Thursday Picks ~ 4-6-2017

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

Interesting and insightful…

The Strange Persistence of GuiltDavid Brooks
McClay is describing a world in which we’re still driven by an inextinguishable need to feel morally justified. Our thinking is still vestigially shaped by religious categories.

And yet we have no clear framework or set of rituals to guide us in our quest for goodness. Worse, people have a sense of guilt and sin, but no longer a sense that they live in a loving universe marked by divine mercy, grace and forgiveness. There is sin but no formula for redemption.

The only reliable way to feel morally justified in that culture is to assume the role of victim…


I appreciate so much this thoughtful testimony…

Why I Gave Up AlcoholSarah Bessey
I think that conviction has gotten a bit of a bad rap in the Church over the past little while.

It’s understandable. We have an overcorrection to a lot of the legalism and boundary-marker Christianity that damaged so many, the behaviour modification and rule-making and imposition of other people’s convictions onto our own souls.

But in our steering away from legalism, I wonder if we left the road to holiness or began to forget that God also cares about what we do and how we do it and why.

Conviction is less about condemnation than it is about invitation. It’s an invitation into freedom. It’s an invitation into wholeness.

Perhaps our choices towards those invitations from God are really an intersection for our agency or free will and the Holy Spirit’s activity – maybe that’s where transformation begins.

I quit drinking because I felt like God asked me to quit drinking. I’ve never regretted saying yes to God.


Warning: Challenging stuff here…

Raising Persecution-Ready KidsMelissa Edgington
Lately I have felt such a sense of urgency. Why are Christians continuing to treat this faith as if it is a poorly producing side business in the middle of a hugely prosperous life? Why are Christians abandoning their church families so their kids can play baseball on Sundays? Why are Christians refusing to teach their children the hard truths of Scripture, and why are they reluctant to learn them themselves? Why are Christians satisfied with a faith that only vaguely informs their decisions, that only mildly affects their thinking, that only produces warm feelings and never heart-crushing, soul-wrenching grief over their sin?

Our children are facing a different world than we have known. Their faith is going to have to be real and alive and immune to the mesmerizing but useless distractions of this world. Our children are going to need a faith that devours their entire lives, that dominates every thought, that changes the way they see and hear and understand everything around them. We simply cannot continue to categorize our lives, badly arranging our priorities around things that don’t last. If we keep sending the message that this faith is just part of our lives and not the only thing that matters, then our children will continue to believe us.

They will settle for a version of Christianity that will not stand.


I Went to Amazon’s Physical Bookstore And…
Randall Payleitner
Amazon BooksOne of the largest tech companies in the world just opened a physical store where 90+% of the merchandise for sale is based on 500-year old technology…

Here were my biggest nine impressions after spending an hour at the newest bookstore in Chicago…


Financial planning…
Non Sequitur – Click image for a larger view.

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