Tag Archives: Fun

My Picks for Wednesday 12-9-2015

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

I hadn’t thought about it this way before, but his suggestions make a lot of sense…

Why White Men Should Preach Noteless Sermons
-Nicholas McDonald
http://scribblepreach.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Contextualization-770x200.jpg“…if you can’t remember your sermon, it’s too dense. It’s too complicated. It’s too geared toward written communication. Memory goes hand-in-hand with simplicity and focus – two essential qualities for oral communication.”


Stephen Colbert shows us how it’s done…

Why Humility Always Trumps Inflammatory Rhetoric
-Jesse Carey
“The need to have an opinion about every political or social issue, or a comeback to every hot-take, requires us to claim to know things we might not actually know. It elevates pride in our personally held position, over the humility to actually think and pray about what God wants.

Some situations require us to take action and seek meaningful change. But that might mean putting aside our own ideas by acknowledging we don’t know all of the answers, but we know who does.

It means sharing our opinion about an issue, but at least being humble enough to admit, “I should have mentioned this before: I don’t know what I’m talking about,” when we don’t actually have all of the answers.”


This is not really all that hard to do, but it does require you and your volunteers to be intentional…

What Are They Remembering?-Danny Franks
“Your guests walked away from your service this weekend with a collection of stories. They are stories they’ll tell once they return to their cubicle, their neighborhood, their dinner table. They are stories of delight and stories of disappointment. They are stories that will cement a positive experience or further erode a negative one.”


I like this concept a lot. It can be really helpful in thinking through how we use technology in worship…

Lightsabers in WorshipJeremy Armstrong
“Here at worship leader we have long highlighted the distinction between “idol” and “icon” as a valuable one. An icon, such as a stained-glass window or a beautiful refrain of a worship song, points attention to God. It is masterfully crafted and intricately designed, but it has a purpose: direct attention and glory to God.

An idol, on the other hand, has no such intentions. The purpose of an idol is to point to anything other than God. Idols usually point to themselves, but sometimes they can be sneaky in sending our attention in a hundred different directions.

So again, ‘How are you going to use a lightsaber in your worship service?’ Will it be an idol or an icon?”


Moving from Star Wars to Star Trek, here’s a great Christmas gift idea. “Energize” your drinks with these transporter coasters…
Star Trek Transporter Pad LED Coasters Additional Image

My Picks for Tuesday 12-8-2015

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

Is Donald Trump Right About Closing the Border to Muslims?
-Russell Moore
rsz_1donald_trump_8567813820_2“Donald Trump…suggests that the United States should close the border to all Muslims—including Muslim-Americans traveling abroad. Anyone who cares an iota about religious liberty should denounce this reckless, demagogic rhetoric…

Make no mistake. A government that can shut down mosques simply because they are mosques can shut down Bible studies because they are Bible studies. A government that can close the borders to all Muslims simply on the basis of their religious belief can do the same thing for evangelical Christians. A government that issues ID badges for Muslims simply because they are Muslims can, in the fullness of time, demand the same for Christians because we are Christians.”


The Difference Between An Artist And A Worship Leader
-David Santistevan
the difference between“That’s the difference between an artist building a fanbase and a worship leader serving a community. It’s a different skill set. It’s a different goal.

An artist grows a fanbase. A worship leader grows worshipers.

An artist obsesses over their art. A worship leaders obsesses over the Kingdom.

An artist sings songs. A worship leader groans with desperation for Jesus.

An artist performs. A worship leader invites.”


What True Love Does-Christa Threlfall
thoughts on love + service via BrownSugarToast.com“Sometimes it’s easiest to serve those far from us. Sometimes we can be so concerned about another’s problem while neglecting the problems God has put right under our noses. Sometimes it’s more fulfilling to make a meal for someone else than to bless your husband with a sweet note. To speak a kind word to a stranger rather than breathing life into our children. To advocate for those in another part of the world while ignoring the hurting surrounding us. In our country, state, city, home.

It’s not that you should only serve those who are in your home and then stop. But you should start there.


Having spent 35 years in ministry I can tell you that there are a LOT of misconceptions about pastors. I always sort of took pride in the times that people were surprised to find out that I was minister because I didn’t fit into many of those stereotypes. I suppose it’s for those reasons that I appreciated this article…

10 Random Things to Know about Pastors
-Ron Edmondson
image
“Here are 10 random things to know about pastors. These are true for me, but I suspect they may be for your pastor too.”


Sorry Ben, this is pretty funny…
http://bizarro.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/bz-panel-12-04-15.jpg
Source: Bizarro

My Picks for Monday 12-7-2015

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

Joseph’s Pregnant Advent-Tim Fall

“I didn’t get any sleep last night. I haven’t been sleeping well for a while, in fact. My friends say that’s normal for someone about to get married, but it’s not just that. It’s about my Mary.

Don’t get me wrong. She’s the sweetest and wisest woman I’ve ever met. But right now we’re merely betrothed and haven’t had our wedding night yet. That’s why when she came to me a while ago with her news it caught me by surprise. Complete surprise.”


FAQ: should I curtail grandparent gift-giving?-Jen Wilkin
“Minimalist parents everywhere, I salute your desire to shepherd your kids toward simplicity. Do your best to pair it with forbearance toward silver-haired, soft-hearted spenders with whom you share a physical resemblance, a last name, or, at bare minimum, a deep love for your kids. Should you find this difficult, eggnog will help.”


This in no way is meant to minimize the tragedies (as if that could even be done) but, I did find this interesting and noteworthy…

We’ve had a massive decline in gun violence in the United States. Here’s why.-Max Ehrenfreund

“According to the FBI’s data, the national rate of violent crime has decreased 49 percent since its apex in 1991. Even as a certain type of mass shooting is apparently becoming more frequent, America has become a much less violent place.”


When Difficulty Feels Discouraging, Remember This
-Donald Miller
bible-full
“Each time I read the Bible I’m taken aback by how much we dilute the power of its stories with sentimentalism. The story of Noah and his ark has been reduced to a children’s story (a God-orchestrated massacre of all humanity) and the story of the Birth of Christ into a regal pageant complete with gifts and robed choirs of angels (A poor virgin and her new husband delivering a baby in a manger of a stable. Followed by an angry king slaughtering all children under two years old to try to kill off the Messiah.)…

One of the problems with sentimentalizing the text is that we begin to sentimentalize our actual lives. We begin to think the Christian life should be free of hardship.”


http://bizarro.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Bizarro-12-06-15-WEB.jpg
Click image for a larger version.

My Picks for Thursday 12-3-2015

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

I gotta be honest, 35 years in ministry and this has been a constant struggle. I like to think I’ve gotten better at it, but it’s still there. Carey Nieuwhof (as usual) has some words of wisdom on the subject…

5 Much Healthier Ways to Tackle Your Critics
-Carey Nieuwhof
handle the critics“Why is it that people who have accomplished very little with their lives are completely convinced they can run a multibillion dollar business far better than the CEO? Or their favourite pro team better than their coach? Or the nation better than anyone? (To which I always say, then get off your couch and do something with your life.)

Criticism is always easier than contribution.

And leadership means contributing, not just criticizing.”


I thought this was an interesting and insightful observation…

Prayer Shaming After a Mass Shooting in San Bernardino
-Emma Green
“These two reactions, policy-making and praying, are portrayed as mutually exclusive, coming from totally contrasting worldviews. Elsewhere on Twitter, full-on prayer shaming set in: Anger about the shooting was turned not toward the perpetrator or perpetrators, whose identities are still unknown, but at those who offered their prayers…

[However,] The most powerful evidence against this backlash toward prayer comes not from the Twitterverse, but from San Bernardino. “Pray for us,” a woman texted her father from inside the Inland Regional Center, while she and her colleagues hid from the gunfire. Outside the building, evacuated workers bowed their heads and held hands. They prayed.”

(To illustrate the point even further, click the word “prayed” above and read through the comments.)


Just passing through -Seth Godin
“After all, every one of his customers is just passing through, no need to care.

And that message comes through to the staff, loud and clear.

Of course, at one level, all of us are just passing through…

But most of all, life is better when we act like we might see someone again soon, isn’t it?”


There are some drummers who just don’t seem to age. He can take on the best in every generation. Of course, he’s a puppet, so…

Animal vs. Buddy Rich in 1978…

Animal vs. Dave Grohl in 2015…

My Picks for Wednesday 12-2-2015

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

This piece on Advent was written last year, but we’re still waiting…

This Is Not How It Should Be -Graham Gladstone
Advent“Advent is not a religious countdown towards Christmas. Advent is not four weeks of ‘mini-Christmas.’ Advent is not a cloistered huddle disconnected from the real world.

Advent is the Church’s way of saying ‘this is not how it should be.’

Racial inequality, domestic violence, abusive authority – this is not how it should be.

Advent is the Church’s way of lifting the veil of the status quo and saying ‘this way of life, struggling to make your own way, regardless of the cost’ is insufficient.

Advent is the Church’s way of saying ‘there is a Kingdom coming, one of righteousness and justice, where fairness and equity are everywhere.’

Advent is the Church’s way of saying ‘this will happen – Jesus will come again – and His coming again means endless peace and incorruptible justice.’”


Is Pro-Life Rhetoric Deadly? -Russell Moore
rsz_90382198_e68854aff2_b“Pro-life rhetoric is in the news right now, since a deranged man went on a shooting spree inside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic. Some on the Left would impute this killer’s actions to the rhetoric of pro-life organizations, especially about the horrifying revelations about Planned Parenthood that have come out over the past year. This is a wrongheaded and deceptive tactic, but it just might spur us to think about just what our speech should be as we think about abortion.”


Pressure at work?
https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/at-the-gum-factory.jpg
Source: Wrong Hands

 Take a couple of minutes and breathe…

 

 

My Picks for Tuesday 12-1-2015

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

This simple post resonated pretty deeply in me for some reason…

A Simple Rule That Can Make Life More Fun
John Richmond
Photo Credit: Loren Kerns, Creative Commons“Kids generally do not get in trouble for being silly—they get in trouble for being silly after an adult asked them to stop. It is often that last kid to stop that bears that brunt of the punishment.

This rule applies at every phase of life.

Knowing how to stop makes eating, drinking, investing, exercising, spending, skydiving, hang gliding, and everything else more enjoyable.

Interestingly, knowing how to stop is sometimes the best way to start.”


Following Rob Bell: The Edges of Faith and the Center of the Zeitgeist -Dustin Messer

“In a world where pastors wait with bended knees and clenched eyes for their heads to roll down the sandy slopes of a Libyan beach, the complacent, comfortable, Western church must reset her vision of bravery as it relates to the pastorate. There was a time—even in the West—where cultural capital was gained by being a Christian…

These days, the real adventurers are those who set sail for the risky land of Christian orthodoxy. The real brave men and women are those who consistently go to church, observe the sacraments, hear the word, and submit themselves to the discipline of the church. In an age of autonomy, it’s those who subject their thoughts, behaviors, and passions to an exclusive Sovereign that are the brave few. Those may not be the memoirs we’re interested in today, but they’ll be the ones that last tomorrow.”


Advocating for Life, After Colorado SpringsTrevin Wax

Colorado Springs Continues To Recover After Shooting“What does this do for “the cause?”

That is a question that presents itself to both pro-life and pro-choice people following last Friday’s rampage…

We should not be surprised to see pro-choice cheerleaders among the mainstream media and Planned Parenthood’s well-endowed politicians exploiting this tragedy, weaponizing the tragedy against the wider pro-life movement and painting all pro-life people as wild and zealous fanatics.

But our response should be different. We should grieve with those who grieve, mourn the loss of innocent life and consider the victims – the families who will pass through the weeks, months, and years ahead with a sense of loss and longing that will far surpass the volcano of words in our 24-hour news cycle.”


This is a beautiful little tribute to 20 years of Pixar animation…


Grandkid pic of the day:
Me and Oliver Lloyd work the HUB at WOCC Colerain
Capture

My Picks for Monday 11-30-2015

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

So far, I haven’t heard a definitive motive for the recent shooting at a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs. I’ve heard plenty of speculation, inferences and attempts to tie it to a “radical pro-life” agenda. There was at least one person involved in that day whose “radical pro-life” stance was on full display, but we haven’t heard very much about him…

Swasey’s Last Sermon-Jordan Standridge
garrett Swasey“Swasey was shot while saving people at a place he abhorred. He was an elder of a church that believed in the inerrancy of Scripture, and that abortion is evil.

Let that sink in.

A man who hated abortion and hated murder–who gave his life helping others–didn’t hesitate about going to Planned Parenthood to save lives.”


Church Growth:
Feeding the Flock In a Count-the-Sheep Culture
-Karl Vaters
Church Growth: Feeding the Flock In a Count-the-Sheep Culture“We want numbers to verify our successes.

There are two huge problems with that sentence – and they’re found in the words numbers and our.

First, not all successes have numbers to verify them.

Second, the successes of the church are not our successes.

We need to start getting comfortable, in the first instance, with Success Without Numbers and in the the second instance, with Success That’s Not Ours.”


The Christian Century No One Predicted  -Justin Taylor
9780801097461“No scholar—or as far as that goes, not even a madman—predicted that at the end of the twentieth century Christianity would not be recognized even as a cultural factor in Europe by the nations that today compose the European Union.

No prognosticator predicted that more Christians would be worshiping each Sunday in China than in Europe or North America.

And, what might be surprising to us today, even the greatest mission leaders at the Edinburgh Missionary Conference in 1910 had pretty much given up on Christianity in Africa. Most of the missionary leaders, even in their most optimistic moments, thought Islam had the upper hand and believed Africa would become a Muslim continent. Fast-forward and we find that the opposite is true, for there are more Christians than Muslims in Africa today.


What am I…?

8f86a1806ef001331d1b005056a9545d
Source: Off the Mark

My Picks for Wednesday 11-25-2015

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

Giving Thanks for My Taste Buds -Tim Fall
“When you stop to think about it – believe me, I have – God didn’t have to give us such wonderful senses of taste and smell so we can enjoy our food so much. He could have given us merely moderate senses so that we would eat what we need to for sustenance but not necessarily have the ability to enjoy food to such an extravagant degree.

And that’s what it is, extravagance. Our God has created us with extravagant grace and it’s a common grace for all, just like being able to breathe air and enjoy the feel of warm sunlight on our skin and marvel at the sights offered by a walk through a pine forest. To that list I add taste buds. Ex-tra-va-GANCE!”


What Is Thanksgiving Day?  -Stephen Nichols
“We might think that times of adversity and challenge would spawn ingratitude, while times of prosperity would spawn gratitude. Sadly, the reverse is true. ”


Laquan McDonald and the Christian’s Response
This article offers five suggested Christian responses. All are good but number 3  strikes me as particularly lacking:

“Engage in conversations with people who are different than you. Ask questions, listen intently, and share experiences. We all have much to learn from one another. Diversity of culture, opinions and experiences are a beautiful thing. None of us has the complete picture. Let our differences grow us, not separate us. Get outside of your comfort zone and engage someone outside of social media.”


Christmas Release Rundown -Jeremy Armstrong
getty
It’s that time of year! Christmas music everywhere! Here are some new releases from The Getty’s, Chris Tomlin, MercyMe, Paul Baloche and more.

 


8b5fcff06ef001331d1b005056a9545d
Source: Off the Mark