Tuesday Picks ~ 3-21-2017

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

You are not unknown to God…

To the Unknown PastorJordan Standridge
shepherd-carrying-sheep1It is said that there are creatures in the depths of the oceans that remain undiscovered to this day. Astronomers keep finding new stars and new planets each and every year that, for millennia, have been seen only by God.  Every undiscovered animal, plant, and planet brings glory to God by the mere fact that He sees them, and He gets glory from their beauty even if He is the only one who knows that they exist.

In much the same way… I believe that God has men whom He has specifically placed around the world that bring Him glory every single Sunday, and no one other than their congregations know anything about them…

While we all want to complain about the state of the Church… I think it’s helpful to remember… that there are many men around the country and around the world who faithfully shepherd their congregations, joyfully counsel them, diligently prepare and spend as many hours preparing for sermons that they will preach to a couple dozen people as others do to thousands, and please their Savior through their joyful attitude throughout.

Some good (and hard) advice here for preachers…

Preaching and PersonalityGary Millar
http://www.azquotes.com/picture-quotes/quote-preaching-is-truth-through-personality-phillips-brooks-120-45-39.jpgSome people are more interesting to listen to than others. I’m sorry, but it’s true, and it’s now out there. Some people make me sit on the edge of my seat, and others have the gift of encouraging me to slide back as far as I can go. So what makes the difference? What makes a talk engaging rather than sleep-inducing? Some people have written books about this, but even the very best of these leave something out. Yes, we can make sure that our language is arresting, and our structure clear, and our application rich and our biblical theology compelling—but there is another factor which is slightly harder to address. It’s the personality factor…

…They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery, and there’s something in that. But it’s also deeply inauthentic. In contrast, there is real freedom in accepting that you are who you are, and learning to speak in your own voice. Although I would say though that this is more easily said than done.

Confessing the Sin of PlatformingJ.A. Medders
My heart hatched plans to artificially build a platform, increase my influence, and widen my readership. The blueprints for the tower were coming together. And then, conviction came right on time. Freedom rang too. God exposed the slimy residue of my heart. It wasn’t fun. It was quite embarrassing to admit—to tell my wife, my elders, and my agent—and now you. A blessed embarrassment.

I believed the lie I could make a name for myself for the sake of Christ. Baloney. That’s not how the Kingdom works. Sure, it might be how some Christian publishers work, but it’s not the way of Christ.

The Prodigal’s BrotherJennifer Johnson
But for me, this story is also an uncomfortable reminder that I don’t get to control God. If I’m only serving my Father as a way to get blessings and favor from him, my behavior actually lacks integrity. And if he is truly my Father, he is free to parent me and bless me however he sees fit, and what he does for others – even if I’ve been “better” than they are – is none of my concern.


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