Category Archives: Other People’s Stuff

Things I found interesting today.

My Picks for 10/26/2015

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

Why Corporate Worship Is Good for the Soul
David Santistevan
Hibernate“What happened to the idea that corporate worship is an individual responsibility? You are the church. Your heart needs to be felt. Your voice needs to be heard. It’s not just about being entertained or getting ‘filled up.’ We come because we’re a part of the family and we have a voice. …So let’s lay down the complaining. Let’s stop hating each other. Let’s stop looking for something new to criticize. Let’s take responsibility and go to church for more than making sure it lines up with your preferences.”


Largest-Ever Image of Space
“Space is big, but it’s never been quite this big. This composite image taken by astronomers at Germany’s Ruhr-Universität Bochum is, they claim, the largest image of space to date. It shows a long swathe of the Milky Way, photographed piece by piece over a period of five years from the university’s observatory in the Chilean desert.”

For all my under-appreciated bass playing friends…

The Neuroscience of Bass: New Study Explains Why Bass Instruments Are Fundamental to Music
Fender Marcus Miller Jazz Bass with authentic Marcus Miller signature under the pickguard. Serial no. Q074671 Made in Japan Features: - Natural - Maple fingerboard - 3 pick guards: original 3-ply black, white and chrome - Two-band active EQ - Badass® Bass II™ bridge More information:
“It seems the importance of rhythm players, though overlooked in much popular appreciation of music, cannot be overstated.”

Let’s close with a little Bizzaro
(click the image for a full size version)


Weekend Picks

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

I was a little surprised to find that I resonated with a lot of what he has to say in this Leadership Journal piece:

Six Church-and-Culture Issues I Don’t Care About Any More
Karl Vaters
Six Church-and-Culture Issues I Don't Care About Any More“When I say I don’t care about these issues, I mean it. I don’t think they’re bad. I’m not upset. If your church does them, fine. I don’t want to take a sledgehammer to them. I’ve just shrugged them off due to apathy…”

I liked that one well enough that I followed his link and found this one from a few days ago. More good stuff…

Six Church-Insider Issues I Don’t Care About Any More
-Karl Vaters
Six Church-Insider Issues I Don't Care About Any More
“I grew up in the church. But in recent years I’ve found myself caring less about many of the issues I used to think mattered so much. I’m not just apathetic about them, I’m passionately apathetic.

Apathetic enough not to care. Passionate enough to write about them anyway.

I’m not even upset about them. It’s more about setting priorities than being right or wrong….These are issues that church insiders care a great deal about, but outsiders (and most regular church folks) don’t care about at all.

I’ve decided to join them.”

Insightful and frightening analysis on how school shootings catch on.

Thresholds of Violence – Malcolm Gladwell
In the years since Columbine, school shootings changed; they became ritualized.“The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”

I’m part of a church who cares very deeply about communicating the Gospel in ways that touch the hearts of people in our generation. I’ve heard this criticism more than once…

Stop Watering Down the Gospel – Marty Duren
The Areopagus“Is there such a thing as watering down the gospel? Yes, but making the gospel clear is not it. Making the gospel understandable is not it. Making sure hearers comprehend the truth of the gospel is not it.”

I suppose it’s because my new web site is just a week old, but this one hit a little close to home…

Source: Wrong Hands

Thursday’s Picks

The Church is Not a Drive-Through Restaurant Daniel Hyde
“Because of cultural influences on the church in America in our time, we tend to treat the church like a drive-through restaurant. We think to ourselves, “It will always be there and it will always have what I want, when I want it.” So, some of us attend worship once a week, some twice a month, and, sadly, some of us only occasionally. We come to get something and to leave. If it is not there, we go somewhere else.”

The Two Review Technique – Seth Godin
“…if you work to minimize criticism, you have surrendered the beauty and greatness of what you’ve set out to build.”

Ben Carson wouldn’t vote for Muslim president because he takes religion seriously (COMMENTARY) – Trevin Wax
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the North Texas Presidential Forum hosted by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas on October 18, 2015. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Mike Stone *Editors: This photo may only be republished with RNS-WAX-COLUMN, originally transmitted on Oct. 19, 2015.
“Today, the people who were most astonished at Ben Carson’s comments seem to think that a person’s religious beliefs should be totally irrelevant to how they govern or to how one votes. But that kind of religious reductionism is silly to most religious people. We know that religion really does matter in our daily life and how we think and how we live. So, ironically, Carson is the one taking Muslims and the Islamic faith seriously when he says he would not vote for a Muslim for president.”

If you need a smile today, this should do the trick…


Wednesday Morning Picks

The Rebellion of Song – Michael Kelly

“Christian, sing today. Sing tomorrow. Sing the songs of the rebellion, and fight on.”


How Confidence Makes Us Kind – Russell Moore
“‘This country is spiritually in decline,’ or ‘If God doesn’t judge this country, he will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.’ Writer Marilynne Robinson notes that those who speak in such a way rarely include themselves, or their circles of friends, in this assessment. It becomes another form of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ demarcation. Moreover, it feeds into a sort of apocalypticism that feels invigorating, like, she says, a panic attack—with a jolt of adrenaline to fire up the passions. But this hysteria is actually a betrayal of Christianity itself, since it assumes that history is ultimately in the hands of humanity.

The opponents of the gospel often picture the onward advance of secularization and of moral “freedom” as the inevitable march of historical progress. Christian orthodoxy is on the ‘wrong side of history.’ They believe this, but, too often, so do we. The culture around us knows what it means when they see a church in perpetual outrage and bluster. They know that we are scared. How different this is from the mindset of Jesus himself.”

Now THIS is how to decorate your house for Halloween!
Monster House
More photos here.


Tuesday Morning Picks

How Should Christians Think About Socialism? – John PiperHow Should Christians Think About Socialism?

I like John Piper’s answer this question.

“Well, I suppose I should put all of my misgivings up front to say I am not an expert in political science or economics. So take it for what it’s worth. Here we go…”

Six Marks of a Healthy Sexuality – Gary Thomas6 Marks of a Healthy Sexuality Final“Seeking a healthy sexual relationship is a fair and good and wise and holy pursuit. These six marks aren’t exhaustive; I’m sure there are many more, but here’s a short, non-scientific test to see how you and your spouse are doing in regards to sexual intimacy…”

The Post-Modern Church Leadership Checklist – Carey Nieuwhofchurch leader's survival checklist

“In some ways, it’s like leading into a head-wind rather having the tail wind your predecessors may have enjoyed. As a result, seeing results might take longer. Leadership is probably going to be harder. It’s certainly going to be more complex. But it definitely will be worth it, and the potential for impact is huge. With that in mind, here are 10 things church leaders need to thrive in our post-modern, post-Christian context…”

And, last but not least,
Lucrative Films presents:



Monday Morning Picks

Putting the Mini in Ministry
I really appreciated this article reminding us of “Small things we can all do to make a big difference in our churches.” Basic stuff that we sometimes forget.

It’s Ok to Be the “Away Team”
11_Tune_ICOM_JN“The church is now the visiting team in our culture. The crowd is not cheering for us. Any measure of “home-field advantage” the church may have once enjoyed has vanished. A new game plan is needed.”

The power of fear – by Seth Godin

Fear will push you to avert your eyes.

Fear will make you think you have nothing to say.

It will create a buzz that makes it impossible to meditate…

or it will create a fog that makes it so you can do nothing but meditate.

Fear seduces us into losing our temper…

and fear belittles us into accepting unfairness.

Fear doesn’t like strangers, people who don’t look or act like us, and most of all, the unknown.

It causes us to carelessly make typos, or obsessively look for them.

Fear pushes us to fit in, so we won’t be noticed, but it also pushes us to rebel and to not be trustworthy, so we won’t be on the hook to produce.

It is subtle enough to trick us into thinking it isn’t pulling the strings, that it doesn’t exist, that it’s not the cause of, “I don’t feel like it.”

When in doubt, look for the fear.


Saturday’s Picks

Notecard Answers for Why I Believe the Bible
“As Christians we are to always be ready to give a defense of the hope that is within us (1 Pet. 3:15). The basis of this hope is our confidence that the Bible is God’s Word. It is trustworthy and sufficient…I’ve put these 5 together as something of a quick reference notecard for why I believe the Bible. I’m sure there is an acronym or something clever but I’ve not thought of it.”

Boredom Is Not a Problem to Be Solved
Stunning Teenage Girl in the Woods“You know the best antidote to boredom, I asked them? They looked at me expectantly, smartphones dangling from their hands. Think, I told them. Thinking is the best antidote to boredom. I am not kidding, kids. Thinking is the best antidote to boredom. Tell yourself, I am bored. Think about that. Isn’t that interesting?”

What if moms talked to each other the way they talk to their kids?
Very Funny!

Today’s Picks

Just some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing…

From Marty Duren:
11 Things NOT to Get Your Pastor for Pastor Appreciation Month

“Almost every pastor will express gratitude for almost any gift, unless, perhaps, it’s an industrial size canister of Hai Karate aftershave. So, in the vein of “How to be a Blessing not a Curse,” here’s a list of 11 things NOT to get your pastor to make Pastor Appreciation month that much more enjoyable…”

From Michael Kelly:
When Joy and Sorrow Erupt in the Same Refrain

“We live in the dual realities of what God has done and what He’s going to do; of the joy of salvation and the longing for redemption; of what is and what will be. And though we might not be aware of both of these realities in our daily experience, they’re there. Living together in our hearts, as the people of the already but not yet. Every once in a while, though, joy and sorrow erupt in the same refrain, just as they did in the days of Ezra.”

From David Santistevan:
7 Traits of a Trustworthy Worship Leader

“Worship leading is all about trust. Think about it. Worship is one of the most vulnerable acts in the universe…Worship cuts right to the heart. If the people you are leading don’t trust you…it doesn’t matter how talented you are. It doesn’t matter how amazing your band is. It doesn’t matter how strong your setlist is. They’re not going to follow…”

From Carey Nieuwhof:
How to Lead When You’re Over Your Head

Carey, as always, offers a ton of insightful and practical leadership advice.

Flipping Out

This longish article is perhaps the most entertaining thing you will read today. I admit that I have some regrets in life. The biggest, at this point, is that I didn’t watch game 5 of the ALDS between Texas and Toronto. But really, why would I watch? Because, as a close friend has said, “you never know when you’re going to see something you’ve never seen before.”