Weekend Picks ~ 3-24-2017

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

Keep the main thing the main thing…

Production or Virtue?Bryan Elliff
productivityYes, there is no doubt that we need to be setting and achieving godly goals. And there certainly are times when we need to examine our productivity. However, should we act as if our production were God’s chief concern? I think not. What he cares about far more is virtue.

By virtue I mean the kind of person we are, our character, the carefully-cultivated dispositions of our heart that manifest themselves in our everyday actions and reactions. It is not always what you accomplish that matters, but how you do it, why you do it, and ultimately who you are even when you can’t do it.

Are Christians in the USA Persecuted?Scot McKnight
Screen Shot 2017-03-18 at 10.31.28 AMFor today I want to trot out what I read recently in Mary Eberstadt’s little book It’s Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies.

My contention is that we should distinguish between breakdowns of genuine freedom of speech and persecution of Christians, we should recognize that some in the latter think their freedoms are restricted in a way that is not only un-American but hostile to faith, and it would be good if we could at least have a reasonable conversation about these distinctions and the reality of the latter. To call this alarmism simply doesn’t help and it’s yet another good time for us all to read some Rich Mouw on civility, beginning right here: Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncommon World.

Here is some stuff from Mary Eberstadt’s It’s Dangerous to Believe

9 Things That Are Still Great About Facebook
Cheryl Magness
9 Things That Are Still Great About FacebookFacebook has had a bad year. From the nastiness of the 2016 presidential campaign, to the increasing difficulty of sorting real news from fake, to Facebook’s practice of filtering and controlling what you see in your news feed, Facebook has become the social media site everyone loves to hate.

I regularly see posts from friends who say they are looking to cut back their Facebook use and spend more time on real life. It’s a good goal. It is far too easy to give social media too much time. There is convincing research suggesting we are becoming physically addicted to our devices. So taking steps to limit and manage the way we use social media is smart.

Yet with all of its problems, Facebook still has a lot going for it, and I for one am not willing to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Here are some of the ways Facebook continues to be a positive presence in the lives of many…

I deeply love and respect every senior pastor I’ve had the privilege of working with, but I have experienced a few of these in 35 years of being a church staffer…

Eight Things Senior Pastors Do that Demotivate Staff PastorsMarty Duren
demotivation sadness frustrationI have been both a staff pastor and a lead/senior pastor; I have both given and received, been the victim and the victimizer. Being honest, I’ve probably been the offender more than the offended.

It is imperative when in the lead role to lead the rest of the staff well. Being human, and sometimes lacking a full palette of leadership skills, results in a staff who is less-than-enthusiastic about coming to work, carrying out the vision, or supporting the lead pastor. They’ve been demotivated. From years of being on staffs, leading pastors, talking with senior pastors, and talking to staff pastors, here are a few ways I’ve seen a lead pastor can demotivate the staff pastors…

How can you not love this guy?

How Steven Curtis Chapman Fought Through the Tears to Play ‘Cinderella’ Again
Steve Curtis ChapmanIn 2008, Maria, the adopted daughter of Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman, was accidentally struck by a car driven by her brother and killed. She was the inspiration behind Chapman’s hit song “Cinderella.”

Before his first concert after her death, Chapman had said he would never play “Cinderella” again, but something changed that night with his sons in the band.

In this excerpt from his book Between Heaven and the Real World, Chapman describes what happened next…

Clickbait costume drama…
Wrong Hands – Click image for a larger view.

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