Is Your Girl Drowning in Busyness?
“We all get 168 hours each week. Between school, sports, and friends, girls are spending eighty hours of that time. Add in some time for sleep, and 133 hours are gone. Now factor in family time, involvement in church, and time for fun, and we’re well past 168 hours.”
Christianity and Homosexuality
Tim Keller reviews Washed and Waiting and Is God Anti-Gay? I’ve read Washed and Waiting and while appreciating much in it, I share Keller’s discomfort with the author’s self-identification as a gay Christian (though not practicing) because it tends to make make same-sex desires part of one’s essential identity, rather than who you are in Christ.
Have You Been Burned by a NANC Counselor?
Outstandingly courageous leadership from Heath Lambert. While rightly defending and praising much of the quality work done by biblical counselors, Heath honestly admits there have been failings and not only apologizes but also commits to greater accountability structures. Way too often the response has been “Well if you think we’re bad, let me tell you how bad secular counselors are!” as if one wrong cancels out another. I’m hugely encouraged by Heath’s initial few months as Executive Director of NANC.
7 Reasons Pastors Burn Out I’d say #1 and #7 are the most common and they are both rooted in the inability to see oneself as a limited creature with physical needs. And if you want a great remedy, you only have a few more weeks until Al Martin’s You Lift Me Up is published.
Jesus and the Old Testament in John 3:1-15
This is a great piece on how Jesus shows Himself as the fulfillment of the Old Testament in John 3, demonstrating once again that the best commentary on the New Testament is the Old Testament.
Two is better than one: Who knew?
Al Mohler reports on the pragmatic case for marriage: “Put bluntly, the failure to marry dramatically increases the likelihood of poverty and continued economic retreat.”
George and Barbara Witness a Wedding For President George H. W. Bush and his wife Barbara recently attended a lesbian wedding and even acted as witnesses. Al Mohler argues that this private acts sends a huge public message.
Free Audio Book Free download of George Marsden’s biography of Jonathan Edwards.
Experimental or Experiential Paul Helm says experimental preaching “ought not to be some exotic, occasional exercise, but rather part of the staple diet of the Christian church, by which the wheat is separated from the chaff, and the believer is established in the faith that works by love.”
Scudder: The Christian’s Daily Walk
The Christian’s Daily Walk is a devotional written by the English Clergyman Henry Scudder during the 17th Century. In its days, it was commended by such contemporaries as John Owen and Richard Baxter. It has now been turned into an App.
Some fascinating research from Tony Reinke about why C.S Lewis’s refused to use a typewriter.
If I was a man headed to Seminary…
Kim Shay: “I am not a man going to seminary, but I, and every other Christian woman, need the support of family and friends in our life long spiritual education. We need encouragement so study deeply, and with purpose. We need prayer support and encouragement to keep learning and to keep living what we learn.”
Grace doesn’t mean you get to do what you want
“We’re fleeing an older generation’s judgmental, legalistic, work-for-your-salvation mentality. That much is good. We’ve rebelled against their theology by adopting the idea that grace actually excuses the sin we want to practice. After all, we’re saved by grace and not works, right?”
Jesus is not your sin manager
Owen Strachan”: “But make no mistake: grace never softens our thirst for obedience. It actually inspires us to go on the warpath against our unholiness. We look to the cross as believers, and we see there lavish forgiveness, but also our fundamental approach to sin. In the power of the cross, we are to kill sin. We are to realize that it is a deadly serious matter. Jesus did not die to manage our sin. He died to kill it.”
The Real Navy Yard Scandal
Conservative pundit and former Psychiatric doctor, Charles Krauthammer, reflects on society’s abandonment of the mentally ill. I’m afraid many parts of the church aren’t much better.
Ask RC: What is R2k Theology
“At their worst, however, R2K theology can silence the prophetic voice of the church. While many R2K advocates would be comfortable with individual Christians speaking to the great moral issues of our day, the church is forbidden to do so. ”
Art, Nakedness, and Redemption Bill Vandoodewaard: “To reject nudity in art and film is no denial of artistic ability, nor of created beauty. It is a realistic, careful, humble acknowledgment of God’s redemptive work in Christ and His precepts for a grace transformed, holy, happy life in a fallen world.”
Kingdom of Darkness Doug Page is a Southern Baptist physician who’s given his life to help heal the physical and spiritual wounds of a Central Asian people living in darkness.
Losing is good for you Whether your kid loves Little League or gymnastics, ask the program organizers this: “Which kids get awards?” If the answer is, “Everybody gets a trophy,” find another program.
Ask “What’s strong?” not “What’s wrong?”
“A study of people being videotaped while learning to bowl illustrates this nicely. Half of the group watched videotapes of their spares and strikes while the other half watched videos where they failed to knock all the pins down. When they bowled again later, the group who had watched the positive videos outperformed the other group significantly.”
Adoption Plans Some of you will remember praying for Martin Alan, the baby son of sermonaudio.com president, Steven Lee. Not only is Martin now doing really well, but the experience has inspired the Lees to adopt a Chinese baby girl with severe heart defects. It’s amazing how God can bring so much good out of so much pain.
Well worth reading Tim Challies’ review of a book that’s going to be much talked about in the next few months.
5 Reasons Christians Do Not Visit The Sick And Dying
“One of the most important tasks in a pastor’s ministry is one of the most neglected: Going to hospitals to care for the sick and dying. It has practically become a lost art in the younger generations of pastors. Why is this? Here are 5 of the most common reasons Christians do not go to hospitals and visit the sick and dying.”
The Power of Preaching
Paul Wolfe’s testimony is something I hear again and again from those who have gone through great trial. He’s also written a great book, My God Is True, on the lessons he learned while suffering with cancer.
Growing Up With An Autistic Brother In The 1990′s
“Today approximately one in 88 children are identified as on the autism spectrum. But in 1990, autism was just a blip on the radar. You didn’t hear about support groups, special training for educators, clinical studies. All that a small autistic child had was his family.”
Bible Reading Shifts Towards Internet
“Four in ten Bible readers (41%) used the Internet on a computer to read Bible content during the past year, while 29% searched for Bible verses or Bible content on a smart phone or cell phone, 26% listened to an audio version of the Bible, 26% listened to a teaching about the Bible via podcast, and 17% read an electronic version of the Bible on an e-reader such as a Kindle or iPad.”
Google Hangout with Dr. Sinclair Ferguson This Friday at 12pm ET, I’ll be joined by Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, Ligonier Teaching Fellow and former senior minister of First Presbyterian Church, Columbia, S.C., for a conversation on pastoral ministry, some of the concerns facing the evangelical church, and an update on what ministry looks like for him since his retirement.
Eating, Body Image, and the Gospel
Amie Patrick: “In retrospect, I’m tremendously grateful for my struggles with food and body image because God, in his great mercy, used them to bring me to the end of myself. I was a high-achieving, performance-driven young woman who hadn’t faced many challenges I couldn’t figure out how to overcome in my own strength.”
Why Should You Support 20 Schemes
Here’s an old friend from Scotland telling us why this outreach ministry to the Scottish housing schemes (projects) is worthy of our support.
Cell Transplants May Be a Novel Treatment for Schizophrenia
Unlike traditional approaches to treating schizophrenia, such as medications and deep-brain stimulation, transplantation of interneurons potentially can produce a permanent solution. “You can essentially fix the problem,” Dr. Lodge said. “Ultimately, if this is translated to humans, we want to reprogram a patient’s own cells and use them.”
Can Evangelical Chaplains Serve God and Country
Al Mohler: “Can chaplains committed to historic biblical Christianity serve in the United States military? That question, though inconceivable to our nation’s founders, is now front and center. And the answer to that question will answer another, even more important question: Can religious liberty survive under America’s new moral order”
Mental Illness and the Church
This is so depressing. “48% of evangelical Christians believe that with Bible study and prayer ALONE, people with serious mental illness like depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, can overcome mental illness.” What have you done to lead, mislead, or confuse people in this area?
Memoirs of the Way Home
My colleague and friend Dr. Jerry Bilkes has just published his second book, a Bible study which introduces readers to the little-known Old Testament books of Ezra and Nehemiah and demonstrates that they are an expanded version of the story of the prodigal son, preaching the same message of conversion. If you enjoyed Jerry’s profound yet simple book on the parables, you’ll love this book too.
Danielle The creator of this video writes: “I attempted to create a person in order to emulate the aging process. The idea was that something is happening but you can’t see it but you can feel it, like aging itself.”
“So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). [HT: Tony Reinke]
Five Common Expressions I’ve Never Understood
R.C. Sproul Jr.: ”Common sense may be more common than sense. There are any number of shorthand aphorisms in the world and in the church that shape our thinking, but don’t stand up to scrutiny, at least right away.”
Our Make-Believe Parents: When Adam Becomes More Fiction Than Fact Jared Oliphant: “By “historical Adam” we mean this: if there had been surveillance footage of the garden of Eden, it would have captured dust from the earth in motion, taking the form and shape of the first male human being. It would have captured a single set of footprints all over the garden and, at some point, would have captured two sets of human footprints and audio of a conversation between a couple and a serpent (among other things).”
The Eminent Preachers of Ross-Shire
This brought back many memories as I began my ministry in Lochcarron, Ross-shire, and preached in a number of the churches mentioned in the Days of The Fathers in Ross-Shire. They were changed days, sadly, but the fragrance of these men and their ministries still lived on.
Paul Levy: “If we’re struggling with jealousy, and I suspect most of us in ministry are in some form, whether it’s in our own congregation or the church that is thriving down the road, first of all we need to admit it and then pray for the people we’re jealous of.”
Nine Lessons for Breakups
“Some of a single person’s darkest days fall after a breakup. You risked your heart. You shared your life. You bought the gifts, made the memories, and dreamed your dreams together — and it fell apart. Now, you’re back at square one in the quest for marriage, and it feels lonelier than square one, and further from the altar, because of all you’ve spent and lost.”
What advice would you give to an abused wife?
Phil Monroe: “Sadly, pastors and church leaders have not always dealt well with victims of domestic abuse. One of the reasons for this is that when victims get the courage to speak up, they are often frazzled, emotional, confused, and no longer able to be flexible. In contrast, the offenders are often self-righteous, well defended, logical, and armed with scripture to point out the sin of their victim spouses.”
This is your brain on Facebook
The social affirmation that comes when people like your status updates is addictive, which might help explain why people tend to spend so much time on Facebook.