The first 6 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in pdf.
And here’s an explanation of the plan.
The first 6 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in pdf.
And here’s an explanation of the plan.
Dear very wise pastor/parent/elder/co-worker,
You’ve been blessed with the rare gift of wisdom. Insight, discernment, vision, understanding, answers, solutions come to you as easily as buttering your toast. You see things in a way that most of us never will. We, the not-so-very-wise, are deeply grateful for your intellectual, creative, and far-seeing abilities. Your sage counsel has saved us from lots of foolish choices and damaging decisions.
Sometimes – it doesn’t have to be lots of times, just sometimes - let the dummies give the answer.
You don’t need to hold back your wisdom on the BIG questions, the MEGA decisions, but if the opportunity arises on a really small, insignificant, tiny matter (like the time of a meeting, or where to put the trash cans, or the paint-color for the cupboard, etc) why not ask Mr Know-nothing his opinion (he’s probably stopped offering his pathetic views many meetings ago).
Now, of course, it’s never going to be anywhere near as good a proposal as yours. But, if you can do it without choking, why not say, “Mr Know-nothing, that’s a great idea…let’s do it that way!” Don’t tweak it, edit it, “balance” it, or improve it. Just accept it.
You may need to administer CPR the first couple of times you do this but, of course, you know how to do that really well anyway. You’ll still come out looking good.
You can still score the touchdowns, but the team might get more wins if you encouraged the defense, the reserves, and replacements from time to time.
Getting healthy: My hardest year
Joe Thorn begins to bare his soul, for the benefit of many.
3 Ways to Control your Inner Control Freak
“Hi. My name is Nathan and I’m a ‘control freak.’ I haven’t tried to assume autonomous control of every aspect of my life for at least the past 30 minutes.”
The State of the Bible 2012
“There are probably five Bibles on every shelf in American homes. Americans buy the Bibles, they debate the Bible, they love the Bible… they just don’t read the Bible.”
Do Seminary Grads burn out quickly?
I always suspected these statistics were off.
Phone data shows “romance driven by women”
This headline is almost in “The Pope is a catholic” territory. But the article should start a few “discussions.” A para for the women: “Men call their spouse most often for the first seven years of their relationship. They then shift their focus to other friends.” And one for the men: “Romantic relationships are driven by women…it’s they who make the decision and once they have made their mind up, they just go for the poor bloke until he keels over and gives in!”
The Gospel under the Northern Lights
Bill Boekestein reviews Wes Bradenhof’s missionary memoir of his time spent as a missionary to the First Nation community at Fort Babine in central British Columbia. You’ll love the book trailer that Bill’s kids put together.
Who are they?
What are they?
In The New Superheroes of the Web, Steven Rosenbaum calls them the “web’s secret power…individuals with a passion for a content area [who] find, contextualize, and organize information. Curators provide a consistent update regarding what’s interesting, happening, and cool in their focus. Curators tend to have a unique and consistent point of view–providing a reliable context for the content that they discover and organize.”
And in our information-flooded world, do our boggled minds need these superheroes! Into the data-Tsunami step these superheroes, shielding us from the overwhelming waves, listening to the digital noise, identifying precious nuggets, important news, and fresh voices, then organizing it for us, their grateful readers.
Thankfully there are a number of Christians among these superheroes. And if you want to keep your head above the water, you desperately need them. Here are the ones I depend upon, split into two categories – Blog curators and Twitter curators.
Tim Challies: The most consistent Christian curator out there. Via his A la carte posts, Tim provides 5-6 links, six days a week, with a wide mix of theology, culture, technology, books, controversy, photography, etc. If you have to choose one, he’s the one.
Justin Taylor: Posts excerpts and links 3-20 times a day! Bit more highbrow/academic emphasis than Tim, with interest in philosophy, culture, and biblical theology. Leans slightly Baptist, New Calvinist, Crossway-authors in his choices – which is understandable. If you’re trying to keep in touch with theological and cultural trends, Justin is your man.
The Gospel Coalition: On the top right corner of their web page, you’ll find the “Right Now” section, which daily refreshes with new links to theological and cultural pieces. At times tends towards New Calvinist/Crossway in their picks, with the same names tending to appear as on Justin Taylor’s site.
Trevin Wax: Like Tim Challies, Trevin is a great writer of original content. But most days he also highlights links in his “Worth a Look” or “Trevin’s Seven” posts. He’s a Southern Baptist, which obviously influences his choices, but he also has a knack of picking up fascinating content in politics, sport, culture, etc.
Bob Kellemen: Either at his own blog or at the Biblical Counseling Coalition, you can pick up Bob’s “Five to live by.” Only once a week (usually Thursday or Friday), but I usually click on all five of these carefully selected counseling and Christian living posts.
Blogging Theologically: Aaron Armstrong selects 3-5 posts most days in his “Likes I like.” Operates in the same general territory as Tim Challies, with special interests in Christian books. His book reviews are also always worth reading.
Everyday Theology: Marc Cortez, a Professor at Western Seminary, will connect you with both serious and humorous content, but I especially value his links to helpful education content for teachers/professors, etc. He’s a sort of mixture of Tim Challies and Justin Taylor.
UPDATE: Here’s one I forgot but I’d also definitely recommend for Seminary students and pastors. Bible Exposition links to lots of helpful resources for exegesis and hermeneutics.
Michael Hyatt: Carefully selected links to articles on leadership, writing, and publishing.
Nathan Bingham: Cutting edge blogger and Tweeter who’ll keep you right up-to-date with the latest in technology and design, as well as links to the best Christian content that most other people have missed.
Matt Perman: Wasn’t sure whether to include Matt in Bloggers or Tweeters, but I think he posts most links on Twitter. If you follow him, you’ll get lots of great quotes on work, vocation, productivity, but you’ll also get links to Christian and non-Christian posts on the same subjects. Matt fills a large hole that few Christians are doing much blogging/tweeting in. His blog (and soon-to-be book) is called What’s Best Next.
Sarah Pulliam Bailey: At last, a woman! Sarah is online editor of Christianity Today as well as a contributor to Get Religion (a superb blog that analyzes how religion, especially Christianity, is reported in the media). If you follow Sarah, you’ll get connected to current news in the evangelical world.
Anthony Bradley: Sparky Tweeter with much-needed perspective on African American issues. It would take me days to find the links that he regularly Tweets.
So, do you want to be a superhero? Well, don’t try to copy what someone else is already doing well. Find an area, a niche, that’s presently not being covered. There are five vacancies that come to my mind (feel free to suggest some more):
Are you ready to step up, then? If so, let me close with a caution from Steven Rosenbaum’s post on Superhero Curators:
It’s real work, and requires a tireless commitment to being engaged and ready to rebroadcast timely material. While there may be an economic benefit for being a “thought leader” and “trusted curator,” it’s not going to happen overnight. Which is to say, being a superhero is often a thankless job.
Kay Warren talks about her battle with depression
Rick Warren’s wife, Kay, has had an almost life-long struggle with depression. In recent years she’s also had two different forms of cancer, a daughter-in-law with a serious brain tumor, a premature grandchild, and loved ones suffering from mental illness.
Be happy, be healthy
A happy optimistic outlook can protect your heart
No Stone Throwing
Eric Metaxes on how to speak about human sexuality
So you want to date my daughter?
I’ll be giving this to my son.
Barry York has a fresh idea on how a pastor can continue to evangelize unbelievers in the midst of a busy church life.
Allison wrote me a week or so ago and asked me if I would “address the issue of being mindful and watchful of single ladies in the church who weren’t expecting to go seeking for an established career. I know there is a contingency of female readers who read your blog and Berkhof’s systematic theology among other things. The paradox of being an older female single in the Reformed camp. :) But the joy of rejoicing in Christ in the struggle.”
Well, I took the
wise coward’s way out and asked her to write the post herself! Here it is.
As I am on the brink of turning 40 and still single, many a word have I spoken to the Lord regarding my current status. I am a Reformed Baptist, which generally lends itself to assuming I will get married because that happens to conservative girls like myself. Yet silence still pervades the air regarding that issue in my life.
With moxie, I behest the Lord to present before me just the right Calvinistic fellow who would lead me into marriage. But alas, God has the “gall” to not confirm my request in the speedy manner I was desiring.
Called to something different?
But what if God is calling me to something different? It is easier and more natural to be under the protectorate of men, but to instead slip on heels and work alongside them was not something I expected. My father was a military officer and my mother was a housewife, and I assumed I would follow her footsteps. I am a member of a conservative Baptist church, and it is the norm to be married off and support the husband. Thus it is perplexing to be handed a sword and pushed into a battle I was not expecting.
Many of the female bloggers of the Reformed camp speak mainly of family and marriage issues, and the dutiful posting about being a content single. Instead I look to blogs by men that talk about the workforce in today’s society and other issues my married female counter-parts don’t have to face as often.
So I wanted to encourage the other gals out there, who are flummoxed and bewildered at their current status in life, to still praise God. To “hold fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped,” Psalm 17:6.
Too easily, society quips to “try online dating.” But I caution against that. Do not be too quick to escape out of the mode of singleness with a flash of your credit card. Yes, it has worked for some, but deep down, aren’t you a hopeless romantic wanting true love the old-fashioned way?
I work in a warehouse, not an exciting career, and I gagged when I read this book about single gals who had stellar careers and were at the point of finally buying a house on their own. I can’t afford that. The book actually made me more depressed because I did not measure up to the standard of living that these other ladies possessed.
I too am getting older, not as financially stable as I would like to be, honestly a little fearful of the future. But praise God that I still cry out to the Lord for help and I listen for Him and wait for Him to answer.
To other gals who are feeling discouraged, I can sympathize and gently admonish. Cry, get a hug, spend time with God and read. Sinclair Ferguson is a wonderful author/pastor and his warm, gentle voice is soothing on those hard days. I recommend “Deserted by God” by Ferguson.
Be plugged into the women’s ministry, get a mentor, volunteer, and read rich theology. Books in the theology section aren’t just for guys! Read the biography of A.W. Pink and Adoniram Judson. Instead of checking that online dating site, open that theology book and feel challenged and excited. You will be surprised!
Be a member of your church, volunteer to the highest capacity at your church. Love God’s Word, memorize it! Be known as a lady of God. I can honestly say that I would not want a guy who had spent hours on e-harmony. Instead I want a guy who spent hours volunteering at church.
A rock on the hand or the Word in your heart?
Let God’s Word be the focus on your mind, to draw upon that when the dagger of disgust and frustration scrapes against my neck. Hard times will come, but God’s Word will never forsake me! Have the Word on the tip of your tongue; have it as a goal when chatting over coffee about things to look forward to. Sure having a rock on the hand is nice, but what is even better is to have God’s glorious Word encrusted and embellishing your heart forever!
Proverbs 31:25 reads “Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come.” I cannot do that on my own accord. But by God’s grace and by the pouring in of the Holy Spirit, that can be accomplished.
Thank you Lord for breaking me and making me reliant on you to be built back up. It is a good thing to be conservative, and Reformed, and educated, and, yes, sophisticated. I did not say homely or dull
It is nice to be able to be at church where men still lead.
Love God, love your church, love God’s Word and love His sovereignty!
Allison blogs at https://1happymongoose.wordpress.com/