As well as reading a lot of books, I also read a ton of articles every week. Here are some of the articles that I’ve read recently and have found interesting, helpful, challenging and encouraging. I hope that they will be the same for you, my dear readers…
YOU WILL FAIL SOMETIMES. DON’T QUIT.
“I used to think that there is some point in the Christian life when you arrive, when you finally see that your heart and head and spirit align in some sort of beautiful sphere of sincerity and goodness and true devotion to Christ. But the older I get and the more I have begun to understand why the Bible teaches that we need armor.”
11 Things That Hinder Discipleship in a Church
An insightful list to consider and to be challenged by.
“For Christians, we humbly turn from trusting in that which is not God and put our hope fully in him. When we realise that we are looking to idols again, we repent and turn to the living God. We praise and glorify him as the God who is the source of life, health, security and provision. We commit to love him and rely on him every day of our lives, through all the events of life.”
A society in danger of forgetting power of forgiveness
“We can only forgive the unforgivable in others if we experience God’s forgiveness for the unforgivable in ourselves. Remembering that might help us to be more merciful and more forgiving of others for their faults and failures.”
Holiness, Discipleship and IKEA
“The Bible doesn’t give you a contents list of all the parts that make up a Christian and it doesn’t give you a system of ‘do this then that will happen’. Instead the Bible give you the desired outcomes of the life of a Christian and the ability to get there. However, contrary to a 1,2,3 approach, the Bible calls for dependance on the Lord, a desire and surrender to the Holy Spirit for change and an utter dependance on the completed work of Christ on the cross.”
THERE IS POWER IN COUNTING IT ALL JOY
“Now, to “count it all joy” does not refer to being happy about the trial itself. Nor does it take away your permission to grieve. James is not saying, “No matter how painful your loss is, you need to just put on a happy face. Pretend, if you have to. Don’t let anyone see how much you hurt.” No! True joy is not a spiritual façade.”
Chronos, Kairos and the Fat Controller
“Recently, I was asked to provide counsel to a pastor in the area of time management. It gave me a wonderful opportunity to pass on my experience as a “human doing” rather than a “human being.” My mistakes have formed me as much as the good things I’ve learned. With age comes experience and, in God’s grace, some late-learned wisdom about how not to do things!”
How Important Are Associations for Pastors and Churches?
“This motivation to associate together is less about the benefits for our own church and far more about how we can benefit our sister congregations and our fellow brothers in ministry. Why? The reason is simple: brothers, we are in this together.”
Blindness to Kindness
“The world and even thousands of Christians give no praise and thanks to God for millions of daily, life-sustaining providences because they do not see the world as the theater of God’s wonders. They see it as a vast machine running on mindless natural laws, except where our heart’s rebelliousness and self-exaltation find a suitable opportunity to find fault with God and justify our blindness to a billion acts of kindness toward his defiant creation.”
The problem with the ‘born gay’ theory
“Given the multiple factors that lie behind our fragile personalities and which range from genetics, learned behaviour, family and non-family trauma, hormones, tragic circumstances, and psycho-social patterns, it’s a bit hard to make strangers responsible for all the internal contradictions experienced, when they ask not unreasonable global questions about human nature.”
Will I Suffer More If I Follow Jesus?
helpful thoughts by John Piper on this question that many people wrestle with.
Choose Your Friends Wisely
“There are many areas of life where you can make wise choices that will be rewarded, and poor choices that will result in destruction—perhaps none so dramatically as who you choose as friends. Some poor choices (like choosing dinner on a menu that doesn’t turn out that good) are secondary, and you might get away with them. You will never get away with an unwise choice of friends. It will hurt you and haunt you. Don’t let it happen. God tells us exactly how to become wise. Walk with—that is, befriend and spend time with—those who are wise.”
‘Theology Matters’—Why One Worship Leader Can No Longer Support Hillsong, Elevation, Bethel
“Instead of judging music by its popularity or your church’s traditions, says Morgan, “Compare it with Scripture…. There are no gray areas in God’s Word.””
Afshin Ziafat on Christians Loving Their Muslim Neighbors Well (Video)
A helpful short video to consider.
Christians Need More Intergenerational Friendships
“Intergenerational community is part of God’s vision for the church. But it takes some effort. Fortunately, we can build new friendships that cross generational lines by taking some simple steps…”
THERE’S NOTHING MORE THAN THE GOSPEL
“IN THIS INTERVIEW WITH SCOTTY SMITH, HE SHARES MORE ABOUT HIS STUDY AND THE IMPORTANT TAKEAWAYS FROM PAUL’S LETTER TO THE CHURCH IN EPHESUS FOR CHRISTIANS TODAY.”
One thought on “Saturday Snippets (July 17)”
The associations point is interesting. Whilst not disagreeing with the article, I think it exemplifies a huge flaw – the association and partnership should not only be of pastors. If you network churches in a region who have a similar focus and doctrinal basis etc, you also need to network their members.
I end up viewing this from the more mundane and practical level, but the churches may have within their membership people with skills which their own church has harnessed, but which other churches could to – legal, accounting, building trades, working with people with addictions, refugees, etc.
Helping network the treasurers, church managers, worship leaders, women’s ministry, children’s work, facilities, etc helps us support fellow Christians in their careers and acknowledge their skills, and allows them to share the talents and skills that God has blessed them with, with the wider church.
I’ll stop being controversial 🙂