eight years
I’ve been enjoying this blog’s commentary on how the media covers religious issues.  Here’s a summary of their experience over the last eight years.

The one on the other side of the screen
Charitable and challenging counsel.

11 brilliant writing commandments from Henry Miller
The ones I need to obey more are numbers 1-11.

How bad is the job market for PhD’s [infographic]
Try this for starters: New doctoral degrees = 100,000; new professorships = 16,000

New drugs for depression
I don’t suggest you go out and try these, but the research is fascinating.

Ligonier’s Theological Stewardship and Ministry Momentum
I so enjoyed this! Very exciting.

Ligonier’s Theological Stewardship and Ministry Momentum from Ligonier on Vimeo.


Outreach for Introverts

As an introvert with a natural aversion to networking, Lisa Petrilli usually avoided business parties and corporate events because they made her fearful and uncomfortable. However, as she increasingly realized that such social withdrawal was damaging her career, she devised strategies that would overcome her fear of social events. She soon began to even embrace and enjoy these occasions and went on to run a $750 million dollar pharmaceutical business and to write the bestelling Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership.

With all the attention that extroverts seek and get, especially in our over-connected media-saturated world (and church), you could be forgiven for thinking that there are few introverts left in the universe. However, statistics tell us that about 25% of people are introverts, with a further 25% having introverted tendencies depending on circumstances (I think I would put myself in this latter group). And if the church has about the same ratios, that means about 50% of us struggle to reach out with the Gospel to others just because of our personality type.

So, can we learn anything from Lisa’s strategies for Business networking and apply them to Gospel networking? I believe we can. Consider the three she summarizes in An Introvert’s Guide to Networking, over at the Harvard Business Review.

I learned to appreciate my introversion rather than repudiate it.
I have met so many introverts in business who talk about introversion as if it’s a malady that one must get over in order to be successful. This is wrong. Introversion is simply a preference for the inner world of ideas because this is where we get our energy. By understanding and accepting this preference, introverts can optimize time spent with their ideas to refine them and recharge. This allows them to be as powerful and persuasive as possible when networking situations arise.

I recognized that one-on-one conversations would be my lifeline during networking. Generally speaking, business events — and particularly networking events that require engaging with groups — are demanding for introverts. An antidote to this, I learned, is to seek out conversations with one individual at a time. When I approach events this way I have more productive conversations and form better business relationships — and I’m less drained by the experience.

I stopped being afraid to be the one to reach out.
My inner introvert used to think that making the effort to introduce myself was risky. I worried that my target would not be interested in talking with me or that I would make them uncomfortable. I learned over time that when I extended my hand with a smile and an introduction my effort would be reciprocated, even when I approached executives above my rank.

I learned to prioritize time to re-energize.
While it can be tempting to go from a networking lunch right back to work, or from a networking cocktail event right to a dinner, if you’re an introvert and you do that you won’t be able to bring your best self to your next commitment. Take the time to recharge, whether by walking from the lunch back to work, or by finding 30 minutes alone between cocktails and dinner.

Now, fellow introverts, go out into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature – albeit one at a time and with 30 minute breaks in between.


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That lovely, lovely man
If you read nothing else from this list of links, please read this. It reminded me of so many of the beautiful old Christians in the Scottish Highlands that I used to pastor.

How do you preach a one time sermon?
Some good advice from Ed Stetzer.

Letters to a young pastor
Some excerpts from Calvin Miller’s book of the same name.

An endless series of difficult but achievable hills
“Repeating easy tasks again and again gets you not very far. Attacking only steep cliffs where no progress is made isn’t particularly effective either. No, the best path is an endless series of difficult (but achievable) hills.” Is Seth Godin describing pastoral ministry?

Scared of snow
Rebecca draws some spiritual lessons from some snowphobic kids.

“Use your big-boy voice”
Nathan Eshelman asks: “Do you think that the problem with some men today is that they are really boys in men’s bodies? Do you think that there is a reason why statistically there are more women in the church than men? Do you think that female pastors and elders may be partially the male gender’s fault? Do you know a number of young women that you would recommend to marry, but really can’t think of too many young men that you would recommend? Do you know Christian men that seem to sit back while their wives lead the family? Do you know a Christian man-child? The state of Christian manhood does not look good.”