Tag Archives: Culture

My Picks for Tuesday 11-3-2015

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

Thank God for Your Normal Boring Life– Kevin DeYoung
“If your life feels ho-hum and humdrum, if you struggle to find contentment in the ordinary and mundane, if you are tempted to break free from the predictable routine of life with stupidity or sinfulness, consider for a moment that your boring life is the envy of almost person sitting right now in a hospital bed or a refugee camp. Consider how many friends and family members would gladly trade in all their frenzied commotion and uncertain schedules for a single day of your plain-jane normalcy. The only people bored with boring are those who have never had to live without it.”


Ladies, this one’s for you…

Do You Have a Really Good Man?Melissa Edgington
men“If we will only learn to appreciate our really good men for who they are what they do, then one day, when they leave the last Oreo for us or when they make sure our car registration is up to date or when they wink at us across a crowded room, we’ll remember that real romance is so much more than diamonds and whatever Nicholas Sparks dreams up. The really good men deserve better than our constant criticism and dissatisfaction. The grass isn’t greener in chick flick land. It’s astroturf. Stick to your own yard, where your really good man is probably mowing. That’s true romance.”


Beyond the Ballot Box-Mark Taylor
Nov3_MT_JN“Today I will vote against legalizing marijuana in Ohio where I live. I will do so because I believe legalized marijuana use will add to family brokenness, traffic tragedies, and other kinds of heartbreak in the city where I live. I will cast my vote out of my Christian conviction about how the outcome of this election will damage the fabric of my community.

But if marijuana use becomes legal in my state, or if the next president of my country turns out to be an anti-Christian scoundrel, I will try to remember Johnson’s words and refrain from wringing my hands. ‘Even the best laws change only behavior,’ she said Saturday. ‘But we are in the business of changing hearts.'”


3801 Lancaster and the Mystery of Kermit Gosnell
-Trevin Wax
Gosnell-3801-Lancaster-620x4363801 Lancaster succeeds in giving us insight into the mind of Dr. Gosnell. But this documentary asks a bigger question: How did we let this happen? Following that narrative thread reveals a picture of breakdown at every level of government bureaucracy.”

“Pro-life or pro-choice, the viewer of this film is likely to agree that Dr. Gosnell was guilty and his imprisonment just. Still, the pro-choice viewer may be uncomfortable with the chilling logic of late-term abortion. What does it matter, really, if we are inducing “fetal demise” with toxins while in the mother’s womb or “snipping the neck” just moments later? What is the difference? In either case, we have a dead body in front of us and blood on our hands.


Today is election day. Vote smart…

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Click cartoon for source.

 

 

 

My Picks for 11-2-2015

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

I’ve always been drawn to “anti time management” articles. I’m sure that says something bad about me.

Five Ways to Stop Spending Time Managing Time -Rick Segal
Five Ways to Stop Spending Time Managing Time
“While in no way exhaustive, here are five applications Christians might employ for buying back time for the purposes for which they were given it by God.”


This will be very hard to read if you’re squeamish (like me), but ignoring it won’t make it stop.

We’re Burning Babies-Jonathon Van Maren
“I’ve now gone through the second set of leaked Planned Parenthood videos, the threepartseries entitled “Fetal Disposition,” or in layman’s terms, how to dispose of the babies once they’ve been turned into corpses. I’ve seen more in my work as an anti-abortion activist than I can possibly write, but for some reason, this series has left me more nauseated and heartbroken than the worst abortion footage I’ve ever seen. There is something so ghoulish, so hideous, and so cannibalistic about this panel of calm, well-spoken women discussing how to deal with the piles and piles of irretrievably shredded infants. It’s times like this when I shudder for our society, for our churches, for our communities, for all of us, as we calmly tramp down sidewalks while the sewers beneath us run crimson with the blood and body fluid of our silent, murdered offspring. Little girls and little boys should bring about questions like pink or blue? Not crematorium or freezer?”


This seems like the perfect follow-up to the above article…

Comforting Those Caught in the Crossfire of the Abortion Debate-Sue Liljenberg

When we talk about abortion in public, what is our default attitude—grief or condemnation? Do our billboards, bumper stickers, and social media posts wound or heal? Brothers and sisters, let’s reach out to post-abortive men and women. Let’s tell them they’re loved, and that Jesus makes all things new. While there is a much-needed effort to rescue the unborn, may we apply the same effort to reaching the wounded and the ashamed.”


I love these! I want to DO this!
Installed today

Click image for more!

My Picks for 10-29-2015

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

Why “God’s Not Dead” Resonated, and What It Missed
– Trevin Wax
godsnotdead“…to see the situation as a “battle of the minds” and the solution as “winning the argument” is to miss the deeper part of the diagnosis. The problem is not merely argumentation, but environment. The environment (created by unexamined presuppositions) is what makes the argumentation so persuasive….

…the answer lies, at least in part, in the very thing God’s Not Dead left out – the Church, the people of God who showcase the reality of the resurrection through our common life together. If college makes it plausible to believe “God is dead,” the Church should make it hard to believe anything other than “God is alive.”


I’ve found myself on both sides of this question at different times and with different people…

Why Play Secular Songs in Worship? Travis Jeffords

secular-songs
“This week I had a good friend of mine ask why we play secular songs in worship instead of just overtly sacred songs. Here’ what I told him…”


I have sung with various groups over many years and I can attest to the truth of this study in my own life…

The Ice-Breaker Effect: Singing Together Makes Us Bond More Than Other Activities Lecia Bushak
singing


And don’t forget:
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My Picks for 10-27-2015

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

Oprah and the trouble with our DIY spirituality – Joel Miller
oprah diy spirituality
“…Stephen Mansfield identifies and describes four pillars of Oprah’s take on faith and spirituality. Nos. 2 and 3? “Opposing religions can be casually blended” and “Religions can be redefined at will.”

Not only does this approach disregard what various religions and traditions say about themselves, it elevates the individual over them, who now arbitrates for himself what’s true, what’s good, what’s beneficial, and so on.”


From another point of view…

In Defense of Oprah’s Belief Series – Jes Kast-Keat

“If one watches Belief and is looking for creeds and confessions to adequately defend the Christian faith, then you will be disappointed. Yet, if one watches with a generous heart to the spirit of lived religion, one might be encouraged to find the words of Jesus — “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” — being lived out in authentic ways.”


Wisdom from Seth…

“No one clicked on it, no one liked it…” -Seth Godin

“…you can architect content and sites and commerce to get a click. But you might also choose to merely make a difference.”


We Cannot Be Silent – book review by Tim Challies
(Click on the image for Amazon purchase info.)

“We Cannot Be Silent is Mohler’s attempt to speak truth into this moment of crisis. He does so with boldness and conviction. He looks first at the cultural shifts that preceded and birthed this revolution. Then he shows what the Bible says about sex, gender, and sexuality. He lays out the current and future challenges to the church. He concludes with brief answers to thirty challenging questions: The biblical authors did not have the category of orientation, so aren’t they talking about something different than we are? Is homosexual sin worse than other sins? Are people born gay? Should a Christian attend a same-sex wedding ceremony? Can a person with same-sex attraction change his or her orientation? If so, how?”


I-V-vi-IV
Ever wonder why all those pop songs sound kinda the same? Well, it’s pretty simple; They all use the same 4 Chords!
(Warning: I wish there wasn’t, but there’s an f-bomb toward the end.)

 

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

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
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“‘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.