Weekend Picks ~ 12-16-2016

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This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

I was just talking with someone about this last night. I always find these posts by Joe Carter helpful…

9 Things You Should Know About Aleppo and the Syrian CrisisJoe Carter
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The recent struggle for control of the Syrian city of Aleppo has brought renewed attention to the ongoing war crimes that have devastated the Middle East nation. Here are nine things you should know about Aleppo and the Syrian crisis…


When Christmas isn’t Good NewsRob Tims
6491-fx-6-0-12-6-8-0Christmas was not good news for Herod. Jesus was a threat to all he held dear.

And Jesus could be that for you and I today.

King Jesus wants my hard-earned crown.


No Gullible Bumpkins Here: Christmas and the Virgin Birth
Mike McKinley
…roughly a century ago influential theologians began to doubt whether or not that was actually true. They pointed to the virgin birth of Jesus as a superstition that intelligent, modern people simply couldn’t accept. After all, we all know that there is no such thing as a baby being born to a virgin. That’s impossible! If Christianity was going to flourish in the scientific era (or so the thinking went), it would need to jettison these kinds of “myths” that were an insult to our reason and intelligence.

On the surface, that might sound reasonable. But if you look closely, you will see that it does not really do justice to Luke’s narrative. Mary and Zechariah and Elizabeth were not gullible bumpkins who didn’t know how babies were made and believed fantastical stories (nor, for that matter, were Luke and his original readers). They found the whole idea just as unlikely as you and I might, but that’s exactly the point! The great theological truth that Luke is bringing to the forefront by including these events in his “orderly account” is that God’s salvation will come in a seemingly impossible way.


This is an excellent, thoughtful and encouraging article…

If Abortions Are Declining, Why Keep Fighting Roe v. Wade?
Aaron Earls
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the current rate of 12.5 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44 years is the lowest since 1971.

From a pro-life perspective, this is undeniably good news. But should this lead us to change our tactics in the work to prevent abortions?

With this news and previous stories like it, many Christians have taken this as an opportunity to step out of the public and political fight against Roe v. Wade and move toward easier cultural and political wins that could lead to a continued reduction of abortions…

My ultimate desire would be to see us so change the narrative that abortion is all but eliminated prior to any laws ever being changed, and the laws are changed to reflect the perspective of the citizenry.

But that final part is more than ceremonial. It matters what our laws say about life. Pro-life absolutely means more than outlawing abortion, but it doesn’t mean less.


I have a very good friend who has ministered in the same small town in Ohio for several decades. I doubt that I will ever have the kingdom influence that he has had…

A Word of Encouragement to the Small Town Pastor
Ron Edmondson
Many times the small city pastors compare themselves to the big city churches. They compare numbers rather than progress. They compare size rather than context. They compare notoriety rather than influence.

And, because of that, many times, they don’t know how well they are really doing.

I see the connections, networking and influence the small town pastor has and I wish I could have this kind of Kingdom influence in my city. I see the respect they command in their community and know, in my context, in many ways they are miles ahead of me.

Small city pastor. God is using you. You are making a Kingdom difference. You just sometimes don’t know how well you are doing.


Forgiveness…
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Pearls Before Swine – Click image for a larger version.

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