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.”


Amazing…

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: http://www.fender.com/en-NL/series/artist/marcus-miller-jazz-bass-maple-fingerboard-natural-3-ply-black-pickguard
“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)

http://bizarro.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Bizarro-10-25-15-WEB.jpg

 

Genesis 6:9-22

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Genesis 6:9-22
These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God. 10 And Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh,[a] for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. 14 Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.[b] Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. 15 This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits,[c] its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. 16 Make a roof[d] for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. 17 For behold, I will bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh in which is the breath of life under heaven. Everything that is on the earth shall die. 18 But I will establish my covenant with you, and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you. 19 And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female. 20 Of the birds according to their kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, of every creeping thing of the ground, according to its kind, two of every sort shall come in to you to keep them alive. 21 Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store it up. It shall serve as food for you and for them.” 22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
1. How do you like Me now?
2. Do you remember who I AM? Does this remind you?
3. Would you have built the boat?
4. Would you have been on the boat?
5. Are you on the “boat”?

 

God Has Done Something

god-space_1 copy“God has spoken and acted in Jesus Christ.
He has said something. He has done something.

This means that Christianity is not just pious talk.
It is neither a collection of religious ideas nor a catalogue of rules.
It is a ‘gospel’ (i.e. good news) –
in the apostle Paul’s words ‘the gospel of God…
regarding his Son…Jesus Christ our Lord.’

It is not primarily an invitation for us to do anything;
it is supremely a declaration of what God has done in Christ
for human beings like ourselves.”

– John Stott, Basic Christianity

Genesis 6:1-8

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Genesis 6:1-8
When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them,
the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in[a] man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim[b] were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown.

The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.” But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
1. What do you think about?
2. What is the “intention of the thoughts” of your heart?
3. What do you think it would take to find favor in my eyes?
4. Do you think it’s even possible…without My help?

 

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…

https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/grammatical-voice.jpg

Source: Wrong Hands

Genesis 4:8-16

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Genesis 4:8-16
Cain spoke to Abel his brother.[a] And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.[b] 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. 16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod,[c] east of Eden.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
1. How do you respond to those who seem to be favored more than you?
2. How do you serve them?
3. Are you their “keeper”?

 

I’m a Reds fan, but…

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/mlb/images/team_logos/social_media/og_1200x630_image/cin_1200x630.jpg
I want to begin by stating it clearly, unequivocally,
and for the record.

I am a Cincinnati Reds fan.

The 2015 baseball season has not changed that fact.

But…

When I finally came to the realization in the final weeks of the season that the Reds had not one shred of an iota of a chance at the post-season (which, in retrospect, I should have realized back in June) I started rooting for the Cubs.

Let there be no misunderstanding. I emphatically did NOT become a Cubs fan, but I did start hoping they would do well. I rooted for the Reds to beat the Pirates in their last series, not so much for the Reds record, which was beyond help, but so that the Cubs could get home field advantage for the playoffs.

It seemed like the thing to do, you know? I have a lot of friends who are die-hard, no-matter-what, forever-and-ever, world-without-end, Cubs fans. So, I hoped the Cubs would finish the season strong for their sake. Yes, I have a lot of friends who are St. Louis Cardinals fans, too…but rooting for the Cardinals was just too unthinkable.

So, like a friend of the homecoming king and queen standing along the gym wall, I watched them dance and wished them well.

What could it hurt?

It hurt bad.

The season is really over for me now. Oh, I’ll watch the rest of the playoffs and the World Series, but I have no emotional attachment to any of the teams.

It’s like I’m standing along the wall of the gym and I don’t even know the homecoming king or queen.

I think I may even be at the wrong school.

Lloyd

 

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…

 

Genesis 4:1-7

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Genesis 4:1-7
Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten[a] a man with the help of the Lord.”
And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted?[b] And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for[c] you, but you must rule over it.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
1. What are you offering Me?
2. Do you think I will find it acceptable? Why or why not?
3. Do you think you can “rule over” sin?
4. Would you like My help in that?