Check out

The secret to memorable vacations
Keep ‘em short and sweet!

5 things infertile couples want you to know
Good to see this being talked about more in the church. By a man who knows what he’s talking about.

The Gospel and Homosexuality
Denny Burk with some resources to help us face the this difficult issue.

He is able to sympathize
Erik Raymond has compiled a hugely encouraging list of what Jesus went through.

Pray with your books closed
One for seminary students especially: “We shouldn’t open our books without praying, but we’d better pray without opened books.”

Who are you online?

The 360 is a widely-used human resources and leadership tool in which a range of colleagues, friends, and family offer their different perspectives on your skills, talents, and character, to provide a 360-degree view of who you are. Not without its limitations, it nonetheless helps us begin overcome our inability to see ourselves as others see us.

Social media expert, Alexandra Samuel, proposes that we regularly conduct an online 360 in order to evaluate our online personas. Although she rejects the distinction between Online Life and IRL (In Real Life), Alexandra does recognize that “online, the human struggle to honestly understand our own strengths and weaknesses is intensified by the newness of our online customs and interactions.” And the stakes are high:

Just like your offline personality, your online persona now forms a significant part of your professional identity. Understanding how those personas align, diverge, and complement one another is crucial to ensure your professional effectiveness, on- and offline.

Her solution is to send the following questions to people who know you both on- and offline, as well as to people who know you online only, and ask respondents to provide a scaled assessment (1= never, 10=always):

  1. Is polite and respectful in their emails, tweets, or other online communications
  2. Provides useful or informative content in their online contributions or comments
  3. Makes effective use of their time online, and responds to online communications (e.g. emails, messages), comments (on blogs or in Twitter mentions) and feedback in a timely and effective way
  4. Provides constructive feedback and generous appreciation in their online comments, replies, and other online communications
  5. Is transparent about their relationship to or financial interest in the brands, companies, and products they discuss online
  6. Makes thoughtful and appropriate choices about which on- and offline communications channels to use for different purposes or in different circumstances, and inspires or encourages others to do the same
  7. Builds online relationships that support their own work and their organization’s goals
  8. Is an online leader within their field

Average your score on each question, analyze where you are strong and weak, and then compare with your offline persona. Are you strong on leadership but weak on politeness? Do you simply produce or do you also engage constructively? And compare this with your offline persona. As Alexandra concludes:

If your personas diverge — if you’re known for your personal touch offline, but come off as a bull in a china shop online — you may want to think about how you can translate your face-to-face interpersonal skills into your online relationships, or conversely, how to speak so that the authority and expertise you hold online is also recognized by the colleagues who work down the hall.

Check out

Spiritual Leadership: Sometimes Heartbreaking but Always Hopeful
I didn’t realize Moses had it quite so hard until I read this excellent post from Jon Bloom at Desiring God.

Dump-truck Counseling
Yep, done my fair share of that as well.

Two Timetables of an Affair
This is one part of a great series Brad Hambrick has been writing on True Betrayal: Overcoming the betrayal of your spouse’s sexual sin.

Seven tips for getting yourself to bed on time
Gretchen Rubiin: “Since I’ve started my Happiness Project, I’ve become more and more convinced that sleep is vital to happiness and energy.” I’d add that it’s also vital to preventing and overcoming temptation.

Is your sin bigger than Jesus?
Joe Thorn continues to plunder the Puritans for our benefit.

Children’s Bible Reading Plan (67)

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.

The first 12 months of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

The first 6 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in pdf.

And here’s an explanation of the plan.

A Summary not a Substitute

A Summary not a Substitute: An Introduction to the Shorter Catechism

This is a bit of a Father/son venture. My 14-year-old son Angus is helping me put together a series of short videos on the Westminster Shorter Catechism. He filmed and edited this brief introduction to the structure of the Catechism. We’re hoping these films and outlines might help introduce young people to this wonderful summary of the Christian faith.

I.    Introduction (1-3)

II.  What we are to believe (4-38)

A. God’s Nature and Character (4-6)
B. God’s Creation and Providence (8-11)
C. God’s “Problem” (12-19)
D. God’s Salvation (20-38)

1. The Redeemer (20-28)
2. The Application of Redemption (29-31)
3. The Benefits of Redemption (32-38)

III. What we are to do (39-107)

A. God’s Law (39-84)
B. God’s Gospel (85-107)

1. Faith (86)
2. Repentance (87)
3. Means of Grace (88-107)

a. The Word of God (88-90)
b. The Sacraments (91-97)
c. Prayer (98-107)

Check out

The Genius of the Psalms
Here’s a helpful presentation on the subjective dimension of the Psalms.

Should Homeschoolers be allowed on Public-school sports teams?
This sounds like a recipe for disaster.

What unbelieving pagans know about God and why they are responsible for it
Justin Taylor manages to pack a huge amount of hugely encouraging teaching into this post.

7 Lessons from the Community of Disability
Greg Lucas: “The tragedy of disability is not disability itself, but the isolation it often creates. This was one of the most important lessons our family had to learn. Sadly, we learned it the hard way. But hard lessons often lead to great insights and over the past few years we have had the wonderful opportunity to gain great wisdom from several families in many different communities.”

The need for discriminating preaching and the danger of its absence
Tom Ascol with a much-needed post.

Conrad Mbewe at Puritan Reformed Seminary
And if you want a superb example of discriminating preaching, here’s a sermon that we heard yesterday at PRTS.

Application in sermons
Mike Horton completes our triad of links on preaching.