Links I like (weekend edition)

7 Deadly Diseases of Pastoral Ministry

Nicholas McDonald:

Full time ministry is dangerous. The temptation toward spiritual pride is deadly, and it infects the body like nothing else. Pastors suffer uniquely with this temptation. Because people cast their gaze on us, we’re tempted to believe we’re more important, more righteous, or wiser than we are. Spiritual pride is constantly creeping into my heart, and I need to be forced to face my idols squarely on to demolish them. With that in mind, here are 7 dangerous diseases particular to full-time ministers of the gospel.

IRS Audited 69% of Filers Who Claimed Adoption Tax Credit

Joe Carter:

There are valid disagreements to be had about what constitutes incentivizing the good and how such policies should be implemented. But I suspect most Christians would agree that adoption is the type of supererogatory act that should be encouraged. That is why many Christians lobbied the U.S Congress to approve the adoption tax credit, an addition made in 1997 which allows American families to offset the high costs related to the process.

But why should Christians care that the IRS gives special increased scrutiny to those who claim this exemption? Because it provides a disincentive to adopt a child and could potentially leave thousands of children without parents.

Bring our Child Home from Ethiopia & Serve a Widow

Josh Reich and his family need your help:

I blogged yesterday about where we are in our Ethiopian adoption process. As I shared yesterday, we are on the brink of bringing our child home from Ethiopia. We are “on deck” as they call it, meaning that at any moment we can get a phone call telling us who our child is and when we need to be in Ethiopia to meet them and continue the legal process of our adoption. The way it looks now, we will be taking 2 trips to Ethiopia and bringing our child home to our family by the end of 2013. It is hard to believe we are this close since beginning this journey back in February of 2010.

So far, God has provided in incredible ways and allowed us to raise almost $20,000 towards our adoption. For the last leg of the journey, we need to raise $9 – 15 thousand more. The range comes from us not knowing how much travel will be when we make our two trips to Ethiopia.

God Doesn’t Need Your Kick-Butt Worship Band Or Your Flaming Sermon

Stephen Altrogge:

I’m a big fan of excellence (as opposed to those of you who are big fans of awfulness). When we do things with excellence it is a reflection of God, who does all things with excellence. I firmly believe that we should strive for excellence in every area of the church. I’m so grateful for our talented worship team, outstanding children’s ministry team, fantastic sound crew, creative youth team, and all the other folks in my church who work so hard for the glory of God. Coming to church should be a “most excellent adventure” (See Bill & Ted).