The motivation behind this list is half tongue-in-cheek and half conviction I’ve felt from overvaluing God’s great gift of books. Idolatry blinds; and I don’t want my love for reading to hinder my spiritual life, my relationships, or my Kingdom fruit.
But two episodes in the last week deserve extra attention because they demonstrate that there now appears to be no limit to how far the opponents of religious liberty are willing to go in requiring every individual—even Pastors, Imams, and Rabbis—to affirm same-sex marriage and other basic tenets of the sexual revolution.
Whether it’s a close friend asking me to pray about a troubling diagnosis or a neighbor asking me to pray about her working relationship with her back-up babysitter, I, of course, agree wholeheartedly and have the best intentions to follow through. But, even if I do follow through, the prayer I pray is often two seconds—“Oh, and I pray for Anne”—during a casual car prayer or a brief breakfast beseechment in front of my daughters or while reading an article about which states have the highest number of sinkholes (Tennessee, Florida) or which Weird Al song most defines you (“Harvey the Wonder Hamster”).
The leadership team at International Power committed to cut the collective time their company spent on email. They wisely began with themselves and reduced the number of emails they, as leaders, were sending. Within a few months, their email output dropped 54 percent and their email input dropped 64 percent. This means the email overload was actually caused by the leaders, and the organization was very willing to send fewer emails when the leaders began sending less to employees. The result was a 7 percent increase in productivity across the company. The implications of the research are clear: If you complain about the number of emails you receive, look at the number of emails you send.
Tim explains why he’s not a fan of this saying.
As I set aside my Bible reading plan this year in favor of soaking in shorter passages, I realized that I didn’t need to choose between the two—nor did I want to! The benefits and joy of journeying the entire way through God’s salvation story are too good to miss, so I decided to do both.
Last year was the first time I had used a pre-made reading schedule (pdf courtesy of Ligonier Ministries), and it was helpful in numerous ways. I’d encourage you to go through the entire Bible for these 17 reasons.
TJ and Jenn Menn:
Casey came into state custody when his little body tested positive for drugs at birth. Otherwise, he would have gone to live with his parents under a bridge in a tent. Ironically, once social workers took him into care, Casey was homeless, too. He stayed in the hospital because case managers couldn’t find a home for a beautiful 3-day-old boy.
With the laundry still piled high from a road-trip with our three other children younger than 4, we took a call asking us to welcome Casey into our home.
Bringing back the backlist: The most important word in your vocabulary
Starting today, I’ll be periodically showcasing some of my favorite posts from years past. Here’s a preview of today’s:
I’ve had to learn and relearn this lesson: sometimes I have to say no to things. I have to do it at work in order to actually get the work I need to do accomplished. I need to do it at home with my outside work (let me tell you, it’s a bad idea to be doing a ton of freelance while writing a documentary and also doing sermon prep and maintaining a regular blogging schedule). I need to do it sometimes even with church (though that’s pretty rare). I’ve had to do it when I’m asked to preach during a particularly difficult season (like when I was trying to write a term paper).
And I’ll probably have to do it again.