In Case You Missed It

Dr. Chuck Lawless recently posted at his blog: “9 Reflections from a Formerly Single Adult.” Dr. Lawless writes:

I’ve been happily married for almost 25 years, but I was 30 years old before I married. I was a full-time single pastor for ten years before that. Working with college students, writing for older adults, and doing church consultations over the last year have caused me to think again about how churches relate to single adults. Here are my thoughts, and I welcome the input of singles.

 

The Intersect project recently published an article giving three reasons why we should read Every Waking Hour, a new book by Benjamin Quinn and Walter Strickland.

It’s Monday morning. You pull into your parking spot, ready to invest your time and energy into work. But the satisfaction you’re looking for never arrives, and you’re let down. By week’s end, you’re weary of the same old routines.

 

On Sunday you show up to church expecting encouragement. Instead, you feel guilty because your work isn’t as important as your pastor’s. You don’t have time to do all the church activities on the schedule. Your forty hours on the job seem like nothing more than a means to support your family, give your tithe and invite people to church.

 

So as another week ends, discontentment sets in again. You conclude that God must not care about your work.

 

I’ve been in this position. I’m sure you have too.
What if we were to tell you that God does care about your work? That your calling to your vocation is just as important as your pastor’s? That God himself is a worker who created you to be a worker in his image?

 

That’s exactly what you’ll learn in Every Waking Hour: An Introduction to Work and Vocation for Christians. In it, Benjamin Quinn and Walter Strickland develop a biblically and theologically rich view of work, vocation, and they show you how to glorify God through everything you do.

 

Here are three reasons you must read Every Waking Hour

 

Dr. Jamie Dew recently published an interesting article on Pascal and the Pensées: dealing with our mortality. Dr. Dew writes:

“This negligence in a matter where they themselves, their eternity, their all are at stake, fills me more with irritation than pity; it astounds and appalls me; it seems quite monstrous to me. I do not say this prompted by the pious zeal of spiritual devotion. I mean on the contrary that we ought to have this feeling from principles of human interest” (Pascal, Christianity for Modern Pagans: Pascal’s Pensées, 191).

 

A Second Reflection from Part III: Two Popular Pseudo-Solutions

 

We spend hours thinking about and discussing trivial things in life. We might, for example, spend days or weeks preparing our lawn for a new landscape design that we hope to bring to our property. Likewise, we spend massive amounts of time think about what car we might purchase, what we want our wardrobe to be like, or following our favorite sports team. When it comes to these things we typically have plenty of time and devote substantial amounts of mental energy.

 

Art Rainer published a helpful article on his blog discussing how the place we choose to sit in a meeting can communicate to others.

You walk into your boss’ office. He sits behind his desk and you sit in front of it, directly across from your boss. In that moment, how do you feel?

For many of us who have found ourselves in that setting, we remember feeling uncomfortable or maybe even intimidated. But why?

 

Proxemics is the study of the space around us. Believe it or not, how you use space communicates something to those around you. Including seating arrangements.

 

For the past few years, I have tried to consider what the chair in which I choose to sit around my conference table is communicating to the other person, especially during a one-on-one meeting.

 

Before your next one-on-one meeting, consider the tone you want to communicate. Below are three common tones and how to communicate it through your seating arrangement.

 

Ed Stetzer recently wrote an article discussing his love/hate relationship with leadership.

I have a love/hate relationship with leadership.

First of all, I hate it because I’m not a natural born leader. I’ve never been able to step into leadership roles effortlessly. I meet people who just become leaders because of who they are. I have never been that person. I was a bookworm and a nerd. Leadership was not something I naturally inherited; it was a skill and a practice I had to learn. And learn I did.

Because of my experience, I think all of us can learn to be leaders. I don’t think leadership is simply something we are born with or not. We can learn skills, activities, and practices that help us in the area of leadership.

Finally, please check out this awesome video from Dr. John Ewart discussing church revitalization as a new “normal.”

In Case You Missed It

This week at the Peoples Next Door blog, Keelan Cook posted about how our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult.

David Roberts, a blogger at Vox.com recently wrote an article titled, “How our housing choices make adult friendships more difficult.” For a secular piece, Roberts is rather prophetic in his tone about the shape of society and its relationship with relationships.

Now, I want to be clear that this is a secular work. I am not recommending it wholesale. Roberts uses evolutionary theory and other things to ground his conclusions, and I am not there with him on some of that. However, I point out this article because it provides an excellent look into the culture around us. Pastors, church planters, and even local church members can benefit from reading this, as they try to engage the community around them.

Aaron Earls responded to the Starbucks “red cup” controversy in this post: “We All Got What We Wanted from the Red Cup.”

Yes, we’re all tired of talking about it. The color of coffee cups has dominated social media feeds and water cooler discussions for the past few days. But whether we care to admit it or not, everybody involved got what they wanted out of the Starbucks red cup controversy. While you may have lost track of who exactly is outraged at whom, the winners in this latest cultural kerfuffle are obvious.

At Christianity Today, Ed Stetzer writes about overcoming the discipleship deficit.

The topic of discipleship is one of increasing importance among many believers, and rightfully so. This topic deserves our attention even more today as church leaders realize there is a “discipleship deficit.”… This appears to be a trend across the spectrum of churches. Believers were failing to engage in taking the next step of their spiritual journey, and with regards to the steps that they were actually taking, there was somewhat a sense of dissatisfaction. Converts were being made. Churches are securing “decisions.” But far too few are growing into mature disciples of Christ.

At the Southeastern Literary and Art Magazine (SLAM), Ashley Burchett discusses editing style and mechanics.

“Imaginative writing has its source in dream, risk, mystery, and play. But if you are to be a

good—and perhaps a professional writer, you will need discipline, care, and ultimately even an obsessive perfectionism. As poet Paul Engle famously said, “Writing is rewriting what you have written.”

—Janet Burroway, Imaginative Writing

This quotation from the seventh chapter of Janet Burroway’s book Imaginative Writing is one of my favorite insights Burroway offers. If, as poet Engle notes, “writing is rewriting what you have rewritten,” then editing exists as a vital stage in the writing process, a stage to be revisited again and again and again. The following editing checklist includes the steps I take to edit style and mechanics in my academic and creative writing.

And finally, be sure to check out this interview with SEBTS Vice President of Student Services, Dean of Students and Professor of Theology, Ethics & Culture Mark Liederbach.

Mark Liederbach is the vice president for student services and dean of students at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also serves as professor of theology, ethics and culture. Liederbach shares about growing up in a Catholic family, how he ended up teaching at a Baptist seminary and what projects he is currently working on.

In Case You Missed It

Earlier this week, Dr. Bruce Ashford published an article at Desiring God discussing a renewing support for God-glorifying rap. Dr. Ashford writes:

Many people have recognized the corrosive and subversive nature of gangsta rap. Unfortunately, many also have neglected to recognize rap as a legitimate art form. But it is a legitimate form of artistic expression. Perhaps the best way to describe rap is to say, as Adam Bradley has, that it is poetic meter rendered audible. It is both music and literary verse, both word and song.

It is not merely speech or precisely song, but a mixture of both. “Simply put,” Bradley writes, “a rap verse is the product of one type of rhythm (that of language) being fitted to another (that of music)” (Poetics of American Song Lyrics, 37). The rapper’s toolbox includes rhythm, rhyme, and wordplay, and is often characterized by an emphasis on the rapper’s unique life story. So rap is an art form with potential to glorify Christ and serve humanity.

Dr. Joe McKeever is a retired pastor from New Orleans and was on the front lines during the destruction of Hurricane Katrina 10 years ago. In this recent article published on the Louisiana Baptist Message, he discusses how the recent Ashley Madison information leak is “a different kind of Katrina.” Dr. McKeever writes:

I got caught up in the Ashley Madison scandal and did something really horrendous for which I need to confess and apologize:
I became prideful because my name is not on that notorious list.
Those who have been ‘outed’ are worse sinners than me, I thought. My prayers became disturbingly similar to the boastful confession of the Pharisee in Luke 18:11 – “God, I thank you that I am not as other men…”
And I was wrong. So embarrassingly wrong.

Ed Stetzer recently sat down with Thabiti Anyabwile to discuss leading the diverse body of Christ. Ed writes the following about Thabiti:

In case you don’t know Thabiti, he is one of the pastors for Anacostia River Church in Washington DC, he served as an elder and pastor in churches in North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and the Cayman Islands, and he is the author of several books.

Earlier this week, Art Rainer posted this article on his personal blog on the importance of goals. Art writes:

Goals are powerful, but often overlooked, tools. Imagine you piled your family into your car for a weeklong vacation. Your spouse is excited. Your kids are excited. And about two minutes into the trip, your spouse asks, “So where are we going?”

You respond, “I don’t know. I had not thought about it.” I imagine what follows is not pretty.

There is no way you would embark on a weeklong vacation without knowing the destination. You would not waste your vacation driving aimlessly. And yet, we do this all the time with other areas of our lives. We embark on journeys without identified destinations, without goals.

In a recent post on the Christianity Today Her-menutics blog, Liuan Huska reminds us that Moses and Jesus didn’t have their dream jobs by 30, either, and that calling may look more like a wandering journey than a singular career path. Liuan writes:

People start asking the question, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” when kids are in preschool. I’ve had many responses along the way—a stock broker, a doctor, a journalist, to name a few. When I graduated high school ten years ago, I assumed that by now I would finally be living the answer to that question. Instead, I’ve given up on finding one.