Six-Pack (66)

Welcome to the latest Six-Pack!

As usual, here are six of the best pieces I’ve recently read, related to ministry or faith or who-knows-what!

If a half-dozen feels daunting, start with the *Picks of the Week*, and move out.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Shocking Stats About Preaching
From ChurchLeaders.com, Here are some numbers on a task that plays into every rhythm of every week for me and many others.

2)  Six Heretics Who Should Be Banned from Evangelicalism (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Tim Challies recently earned himself all sorts of attention for his series on heretics — that is likely worth its own post. Relevant Magazine jumped on board.

3)  Missionary Died Thinking He Was a Failure
A missionary died years ago believing his efforts in Congo had been fruitless. Surprise!

4)  The Troubling Trends in America’s “Calvinist Revival”
I’m hardly a Calvinist, nor part of their movement. However, many of the authors and online voices I pay attention to are. Here’s why that concerns Jonathan Merritt.

5)  The Shawshank Residuals (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Here is how one of the greatest films ever continues to make money twenty years after its release.

6) There’s No Such Thing as a Culture Turnaround
Ever tried changing an organization’s culture? No small task. From HBR, here is why that is the case, and what you might do about it.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Six-Pack (64)

Welcome to the latest edition of the Six-Pack.

As usual, the half-dozen links below lead to the best online offerings I have recently read, related to ministry or faith, with just enough space left for who-knows-what!

If six ever feels daunting, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and go from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Water to Wine (Some of My Story) (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
In this post, Brian Zahnd shares about a season of life on which he will forever look back as a point of renewal, even resurrection. Pastors will feel a particular resonance with this article, though I suspect any man or woman of faith will feel at home within this piece.

2) The Missional Church is Full of Dymschitz (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
If Skye Jethani writes it, it is worth reading. This intriguing post examines the tension that most Evangelical believers feel toward concepts like beauty and creativity and art. Regardless of your particular views on how faith and art intersect, there is something here worth considering.

3) 7 Habits of Highly Effective Preachers
Every preacher I know has a multitude of tasks on his plate. That said, I have always been particularly attentive to the weekly task of preaching. Thom Rainer (posting for ChurchLeaders) observes these seven practices among preachers he would consider effective.

4) Why There is No Such Thing as Casual Sex
Dallas Willard never believed in the concept; here is why.

5) The Virtual Moleskin
While I will never purchase one of these expensive notebooks, this story (by the New Yorker) of how the company has attained its success is intriguing.

6) God and Gays: A Conversation with Albert Mohler and Matthew Vines
Ahead of dual book releases, Jonathan Merritt interviewed both authors. Vines’ book released today earlier this week, matched by an e-book release of Mohler’s response. This interview will provide at least basic background to the dialog between these two, in case you’re looking for a quick overview.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Six-Pack (62)

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Six-Pack.

Having missed last week’s post, a small stockpiling of great material has begun. Let me skim a half-dozen off the top for sharing.

If six ever feels overwhelming, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move out from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) 20 Unusual Things 20 Successful People Do Every Day (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
For Inc.com, Jeff Haden has compiled these intriguing bits. I love getting peeks into others’ processes for creativity or organization or life. To me, this stuff is fascinating. I especially appreciate Leo Widrich’s entry — I could get into that, though those around me likely want no part of it!

2) What Saint Paul Really Said About Slavery
Scot McKnight shares a brief excerpt from Sarah Ruden on this still-provocative topic.

3) Platt Wasn’t Enough for My Church
Andy Schmitz took over leadership of a church formerly led by David Platt… sort of. Here’s his take on the non-negotiable value of flesh-and-blood pastoring.

4) Seeking God, Finding Jesus
Nabeel Qureshi is the author of “Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus”, and perhaps you should get to know him.

5) Twenty Years a Survior (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
The world recently marked the 20-year anniversary of Rwanda’s horrors. Many stories have been told. One you should hear is that of Clarisse Mukashumbusho, now living in London, Canada.

6) Are Mac Owners Really Cooler than PC Users?
Psychology Today picks at the famous commercials and their message.


May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Six-Pack (57)

Way too long away! I have missed every one of you, AND I’ve missed posting. Time to re-establish order in our post-sickness lives. Cheers to new days and new starts!

So let’s jump in: Here is the first Six-Pack of 2014 — the best pieces that have kicked off my year. As usual, selections are generally centered on faith or ministry, though we leave sufficient license to include who-knows-what as we discover it!

If six ever feels overwhelming, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move out from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) I Should Be Philip Seymour Hoffman (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Blaine Hogan provides this reflection on what others might learn from the too-soon passing of one of Hollywood’s finest actors.

2) Would You Convert to Islam?
This brief piece, from Geoff Surratt, nudges Christians to consider their approaches to evangelism from the other side.

3) Preaching as Reminding
Preachers often feel pressure to say something new. The point most of the time is simply to remind people of what they already know. Here’s what that might look like and why it matters.

4) How Christianity Gave Us Gay Marriage (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
The eyebrow-furrowing-titled piece actually voices an observation of which I’ve long held some poorly expressed version.

5) Seven Things I Hate About Spiritual Formation
Can a pastor actually voice such a thing? John Ortberg does. And then he gives seven reasons why.

6) Donald Miller and The Culture of Contemporary Worship
At the start of the month, popular Christian writer and speaker Donald Miller ignited discussion with confession that going to church isn’t something he does much. Mike Cosper was one of many to respond.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

Six-Pack (54)

Welcome to the latest Six-Pack! I am so grateful for every reader who stops by to check out the latest assortment of “best links”.

As regular readers already know, these pieces are generally centered on faith or ministry, though we leave sufficient license to include who-knows-what as we discover it!

If six ever feels overwhelming, start with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move out from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) Barak and Women Leaders (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
David Lamb shares this brief piece about what we can learn from the Judges-story of Deborah and Barak.

2) When do We Cross the Line into Plagiarism?
Out of Ur features a number of scholars and preachers on this sticky issue from the realm of preaching.

3) Atheist Mega-Churches Looking for Non-Believers
What do you do if you want a weekly gathering or a community of non-faith? According to USA Today, you join an Atheist Church apparently. Or if you don’t, at least a lot of others do!

4) Seven Thoughts on Pastors Writing Books (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
As a pastor who hopes to write books, this article (from Kevin DeYoung) contained a number of great bits. To the rest of you, it may come off as the weakest “Pick of the Week” so far!

5) Ayn Rand Didn’t Understand Capitalism. Or Altruism. Or Christianity. Or Reality.
I can’t claim to be well-versed in Ayn Rand, though her name comes up occasionally in books I read. This thoughtful critique of her views should provide both a primer to beginners and a fueling to those already familiar with this provocative woman.

6) Marketing Jesus in Ukraine
John Frye shares why he loves representing Christ in Ukraine and how the experience delivers him from a Stars-and-Stripes-wrapped Jesus.

May your week ahead be filled with life, as you seek the One from whom it flows!

leaveacommentYOUR TURN: Your input makes this post better!

  • Which link above was today’s best-of-the-best?
  • Why that one?

Direct others to the best of the bunch with a quick comment.

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]

A Sermon Through A Child’s Ears

hippoLast Sunday morning, our sermon at church focused on the story of Peter joining Jesus in walking on the water. In the midst of that section, I shared a passing story about my daughters and a cartoon hippopotamus. It turns out that these two portions were heard by my five-year-old nephew, who was uninterested in attending kids’ classes and was instead sitting in the back of the auditorium with an aunt.

After service, they recounted to me a conversation they had unfolded during my lesson:

Nephew: “I don’t think uncle Jason knows what he’s talking about.”

Auntie: “Well, I’m pretty sure he probably does.”

Nephew: “No, he definitely doesn’t.”

Brief Pause

Nephew: “Hippos do not walk on water.”

Is it fair to say that I’m hoping most in the room heard the message slightly differently than that?!

Saturday Six-Pack (39)

Welcome to the long weekend edition of the Saturday Six-Pack.

Settle in for a few minutes, and move your way through six of the of the best online pieces I found this week. Most are faith-focused or ministry-minded; others are just who-knows-what!

If you need help starting, begin with my two *Picks of the Week*, and move from there.

For a steady stream of such links, follow me on Twitter ( @JasonBandura ) to the right of this post.  Sharp quotes and solid articles are tweeted 3-4 times daily.

Today’s edition:

1) The Unexpected Antidote to Procrastination
What can a prairie boy learn from surfers about life? At least one great thing, according to this HBR piece.

2) Engaging Lecturers Can Breed Overconfidence
Research Digest makes the suggestion that great speakers actually distort the learning process for their listeners. So speakers, aim to suck! Or at least read this post to be aware of what happens when you’re excellent at your job.

3) What Seems to Help in the Midst of Pain
If you’ve ever hurt or wished to help others when they hurt, then Kathy Escobar‘s thoughts may serve you well today.

4) 2013 Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Highlights
I’ve long heard rave reviews of this annual conference. Michael Hyatt has posted a short list of his take-homes from the most recent event.

5) You Only Have $5. What is the Best Way to Invest and Grow Your Money? (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
This brilliant piece uses an assignment given to Stanford students to vividly highlight the vital place for “out there” thinking.

6) Preaching Better Sermons Top 121 Tweets (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
Preaching Rocket’s most recent online workshop can be tasted here in 121 tweet-sized morsels! Speakers of all stripes, have at it!

May your weekend be full of awareness and enjoyment of the God who already fills it with Himself and every good thing.  Blessings on you, my friends.

YOUR TURN: Direct other readers to the best stuff with a comment below, or weigh in on what you read.  Your input makes this post better!

[You can subscribe to this blog via RSS or email, in the upper right corner of this page.]