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The beauty and usefulness of old age (Part 2)
You may want to bookmark this for a few years down the line.

Parenting and our constant need of grace
As Joel says, one sure way to find out how un-Christlike you are is to try parenting. And here’s An encouraging word to parents who have a child that suffers with a developmental or psychiatric disorder.

Books and business
Jeremy Walker has compiled a list of resources for Christians in business.

How can Christians maintain a faithful witness in Canada?
If you imagine that persecution only happens in poor and deprived areas of the world, you’re about to get a rude awakening. It’s just been legalized in Canada and it’s about to cross the border.

What should we do when we visit the sick?
Kevin DeYoung channels John Calvin.

Essential resources on preaching from Ecclesiastes

The Power of the Flying Pink Elephant

British triple-jumper, Olympic gold-medal winner, and world record holder Jonathan Edwards professed to be a Christian throughout his athletics career, and publicly credited all his success to God. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” was often on his lips in pre- and post-competition interviews. Christians throughout the UK rejoiced to hear him testify to the power of Christ in his life.

But when he retired from competition in 2003, his faith began to collapse. By 2007, he had renounced Christianity and embraced agnosticism, seemingly without regret. The Times announced his apostasy with the headline: “I’ve never been happier – says the man who won gold but lost God.”

Sports Psychology
In an interview posted on the Richard Dawkins Foundation website he admitted that the biblical verses he used to quote when competing was really just sports psychology dressed in religious clothes; confidence-boosting measures to give him a sense of higher purpose and divine assistance.

“I was always dismissive of sports psychology when I was competing, but I now realise that my belief in God was sports psychology in all but name…Believing in something beyond the self can have a hugely beneficial psychological impact, even if the belief is fallacious,” he says. “It provided a profound sense of reassurance for me because I took the view that the result was in God’s hands. He would love me, win, lose or draw.”

Psychological Deception
I was reminded of this dangerous psychological deception when I was recently re-reading Norman Vincent Peale’s best-selling The Power of Positive Thinking. Although Peale’s book has biblical verses sprinkled throughout, and although it has helped many people, much of what he taught people had no basis or grounding in reality.

For example, he recounts how salespeople who started repeating, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” increased their sales dramatically. What was not clear, however, was whether many of these people had any sense of who Christ was and is, which is really the key point in that verse.

Mantras and Elephants
It’s knowing who Christ was, what He did on the cross, and what He still does for us to this day that strengthens the believer for every task. For Peale’s salesmen, and Edwards, these kinds of biblical verses seemed to be more like a mantra, a self-assuring, almost self-hypnotizing sense that a higher power was on their side. Their sales and medals might have increased just as much if they had repeated, “I can do all things through the flying pink elephant who strengthens me.” As long as they believed there was a flying pink elephant and it was on their side.

Of course, we rejoice that there are many Christian athletes and salespeople who exercise truth faith in the real Christ as they seek to honor Him in their daily lives and callings. But the next time we’re tempted to embrace and celebrate the latest sports or entertainment celebrity who’s telling everybody “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” let’s just pause and ask: “Do they really know anything about this Christ? Is this more about Christ giving them success than Christ taking away their sins?” And, “Are they believing in Him for gold or for grace?” 

Check out

Can you preach expositional sermons in poor, uneducated areas of the world?
Encouraging and faith-filled answer from Mez McConnell.

Why community living sucks and what we can do about it.
Mez is on a roll today with another post on the do’s and don’t of team building in stressful church plant situations.

He is a kind man
I thought this was a beautiful tribute from a son to father. And it rings true.

When your baby has heart defects
Another wonderful testimony in Sojourn Church’s series on Christian suffering. Here’s Brian Ott’s who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease when he was 13.

8 Questions to ask before preaching your sermon
Great checklist.

Top 200 Ministry Blogs

Top 200 Leadership Resources

Following the popularity of last week’s post on 200+ Preaching Resources, I thought I’d repeat the exercise this week with 200+ Leadership resources that I’ve catalogued over the last few years. I’ve divided them roughly into (1) Christian Leadership posts and (2) Other Leadership posts. Lots to learn from both.

Christian Leadership Posts

Seven Warning Signs of a Leader’s Fall

Ed Stetzer – Leaders of Courageous Character: Why They’re Needed but Lacking– With Four Ways to Be One

25 Ways Men Can Be Servant Leaders | HCSB – The Christian Leader in the Digital Age

What Makes a Good Leader? | Alex Chediak

Seven Deadly Thoughts of Leaders

Leading Distracted People | Leadership Journal

Leaders can increase their emotional IQ

Ed Stetzer – 5 Reasons Some Leaders Finish Poorly

10 Tips for Leaders who Don’t Want to Become Self-Promoting Jerks Online

The Tone of Pastoral Leadership « Church Forward

7 Pitfalls of Leadership | Ron Edmondson

3 Signs You Are Not a Kingdom Leader

Book Reviews: The Conviction To Lead – The Gospel Coalition

26 Characteristics of a True Leader — John MacArthur

100 Best Quotes On Leadership | Ben Terry

Great Quotes on Great Leadership | Challies Dot Com

Three Pitfalls for Young Evangelical Leaders | Daniel Darling

A lot of pastors love crowds and hate people | Video

Leaders Tell the Truth – The Gospel Coalition Blog – The Conviction to Lead

5 Leadership Lessons from Abraham Lincoln – Trevin Wax

Leaders Take Responsibility | RPM Ministries

Building Healthy Churches | 9 Marks

Study Great Leaders | Justin Buzzard

Encouraging Leadership | Gospel Centered Discipleship

Mario Vega: Facing the Tough Decisions Surrounding Moral Failure –

Condoleezza Rice – “No Higher Honor” : What’s Best Next

Introverted Servant Leader Who Can Find? – Wog Magazine

20 Top Leadership Tips…in Tweet Length | Ron Edmondson

What Does Gospel-Centered Leadership Look Like? – Trevin Wax

Solid Advice for Young Leaders from Dr. Billy Graham | Ron Edmondson

Quiet Leadership (Brian Harris)

10 Proven Practices for More Productive Leadership | Michael Hyatt

Why the Church Has a Leadership Shortage by Matt Perman

Seven Characteristics of Advancing Leaders –

How to Become A Better Leader | Justin Buzzard

Leadership from the Heart – Posts – Advice to young leaders, Part 2

The Most Dangerous Words Church Leaders Use –

“A Countercultural Model for Leadership” by John MacArthur | Reformed Bibliophile

Leadership Core: Experience and Education

Coaching Young Leaders Effectively: Seven Observations

Leadership Core: Personality

What the Pastor-Scholar Has in Common with an NBA Star | Pastoralized

Why Playing It Safe As A Pastor is The Riskiest Move You Will Make

Hypocritical Leadership | Keller Quotes

12 Ways to Know If You Are a Leader | Michael Hyatt

Risky Business (Part 1) | Out of Ur | Conversations for Ministry Leaders

Risky Business (Part 2) | Out of Ur | Conversations for Ministry Leaders

Seth Godin on the Difference Between Leadership and Management | Michael Hyatt

Top 10 biblical priorities for every pastor…revealed. | Practical Shepherding

7 Things the Church Expects from the Seminary | Everyday Theology

Spiritual Leadership May Be Heartbreaking, but It Is Always Hopeful – Desiring God

Reputation vs Character? According to John Wooden, We Should Choose Character | Donald Miller’s Blog

LeBron James and Celebrity Pastors | RPM Ministries

Elders: Lead! | 9Marks

Why We Need More ‘Chaplains’ and Fewer Leaders | Christianity Today

Leaders or Chaplins: A critique

Leaders or Chaplins: Mark Galli’s Reply

Top 10 Leadership Books for Pastors | Ron Edmondson

The One Essential Habit of Every Effective Leader | Michael Hyatt

Is Leadership a Biblical Category? : What’s Best Next

eJournal : The Obvious and Not-So-Obvious of Staff Management, Part 1 | 9Marks

eJournal : The Pastor and his Staff, Part 2 | 9Marks

Edwards: Many Who Mean Well Actually, Through Lack of Knowledge, Do Great Harm : What’s Best Next

The Introverted Leader |

The Leadership Principles of a Wanna Be Leader | The Cripplegate

Leadership from the Heart – Articles

Strawberry-Rhubarb Theology: Gospel Men

The Call to Ministry and the Leadership Moment – Desiring God

Drucker: Management is a Liberal Art, Directed Toward Effectiveness : What’s Best Next

A Second Interesting Paradox of Christian Leadership, Exemplified at the Global Leadership Summit : What’s Best Next

Pastoral Ministry and Wartime Thinking | Permanent Things

Transparency vs. Anonymity: Where Do You Stand? [INFOGRAPHIC & POLL]

5 Principles for Evangelical Leadership by Chris Larson | Ligonier Ministries Blog

Six Characteristics of Spiritual Leadership – Desiring God

Effemigate and Being a Man – Justin Taylor

The Tension Between Being Accessible and Being Available | Ron Edmondson

As a pastor, how do you avoid micromanaging your church? – Desiring God

Do Leaders Need to Be Holy? : Kingdom People

What should the elders do when they gather? | 9Marks

Seth Godin and Christian Leadership at Executing Ideas

How Do You Identify Future Pastors in Your Local Congregations? Am I Called? – Justin Taylor

Identifying Future Leaders and Preachers – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Leadership Qualities of Christian Husbands

Essential Qualities of a Mature Christian Husband and Father « The Christian Husband

Rise Up, O Men of God! – Student Leadership Journal –

Leadership Lessons From The Men and Women Who Serve our Nation – Thom Rainer

The Introverted Leader –

Leadership is Dead |

How do I identify future pastors/elders in the congregation? | Practical Shepherding

Advice to a New CEO (or to Any Leader)

Ministry Mulligans |

Charles Spurgeon On … Management? : What’s Best Next

Churches Need Good Leadership & Good Followship |

In Order to Truly Encourage Someone, You Also Have to Pay Attention and Listen : What’s Best Next

February Book Briefs – Kevin DeYoung

Not Lords, Stewards by Burk Parsons | Ligonier Ministries Blog

CanonWired » Blog Archive » Dave Kraft on Leadership

Put the Big Rocks in First : What’s Best Next

The Number One Way Leaders Get Derailed

Four Temptations Christian Leaders Face

How to Fill Church Jobs with Quality Leadership |

How Should Christians Think About Management? : What’s Best Next

How to Follow Well « Brad Lomenick

Spurgeon on Leadership Series « Between The Times

Why Leaders Cannot Afford to Be Easily Offended

High Crimes and Misdemeanors by Carl Trueman | Reformed Theology Articles at

Top 5 Books Read in 2010 – Desiring God

Above Reproach by John MacArthur | Reformed Theology Articles at

Why Jethro? The Wisdom of What God Doesn’t Say – Desiring God

What is More Important, Being a Ministry or Being a Business? « Gospel-Centered Musings

Training Christian Leaders: An Urgent Need – The Gospel Coalition Blog

The Seven Deadly Flaws of Carrots and Sticks : What’s Best Next

Addressing the Damaging Effects of Professionalism in the Local Church | Timmy Brister

How to Be an Effective Shepherd in Your Church – Justin Taylor

The Key to Peacemaking: A Passion for the Gospel – Pure Church by Thabiti Anyabwile

How Do You Take Criticism of Your Views? – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Organizing a Day of Silence and Solitude with God – Justin Taylor

The Four Ways to Configure a Desk : What’s Best Next

The Larger Context of Your Desk: How to Set Up Your Office : What’s Best Next

How to Set Up Your Desk: Basic Principles : What’s Best Next

Chuck Swindoll: 10 Leadership Lessons Learned in 50 Years of Leadership – Justin Taylor

On Grasshoppers and Email : What’s Best Next

The Marks of a Spiritual Leader :: Desiring God Christian Resource Library

Twitter as a Leadership Tool

When Servant Leadership Goes Wrong

Know Thy Time - Leadership Journal –

Bible-Balance in Christian Ministry | Desiring God

10 Ideas from Wise Leaders –

The 10 People in Every Church |

Are You Building Leaders? : Trevin Wax

Jenni Catron » Why Are Church Leaders Such Poor Managers?

Leader or Pastor?

Toxic Leaders in Our Ranks

Practices for Developing Younger Leaders

How Mark Dever Passes Out Authority – The Gospel Coalition Blog

Social Tools, Better Leadership | Leadership Journal

Does Your Leadership Reveal the Character of God? – Pure Church by Thabiti Anyabwile

Misunderstanding Servant Leadership

Leading From the Sandbox : The underbelly of hiring leaders in the Christian community

Not Tweeting? Repent! | Leadership Journal

The Crucial Body Part All Great Leaders Must Enhance | Fast Company

Cream from Al Mohler’s Book on Leadership | Counseling One Another

When Christians Fire Christians – Thom Rainer

Pastoral Bullies

The Tweeting Disciple | Leadership Journal

No Whiners : Kevin DeYoung

7 Deadly Sins Of Leadership | Big Is The New Small

Leadership as Stewardship (1) : Al Mohler

Leadership as Stewardship (2) : Al Mohler

Other Leadership Posts

21 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing | Big Is The New Small

Four Lessons From the Best Bosses I Ever Had – Deborah Mills-Scofield – Harvard Business Review

The #1 Reason Leadership Development Fails – Forbes

We Wait Too Long to Train Our Leaders | Harvard Business Review

Fourteen Indispensable Leadership Quotes from Jim Collins

6 Habits of Extraordinary Bosses | Business |

First, Fire Thyself | TechCrunch

Betsy Myers On Barack Obama’s Most Potent Leadership Quality | Fast Company

Charismatic People Share These 10 Habits | Business |

John Edwards’ Biggest Mistake Was Lack Of Accountability, A Fatal Flaw For Leaders | Fast Company

8 Rules For Creating A Passionate Work Culture | Fast Company

The 21 Refutable Flaws of Leadership | The House Studio

Empathy Is The Most Powerful Leadership Tool | Fast Company

20 Essential TED Talks for Future Leaders | Online Universities

Learning The Softer Side Of Leadership | Fast Company

Prioritizing is Key to Becoming a Digital Leader / Today’s Chicago Woman

Seth’s Blog: The trap of social media noise

Top 50 Leadership Experts to Follow on Twitter

Top 150 Management & Leadership Blogs – Agile Management

Ruth Simmons of Brown University, on Amiable Leadership –

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently – Heidi Grant Halvorson – Harvard Business Review

5 Ways to Survive… Leader Road Kill

How To Set Smart Daily Goals :: Tips :: The 99 Percent

Why Introverts Can Make The Best Leaders –

Demystifying Mentoring – Amy Gallo – Best Practices – Harvard Business Review

What Does the Ideal Board Member Look Like?

Lab Rat: Do Your “Most Important Task” First? :: Tips :: The 99 Percent

Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Delegate – Whitney Johnson – Harvard Business Review

Organizing from the Inside Out: Form a Plan of Attack for Lifelong Organization

Can’t Change Your Leader? Change How You Follow – Li Xin Bai – The Conversation – Harvard Business Review

Be More Productive by Waking Up Early

Video: “Broken Meetings (and how you’ll fix them)” | 43 Folders

My Favorite Books for Bosses | Fast Company

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action | Video on

Use Your Leadership Presence to Inspire – The Conversation – Harvard Business Review

The New 21st Century Leaders – Imagining the Future of Leadership – Harvard Business Review

Time Audit – How to do a time audit | Productivity501

Imagining the Future of Leadership – Harvard Business Review

The Abiding Tyranny of the Male Leadership Model — A Manifesto – Imagining the Future of Leadership – Harvard Business Review

What It Means to Lead with Presence | Fast Company

30 Habits that Will Change your Life

80 Ways to Steal Valuable Minutes for Your Work Day : Lifestyle :: American Express OPEN Forum

Routines, Systems, Spontaneity :: Tips :: The 99 Percent

The Top Ten Meeting Personalities | Premiere Global Services | Fast Company

Do We Celebrate the Wrong CEOs? – Conversation Starter –

12 Strategies for Leadership Success

Business Rules of Thumb / FrontPage

Jim Collins – Tools

Learn the five secrets of innovation –

Delegate Effectively by Skipping the How-To Session – Delegation – Lifehacker

Effective Scheduling – Time Management Training from

“Memorize Now” Helps You Commit Long Passages to Memory – memorization – Lifehacker

5 Powerful Lessons From Brain Rules – Freestyle Mind

Why I Hire People Who Fail – Jeff Stibel – Harvard Business Review 

Three Leadership Traits that Never Go Out of Style – Vineet Nayar – Harvard Business Review

Characteristics of Effective Teams: Stanford

3 bad things good leaders say. – Jon Acuff

Why So Many Leadership Programs Ultimately Fail « Peter Bregman

Leadership Wisdom from the Man ESPN Called the Greatest Coach of the 20th Century

Why Productive Teams Have 3 Kinds Of Diversity | Fast Company

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Psalm Titles
Gordon Wenham defends the titles on the Psalms and stresses their importance for a Messianic reading of the book.

Finances and Debt Reduction Resources
Thanks to Paul Tautges for another great collection.

Do men and women sin differently?
“A recent Catholic survey supports this idea that men and women sin differently. The study was based on the confessions heard by 95 year-old, Jesuit priest Fr. Roberto Busa and focused on the traditional seven deadly sins (pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, sloth).  The most common sins for men were lust, gluttony and slothfulness, while women were more likely to struggle with pride, envy and anger.” Also see Preaching to women who work in the home.

Posture and Study Habits Guide
And if you work for more than 2 hours a day at a computer screen, you’ll eventually need this onavoiding and curing neck pain.

Liberty transforms into evangelical mega-university
“Total enrollment now exceeds 74,000, with nearly 62,000 working toward degrees online in fields such as psychology, business, education, criminal justice and, of course, religion. That makes Liberty the largest university in Virginia — with more than double the number of students at No. 2 George Mason — and the largest private, nonprofit university in the country. ”

Proverbs can hit the Gospel Notes
Erik Raymond: “May God forbid that we zoom through this botanical garden of divine grace fit to thrill the nostrils of our soul!”

The World’s Largest Christian MOOC?

What’s a MOOC? It’s a Massive Open Online Course, the kind of free online education being pioneered by  CourseraUdacity, and edX.

And what’s perhaps the largest Christian MOOC? Possibly the Connected KingdomLigonier Connect collaboration that I hope you are a part of. Yes, the course we launched last week now has over 1,200 people signed up from 45 different countries including: Niger, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Uganda, Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, India, Thailand, China, Columbia, Venezuela, Uruguay and even Scotland! Here’s a map showing our students’ locations.

There’s still time for you to sign up (it’s free!) and join the rest of us in learning about the Old Testament Prophets and the Poets from Dr. R.C. Sproul. You can find Week one’s podcast introducing the course here, and week two’s podcast reflecting on the teaching about Elijah below.

Download here.