Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wanting too little

"Too often I settle for bread, or good sushi, or a shiny new gadget, or an entertaining movie, or a comfortable sofa, or quick relief from an annoying cough, or a successful career, or a sense of accomplishment, or a happy marriage, or loyal friends, or well-behaved kids… when Jesus wants to give me so much more..."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New heaven and new earth

Real meaning of lordship

Glen Scrivener has written an outstanding little essay on what it means that "Jesus is Lord." Here's the opening:
What does the phrase “Jesus is Lord” mean?

I’ve heard people go on about the Lordship of Jesus at great length, but in every statement in which the phrase appears I could have easily swapped “Jesus is Lord” for “God is big” and there’d have been no material change in the meaning.
Too true. Of course, Glen doesn't stop there. I recommend reading the whole article for an explanation of what "Jesus is Lord" really means.

Friday, September 24, 2010

No more chefs required

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On humility & 'mock-holiness'

I thought about pulling a quote from this article on gritty humility and mock-holiness, but it's short and you probably ought to read the whole thing.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Not obligated to conform

Welcome to the front, dude

This may be the best picture (and certainly the best comic strip) on the reality of the Lord's Army.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Worth asking

Here's a good quetion: ""What is your church doing in the community, or around the world, that could not be done just as well by a good civic club made up of non-Christians?

Walking by faith, running from sin

Jeff Weddle notes that "Walking by faith means running from sin," and it doesn't mean that sin can't touch a Christian:
Some people think that “since I have faith in Jesus” I can go anywhere and be with anyone and remain safe from sin. They have an assurance that since they trust Christ temptation loses its power.

This belief lasts until shortly after falling into sin.

Too true. I recommend Jeff's whole article.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

'Feel the beat'

Phillip Fletcher: "A local church is to be the heart of the community in which it resides. The streets are the veins and arteries. We the believers are the blood that carries the oxygen of the Gospel."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Transfiguration light

It's a little longer than most articles linked from this site, but this is a really enlightening article on Mark 9:14.

Joy in suffering

"In our culture we strive to avoid pain, make work easier and pursue pleasure. We have appliances and tools to make every job effortless. We make boundaries to limit relationships that cause pain. Parents do everything to give their children enriched, trouble-free lives. None of this is bad in itself. The problem comes when we don't recognize that, some difficulty or having to work at something, makes us better. Spiritual life is like exercise. You have to exercise a long time to see results. It's not always fun and it sometimes hurts, but we end up stronger."

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Matthew 7:1 and the Koran

This little essay is barely three paragraphs long, but it pulls back the curtain on one very telling point about the hoo-hah surrounding that guy in Florida who threatened to burn a Koran.

More on problems with youth ministry

Dan Edelen has posted another installment in his series on the problem with youth ministry. Here's a sample:
The present-age role for the youth minister should be not as a semi-cult leader for teens but as a resource for parents. The youth minister’s main goal should be not ministering to teens directly but teaching parents to become the primary transmitters of the faith to their own children. And frankly, that needs to start long before the teen years.
That's not the only spot-on observation Dan makes; consider:
Somehow, our churches have devolved into age and affinity group ghettos. We’ve lost the coherence of a family, of being the Body of Christ wherein one organ cannot exist without the others. Instead, we break down everything—and everyone—into their generic components.

That’s wrong.
Yes, it is. Dan also shares insights on the church, rites of passage and how Christians spend our time. If you have the time, I strongly recommend Dan's whole article

Monday, September 13, 2010

Objective tests for spiritual health

Usually I post only a couple of links a day, but I've been away for a while, so here goes.

This one looks unusually strong for that sort of thing: 10 Questions to Diagnose Your Spiritual Health.

Related (and flat-knocking): 12 Questions to Find Your Functional Saviors.

And here's one more: "So is your community a community of performance or a community of grace?"

I usually don't care much for these kinds of assessments, but these are all rich.

Inverse martyrs and lazy saints

Christian, be sure you never become an antimartyr or grow lazy in the Lord.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Update on updates

I was feeling sick this week and didn't update the blog. By yesterday afternoon I had grown so sick with some kind of intestinal bug that I became dehydrated and ended up in the hospital, where I'm typing this entry today. I'm feeling much better now and expect to go home tomorrow (Sunday). Thanks for visiting TS, and I hope to be writing and linking again Monday.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tuesday commentaries link (9/7/10)

This one is a repeat link, but it's also the mother lode of free, high-quality, downloadable Bible commentaries: Dr. Constable's Expository Bible Study Notes, written by Thomas Constable, senior professor of Bible exposition at Dallas Theological Seminary. He offers his study notes on each book of the Bible as a .pdf file. I downloaded them all years ago over a 56K modem, and it was well worth the time and effort.

On 'Winning through losing'

"People don’t like to lose. People are fond of saying that they hate losing. They’re winners. They’re people you’d want on your team. However, I’m calling on everyone to give losing a second look. Scripture says that you’ve got to lose in order to win. In other words, if you can’t lose, you’re not going to win. The Bible magnifies losing."

Monday, September 06, 2010

Ranting on worship

On preaching Christ

Ray Ortlund has posted a good little essay on the difference between preaching about Christ and preaching Christ. Here's how it begins:
There is a difference between preaching Christ and preaching about Christ. Preaching Christ is presenting him so clearly and directly that the people experience the sermon this way: “It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified” (Galatians 3:1). Preaching about Christ is presenting ideas related to him. It’s a good thing to do. But preaching Christ is more profound, more daring and more helpful.
The whole essay, all four paragraphs, is probably worth your time.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Quite a job

Friday commentaries link (9/3/10)

Agape Bible Study offers online commentaries on four OT books (Genesis-Numbers) and six NT books (John, Romans, Hebrew, James, Jude, and Revelation). The commentaries are written from a Roman Catholic perspective. So far I've checked out the Agape study of John's Gospel and find the commentary better than most other free online commentaries (and many high-dollar print volumes).

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Remember number nine

This sounds right: nine characteristics of a good preacher, according to Martin Luther.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Textweek again

In case you haven't heard, I'm delighted to report that textweek blog is once again being updated. If you preach from a lectionary, textweek, along with the companion site, The Text This Week, are invaluable resources. Even if you don't practice lectionary preaching, the sites are still helpful--as long as you preach or teach from the Bible!