This was great:
Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra:
American Protestants are keeping their children in the faith at a higher rate than Catholics or the unaffiliated, according to the latest study from the Pew Research Center.
Have you ever forgiven someone who didn’t deserve it? Have you never forgiven anyone?
Regardless of which category you fall into, this post is for you.
In many respects, our culture has come to reject the idea of forgiveness. According to the Bible, however, man is in great need of forgiveness.
I’m a millennial who loves magazines. My generation isn’t known for thoughtful reading of books, much less magazines, and especially in print. Still, I consider my magazine subscriptions to be indispensable for understanding the times.
Not everyone is convinced of the goodness of magazines.
Every church will have its deficiencies. Local church members must not allow discontentment to fester in their hearts and minds. Rather, we should seek to be “change agents” for the health and well-being of the body of which we are a part. I am not sure who first coined the (fairly cheesy) phrase, “Be the change you seek,” but I find it to be full of wisdom–provided someone is not seeking to bring about change in a divisive way in the life of the church. In short, all of us are either “problem observers” or “problem solvers.” If the local church lacks fellowship among a particular demographic, we should be seeking to fill the gap–using our gifts to strengthen that particular dynamic of the local church. If the music in the church is wanting, we should be willing to fully use our gifts and talents to help better that aspect of the church’s life–or to encourage those in the body to do so through a use of their gifts in that area. If we find ourselves to be some of the only young adults or couples in the church, we should be active in inviting others in that stage of life to worship and fellowship with us. If the church’s hospitality is lacking, we should be seeking to model what it looks like to be hospitable. All of this should, of course, be done in loving communication with and humble submission to the elders and deacons of the church–but you should not wait for elders and deacons to take the initiative on bringing about change where we believe that we see deficiencies.
I spoke alongside Tim Elmore at the ETCH conference and heard him give a great illustration on the difference between life-giving and life-grabbing leaders. According to Tim, life-giving leaders view leadership like chess and life-grabbing leaders view leadership like checkers. As you know, in checkers, all the pieces are the same. In chess, the pieces are different from one another with different strategic strengths. A leader who views leadership as a game of checkers treats all the people the same, while a chess-playing leader understands that people are different and should be treated differently. A wise leader knows it is foolish to treat every person the same. Here are ten reasons you must treat each person you lead differently.
John Piper offers a charitable response to Andy Stanley:
What young preachers need to be clear about in deciding how they will preach is how God planned for the glory of Christ to be revealed to more and more people as the centuries pass. When Stanley says, “For the first 300 years the debate centered on an event, not a book,” that’s not quite right. The debate centered very largely on which written witnesses provided a trustworthy interpretation of the event. The church realized immediately that everything hung not just on whether the event happened, but on what it meant: What were its roots, and accomplishments, and implications for life and eternity? Who was this man, Jesus? Whom can we trust to tell us? How then shall we live? Who can tell us this with authority? That was the issue, not just the event.
A favorite from the archives:
We Christians do love our quotes—and there are so many brilliant ones to choose from! But by golly, we sure do seem to be a repetitive bunch. Far too often, we’re using the same quotes, over and over.
So yesterday, inspired by a friend’s lament of the increased use of the Samwise “everything sad is coming untrue” quote from Lord of the Rings, I took to the Interwebs to get your feedback, asking what you believe are the most over-used quotes from Christian authors.