Kindle deals for Christian readers
When I was cutting my teeth in ministry, I was full of youthful angst, longing for more opportunities to grow and serve. A local pastor approached me to lead worship for his congregation each Sunday. He didn’t have any money and or musicians, but it was a chance for me to learn to plan, recruit players, and lead a church weekly.
But I wanted more. I wanted to be full-time. I wanted authority and recognition. And I began to believe I deserved the position, the pay, and the platform.
“Not yet,” a veteran pastor told me. “You still have a lot of growing to do.”
Jared C. Wilson:
I notice the interesting contrast between verse 20 and the declaration of Luke 1:6, that this couple was righteous, blameless keepers of the law. That God would call this doubting old man, who won’t believe when an angel is right before his face “blameless and righteous” is just further proof that there is no faith so little that it can’t be saving, that it’s not the strength of the faith that saves, but the strength of the Savior.
I share Tim’s sentiments here.
Jeff Brooks shares a guaranteed way to kill your fundraising.
The natural mode of our hearts is expressed well in the Latin phrase lex talionis, which means “the law of retaliation.” When someone crosses us or makes demands on us our initial reaction is to respond in the same way. Why not? This is the way we’ve heard that the world works. Right? Retaliation is sinfully seductive and bitterly sweet.
Tim Keller and John Inazu:
To live as resident aliens entails a certain vulnerability, but it does not always mean persecution. Claims that American Christians today are facing persecution sound tone-deaf not only to secular progressives but also to many non-white religious believers who have long been actual minorities. That isn’t to say that demographics aren’t changing, or that Christians in the United States don’t face legal abuses and miscarriages of justice. But it is a caution about the use of language and a posture of the heart.
Whatever our circumstances, Christians are called to pray for rulers and nations. We know the love and grace of Jesus, who gave himself for us while we were yet enemies, and who calls us to serve our neighbors sacrificially whether they believe as we do or not.
Trevin shares a few reflections on the recent SBC annual meeting:
St. Louis was ground zero for one the most eventful, encouraging, and emotionally-charged meetings we’ve seen in recent years, from debate over the Confederate Flag to issues of religious liberty for all Americans, and of course, the unprecedented outcome of the presidential race. On the first ballot, J.D. Greear, pastor of the Summit Church in Raleigh, NC had the most votes, but not the required 50%. On the second ballot, a run-off between the top two candidates, Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist in Memphis, TN had the higher tally, but did not cross the 50% threshold due to 108 disqualified ballots which are counted in the total, but not assigned to either candidate.