Saturday Six-Pack (20)

Back from a two-month absence, I have a stash of articles waiting for their spots in the Saturday Six-Pack.  Let’s get rolling!

As per usual, this weekend’s Six-Pack features a half-dozen online offerings that I recently enjoyed.  These articles are mostly faith-focused or ministry-geared, with a bit of disorderly-pile-of-who-knows-what tossed in!

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

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

Today’s edition:

1) 6 Reasons Why Mormons Are Beating Evangelicals in Church Growth
With the presence of Mitt Romney in the recent American election, Mormonism received even more media attention than usual.  David French, for the Gospel Coalition, offers this concise take on why the Mormon Church is “outdrawing” the Evangelical Church these days AND what we can learn from this.

2) Ranting is Not Preaching
The title says it all, but Tony Merida spends a few more lines fleshing out the temptation toward this lesser form of communication and the very real dangers that arise when pastors give in.

3) 10 Proven Practices for More Productive Leadership
In this guest post on Michael Hyatt’s blog, JD Meier offers a sharp list of practices relevant for every leader.  From his role at Microsoft to whatever role you fill, something (or likely SEVERAL somethings) from this list will speak to your current leadership challenges.

4) Lost in Translation (*PICK OF THE WEEK*)
For Relevant magazine, Berlin’s Ben Stevens ponders why so few Christians, particularly those who tie great importance to the Bible’s authority, have ever considered learning Greek. His observations may surprise you.

5) Does Quantum Physics Make It Easier to Believe in God?

One more entry from TGC, this post summarizes a larger article posted at Big Questions Online by Stephen M. Barr, a professor of physics at the University of Delaware who specializes in theoretical particle physics.  To consider how cutting edge science intersects cutting edge theology, start here today. You’ll be glad you did.

6) Seven Habits of Highly Prolific Writers
This brief piece by Henri Junttila will inspire those of you thinking about putting words on paper to but your butt on the chair and get ‘er done!  If the thought of writing appeals to you, this post will nudge you toward the reality of it.

It’s good to be back, my friends!  Enjoy your weekend through renewing yourself and reverencing God.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Six-Pack (20)

  1. Those seven habits are pretty spot on. I’ve slowly worked to develop my own set of rules to follow while writing. One includes, “Cut out the metaphoric crap.” Another includes, “Don’t lose your intent.” The first is one I get hung up on, depending what I am reading at the time. The second one I have to remind myself when dealing with an editor and hacking up my first draft.
    Both can be hard.
    Thanks for the reminders, though.

    • Hey Nic, my published friend.

      Good start to your own list; I can’t say that I’ve even begun to create such a list. For the moment, I’m trying to faithfully pump out poor first drafts with something resembling consistency. That’s a bunch of what this blog provides for me. For larger projects, they haven’t yet evolved past loose ideas in need of firmer outlining sometime. For the moment, they simply percolate. Call it misplaced priorities, poor excuses, or life with jobs and kids.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Whoa whoa. Don’t go using the ‘published’ word here. Self-published, and that is even being generous. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
        I found a few more of my own tips:
        1. Don’t settle. If it sucks, work at it until it doesn’t. (This sometimes takes me a full year for a paragraph…)
        2. Know your voice. Don’t try to sound like someone else.
        3. Vonnegut always said that you should write for only one person, not a group, not a demographic, but one single person. I think of that at times as well.

        Keep the drafts flowing, Jason.

  2. See Nic, your “Writing Rules” list is developing right here on the spot.

    #1 can take some balancing against a word I got from Jeff Goins (a blogger/writer), who pushes people to “Ship it”. If perfectionism or fear govern, then we never press “publish”… or “self-publish”… and whatever we have to say remains hidden away in our closet. He pushes people to “let ‘er rip”.

    #2 is a big one. I’ve heard it from several “fully published” writers, and I think it’s a tough one to over-emphasize. The temptation to mimic others is strong, particularly early on when you feel you have something to say BUT have yet to FIND your voice, or even believe that you have one. The exact same dynamic is at work in preaching.

    #3: I can’t say I’ve ever considered this exactly. Certainly, I think of general audiences, but one person? Haven’t done that, unless I count as that one. I’ve heard a number of writers urge other to simply write something (particularly fiction) that they’d love to read themselves. Oftentimes, that is enough to push the creative mind to generate something engaging to quite a few folks “just like me”.

    Nic, someday we’ll do this over a drink. For the moment, WordPress isn’t a terrible venue either!

    All the best, my friend.

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